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Drilled Holes Are Far From Boring

, , , , , , | Working | December 21, 2022

I work in a small engineering office as a design engineer. I’ve just returned to my desk with a mug of tea to be greeted by one of the machinists who has a copy of a drawing. He has been chatting with my two coworkers (also design engineers) who are the only others in the office.

Machinist: “I need you to check this drawing, Stephen. There is a difference between the computer drawing and the printed copy. The holes are one size, but the text says something different.”

I look at the drawing. It is one I recently up-issued, as I added some tapped holes. I also load up the electronic copy.

Me: “That’s odd. The bit I added looks fine on the printed drawing and the electronic version.”

Machinist: “It’s not that that’s wrong; it’s the holes marked ‘A’.”

I look at the drawing again. This is for a large plate with a LOT of different holes drilled into it. The holes have different letters marked against them, and a key by the side of the drawing gives a list of the hole sizes, labelled A to D.

Machinist: “If you check the drawing view, you can see it’s not the size that’s in the key.”

Me: “So I see. I don’t know when that mistake happened, as I only added the tapped holes. I didn’t touch the A holes. NO, WAIT, I DIDN’T MEAN—”

But it’s too late. The machinist and my coworkers burst out laughing. Mind you, so do I.

Whilst the laughter settles down, I quickly check previous versions.

Me: “The mistake is on all of them. It’s only a clearance hole for access, so I’m not bothered about what size it is. Could you please check your machining program? Let me know what size it is and I’ll change the drawing accordingly.”

Machinist: “Sure, I’ll check your A-holes for you.”

As he leaves, I pick up my mug so I can finally get caffeinated.

Me: “It’s a shame [Technical Manager] isn’t here, as he loves a good innuendo.”

Coworker #1: “Maybe you should give him a ring?”

Once I’d finally stopped shaking with laughter, my mug had a lot less tea!

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