The Psychology of Quality and More

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A Toolbook for Quality Improvement and Problem Solving (contents)

Making tools work

The Quality Toolbook > Making tools work

Understanding | Choosing | Using | Stocking | Four keys


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The skill of a craftsperson is not only in using their tools, but also in selecting the right tool for each job. For any one task, there is usually a large number of possible tools that could be used. For example, to remove a small amount of wood from a chair leg, a carpenter might select a piece of medium sandpaper from a large set of tools, many of which could reasonably be used do the job.

There are a large number of possible tools that a carpenter could have in his toolbox, although he typically carries around only a small set of the most commonly used tools, keeping a larger set of more specialist tools at his workbench. Even then, there are many tools that he does not have, and an occasional trip to the hardware store is needed for special jobs.

In order to stock his toolbox and workbench, the carpenter must first find out what tools are available and which of these are appropriate for the carpentry jobs that he does. He must then learn how to use them, understanding the applications, the 'tricks of the trade' and the limitations of each one.

This chapter looks at how an understanding of both applications and tools can help in the selection of a tool to fit the job. It also discusses other practical aspects of making tools useful.


The sections of this chapter are as follows:

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