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Longest time you have spent looking for a dropped part

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Longest time you have spent looking for a dropped part

Old 03-06-21, 02:47 PM
  #1  
woodcraft
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Longest time you have spent looking for a dropped part

I just looked for a brake block screw for at least 15 minutes- stainless so no magnet.

Flashlight, broom, hands and knees.
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Old 03-06-21, 02:52 PM
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Papa Tom
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Not a bike part, but I am still looking for my wedding ring, which slipped off my finger while I was working on my bike in the garage about six years ago.
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Old 03-06-21, 03:03 PM
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Dirk de Chablis
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I was bursting myself on the turbo and popped a contact lens on Thursday, I'm still looking for it.
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Old 03-06-21, 03:27 PM
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Funny this should come up. Last night I was at a picnic table and I dropped a set screw into the dirt and gravel underneath. We are on a camping trip, so I went inside and got my kids magnetic blocks and made a magnetic rake. After a few minutes, I had it back and I felt pretty smart.
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Old 03-06-21, 04:21 PM
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Reminds me of doing tech support on a cross state ride with my grandson. The first thing I told him was to spread out a tarp before setting up the workstand on the grass.
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Old 03-06-21, 04:48 PM
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my shop is a woodworking shop with sawdust and lots of wood scraps almost impossible to find a part.
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Old 03-06-21, 04:52 PM
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I dropped one of the rare, proprietary stand-offs for mounting a third chainring on an Avocet crank. Not sure how long I spent looking for it, but about a year and a half later I found it while sweeping out the shop.
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Old 03-06-21, 05:07 PM
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masi61
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Some parts are still M.I.A.

I have some Cane Creek headset spacers which I need to finish setting up my titanium bikeís carbon fork that are temporarily lost. Iíve not found them in a year.
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Old 03-06-21, 05:41 PM
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about an hour after dropping the part. was when they reappeared. They seemed somewhat tired. The partner did work on there riding prior, but maybe they need to look into better gearing.
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Old 03-06-21, 05:45 PM
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rhenning
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I spent 3 years trying to find a part for an old folding bike I was cleaning up. Not a life of death part but I did eventually find the missing bracket for it. Roger

Last edited by rhenning; 03-07-21 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 03-06-21, 05:57 PM
  #11  
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One of the most important lessons I learned working in a bike shop was to watch that danged part fall when you dropped it. Most of the time, you can track it down if you keep an eye on it. Sometimes even that doesn't work.
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Old 03-06-21, 06:14 PM
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I am still looking for a nut that I lost a month ago for a Minoura rack I am building for my basement. Granted I am not actively searching but I am still wanting to find it. I was looking for a stem for years and finally found it and installed it on a bike though sadly the bike it was supposed to go on got a replacement and I don't care to swap the two.
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Old 03-06-21, 06:24 PM
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I was touring through Gaspe (Quebec) and a cable frayed inside the rsx shifter. I had to take shifter apart in a bike shop basement. Good that I knew how to take apart. Bad that a massive storm ripped through the same time and a lightning bolt hit a transformer outside the shop. At the exact moment of total blackout, I was fitting one of those itty-bitty screws back in, freaked and dropped it. After 1 hour searching with a camping head lamp in the floor cracks, through years of other itty-bitty parts, I found it. Or possibly, it was some other itty-bitty screw of same size.
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Old 03-06-21, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by IPassGas View Post
Or possibly, it was some other itty-bitty screw of same size.
LOL....Twice now after losing a piece on the garage floor Iíve found something else that will work instead...
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Old 03-07-21, 07:35 AM
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Campagnolo pawl in 2018 and a brand new Tommasini fork decal in 2010, they must be somewhere.
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Old 03-07-21, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
Campagnolo pawl in 2018 and a brand new Tommasini fork decal in 2010, they must be somewhere.
It'll always be the last place you look when you find those temporarily missing things.
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Old 03-07-21, 09:10 AM
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My shop is full of parts I dropped, or misplaced parts. When working at the bike stand I will drop a nut or washer and sometimes it will land right under the bike, sometimes 3-4 ft. away , and sometimes will be in an alternate universe never to be seen again. I have a floor sweeper magnet that I use to sweep the floor for steel bits. I have tried putting a cardboard box under the bike stand and occasionally the part will drop in there but not very often. I have a favorite screw driver that went missing a few days ago. Still haven't found it. I try to not stress about these things. I have trays full of nuts, bolts, and various specialized parts and when a search fails, can usually find a replacement there. I periodically sweep the entire shop floor with a broom into a pile and then will examine it . Usually there are an assortment of springs, nuts washers etc in there which I will return to the junk tray. This must be true in the alternate universe too because sometimes things will magically appear out of nowhere, so my doppelganger in universe B obviously has the same problem.
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Old 03-07-21, 01:29 PM
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The original Campagnolo toolset that came with my Paramount.....I packed it away in a safe place and I am still looking for it!
Best, Ben
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Old 03-07-21, 04:12 PM
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If it's a part that can't be easily replaced I keep looking until I find it!

Old Trick:
One flashlight technique that an old car mechanic taught me was to lay the flashlight in the middle of the floor and rotate it around slowly and watch for the "profile" of your part. It works like a charm. It's even more effective if you turn the lights out.

This was many moons ago but I saw Joe on the filling station floor one day after school smoking his usual Camel cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He had his flashlight down and rotating it around like a lighthouse. I thought he looked funny but when I got on my knees, holy crap, you can see even small specks of dust on the floor doing this.

FYI, this works great to find studs and sheetrock nails too. Lay the flashlight on the wall and rotate.
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Old 03-07-21, 05:23 PM
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I lost my virginity back in 1972 and haven't found it yet.
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Old 03-07-21, 08:14 PM
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Love this topic! The little clip that secures the disc pad bolt, at least a hour then gave up. Traded the bike (2018 Diverge) in for a new one (2020 Diverge) just because I knew it wasnít right.
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Old 03-08-21, 02:01 AM
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I never track how long I look for dropped stuff, but I do sweep the floor regularly and avoid allowing my space to fill up with stuff. I rebuilt some furniture to create a bench and table in my garage, and kept some of the door closing magnets to 'sweep' for parts.
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Old 03-08-21, 08:24 AM
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Is there a better way of finding lost parts than buying a replacement?
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Old 03-08-21, 08:47 AM
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Magnets have saved me more than once. Try and find a cigarette pack sized one and keep it handy. Waving it over the area that you've been working can turn up all sorts of stuff.

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Old 03-08-21, 10:12 AM
  #25  
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My other hobby is watch repair. I've spent days on my knees trying to find that lost screw. I eventually wised up and bought a large "Mechanics Magnet Broom". which has been a life saver.
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