1999 Maintenance Tips & Tricks Winners

Winner of the 1999 "Maintenance Tip of the Year was Vince Goodnough, Tennant Co., Minneapolis, MN. He received $1000 for his suggestion on using a bottle corkscrew to pull ceiling tiles into place.
By Ron Holzhauer March 1, 2000

Winner of the 1999 “Maintenance Tip of the Year was Vince Goodnough, Tennant Co., Minneapolis, MN. He received $1000 for his suggestion on using a bottle corkscrew to pull ceiling tiles into place.

Runners-up were Dave Crutchfield, RMF Engineering, Baltimore, MD; and Sean A. Mullan, North Star Steel, St. Paul MN. Mr. Crutchfield explained how to combine a shop vac and pantyhose to pick up small parts, and Mr. Mullan pointed out that painting expanded metal machine guards makes it much easier to see inside and check for abnormalities.

Tip of the Year

Ceiling tile puller

Problem: Suspended ceilings make access to utilities easy because the tiles can be lifted out of the grid. But sometimes the tiles won’t drop back into place because of interference from suspension wires or light fixture clips.

Solution: Use a wine bottle corkscrew to grip the tile from below and pull it down into place. A corkscrew with lots of pitch works best.

Contributor: Vince Goodnough, Tennant Co., Minneapolis, MN; 612-540-1339

Runner-up

Picking up small parts

Problem: It’s difficult to pick up small parts, especially in hard-to-reach areas.

Solution: Place an old pair of pantyhose over the suction end of a shop vac. Small items can be picked up nicely.

Contributor: Dave Crutchfield, RMF Engineering, Baltimore, MD

Runner-up

Seeing behind machine guards

Problem: It’s difficult to see things behind expanded metal machine guards, especially if the guards are painted a light color such as safety yellow or orange.

Solution: Paint the expanded metal portion of machine guards flat black. (Leave the frames painted with safety colors.) The flat black absorbs light, allowing you to see through the expanded metal to check for abnormalities.

Contributor: Sean A. Mullan, North Star Steel, St. Paul, MN; 651-735-2110