Work rules / practices

Discussion in 'Workshop Tips and Secrets / Tools' started by BJC, Mar 21, 2016.

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  1. Mar 21, 2016 #1

    BJC

    BJC

    BJC

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    Help out some of us amateurs with work rules and practices that you follow to minimize mistakes and to work efficiently. I'm think of things like:

    Never leave something unfinished (screws not tightened, cotter pin not installed, not torqued, not safety wired), because you might forget to get back to it the next time you are working on your airplane.

    or

    Always return your tools to their storage place after using them.

    Thanks,


    BJC
     
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  2. Mar 21, 2016 #2

    Bill Clapp

    Bill Clapp

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    A couple tips...

    Organize your tools and keep them clean. When you are finished with a job make it easy to track them to be sure they didnt get left in an airplane. We have found some before....
    Make measurable tasks that can be accomplished in one sitting to reduce the impact of interuptions.
    Make a tag (red) to mark any unfinished or unairworthy component/work area in case of interuption.
    Have a second set of eyes on all flight control or critical systems. If not, take a measured break and then return to the job with "inspectors" eyes.
     
  3. Mar 21, 2016 #3

    StarJar

    StarJar

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    I picture in my mind the part/procedure comming out perfect. If I don't have a good feeling about it I ask myself 'why?' and wait. Usually something will come to me that I hadn't realized before.
    It also seems to create more synchronicity than always pushing it.
     
  4. Mar 21, 2016 #4

    lake_harley

    lake_harley

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    Set a goal to do something every day no matter how seemingly insignificant it might be to the overall project. As I once read, "Do something every day and one day all that will left to be done is fly".

    View the job at hand as "the job" to be completed. Each step is part of the larger project of course, but viewing each step as an accomplishment in itself gives satisfaction and maintains enthusiasm in the long run.

    I think the same principals can be applied to any aspect of our lives!

    Lynn
     
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  5. Mar 21, 2016 #5

    Topaz

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    I don't quite manage that, but they always are put away at the end of the work session. Everything in my toolbox has a specific place, as do all my power tools, so it's easy to see if something is missing and needs to be found.

    I suppose the latter is my tip - A place for everything and everything in its place. No "box full of loose tools". You can never leave a tool out, and there's no rummaging through a bunch of tools to find the one for which you're looking.
     
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  6. Mar 21, 2016 #6

    gtae07

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    I'm horrible about stopping right in the middle of something and not cleaning up. I'm not a cleaned-up and orderly person at all. I tend to wait until a given project/step/stage is done, then clean it all up. But my mind works that way; cleaning up and organizing is a painful process.

    One rule I've implemented goes like this:
    0 beers = work as normal
    1 beer = no power tools, complex tasks, riveting, or major steps; deburring, un-clecoing, minor tasks, etc. only
    2+ beers = broom and vacuum only
     
  7. Mar 21, 2016 #7

    Hot Wings

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    Turn off the phone! Maybe even lock the door?

    Tune the radio to a pure music channel. (Pandora)

    Interruptions waste time and cause mistakes. "Did I actually put that oil pump seal in or is there a spare is this gasket kit?" Only one way to find out for sure...:mad: :hammer: :dead:

    Help, when needed, should be rigorously trained - and properly rewarded when the job in complete.
     
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  8. Mar 21, 2016 #8

    bmcj

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    Have a list of small tasks to do for times you only have small windows of free time. Set aside large windows for larger jobs... often, it takes awhile to get setup, organized, and motivated, so have a large enough time window that you can continue to work once you are on a roll. At the end, when you are running low on energy and enthusiasm, shut it down with enough time to clean up, and hit it again later when you are refreshed.
     
  9. Mar 21, 2016 #9

    cheapracer

    cheapracer

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    Had 25 years or so of my own workshops.

    Put your tools away and clean up at the end of everyday, doesn't matter how messy or disorganised during the day, but reset every night even if the job is not finished.

    A peg board for your tools is the best thing, you instantly see what tools are still missing after cleaning up. Sample here but you need to run a big black permanent marker pen around the tools ..

    pegboard.jpg

    When doing the critical stuff such as control linkages, follow the lead of the Japanese, put a bright paint mark on every linkage as it's finished and checked. I used to do it with a small brush and tin on race cars, but even easier now with paint pens. It's amazing how later you can just glance at everything and if it's got a bright paint mark how much confidence you have in it.
     
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  10. Mar 21, 2016 #10

    D Hillberg

    D Hillberg

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    Hire half a dozen trained monkeys and let them loose and sit back with a good stiff drink with out a care in the world watching them swinging tools tossing monkey poop at each other and raising all kinds of hell destroying the whole place, Just enjoy the commotion knowing the whole time it's your ex wifes boy toys pride and joy.
     
  11. Mar 21, 2016 #11

    Topaz

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    Shop tip: Stay away from the beer before postin... er, working.
     
  12. Mar 21, 2016 #12

    MikePousson

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    Stay on one part of the project until completed, unless it is dependent on other parts being done. Don't skip around because you got to a boring stage. It'll be just as boring when you get back on it.
    Clean and orderly work place, whether a table or the whole shop.
    That's my 2ยข

    Good topic, BTW
     
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  13. Mar 21, 2016 #13

    cvairwerks

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    Look ahead- order ahead... I take a little time and look ahead a number of tasks ahead and keep a running order list going. The current one has lots of the hardware for the next few months when it goes out. I also always pad my counts so that I try to keep some stuff in stock all the time. For example in this order, there are 5 or 6 washer sizes and thicknesses, and 3 different cotter key sizes. I'll buy several hundred of each of the washers and 2 or 3 hundred of each cotter key. In the case of specialty stuff, then I order what I need and a couple of extras. Drives me nuts when I run out of common hardware items and can't finish what I am working on, unless I run out to a buddy's hangar and bum some off him until my order comes in.
     
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  14. Mar 21, 2016 #14

    narfi

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    A clipboard per project each with a list of what needs to be accomplished, when a specific task or line for that project is finished check it off, if you see something that needs to be done add it to the list (or if applicable to another project add it to that list)

    I have a magic pillow. Every time it touches my head, I start with a clean slate.

    Besides you never know when you will have time to pick up where you left off, will it be immediately after a cup of coffee? will it be after lunch? will it be tomorow afternoon? will it be next month sometime when you have the time?

    With a list it is easy to pick up right where you left off, and easy to mark any problems you need to address.

    Need to build a wing? Add it to the list.
    Bucked a bad rivet? add it to the list.

    Big or small, if on the list you wont forget it.
     
  15. Mar 21, 2016 #15

    bmcj

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    An infinite number of monkeys in an infinite number of workshops will eventually produce the perfect airplane that meets the goals of all possible missions.
     
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  16. Mar 21, 2016 #16

    autoreply

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    As long as any extra hour spent on thinking how to design/make/calculate a part reduces build time by an hour; keep thinking if you're good at it.

    I do this at work all the time (project manager/engineer) and often get ridiculed by it by production guys. For a few recent big, complex production runs I gave them the drawings and let them make the first part. Big, heavy stuff, glueing, logistics etc involved and time pressure is on (cure time).

    I spent a day or two, half an hour each, just mentally going through the production process, made a list, came up with some ideas, planned it etc. Their first run took them 7 man-hours. I briefed them on my exact order, gave everybody a task and the next run took 4 man-hours. Final runs (50 batches later) took 2.5 man-hours.

    Probably more pertinent for design, notably in composites. But simply thinking how to avoid one mold can save you a few full work-days.
     
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  17. Mar 22, 2016 #17

    Dan Thomas

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    Multiply your cost estimate by two.

    Multiply your time estimate by four.
     
  18. Mar 22, 2016 #18

    D Hillberg

    D Hillberg

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    Had an 'emergency' bathroom break and went back to work "**** where did I put my flash light" Looked all over the hangar, through the parts shelves, in the tool area on the bench. "Where the heck did it go?" spent a half hour looking ... Got in the car to go home the light was in the passenger seat. stupid 'emergency',
     
  19. Mar 22, 2016 #19

    rbrochey

    rbrochey

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    I could never work in a space that neat and clean.... you don't want to see my shop... but I do get a lot done other than managing tools... ;)
     
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  20. Mar 22, 2016 #20

    Pops

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    Thinking of changing the oil in my airplane so I to go to the tool boxes to get a couple wrenches. By the time I get to the other side of the hanger I forgot what I was going after, so I see something I had been working on in the vice. Great, I'll work on that, but I will need the torch to heat the 4130 tube to form the end, so I go over to the gas bottles to turn on the valves. Then I ask myself why did I turn on the bottles, can't remember so I turn them off, so I go back to the paint booth to do some masking. Almost out of masking tape so I need to go over to the box of tape by the tool box to get a couple of rolls of tape. When I get to the box and starting to reach down to pick some up. I ask myself, what do I need tape for. Then I remember what size wrenches I needed. So I get the wrenches and start back to the work, as I walk past the vice, I ask myself why do I need wrenches to heat the 4130 tubing . So I take the wrenches back to the tool boxes and on the way back to the paint booth I turn the gas valves on, and then go back into the paint booth to look for something to do. I know what I will do, I'll change the oil in the airplane. So I go in back of the hanger to get a case of oil, on the way I go past the gas bottles and someone left then on, so I turn them off. Can't trust anyone anymore. So I start carrying the oil out to the airplane in the front of the hanger and see the box of tape and decide to save a trip and take some masking tape to the paint booth in case I might need some next week. Look at the clock and its lunch time, so decide to go next door to the house and get some lunch and then get the wrenches. I'm getting to old to work this hard, think I'll take a nap after lunch.
    Dan
     

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