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  • Manuals

    I am a Virgo and type-A personality with a Jewish mother [that means guilt without sex]

    I have all of my operating manuals, resource materials, copies of parts ordered etc. in about 5 notebooks indexed A-Z

    I also have a tool information notebook in the workshop with information on commonly used tools that require set ups. For example the router, table saw, band saw...this way it's handy if I need to make an adjustment.

    Recently I needed to replace a steering pinion rod and gear for my John Deere riding mower.
    I was able to quickly pull up the necessary information and then scream at the order person as the price went up 65% in 4 years!

    My point though I have all the stuff orderly and easy to find. I even have some MSDS documents for some chemicals I keep on hand.

    So...........how many of you simply toss your manuals and reference stuff behind the driver's seat in your truck?


    Cactus Man

  • #2
    Re: Manuals

    I keep a folder for tools one for household stuff.

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    • #3
      Re: Manuals

      I have all my manuals in one place, where I can find them. I add to them repair parts I've purchased and routine repairs I've done.
      I order many parts online, unlike years ago when I purchased from local stores. Locally they want between eleven and fifteen dollars for an oil filter for my Sears Lawn Tractor. I can buy six of the same filters online for seven dollars a piece, no tax and I think no or very reasonable shipping.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Manuals

        I used to write and illustrate manuals (still do on rare occasion) and was reponsible for tracking orders, documents, etc. So for me, I have the tools and experience to document and retrieve almost everything.

        I have almost every manual for every tool I own, going back to the late 60's. In addition, I have about 90% of those in electronic format (PDF). The old manuals I had to scan and produce my own PDF, but it's worth the effort.

        In addition, I keep a database on all my tools which includes the model, serial number, purchase date and price, rpm, amp/hp rating and other data pertinent to the particular tool.

        With new tools, the first thing I do is find a digital copy to add to the file, as well as any photo images. It's just so much easier to retrieve and read when it's in electronic form... at least for me.

        My wife does the record keeping for the house and basically we can go back thirty years on household purchases, receipts, manuals, etc. But, that's all hardcopy... I'm just not into making digital copies of all that stuff.

        The hard copies of the manuals are kept in vinyl bags, and are catagorized by type inside vinyl-like storage folders. All the electronic stuff is duplicated on both my desktop and laptop computers and is also backed up on CD.

        In addition to my tools, I do the same with the vehicles and electronic and radion equipment.

        I also try to document setups, jigs, and some operations and projects with illustrations, photos, notes, etc. Unfortunately this is not always complete as I get more involved in doing a project and don't want to take the time to document it. Still, I do have the drawings for most things.

        CWS
        Last edited by CWSmith; 01-22-2010, 12:03 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Manuals

          i keep my ridgid bible close at hand both in my inner office and near my computer. did you really think i memorized all the part #'s

          rick.
          phoebe it is

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          • #6
            Re: Manuals

            Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
            i keep my ridgid bible close at hand both in my inner office and near my computer. did you really think i memorized all the part #'s

            rick.
            No, but at the same time, it wouldn't surprise us if you did...

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            • #7
              Re: Manuals

              I agree with CWS - PDF files are the bees knees. I try to get as many things in PDF format as I can, for saving manuals and such.

              Regarding the original question, and my wife always makes fun of me, I'm notorious for reading the manuals for stuff as we get it (before use! For safety's sake! ). For anything within the house, I have a file folder in our filing cabinet in the home office for the instruction/owner's manuals - for the TV, AV receiver, CO detectors, programable thermostat, outdoor lighting automated controller, etc., etc. For all my outdoor tools, power tools, and/or general garage "stuff", I have all those manuals tucked into a neat little stack in my tool cabinet in the garage - right where I need them when I need to reference them.

              I tell you, they're handy when your hands are all greasy from doing something outside, and you can't remember what oil formulation or spark plug gap you need to use, or something like that. That's when having the paper manuals in your hand out in the garage are perfect. But the PDF's are awesome to have as a backup.

              I tell ya - these owner's manuals things are a great idea. Who woulda thunk it?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Manuals

                I am starting to input all of my tool info (make, model, serial number, date purchased etc) and PDF manuals into a freebie program called ShopFilR. Go to the following link to download it.

                http://www.60software.com

                It also keeps track of links, notes and has a nifty fractional calculator.

                It has a fairly short learning curve.

                I am using it to keep track of shop "stuff" and also to give my wife a database of what is there and pricing info in case I pass on to the great workshop in the sky.

                Have a great day
                Bill

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Manuals

                  I have manuals and catalogs for drain cleaning equipmetn that back back from the 1960's to present day. My dad never tossed them out. Always kept a file on hand for all this stuff.
                  Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                  Ron's Facebook
                  A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                  Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                  Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Manuals

                    I guess mine isn't so out of the ordinary (just keeping manuals in a stack in a drawer of my tool cabinet in the garage). But I just thought about one thing I've maybe gone overboard on...

                    I've got a fetish for using a Brother printer / label maker.

                    I have one of these little label makers, and it takes any of the 1/2" or 3/4" tapes. So, I've been using this with the 1/2" "security" tape to label all my tools and stuff, and just about anything else worthwhile. The security tape is like a semi-perforated foil-insert tape, where if you try to remove the label, it self-destructs itself, and leaves noticable "evidence" behind that you removed a label - perfect for thefts, or "mixed up" tools with other people's tools, or a "misplaced" tool/item at a buddy's house.

                    I've been using these to print off my name and phone number onto these tapes, and then applying them to areas of tools, machines, electronics, and other items that are prone to theft or sneaky hands. I put them on areas that aren't commonly inspected/looked at. But, knowing where I put them, it only takes a quick inspection to verify if it was my tool or not.

                    And I like these labels better than etching/scratching your name into something. Etching/engraving is super permanent, yes. But if you want to sell your stuff, it sucks that your details are permanently etched in there. At least with these security labels, you can indeed eventually remove everything - it just takes some work to scrub everything off with some Varsol. But, it's not something that can be easily done promptly right after a theft.

                    I've had it help me out in the past - a tool bag full of expensive specialty tools disappeared when I was first in college for a tech field (Theatre Tech; special effects, rigging, lighting and electronics, set construction, etc. - pretty cool program, but wasn't for me in the long run). After figuring out who I thought it was, I had campus security investigate for me, with the jerk-off proclaiming that they were his tools, "I can't help it if you have the same kind as me - not my problem that yours went missing". Since I had a buddy that convinced me to let him put these labels on my stuff, it only took a quick examination to be able to explicity prove how it was indeed my stuff that this jerk-off punked - "So how would my name get to be on your tools, then?!" Score 1 for the good guys!

                    Since then, I've loved these things.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Manuals

                      I'm far from being as good as I should be in this regard. With that in mind I do try to download and keep manuals and parts lists when available as .PDF files and have them orderly. If something comes with a good printed manual I keep it near the item in a box with related manuals for similar items. The sad part is how today many items that should have a good user manual and parts lists simply don't. Even the dealer and repair centers are at a loss. I get upset that many newer RIDGID items (not plumbing) don't seem to have any download-able manuals on the web site.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Manuals

                        I try to have the parts, owners and shop manuals of most ever thing I use, and other reference materials, as well, the shelf in the shop is about 12 feet long and have some in the office and reference materials in the library of the house, and on some things I have boxes of materials as well, where it was not easy to organize the materials. but wanted to keep available, and on many items attached a copy on the shop wall,
                        I usually keep the sleeve on all the belts of the tractors and trucks and cars, with the the vehicles name and year written on them and staple them to the wall for easy reference hoses as well. on the tool box I wrote the size of wrench for the drain plugs of most of the units on the place, makes getting the correct wrench easy, and saves trips back and forth,

                        For example; I posted the measurements of the various three point hitches, category 1 through 4 so when I am building some thing I can easily reference the dimensions,
                        another is the wiring for a trailer plug,
                        also decimal equivalents,
                        and metric conversions,
                        and standard grades of bolts and torque specs.
                        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                        attributed to Samuel Johnson
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Manuals

                          These two charts may come in handy for people like BHD. One is fractional inch to decimal inch and the other is for twist drills and machinist types. Both are .PDF (Adobe Acrobat) files and print out on 8.5 x 11 inch regular paper. When I can find it, I have a nice .PDF file chart of 0.1 to 25.0 mm to decimal inch in 0.1mm steps. I'll add it once found.
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            Re: Manuals

                            Originally posted by billmoy View Post
                            I am starting to input all of my tool info (make, model, serial number, date purchased etc) and PDF manuals into a freebie program called ShopFilR. Go to the following link to download it.

                            http://www.60software.com

                            It also keeps track of links, notes and has a nifty fractional calculator.

                            It has a fairly short learning curve.

                            I am using it to keep track of shop "stuff" and also to give my wife a database of what is there and pricing info in case I pass on to the great workshop in the sky.

                            Have a great day
                            Bill
                            Thanks for the good words on ShopFileR, Bill.

                            If there is anything that you might like to see added to ShopFileR, let me know. I am in the process now of adding some more features.

                            Skip
                            www.ShopFileR.com

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