Improvisation

I've been meaning to post this short quote from S. Landis' "The Workbench Book", p.189:
"As we attempt to offset our lack of experience by purchasing more and more sophisticated and expensive tools, we run the risk of losing the ability to improvise--the (boatmakers) stock in trade."
Maybe you can guess which thread reminded me of this? - lol. No, not Lew's--even though he's the only boatmaker I know.
You can print the quote out and tape it to the front of your Rockler catalog if you like! : )
Bill
BTW, I am getting better at improvisation since I've been hanging out here. I've caught myself figuring out simple but good ways to do things that never would not have occurred to me before. I've still got a long way to go, but hey, you have to take your joy where you can get it! :)
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On 7/1/2011 6:08 AM, Bill wrote:

Recently a client spent days trying to find a suitable pull for her new attic pull down door we installed ... she wanted something that she could grasp, wouldn't pull through her fingers, and wouldn't hurt her delicate hands. Finally, in desperation, she asked me to make something for her. No problem, I said ... do you care what it looks like? Not at this point, said she. Fine I said, I'll be back in 20 minutes.
She now has the perfect attic door pull down, precisely fitting the parameters she expressed as important, painted the same color as the ceiling:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Pull-Cord-Handle-BRIGGS-393152-/250720193463?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a60168bb7
Moral: Sometimes you just have to ask the right question ... ;)
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Swingman wrote:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Pull-Cord-Handle-BRIGGS-393152-/250720193463?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a60168bb7
Bravo!
Exactly. Often the right question is "Why do you want that?"
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Do it all the time, often something perfect for a project is not made for that specific purpose and can be adapted and modified.
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On 7/1/2011 1:27 PM, EXT wrote:

Obviously a man who appreciates the definition of "improvisation" ... ;)
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On 7/01/11 2:58 PM, Swingman wrote:

I did a really off one a couple years ago, my wife wanted a plant stand in the basement for wintering plants, and early sprint starts.... Commercial ones she wanted cost a small fortune and looked like crap. Got a set of wire shelving from Ikea, fluorescent fixtures at HD...then the fun part, how to attach them.... Finally I figured it out, those clips that usually hang a curtain rail/rod and screw to the wall/ceiling, clipped onto the rails perfectly and gave me a way to attack the lighting fixtures.
Happy wife, and have surprised a few friends when they saw how I did it.
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The system will be down for 10 days for preventive maintenance.
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On 7/1/2011 2:49 PM, FrozenNorth wrote:

See, to me that is the mark of true genius!
So many folks just give up because they lack imagination. It's the same with cooking. Linda will swear up and down there is nothing to eat in the house. I'll go to pantry, rummage around in the fridge a bit, and 20 minutes later, voila - a meal fit for company. Hell, we had a leadership course in OCS that entailed crossing a river gorge using nothing but the tools at hand. The fact that the first hot meal in a week was awaiting on the otherside was all this coonass needed to get my unit over in record time ... improvisation, and incentive, conquers all.
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Swingman wrote:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Pull-Cord-Handle-BRIGGS-393152-/250720193463?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a60168bb7
Perfect solution. I would have never thought of painting it! ; )
But I have to know, did you prepare it with steel wool or something before you painted it? I assume spray paint?
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On 7/1/2011 5:17 PM, Bill wrote:

Me? Paint? LOL! I paint the EZ way ... I hand it over to a REAL painter, you can bet your sweet bippy.
With the exception of one out-of-town job, I've used the same paint contractor going on ten years now, they are used to painting unusual materials, and seemingly can get paint to stick on snot.
In any event, client herself opined that a Briggs and Stratton lawn mower pull might not hold paint all that well, but might as well try it.
Improvisation often comes with a cup of compromise, and I added to that the surety that after the third electrician and/or first plumber going into the attic, it will be automagically black again anyway.
Besides, she has her own personal painter who can touch it up as needed. :)
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Swingman wrote:

Your story reminds me of a friend who humorously remarked how many people there seemed to appear willing to give their OPINION on the way something ought to be done while he was busy DOING it... Evidently, If you are trying to fix something and there are more than 3 assorted UofMich engineers in one room, usually you will mostly get a discussion... I was not one of the engineers so I can only opine.
Bill
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"Swingman" wrote:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Pull-Cord-Handle-BRIGGS-393152-/250720193463?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a60168bb7
-------------------------------- Since this is a wood working forum, next time cross drill a hunk of 3/4" wooden dowel.
Could even gussey it up by chamfering the ends.
Lew
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On 7/1/2011 6:26 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

Yabbut, that would not necessarily be in the spirit of improvisation if actually fabricated it. Besides, one of the things objected to in the previous quest was a visible knot.
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Swingman wrote:

You could have maybe drilled a hole in a golf ball and skipped the painter if you could get a hole in one. : )
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"Swingman" wrote:

-------------------------------------- You could always practice your marlinspike skills and tie a cat's paw.
Think of it as resource conservation.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Think of PETA! ;)
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