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Steve Withnell25/05/2016 16:24:49
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819 forum posts
217 photos

Gearbox

A critical gearbox failed and no one could fix it. So they brought in a bloke with great trouble-shooting experience. He inspected the gear drive very carefully. After looking things over, the guy reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Before long, the gearbox was back working!

The owners got his bill for £10k. "What?!" the owners said, "You hardly did anything - send us an itemized bill.”

The reply simply said: Tapping with a hammer. £50 Knowing where to tap. £9,950

smiley

Steve

Neil Wyatt25/05/2016 16:48:28
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18250 forum posts
714 photos
77 articles

A great story, but googling 'knowing where to tap' brings up a huge range of versions - usually boilers in a big ship or building.

It seems the original story had Henry Ford as the client. This is interesting:

answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=183998

Jon Gibbs25/05/2016 17:21:44
739 forum posts

I seem to remember a joke about the difference between the apprentice, the technician and the engineer?

The apprentice knows that you have to hit the thing to get it to work, the technician knows where and how hard to hit it and the engineer understands why you have to hit it.

mark costello 126/05/2016 17:07:52
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609 forum posts
12 photos

The rest of Us know it gets hit many times, some in anger!

Sam Longley 127/05/2016 08:31:26
798 forum posts
28 photos

Actually that can backfire.

I was asked to alter the design of what would have been a £30K reception desk we were quoting for a client & the extra cost £ 4500-00

Because they complained ( but could not get it cheaper elsewhere & spent 4 weeks trawling the market, so went with us) I went on site & supervised the work personally.I had pre prepared the job & it went like a dream

I actually did the extra part in a day & the MD said " you did that in a day, how can you justify £ 4500" I jokingly said " that only cost £500" he said " what was the " £ 4K for " I said Knowing how to do it"

The bar steward knocked me for £ 4K

I had worked for them for years so refused to do any more, but to get some more work done 6 months later the buyer tried to tempt me with an extra £4.5k as an apology & i suspect the MD knew all about it. I actually accepted £ 4K & we shook hands

Robbo27/05/2016 09:08:19
1504 forum posts
142 photos

I came across a true occurrence of the hammer story. Many years ago, when my first wife was a student at Newcastle, one of her friends had an old car.

One morning the starter went clunk and jammed. Suzanne trotted round the corner to a nearby workshop (there was one round every corner in those days) and came back with a man in filthy overalls who brought a hammer.

He slid under the car, fetched the end of the starter spindle a whack with his hammer, emerged and started the car.

When he asked for a £1 (which was worth having in those days) she remarked that he only hit it with a hammer and got the classic reply "but I know where to hit it".

daveb27/05/2016 10:41:19
623 forum posts
10 photos
Posted by Robbo on 27/05/2016 09:08:19:

I came across a true occurrence of the hammer story. Many years ago, when my first wife was a student at Newcastle, one of her friends had an old car.

One morning the starter went clunk and jammed. Suzanne trotted round the corner to a nearby workshop (there was one round every corner in those days) and came back with a man in filthy overalls who brought a hammer.

He slid under the car, fetched the end of the starter spindle a whack with his hammer, emerged and started the car.

When he asked for a £1 (which was worth having in those days) she remarked that he only hit it with a hammer and got the classic reply "but I know where to hit it".

Yes, used to be a common fault, stuck Bendix, you only paid once, after that you hit it yourself. Dave.

David Colwill27/05/2016 10:57:48
654 forum posts
34 photos

I was with a friend once and had to call round to one of his friends that I had never met. They were standing round their television which kept flickering on and off. I asked for a tape measure and proceeded to find a spot on the case. I then gave it a sharp knock at the point I had measured and the television stopped flickering and worked perfectly (and continued to do so for some years)

To say they were amazed was an understatement. They still talk about it now. I knew that there was a possibility that a sharp blow would temporarily sort it out and the tape measure was just showmanship but they didn't!

David

Mike Poole27/05/2016 11:27:03
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2752 forum posts
64 photos

To prevent any devices moving in a guarded machine when the personnel gate is open, the power for valves and drives is fed through relays monitored by a safety PLC. The PLC inputs used for monitoring draw very little current through the monitoring contacts of the relay so atmospheric pollution can cause an open circuit. Proper fault finding will determine the fault but a couple of shap blows to the panel backplane will move the contact enough to fix the problem. The maintenance lads love it when I recognise the problem and instead of spending time going through the drawings just give it a quick thump and we are good to go.If the problem reccurs the relays will be changed at a convenient time.

Mike

Bazyle27/05/2016 12:45:08
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5492 forum posts
207 photos

Friend of mine had his laptop stolen from the boot of his car. The police showed him a very small ding in the boot lid by the lock. Apparently on that make it was a known problem that the mfr hadn't bothered to do anything about or warn the owners.

Harry Wilkes27/05/2016 13:50:32
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987 forum posts
63 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 27/05/2016 12:45:08:

Friend of mine had his laptop stolen from the boot of his car. The police showed him a very small ding in the boot lid by the lock. Apparently on that make it was a known problem that the mfr hadn't bothered to do anything about or warn the owners.

So OK tell us the make and model so other may be warned !

H

Neil Wyatt27/05/2016 14:16:18
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Moderator
18250 forum posts
714 photos
77 articles

Old valve TVs were often fixed with a thump. Boards with lots of DIL in sockets also respond well to a knock or pressing the chips into their sockets for the same reason - poor contact/oxidation/creeping with changes of temperature.

Ian S C28/05/2016 12:06:33
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7468 forum posts
230 photos

Dad was a radar mechanic, RNZAF, served in Britain during WW2, and later was a technician with the NZ Broadcasting Service, and his method with valve/tube radio gear was give it a kick, as Neil says it's often enough to improve a connection in a pin and socket joint such as a valve base. Ian S C

Mark C28/05/2016 17:25:42
707 forum posts
1 photos

looking at the picture - anyone who can fix that bearing by tapping it with a hammer is probably worth 10K/hour

Mark

duncan webster28/05/2016 20:32:43
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2804 forum posts
41 photos

He just needs a very large hammer.

At a place I once worked we had an instrumented sledge hammer so you knew how hard you'd hit it. Not as daft as it sounds, it was for seismic testing, where the input energy/force mattered

Neil Wyatt28/05/2016 21:39:57
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18250 forum posts
714 photos
77 articles
Posted by duncan webster on 28/05/2016 20:32:43:

He just needs a very large hammer.

At a place I once worked we had an instrumented sledge hammer so you knew how hard you'd hit it. Not as daft as it sounds, it was for seismic testing, where the input energy/force mattered

That brings back memories of a sesimc survey of chalk grassland when I was a student. The 'explosives' were a large chunk of steel plate and a sledge.

Neil

Eugene28/05/2016 22:07:51
130 forum posts
12 photos

My late boss the great and lamented Ronnie once said "Experience is something that ****** ***** will have when I've finished with him."

He was right on both counts.

Eug

Danny M2Z29/05/2016 01:44:47
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892 forum posts
283 photos

I though that experience means that you know when you're making the same dumb mistake again.

* Danny M *

roy entwistle29/05/2016 09:22:22
1259 forum posts

I had a foreman who used to say Experience is built on a mountain of scrap And also The man who never made a mistake never made anything

Clive Hartland29/05/2016 10:25:44
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2607 forum posts
40 photos

One of the best was watching a student catch a black hot rivet thrown to him with his hands when every one else lifted up their leather apron to catch it. I can recall the Blacksmiths name, 'Blubber' Lay, a big jovial man well suited to being a Blacksmith. Calloused hands and one finger missing.

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