Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Finally done with the %#^&@ 72 holes

Except there were only 71. No matter how many times I count, I can't find the 72nd hole. There are an additional two #11 size holes to drill, but if you count those you get 73.

72? It just ain't happening.

This was my first time using the new workbenches and they worked out just fine. They are just benches, after all. They're expected to work.

There are interesting parallels between building the benches and building an airplane, distilled down into these ten observations:
#1: It always takes longer than you think it will.
#2: Measure twice, cut once is good advice, but it's harder than it sounds.
#3: Countersinking is one of those things where it is possible to get too much of a good thing.
#4: You can't have too many clamps.
#5: You will be your own harshest critic.
#6: Having the right tool for the job can mask personal skill inadequacies; good tools are worth the money.
#7: It can be functional without being pretty.
#8: Always include the cost of fasteners in your estimates. They're cheap per unit cost, but you need a lot of them. See also: Clecos.
#9: Following the letter of the plan may not always be the best path, but shortcuts should be taken with thought, planning, and caution.
#10: It good to be done!
I was going to write a nice little article for the EAA magazine tying in the way those all dovetail with building the plane, but it seems that EAA doesn't accept member contributed articles anymore. A pity, that, but indicative of the direction EAA has been heading for awhile now. It's a big business now and is losing its grassroots feeling. To date that has been most readily observed at Oshkosh every year as it becomes more and more corporate-ized. It's not all bad; there are a lot more restrooms and conveniences, but in other ways, most notably the complete homogenization of food concessions, it's not nearly as nice. It's the same with the magazine: it's a much more attractive and professional looking periodical, but it has lost the "member newsletter" feeling. An improvement? Arguable; it depends wholly on what you want EAA to be.

Or, and this is at least equally possible if not more so, they simply moved the contribution guidelines to the deep, dark reaches of their web site where I just can't find them. I suppose I ought to just write it up anyway just for the fun of it.

In any event, the air drill was definitely worth the trip(s) to the hangar and the working conditions have been pleasant tucked back in the corner behind the RV-6, but I'll be happy to get back down to the basement where I can keep more regular hours.

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