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Thread: Good enough vs overkill

  1. #31
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    There is often a buyer at every price point but the mistake is often in assuming how many of them are at their respective price points. IE Hofmann still exists and appears to be doing well but they made the right move in planning for a small portion of high end consumers.

    Danish furniture manufactures do the same, after nearly dying off they recognized this bit of economic reality and reformed their businesses to suit luxury appear and scale.

    As example, Wooden plane makers in the US have plenty of business to keep a one man shop running, but scaling it up would likely be their demise.

    I would rather have excess demand and just slightly short supply of a high end product than to have excess supply of a ‘good enough’ product even if that meant making less overall.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    Actually, surgeons have the saying, "Perfection is the enemy of good." What they mean by that is the surgeon needs to get in, do what's necessary, and get out. Trying to be "perfect" extends the surgery and leads to worse outcomes.

    Mike

    [Another of my favorite medical sayings is, "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras."]
    I have had three operations on my lungs, the second two were performed by someone committed to perfection.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  3. #33
    When building things my old man was in the overkill camp. One of my fondest memories was when he started building a cabin, 24x24' basic A-frame on the side of a rather steep mountain. Many of the cabins in the area are supported with not much more than 4" steep pipe. Dad poured nine 2' diameter concrete columns for our cabin. When the inspector came to check it out, his response was priceless: "Geezus man, are you building a cabin or an overpass?"

    I look at the way some things are built and wonder how it stays together. Then later find out it didn't, like the OP's video...

    A little 'just to be sure' overkill is a good thing
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  4. #34
    As the story goes, after the Model T had been out for quite a few years, Henry Ford sent a team of men to scour junkyards around the country for junked Model Ts to be sent back to Dearborn, Michigan to be studied.
    He wanted to see which components were failing and which were not.
    Everyone assumed he was doing this for quality improvement, intending to improve the failing parts in order to extend the lifespan of the car.
    In fact, what he wanted to identify was which parts were outlasting the life of the car so these parts could be de-engineered to a lower quality standard to no longer outlast the car. An example part proved to be the kingpin, which indeed was re-engineered to a lower standard.

    So my question; was this a quintessential example of "good enough"?
    Or was Henry Ford going "overkill" in his pursuit of perfection of efficiency?

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    As the story goes, after the Model T had been out for quite a few years, Henry Ford sent a team of men to scour junkyards around the country for junked Model Ts to be sent back to Dearborn, Michigan to be studied.
    He wanted to see which components were failing and which were not.
    Everyone assumed he was doing this for quality improvement, intending to improve the failing parts in order to extend the lifespan of the car.
    In fact, what he wanted to identify was which parts were outlasting the life of the car so these parts could be de-engineered to a lower quality standard to no longer outlast the car. An example part proved to be the kingpin, which indeed was re-engineered to a lower standard.

    So my question; was this a quintessential example of "good enough"?
    Or was Henry Ford going "overkill" in his pursuit of perfection of efficiency?
    So when it goes, it all goes together. Maybe that is where Found On Road Diversified was started.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #36
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    I sadly fall in the overkill camp as well...
    The OP only asked this as a generalized quesiton, I dont thin it related to just profits.
    Sometimes, extreme precision is as easy as less precision, a good example is an Incra fence on TS. Truly amazing, when set up right, u can cut to .001" with ease.
    Yes, wood moves, but thats another story... cutting to .1", that wood moves too

    This is part n parcel of a bigger question. What is the tolerance required? Building some work shop shelving, I cut dimensioned lumber prob. to 1/8", just not critical, the best I can get form my tape measure and sloppy pencil marks. Try that with dovetail joints.

    The field of tolerance determination and tolerance stacking is a field upon itself. In a perfect world, determining the tolerance requirements of each part should dictate the tolerance you build to. In sophisticated high tech fields, this is how its done. Then during manufacturing, each part is checked against a reference to confirm it falls within the required tolerance range.

  7. #37
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    I think that we have a moral obligation to do more than "good enough"


  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    As the story goes, after the Model T had been out for quite a few years, Henry Ford sent a team of men to scour junkyards around the country for junked Model Ts to be sent back to Dearborn, Michigan to be studied.
    He wanted to see which components were failing and which were not.
    Everyone assumed he was doing this for quality improvement, intending to improve the failing parts in order to extend the lifespan of the car.
    In fact, what he wanted to identify was which parts were outlasting the life of the car so these parts could be de-engineered to a lower quality standard to no longer outlast the car. An example part proved to be the kingpin, which indeed was re-engineered to a lower standard.

    So my question; was this a quintessential example of "good enough"?
    Or was Henry Ford going "overkill" in his pursuit of perfection of efficiency?
    Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote about that.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  9. #39
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    I always leaned more to the overkill side. A little extra was always my philosophy.

  10. #40
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    I never think about either. I do use the fast, cheap, good comparison, when talking to a potential client. I say they only get one with me, and it's neither fast, nor cheap. Currently not taking on any more clients for the rest of my life, as I have more of them begging for work than I can possibly ever get done.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    As the story goes, after the Model T had been out for quite a few years, Henry Ford sent a team of men to scour junkyards around the country for junked Model Ts to be sent back to Dearborn, Michigan to be studied.
    He wanted to see which components were failing and which were not.
    Everyone assumed he was doing this for quality improvement, intending to improve the failing parts in order to extend the lifespan of the car.
    In fact, what he wanted to identify was which parts were outlasting the life of the car so these parts could be de-engineered to a lower quality standard to no longer outlast the car. An example part proved to be the kingpin, which indeed was re-engineered to a lower standard.

    So my question; was this a quintessential example of "good enough"?
    Or was Henry Ford going "overkill" in his pursuit of perfection of efficiency?
    I hadn't hear that story; might be true.
    In WWII the Russians knew the average tank (at least the way the Russians fought) lasted about 2 months before it was destroyed. So they designed the T-34 with components that would last a few months before wearing out. Anything else was just a waste of resources. They were crap by American standards, but they were high quality as they met the Russian requirements.
    Last edited by Wade Lippman; 06-01-2020 at 10:08 AM.

  12. #42
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    When I started building acoustic instruments I learned very quickly you really have to be careful. An acoustic instrument has to be built strong enough to last a long time but also light enough to flex and move in order to produce sound. It can be a tricky balance. Race cars need to endure the stress of a race while still being fast enough (light enough) to have a chance at winning. I try to follow these same ideas when building furniture. The first rule is the piece has to do its job indefinitely. The second is it has to look good doing it. Sometimes "over built" can look good, for instance I am working on a MCM credenza design that will use 1" plywood for the main case. It will be a tank when done but ultimately the proportions should be ascetically pleasing and definitely look better than if made from 3/4" material. I also like the idea that it will have the "overbuilt" heft one would expect in a vintage or hand made piece that doesn't have to be shipped or go through a retail supply chain. I could definitely achieve the same ascetic and make the piece lighter if it was for a client or to hit a budget, but this one is for me so 1" it is.... I may regret that next time I move.

  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Wade Lippman View Post
    I hadn't hear that story; might be true.
    In WWII the Russians knew the average tank (at least the way the Russians fought) lasted about 2 months before it was destroyed. So they designed the T-34 with components that would last a few months before wearing out. Anything else was just a waste of resources. They were crap by American standards, but they were high quality as they met the Russian requirements.
    The Soviet T-34 tank is generally considered the best tank design of WWII. It influenced future tank design in every major country, including Germany later in the war.

    The Soviets built about 80,000 T-34s, and about 45,000 were lost (destroyed in combat, abandoned in a retreat, etc.).

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    One phrase that irks me is, "close enough for government work." Close enough for the pilots and crew in military aircraft?
    The funny thing is, I learned this phrase from the people you just cited.

    I'm an engineer, overkill means you're too lazy to do the design work right.
    ~mike

    scope creep

  15. #45
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    Well I am am not an engineer and i disagree with your statement.

    Woodworking is a little different the in terms of goals.
    If you look at how customers order custom made furniture, it is usually a sketch and some basic explanation of design , wood color, etc.
    For instance if you give ten woodworkers a dimensioned sketch of a table, you could get ten different table, different construction and totally different quality.
    You could have dowels, biscuijts, metal brackets, pocket screws, screwed and plugged, Dominos, mortise and tenons or intricate Japanese or Chinese joinery. etc... and the quality of the joinery could be vastly different. the table top boards could be sloppy fit, or precision fit, rough jointed or handplaned etc..
    All would fulfill the basic requirements of a table.

    But in this range is the good enough to the overkill range, and in woodworking the maker largely gets to choose at what level they work.

    So would you like to have a table built the cheapest, fastest method that makes the maker the most money for the least amount of work, ( good enough) or one built by someone that feels the obligation to do the best job that they can do, and does a little more (overkill) keeping in mind that woodworkers that do good enough don't usually tell their customers, and customers cant usually tell the difference or would even fully understand the difference anyway.

    In this scenario who is the lazy one?


    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    The funny thing is, I learned this phrase from the people you just cited.

    I'm an engineer, overkill means you're too lazy to do the design work right.

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