In hopes of a build log, one day...

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JoeKahan
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:46 am
Location: Las Vegas, NV

In hopes of a build log, one day...

Post by JoeKahan » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:16 pm

Sorry, I just feel the need to vent and hope some of you find humor or a sense of camaraderie in this post.
I've often considered starting a build log for one or two of the several projects that I'm working on, but I haven't because I think that I already spend too much time on the computer instead of in my shop, building trains.
But today was going to be different!
I got up early, grabbed a cuppa 'Me' and headed to the garage. This morning I would weld up some angle iron to make a rolling base for the Harbor Freight motorcycle lift that I will use to load and unload my, as yet meager, roster of equipment, in and out of my suburban.
My projects are never on a fast track, so the angle iron has been sitting around for a while and has developed a moderate patina of rust. Rust! In Vegas! It's so dry here that my garden hoses turn to dust in 6 months but all the moisture in the state is somehow drawn to the little bit of steel in my garage. No problem, a quick hit with a flap disk can cure that. Well, since I "Cleaned up" the garage, I can't remember where any of my 3 HF grinders are. I spent an hour rummaging around and finally found them, but they all had grinding wheels on them, not flap disks. Another 30 minutes get burned looking for the flap disks that, I KNOW, I have, but no luck. Resign myself to making a trip to HF for more flap disks. Just a real quick run down to HF and I'll be back here to get this going in half an hour. "Honey, I'm gunna run down to HF really quick, be right back." "Oh, hey! I'll go with you." She says, "We can stop somewhere for breakfast on the way". "But I...". I had the steak & eggs special. By the way, if you're ever in Vegas, a local chain called The Village Pub, has pretty decent food. Ok, off to HF. I'll just run in, grab a few disks and we'll be home in no time. Ooh look, something shiney! 20 minutes later I'm out the door with my disks, some air line fittings, a package of gloves, and of course, a free flashlight. I passed on the nice 5" vise for now and headed home to git 'er done! So I thought...
"Sweetie, you don't mind making a quick stop at the grocery store do you? We just need a couple of things.". TICK-TOCK-TICK-TOCK in my head, "Sure honey, no problem." Arghhhhh!! Deep breaths, slow, deep breaths.
OK, finally back home, groceries taken inside and I'm back in the garage. Grab a grinder to put a new flap disk on it but cant find any of the grinder pin wrenches. Wanna know why I have 3 grinders... It always seems quicker and easier to get another grider, than to find or make a wrench. Another half hour looking for the pin wrenches fruitlessly and now it's time to get ready for work. Tomorrow starts with a trip to HF for a $9 pin wrench that comes with another grinder that I don't need. And another free flashlight.
Now I'm sitting here on break at work, thinking of all the stuff I would like to be doing in my garage at home, and realizing that this is not so much of a rich man's hobby, as it is an organized and/or retired man's hobby. Just 6 to 8 more years and I'll have 8 more hours a day to surf the internet, read the posts on Chaski, and maybe find a few minutes to start that build log. Oh, and maybe I'll get around to actually building trains one day too. Wish I had an idea of what to do with all these flashlights.
Joe Kahan
C.E.O. Paradise and Warm Springs Railway
GE 23T Box Cab
Allen Chloe Project
M.O.W. Highrailer project

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10KPete
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Location: Nordland, WA, USA

Re: In hopes of a build log, one day...

Post by 10KPete » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:57 pm

Joe, that's beautiful! You're quite the story teller...

Pete
Just tryin'

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NP317
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Location: Northern Oregon

Re: In hopes of a build log, one day...

Post by NP317 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 am

LOL!
Welcome to the Human Rat Race!
Just try to make each frustrating event another step toward organizing your shop enough to get something done!
You'll get there.
... and give us a report of your success!
~RN

Harold_V
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Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:02 pm
Location: Onalaska, WA USA

Re: In hopes of a build log, one day...

Post by Harold_V » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:44 am

Chuckle!
Great story, one that is all too familiar. I recently reorganized part of my shop, and now I can't find anything (heavy sigh).

By the way, if you think that retiring is going to give you another 8 hours in your schedule, you're in for one hell of a surprise.

Still, I'm cheering for you, and that magic day when you no longer have to report for duty. I pulled the pin when I was 54 and have regretted only that I didn't do it sooner (although that wasn't possible).

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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steamin10
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Location: NW Indiana. Close to Lake Michigan S. tip

Re: In hopes of a build log, one day...

Post by steamin10 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:26 am

PPHAP! I averaged almost 60 hours a week when I was working. When industry threw me out all used up, I couldnt find the projects that I wanted to do because they were buried under the projects I had to do. Now everything waits for piddles of money to get bolts, paint, screws and other brac needed.

I found that I am a pilot too. I pile it over there and some here and under that pile must be what I wanted yesterday. Where did that little bag of screws go??? And dont let anybody organize YOUR stuff. You will never see it again.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

rkcarguy
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Location: Wa State

Re: In hopes of a build log, one day...

Post by rkcarguy » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:46 pm

I ended up using the grinding wheels that have the nut built in, because I got tired of the missing pin wrench and the seemingly different nuts that hold each type of wheel on. I have 3 grinders myself, one with a cutoff wheel, one with a flap wheel, and one with a regular abrasive wheel so I'm not switching wheels all the time during fab.

JoeKahan
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Location: Las Vegas, NV

Re: In hopes of a build log, one day...

Post by JoeKahan » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:42 am

Well, I'm happy that a few of you enjoyed the humor of my situation. I had a better day today. No work at least. I just couldn't bring myself to buy another grinder, as easy as that would have been, I would have seen it as a failure. So I made another loop around the garage looking for the pin wrenches and after 10 minutes I decided to just use a pair of needle nose pliers instead. See the picture, it worked. After getting the angle iron cleaned up, I was able to get my lift dolly completed and I'm happy with the result. The larger casters make moving it around a lot easier and all the casters swivel so it's much more maneuverable. The extra height means I don't need cinder blocks under the track anymore. All is well in the world. After I was done, I was putting everything away and came across a torque wrench in my crate of welding clamps. Well, it certainly doesn't belong there, that's my clamp crate for goodness sakes. So I think about it for a minute and figure that it's unique enough of a tool that I should hang it on my pegboard where I have started to put all of my unique type tools. I walk over to the pegboard wall to find the perfect spot for it and there's even an empty hook ready to be used. It's at eye level and right next to the hook with three pin wrenches on it. Jaw hits floor.
NeedleNosePinWrench.jpg
UnloadingBoxCab.jpg
LiftDolly.jpg
Joe Kahan
C.E.O. Paradise and Warm Springs Railway
GE 23T Box Cab
Allen Chloe Project
M.O.W. Highrailer project

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ccvstmr
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Location: New Lenox, IL

Re: In hopes of a build log, one day...

Post by ccvstmr » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:13 am

Joe...have had this discussion with several persons here and elsewhere. Your recount of working in the shop while humorous...brings one word to mind...ORGANIZE!

Got to the point where stuffing parts, fixtures, supplies and other in boxes was good for stacking, but it became an endless game of "hide 'n seek" when something was needed. "I know I saw that somewhere..." was not good enough. Materials were consolidated and boxed (post office boxes work great for this...and they're free)...AND...a Sharpie pen was used to mark the contents on the outside before being shelved. There may be more boxes...but it's easier to find things when needed.

Tools like your grinders...go to the big box stores or Walmart...and get some plastic tool totes large enough for the tool and related supplies. Organize! Keep all things related to that tool...and ONLY that tool...in one container. Once again, easier to keep track of. And...if you haven't done already...get something like a Brother P-Touch label machine. Not only good to label your tool totes...but great for labeling the tool box.

Years ago, I started collecting Plano boxes. Menards stopped carrying these. Can find similar at Walmart in the fishing dept. These boxes are great for organizing fasteners and other parts. Get the containers with the moveable dividers...larger/longer parts can be stored in these containers as well. Again...label the front and ends of the container to identify contents. Believe it or not...you'll NEVER have enough space to store all the containers!
IMG_2026.jpg
There is a flip side to this...any organization system is only as good as the person using it. When done using tools, supplies, etc...it helps to put things back where they belong before storing again. Basically it comes down to our biggest enemy...TIME! There's only so many hours in the day. How much of your day do you want to spend looking for things? I'd rather be getting something done...just sayin'.

Have fun and keep us posted on your endeavors. Good luck. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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PeterCraymer
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Location: Maysville, Ga.

Re: In hopes of a build log, one day...

Post by PeterCraymer » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:04 pm

:lol: If anyone reading this can't relate at some level to the struggle, you are either OCD and have everything always where you need it or sitting in the armchair dreaming and not doing! Funny stuff! :lol:

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steamin10
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Location: NW Indiana. Close to Lake Michigan S. tip

Re: In hopes of a build log, one day...

Post by steamin10 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:19 pm

Funny stuff. Like laughing at the hangman right before the drop.

It comes down to your dream shop, or the nightmare on your street.

I dont have enough room for my collections, being that I try to save most anything usable.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

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tornitore45
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Location: USA Texas, Austin

Re: In hopes of a build log, one day...

Post by tornitore45 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:43 pm

The OP is funny and anybody, even the OCD types can relate. Is a fact of life that some folks are organized and some are the exact opposite. Whatever floats your boat. Great things have been accomplished by messy people.
Personally I can not operate in chaos, I sweep chips 3 times a day on a full machining day; my tools are all reachable without moving anything above or in front. Consumable and stuff rarely used is in labeled boxes with no more than one on top. Shelves avoid stacking. Most tools get stuck vertically in a piece of 2x4 with holes. I was happy when I find a rational solution to storing taps and dies, after a few not so practical attempts.
As for a trip to HF, HD or TrueValue my wife is the only woman I know that like to follow me and does not hurry me out. The only problem we come home with more house plants.
Mauro Gaetano
in Austin TX

JoeKahan
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:46 am
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Re: In hopes of a build log, one day...

Post by JoeKahan » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:08 am

The funny thing is that I'm actually trying to get and stay uncluttered and organized. That's why I put the pegboard up a while back. I just haven't gotten used to looking for stuff in the new places yet. I do appreciate the ideas I've read from others. I'm still in the position of having too much stuff for my space, but I'm learning to let go of some of it. I have been able to finally claim 90% of the garage as my sovereign territory and have been able to limit household storage to 2 cabinets and 2 shelves. I'm torn between spending time putting things right vs. actually making stuff. I'm also very new to machining and fabricating and not knowing how much of what I may need makes planning a bit of a problem. I'm trying to creatively save space in places and still leave some open area for future equipment and things. I do want to say that I am incredibly inspired by the craftsmanship and talent exhibited by so many of the people in the hobby. I will most likely never reach that level of workmanship (due to a lack of patience), but I do appreciate it when I see it in other's work. I also want to thank the many of you for sharing the wealth of knowledge on this board. My recent life changing experience (becoming an empty nester) has allowed me more time and money to invest in the hobby and I will be starting a build log soon. I acquired a partially completed Allen Chloe a while back and have a tentative goal of running it at the next triennial. Glad I was able to provide a few laughs. Thank you all for your help, advice, knowledge, information, and relating your experiences. For other newbys reading this that are considering getting into the hobby, I want to relate that just about everyone I have met through this endeavor has been helpful, generous, gracious, and encouraging. If you have a club nearby, or not, join one. I did before even having a clue of what I might want to build or get someday. It is wonderful therapy just going out to help build and maintain the club track. The people are great fun and the work is rewarding and very educational.
Joe Kahan
C.E.O. Paradise and Warm Springs Railway
GE 23T Box Cab
Allen Chloe Project
M.O.W. Highrailer project

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