For a long time part of my work for the race team has been to make the bar work for the cars. Chassis, roll cages and bumpers, this includes Nerf Bars for the Formula 500’s. Nerf Bars are the small side bars that prevent cars getting locked together when they collide, what with all the bumping and jostling for place these bars get replaced every few meetings at least.
Up until now I made these bars out of my head, this does not mean I scull a pint of Scotch and go make them*; it means I remember the shrink and expansion rates as well as the lengths to cut and bend the pipes without ever writing them down.
Apparently this is no longer good enough! Now the team has delusions of grandeur everything has to be written down so every man can do every job. YeahRight!
So it was that I committed every length and bend to paper, labeled every sheet and made it as clear as I could.
Two of our team members decided to test the procedure by making a few Nerf Bars all by themselves…
They rang me at home to say:
A: Something’s not right, we seem to have done something wrong, please come and help us work it out.
B: Something’s not right, we’re not sure what’s wrong, please come help us work it out.
C: Something’s not right, your measurements are wrong! We need to change your plans.
If you guessed ‘C’ then you're more right that they were…
They, who had between them made just two bends in their life were sure I, who has made countless bars (ok, sometimes wrong) had got the numbers wrong and they wanted to change and alter my plans.
I went in to save my precious work.
After some time listening to them moan about how I had got it completely wrong I consulted the plans they were using to find they were using the measurements for one car and the bend rates for the other car… An almost understandable mistake as the pages followed each other in the book side by side. EXCEPT that one page had KAWASAKI RACE CAR printed across the top and the other had YAMAHA RACE CAR across the top.
Now and again I do make mistakes, but these bars are made from seamless stainless steel tubing which is very expensive, I triple checked my measurements…I knew they were right. There's only two of us that know how to use the hydraulic bender and I taught the other guy a few weeks ago; no one else can weld the thin stainless tubing but me so I don’t see the point in anyone else doing my work. It only adds to my work load by me having to fix other peoples mistakes. (grumble, mutter)
*though these’s an idea…