Monday, March 15, 2021

Unknowable Inscrutible Mechanical / Electronic Marvels

Comment:

A lot of wisdom there, John.

STxAR, I love reading these. I only understand about 20% of it, but it is fun trying to figure it out.

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 Thanks, TB.  You made me think....

I find myself drawn to things.  Mechanical things.  Electronic things.  I can't really help it.  I cannot begin to compile the amount of stuff I worked on over the years.  Things I tore into as a kid.  Things that I reduced to scrap and was unable to reassemble.  Things I fixed for others, or myself.  It's called "The Knack".



Not me, but a reasonable cartoon representation

I was undiagnosed as a kid.  But everyone knew I had it.  Dad was not impressed.  I can't  really blame him though.  He had to fix what I couldn't or didn't.  (We won't talk about the stuff he couldn't fix and how he vented his frustrations.  He got some aerobic exercise, and I learned some things shouldn't be fooled with.)

There was an old hardware store in downtown Lubbock.  High on a wall was a sign that said "Knowledge can take it apart, Wisdom can put it back together again."  Dad pointed at it once, and said, "You are very knowledgeable."  That wasn't his only backhanded compliment.  But it prompted me to go farther, and get "wisdom".

I have this curiosity that compels me to investigate.  The best thing I can do is try and direct it.  I haven't been able to stop it.  And I don't want to.

 

99 Suburban update

Did you know that a 5.7 Vortec likes about 60 psi of fuel pressure to start reliably?  It'll run on 50, but starting is 60.  And that injector I replaced worked great.  Until the fuel pump began to really have problems.  Also, if you run one dry, it'll kill the pump.  One and done.  And this one appears to have had that happen some time in the past.  I killed a 98 GMC Savanna pump once just like that.  I learned to keep it full.  But this one went dry once too often some time in the past.  Even if it was only once.  New parts on the waaaay....

17 comments:

  1. STxAR. Yep. The knack indeed. And I want to know the why and how of fixing things.

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    1. And there is this magnetic attraction the pulls guys like us together. We find each other, in spite of time, distance, or language. The internet has made this orders of magnitude easier... and worse...

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  2. Yep, I was born with it also.
    One of my earliest memories is of me trying to figure out how to adjust the seat height on my tricycle.
    Dead serious.

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    1. I had a chain drive tractor I tooled around on. My earliest memories are about that thing. I was about 2-3 when I had to figure it out. I finally got it apart when I was four. It didn't survive.

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  3. I completely believe in "The Knack" STxAR. There are many different kinds of them. Some people are just "born" with the ability and the interest to do things. Others of us just look on in amazement.

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    1. I am no expert, but I think almost everyone has the knack for something. It's rare that I find someone with zero initiative to learn something on their own, in older generations at least. Unfortunately, the majority of the youngsters I meet seem just fine with using things, and have no curiosity as to how it works. I fear there won't be enough technical types to maintain much less build in the future...

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  4. I think I got the knack........

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    1. Yeah, I'd say so. Anyone on a patent application would fit that pretty well. Much less multiples....

      I'd say you are Knackerd, or Sir Knack-wurst, maybe Von Knack-meister!

      Knackity Knack, don't talk back...

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    2. Johh, well played sir!

      Knack knack... Who's there?

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    3. If Santa was gifted at repair, would that be a Saint Nick Knack?

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    4. I bet it would!

      If an Italian hitman was handy, and took out an Irishman would that be a Nick Knack Paddy whack?

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    5. Good one. I think I need a time out, as the Brits say, "I'm knackered."

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  5. I have met any number of men claiming to have 'the knack'. Most have been hacks, if there were to be honest about it. Skinbag did some gunsmithing on my 10/22 and I would have shot him afterward if the darn thing had worked. My Big Bro was always openly contemptuous of my mechanical abilities, and bragged about his own. His project motorcycle burned to the ground a couple years back when he made some repairs and tried to start it.

    I don't believe in the knack myself. You don't start tearing down modern engines without manuals, tools, and at least some idea of what is going on, how the parts interact the way they do, and why. Good tradesfolk may have aptitudes, but it is my firm belief that they had good teachers too.

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    1. You are quite correct. As I understand it, the Knack is the curiosity to find out and ability to understand what you are seeing. It takes time and work to develop into a machinist, welder, mechanic, broadcast engineer or whatever. But there has to be something in there to hang all that knowledge on so that it is useful.

      A tree fell on a guy's car near here, and I went to help cut it off. The kid didn't understand how to go about it. I told him to look at the mass and visualize where it would go when he cut this or that limb. He couldn't see it. I remember doing the visualization thing when I was a pup. I told him to stand like the busted tree was... legs about the same position as the limbs holding it up, and arms out like the limbs in the sky, lean over, more, more, like that. If I cut this limb here it would be like lifting your leg, do that and see which way you go. And he began to understand how to manage the direction the tree wanted to fall and we cut it off the car without further damage. He ain't no dim wit, but he doesn't see things like someone with the knack does.

      I posted about moving heavy machinery by myself a while back. As I just reviewed all that in my mind, it hit me that a lot of folks don't have that ability to see balance points and CG like I do.

      I'd say you have the Knack to see in your mind and get it into reality. That knife design was great, and so is the leatherman sheath and flashlight sheath. I am hard pressed to do that. Leather fights back... I have to make templates, and paper patterns and spend gobs of time trying and fitting. Even then, it's substandard.

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    2. And, like everything else, you can claim all you want. It really IS when other folks say it and see it.

      Sorta like those road signs down here that say "Men Working". I'm glad they told me cause all I see are men, leaning on stuff and playing with their phones.... If you have to tell me you are, then you ain't.

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