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Help Me With This!

07/18/2017 7:52 AM

I am really struggling with fabrication of my projects. Even though I feel that my ideas are good, i fail to bring that into a usable product. Can anyone suggest any sort of basic tool usage or any random advice ??

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#1

Re: Help me with this !!

07/18/2017 8:25 AM

Random advice, never eat yellow snow.

But seriously, you'll have to give a whole lot more info for any kind of answer.

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#2

Re: Help me with this !!

07/18/2017 8:43 AM

Document your idea.

Document your design.

Document your materials.

Acquire the materials and tools you will need.

Build a prototype.

Revise your design, idea, materials, tools as needed.

Build another prototype - if it's good, build a final product, if not go back to previous step.

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#3

Re: Help me with this !!

07/18/2017 8:58 AM

Wear sun-screen.

You really haven't asked a question that can be answered with any pertinent advice.

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#4

Re: Help Me With This !!

07/18/2017 9:16 AM

Buy lots of tools and fabrication equipment that relate to the work you want to do and learn how to use them to their fullest capacity.

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#5

Re: Help Me With This !!

07/18/2017 9:21 AM

If you can't make these ideas... they are not really ideas they are fantasies.
Learn how to use tools and how to make things ... design things that can be made using the skills and tools which you understand.
Del

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#6

Re: Help Me With This !!

07/18/2017 10:01 AM

Give us a few clues. Is this still about your desalination project for college?

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#9
In reply to #6

Re: Help Me With This !!

07/18/2017 2:19 PM

I'm happy that you remember my previous queries. I have done that project really well. I am struggling with another project. Its a more simple one. An automatic trash cleaner. I tried to use aluminium for its low wt. but ended up messing the whole project.

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#12
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Re: Help Me With This !!

07/18/2017 3:48 PM

"... but ended up messing the whole project..."
You need to work out why it failed and learn from it or get it working otherwise you will simply continue to fail.
Perseverence is required, learn from your mistakes.
Aluminium alloy is fine if you design to suit the material... cardboard is fine, wood is fine... it's a matter of understanding the materials and processes and designing accordingly.

You can't mess up a whole project, bits of it must have worked, maybe the concept was flawed, maybe the construction was flawed... take the good bits and fix the rest.
The whole point of the design process is evolution itteration and searching for solutions.
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#13
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Re: Help Me With This !!

07/18/2017 4:01 PM
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#7

Re: Help Me With This!

07/18/2017 10:36 AM

Some people live their whole life never having an original idea, in fact most people....The best way to start is with other people's ideas...build something that is already established as a useful product...then maybe try some modifications... Experience is your most important tool, yet surprisingly can be completely lacking due to education....Youth and energy can overcome many obstacles, but not always all of them...Success is a pitstop on a continuing highway, built on the backs of failures....Success must be earned through hardship, in order to hold the high esteem it deserves....

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#24
In reply to #7

Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 8:23 AM

You got that right. Most everything I thought was unique has been thought of by thousands of other people. Of course no one ever acted on those ideas which partially explains why they products don't exist. Lots of products have been invented but nobody wanted to pay for them either. That is probably the biggest cause of the failures. To see what I mean, visit the US Patent office online and try to search out an idea. It is a mind blower.

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#8

Re: Help Me With This!

07/18/2017 1:38 PM

The best tool by far in any project is your Mouth. Communicate! Nothing makes a project easier than to garner support from the right people who can help bring your ideas to fruition. Make your ideas attractive from financial, safety, and efficiency standpoints. If it's truly a good idea, it should be an easy sell.

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#25
In reply to #8

Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 8:26 AM

Hey Joe, a keyboard isn't so bad either. That's why he is here. Everything seems to go through the same stages. First you crawl, then you walk, and finally you can run. But nobody said anything about crawling being easy.

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#32
In reply to #25

Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 9:14 AM

You left out the part where just when you get everything "running" you take it out in the field, to find that your proto-board constructs will not take the punishment of being carted about, then you are back to soldering (crawling).

There are numerous cycles of evolution even on a simple project like testing Cold Fusion. Crawl - walk - tricycle - bicycle - wreck - crawl (repeat 5X for every controller/data logger), multiply by other hang ups like real life getting in the way (spouse's surgeries, your surguries, working on call during the weekends, etc. etc.), and before you know it, a one month project turns into several years.

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#10

Re: Help Me With This!

07/18/2017 2:30 PM

With a post as that, I can see why you're having trouble. It may not be a problem with your projects at all, the problem lies elsewhere.

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#11

Re: Help Me With This!

07/18/2017 3:47 PM

Never run with scissors.

As Tom Consulting said:

Plan, plan, plan.......

Get on google and look for prices of various possible materials.

Try to find the cheapest way.

Try to find the simplest way.

Revise your plans.

Go for it.

Revise your plans and go for it again.

Wasn't it Eisenhower who said: "plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."

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#14
In reply to #11

Re: Help Me With This!

07/18/2017 4:40 PM

yes, that is all true, and while at it, plan to fail, and what to do when failure is present.

On the flip side of that, failing to plan at all is a sentence to continual failure.

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: Help Me With This!

07/18/2017 9:39 PM

They call it an exit plan...

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#27
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Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 9:05 AM

'Wasn't it Eisenhower who said: "plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."'

I don't know if he said that, but he said something like "Things are closer now to what they used to be than they've ever been"

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#15

Re: Help Me With This!

07/18/2017 5:21 PM

Random Advice.... hmm, not much info given as others have said, my random advice is that marriage is highly over rated. Live your dream, do what you want to do without screwing anyone else. Life is short, make the most out of yours, before you know it, you'll be staring at your own mortality.

Decide what you want to do, learn how to do it, and then do it. Period.... We are here for a very short period of time, make a list of what you want to accomplish, and accomplish that list. If you can not, then ask specific questions on what you want to do.

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#26
In reply to #15

Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 9:03 AM

Or punt when faced with 4th down and long yards. If you are faced with an employment situation where the job description keeps changing for the worse, with no enhancement of your bottom line, and you are losing your sense of humor, then this:

Loss of joy is God's way of whispering in your ear that it is time to wander on further, and higher up. Never let them take away your joy or your dignity. There is always another door that will open further down that road you are on. If no door presents itself, then make one.

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#33
In reply to #26

Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 11:38 AM

I find joy in taking care of and being there for my kids, being alone every other week, fishing when I want to, and buying power tools or fishing poles without having to explain why I need them.

I don't find joy in thyroid tumors and associated procedures / treatments that go with them.

I think I just saw an ad for a Ryobi 10" 18v chainsaw that I need to buy.

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#36
In reply to #33

Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 12:30 PM

What are you waiting for man? What kind of trees you cutting with a 10" saw? Pruning chores?

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#38
In reply to #36

Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 4:53 PM

Exactly, light trimming. I have a Russian Olive tree that shades my deck and I love it. It's been completely ripped down twice in the last 15 years in storms, I had to cut it back to a stump both times. To my surprise each time I got massive amounts of suckers the next year and have to be selective on which ones to keep. Last time that it came down was July, 7 years ago, it is now 6" or 7" in diameter and 25' tall. I still get a lot of suckers off the original stump and also need to trim branches that die off every year and are replaced by new ones. I also need to trim my white mulberry and black locust tree.

I have been using my 18v Ryobi reciprocating saw, but that's not the proper tool for the job, the chainsaw is....

Here I am explaining my new power tool purchase to you after I said I didn't have to do that anymore, thanks a lot pal!

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: Help Me With This!

07/20/2017 2:22 AM

Yeah, and how would move a cast iron bath?
Del

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Help Me With This!

07/20/2017 5:03 AM

Sounds like a good topic for another thread .

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#46
In reply to #40

Re: Help Me With This!

07/20/2017 4:09 PM

Of course, you are right, hence the off topics I have scored myself, but it's not like we are getting much feedback on the on topic replies from the o.p. There is little to info on these projects other then he used aluminum and it didn't work for a trash cleaner.

He did ask about basic tool usage, which in a sense my responses are about, sort of...

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#41
In reply to #38

Re: Help Me With This!

07/20/2017 5:08 AM

Watch out for the sap of that mulberry: it can cause serious skin rashes.

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#42
In reply to #41

Re: Help Me With This!

07/20/2017 5:35 AM

I did not know that, thanks.

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#44
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Re: Help Me With This!

07/20/2017 12:21 PM

You poke the wolf, you get the growl. Yikes!!

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#45
In reply to #44

Re: Help Me With This!

07/20/2017 4:01 PM

I'm just playing... I have bought Ryobi 18v 4aH lithium batteries, 18v 4 1/2" grinder, 18v tire inflator, 2 different bit sets and now the 18v chainsaw since the divorce without explaining nothing to nobody. These go with my 1/2" and 3/8" drills, 5 1/2 circular saw, reciprocating saw, 4 compact lithium ion batteries and 2 intelliport 30 minute chargers.

I love my Ryobi tools, think I need an impact driver next.....

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#47
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Re: Help Me With This!

07/20/2017 4:29 PM

Why in heck not? You deserve to have good tools. Just I deserve to have good beer.

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#17

Re: Help Me With This!

07/18/2017 11:13 PM

Also, helps if you have an old retired stubborn Aussie engineer who for a bottle of Jamesons Irish will solve and build anything - association never hurts...at least you're asking

I have a pommy designer mate that does this to me all the time with his bright ideas, some actually are quite clever (nearly slipped and typed brilliant) some are simply rubbish and some turn out quite brilliant after much redesign and calculation BUT not for what he thought his idea would do which until he sees the result and says "...see I told you so..." and "...that was exactly what I meant..."

Also remember it is extremely rare for the for the first attempt to be the do all and end all (ask Microsoft/Apple/Boeing/GE/Ford...)

BTW pommy = English...not in a necessarily polite way

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#28
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Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 9:05 AM

Stick to your guns, mate! It seems you have thus far! Cheers! You would be most welcome in Texas any time.

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#18

Re: Help Me With This!

07/18/2017 11:24 PM

Build what you want, how you want it, sometimes you need to squirrel yourself behind closed doors until your ready to reveal to the world your creation.

There will always be all sorts of naysayers who will tell you it can't be done or how inefficient it might be.

Take a clue from this guy,,,how many people do you think told him,, " it will never work ! "

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#19

Re: Help Me With This!

07/18/2017 11:59 PM

It reminds me of one of my projects. It took three years of thinking. Of course this was at work in-between the every day jobs. I collected materials when and where I found them. When I had a slack week I went straight into it. I knew what I wanted, had all the sizes in mind, all the tools I needed and the skill to use them. Marking, drilling sawing and tapping, polishing and assembling. I was naughty as I should have used drawings and didn't. It worked first time and tested to 20,000 PSI and only took 3 days to build (in-between other jobs). so, think, design, think, redesign, take time to be sure what you are aiming for, research, collect material that may or may not be useful, think some more. consider problems that can arise, design them out of the project and when ready produce it. You had success with a previous project so you know you can do it.

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#29
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Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 9:06 AM

Did you build a wooden compressor out of poplar logs? Just kidding!

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#43
In reply to #29

Re: Help Me With This!

07/20/2017 5:50 AM

No, but did design a one cylinder petrol engine made from very hard wood. Never got beyond the initial design stage. Mind you, I was only 12 at the time. I still sometimes wonder about that.

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#20

Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 12:46 AM

Your question reminds me of a fellow worker who asked me to explain compressed gases to him, as he didn't know anything about the subject. (He was supposed to be developing a test?)

I asked him if he drove a car, and he said "Yes".

I then asked him if the car had tires, to which he also responded "Yes".

I finally asked him if he had to put air in those tires - again "Yes".

I then told him he had some knowledge of compressed gases!

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#21
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Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 1:54 AM

Or you could have asked "have you ever drunk beer or other carbonated drink" If he says yes then tell him he has some knowledge of compressed gas.

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#22
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Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 2:17 AM

Unfortunately, the people around him probably have some knowledge of decompressed gas.

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#30
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Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 9:07 AM

...or if he ever ate red beans cooked the "wrong" way!

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#23

Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 3:35 AM

Build an Iron Man armor.

I am going to buy for sure!

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#31
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Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 9:10 AM

The thing with Iron Man Armor is that as soon as you don this Knightly armor, everyone wants to shoot you with missiles, SAW guns, RPG, giant blocks of concrete, alien smashanators, etc.

I saw don't wear the thing, it is much safer. It would be nice to have something to personally get around in, for less windshield time when traveling to the farm on weekends.

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#34

Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 12:13 PM

Embarrissingly, I can relate all too well with your situation...

Waaaaaaay back, when I took (Introduction to Engineering) Class, the (Term Project) was to individually design, and build, a catapult (that fit into a one-cubic-foot square box), that could launch a ping-pong ball the farthest, within 4 to 6 weeks...

I did all that very well, except for the one little detail that the ball wouldn't stay in the (cup) while being launched...

My final distance was less than 3 feet...the winning distance was more than 50 feet...

That was the (price) I paid for conducting no (dry-run)...

It was the last time I did no (dry-run)...

I was trying to compete by only having an untried prototype...

What you have, in effect, is a prototype with only a single dry-run...

Why aren't you asking yourself exactly how you ''messed up'' ?...

Why aren't you asking yourself exactly why you ''messed up'' ?...

Why aren't you asking yourself exactly what way you can do better than the way you ''messed up'' ?...

If you were a neutral observer, what advice would you give yourself to improve your prototype?...

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#37
In reply to #34

Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 12:36 PM

As we both agree, a prototype without test run(s), is just a proto, and not a type of anything.

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#35

Re: Help Me With This!

07/19/2017 12:29 PM

Moi??

I get a lot done while wasting time, I will have you to know. I am over half done with today, and it ain't even lunch time yet.

I can think over 120 wpm, and can walk and aschew gum at the same time. And smoke while running amok.

Not only that, my breath is minty fresh, unlike yours that smells of a sulfur emitting LOLcano. Did you have shrimp last night? Raw? Gosh, here's a Tic-Tac.

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#48

Re: Help Me With This!

07/22/2017 5:46 AM

The hardest thing you can do is to make something simple.

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#50
In reply to #48

Re: Help Me With This!

07/24/2017 8:44 AM

Preach!

One of the most frustrating parts of my job is writing up 'operator manuals' for the equipment in the plant. Half the manual ends up becoming a list of 'don't stick your finger in there' locations. Even with guards, sensors, and interlocks, these people STILL find ways to circumvent them all and poke fingers in dangerous places. If they were HALF as diligent at doing the job as they are at sticking fingers where they don't belong, I could have enough free time to, possibly, work on some Engineering improvements to the plant.

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#49

Re: Help Me With This!

07/24/2017 7:49 AM

Take classes in both electrical and mechanical engineering areas. Frequently, you will need both skills. Also take classes in tool making. That is where the parts are usually created from stock materials. Welding is also useful but not always needed.

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