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 Post subject: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: May Sat 25, 2013 4:35 am 
I dropped an aluminum clock radio knob from an Esquire radio and could not find it in my small shop. My wife suggested using a vacuum cleaner (empty) to sweep the shop. I had already covered the floor on my knees without success. In 15 minutes she found it!


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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: May Sat 25, 2013 4:38 am 
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Joined: Apr Sun 15, 2012 3:10 pm
Posts: 891
Location: Buffalo, NY
she just wanted an excuse to clean up your mess without insulting you, so ya both made out.
my wife threatens to clean up my "junk room" all the time :P


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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: May Sat 25, 2013 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sat 14, 2009 5:56 pm
Posts: 3873
Location: RI, 02885
Another way to locate dropped parts is with a flashlight. Use a bright flashlight to pan the floor at an angle, even in a lit room. It helps more than you may think. First, it focuses your eyes on the spot of light so you don't allow your eyes skip any of the area being searched. Second, if the light is at an angle, it can cause the object to cast a shadow to allow easier visual notice. Also, if it's a shiny object, the light will reflect off its surface. Very rarely has a dropped object been lost in my shop using this method including tiny dark colored escutcheon screws on my dark colored floor.

majortom probably has a point also.

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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: May Sat 25, 2013 11:40 pm 
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Posts: 10085
Location: Clinton Twp. Mi.
It must be one Murphy's Laws if you drop something on the floor and you can,t find it ask someone else to look. More often then not they will find it. Have no idea why this happens but it does.
Stan Ski


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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: May Sun 26, 2013 2:18 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Shelby Township, MI 48316
What's really strange is that you NEVER find it where you look first, it's ALWAYS in the last place you look. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: May Sun 26, 2013 6:51 am 
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Joined: Mar Mon 26, 2012 9:26 am
Posts: 232
Location: LA CA
Another tip: Although it might totally go against your grain, state of mind, and your benchtop, keeping the surrounding work area "uncomplicated" is a ticket out of Hades if you drop something... Don't give that stray part someplace to hide!!! Sure we all jam as much as possible into work areas, but keeping it uncluttered and esp the floor below that has enough room to run a broom through to help find that part that jumped ship... And no open boxes underneath that act like portable black holes...

I'm a camera tech, and I wish I had a dollar for every little spring that shot out of something I was working on, and there goes an hour of my life I won't get back...
With cameras, having minimal surroundings around workspaces are right up there with survival instincts... (no shag carpets, odd junk, too many tools out, etc...) Working inside of washtrays with high walls when taking something apart to prevent spring leaps, not turning anything over until you had a careful look + pix of where anything loose lives, etc... Always assume something WILL fall sometime, and would you like to try to find it in your present space and your state of mind???

Hey guys, I'm a total believer in the "empty desk, empty head" clutter mentality, (and have many years experience!!!) but tend to hate myself due to a quest for a tiny hairspring that pulls my hair out, and I use "stupid, stupid, stupid" as my mantra to calm me...

And I'll add, keeping track of your tools and stuff as you work sure helps... An acoustic guitar I was rebuilding did not like the steel ruler underneath it while I worked on it... You get the picture...

Steve K


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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: May Sun 26, 2013 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1238
Location: Shelby Township, MI 48316
I used to have 2 workbenches in my basement that I would stand between. I got tired of looking under them for small parts so I asked for advice in this forum about it. Someone suggested tacking institutional type rubber molding along the bases of the benches where I stand to cover the gap between the bottom shelf and floor. I did and from then on, I never had to spend time trying to find something hiding under the benches.
The part was almost always right at my feet.

Except for the time the part was under the tongue of my sneaker and I didn't find it until I gave up looking and went out to get the mail. Halfway down the driveway, the "stone" that worked it's way under my foot was discovered to be the part I had spent hours looking for. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: May Sun 26, 2013 5:16 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sat 14, 2009 5:56 pm
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Location: RI, 02885
blacksmith wrote:
What's really strange is that you NEVER find it where you look first, it's ALWAYS in the last place you look. :)



That fact should tell you to look in the last place first to save time, right?

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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: May Sun 26, 2013 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Shelby Township, MI 48316
Yes, indeed. Saves a lot of time~=!

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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: May Thu 30, 2013 3:19 am 
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Location: Poplar Bluff, MO USA
blacksmith wrote:
What's really strange is that you NEVER find it where you look first, it's ALWAYS in the last place you look. :)


Right, but who keeps looking for something after they've found it???

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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: May Thu 30, 2013 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sat 14, 2009 5:56 pm
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Location: RI, 02885
Randy Bassham wrote:
blacksmith wrote:
What's really strange is that you NEVER find it where you look first, it's ALWAYS in the last place you look. :)


Right, but who keeps looking for something after they've found it???



Now why on Earth would you want to inject logic into this discussion????

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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: May Fri 31, 2013 2:27 pm 
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Location: Olympia WA USA
Strange but true:
If I can't find a part, I just forget about it for a while.
If its in the house, I know the cat will find it and leave it right in the middle of the linoelum(sp) floor.
Springs, washers, IC's, gears, etc. all seem to be found and left as a "present" for me by the cat. 2 weeks is the longest it has ever taken him to find a missing part.

It's his job security. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: May Fri 31, 2013 6:01 pm 
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Location: Hebron, Ky
FrankB wrote:
Strange but true:
If I can't find a part, I just forget about it for a while.
If its in the house, I know the cat will find it and leave it right in the middle of the linoelum(sp) floor.
Springs, washers, IC's, gears, etc. all seem to be found and left as a "present" for me by the cat. 2 weeks is the longest it has ever taken him to find a missing part.

It's his job security. 8)



Good cat!

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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2013 12:43 am 
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Location: Ohio 45177
Just having a clean floor is no guarantee. At the shop where I worked, the floor was clean tile, but with "decoration" consisting of a gray splatter or spot pattern. IF you dropped something, it could travel forever and was hard to spot with the specially camoflauged floor pattern. Most of the time you had to get out the push broom and find all kinds of stuff, and sometimes what you wanted. I occasionally drop something on long pile carpeting here. Small stuff can get hidden in it. But it cannot roll very far, either. At least with steel stuff, I can get out the big monster magnet and find it in a few sweeps. Perhaps you could design the ideal shop. Lay in a concrete floor that is just a bit higher at the sides and slopes towards the center of the room. Then the first place you look could actually be the last!


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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2013 7:07 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles
Just drop something else on the floor. Usually when something falls on the floor, and I go hunting it down, I run into a part I lost earlier. :?

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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: Jun Wed 05, 2013 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Potomac, Md.
Hire a parts dowser. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: Jun Wed 05, 2013 3:16 pm 
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Location: Raleigh NC USA
Dropped parts are Mr. Murphy's way of reminding you that he can stick his big foot into anything and everything whenever he cares to...

I long ago got sick of chasing parts into each and every odd corner around the bench. I made myself start depending on catch trays, as many as needed for whatever job I had in hand. I lose a little time that way, but I lose a lot fewer parts.

:wink: Larry

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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: Jun Sun 09, 2013 6:41 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sat 09, 2007 8:14 am
Posts: 3014
Location: Florida
Bugman wrote:
Another way to locate dropped parts is with a flashlight. Use a bright flashlight to pan the floor at an angle, even in a lit room. It helps more than you may think. First, it focuses your eyes on the spot of light so you don't allow your eyes skip any of the area being searched. Second, if the light is at an angle, it can cause the object to cast a shadow to allow easier visual notice. Also, if it's a shiny object, the light will reflect off its surface. Very rarely has a dropped object been lost in my shop using this method including tiny dark colored escutcheon screws on my dark colored floor.

majortom probably has a point also.


I've had success with this method also but with the light essentially parallel to the floor.

I also have one of those "magnet on a stick" things. If you use one of these you need to cover the magnet with something so it doesn't get loaded full of debris. You'd be surprised at how many small things one of these will pick up from a "clean" floor or carpet. I use an aluminum cover made from a beer can. It slips off and the debris goes into the trash.

RRM


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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: Jun Fri 21, 2013 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sun 15, 2008 3:34 pm
Posts: 768
Location: Portland, Oregon USA
Bugman wrote:
Another way to locate dropped parts is with a flashlight. Use a bright flashlight to pan the floor at an angle, even in a lit room. It helps more than you may think. First, it focuses your eyes on the spot of light so you don't allow your eyes skip any of the area being searched. Second, if the light is at an angle, it can cause the object to cast a shadow to allow easier visual notice. Also, if it's a shiny object, the light will reflect off its surface. Very rarely has a dropped object been lost in my shop using this method including tiny dark colored escutcheon screws on my dark colored floor.

majortom probably has a point also.


Believe it or not, this is the method jewelers use when they drop a stone, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Finding a Dropped Critical Part
PostPosted: Jun Sun 30, 2013 8:08 pm 
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Posts: 3527
Location: Port Orchard, Wa 98366
Now if I could only find a way for parts not to slip out of my fingers, Ah well, old age and being somewhat blind has its downfalls too. And setting parts on the Bench and then forgetting if I did, is yet another conundrum. :roll:

I am thinking of getting some type of rubber welcome door mat with ridges for both the top of the bench and a bigger one for the bench floor. Hopefully that will help somewhat, and also get a long piece of half round molding for the edges of the bench top, and trying the blocking the bench underneath.
Hey wait a minute! I can't get down to crawl around with these weak knees, I guess a vacuum is an alterative, with a wire mesh screen for the tiny" no-see-ums ".
Old age and desperation will always overcome youth and beauty (err wisdom). :mrgreen:

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