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Post  kevbo Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:04 am

Just the musings of what I am coming to realize is an old fart:

My boss was telling me the other day that his son asked if he should spray WD-40 on his car's brake rotors, because the brakes were squeaking.
And that sort of thing seems to be getting more and more common.   Boys who have no mechanical sense at least he knew enough to ask
first, so I guess that is something.   I have seen a compressor mounted on rubber isolators with rigid plumbing run to it.  Several "mechanical engineers"
and draftsmen looking at it and not seeing a problem there.

Looking back, my model airplanes had a lot to do with how I understand machines.  Cox engines taught me the importance of keeping engines clean,
That all the pieces were there for a reason, not to over torque fasteners, to use the correct tools...that more gas didn't usually mean more power.  I learned to solder by making up glow lighter batteries from D-cells...ended up with a degree in electrical engineering.

I know there are still a few kids learning such things, but I worry that we have lost a sort of critical mass:  It is getting so that nobody can even follow what the one guy who understands this stuff is trying to tell them.  I read popular mechanics articles written in the 50s, and they will say things like "To make the bushing, drill to 3/8", then carefully bore to .410...."   They don't even consider mentioning that you'll be doing this on a lathe...just goes without saying.

I really don't think you can teach someone the mechanical intuition they learn from a childhood of tinkering with junk...

OK, I'm done.
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Post  fredvon4 Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:06 am

There were many aspects of 1940s to 1970s life that conspired to get adults and kids into tinkering, experimenting, or just plain old learning from the neighborhood cool dad

Bicycles....lubing chains, cleaning and loosing ball bearings, adjusting derailers, fixing inner tubes
Reel mowers.... complicated sharpening and setting but worked a LOT easier when done properly
Powered lawn mower.... oil changing, filters, de-crudding float bowl or replacing Needel valve and setting float level... take apart and see how it works required understand how to setting valve cam gear to correct place on the crank shaft gear
Model building.... too many basic engineering concepts to list
Pocket full of tubes run down to the drug store to test , find the bad one, buy new tube and go home to install while dad cautioned to NOT touch the fly back transformer primary lead....we all just had to touch it and get bad shock!!!!

kitchen toaster broke down...fix it we did

Building Heath kits because assembling a TV or stereo was way cheaper this way than buying from Sears

I can never remember my dad taking a car to a shop/dealer/garage for a repair....bought the Chiltons manual and did the over haul ourselves

Never ever was an electrician, plumber, or other trades man at any of our houses

could go on for pages and pages of example of my child hood that is significantly missing on our society today

I have often been called a jack of all trades... and under my breath free offer...BUT MASTER of NONE....grin
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