Share your own feats of mangineering.

H/T to Badger Nation:

The urban dictionary definition is up!

You are correct, def #2 is so bitchy. My one question: who the F are those women married to? Obviously they picked slobs and are now projecting their faults onto the entire male population.

Now I don’t want to bias the voting, so I would ask each of you to not let Badger Nation’s wise and well thought out opinion influence you.  If you follow the link and look at both definitions, make sure you read each carefully and vote for the one you prefer (and thanks to those of you who already have!).

Gorbachev also had a comment on the Mangineering with PVC thread which I thought succinctly captured something I’ve seen referenced by others in multiple threads:

Men are so damned useful.

We should appreciate ourselves more.

With this humble thought in mind, I’d love to hear of reader’s feats of mangineering.  I’ve already shared some examples of creating things using the materials at hand, so to kick this off I thought I’d share a few examples of my own of fixing things using the materials at hand.

Example 1:

In my early twenties my hunting/fishing buddy and I decided to go trout fishing on a stream up in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies.  At the very end of what was probably an hour on various grades of unpaved roads, we started smelling hot coolant.  We got to the place we were going to park and popped the hood.  One of the coolant hoses that ran back to the firewall for the heater core had bounced repeatedly onto the alternator, and had sprung a small leak.  My buddy and I didn’t say much to each other, but decided to go ahead and go fishing first before worrying about the truck.  No point in getting scalded by coolant and missing prime fishing time.  We got our fishing time in and as I recall did fairly well that day.  When we got back the truck had cooled off so I cut the good heater core hose down to a manageable length and ran it back to the radiator (taking the heater out of the coolant loop entirely).  We used a little duct tape to keep the hose from bouncing on the fan or any other moving parts and drove home.  It wasn’t pretty, but it sure beat walking.

Example 2:

About 7 years ago when my wife and I moved to Texas we bought a 25 year old bass boat.  Then we backed up the money truck to have it tuned up, etc.  After a day of fun on the water my wife and I found that the tilt/trim wouldn’t raise the motor for trailering.  We got it on the trailer and pulled it out of the water slowly, and it only had an inch or maybe two of clearance.  We wouldn’t even have made it past the speedbumps to get out of the park.  My wife saw a cop patrolling the area and went to go flag him down to let him know we might have to leave the boat there overnight if we couldn’t fix the problem.

I had never worked on a boat and was feeling pretty intimidated.  I checked the fuses in the panel and none were blown.  I then followed the wires for the hydraulic system to see if I could spot/bypass any potential problems.  Otherwise I was going to disconnect the power tilt/trim from the outboard and jack the motor up with my floorjack to get it on the transom saver.   My wife and the cop returned just as I finished stripping the ends of two pieces of wire I had cut from a roll in my toolbox.  I bypassed the switch/relay, and ran current straight from the battery to the power lead for the hydraulic motor.  It raised the motor enough for them to put the transom saver underneath it, and then I switched the positive and negative leads and it lowered the motor firmly in place.  My wife and the cop both looked at me like I was Dr. Frankenstein when I first hooked those wires up and made the motor go up.  The cop also said it was a good thing we were going to be able to take it, because boats left overnight were usually vandalized.

When I had more time to work on it later I realized the only problem was it had blown a fuse.  The tilt/trim was after-market and they ran an in-line fuse instead of the ones I had been checking in the fuse box…

Example 3:

Actually this is one from my father.  He has too many feats of mangineering to pick any one out, but one in particular has always made me chuckle so I thought I would share it.  He and his copilot were sub hunting in their Navy helicopter many miles away from the carrier in the middle of the night when the transmission warning light went on.  His copilot did something with the light and it went off, much to my dad’s relief.  When my dad asked what he had done the copilot explained that he had removed the bulb, because if there really was a problem with the transmission they would never have made it back to the carrier.  After thinking about it for a little bit my father decided he agreed with him.  When they got back the mechanics took the transmission apart and found a small sliver of metal which had completed the circuit for the sensor.  This mimicked what would happen if the transmission were coming apart and chunks of metal were floating around.

Your turn.  Share your best stories of mangineering, either by you or someone you know.

See Also:  Mangineering with PVC.

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16 Responses to Share your own feats of mangineering.

  1. Badger Nation says:

    For those who haven’t clicked, the second definition begins with “The art, science or action of half assed problem solving. Exemplifies poor decision making and organizational skills and/or lack of foresight”

    I find this slam thickly ironic because engineering was invented by, and is still dominated by, men. In a lot of fields “mangineering” is a redundancy.

  2. Hughman says:

    The first social of the year is huge on my course. Fancy dress with serious effort from multiple people/groups.

    Me and my best mate decided to shotgun Transformers. Pre-made costumes had to imported from America and cost at least $1k.

    With £50 ($75) each, a shit-ton of duct tape, cardboard taken from stores, ‘borrowed’ roadwork materials and a host of gadgets (LED circuits, foil, rollerblades), we made our costumes. Transformerable and able to roll down hills. To say we’ve gone down in history is an understatement.

  3. Mister_Y says:

    Years ago I went traveling with my then-girlfriend, staying at campgrounds, from time to time. On one trip, while pitching the pup tent I realized that somehow I’d left two U-shaped pieces of tubing at home, these were the pieces that made the external tent frame stay up. It was getting dark, and I dithered for a moment. Then I realized that I could just lash the straight poles together and hook up the external frame that way. There was some random wire on the floor of the car, the kind of stuff used to hook up car stereos. I grabbed some of that, did a parallel lashing on two sets of poles, hooked the tent to it and we were set for the night. It was trivial, provided one had the right knowledge. My then-girlfriend was impressed.

    [D: Nice work!]

  4. Mister_Y says:

    Badger Nation, it is indeed ironic. My experience tells me that probably 90% of engineers are men, although that could be a bit high because the distribution of women is not uniform across the varieties of engineering. There are more women in materials & metallurgy than before, not so many in chemical engineering. As we learn more about the structure of the brain, and how men and women differ, I suspect that science will demonstrate that absent some major intervention on a genetic engineering scale, women will always be a minority in engineering. Unless the definition of “engineer” is changed so much as to become without meaning, of course.

    Engineering as a way was created by men, and it is still mainly men who do it. So the other definition strikes me as mere bigotry and misandry, of which there is no shortage on the net or in the larger world.

  5. dhurka says:

    My brand new massport lawnmower broke on the first use. Serves me right for buying crappy american products (sorry I like americans, play american football and everything), next time I’m buying a honda. A flimsy metal part broke in the part that connects the throttle control to the actual throttle in the engine. Sorry for the vague description, I know nothing about engines, not my thing. I couldn’t see the point in taking it for service waiting a month while the lawn grows and getting it replaced with the same crappy thing that broke in the first place.

    I was smart enough to work out that point A needed to be connected with point B and proceeded to fix it with some old wire I had lying around. Has worked fine ever since. I am unreasonably proud of this minor achievement. As well as being an actual engineer I am also a Mangineer. 🙂

  6. Gunslingergregi says:

    I usually use actual parts.

    Like friend moved into house and the dryer cable didn’t go into the 220 outlet since it was diferent type.

    So I wrote down on a piece of paper what it looked like then went to store and bought the power cable alone and went back and installed it on the dryer which then worked fine.

    Door wasen’t working right so I realized someone installed the door lock wrong and then went ahead and re-installed it and then worked fine.

    I bought some wood and made a bench about 8 feet long that the whole family uses almost every day.

    Car wouldn’t start so I checked electrical connections and cleaned air filter and then it worked fine.

    Ball joionts on my truck were messed up so instead of paying 1000 dollars to have them replaced I went ahead and bought the parts and rented the ball joint changer kit and changed them myself for 140 bucks or so.

    fridge wouldn’t fit through door so I just took the door off hinges and got er done.

    One door to bathroom had hinges rotted out and was messing up opening and closing so I just bought some hinges and just re-hinged it on the good wood and it worked fine.

    Tire blew on side of road and we were gonna be late for work so the 4 of us under my direction changed out tire in seconds and we made it on time.

    I guess the question might be how many lives have been saved because of man reflexes and man power because of how men understand bad situations using mangineering skills in our persuit of excellance to save lives with split second decisions?

    [D: Great comment across the board! Welcome to the blog.]

  7. dalrock says:

    I am unreasonably proud of this minor achievement. As well as being an actual engineer I am also a Mangineer. 🙂

    There really is something about fixing or making something needed for your home. I always feel very proud of those things as well. It only seems small because you didn’t have to break a sweat to fix it. Many others would not have known what to do.

    Your example reminds me of my edger attachment for my gas trimmer. The wheel kept falling off because there was just a plastic cap holding it on with (very little) friction. After the second or third time it fell off I finally drilled a hole in the end of the shaft and used a safety pin as a cotter key. That was several years ago and I haven’t even needed to put on a new safety pin. I’ve replaced the blade twice in the meantime due to wear.

  8. Hope says:

    Maybe we don’t want to be seen as stereotypically fawning over cute things, as women are wont to do. Although personally I find kittens and human babies to be much more adorable than hamsters.

  9. Hope says:

    Oops, posted on the wrong thread. This is meant for the Link blog one.

    [D: I can’t move it but if you repost it I’ll delete the dupe.]

  10. J says:

    I find this slam thickly ironic because engineering was invented by, and is still dominated by, men. In a lot of fields “mangineering” is a redundancy.

    It’s not an attempt to deny that. It’s humor. Every married woman has a funny story in which a DIY project or home repair blew up in her husband’s face, often after she tried to warn him. Just like every guy has a story about how his wife burnt some soup.

  11. J says:

    I’ve vagineered (when a woman sucessfully fixes/install things the hubs refuses to or procrastinates taking care of) a few things in the course of my marriage. I have re-wired a couple lamps the husband told me were no good anymore, replaced a couple of light fixtures while my husband was at work because it was too dark in the house with the power off for him to see what he was doing after he came home, and repaired some appliances.

    Last week, our dishwasher was actually dirtying the dishes. It appeared to me that the upper spray arm was no longer rotating and that water wasn’t circulating in the upper part of the machine. I called my husband who told me to call a repairman, but I 1) didn’t want to wait for someone to come out and 2) figured that a service call would cost more than the machine itself was worth since it’s been in the house longer than we have. I got on the net, read enough to realize that hydrolic pressure and not a motor drives the upper spray arm and figured that there must have been a clog of soap and reducing the water pressure. (We have very hard water.) I removed the spray arm and found a mineral clog that I chipped off with a shish-ka-bob. Then I ran the empty dishwasher with CLR Clear a few times and then with vinegar to rinse it. Now it runs like a champ, and my dishes sparkle.

  12. dalrock says:

    Nice work on replacing fixtures, rewiring lamps, and fixing your dishwasher J!

    Every married woman has a funny story in which a DIY project or home repair blew up in her husband’s face, often after she tried to warn him. Just like every guy has a story about how his wife burnt some soup.

    I think you are mixing two different things, at least making it sound like they are comparable in our culture when they are at very different levels. Calling men idiots and pretending they cant do anything is pervasive in our culture. The only thing more pervasive is the theme that women magically know how to do everything perfectly, especially anything traditionally male. I also don’t hear men complaining about their wives’ cooking. Maybe in past generations, but I don’t even recall my father doing this. Or maybe I just don’t know the right people to experience this. I think it also gets back to something we talked about before. If a group of men are complaining and one of them calls them on it, they will tend to pull back and agree. Not so if a group of women are complaining. So it tends to get much more out of hand.

  13. Dave says:

    One feat of mangineering that I will never forget was actually done by my dad. We were driving home to North Carolina from Pennsylvania when the universal joint on the right front wheel went bad in northern Virginia. My dad (a diesel mechanic) went into a nearby grocery store, bought some vaseline and duct tape, and mangineered a repair that got us home. He replaced the u-joint the next day.

  14. Justthisguy says:

    My Sweety, an unusual woman, to be sure (she works as a draftsman in an engineering firm), once found herself locked into the Ladies’ Room where she worked. She yelled, and people came, but nobody had the key. Sorting through the stuff in her bag, she came up with sufficient tools to pull out the hinge pins on the door, and let herself out. None of the “males” outside thought to suggest that she do that. That was at a previous job, where there were no engineers, only managers and other bullshit artists.

    Had I been there, I betcha I could have picked the lock.

  15. Does mangineering including making a shotgun out of a staple gun plus welded pipe? Or is that overreaching? We guys love to tinker…

    The video is at a blog not mine: The Firearms Blog:

  16. Dohn Joe says:

    The ability to get things operational ASAP and worry about the root cause or devise an elegant solution (or determine if these steps are even necessary) later is an essential skill foe the operational side of any business!

    So IF women are getting paid less to do the “same” jobs as men, which I have yet to see unmanufactured evidence thereof, then “a lack of mangineering skills” is right up there with a bullet underneath “unable to take risks necessary to resolve a crisis/emergency situation” and “unable to perform more dangerous tasks in higher-risk operational areas”.

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