07 October 2007

Overtime Adventure

Friday afternoon, Joe asked me if I wanted to work on Saturday. Five hours at $22.50/hr? Heck yes, I want to work on Saturday! Even though I stayed up way too late Friday night, I had a fantastic day. Melvin taught me how to do the next step in the assembly process, but I only got about three pieces into the job before Joe came over and asked me if I could do MIG.

There was a new guy, Dale, working in "Special Projects" all week, and it's obvious he was having issues. He had the supervisors over at his station every five minutes every day. At the end of the day on Friday, he was removed from that station and sent over to do TIG work with the rest of us. The special project in question was a stator for a conical refiner system. The company has only made four conical rotor/stator sets in the last two years, and three of them have failed (one rather impressively), so this new one, which is two weeks overdue, is pretty important. It needs MIG beads for added strength in certain places, and there are very few people in the shop who know how to do MIG welding.

So when Joe asked if I could do MIG, I got very excited. He led me over to the stator, showed me what needed to be done, and told me I could take all day. I ran a few practice beads on some scrap metal, fiddled with the machine a bit, and dove in. I had a few issues with the machine, so the finished work didn't come out as well as I wanted it to, but it's not going to break.

Once I'd finished that, I got to learn another new skill: pasting. We squirt copper paste on the parts and put the parts in a huge oven where the copper fuses with the steel. The paste is applied with a pneumatic nozzle at the end of a two-foot-long hose. The stator is about two feet tall and three feet wide, and weighs several hundred pounds. Pasting it involved a pallet, a big lazy susan, a forklift, and a foreman with big muscles.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I hope I get to do special projects like that more often.

1 comment:

sylshessa said...

Gosh. I just finished reading the welding blog and you make it sound fun. I almost want to work there...almost.