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Thread: Hidden (from me) Tap Guide Feature

  1. #1
    rgsparber's Avatar
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    rgsparber's Tools

    Hidden (from me) Tap Guide Feature

    I have owned a tap guide tool for decades. Works fine but had one annoying "feature" - I needed a wrench to open the jaws. Or does it...

    If you are interested, please see

    https://rick.sparber.org/TapGuide.pdf


    Your comments are welcome. All of us are smarter than any one of us.


    Thanks,

    Rick
    45 Best Harbor Freight Tool Modifications

    Rick

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    Supporting Member tonyfoale's Avatar
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    tonyfoale's Tools
    500+ Homemade Tool Plans

    As you may have seen in my recent hand tapper video post I have one of those but I have always found it easy to unscrew by hand. I wonder why yours needs a wrench?
    Forge Build Guide


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    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    mklotz's Tools
    Thanks for that, Rick.

    I have the identical guide but don't use it very much. Nevertheless, I'll keep this trick in mind.

    This is a perfect example of something I've preached about for a long time - simplifying the design of a part or tool by identifying the 'essence' of its function.

    Once we see that the 'essence' of a wrench is two flat pieces of steel held parallel a certain distance apart and begin looking for something that fits that description, we're well on our way to making the discovery you've shown here.

    Enough waxing philosophical; I'll shut up now.
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    rgsparber's Avatar
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    rgsparber's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by tonyfoale View Post
    As you may have seen in my recent hand tapper video post I have one of those but I have always found it easy to unscrew by hand. I wonder why yours needs a wrench?
    I wonder why you don’t;-)

    Rick
    Rick

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    Supporting Member tonyfoale's Avatar
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    tonyfoale's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by rgsparber View Post
    I wonder why you don’t;-)

    Rick
    Ha. I don't know. Maybe my tightening wrist is too weak? The taps never fall out and it is always easy to unscrew.

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    Jon
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    This is a good example of the homemade tool builder's common foe: functional fixedness. And the cruel part is that the more skilled and experienced you become, the more vulnerable you are to this fixedness - it is like a kind of Déformation professionelle.

    AFAIK, we are evolved to have a bit of useful functional fixedness; otherwise we would have to repeatedly ask things like "What tool can bang in this nail?". The leading theory now is that we overcompensate, and we need to do specific cognitive exercises to un-fixate, of the exact reductivist types that mklotz is mentioning.



    Also note that one of the top experts in this field, Dr. Tony McCaffrey, recently published a book that expands on his Obscure Features hypothesis: https://www.amazon.com/Overcome-Obst...dp/1475834640/ . The field of innovation research is new, but McCaffrey's work is right at the cutting edge. His book just came out this past summer; looks like the only review is from a research partner.



    More:

    https://hbr.org/2015/12/find-innovat...east-expect-it
    https://www.innovationaccelerator.com/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Déform...rofessionnelle
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_the_instrument

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    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    mklotz's Tools
    Describing icebergs as floating platforms brings to mind Project Habakkuk...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Habakkuk

    Churchill's idea to build a mid-Atlantic pykrete-berg to serve as a monstrous aircraft carrier immune to torpedo attack.

    I'm forced to wonder if some British engineer, sipping his Scotch, didn't wonder to himself, "well, you can't sink ice"?

    Another famous example of unwinding functional fixedness is the physics test question asking how to determine the height of a mountain using a barometer. One of the unexpected answers was to throw the barometer off the top of the mountain and time how long it took for it to fall to the ground below.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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    Jon
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    Interesting. Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow touches on a lot of this same stuff. I like how he demarcates cognition into a fast-thinking emotional System 1 and a slow and analytical System 2. He likes to point out how he and his colleagues were prone to the same thinking biases, even while studying these exact same biases themselves. McCaffrey's book looks like it follows a similar format, with little thinking puzzles embedded throughout the book.

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    Supporting Member suther51's Avatar
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    I remember reading the book Blind Mans Bluff about submarines and the cold war. There was a story about some high ranking naval (?) Officer high up in developing nuclear submarines. One of his interviewing questions (tactics) was to ask the candidate to do some thing to make him mad. One young guy sat there and then with his arm swept the officers desk clear dumping all the contents on the floor. Some just think differently, and some have more guts to boot. Often I find that it takes me what seems way too long to solve a problem simply because with my nose jammed in the bark of one tree I cannot see other trees much less the forest. I try to remember to figuratively take a step back and refocus on the big picture.
    Eric


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