Friday, June 18, 2010

Slowing down

I wonder if what's happening to me happens to other RV builders -- you start going too fast, the closer you get to finishing.

I noticed this for the first time this week when I caught myself yelling at washers, then the center cabin cover, and then bolts. There I was, alone on the field, cursing inanimate objects.

And making stupid mistakes, again. And not taking time.

Yesterday, I drilled the right wing to the rear spar. I just wanted to get it done. So I drilled it, starting with a 3/32" bit, then a #19, then a #10. I knew I should ream it (.311), which requires a 9/16" drill bit before using the reamer. But I didn't have a 9/16" drill bit, so I just went ahead and used a 5/16" drill bit and called it a day.

Of course the hole is bigger than it needs to be; you can't get a perfect hole with a drill bit, and I knew that. And I wasn't going to fly today, so it's not like I needed to hurry. But I did. This is the same wing I misdrilled a couple of years ago -- and repaired all but one hole -- so there was little liklihood of getting a tight fit anyway, but still... quality shouldn't suffer because of self-imposed pressure.

It didn't help, I suppose, that moments before I notice that the plexi lens on the right wing landing light I installed a couple of weeks ago had cracked and will need to be replaced.

The Vertical Power software upgrade attempt a week ago has resulted in a dead system. And the ICOM A210 comm radio fried a few months ago when I tried to install that.

Seriously? Am I cursed?

When you start kicking yourself with, "Can't I do anything right?", you usually can't while trying to prove you can. Better to close the hangar door and go for a bike ride.

And so I'm caught in a vortex of needing to push ahead and needing to slow down. This is one of those times, when having a partner on the project would have been a good thing.


  1. Take a time out from your usually try and look at your project as a relaxing time not work that has to be completed in a certain time, I am building a RV7A and this time I spend on my project in my shed is my relaxing time, so what I am trying to say is you are looking at it all wrong, how many other people would love to have our passion for flying and to have the freedom to be able build a RV and fly it one day how lucky are we!

  2. I posted a comment to you and signed it anonymous but I have decided I should have told you who we are, it is all of us, we all would like to see you finish your project, take your time relax into it and above all enjoy your time doing it. Mac

  3. I know exactly what that feels like. My airplane is a 1964 Impala that's (sort of) become mine since my father died. As a car guy, I relish a mechanical challenge but sometimes get excruciatingly frustrated at my ham-fisted approach to what should be straightforward tasks.

    Having a second set of educated eyes on a project is better than any toolbox.

  4. I'm finding the same thing, Bob...I often have some self-induced pressure to get things done - and that leads to mistakes. Seems like I've been ordering a lot of replacement parts from Van's recently...partly because I'm a perfectionist, and partly because I'm in such a hurry that I'm not mindful of what I'm doing.

    I don't have an answer, except that I'm working on mindfulness...

    Best of luck...Dave Setser