How It's Made (2001–…): Season 11, Episode 4 - Javelins/Cuckoo Clocks/Hearts of Palm/Windshield Wipers - full transcript


CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS

Narrator:
THE SPORT OF JAVELIN THROW

DATES BACK TO THE OLYMPICS
IN ANCIENT GREECE.

THE ATHLETE SPRINTS
DOWN A RUNWAY

AND JUST BEFORE REACHING
A LINE ON THE GROUND,

HURLS THE JAVELIN FORWARD.

FOR THE THROW TO COUNT,

THE ATHLETE
CAN'T STEP OVER THE LINE

AND THE JAVELIN HAS TO LAND
POINT-FIRST IN THE GROUND.

THIS MODERN JAVELIN CONSISTS OF
A LONG, HOLLOW TUBE AND A POINT.

THE TUBE PORTION
IS CALLED THE SHAFT.

THIS COMPANY USES STRONG,
LIGHTWEIGHT ALUMINUM,

BUT JAVELIN SHAFTS CAN ALSO BE
MADE OF STEEL OR CARBON FIBER.

THE TUBE
IS 1.2 INCHES IN DIAMETER.

IT FIRST GOES INTO
A TAPER MACHINE,

WHERE FORMING DIES
NARROW THE BACK END

TO VERY SPECIFIC DIMENSIONS.

THE TAPER PROFILE
VARIES BY MODEL

BUT HAS TO CONFORM
TO INTERNATIONAL RULES.

AFTER MAKING THE EXACT END
OF THE TAPER,

THEY SLICE OFF
THE EXCESS TUBING.

THE SHAFT IS NOW
ITS FINAL LENGTH --

7.2 FEET FOR A WOMAN'S MODEL

AND 8.5 FEET FOR A MEN'S.

A STRAIGHTENING MACHINE
SANDWICHES THE SHAFT

BETWEEN TWO HYDRAULIC CYLINDERS.

THEY APPLY EXTREME PRESSURE,
STRAIGHTENING ANY LARGE BENDS.

THIS IS JUST
A PRELIMINARY STRAIGHTENING.

THE FINAL ONE COMES LATER.

NEXT, WORKING STRICTLY BY EYE,

A SPECIALLY TRAINED TECHNICIAN
SANDS THE SHAFT,

FINE-TUNING IT TO A VERY PRECISE
DIAMETER AND WEIGHT.

THE JAVELIN'S POINT SECTION
IS MADE OF STEEL TUBING

THAT'S A HAIR WIDER
THAN THE SHAFT.

AFTER TAPERING THE FRONT,
THEY SAW OFF THE EXCESS,

MAKING THE POINT
AROUND 12 INCHES LONG.

NOW FOR THE POINT'S STEEL TIP
THAT JABS INTO THE GROUND.

THEY POSITION IT IN A HOLDER,
PLACE THE POINT BODY BEHIND IT,

THEN WELD THE TWO PARTS
TOGETHER.

TO MAKE THE POINT
MORE AERODYNAMIC,

THEY SAND DOWN THE WELD LINE

UNTIL IT'S FLUSH
WITH THE SURROUNDING STEEL.

USING PROGRESSIVELY FINER GRITS
OF SANDPAPER,

THEY POLISH AWAY
ANY IMPERFECTIONS

UNTIL THE POINT
IS PERFECTLY SMOOTH.

NOW FOR THE FINAL ASSEMBLY.

THE SHAFT IS SPORTING
TWO COATS OF PAINT,

AND THE POINT IS NICKEL-PLATED
TO RUSTPROOF THE STEEL.

THEY MARK HOW FAR UP THE SHAFT
THE POINT WILL GO

AND SLIP IT ON TEMPORARILY.

AS THE JAVELIN PIVOTS

PRECISELY WHERE
INTERNATIONAL RULES DICTATE,

THEY ADD PIECES OF LEAD
UNTIL THE JAVELIN BALANCES.

THEN ALL THE COMPONENTS
GO ON A SCALE

TO ENSURE THEIR COMBINED WEIGHT
ABIDES BY INTERNATIONAL RULES --

1.3 POUNDS
FOR A WOMEN'S JAVELIN,

1.8 POUNDS FOR A MEN'S.

NEXT THEY SQUIRT A LITTLE GLUE
INSIDE THE POINT

AND DROP THE CHUNK OF LEAD
INSIDE.

THEY DROP IN SOME KNOTTED CORD
AND RAM IT IN WITH A METAL ROD.

THIS PACKS IN THE LEAD
SO IT WON'T RATTLE AROUND.

THEY USE GLUE TO ADHERE
THE POINT TO THE SHAFT.

THEY DRIVE HOME THE POINT,
SO TO SPEAK,

BY THROWING THE JAVELIN
AGAINST A LEAD SLAB.

THE FORCE OF IMPACT PUSHES THE
POINT INTO ITS FINAL POSITION.

NOW THEY RECHECK THE JAVELIN'S
OVERALL WEIGHT.

IF IT'S UNDERWEIGHT,

THEY SIMPLY TAPE SOME SHEET LEAD
TO THE CENTER OF GRAVITY,

WHERE THE HANDGRIP WILL HIDE IT.

USING A GAUGE TO MEASURE
THE GRIP'S PERMISSIBLE LENGTH,

THEY MARK THE GRIP POSITION
AT THE CENTER OF GRAVITY,

THEN MOUNT THE JAVELIN
ON A LATHE

AND COAT THE MARKED AREA
IN GLUE.

THEY WIND COTTON CORD
AROUND THE SHAFT OVER THE GLUE.

BEFORE CUTTING THE END,

THEY VERIFY THE LENGTH
OF THE GRIP WITH THE GAUGE.

THEY APPLY TWO DECALS --

ONE BEARING THE COMPANY NAME,
THE OTHER A SAFETY WARNING.

BUT NO SEAL OF APPROVAL
JUST YET.

THE JAVELIN STILL HAS TO UNDERGO
A FINAL STRAIGHTENING.

THIS TAKES AN EXPERT EYE

AND A SMALL HAND-OPERATED PRESS
TO STRAIGHTEN OUT ANY BENDS.

IT'S ALL A QUESTION
OF AERODYNAMICS.

THE STRAIGHTER THE JAVELIN,

THE MORE LIKELY IT IS
TO GO THE DISTANCE.

Narrator: THE BLACK FOREST
REGION OF SOUTHWEST GERMANY

IS WORLD-FAMOUS
FOR ITS CUCKOO CLOCKS,

WHICH HAVE EITHER ONE-DAY
OR EIGHT-DAY MOVEMENTS,

MEANING THAT'S HOW LONG THEY RUN
ON ONE WINDING.

THE STANDARD FEATURE
IS A LITTLE BIRD

THAT EMERGES AND CUCKOOS
WHEN THE CLOCK STRIKES.

SOME CLOCKS ALSO PLAY MUSIC
AND HAVE MOVING FIGURES.

[ CLOCK CUCKOOS ]

THE INTRICATE CARVINGS THAT
DECORATE MANY CUCKOO CLOCKS

START OUT AS A BLOCK OF LINDEN,

A SOFT WOOD
THAT'S EASY TO CARVE.

AN ARTISAN FIRST OUTLINES
THE BASIC SHAPE

USING A STENCIL AND PAINT,

THEN CUTS IT OUT WITH A JIGSAW.

HERE HE'S CUTTING THREE BLOCKS
AT ONCE.

TO STEADY THE PIECE,

HE MALLETS IT TO NAILS
PROTRUDING FROM A BLOCK OF WOOD.

THEN HE BEGINS CARVING,

USING UP TO 50 DIFFERENT KNIVES

TO SCULPT
EXCEPTIONALLY FINE DETAIL.

THE CLOCK CASES
THESE CARVINGS DECORATE

ARE MADE OF PINE OR PLYWOOD,
DEPENDING ON THE MODEL.

OFTEN A CASE
HAS NO CARVING AT ALL.

INSTEAD, AN ARTIST PAINTS
AN ELABORATE DESIGN.

SOME CASES FEATURE A COMBINATION
OF PAINTING AND CARVING.

THE TECHNICAL ARTISTRY
IS ON THE INSIDE.

THE CLOCK'S BRAIN,
CALLED THE MOVEMENT,

IS A SYSTEM
OF BRASS AND STEEL GEARS.

IT KEEPS TIME AND TRIGGERS
THE CUCKOO FUNCTION.

THE COMPONENTS
AND CONFIGURATION VARY

ACCORDING TO WHETHER IT'S
A ONE-DAY OR EIGHT-DAY MOVEMENT.

WORKERS SANDWICH THE MOVEMENT
BETWEEN TWO BRASS PLATES,

CONNECTING THEM AT THE CORNERS
WITH LONG SCREWS.

THEN ON THE OUTSIDE,

THE INSTALL THE MECHANISM
THAT TIMES THE CHIME.

NEXT THE STEEL WIRE ON WHICH
THE CUCKOO BIRD WILL PERCH.

THEN LAST BUT NOT LEAST,

THE REELS THAT WILL MOVE
THE CLOCK HANDS.

THE FACTORY RUNS
EVERY FINISHED MOVEMENT

FOR TWO DAYS STRAIGHT TO ENSURE
IT FUNCTIONS PERFECTLY.

THE FIRST PART THAT GOES
ON THE CLOCK CASE IS THE DIAL.

THEY TACK IT WITH TINY NAILS.

NEXT, THE WOODEN CUCKOO BIRD.

THEY INSERT THE MOVEMENT'S PERCH
WIRE THROUGH A HOLE IN ITS FOOT,

THEN SECURE IT WITH A SCREW
SO HE DOESN'T FLY OFF.

AFTER TRIMMING HIS TAIL
SO HE'LL FIT,

THEY SCREW THE MOVEMENT,
BIRD AND ALL, INSIDE THE CASE.

NEXT, THE STEEL WIRES
THAT OPERATE THE COMPONENTS

THAT PRODUCE THE CUCKOO SOUND.

WE'LL SEE THEM SHORTLY.

AND, FINALLY,
THE DIAL'S WOODEN HANDS.

EVERY CUCKOO CLOCK
HAS TWO CHAINS

THAT REGULATE THE SPEED AT WHICH
THE MOVEMENT GEARS TURN.

AS WE SEE HERE IN SLOW MOTION,

AN AUTOMATED MACHINE MAKES THESE
CHAINS ONE LINK AT A TIME

BY FIRST CUTTING, THEN BENDING
PIECES OF BRASS WIRE.

EACH CHAIN GOES INTO THE CASE
THROUGH A HOLE IN THE BOTTOM,

THEN ONTO A WHEEL
IN THE MOVEMENT,

THEN BACK OUT THROUGH ANOTHER
HOLE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE CASE.

"S" HOOKS GO ONTO THE ENDS.

THESE WILL HOLD CAST-IRON
WEIGHTS THAT PULL THE CHAIN.

WORKERS RIG UP A SMALL WIRE

CONNECTING THE BIRD
AND THE DOOR.

THIS OPENS THE DOOR
WHEN HE COMES OUT TO CUCKOO.

[ BELLOWS CUCKOO ]

AS THIS DEMONSTRATION SHOWS,

THE BIRD'S CUCKOO
IS ACTUALLY THE SOUND

OF AIR PUMPING IN AND OUT
OF TWO MINIATURE BELLOWS.

BEFORE EACH CUCKOO,

THE HAMMER ON THE END OF THIS
STEEL WIRE HITS A TINY GONG.

THE NUMBER OF GONG CUCKOOS
INDICATES THE HOUR.

AFTER CONNECTING THE BELLOWS
TO THE MOVEMENT,

THERE'S JUST ONE STEP LEFT --

RUNNING A WIRE FROM THE MOVEMENT
THROUGH THE BOTTOM

FOR THE PENDULUM.

THE TECHNICAL CHOREOGRAPHY
CAN NOW BEGIN.

WINDING UP THE CLOCK
RAISES THE CHAIN,

PULLING UP THE WEIGHT
ON THE END.

AS THE WEIGHT FALLS BACK DOWN
GRADUALLY,

IT PULLS THE CHAIN,
WHICH TURNS THE MOVEMENT,

WHICH DRIVES THE HANDS
OF THE CLOCK.

THE PENDULUM REGULATES THE PACE.

AT THIS FACTORY, A CLOCK GETS
THE SEAL OF APPROVAL

ONLY AFTER A TWO-DAY TEST RUN

DURING WHICH IT MUST PERFORM
IMPECCABLY.

IT'S THIS ATTENTION TO DETAIL,
BOTH ARTISTIC AND TECHNICAL,

THAT MAKES THESE TRADITIONAL
GERMAN CUCKOO CLOCKS

SUCH TIMELESS TREASURES.

[ CLOCK PLAYS "EDELWEISS" ]

Narrator: HEART OF PALM
IS A VEGETABLE

THAT COMES FROM CERTAIN SPECIES
OF PALMS.

IT DOESN'T GROW ON THE PLANT

THE WAY FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
USUALLY DO.

RATHER, IT'S THE SOFT, EDIBLE
INNER CORE OF THE STEMS.

HARVESTING PALM STEMS

AND THEN PROCESSING THEM
TO EXTRACT THE HEART

IS VERY LABOR-INTENSIVE,

WHICH IS WHY THIS DELICIOUS
VEGETABLE IS A DELICACY.

LIFE FOR THIS TROPICAL VEGETABLE
BEGINS IN THE FARM'S NURSERY,

WHERE THEY PLANT A PALM SEED
IN A POT OF SOIL.

AFTER A COUPLE OF WEEKS,

THEY TRANSPLANT THE SEEDLING
INTO A BAG,

AND THE SEEDLING GROWS.

LIFE IN THE NURSERY
IS ONE OF ROUTINE --

SCHEDULED FEEDINGS
OF FERTILIZER,

REGULAR WEEDING,
AND A DAILY SHOWER.

AFTER ABOUT THREE MONTHS,

THAT LITTLE SEEDLING
HAS MATURED INTO A PLANT

THAT'S STRONG ENOUGH
TO GO INTO THE FIELD.

WORKERS REMOVE IT
FROM THE BAG GENTLY,

CAREFUL NOT TO HARM THE ROOTS.

THEN THEY PLANT IT
IN LOOSE SOIL.

AFTER ABOUT A YEAR AND A HALF
OF FIELD GROWTH,

IT'S TIME FOR THE FIRST HARVEST.

USING A MACHETE,

THE HARVESTER GRABS AND CHOPS
OFF THE MAIN STEM.

ONE OF THE REMAINING
SMALLER STEMS

WILL BECOME THE NEW MAIN STEM

AND BE READY FOR HARVESTING
IN ABOUT SIX MONTHS' TIME.

THIS CYCLE CONTINUES
FOR ABOUT A DECADE.

AFTER CUTTING OFF THE STEM,
THE HARVESTER STRIPS THE BARK.

THIS EXPOSES A SHELL UNDERNEATH

THAT PROTECTS THE PALM HEART
AT THE CORE OF THE STEM

FROM DAMAGE AND DEHYDRATION.

LATER THE FACTORY WILL SLICE OFF
THIS SHELL LIKE SO

TO EXTRACT THE HEART.

ONCE THE STEMS ARRIVE
AT THE FACTORY,

THEY GO INTO A BASIN OF WATER
IMMEDIATELY.

THIS PREVENTS DEHYDRATION.

NEXT WORKERS LOAD THEM
ON A CONVEYOR BELT,

LINING THE BASES
RIGHT UP AGAINST THE EDGE.

SOMEONE ELSE, MEANWHILE,

CLICKS A COUNTER TO TALLY
THE NUMBER OF STEMS PASSING BY.

THE CONVEYOR BELT
TRANSPORTS THE STEMS

TO A CIRCULAR SAW THAT SLICES
OFF A PORTION OF THE BASE.

NEXT WORKERS SLIDE EACH STEM
ACROSS A RAZOR-SHARP BLADE,

SLICING OPEN THE SHELL
THAT ENCASES THE HEART.

WITH A QUICK TWIST,
THE SHELL COMES OFF,

AND THEY PLACE THE HEART
ON A CONVEYOR ABOVE.

FURTHER DOWN THE LINE,

THE HEARTS RUN AGAINST
ANOTHER CIRCULAR SAW,

WHICH SLICES OFF
WHAT'S LEFT OF THE BASE.

NEXT A ROW OF SAWS
SPACED SIX INCHES APART

CUTS EACH STEM INTO PIECES.

NOW THE HEARTS OF PALM ARE JUST
THE RIGHT SIZE FOR PACKAGING.

IN THE FIELD, THE STEMS' BARK
AND OUTER SHELL

ACTED AS A DIRT BARRIER.

STILL, THE HEARTS GET A RINSE
IN COLD WATER

BEFORE GOING INTO THE JAR.

EACH JAR HAS TO CONTAIN

A SPECIFIC WEIGHT
AND NUMBER OF PIECES,

SO IT GOES ON A SCALE,
AND, IF NECESSARY,

A WORKER ADJUSTS THE WEIGHT

BY SWAPPING A PIECE
FOR ONE OF A DIFFERENT SIZE.

THE JARS NOW MOVE ONTO A MACHINE
THAT FILLS THEM WITH BRINE,

A SPECIAL RECIPE
OF WATER, SALT, AND CITRIC ACID

THAT ACTS AS A PRESERVATIVE.

THE BRINE-FILLED JARS THEN
GO INTO A HOT-STEAM MACHINE.

IT HEATS THE LIQUID
FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES,

ALMOST TO THE BOILING POINT.

THIS FORCES ALL THE AIR
OUT OF THE HEARTS,

PREPARING THEM
FOR PASTEURIZATION.

ON THE WAY
TO THE PASTEURIZATION CHAMBER,

THE JARS PASS THROUGH
A CAPPING MACHINE,

THEN UNDER
AN INK-JET PRINTER HEAD,

WHICH APPLIES THE LOT NUMBER
AND PRODUCT EXPIRATION DATE.

NOW IT'S INTO THE PASTEURIZATION
CHAMBER FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF.

THIS INTENSE HEAT,
207 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT,

KILLS OFF ANY MICROORGANISMS
LURKING INSIDE THE JARS.

AFTER A ONE-WEEK
QUARANTINE PERIOD

TO ENSURE THE HEARTS OF PALM
DON'T DETERIORATE IN ANY WAY,

THE JARS ARE READY FOR LABELING.

THE BRINE AND PASTEURIZATION
COMBINED

GIVE THE SEALED CONTAINER
A FOUR-YEAR SHELF LIFE,

SO WHETHER SERVED ALONE,
IN A SALAD, WITH PASTA OR RICE,

THESE HEARTS OF PALM
ARE GUARANTEED

TO BE AS FRESH
AS THEY ARE TASTY.

Narrator:
THE FIRST WINDSHIELD WIPERS
WERE INVENTED IN THE EARLY 1900s

BY A WOMAN WHO GOT THE IDEA
FROM WATCHING A TROLLEY DRIVER

WIPE THE SLEET OFF THE
WINDSHIELD WITH HIS HANDS.

AFTER 1920, WIPERS BECAME
STANDARD EQUIPMENT ON ALL CARS.

TODAY, EVEN THE SPACE SHUTTLE
HAS THEM.

THESE WINDSHIELD WIPERS
ALL HAVE A RUBBER WIPING BLADE.

TO MAKE IT,
WORKERS LOAD NATURAL RUBBER

INTO A MIXER THAT BREAKS IT DOWN
INTO FINE GRAINS.

THEN THEY ADD POWDERED CARBON TO
THE RUBBER AND LEAVE IT TO MIX.

AFTER SEVERAL HOURS,

A WORKER CUTS THE RUBBER
AWAY FROM THE MIXER

AND FEEDS IT INTO
A HEAT-TREATING MACHINE.

NEXT THE NATURAL-RUBBER STRIPS
ENTER AN EXTRUSION MACHINE,

WHICH WILL COMBINE THEM WITH
THE STRIPS OF SYNTHETIC RUBBER.

THE RUBBER EXTRUDES
THROUGH THIS STEEL DIE

TO FORM A CONTINUOUS
PROFILED BAND.

THE RUBBER BAND COOLS
IN A SALT BATH

BEFORE IT'S CUT INTO LENGTHS,
THEN SPLIT IN HALF

TO FORM TWO WIPING BLADES
WITH A CLEAN, SHARP EDGE.

THE BLADES GO THROUGH A SPRAY
OF GRAPHITE TO REDUCE FRICTION,

THEN DROP ONTO A GRATE
TO DRY OUT.

THE RUBBER IS SO SMOOTH,
IT'S HARD TO GRASP,

SO WORKERS MUST INSERT
EACH BLADE BY HAND

INTO AN ASSEMBLING MACHINE.

IN THE CENTER OF THE WIPER BLADE
IS AN OPENING

INTO WHICH A MACHINE WILL INSERT
A METAL TENSION STRIP.

IT SERVES TO PRESS THE BLADE
ON THE WINDSHIELD

AND HOLD ITS SHAPE.

THE MACHINE APPLIES
PNEUMATIC PRESSURE

TO LITERALLY BLOW THE STRIPS

THROUGH THE LENGTH
OF THE BLADES.

THIS STEEL COIL
FEEDS INTO A STAMPING MACHINE

THAT REPEATEDLY CUTS
AND BENDS IT TO FORM BRACKETS.

THESE BRACKETS

CONNECT THE WINDSHIELD-WIPER
BLADES TO THE WIPER ARM

AND GIVE THEM THE SHAPE
THEY NEED

TO WIPE ON CURVED WINDSHIELDS.

THE BRACKETS COME OUT
OF THE MACHINE IN ROWS,

STILL ATTACHED
TO THE EDGES OF THE COIL.

NEXT, THE ROWS OF BRACKETS
DIP INTO A VAT OF PAINT

TO RECEIVE A BASE COAT,

FOLLOWED BY TWO MORE COATS
OF BLACK PAINT

THAT WILL PROTECT THEM FROM
CORROSION FOR SEVERAL YEARS.

ASSEMBLE ALL THESE PIECES
TOGETHER,

AND YOU'LL HAVE
THIS COMPLETE WINDSHIELD WIPER.

THANKS TO THIS MACHINE,
IT'S A FULLY AUTOMATED PROCESS.

FIRST IT SETS A PLASTIC JOINT
ON THE SMALLEST BRACKETS,

THEN CLIPS THEM TWO AT A TIME
ONTO A LARGER MIDDLE BRACKET.

NEXT THE MACHINE SETS AN ADAPTOR
ONTO THE TOP-CENTER BRACKET

SO THE WIPER CAN ATTACH
TO A VARIETY OF CAR WIPER ARMS.

FINALLY, ALL THE TRAYS

ON WHICH LIE THE ASSEMBLED
WIPER PARTS COME TOGETHER

AS THE MACHINE PROCEEDS
WITH THE FINAL ASSEMBLY.

FOUR BRACKETS HELD BY JOINTS

BRANCH OUT
FROM THE MAIN CENTER BRACKET.

THEY HOLD THE WIPER BLADE
IN EIGHT DIFFERENT PLACES.

THIS DESIGN ALLOWS A FULL RANGE
OF MOVEMENT TO THE WIPER

WHILE APPLYING AN EVEN PRESSURE
ALL ALONG THE BLADE --

THE KEY TO A CLEAN WIPE
WITH NO STREAKING.

THE COMPLETED WIPERS COME OFF
THE ASSEMBLER TWO AT A TIME.

WORKERS VISUALLY INSPECT
THE WIPERS

AND THEN TEST THE PERFORMANCE
OF THE BLADE

AGAINST A ROTATING SHEET
OF WET GLASS.

THEY MONITOR
THE AMOUNT OF FRICTION

THE BLADE APPLIES TO THE GLASS

AND GAUGE ITS DURABILITY.

FINALLY, THEY TEST THE WIPERS
ON AN OPAQUE BLACK WINDSHIELD

THAT REVEALS JUST HOW WELL
THEY WORK.

WITH A LIFE-SPAN
OF MORE THAN A MILLION WIPES,

THEY'RE SURELY THE MOST RELIABLE
DEVICE ON ANY CAR.

IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS
ABOUT THE SHOW,

OR IF YOU'D LIKE TO SUGGEST
TOPICS FOR FUTURE SHOWS,

DROP US A LINE AT...