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# Confessions15

## Confessions

(OP)
Many interesting links shared detailing other peoples screw ups. Anybody on here willing to admit to their own?

Not trying to entrap anybody, don't admit to anything you could still get prosecuted for. Just want to hear a few funny stories.

I'll start: My first job in a small engineering firm with very little senior experience, almost every day was a near miss:

- Prototype 24 ton dump trailer, my first folly with hydraulics, on placement from uni. I designed the small hydraulic rams that open and closed a gull wing style back door to operate on the same circuit as the very large rams that lift the 24 ton laden body, without any flow controls. On first operation the back door closed so hard and fast it damaged the solid steel door.

- Ordered a laser cut sheet steel kit for a first production batch of a new product. Didn't realise AutoCAD was set so that all files were scaled 10:1. Received a delivery of miniatures.

- Made a tolerance error on the pivot of a large arm that moved a prototype piece of machinery into operating position. It seized up so tight only the hydraulic ram on the arm could turn it, couldn't even get grease into it. Prototype was on a tight deadline for a demonstration in front of a large group of customers which we had to go ahead with. Started to move the arm and the screeching from the pivot was mortifying. needless to say we waited until everyone had left after the demo before folding it back in again.

### RE: Confessions

7
I am twice divorced. Totally my fault because I asked each of them to marry me.

It's all okay as long as it's okay.

### RE: Confessions

I dodged two possibly bad marriages through no device on my part; one rejected my proposal, the other canceled afterwards. Looking back with hindsight, it's easy to see that either would have been failures in the making.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Confessions

Watching units is always important especially when using software. Pipe weights may be off by a factor of 144 if you don't watch density units...

### RE: Confessions

2-months ago, the hydrotest pressure on isometric dwg appeared incorrect. i did the calc & i got a higher value. oscar sierra . . . i got distracted and revisited 2-weeks ago. hydro test pressure was incorrect - too low. ouch.
meanwhile, about 60 pipe spools were prefabricated, hydrotested, and in the process of being shipped to site. double ouch.
engineer, not me, used 2014 code to determine test pressure and stress values were lowered in 2016 code, resulting in higher test pressures at higher design temps.
contract was signed before the 2016 edition became effective, so 2014 edition is code of construction. a goodie!
fortunately, 95% of the prefabricated spool pieces just barely met the test pressure by 2014 edition, but not 2016 edition. Whew!
the remaining 5% did not meet 2014 edition test pressure by 2-psig. final and bigger ouch, but a lesser eventual rework.
when suspecting or encountering an error, immediately followup and do not wait. trust your instincts. darn gremlins . . .

### RE: Confessions

Everyone who works in a fab / assembly shop has stories of things gone wrong. It's human nature. It happens. You try not to let it happen ... but it does.

Back in my mechanical design days ...

I was design lead on a special-purpose CNC machine. In design review, the boss wanted additional workpiece clamping, so that assembly was designed after the main part of the machine was already drawn up. I completely forgot that the place where the boss wanted extra clamps already had another critical part of the machine occupying that space. This wasn't found out until the parts landed in the shop (this was LONG before the days of 3D CAD models). Question arose, "What do we do about it", my reply, "Don't install the clamp assembly, and see what happens." Fortunately, it worked fine without, and the only remaining sign of the oopsie was a pattern of holes in the base of the machine which was no longer used for anything, and a couple of blanking plates on the hydraulic manifold where the valves were supposed to be.

Sometimes the designers screwed up, sometimes the shop screwed up. Best one we had involved a hydraulic lift table with 4 cylinders tipping a plate from horizontal to vertical. Of course the project ran late, and the first time it was ever tested was when the customer was there for run-off. (Lesson: Don't do that. Don't let it happen. Delay the run-off if you have to.) That's when we found out that someone didn't crimp a fitting properly on one of the hydraulic hoses. It made it about halfway up before letting go ... and spraying the customer's representative with hydraulic oil.

I deal with robots nowadays. Anything you can touch ... you can smash into.

### RE: Confessions

When I was first out of college, I was tasked with doing a quantity take-off of crane rail for a power house on the east coast that my employer was bidding on. I tallied up the total length in feet and used the value in the steel manual to determine the total weight. Of course everyone knows that rail is called out as so many pounds per yard. (Only item in the steel manual listed as such)

### RE: Confessions

Way back, a few years after graduating, I designed a large mall... the fabricator wanted to change all the 'purlin' to girder connections to single angle connections... I spent half a day and decided this was a good revision. I should, however, have issued it as a Notice of Change... There was a huge savings that was never accounted for.

I'm of the opinion that contrition is not good for the soul.

Dik

### RE: Confessions

One of my first jobs in process engineering a long time ago was to to set up a pump on a pressure controller. The system included a pressure tank. I was told that the system had to operate at a certain pressure, i don't remember the exact numbers now but lets say it was "400" . The gauge was in psi but what did i know and it was in a difficult spot to read and it was half dark.

Of course the 400 was kpa which is about 60psi but i was trying to get 400 on the gauge which it went to. The pump i was using had enough stages it may well have gone to 400psi. On the first attempt, a pipe blew. Second attempt the pressure tank started to emit pinging and cracking sounds passing about 200.

It finally clicked that the tank probably should not be making such sounds and i had better shut down and investigate.

Lesson learnt.

Regards
Ashtree
"Any water can be made potable if you filter it through enough money"

### RE: Confessions

We had an operator who failed to check whether all the gasses our diffusion furnace were turned off, and when she opened the end of the tube, she got a nasty little explosion that could have killed her. High purity oxygen and hydrogen running through a 900 C furnace and all that; luckily the flow rates were usually pretty low. For some whacked reason, she didn't get fired, but got essentially promoted to a QC position elsewhere in the facility.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Confessions

As a graduate, I once analysed a 12 storey RC frame building intended to be reinforced concrete construction, but I inadvertently used the Young's modulus & self weight of steel in place of using concrete material properties in my analysis model.

I picked up on it eventually and we all had a good laugh about how the simplest of things can be missed.

### RE: Confessions

As an EIT I designed a wastewater lagoon for a single family house (allowed where the soils didn't "perc" on lots > 20 acres.

I had done the comps to size it then set about to drafting it in CAD, had the comps/plans reviewed, and out the door they went.

Fast forward a couple of months, I was designing another lagoon and pulled up my CAD file to reuse some of the elements. It was at that moment that I realized, "damn that thing looks kinda big..."

Turns out, while my comps were right, my drafting was not. I had computed the diameter needed for a truncated cone of a particular volume and depth. But AutoCAD queried me for a radius when I drew that first proposed contour. So I wound up with a lagoon twice as wide and 4X the target volume.

It has passed our QC review and was permitted. But fortunately had not yet been constructed when I brought it to everyone's attention. So aside from some wounded pride and quick rework, there was no real harm done.

### RE: Confessions

Another engineer caught an error in my calcs, but after the fact on a very fast paced job. Turns out the steel connections for the hydrotest load were "overstressed" by a by something like 50%. And, the hydro test was scheduled for the same day we found the error.

I was calling up the contractor to warn them not to do the hydro test on this particular piece of equipment. It had already been done, would be the only time during the short life of this structure that it would be done. Nothing damaged, nothing failed..... Thank the lord for safety factors.

### RE: Confessions

Telling my boss that I thought I was close to finishing something and being off by months. I hadn't done the job before but I honestly though it wouldn't be that much work. Now, if someone ask I always think about how much time I think it could take and then double it.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

### RE: Confessions

Timely thread. I was just thinking about something from my past work.

We were studying the load capacity of members existing within an old steel truss bridge which shall remain nameless. Bridge was built during the time of rivets and the only rolled steel sections you could get back then were angles, so in order to get larger box sections you had to build them up with angles in the corners, and either plates or steel x-lacing on the four faces (ie. built up sections). I developed shop drawings for a 3/4 scale model of one of the box beams, with plates on several faces and x-lacing on the others, and sent them to a professor, who shall also remain nameless, from the local university that was overseeing the testing program. The one thing I overlooked was to also scale down the spacing "between" the bolts stitching all of the pieces together.

Test took place in front of TV cameras, because this test was a big deal in the community. Immediately after failure the professor jumps in front of the cameras and goes on and on about classic plate buckling behavior. Problem was the main failure spot likely initiated BETWEEN two bolts along the corner of the section. I immediately saw it and knew my oversight. The professor didn't have a clue at the time, because I don't think he reviewed anything I ever sent him.

### RE: Confessions

#### Quote (D Scullion)

- Ordered a laser cut sheet steel kit for a first production batch of a new product. Didn't realise AutoCAD was set so that all files were scaled 10:1. Received a delivery of miniatures.

I got a part made in inches when I designed it in mm. Got a part that was 25.4 times bigger than expected. Fortunately they were tiny parts so the duplicates weren't too ridiculous to deal with.

### RE: Confessions

Metric VS Imperial;
In laws were visiting from Boston. We had a three hour drive to the airport when they flew home.
Highway driving and for mile after mile I had the speedometer pegged on 100.
My sister in law sat quietly in panic for quite awhile but finally said something about my speed.
She didn't realize that Canada is metric and that the speedometer was in KPH not MPH. The speed limit was 100 KPH, or 62.5 MPH.
She had a reputation as a fast driver and had she been driving with an MPH speedometer she would have been driving even faster.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

### RE: Confessions

Okay, make confession part 2. You had that speedo sitting at 120, like everyone else does!

### RE: Confessions

Since beginning engineers seem to make more mistakes than old guys, I did a drafting job the summer after first year as a CE student. There we had beginning surveying courses and did some map preparation. A furniture factory was upgrading their shop and placing new machines,etc. They put me to work mapping the shop. About half way through field measuring and drawing the plans, I found that the steel tape had more than 10 tenths per foot. Having learned to map in feet and tenths, what gives? Turns out the tape was feet and inches. Luckily they had a neat powered eraser. Guess we should have been taught that engineers and architects are different as to scales.

### RE: Confessions

When I was younger, there was an engineer that often had his Z28 up at 150... and not kilos... He borrowed survey equipment from the University and chained out a measured quarter mile on the perimeter highway one morning... and used proper traffic paint, borrowed scrounged from the highways department, to mark the distance. There was an area of the perimeter used for racing on Saturday mornings.

Dik

### RE: Confessions

About 10 years ago when I moved to Alberta I did drive a little faster than 100. But faced with the amount of driving and the distances to jobsites, I worried that if I didn't slow down I may start raking up speeding tickets and eventually loose my license. I find that there are quite a few drivers that feel like me and we cruise at about 105 to 107 KPH.
We let you and the rest of the 120 KPH guys go on past.
My confession #2 is about feet and inches.
I may have told this one before. I was working in a remote mining camp and the office trailer was moved.
I checked the length of a folded dipole for our frequency band and measured and cut a new antenna. As I was raising the new antenna one of the other workers walked by and dropped the comment;
"Did you use that tape measure? Did you know that there is about 17 feet missing from the middle?"
Good joke. I'd heard that one before. Three guys peeking around the corner as the victim of the joke looked for the "missing" inches on a tape measure.
Just the same, I did a check.
Sure enough, I found where the tape measure had been nicely taped back together with a big piece missing.
Down came the antenna to be remeasured and re-cut. (With new wire. Cutting the original antenna longer didn't work out. grin)

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

### RE: Confessions

#### Quote (oldestguy)

Having learned to map in feet and tenths
Wow, I have never even SEEN a tape in feet & tenths. Where can I get one? I could create some serious havoc by leaving them around in the wrong places. He he. I would never do that.

My confession:
Customer wanted to install an instrument inside an aircraft wing. Access into the wing through the existing access holes did not allow the long cylindrical instrument into the wing so we needed a larger hole. Took measurements of wing and instrument and existing hole to figure out how big the new hole had to be to fit the instrument inside. Returned home (4-hour flight away) to office and started to draw, creating CAD model of the wing and its new access hole. Discovered I already had a CAD model of the instrument. Didn't confirm instrument measurements in the existing CAD model. Drawings done, customer cut the wing open, fit up the new access panel, and it was time to test-fit the instrument. Doesn't go in. After much to-and-fro on the phone, I eventually figured out the CAD model of the instrument was 2 inches too short.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

### RE: Confessions

#### Quote (SparWeb)

Wow, I have never even SEEN a tape in feet & tenths. Where can I get one?

### RE: Confessions

Had a 100' steel tape that was metric on one side and ft-1/10s on the other
The tenths of a foot (and tenths of those) are easy to mess up, 100 to a foot looks a lot like 1/8" marks (96 to the foot).

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, Plymouth Tube

### RE: Confessions

All surveyors chains (tapes) are in feet and tenths. The surveyor rods are also in feet and tenths. I've used chains that are two hundred feet long. Hard to pull straight when two people are trying to get an accurate measurement.

It's a sin to break a chain.

### RE: Confessions

Surveys in feet and tenths of feet.

Fence company or landscaping company workers do not understand what is a tenth of a foot.

They see 50.7' on a survey and think that means 50 feet, 7 inches.

A whopping 1.4 inch difference.

Or are those "survey feet" on the survey? Because those are different from "international" feet, which aren't used anywhere except the US.

### RE: Confessions

Liberia and Myanmar also use Imperial measure

### RE: Confessions

Since 1959, "American" feet and "international" feet have been the same. Curious note that I was a party chief in Liberia and was checking a French firms work on the elevation of a remote already constructed bridge. (1958) We used feet and tenths. It was to bad that the already constructed bridge was four feet too low.

### RE: Confessions

I used to work with a guy who lived in an imperial world in a metric country (at the time we had been metric for something like 35 years). He was this old guy who never grasped metric.

For example I used to tell him to cut a piece of pipe 5678mm long, and I'd have to hold his finger on this mark on the retractable steel tape and he would coil up the steel tape in his hands and trot off to the location of the pipe and unravel the tape and attempt to measure and cut the peice of pipe without stuffing up his finger position marking the correct length. About 50% of the time after all that it was the wrong length, sometimes out by meters if he lost his spot. I quickly learned to only trust him with measurements under about 1500mm as he didn't have to coil up the tape.

This whole metric and imperial discussion reminds me of the NASA mission to Mars that plowed into the surface upon entering the martian atmosphere, afterwards it was revealed apparently that half the team was working in metric and the other imperial units of measure and neither knew it, but they had been happily trading numbers.

### RE: Confessions

this aint an admission of error on my part, but since the discussion has turned to measurement units;
I once spent an afternoon trying to locate base plate positions for equipment skids on my first trip to Korea using a Chinese tape (1.3 US"=1 Cun") I think my assign engineer was having fun seeing the factory guy confussed

### RE: Confessions

A mixup in metric fuel, we had the Gimli Glider... a Boeing 767 run out of fuel at about 40,000' and the pilot 'glided' it to land at an abandoned airfield north of Winnipeg... all 60 or so passengers survived.

Dik

### RE: Confessions

2
I still can't get over feet in tenths.
Do you call these units "toes"?

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

### RE: Confessions

A humorous twist to the Gimli Glider.
I read a report that a crew of mechanics were sent out to Gimli to assess the damage of the plane, and their van ran out of gas on the highway.
Of the two pilots, one had extensive glider experience and the other had flown out of Gimli when it was in use by the Air Force.
There was another report that Boeing set up the scenario in a simulator and there were a number of simulated crashes before one of their test pilots was able to simulate a safe landing.
Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

### RE: Confessions

SparWeb:

You should understand that most civil engineering curriculums require a year of surveying - and all of the US measurements are in feet and tenths of a foot. The California civil engineering professional license test requires an additional a separate section on
surveying which would also require the use of feet and tenths of a foot. It's also easier to add tenths than it is eights. But a young surveyor almost immediately learns how to approximate the tenths of a foot into the nearest 1/8".

### RE: Confessions

... and the pilot was found 'at fault'.

### RE: Confessions

I made a PCB a few years back for a rush project (well, EVERY project was a rush project on that job). Our process was engineer #1 creates a part model, engineer #2 verifies it as correct, then everyone can use it. The part in question was an Ethernet jack, so it was hung off the end of the board an appropriate amount to fit through a faceplate, then the usual EMI-reducing components were stuffed in next to it. Board was sent out for manufacture.

The good news is the functionality tested great. The bad news is you had to insert the Ethernet cable into the jack from INSIDE the case. Yep, whomever made the model had rotated it 180 degrees. But to get even that to work, you had to desolder the jack and pitch it upwards about 15 degrees so the cable would clear the EMI components (but at least it was testable)

The really bad news? I was engineer #2 $25k down the drain. Dan - Owner http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com ### RE: Confessions See my last entry in this thread: https://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=439755 (I'm confessing there for someone else ) ========== "Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?" --Winston S. Churchill ### RE: Confessions It is super easy to discern the values on a grade rod graduated in tenths and hundredths of a foot. I can't imagine making multiple readings in fractions of an inch and then computing results quickly. Running clean level loops over a few thousand feet was pretty nerve wracking as it was. ### RE: Confessions I suppose another thing that I learned is that doing 6 things right is much better than trying to do 10 things but only doing 9 of those right. Slow and methodical is much better and faster than quick and loose. With quick and loose, you'll have to deal with the problems at the end of the project, waste time with redoing work, and people don't feel like they can trust you. Doing work or saying things that you are not 100% sure of is gambling and eventually it bites you. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself. ### RE: Confessions When I worked back in the UK.. The company I worked for had a foundry with a pattern making department. A source of great amusement was to watch a victim enter that department to measure something without bringing his own rule. He would inevitably be handed an expansion rule. Needless to say the resulting part would always be slightly too big. requiring rework by the victim when he figured out what happened. B.E. You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do. ### RE: Confessions My latest was a measuring error. I recently acquired a newer truck to pull the rodeo trailer (3 horse trailer with living quarters). I thought it would be a good idea to have a socket on-board to fit the wheel nuts. I pulled out the new, bargain caliper that I had bought a few months ago and not yet used. 30 mm wheel nuts. The next time in town I bought a new 30 mm socket. Didn't fit. That was a first. I had never in a long career seen a socket far enough off of the marked size to not fit. But, you know, things are going to hell all over these days. A few weeks later I was at a friends place and borrowed his sockets to check. Wait, his 33 mm socket fits? When I got home I took a close look at my new caliper. The scale was printed 3 mm offset from where it should have been. All measurements come out 3 mm short. I guess that's why it was on sale cheap. Bill -------------------- "Why not the best?" Jimmy Carter ### RE: Confessions G'day Berkshire, This must be a "two nations separated by a common language" thing - I always called your "expansion rule" a "shrink rule(r)"! John. ### RE: Confessions Had a boss from Europe who did the conversion from metric to english for his height for his driver's license and came out 9 feet tall. Same boss had us fabricate a stainless steel backsplash for his kitchen that, per his hand sketch, was 2"x3" - we gave it to him in a picture frame with the caption under it "Check Your Units" We had a bonafide rocket scientist working for us (it was a gig after he retired from his real job) and he wired a digital clock to battery switch power, so every time the vehicle was power cycled the clock would flash 12:00 and need to be reset. He went back to the schematic and sure enough that was how he designed it. "Huh, how about that" was his reply. When he did retire from the company I sent him a thank you email with an animated flashing 12:00 gif and cc'd the department ### RE: Confessions 2 I mentioned this on the tower settlement site. I may have caused the settlement of the Millennial Tower. In the late 60’s I was a concrete inspector for BART on the Lower Market Street Station, near the Tower. As you know, the station was constructed using soldier pile/slurry concrete walls. The slurry walls were used as both water cutoff walls and as the actual structure walls, a first at the time. While I watched the pours along that side of Market, just beyond where Millennial Towers is now located, I was also watching a gorgeous woman walking along Market Street. I think I watched her too much and missed some bad concrete that was placed here. And is now leaking and allowing the Tower to settle. I married the girl and we ran away to N.Y. ### RE: Confessions Well, you got the girl and had a hand in creating a future landmark. I think this is a win all round. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself. ### RE: Confessions I fail to see the failure in that.:) ### RE: Confessions You're just bragging now. No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it. STF ### RE: Confessions Aussiejohn2, I guess that name would fit too. The patternmakers called it an expansion rule because it was bigger than the standard rule and was pre calculated to allow for the fact that the pattern had to be that much bigger to allow for shrinkage when the iron cooled . So your name of shrinkage rule is a bit after the fact. B.E. You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do. ### RE: Confessions 2 Confession: I designed a power supply/relay board for refrigerated rail cars. It was part of a system to save Union Pacific$2M a year in fuel costs by forcing the Detroit 3-71 to an idle when the temperature setpoint was achieved.

It was a simple board that had a custom transformer, caps, rectifiers, and relays on it. We mounted it in the big electrical control panel associated with the generator and refrigeration controls. I built it on a nifty aluminum L. It weighed about 3 pounds. Unfortunately I had the board on the horizontal part of the L.

Everything worked just peachy in a month of testing in the rail yard and out in the fleet. Yay! We promptly cycled a hundred cars thru the Watsonville yard installing our fuel saving kits in the cars.

BTW: Never park with a rail switch lever unit directly behind your truck as you can't see them in any mirrors...

Anyway about 5 months after releasing all the cars out into the wild my boards started coming back... stinking with huge carborized gaping holes blown thru them. After getting about 5 back I figured out that there was a bunch of metal dust raining out of the contactors above my horizontal board. It took months for it to build up until it conducted, heating up things until the board literally toasted.

My boss said, "Fix it!"

I came up with a conformally coated board mounted vertically. This solved the problem except the cars were scattered to the for corners of our great country..

My boss said, "Go change them before they lose a railcar full of avocados or cured hams". (200,000lbs of them)

So I found myself in Seattle Washington, in the rain; Pocatello Idaho, in 2 feet of snow (midnite); Salt Lake City Utah; Jacksonville Florida, Dallas, El Paso, New Orleans Louisiana, and about 5 other places I'd never heard of, asking people, "Have you seen a refrigerated railcar around here?"

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

### RE: Confessions

I designed a pedestrian bridge with 8 in. square tube columns at a 20 ft spacing along each edge. The roof was a translucent barrel vault arch system that had a thrust that pushed the tops of the columns apart. To counteract this, I added a small turnbuckle and rod system to hold the columns together. When they were installing the rods, the turnbuckles were sagging down a few inches. They tried to tighten them, but the rods pulled the tops of the columns closer together. I just eyeballed that the catenary-like force would be small, so didn't run any numbers. Boy was I wrong. We had to ditch the rods and turnbuckles scheme and change to a small steel tube that held the columns the correct distance apart.

On one project, I designed a composite spandrel beam that twisted so that the edge of the slab was an inch or two low. The overhang was 15 in. and the spacing to the first interior beam was very small, so the bulk of the load was on the outside. I think they also had a shear tab connection, which didn't help matters. We had to add a topping slab near the edge to result in a level surface.

I had other situations in which stuff wouldn't fit together, but these two actually failed to some extent.

### RE: Confessions

That's a great story, itsmoked. Is that the origin of your name here?

### RE: Confessions

Ha Rod. About, I'd guess, 2% of my handle.
I made a college senior project that was an intricately designed electronic apparatus that was carefully designed to self-disassemble over time in synchronization with my oral description of its function. It was carefully crafted and worked perfectly as capacitors exploded, MOVs smoked, and transformers fried.

As a high school student, with my crazy life-long friend, we did tons of destructive testing in his mad shop, lots of which let smoke out. Speakers hooked to the mains. Motors run under water. A display stand based salt water rheostat which we could modulate the voltage delivered to all the houses on our block with, etc., etc.

One especially memorable test was when we clamped a helicopter magneto in out bench vice and drove it with a large motor as fast as we could. Just as we peaked the speed/output the high voltage lead got loose and landed on the ancient workbench surface covered in grease and impregnated with metal filings and dust. The 3 dozen blue arcs that instantly appeared everywhere on its surface lit that sucker on fire instantly.

Finally I was kicked out of Eng-Tips 4 times (I have absolutely no idea why) and so was getting kinda cavalier about my usernames by the time I got to this one.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

### RE: Confessions

Yeah, itsmoked, I had a few projects in my garage that turned out similarly. As my sound tech mentor kept telling me about electronic components, letting the smoke out is bad.

### RE: Confessions

One of the other posts reminded me of the time as a graduate I had some steel diagonal angle bracing under a timber floor. I had long vertical gussets full height of the supporting girders for two beams framing out the braced floor bay that were running orthogonal to two larger steel floor girders at roughly mid span. I had detailed some short vertically orientated gussets for the diagonal brace with two bolts orientated vertically. These gussets were recessed right into the beam web/beam gusset intersection. All looked good on paper at least.

Turned up on site and the contractor had sliced a 20mm wide piece of plate out of the bottom flange all the way from the edge of the girder to the web, because there was absolutely no way that they could get the diagonal brace in past the full height gussets and the beam flange. Cutting the slot allowed him to lift the brace into position with no issues.

Once I discovered it, he proudly pointed out the fact that he had solved the issue without involving me. Much to my annoyance they had never asked, and never even pointed it out to me until I noted it myself on site.

Suffice to say I learned a few things that day around detailing/constructability and also fixing on site issues. Never done anything like that again. Always think about how someone is going to build what you draw.

### RE: Confessions

How many of us have flipped up the welding helmet to discover something is on fire?

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

### RE: Confessions

Agent; I was very surprised to see a bunch of ~6 inch I-Beams in a new wood house construction by my house about 2 weeks ago. Today I went by and was surprise to see they'd filled in all the contours of the I-Beam with wood, even the flanges!

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

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