02 November 2007

Double Time

I know I shouldn't be, but I'm always amazed at how much faster tasks go when I have help doing them. The barset-building I was expecting to spend a day or two on by myself was done in five hours because I had Marcel working with me. I did the inlets by myself (because it's all welding, and Marcel doesn't weld), but that only took about two minutes per barset. That meant that I had some time to kill at the end of the day, so I asked Melvin what he needed help with.

I assembled inlets for our flat plates (completely different from the conical ones) and discovered that I enjoy everything about that task aside from FUSING THE &^%$#@! HOLES CLOSED!

The holes are 1/8" deep and 1/8" in diameter. They have to be fused in such a way that the backing material at the bottom of the hole melts into to the material from the piece with the hole. The tungsten electrodes we use are 3/32" in diameter. If the tungsten hits the metal or the weld pool, it becomes contaminated, shoots off sparks, gets a glob of metal on it, and lets the arc wander.

There are twelve holes per inlet. I did eight inlets. My hands shake. Guess how many electrodes I went through.


I wrote (with soapstone, which erases just like chalk) my wish list on the table before I left: rotor rings, rotor shell, stator rings, stator shell, stator spacers, and stator fixtures. Joe tells me I'll have the spacers late tomorrow, but I don't know about anything else. This conical set has a promised ship date of November 22nd.

Yeah. Right. Maybe if I get all of my parts tomorrow and teach Marcel how to weld... heh.

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