Monday, July 20, 2015

BEGINNERS FAB EP 27: NOT FORGETTING THE DETAILS


If your projects are anything like mine, then you start them with a plan of finishing them quickly. Having the: “I’ll work on them every free moment, until I finish it idea.” Truth be told though, life seems to find a way of complicating that idea. This complication is magnified by the sure amount to tiny, but important, task that need to be completed for your project to be completely and safely finished.

There was a time when I thought my mind and memory were good enough to remember all that I need to finish/button up. However, every year older I get, and as my projects continue to advance in complexity, I find that I can’t remember all the details. This, plus the fact that there is a ton of mock up cycling, pressure testing, tacking, welding, grinding, and then re-doing all that had just been done. It’s not hard to think you’ve tightened all those bolts, or fully welded, “whatever…” only to find out that you didn’t. Of course, this is only found out once you have all your tools put up, you’ve final painted, or what not, and then you have to re-do it again.

In my efforts to make my projects the most efficient and safest possible, I’ve gotten in the habit of making lists. I have very styles. Some are general concept list, and others are specific task list. Each serve their purpose, and all are very handy.

My list may be materials to buy, or maybe angles that have already been tried and didn’t work. Really, you can make list for tons of helpful stuff. Still, I don’t recommend over doing list either. That way you don’t get lost in a sea of papers and list. Forgetting what is what, and what you’ve already, or not, done.

Personally, I try to make a index list. This is a list of all the main topics, or portions of the project to be attended to. (i.e.: axle, suspension components, chassis, exhaust, tranny, motor)

Of course, then I make a list of all the aspect that I think I might forget while being envoled in my work, while being frustrated at my work, or while I’m tired, after I’ve been working and therefore, frustrated. In other words, I write down just about everything.

An example of this on my Daihatsu rear leaf spring conversion project is the following.

Rear Axle:

-clean off unneeded brackets

-Strip paint off

-final weld spring perches

-final weld shock mounts

-install hard break lines

-re-paint with undercoating

At the moment of writing this article, this is an actual list that I have. I know this sounds like these things are obvious. However, when you are trying to get the most done in a day, it’s very easy to forget what is needed, or what you have, or have not actually done. With a list though, I can go back and double check all that I had listed before I (in this case) re-install the axle under the Daihatsu. Saving me a lot of trouble and frustration later down the line.

Believe me, if you get in the habit of using list now, you will be better off in the long run. Also, your work will end up being a better quality, and much safer too.

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