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Old 12-31-2016, 12:40 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 13,060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Matt Mason View Post
Back when I was working at Drexel U. in Philly, I had a carburetor on my desk. A Penn professor walked in to see my boss. "Hi, Mitch! What's that?"

"Hi, Alan. Mercedes carburetor. I just overhauled it!"

"Oh, nifty! Never could do that, myself."

With that, Dr. Alan MacDiarmid, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, gave me a cheerful wave and went in to see my boss.

-MMM-
My dad, besides being brilliant in his field, also used to maintain his own British motorcycle in university. He would rebuild throwaway parts like a mechanical voltage regulator. He an incredibly practical. I once watched him make a new blade for his coffee grinder from an old piece of metal bedspring slat, including sharpening and tempering. He was in demand as both a theorist and designed of experiments and went all over the world. He once made a timer device with pulley out of a cheap meccano set gears and clock drive when the equivalent from a scientific supply house was close to a thousand dollars. (He was a serious cheapskate too) Yet others in his department were not so good - one prof almost cut his thumb completely off using the bandsaw...

Partly talent, partly deep interest, partly practice. I rebuilt a carburetor once - for a VW Beetle - by following a book. It worked. (Did you know if you reverse the spark plug cables on a Beetle, it will actually run OK until you approach 25mph? )