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Laws of the Shop

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daveyfire

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Getting ready for a launch yesterday, I was installing altimeters, fixing rockets, detangling cables, packing parachutes, and loading the car. During this process, I encountered a few laws of the shop which always seem to keep recurring to me.

  • The smallest part of a rocket always falls into the most inaccessible place in the workshop.
  • The level of entanglement of a line, no matter how neatly coiled, is proportional to the square of the duration the line has been sitting untouched.
  • No matter how clean the garage is before you begin packing, before you end packing, it is a complete mess.
  • The part that you need is always the part you can never find.
  • Epoxy never cures when you need it to, and always cures when you don't.

What other Laws of the Shop do you guys always run into?
 

eugenefl

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Originally posted by daveyfire
What other Laws of the Shop do you guys always run into?
Exacto knives do a fine job of cutting flesh, but not much else. ;)
 

Justin Horne

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It doesn't matter how smooth it looks, paint will show the defects.
 

rabidsheeep

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hot glue guns should be called smoldering flaming balls of huge fire guns.
 

DynaSoar

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Originally posted by daveyfire
What other Laws of the Shop do you guys always run into?
Glue attracts cats. Cats attract glue. Nobody enjoys the result.
Corralary 1: Despite the experience, this remains true.
Corralary 2: Replace "glue" with "sharp blades". Replace "cats" with "fingers". This still remains true.

Your highly technical descriptions of your latest revelation for a golly-gee-whiz improvement in performace is very interesting. Remember to thank your wife occasionally for pretending this is true.

There are many ways to build a given rocket:
1. According to the instructions,
2. Trial and error,
3. Trial and error and error,
4. Trial and error and error and error
etc.

Painting is not finishing.
Cleaning up is finishing.
I'm never finished.

If you have enough spare parts, you can pretend that when you have parts left over from a kit, they were just some of your spare parts. Just don't expect the rocket to believe this.

The laws of physics should not be called laws. They should be called brick walls, because they have the same effect when you try to break them.

Higher or stronger. Pick one.

If at first you don't succeed, you can study geology. Trust me.

Pointy part up, fire down.
For everything else, get out the Mastercard and try again.

Long version: If you're not having fun, you're doing something wrong.
Short version: It's only a hobby.
 

n3tjm

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Originally posted by DynaSoar

If at first you don't succeed, you can study geology. Trust me.
Core sample? LOL ;)

More Rules....


Your house is a shop.
Paint attracts bugs.
The rockets that you want a perfect paint job on will peal :(
Sometimes the best paint schemes don't work out, yet the worst schemes do.
 

DJ Delorie

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Any mistake in positiioning a part will only be discovered after the glue has set.

The chance of paint problems is proportional to the effort that's gone into the model so far.
 

sandman

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I discover this when I built a pole barn a few years ago and my wife said, "We'll never fill this!"

I discovered it again when I build my "Rocket Lab" in my finished basement.

The amount of material (i.e. stuff) will expand to fill the available space.

sandman
 

Bill

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Originally posted by DynaSoar

There are many ways to build a given rocket:
1. According to the instructions,
2. Trial and error,
3. Trial and error and error,
4. Trial and error and error and error
etc.
Kitbashing, intentional or otherwise,

Also, a nicely finished rocket is more likely to get eaten by a tree, crash, zipper or suffer other irreparable damage.


Bill
 

cls

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I always say "measure once, cut twice".

my wife always says "measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe".
 

11bravo

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Originally posted by rabidsheeep
hot glue guns should be called smoldering flaming balls of huge fire guns.
Amen, Brother!

Greg
 

Hospital_Rocket

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(1) The one thing you can't live without is always in the shop. Especially when you are at the launch.

(2) There is always room for one more kit.
 

Silverleaf

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1) The more complex the design, the easier it is for you to brag about it till it prangs/blows up/catos/disappears through a rift in the space-time continuum...

at which point your left with blaming the malfunction on the company that built the motor/the parts,

or my personal favorite... "The dew point".

As in, " When the dew point is that low, all rockets misfire/prang/cato/disappear through a rift in the space-time continuum ".

2) At some point in your rocketry career, you'll have the perfect rocket, with the perfect finish. It looks awesome on the pad, looks fantastic on your shelf, but secretly - what you don't know is - the rocket has a flaw, a terrible huge flaw that is inpercievable to the human eye or an electron microscope.

This flaw will not appear till the moment the button is pushed and at that moment, the resultant lump in your throat expands to the size of California, when you suddenly realize you've inadvertantly forgotten ...something.

By then, its too late and the rocket has had Murphy's 7th Law of Dynamic Plausibility acted upon it. Which is:

" No matter the perfection, no matter the consequence, no matter the depth of your joy, the **** rocket will inadvertantly have some frickin law of nature enacted upon it to make something go wrong...somewhere".

3) If by chance your perfectly painted, meticulously handcrafted piece of art doesn't suffer from Murphy's 7th Law of Dynamic Plausibility, then the only hope you have is to place the rocket under glass, and put it on display at the Louve Museum...considered to be the safest place on the planet.

But even then, Murphy's 1st Law will be enacted uponst your masterpiece.

"Whatever can go wrong...will. "

Cheers,
 

powderburner

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No matter how important the rocket part is, if you put it down somewhere and then turn your back on it once, you will not be able to find it again----until AFTER you scrounge up a replacement part.
 

Fore Check

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Originally posted by Silverleaf
But even then, Murphy's 1st Law will be enacted uponst your masterpiece.

"Whatever can go wrong...will. "

More applicable in my Lab is Ginsberg's Law.

"Murphy was an optimist."



And another Shop Law:

Even though she knows [darn] well what you're doing in your Lab, your wife will *always* come in with an aggrivated look and scream "WHAT THE [heck] ARE YOU DOING??!?!?" when you start operating orbital sanders, carving a fine detail with a Dremel, or otherwise operating any other power tool.
 

DynaSoar

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Originally posted by n3tjm


> Originally posted by DynaSoar

> If at first you don't succeed, you can study geology. Trust me.

Core sample? LOL ;)

High speed landscaping?

Maybe, creative soil mechanics. Measured on the wrecked 'er scale.
 

DynaSoar

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Originally posted by Silverleaf
But even then, Murphy's 1st Law will be enacted uponst your masterpiece.

"Whatever can go wrong...will. "

From: http://www.murphys-laws.com/murphy/murphy-true.html

The following article was excerpted from The Desert Wings
March 3, 1978

Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will") was born at Edwards Air Force Base in 1949 at North Base.

It was named after Capt. Edward A. Murphy, an engineer working on Air Force Project MX981, (a project) designed to see how much sudden deceleration a person can stand in a crash.

One day, after finding that a transducer was wired wrong, he cursed the technician responsible and said, "If there is any way to do it wrong, he'll find it."

The contractor's project manager kept a list of "laws" and added this one, which he called Murphy's Law.

Actually, what he did was take an old law that had been around for years in a more basic form and give it a name.

Shortly afterwards, the Air Force doctor (Dr. John Paul Stapp) who rode a sled on the deceleration track to a stop, pulling 40 Gs, gave a press conference. He said that their good safety record on the project was due to a firm belief in Murphy's Law and in the necessity to try and circumvent it.
Aerospace manufacturers picked it up and used it widely in their ads during the next few months, and soon it was being quoted in many news and magazine articles. Murphy's Law was born.

The Northrop project manager, George E. Nichols, had a few laws of his own. Nichols' Fourth Law says, "Avoid any action with an unacceptable outcome."

The doctor, well-known Col. John P. Stapp, had a paradox: Stapp's Ironical Paradox, which says, "The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle."

Nichols is still around. At NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, he's the quality control manager for the Viking project to send an unmanned spacecraft to Mars.

[My additions:

John Stapp spent his retirement as curator of the museum at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, the "airplane graveyard". Over 4,000 people per year owe their lives, and over 100,000 people per year owe their lack of injury, to John Paul Stapp. And that's just in ground vehicles. He was the person primarily responsible for convincing Lyndon Johnson to make seat belts mandatory. He was convinced of this by his rocket sled runs.

In 2003, Ed Murphy's son Robert was present at the Annals of Improbable Research's annual Ig Noble Awards as his father, Stapp and Nichols were honored for their contribution to society. The most complete and accurate story about these men and The Laws can be found at: http://www.improb.com/airchives/paperair/volume9/v9i5/murphy/murphy0.html ]
 

Hospital_Rocket

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Of couse there is this immutable law

The possibility of a rocketeer finishing any project is inversely proportional to the availability of a computer on which Rocketry Forum is readily accessible.
 

scottrc

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The 1st attept to trail fit the engine mount ends up with the mount stuck so tightly into the tube, that it becomes a permament installation by running thin CA into it.

And thats when it is discovered it is mounted inverted.
:confused:
 

scottrc

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Micrometers, calipers, triangles, protractors, levels, T-squares and that 80mb graphics calculator are there to give you the encouragement that you know what your doing, however, almost all calculations are done by a glance down the side, a quick balance on the fingure, a toss of a coin, and an opinionated "educated" guess from a spouse or buddy.
 

loopy

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A fin tacked on the Phoenix is worth two fingers CA'd together...
 

loopy

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... And your wife just switched to acetone free nail polish remover...
 

loopy

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...and it's 1 in the morning, so your kids are in bed, and even if they weren't, you're not going anywhere in your Ren And Stimpy slippers and cow print flannel pants and no shirt...
 

loopy

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...so your call your wife at work and ask her to pick up something with acetone in it on her way home when the restaurant closes, and she tells everyone at work so they can laugh at you, then calls her parents who then call you and laugh at you, but ultimately come up with a solution to rub vegetable oil on it to help break it down, and it works, but takes about an hour and a half of constant rubbing, since your fingers were glued together from tip all the was down to the bottom knuckle. Fun!
 
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