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Thread: Good enough vs overkill

  1. #16
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    Anything worth doing is worth over doing

  2. #17
    The Project Management Triangle – Time, Quality, Cost – you can have any two. The basic premise is that there are three main factors in all decisions. You can have or control only two of them.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(Ret)

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  3. #18
    The better the project was ,the more I pushed to get stuff right. I made a few clients angry, but they all thanked me
    later. Only one wrote me letter about how much my insistence improved the house. Some just sheepishly told me
    I had been right. Clients would rather have a workman tell them they are making a mistake than a "friend".

  4. #19
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    Overkill is the way to go when using materials with large variations on their fundamental properties and/or you do not have the theoretical base for appropriate calculations.

    Personally I usually go nearer to "good enough" camp... with some safe factor.

  5. #20
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    I've spent my entire working life calibrating the systems and components that keep a nuclear reactor safe during normal operation, and in accident scenarios. Prior to that I worked on Nuclear Weapons.
    Which camp would you want me to reside in? The,"Good, is good enough", or the Overkill, camp?
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  6. #21
    Well I fall square in the overkill camp.

    I figured out long ago that living just to survive was as sure as a death sentence for me. You think I’m kidding but I could not be more serious. Took me a good few years and failing on my face hard a number of times to figure out. Clearly I’m not so smart or I would had figured it out without falling down.

    Ignoring passion and instead being persuaded by the teachings or rather misleading at least in my case by society that living for tomorrow at the expense of today makes any darn sense at all. For me at least my definition is success is contentment and happiness. And for me my vocation needs to be something I feel passionate about. Life’s to short and we spend way to much time at work for it to be any other way.

    Living for tomorrow at the expense of today even in the slightest is akin to a slow suffocation for me. It robs me of any joy my soul has. Might as well just shoot me in the face if that’s what I’m gonna spend 70-100 years doing. No thank you, I’d rather have one blissful day then it all be gone. I get that’s not most but it sure is me “this perfectionist” made to want to puke at the amount of good enough in the world and I’m not just talking Woodworking. I’m talking integrity pride accountability, passing the buck..

    Now that’s what I shoot for and very seldom is it realized as society has a way of strong arming the shit out you 60-70% of the time. Since I have done fine Woodworking more like 90% when I was doing residential construction the boss wins. The boss rarely has the same principles and ideas as do I for quality not to mention moral integrity and or satisfaction of ones work. The boss thinks he cares but the boss cares about numbers like I care about quality and perfection. The boss cares about a successful business like I care about each and every cut and joint of a project be perfect without exception. This is why i screw with my machines the way I do. I’m tired at the end o the day or a week of working wood but I’m still generally starving to satisfy my need for perfection. So this is where my machines come into play. I keep working at perfection my machines both calibration and fit and finish as to have everything just so best intentions to create a future for myself building things I can be proud of with machinery I take pride in.

    But I won’t quite trying. I’m a young man yet at 42 and I’ll be darned if I don’t find a way to create work “whatever it may be” that is to my standard of quality as to not spend my days begrudging my reality and all that keeps me from the pursuit of blissful perfection and work I can take pride in. And to a make a living even if only to not be or homeless or starving. Anything more is just a illusion anyhow. You don’t think so I beg to differ. It’s more the life of a artist vrs company or union man.

    Look at this world it’s gone freaking mad. If more could just recognize what makes them happy “maybe more important what does not” adjust accordingly and not instead bury our heads in creating misery, maybe just maybe this world would be a better place.

    But instead it’s a freaking mess because people ignore intuition burry their souls in supposed “have to’s and shoulds”. Parents that never shoulda been parennts, husbands and wife’s that never shoulda been married.

    Perfection is not for everyone but living without passion or bypassing it because you don’t believe it to be realistic or practical for you is a huge mistake. Just the lazy about it is a mistake. Well I consider bypassing passion humanities greatest mistake. I get not everyone’s passion is perfectionism but everyone should have passion and that passion should imop not be in the slightest motivated by money.
    Last edited by Patrick Walsh; 05-30-2020 at 9:53 PM.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hennebury View Post
    Both terms are misnomers as "Good enough" seldom is, and "Overkill" never killed anyone.

    In wooodworking, as in most things in life, the world is divided into two kinds of people; Those whom adhere to the "Good enough" philosophy and those how fall into the "Overkill" camp.
    I guess I'd have to disagree with your premise. "Good enough" is, by definition good enough - the question/challenge is in determining what is "good enough." Is a bridge that lasts 50 years "good enough," or does it need to last 100 years (or more)?

    If I build a coffee table out of framing lumber from HD and put it together with carriage bolts and slap a couple of coats of cheap latex paint on it, is that "good enough?" If my customer is a 19-year old college sophomore who plans to put the table in a dumpster when he graduates (and would like it to stand up to two of his roommates dancing on it in the meantime) probably, yes. If my customer is a wealthy professional living in a $2 million home, probably not.

    It's a question of what the customer wants/needs/expects. And as a maker, it's up to you to determine if you can deliver that and still earn a profit. If it's not a commercial deal, then it turns into a question of what your standards as a maker are - what is "good enough" in your own eyes?

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    The Project Management Triangle – Time, Quality, Cost – you can have any two. The basic premise is that there are three main factors in all decisions. You can have or control only two of them.
    I’ve also seen this as Cheap / Fast / Good.
    Great way of looking at things.

  9. #24
    Overkill is usually a waste of customers money and my time, plus materials too.

    Overkill is what caused many once great manufacturers to go out of business.

  10. #25
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    If machinery manufactures became great for making great machines, then making great machines didn't kill them, a changing mentality and marketplace did.


    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy Warner View Post
    Overkill is usually a waste of customers money and my time, plus materials too.

    Overkill is what caused many once great manufacturers to go out of business.

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hennebury View Post
    If machinery manufactures became great for making great machines, then making great machines didn't kill them, a changing mentality and marketplace did.
    Overkill was killed by good enough.

  12. #27
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    One phrase that irks me is, "close enough for government work." Close enough for the pilots and crew in military aircraft? Close enough for first responders with people's lives on the line?

    One shop manager in my workplace back in the early 1970s used to always lament that there was never time to do a job right, but there was always time to do it over.

    Most of my co-workers in the "good enough" crowd were often members of the LIFTNG club. (Leave It For The Next Guy) Worse was one of them who would leave machinery unrepaired and out of service. When someone else came and installed a difficult to find part he would take the part for use somewhere else and put the machine back out of service. Sometimes he would just take the part because he wanted it for his own kit.

    One of my recent 15 minute projects might be seen by some as just 'good enough.' Others might look at it and see it as 'overkill.' It is a garden stool made from scrap pieces of 2X pressure treated lumber. It is a square of 2X12 with 2X4s on either end held on by deck screws. It has a center rib to prevent racking. It lifts me off the ground a little for comfort but is still low enough for digging weeds without having to bend over as much.

    For a temporary construction or something that is going to be taken apart, "good enough" may be the best answer.

    On another recent project a small table was wanted in the greenhouse. Some laps were cut on salvaged 2X3s. An old wood frame with slats made for use at the famers market atop saw horses was cleaned and attached to the legs with deck screws. It was a little wobbly but worked for the immediate need. A few days later a frame and shelf were made to add in. This fixed the wobbles and is now a solid potting table.

    Back in my drafting days we used to joke about a common note on drawings, "cut to suite." We would often say it out loud as it was being lettered. Someone else would finish it by saying, "hammer to fit and paint to match."

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 05-31-2020 at 2:18 AM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  13. #28
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    Trump's it every time.

    The old manufacturers were put out to pasture, by the newer companies largely from Italy, building cheaper fabricated machinery, made out sheet metal instead of cast, standard off the shelf parts, lighter duty, flashy paint and lower price. With the promise that they could do the job for less, And at the same time the changing mentality of business, no longer setting up to be in business for generations, but to focus on the near future, the right now. Then of course the Italians were put out by the Chinese Undercutting them and building even cheaper stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy Warner View Post
    Overkill was killed by good enough.
    Last edited by Mark Hennebury; 05-31-2020 at 9:22 AM.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hennebury View Post
    Trump's it every time.

    The old manufacturers were put out to pasture, by the newer companies largely from Italy, building cheaper fabricated machinery, made out sheet metal instead of cast, standard off the shelf parts, lighter duty, flashy paint and lower price. With the promise that they could do the job for less, And at the same time the changing mentality of business, no longer setting up to be in business for generations, but to focus on the near future, the right now. Then of course the Italians were put out by the Chinese Undercutting them and building even cheaper stuff.

    The Japanese auto industry in the late 60's early 70's built machining centers from weldments and ran them for 2-3 years threw them away because they were worn out, and then produced a new line of cars with new cheap machines made from weldments.

  15. #30
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    Mike,

    Just had surgery three months ago.

    To expect 10 out of 10 every times is unrealistic. 9 out of 10 is a pretty respectable score by any standards, but i sure hope that they are trying for 10 each and every time.
    No one can do more than their best, but you have to try to do your best, to do it.


    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."]

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