Handcrafted Skis, Septic Tanks, Hydroformed Chassis Parts, Aquarium Windows

Captions by VITAC — wwwvitac

com CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS Narrator: YOU CAN BUY MASS-PRODUCED SKIS FROM A LARGE COMPANY, OR YOU COULD CHOOSE TO PURCHASE A HANDCRAFTED SET FROM A SMALL INDEPENDENT IT'S A MATTER OF PREFERENCE — MUCH LIKE DRINKING BEER PRODUCED BY A MAJOR BREWERY VERSUS A MICROBREWERY IN FACT, MANY SKI-BUYING GUIDES CALL SMALL, INDEPENDENT BRANDS MICROBREWS HANDMADE SKIS TYPICALLY FEATURE EXCLUSIVE DESIGNS WITH HIGH-END CRAFTSMANSHIP THEY'RE PRODUCED IN LIMITED QUANTITIES BY SMALL, INDEPENDENT COMPANIES

THIS MAKER BUILDS THE CORE OF THE SKI FROM TWO TYPES OF WOOD — COLORADO ASPEN AND COLORADO PINE THEY'RE HARVESTED FROM TREES KILLED BY PINE BEETLES WORKERS GLUE TOGETHER 8 TO 10 PIECES, DEPENDING ON THE WIDTH OF THE SKI THE PIECES FORM A LAMINATED BLOCK THAT'S STRUCTURALLY STRONGER THAN A SOLID PIECE OF WOOD THEY CLAMP THE BLOCK IN A PRESS FOR TWO HOURS WHILE THE GLUE DRIES

AFTER THEY REMOVE THE BLOCK FROM THE PRESS, THEY USE A BAND SAW TO CUT OFF STRIPS EACH STRIP WILL BE THE CORE OF A SKI ONE BLOCK TYPICALLY MAKES SIX SKI CORES NEXT, THEY SHAPE THE SKI CORES WITH A ROUTER, USING A TEMPLATE UNDERNEATH THE SKI CONTOUR THEY APPLY A BLOWTORCH TO STRIPS OF ULTRA-HIGH MOLECULAR-WEIGHT PLASTIC TO MAKE IT BONDABLE

THEN THEY COAT THE PLASTIC WITH EPOXY AND ADHERE A STRIP OF IT TO EACH SIDE OF THE SKI CORE THIS FORMS A STURDY SIDEWALL TO PROTECT THE CORE FROM SIDE IMPACT AFTER THE EPOXY SETS, THEY SAW 6 INCHES OFF THE FRONT AND BACK OF THE SKI WITH A HAND PLANER, THEY TAPER THE THICKNESS OF THE ENDS THEN THEY HEAT THE SIDEWALLS AGAIN TO PREP THEM FOR BONDING

BUT FIRST, WORKERS GLUE A PLASTIC CORE CALLED A TIPSPACER TO THE FRONT OF THE WOOD CORE THIS HOLDS THE PARTS TOGETHER DURING CONSTRUCTION THEN THEY USE A HAND-CRANK DIE MACHINE TO DIE-CUT THE BRAND NAME AND LOGO INTO A STRIP OF ULTRA-HIGH MOLECULAR-WEIGHT PLASTIC THEY DIE-CUT THE SAME LETTERS IN WHITE, THEN PLACE THEM IN THE BLACK CUTOUT STRIP THIS IS THE SKI'S BASE

NOW THEY CAN BEGIN CONSTRUCTING THE SKIS THEY TAKE A LEFT AND RIGHT BASE AND SPREAD EPOXY OVER THE ENTIRE SURFACE THEY LAY DOWN A LAYER OF EPOXY-SATURATED FIBERGLASS AND POSITION THE SKI CORE ON TOP THEN THEY SPREAD EPOXY ON THE CORE AND TIPSPACERS, AS WELL AS LAY EXTRA FIBERGLASS WHERE THE BINDINGS WILL BE INSTALLED THEY POSITION STEEL PLATES FOR MOUNTING THE BINDINGS, THEN COVER THE ENTIRE SKI WITH ANOTHER LAYER OF FIBERGLASS

FINALLY, THEY ADD A NYLON TOP SHEET PRINTED WITH A GRAPHIC DESIGN THEY COVER THE ASSEMBLY WITH A SERIES OF METAL SHEETS AND SILICONE HEATING BLANKETS, THEN PLACE EVERYTHING IN A CUSTOM-DESIGN SKI PRESS WHEN WORKERS ACTIVATE THE PRESS, RUBBER AIR BLADDERS INFLATE, PRESSING THE WOOD INTO A SKI SHAPE 35 MINUTES LATER, THE SKIS COME OUT OF THE PRESS A WORKER SEPARATES THEM WITH A BAND SAW

USING A JIGSAW, THEY TRIM THE TIP AND TAIL THE SAW LEAVES A ROUGH EDGE, SO WORKERS SAND THE ENTIRE PERIMETER THEN THEY TAPER AND BEVEL THE SIDEWALL THIS GIVES THE SKIS A BETTER EDGE GRIP ON SNOW THE FINAL STEP IS TO PEEL OFF THE FILM THAT HAS BEEN PROTECTING THE NYLON TOP THROUGHOUT CONSTRUCTION

THESE HANDMADE SKIS COME IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT STYLES, SHAPES, AND SIZES ALL THEY NEED NOW ARE BINDINGS THEN IT'S ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE Narrator: SEPTIC TANKS ARE THE PERFECT SEWAGE-TREATMENT SOLUTION FOR HOUSES THAT AREN'T CONNECTED TO A SEWAGE NETWORK THE TANK COLLECTS AND TREATS DOMESTIC WASTEWATER USING A BACTERIAL PROCESS TO DECOMPOSE WASTE

IT FILTERS THE DIRTY WATER BEFORE RECYCLING IT BACK INTO THE GROUND SEPTIC TANKS ARE USUALLY MADE OF CONCRETE AND HAVE ACCESS COVERS ON TOP THE WASTE-TREATMENT PROCESS TAKES PLACE IN SEPARATE CHAMBERS INSIDE THE TANK STEEL BARS CALLED REBARS REINFORCE THE CONCRETE STRUCTURE OF THE TANK A WELDER ASSEMBLES THE RODS TO FORM A CAGE

THEN HE SPOT-WELDS THE REBAR WITH A MIG WELDING TORCH THE WELDED CAGE WILL MAINTAIN THE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY OF THE CONCRETE SEPTIC TANK THE WELDER MEASURES THE CAGE'S DIAGONALS TO MAKE SURE IT'S STRAIGHT NEXT, THE WORKER PLACES REBAR SPACERS TO KEEP THE CAGE CENTERED IN THE MOLD AND LEVELED ON THE FLOOR A CRANE LOWERS THE CAGE INTO A CUSTOM FORMWORK MADE OF HIGH-STRENGTH STEEL PLATES

WORKERS CLOSE THE WALLS AROUND THE FORM AND SECURE THEM IN PLACE WITH HEAVY-DUTY LOCKS THE CRANE LOWERS MACHINED STEEL CORES TO FORM THE INTERIOR WALLS OF THE TANK CHAMBERS A RIGID PLASTIC TUBE IS INSERTED INSIDE A RUBBER SLEEVE TO CREATE A FLOW HOLE BETWEEN CHAMBERS USING AN ACETYLENE TORCH, A WORKER CUTS HOLES IN THE REBAR FOR ACCESS OPENINGS THE MOLD ALLOWS CONCRETE TO FLOW OVER THE REBAR AND EMBED THE ACCESS-OPENING COVERS IN THE SEPTIC-TANK LID

WORKERS POUR OVER 1,300 GALLONS OF WET CONCRETE INTO THE MOLD THEY USE A STICK VIBRATOR TO ELIMINATE AIR POCKETS AND LEVEL THE WALLS WITH A PUTTY KNIFE NEXT, THEY MIX MORE CONCRETE AND POUR IT OVER THE TOP-SLAB REBAR CONCRETE BLOCKS ARE USED TO KEEP THE PLASTIC COVERS FROM FLOATING IN THE WET CONCRETE WHILE ONE WORKER POURS THE CONCRETE IN THE MOLD, THE OTHER CONSOLIDATES THE MIXTURE WITH A VIBRATING STICK

THEN A WORKER LEVELS THE TOP OF THE SLAB WITH A TROWEL ONCE THE CONCRETE TANK IS CURED, WORKERS STRIP THE FORMS THEY REMOVE THE CONCRETE TANK USING AN OVERHEAD CRANE AND A COMPRESSED-AIR SYSTEM, WHICH FORCES THE MOLD AWAY FROM THE CONCRETE TANK THE CRANE TAKES THE STRIPPED CORE AWAY FOR CLEANUP A WORKER BRUSHES THE TOP OF THE WALLS AND SWEEPS THE FLOOR INSIDE THE TANK

THEN HE APPLIES A BUTYL-RUBBER TAPE AROUND THE TOP OF THE EXTERIOR WALL THIS FORMS A WATERTIGHT SEAL BETWEEN THE TANK AND THE LID AN OVERHEAD CRANE LIFTS THE LID OUT OF THE FORMWORK AND BRINGS IT TO THE TANK MOLD THE CRANE SLOWLY LOWERS THE LID ONTO THE TANK WORKERS KEEP IT ALIGNED TO MAKE SURE IT SEALS PROPERLY

THEN THEY LABEL THE TANK TO INDICATE ITS CAPACITY NEXT, THE MOLD IS OPENED, REVEALING A FINISHED SEPTIC TANK THE RUBBER SLEEVE MOLDED INTO THE WALL ENSURES A WATERTIGHT CONNECTION BETWEEN THE PIPE CARRYING WASTE FROM THE HOME AND THE TANK THIS TANK IS NOW READY FOR DELIVERY THEY SET THE TANK IN THE GROUND AT THE CLIENT'S HOME USING A RADIO-REMOTE-CONTROLLED KNUCKLE-BOOM CRANE

A SEPTIC TANK LIKE THIS WILL PROVIDE A THREE-BEDROOM HOUSE WITH A FULLY INDEPENDENT SEWAGE SYSTEM Narrator: BUILDING A VEHICLE BEGINS WITH THE CHASSIS CHASSIS USED TO BE MADE OUT OF WELDED-STEEL PARTS THAT WERE VERY HEAVY AND LOWERED FUEL EFFICIENCY BUT THANKS TO A MANUFACTURING PROCESS CALLED HYDROFORMING, STEEL CHASSIS PARTS ARE NOW MUCH LIGHTER AND STRONGER YEARS AGO, THIS SUSPENSION-SYSTEM COMPONENT WOULD HAVE BEEN MADE BY STAMPING A NUMBER OF PARTS OUT OF HEAVY STEEL, THEN WELDING THEM TOGETHER

BUT TODAY, THE SAME COMPONENT IS MADE OUT OF A SINGLE STEEL TUBE AT A HYDROFORMING PLANT A SOLID TUBE IS STRONGER THAN WELDED PARTS, ALLOWING THE COMPONENT TO BE MADE OUT OF LIGHTER STEEL THE FIRST STEP IS TO INSERT THE STEEL TUBE IN A COMPUTER-GUIDED MACHINE CALLED A ROTARY DRAW BENDER THE MACHINE INSERTS A MANDREL TO PREVENT THE TUBE WALLS FROM COLLAPSING THEN IT BENDS THE TUBE INTO A STARTING SHAPE FOR THE PART

THIS OPERATION MAY LOOK EFFORTLESS, BUT THE MACHINE'S HYDRAULICS MUST GENERATE NEARLY 9 TONS OF PRESSURE TO BEND THE STEEL AFTER SEVERAL BENDS, THE PART HAS ITS STARTING SHAPE THE HYDROFORMING PROCESS BEGINS WHEN A ROBOT PLACES THE TUBE IN A PRESS FOR PRELIMINARY SHAPING THIS IS CALLED PREFORMING THE PRESS FORCES THE TUBE AGAINST A DIE TO PREPARE IT FOR THE HYDROFORMING MOLD

HERE'S THE TUBE BEFORE PREFORMING AND AFTER NEXT, A ROBOT PLACES THE STEEL TUBE IN A PART MOLD THAT'S ALREADY MOUNTED ON THE HYDROFORMING PRESS

THE MACHINE FILLS THE TUBE WITH WATER AND SEALS THE ENDS TO TRAP THE LIQUID INSIDE THEN THE MACHINE CLOSES THE MOLD AND RAISES THE WATER PRESSURE TO 20,000 PSI — MORE THAN 600 TIMES THE AIR PRESSURE IN A CAR TIRE

THE HIGH PRESSURE SOFTENS THE STEEL TUBE, ALLOWING IT TO CONFORM TO THE SHAPE OF THE MOLD CAVITY WHEN THE PRESS OPENS, A ROBOT REMOVES THE NOW-FULLY-FORMED PART FROM THE MOLD THE HYDROFORMING PRESS EVEN PUNCHED HOLES IN IT FOR SCREWS AND BOLTS NEXT, A ROBOT TRANSFERS THE PART TO A CIRCULAR SAW, WHICH CUTS THE COMPONENT IN HALF THIS CREATES MIRROR-IMAGE RIGHT AND LEFT SUSPENSION PARTS

THE SAW LEFT SHARP EDGES ON THE ENDS OF THE PART, SO A WORKER SMOOTHES THEM OUT WITH A HANDHELD GRINDER THEN THEY INSPECT THE PARTS BY PUTTING THEM IN A SPECIALLY DESIGNED DIMENSION-VERIFICATION FIXTURE THEY USE TOOLS CALLED PRECISE-DIAMETER SPHERES TO MAKE SURE THE CLEARANCES BETWEEN EACH PART MEET SPECIFICATIONS IF THE PARTS PASS INSPECTION, THEY'RE SHIPPED TO THE ASSEMBLY PLANT THERE, WORKERS POSITION THESE PARTS AND ADJACENT SUSPENSION PARTS IN AN ASSEMBLY JIG

AN AUTOMATED MACHINE WELDS THEM TOGETHER THEN A WORKER POSITIONS THE NEXT PART AND WELDS IT TO THE REAR-SUSPENSION UNIT HE REPEATS THIS PROCESS UNTIL THE ENTIRE ASSEMBLY IS COMPLETE TO MAKE THE SUSPENSION UNIT CORROSION-RESISTANT, THEY APPLY A CHEMICAL COATING WHICH IS BONDED TO THE STEEL WITH AN ELECTRICAL CHARGE ONCE THE COATING DRIES, AUTOMATED MACHINES INSERT BUSHINGS FOR PARTS THAT WILL BE INSTALLED ON THE SUSPENSION LATER

BUSHINGS ARE RUBBER OR POLYURETHANE PIECES THAT GO IN BETWEEN TWO METAL COMPONENTS TO ABSORB SHOCK AND REDUCE NOISE WORKERS PUT THE FINISHED REAR SUSPENSION INTO A SHIPPING CRADLE FOR DELIVERY TO THE AUTO PLANT AT THE PLANT, ASSEMBLY-LINE WORKERS INSTALL SPRINGS AND SHOCK ABSORBERS THEY ALSO MOUNT STRUTS, WHEELS, AND BRAKES THEN THEY INSTALL THE ENTIRE UNIT ON THE VEHICLE

HYDROFORMING ALLOWS AUTO MANUFACTURERS THE ABILITY TO PRODUCE CHASSIS PARTS IN SHAPES IMPOSSIBLE TO ACHIEVE BY THE OLDER METHOD OF STAMPING STEEL AND REDUCES THE WEIGHT OF THE CAR Narrator: ACRYLIC AQUARIUM WINDOWS ARE DESIGNED TO BE TRANSPARENT BUT THEY ALSO NEED TO BE VIRTUALLY INDESTRUCTIBLE AND ABLE TO HOLD BACK SEVERAL HUNDRED GALLONS OF WATER SOME OF THE LARGEST ONES ARE BUILT TO WITHSTAND REPEATED HITS FROM SHARKS OR OTHER BIG FISH THAT ARE SWIMMING AROUND INSIDE THE TANK ACRYLIC AQUARIUM WINDOWS CAN BE MOLDED INTO DIFFERENT SHAPES AND SIZES

THEY CAN ALSO BE MADE TO VARIOUS THICKNESSES ROUND, FLAT, OR JUST SLIGHTLY CURVED, THESE WINDOWS ARE WORTH LOOKING INTO, BECAUSE THEY OFFER CLOSE-UP VIEWS OF AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS EACH ACRYLIC WINDOW STARTS WITH AN ENGINEER'S DESIGN HE TAKES INTO ACCOUNT THE ANTICIPATED WATER VOLUME AND THE TYPE OF MARINE LIFE TO BE HOUSED IN THE TANK NEXT, A TECHNICIAN MEASURES SPECIFIC AMOUNTS OF CHEMICALS TO BE ADDED TO THE ACRYLIC

TWO ARE STRENGTHENING AGENTS AND ANOTHER IS A UV-LIGHT STABILIZER TO COUNTERACT THE DAMAGING EFFECTS OF THE SUN'S RAYS AFTER THE CHEMICALS HAVE BEEN MIXED WITH THE BINDING AGENT, THEY ADD THEM TO A SMALL AMOUNT OF ACRYLIC THIS PREMIX WILL BE ADDED TO A MUCH LARGER AMOUNT OF ACRYLIC LATER

THEY BLEND IN SOME DYE TO OFFSET THE YELLOWISH TONE THAT'S COMMON IN ACRYLIC THE RESULT IS A HOMOGENOUS MIXTURE WITH A SYRUPY CONSISTENCY USING A CRANE, THEY BRING TWO HALVES OF A STEEL MOLD TOGETHER AND PLACE THEM ON SUPPORTS ONCE THE WALLS OF THE MOLD ARE IN PLACE, THEY LOCK THEM TOGETHER WITH BOLTS THE FINAL ACRYLIC MIXTURE IS READY

IT NOW FLOWS INTO THE MOLD CAVITY A THERMOSTAT FOR HEAT COILS LOCATED IN THE WALLS IS ACTIVATED THEY ROLL THE MOLD INTO AN AUTOCLAVE THE ACRYLIC SLOWLY BAKES UNDER PRESSURE TO ENSURE A CONSISTENT CURE IT TAKES FIVE DAYS FOR THE ACRYLIC TO TURN INTO A SOLID SLAB

AN EMPLOYEE MONITORS THE TEMPERATURE READINGS DAILY ONCE THE ACRYLIC CURES, THEY SLICE A PIECE OFF AND BEND IT WITH A HYDRAULIC TOOL UNTIL IT BREAKS IF THE PIECE CAN WITHSTAND 14,000 POUNDS PER SQUARE INCH WITHOUT BREAKING, IT PASSES THE TEST AT ANOTHER STATION, THEY TEST THE ELASTICITY OF THE ACRYLIC THEY DO A FEW MORE COMPRESSION TESTS TO PROVE THAT THE ACRYLIC HOLDS STRONG UNDER HEAVY PRESSURE

AFTER TESTING, THEY'RE READY TO CUT THE ACRYLIC SLAB ACRYLIC SHRINKS UNEVENLY DURING THE CURING PROCESS, SO THEY NEED TO CUT IT TO THE DESIRED SIZE AND SHAPE AFTERWARDS AS YOU CAN SEE, AQUARIUM WINDOWS ARE A LOT THICKER THAN NORMAL WINDOWS TO MAKE A CONTOURED AQUARIUM WINDOW, THEY LOWER A FLAT ACRYLIC SLAB ONTO A CURVED MOLDING BED THEN THEY HEAT IT IN AN OVEN FOR UP TO A MONTH

THIS CAUSES THE ACRYLIC TO SOFTEN AND CONFORM TO THE ROUNDED SHAPE OF THE MOLDING BED ONCE AGAIN, THEY'VE MADE THE SLAB OVERSIZED TO ACCOUNT FOR THE DISTORTION AND SHRINKAGE THAT CAN OCCUR DURING THE CURING PROCESS A WORKER CUTS THE CURVED SLAB TO THE ENGINEER'S SPECIFICATIONS HE CUTS OFF BIG CHUNKS THEY'RE SO HEAVY THAT IT TAKES THREE PEOPLE TO CARRY THEM AWAY

THEY TEST THE OPTICAL CLARITY OF EACH WINDOW TO DO THIS, A WORKER ON ONE SIDE OF THE WINDOW MOVES A GRID PATTERN AROUND WHILE A WORKER ON THE OTHER SIDE SCRUTINIZES THE GRID LINES FOR DISTORTION SATISFIED THAT THE AQUARIUM WINDOW OFFERS A CLEAR VIEW, THEY CLEAN AND POLISH IT THOROUGHLY THEY'LL DO A FINAL CLEAN AFTER THE WINDOW IS INSTALLED ON-SITE THE TIME IT TAKES TO MANUFACTURE AN AQUARIUM WINDOW DEPENDS ON THE COMPLEXITY OF ITS DESIGN AND THE WINDOW'S THICKNESS

SOME CAN BE PRODUCED IN AS LITTLE AS FOUR WEEKS NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES, THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT THE VIEWS WILL BE WELL WORTH THE WAIT IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS ABOUT THE SHOW, OR IF YOU'D LIKE TO SUGGEST TOPICS FOR FUTURE SHOWS, DROP US A LINE AT

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