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Old 03-08-11, 02:43 PM   #1
TromboneAl
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Disappearing Dropped Part

I had a typical disappearing dropped part episode. I was fastenening a seat onto the rails, and the bolt, nut, and one of the plates dropped onto the floor. I found everything but the bolt. After 40 minutes, I still couldn't find it. It was a big bolt, and there wasn't much stuff on the floor.

I thought I was losing my mind, and I checked to see if it had fallen into one of my pockets, or perhaps I didn't have the bolt to start with.

Finally, I looked at the rear brake and there it was.
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Old 03-08-11, 02:49 PM   #2
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I hate it when that happens.
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Old 03-08-11, 02:51 PM   #3
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When I actually drop a part that I can't find, I'll drop another one just like it and see where it goes. This method at least gives you a decent search area.
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Old 03-08-11, 03:04 PM   #4
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When I actually drop a part that I can't find, I'll drop another one just like it and see where it goes. This method at least gives you a decent search area.
Or you could end up with two lost things.
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Old 03-08-11, 03:52 PM   #5
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Or you could end up with two lost things.

;-)
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Old 03-08-11, 04:06 PM   #6
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I never did find that Shimano 9-speed chain pin I dropped in the leaves on the back patio last fall. I tried a big magnet, sweeping, everything.

One day after I die and go to Heaven, I'm gonna have to ask the guys in charge just where they keep all that stuff. Along with all the missing socks, expensive ballpoint pens, and flashlight batteries...
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Old 03-08-11, 04:45 PM   #7
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Years ago I took my 13 year old grandson with me to do tech support on a big week long ride. The first thing that I taught him was to set up the work stand either on a hard surfaced parking lot or, if we had to work on grass, to spread a tarp under the workstand. It seems like whenever you drop something it's either an itty bitty little screw or something with an unusual shape that I don't have a replacement for.
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Old 03-08-11, 05:24 PM   #8
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LOL, I'm just glad to find out "I'm not the ONLY ONE", this happens to!! I have a clear plastic mat under the bikes when I work on them and still lose "pieces parts". I'm finding the having chronic arthritis is real PIA, when it comes to handling "small parts"
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Old 03-08-11, 05:25 PM   #9
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Murphy's Law, almost as constant as the Law of Gravity.
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Old 03-08-11, 05:26 PM   #10
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I often work with a fairly thick canvas/cloth drop cloth under the work stand. I've found that if I don't pull it taught, dropped bits don't go all that far. However, those that get caught up in the brakes - well they're just being difficult.
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Old 03-08-11, 06:25 PM   #11
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Another good trick is to keep a few frozen dinner trays in the workshop. That way, all of the parts and little nuts and bolts that come off of each bike go into a single tray. It simplifies things when it comes time to put the bike back together.
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Old 03-08-11, 06:38 PM   #12
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Must have been your lucky day, Al.

When I built my workshop back in 1974, I found a nice piece of remnant carpet at a discount carpet store. I've been cussing that choice ever since. The color is brown, yellow, and black, in a fine pattern. Finding a lost bit on that floor is next to impossible. Sometimes when I vacuum the floor (once every five years) I hear some of those long forgotten bits being sucked into eternity.
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Old 03-08-11, 07:05 PM   #13
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What's even worse is running out and buying a replacement part, returning home and there's the part just laying there in plain sight ,right where you looked at least a dozen times before going to buy the replacement piece. Been there, done that!

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Old 03-08-11, 07:34 PM   #14
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When I next move I expect to find a hidden box somewhere with all the lost items in it.
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Old 03-08-11, 08:18 PM   #15
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What's even worse is running out and buying a replacement part, returning home and there's the part just laying there in plain sight ,right where you looked at least a dozen times before going to buy the replacement piece. een ther, done that!
I hate when that happens.

Then I have to go out and buy everything but that part so that I can build it into another bike.
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Old 03-08-11, 09:12 PM   #16
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When your work area is as cluttered as my garage, you will spend a lot of time searching for those parts.
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Old 03-09-11, 08:45 AM   #17
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Then there are the spring loaded parts, you hear them ricocheting off the ceiling and walls before they are lost and gone forever.
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Old 03-09-11, 09:14 AM   #18
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Just work backwards.

Since you always find the lost object in the last place you look, switch around and look there first.
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Old 03-09-11, 09:37 AM   #19
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Not a bike part but a dropped object....

In 1960 I dropped my high school class ring in the back yard of my parents home in West Virginia and could not find it. The house was sold to several different people over the years and in 2005 the owner found the ring and traced it via the high school that I attended and my initials then tracked me down in Florida and mailed it to me. It was still in mint condition.

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Old 03-09-11, 09:48 AM   #20
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Then there are the spring loaded parts, you hear them ricocheting off the ceiling and walls before they are lost and gone forever.
Or into the floor drain in the basement, or the ductwork.
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Old 03-09-11, 12:18 PM   #21
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Where Two Laws Conspire...

Quote:
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Murphy's Law, almost as constant as the Law of Gravity.
Ball bearings from pedals. Tiny critters that run away, even if you work over a bench with a cloth on it.

I drop and lose things so much that I can't even begin to count the times. The worst is when you drop a screw or bolt inside of a car engine compartment and it falls into some strange cowling or somesuch. Once it doesn't hit the ground...it's lost forever.

PG
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Old 03-09-11, 12:36 PM   #22
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I hate when that happens.

Then I have to go out and buy everything but that part so that I can build it into another bike.
That's good comedy right there!
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Old 03-09-11, 12:38 PM   #23
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Lesson learned, give bike a good shakedown before riding it. Literally pick it up and shake it to see if anything falls off or out!
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Old 03-09-11, 12:49 PM   #24
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Or you could end up with two lost things.
Darn right.

Last week I was working on my daughter's 3-speed and went to add some oil to the hub (Sturmey-Archer AW). Tried to flip open the oiler cap with my finger, multiple times -- couldn't do it. So I get a screwdriver and set it under the lip of the cap to pry it open. It opened, all right -- the whole thing flew out of the hub and across the room into my pile of boxes holding bike parts. I dug through them for a while but couldn't find it. What I did find was another Sturmey-Archer hub, so I decided to take the oiler cap from that one and put it on my daughter's bike. I V-E-RY C-A-R-E-F-U-L-L-Y pried it off the hub, carefully positioned it on my daughter's hub and went to carefully press it into place. Well, the hub surface is curved, so unless you hold the cap exactly perpendicular to the hub shell it will tend to slide off. Which is what happened. Whatever. At least it didn't go flying across the room this time, right? It just dropped straight down onto the floor so it should be pretty easy to find, right? Especially since this one was black, falling on a light-colored floor, while the first one was translucent plastic. So it should be easy to find, right?

A week later I still hadn't found it, so I bit the bullet and bought a replacement from Harris Cyclery (3, actually, just to be safe). They arrived the other day and I installed them successfully on both my daughter's hub and the spare hub, so I expect the lost ones to turn up any time now.
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Old 03-09-11, 01:12 PM   #25
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I once lost my glasses (no they weren't on my head, but I've done that one.) and couldn't find them anywhere. I know I had them on when I got in the car. I had put them in my front shirt pocket. After hours of searching and researching everything in the car seat area, I saw them snagged on a few loose threads on the seatbelt. WEIRD!
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