The computer in the workshop: Its time has come!
BY BUDD DAVISSON
IT’S INTERESTING TO SEE photos of different homebuilders’ workshops. They range from shops like mine—cramped and cluttered
with every crevice being used for storage—to surgically clean,
expansive, well-lit orgies of organization. However, I’m noticing
one thing beginning to consistently creep into the background of
many shops: a computer sitting on the end of the bench or on a
shelf. The digital age has come to homebuilding and is having a
massive effect in so many areas, some of them unrecognized and
yet-to-be exploited by many builders.
Computer-generated workshop floorplan including a four-place Bearhawk.
Rectangles represent power tools, shelves, tables, etc.
Don’t Fight it!
First a note to those who steadfastly
refuse to travel what used to be called “The
Information Highway.” It’s no longer a highway. It’s an incredibly broad, all-encompassing
way of life, an amazing tool that can be used
in so many different ways to make our lives,
especially as builders, easier. More importantly, the computer has broadened our
horizons as builders so much that it’s hard for
those who consider computers to be “new
gadgets” and unnecessary to realize what
I’ll make one declarative statement and
let it go at that: Any who refuse to enter the
incredible world available on the other side
of the screen are now functioning with one
hand tied behind their back. Many homebuilding activities are so much easier when a
computer is part of the mix. Some may be
new even to those who, like me, live with a
mouse in their hand. At the same time, I’ll
wager I get a lot of mail from folks with
more, even better, ideas.
instantaneous Problem-solving maDe easy
Building anything, airplane or otherwise, is
really nothing more than an endless stream
of problems to be solved. However, regardless of our experience or skill, there will
always be times when we don’t have the
answers. This is absolutely the best thing the
computer has brought to homebuilding aircraft. There can’t be more than a small
handful of aircraft designs being built that
don’t have at least one builders’ chat group,
official or unofficial, that has sprung up
around it. Although you sometimes have to