How It's Made (2001–…): Season 10, Episode 12 - Steel Shipping Drums/Police Whistles/Miniature Train Cars/Glass Blocks - full transcript

Find out how steel shipping drums, police whistles, miniature train cars and glass blocks are made.


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>> Narrator: TODAY, ON

"HOW IT'S MADE"...

STEEL SHIPPING DRUMS...

POLICE WHISTLES...

MINIATURE-TRAIN CARS...

AND GLASS BLOCKS.

THE STEEL SHIPPING DRUM WAS

INVENTED IN THE LATE

19th CENTURY FOR THE OIL

INDUSTRY, WHICH NEEDED AN

ALTERNATIVE TO LEAKY WOODEN

BARRELS.

BUT THOSE FIRST STEEL DRUMS ALSO

LEAKED FROM THEIR SOLDERED

SEAMS.

WELDING THEM PROVED TO BE THE

SOLUTION, GIVING THIS CONTAINER

AN AIRTIGHT REPUTATION.

IT'S A PRODUCT THAT REALLY

DELIVERS THE GOODS.

A PUNCH PRESS FIRST CUTS AND

FORMS THE DRUM'S BOTTOMS IN ONE

SWOOP.

A CONVEYER SHUTTLES THE BOTTOMS

DOWN THE LINE TO A TURNTABLE.

AS A DRUM BOTTOM ROTATES ON THE

TURNTABLE, A NOZZLE SPRAYS

SEALANT ONTO IT, COATING IT

COMPLETELY.

THEN THE DRUM BOTTOMS ARE

STACKED UP.

MEANWHILE, ANOTHER PUNCH PRESS

SHAPES STEEL DISCS INTO TOPS FOR

THE DRUMS.

ROLLERS TURN UP THE OUTER EDGE

TO A PRECISE MEASUREMENT.

NEXT, STEEL FITTINGS TUMBLE DOWN

A VIBRATORY CONVEYER TO A

MACHINE THAT SIMULTANEOUSLY

PUNCHES THREADED OPENINGS IN THE

TOPS AND INSERTS THE FITTINGS.

ONE HOLE IS FOR OPENING AND

CLOSING THE DRUM.

THE OTHER IS A VENT.

AT THIS STATION, WORKERS CHECK

THE THICKNESS OF SHEET STEEL

THAT WILL BE USED FOR THE BODY

OF THE DRUM.

THE THICKNESS VARIES DEPENDING

ON WHAT THE CONTAINER IS TO

HOLD.

A MACHINE CALLED A SHEAR SLICES

THE THE COILED STEEL INTO

SHEETS.

THE STEEL SHEETS THEN MOVE ON TO

A FORMING MACHINE, WHERE ROLLERS

CURL THEM INTO THE DRUM'S SHELL.

AUTOMATED PUSHERS THEN MOVE EACH

SHELL THROUGH AN

ELECTRIC-RESISTANCE WELDER.

IT GENERATES HEAT TO WELD THE

SIDE SEAM, BONDING IT FROM BOTH

THE INSIDE AND THE OUTSIDE SO

IT WON'T LEAK.

THE SHELLS ROLL DOWN TO A

MACHINE CALLED A FLANGER.

THE FLANGER STRETCHES AND

PRESSES ON THE OUTER RIMS AT

BOTH ENDS, CREATING A LIP.

THEN IT'S OVER TO THE BEATER.

ITS ROLLERS BEAR DOWN ON THE

SHELLS TO MAKE GROOVES CALLED

ROLLING HOOPS.

THESE ROLLING HOOPS ADD RIGIDITY

TO THE SHELLS.

THE SHELLS NOW TRAVEL DOWN

ANOTHER CONVEYER AND MERGE WITH

THE DRUM TOPS.

AUTOMATED PUSHERS DELIVER A TOP

TO THE BASE OF A SHELL.

THE SHELL ROTATES IN A SPINNING

CLAMP AS ROLLERS CURL THE EDGES

OF THE TOP AND SHELL TOGETHER.

THIS CREATES AN INTERLOCKED

SEAM CALLED A CHIME, WHICH IS

THEN FLATTENED BY ANOTHER

ROLLER.

MECHANIZED ARMS FLIP THE SHELLS

SO THE BOTTOMS CAN NOW BE

INSTALLED.

TO JOIN THE BOTTOMS TO THE

SHELLS, ROLLERS FORM ANOTHER

CHIME.

THESE INTERLOCKING SEAMS ARE

COMPRISED OF SEVEN LAYERS OF

STEEL, MAKING THEM LEAKPROOF.

THAT'S CRITICAL, SINCE THE STEEL

DRUMS MAY BE USED TO TRANSPORT

HAZARDOUS GOODS.

THE STEEL DRUMS NOW MOVE FORWARD

TO A TESTING STATION.

HERE, INSPECTORS INJECT AIR INTO

EACH DRUM AND CHECK THE SEAMS

FOR LEAKS.

THE SEAMS HAVE BEEN SOAKED UP,

SO IF BUBBLES MATERIALIZE, IT

SIGNIFIES A PROBLEM.

THE STEEL DRUMS THEN GO FOR A

WHIRL UNDER THE PAINT GUN.

IT SPRAYS THEM WITH ENAMEL PAINT

FOR A PROTECTIVE SHEEN.

BLACK IS THE MOST COMMON COLOR

FOR THESE SHIPPING CONTAINERS.

BUT CUSTOM COLORS CAN BE

ORDERED, TOO.

THE STEEL DRUMS THEN JOURNEY

THROUGH AN OVEN THAT BAKES THE

PAINT TO A HARD FINISH.

THE THICKNESS OF THE PAINT IS

GAUGED WITH A SPECIAL TOOL THAT

MAKES SURE IT'S THICK ENOUGH TO

WITHSTAND RUSTING.

WORKERS PLUG BOTH OPENINGS AND

PUT A TEMPORARY SEAL ON THE VENT

TO PREVENT TAMPERING.

AFTER THAT, THESE STEEL SHIPPING

DRUMS ARE READY FOR THE LONG

HAUL.

NEXT, GET THE BLOW-BY-BLOW AT A

POLICE-WHISTLE FACTORY.

>> Narrator: IT WAS IN THE LATE

19th CENTURY THAT LONDON POLICE

STARTED USING A SPECIAL WHISTLE

TO GET ATTENTION.

IT WAS LIGHTWEIGHT AND HAD A

PIERCING SOUND, A REAL

IMPROVEMENT OVER THE HAND

RATTLES THEY HAD BEEN USING

BEFORE.

THAT SAME DESIGN IS STILL USED

TODAY.

THEY MAY BE A BLAST FROM THE

PAST, BUT THERE'S NOTHING BETTER

FOR BLOWING THE WHISTLE ON

LAWBREAKERS.

THE AVERAGE TRAFFIC COP BLOWS

HIS WHISTLE THOUSANDS OF TIMES A

DAY, SO THE WHISTLES HAVE TO

RESIST A LOT OF SPIT.

THE WHISTLE'S BODY IS MADE OF

HIGH-GRADE BRASS TUBING, IN

WHICH TWO SLOTS ARE PUNCHED.

THESE ARE SOUND HOLES THAT

WILL ALLOW THE NOISE TO ESCAPE.

USING HYDRAULIC PRESSURE, THE

BRAND NAME IS STAMPED ONTO THE

TUBE.

NEXT COMES THE MOUTHPIECE.

ROLLERS SCULPT A PIECE OF

SPINNING BRASS INTO A SHAPE

THAT'S A BIT LIKE AN HOURGLASS.

WITH THE MOUTHPIECE COMPLETE, A

HYDRAULIC PUNCH IS USED TO BEND

A PIECE OF BRASS INTO A PART

CALLED THE SLAB.

THE SLAB WILL BE USED TO CREATE

TWO SOUND CHAMBERS INSIDE THE

WHISTLE.

A LOOP IS FITTED ON TO AN ENDCAP

TO MAKE THE WHISTLE EASIER TO

HANG ON TO.

A ROTATING PRESS BENDS THE

LOOP'S TAB AGAINST THE INSIDE OF

THE CAP TO FASTEN THEM TOGETHER

PERMANENTLY.

NEXT, AN ENDCAP IS ATTACHED TO

THE SLAB, AND THEN THE SLAB IS

FORCED INTO THE CAVITY OF THE

WHISTLE, SPLITTING IT INTO TWO

CHAMBERS.

A POLICE WHISTLE ACTUALLY

PRODUCES TWO NOTES AT ONCE,

GIVING IT THAT DISTINCTIVE

TAMBOUR.

THESE TWO SEPARATE SOUND

CHAMBERS WILL PRODUCE TWO

DIFFERENT PITCHES.

NOW THE ENDS OF THE WHISTLE ARE

DIPPED IN SOLDER PASTE AND THEN

THE LOOPED CAP AND MOUTHPIECE

ARE HAMMERED ONTO THE PASTED

ENDS.

THE SOLDER PASTE IS A SPECIAL

LEAD-FREE COMPOUND SO THE

WHISTLE-BLOWER WON'T BE EXPOSED

TO TOXINS.

SOLDER WIRES ARE ALSO INSERTED

IN THE WHISTLE CHAMBERS BEFORE

CAPPING THE ENDS.

THESE SOLDER WIRES WILL ACT IN

CONJUNCTION WITH THE SOLDER

PASTE TO SEAL THE WHISTLE IN A

PROCESS THAT HAPPENS NEXT.

THE WHISTLES MOVE THROUGH AN

ELECTROMAGNETIC CONDUCTION COIL,

WHICH HEATS THEM TO A SMOKING

425 DEGREES.

THIS CAUSES THE SOLDER PASTE AND

WIRES INSIDE TO MELT AND FLOW

INTO THE WHISTLE'S SEAMS.

EACH WHISTLE IS THEN DIPPED IN

AN ACID BATH, WHICH HARDENS THE

SOLDER, SEALING THE WHISTLE'S

SEAMS.

NEXT, THE WHISTLES ARE LOWERED

INTO A NICKEL BATH, WHERE

POSITIVELY CHARGED NICKEL IONS

MIGRATE TO THE NEGATIVELY

CHARGED WHISTLES.

NOW IT'S TIME TO MAKE SOME

NOISE.

EACH WHISTLE IS TESTED WITH

COMPRESSED AIR.

THE TINIEST PINHOLE WILL CAUSE A

WHISTLE TO FAIL, AND THAT

HAPPENS IN 3% OF THEM.

FAILURE IS A CRUSHING

EXPERIENCE.

THE REJECTS GET FLATTENED AND

SENT TO A COMPANY THAT RECLAIMS

THE METAL.

ON BOTH LAND AND SEA, WHISTLES

ARE THE SOUND OF AUTHORITY.

HERE, WORKERS ASSEMBLE A

BOATSWAIN'S PIPE, USED BY NAVAL

OFFICERS TO ISSUE COMMANDS AND

SALUTE DIGNITARIES.

THERE'S A TINY HOLE IN THE BALL

AT THE END OF THIS PIPE.

THE PLAYER OPENS AND CLOSES THAT

HOLE WITH HIS HANDS TO CHANGE

THE WHISTLE'S PITCH.

AND WITH THAT, PRODUCTION AT

THIS WHISTLE FACTORY COMES TO A

SCREECHING HALT.

UP NEXT, ALL ABOARD.

YOU'RE ABOUT TO SEE HOW RAW

PLASTIC IS TRANSFORMED INTO A

MINIATURE TRAIN CAR.

>> Narrator: MAKING MINIATURE

TRAIN CARS IS ALL ABOUT THE

DETAILS.

EVERY FEATURE IS SCALED-DOWN TO

A FRACTION OF THE REAL THING,

AND NOTHING IS TOO SMALL TO

REPLICATE.

THE MINIATURE TRAIN CAR IS MORE

THAN JUST A TOY.

IT'S A WORK OF ART AND A

COLLECTIBLE.

ON A MINIATURE TRAIN TRACK, THE

PAST COMES FULL CIRCLE WITH

REPLICAS OF TRAINS FROM DAYS

GONE BY.

CRAFTSMEN START WITH HISTORICAL

PHOTOS AND DRAWINGS OF ACTUAL

TRAIN CARS AND SCALE THEM DOWN

TO 1/48th SIZE.

THEY FEED POLYSTYRENE PELLETS

LIKE THESE INTO AN

INJECTION-MOLDING MACHINE.

IT MELTS THE PELLETS INTO A

THICK PASTE.

THE FOUR SECTIONS OF THE MOLD

CLOSE AND NOZZLES PUMP IN THE

PLASTIC.

IT OOZES INTO ALL THE GROOVES

AND HARDENS ALMOST INSTANTLY

INTO THE SHAPE OF A TRAIN CAR.

THEN THE EXCESS PLASTIC GETS

CLIPPED OFF.

HERE'S A VIEW OF HOW THE FOUR

PARTS OF THE MOLD COME TOGETHER

TO SHAPE MELTED PLASTIC INTO A

BOXCAR.

THEY EVEN CREATE HOLES IN THE

BOXCAR TO ATTACH ACCESSORIES

AND THEY IMPRESS DETAILS LIKE

RIDGING THAT MIMICS THE STEEL

RIBS OF THE LIFE-SIZE TRAIN CAR.

MORE MOLDS ARE USED TO REPLICATE

DOOR RAILS, BRAKE WHEELS, AND

OTHER ACCESSORIES.

THE ASSEMBLER CLIPS THE PARTS

OFF THE FRAMEWORK AND FILES

DOWN THE ROUGH SECTIONS.

THAT IS THE BRAKE WHEEL SHE'S

SNAPPING ONTO THE END OF THE

MODEL.

USING A HOBBY KNIFE, SHE TRIMS

EXCESS PLASTIC FROM THE TRAIN

CAR'S STEP.

SHE THEN GLUES A STEEL WEIGHT TO

THE BOTTOM OF THE TRAIN CAR TO

MAKE IT 1/48th THE WEIGHT OF THE

REAL THING.

MAKING SOMETHING TO SCALE IS A

BIT OF A BALANCING ACT.

FINALLY, SHE ATTACHES AIR-BRAKE

TANKS TO THE UNDERFRAME OF THE

CAR, AND IT'S TIME TO

SPRAY-PAINT THE MODEL TRAIN CAR

VIVID ORANGE.

IT'S A COLOR THAT WOULD HAVE

BEEN USED ON AN ACTUAL BOXCAR,

COMBINED WITH WHITE.

FOR THAT TWO-TONED LOOK, THE

MODEL IS HELD IN A PAINT SHIELD,

WHICH PROTECTS THE ORANGE

SECTIONS AS THEY SPRAY ON THE

WHITE.

THIS TECHNIQUE ENSURES THE

PAINT JOB HAS CLEAN LINES.

THE CAR IS LEFT TO DRY

OVERNIGHT.

NOT ALL PAINT JOBS ARE SO

FLASHY.

THIS CAR IS BASIC BLACK, THE

PERFECT CANVAS FOR WHITE

LETTERING.

A PAD PICKS UP THE INK FROM

LETTER ENGRAVINGS ON A PRINTED

PLATE AND TRANSFERS THE IMAGE TO

THE CAR.

METAL WHEELS NOW ROLL OFF A

REVOLVING CONVEYER.

THEY FUNNEL INTO MECHANISMS THAT

PRESS-FIT THEM ONTO EACH END OF

METAL AXLES.

THE WHEEL-AND-AXLE ASSEMBLIES

DROP INTO A BIN BELOW.

TWO SETS OF WHEELS ARE NOW

INSTALLED ON A PLASTIC

FRAMEWORK.

THE FRAMEWORK IS THEN ATTACHED

TO A COUPLER, THE DEVICE THAT

LINKS TRAIN CARS.

THE WHEELS-AND-COUPLER ASSEMBLY

ARE SCREWED ON TO ONE END OF THE

CAR.

THEN THE PROCESS IS REPEATED ON

THE OTHER END.

THE COUPLERS ARE SNAPPED

TOGETHER TO CONNECT TWO TRAIN

CARS.

IN THE WORLD OF TRAIN MODELS, A

LITTLE GRIME IS JUST FINE.

A MISTING OF PAINT MAKES THE

CARS LOOK DUSTY AND AGED ON

PURPOSE.

THE PAINTER LAYERS COLORS TO GET

JUST THE RIGHT EFFECT.

THIS TECHNIQUE ADDS THE ELEMENT

OF REALISM TO THE MODEL TRAIN

CAR.

IT'S ALL A MATTER OF PREFERENCE.

SOME HOBBYISTS PREFER THIS

WEATHERED LOOK, WHILE OTHERS

LIKE THEIR MODEL TRAINS SHINY

AND NEW.

THE MODEL TRAIN CARS HAVE NOW

ROLLED OFF THE ASSEMBLY LINE

AND, THEY'RE READY TO HIT THE

TRACKS FOR A WHISTLE-STOP TOUR

OF ANOTHER ERA.

COMING UP, THE HOT SCOOP ON ONE

OF THE WORLD'S FAVORITE BUILDING

BLOCKS.

>> Narrator: WHEN IT COMES TO

BUILDING MATERIALS, GLASS BLOCKS

ARE CLEARLY A CLASSIC.

IN THE 1920s AND '30s, THEY WERE

A CORNERSTONE OF THE ART-DECO

STYLE OF ARCHITECTURE.

TODAY, GLASS BLOCKS ARE STILL

POPULAR FOR CREATING WALLS,

WINDOWS, AND STUNNING DESIGN

FEATURES, A STYLISH WAY TO BUILD

A PRIVACY BARRIER THAT STILL

LETS IN LIGHT.

GLASS BLOCKS AREN'T JUST

DECORATIVE.

THEY INSULATE FROM HEAT, COLD,

AND NOISE.

PRODUCTION BEGINS WITH JUST FOUR

INGREDIENTS -- RECYCLED GLASS

PIECES CALLED CULLET, SAND,

SODA ASH, AND LIMESTONE.

A COMPUTERIZED SYSTEM PORTIONS

OUT EACH ONE AND FEEDS THEM INTO

A MELTER.

THIS GIANT FURNACE HEATS THE

BATCH OF INGREDIENTS TO A FIERY

2,700 DEGREES, TRANSFORMING THEM

INTO MOLTEN GLASS.

THE MELTER PUMPS OUT ENOUGH

MOLTEN GLASS TO MAKE ONE HALF

BLOCK AT A TIME.

AUTOMATED SHEARS SLICE JUST THE

RIGHT AMOUNT.

THE GOB OF GLASS THEN SLIDES

INTO A WAITING MOLD.

A PLUNGER PUSHES THE GOB DOWN,

SPREADING GLASS THROUGHOUT THE

MOLD CAVITY.

ITS WAFFLED SURFACE IMPRINTS

THAT PATTERN INTO THE GLASS.

A BLAST OF AMBIENT AIR COOLS

DOWN THE MOLTEN GLASS

DRASTICALLY, FROM 1,800 DEGREES

TO 1,100 IN JUST A FEW SECONDS.

THIS WAY THEY DON'T LOSE THEIR

SHAPE WHEN A RETRACTABLE ARM

EXTRACTS THEM FROM THE MOLD AND

LAYS THEM ON A CONVEYER BELT,

LEADING INTO A SEALING MACHINE.

THIS IS WHERE TWO HALF BLOCKS

JOIN TOGETHER TO FORM A FULL

BLOCK.

ENTERING THE MACHINE, EACH PIECE

PASSES OVER A SERIES OF BURNERS

THAT KEEP THE GLASS TEMPERATURE

CONSTANT.

SUDDEN COOLING COULD CRACK OR

SHATTER THE GLASS.

THE MACHINE THEN SLOWLY REHEATS

THE HALF BLOCKS UNTIL THEIR

EDGES START MELTING.

NEXT, THEY ENTER THE PART OF THE

MACHINE CALLED THE SQUEEZE

STATION.

HERE, AN AUTOMATED PRESS FORCES

A TOP HALF AND BOTTOM HALF

TOGETHER.

THEIR MELTED EDGES FUSE, FORMING

A SINGLE BLOCK.

THE BLOCKS NOW TRAVEL INTO A

LEER, AN OVEN THAT COOLS THE

GLASS AT REGULATED TEMPERATURES

OVER SEVERAL HOURS.

THIS ANNEALING PROCESS PREVENTS

CRACKING AND ALLOWS THE GLASS

TIME TO SET PROPERLY.

THE GLASS GOES IN AT ABOUT

1,800 DEGREES.

COMING OUT, IT'S DOWN TO 175.

THE BLOCKS ARE NOW READY FOR

INSPECTION.

WORKERS USE DIGITAL-ALIGNMENT

GAUGES TO MAKE SURE BOTH HALVES

ARE FLUSH.

THEN THEY RUN A STRAIGHT PIECE

OF STEEL ALONG THE BLOCK'S

SURFACE TO CHECK FOR ANY

DISTORTION.

EVERY BLOCK MUST MEET PRECISE

STANDARDS FOR BOTH SIZE AND

SHAPE -- A 7½-INCH SQUARE THAT'S

4 INCHES THICK.

BUILDING WITH GLASS BLOCKS IS

SIMILAR TO BUILDING WITH

BRICKS -- YOU USE MORTAR TO

STICK THEM TOGETHER.

TO PREP THE BLOCKS FOR

MORTARING, WORKERS NOW PLACE

EACH ONE ONTO A SEPARATE

STATION.

AS IT SPINS, NOZZLES SPRAY THE

EDGES WITH LIQUID VINYL.

THIS COATING WILL HELP THE

MORTAR STICK TO THE GLASS

SURFACE.

JUST ONE LAST STEP.

AN INK-JET PRINTER APPLIES THE

PRODUCT CODE ALONG WITH THE

MANUFACTURING DATE AND TIME.

THE QUALITY-CONTROL DEPARTMENT

RUNS SAMPLES THROUGH AN IMPACT

TEST.

A WORKER DROPS A WEIGHT THROUGH

A TUBE ONTO THE SIDE OF THE

BLOCK.

THIS VERIFIES THE STRENGTH OF

THE SIDEWALL AND THE SEAL

BETWEEN THE TWO HALVES.

FINALLY, THE GLASS BLOCKS ARE

READY FOR SHIPPING.

WORKERS PACK THEM INTO CARDBOARD

BOXES THAT HAVE BLOCK-SIZED

SECTIONS TO KEEP THEM SAFE

DURING TRANSPORT.

GLASS BLOCKS COME IN SO MANY

SHAPES, SIZES, AND PATTERNS THAT

THE DESIGN POSSIBILITIES ARE

ENDLESS.

BOTH PRACTICAL AND BEAUTIFUL,

IT'S NO WONDER THEY'RE SO

POPULAR WITH BUILDERS AND

DECORATORS ALIKE.

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