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Old 27-07-2010, 00:46   #1
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Sacked Murphy Today . . .

Today I did the 50 hour maintenance on my new Yanmar, Changed the oil, filter and adjust the lifters. The only screwdrivers I have in board are the ones with replaceable tips because of their longevity. Today I was using this particular one. See picture below.

As I was adjusting the lifters I tightened down the nut and pulled the driver out, not noticing that the blade was still stuck in the slot (It was a bit dark in the engine compartment). As I pulled the wrench off the nut I heard something fall and caught a glimpse of the blade falling.

I didn't think too much about it until I needed it for the next valve and started looking for it. I'm looking all over where it fell. It sounded as if it fell behind the alternator but could not see it anywhere. Then I happen to notice the opening where the push rod goes down through the head.

At that moment all my blood went to my head. OMG, did I drop the blade down inside the head next to the lifters?

I started getting frantic!
Pacing back and forth I thought to myself what a dumb s**t I was to put such a small tool in such a dangerous place. I grabbed a bright flashlight and started looking down the push rod holes. I couldn't see it ..... F**K where in the hell did it go. I grabbed a small powerful magnet with and extension that I keep on the chart table and tried to put it down around the push rod but it wouldn't go. So I compared its diameter to the hole in the driver handle and noticed the driver blade was bigger then the magnet. Whoooooo!

I tried all the holes in the head and the magnet still wouldn't fit! So, the blade couldn't have fallen down in the motor. I pulled off a side board on the other side of the motor and there is was resting right between a hose and the motor supports. It had to have bounced several times to get that far away. Was I relieved!

Soooo, the moral of the story is; it's time to keep a one piece screwdriver aboard just for adjusting the lifters and never ever use a small tool above the motor with its bonnet off.


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Old 27-07-2010, 04:38   #2
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Great story!
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Old 27-07-2010, 05:11   #3
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Kind of unrelated, but my favorite brand of screwdrivers: enderes. Forged, top quality.

Store / Screwdrivers / Open Stock Screwdrivers / Flat Tipped Screwdrivers
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Old 27-07-2010, 05:41   #4
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When absolutely desperate - I drop something similar to see where it goes.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes.
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Old 27-07-2010, 08:03   #5
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My bilge is the opening to a version of hell. Maybe somebody should make a movie. Whatever falls in never comes out. I am convinced it travels to another dimension. I drop something in and even with a stong magent it is not there (not even non-stainless). Also I have noticed the more I need it the more likely I will drop it. It happily bounces a few times just so I can see it and then gone into the depths of hell. It will also be a part of which there was only one made and manufacturer is long gone.
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Old 27-07-2010, 08:23   #6
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After a lifetime of using tools and dropping tools and parts, I have made it a habbit of trying to imediately try to watch where the dropped item is going. It's easier to see it while it is still moving.

That doesn't mean I've never had to search for anything, but it usually makes it much easier to find it.

Just a hint.
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Old 27-07-2010, 11:06   #7
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That must have been a great relief to find the screwdriver tip.

While it wouldn't have worked in your situation I have envisioned a wrist tool strap. There would be a velcro strap that went around your wrist and then a swivel (as for fishing) then a light line and another swivel. The final swivel would attach to the tool with a plastic carabiner or a rubber cinch depending on what would be more appropriate.
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Old 27-07-2010, 11:40   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
While it wouldn't have worked in your situation I have envisioned a wrist tool strap. There would be a velcro strap that went around your wrist and then a swivel (as for fishing) then a light line and another swivel. The final swivel would attach to the tool with a plastic carabiner or a rubber cinch depending on what would be more appropriate.
Yep! That's what I do when diving to do bottom work.

But yeah, it was a bit scary at first. I thought I was going to have to pull the head on a brand new motor.

I've been in the machinery business all my life so I have a set of universal laws that I live by, in this case it was #2.


1. Law of Mechanical Repair -After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

2. Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll under something or to the least accessible corner.

3. Law of Probability -The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act. See my #919 post here: The Joke Thread

4. Law of Random Numbers - If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

5. Law of the Alibi - If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

6. Variation Law - If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

7. Law of the Bath - When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings. (Happened three times yesterday)

8. Law of Close Encounters -The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

9. Law of the Result - When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

10. Law of Biomechanics -The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

11.. Law of the Theater and Hockey Arena - At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies, and stay to the bitter end of the performance.. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

12. The Coffee Law - As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

13. Murphy's Law of Lockers - If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

14. Law of Physical Surfaces -The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich, or anything else that stains, landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

15... Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about. (The forums)

16. Brown's Law of Physical Appearance - If the clothes fit, they're ugly.

17. Oliver's Law of Public Speaking - A closed mouth gathers no feet.

18. Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy - As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it. (This has happened so many times that I buy in bulk, which should last me the rest of my life, at my age).

19. Doctors' Law - If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better or heal up. But don't make an appointment, and you'll stay sick.

20. Personal, Boat Law - If the weather is good and have the time, the high tide is at the wrong times to launch the boat.


Still adding to the list....................._/)
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Old 27-07-2010, 12:21   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post

1. Law of Mechanical Repair -After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

)
A mechanic is the only person who washes their hands before they pee.

I can think of a few corollaries to your list. If you drop the bolt/nut/screw and are able to get it you will drop it again till it disappears.

I also remember a Simpsons episode where Homer was building something and he started banging on it shouting "Why must everything be so hard". This is they way I feel when doing mechanical work. Thank God I am in the IT field whereeverything works first time.
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Old 27-07-2010, 12:46   #10
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Thank God I am in the IT field where everything works first time.
Huh? If I hadn't started messing with handhelds years ago (self program) I'd be in a mess by now.
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Old 27-07-2010, 17:32   #11
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Rule 21....When working in the cockpit dropped screws will magically shoot across the deck and find the scupper....Just like a Jack Nicklaus Putt at St Andrews.
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Old 27-07-2010, 18:41   #12
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Rule 21....When working in the cockpit dropped screws will magically shoot across the deck and find the scupper....Just like a Jack Nicklaus Putt at St Andrews.
Depends on the screw. The big ones land right at your feet, 'cause they'd be easy to find. Something like a setscrew will travel 20 feet, especially if it's brass (so you can't blindly drag a magnet over the floor to pick it up).
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:51   #13
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When working up the mast (or any high place), or near the rails, tether your tools.

Everytime I dropped a tool in A&P school my instructor would invariably say, "Good thing this isn't a seaplane."

When working in confined spaces don't use tools that "disassemble" like the replaceable tip screwdrivers.

I have a few snap-on screwdrivers as I love their quality and never use replaceable bit screwdrivers anywhere.

It's bad enough chasing the parts I drop, much less the tools...
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