How It's Made (2001–…): Season 11, Episode 7 - Microphones/Hot Tubs/Artificial Turf/Beer Steins - full transcript


Narrator: PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DOING
MIKE CHECKS SINCE 1876,

WHEN THE MICROPHONE WAS INVENTED
AS PART OF THE TELEPHONE.

MICROPHONES CONVERT SOUND
TO A SIGNAL

THAT CAN BE TRANSMITTED

THROUGH TELEVISIONS, RADIOS,
AND MANY OTHER THINGS.

IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY,

YOU'LL NEED A MICROPHONE
TO BROADCAST IT.

FROM THE GLORY DAYS OF RADIO

TO STAGE AND SCREEN
AND THE DIGITAL AGE,

THE MICROPHONE HAS BEEN
AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL.

TO MAKE A BROADCAST-QUALITY
MICROPHONE,

THEY START
WITH THE SUPPORT PIECE FOR IT.

AUTOMATED TOOLS
CARVE A BRASS CYLINDER

TO THE DESIRED DIMENSIONS.

THEY ALSO MAKE A RETAINER RING
FOR THE MICROPHONE GRILLE

THAT WILL ANCHOR
THE GRILLE'S METAL MESH.

THEY LAYER THREE SHEETS OF MESH
AND ALIGN THEM.

THEN THEY SOLDER
THE THREE SHEETS TOGETHER.

A PUNCH PRESS FORMS THE SOLDERED
MESH INTO A CONCAVE SHAPE.

THEY LOWER A BLADE TO SLICE
THE SHAPED MESH IN HALF.

THE TWO PIECES WILL BE USED
TO MAKE ONE MICROPHONE GRILLE.

AN ASSEMBLER SQUEEZES
SOLDER PASTE

INTO A GROOVE IN THE BRASS RING.

THEN HE PRESSES
THE GRILLE HALVES,

WHICH HAVE BEEN JOINED
BY A BRACKET

INTO THE SOLDER-COATED RING.

ON A CAROUSEL,
A TORCH HEATS THE RINGS,

AND THE SOLDER PASTE MELTS TO
BOND THE GRILLES TO THE RINGS.

A DRILL PUNCTURES A BRASS DISK
UP TO 90 TIMES

TO MAKE VENTILATION HOLES.

ANOTHER TOOL LEVELS THE SURFACE
AND SHAVES OFF UNWANTED BITS.

THIS DISK WILL BE THE BACKPLATE

FOR ONE OF THE MICROPHONE'S
CAPSULES.

AN ASSEMBLER BRUSHES AWAY
ANY REMAINING SHAVINGS

AND THEN FIXES THE BACKPLATE
IN A HOLDING DEVICE.

THIS PLASTIC MEMBRANE
HAS BEEN COATED WITH REAL GOLD

TO CONDUCT ELECTRICITY.

SHE PLACES THE MEMBRANE AND
A PLASTIC RING ON THE BACKPLATE

AND THEN ATTACHES
AN ELECTRICAL LEAD.

SHE SCREWS THE PLASTIC RING DOWN
TO SECURE THE ASSEMBLY...

...AND THEN TRIMS AWAY
THE EXCESS PLASTIC MEMBRANE.

THIS MICROPHONE CAPSULE
IS NOW COMPLETE.

NEXT, SHE'LL JOIN TWO CAPSULES

TO CREATE THE UNIT THAT'S
THE HEART OF THE MICROPHONE.

IT CONVERTS SOUND
INTO AN ELECTRICAL SIGNAL.

AN ALUMINUM SPACER
GOES BETWEEN THE CAPSULES,

WHICH FACE BACK-TO-BACK.

TWO CAPSULES INSTEAD OF ONE

MEANS THIS MICROPHONE
CAN BE SWITCHED

TO PICK UP AUDIO
FROM VARIOUS DIRECTIONS.

A PLASTIC BRACKET
REINFORCES ASSEMBLY.

A TECHNICIAN THEN WIRES
THE BRASS SUPPORT PIECE

THAT WE SAW BEING MADE EARLIER
TO THE ELECTRONIC SYSTEM,

AND THEN HE SECURES IT
WITH SCREWS.

AFTER INSTALLING SWITCHES,

HE INSERTS THE MICROPHONE
CAPSULES IN THE GRILLE.

HE SCREWS THE CAPSULE ASSEMBLY
TO THE GRILLE

AND JOINS IT TO THE ELECTRONICS.

HE SLIDES THE METAL CASING
OVER THE ELECTRONICS

AND SECURES THE MICROPHONE
WITH A BIG SCREW CAP.

HE CHECKS THE SWITCH

THAT CHANGES THE DIRECTIONALITY
OF THE MIKE.

AND NOW IT'S READY
FOR A SOUND CHECK.

THE MIKE GOES INTO A SPECIAL
ANECHOIC CHAMBER.

A COMPUTER MEASURES ITS RESPONSE

TO VARIOUS AUDIO FREQUENCIES
AND DIRECTIONS.

ONCE A MICROPHONE HAS PASSED
THIS TEST AND SOME OTHER CHECKS,

IT'S TIME TO PACK IT UP
WITH GREAT CARE,

BECAUSE THIS MIKE IS DELICATE

AND WORTH
SEVERAL THOUSAND DOLLARS.

TREATED PROPERLY,

THIS MICROPHONE SHOULD LAST
SEVERAL DECADES.

IN SHOWBIZ, THAT'S LONGEVITY.

Narrator:
LIKE NATURAL HOT SPRINGS THAT
ARE HEATED BY THE EARTH'S CRUST,

A HOT TUB CAN GIVE YOUR ACHING
MUSCLES THAT HEALING FEELING.

IN FACT, THE HOT TUB
IS A HIGH-TECH VERSION

OF THE HOT-SPRINGS PHENOMENON,

AND ITS INVENTION IN THE MIDDLE
OF THE 20th CENTURY

MADE THE BACKYARD STEAM
PART OF THE SUBURBAN DREAM.

THERE ARE UP TO A HUNDRED JETS
IN A MODERN HOT TUB.

EACH CHURNS UP THE WATER, MAKING
WAVES THAT HAVE A CALMING EFFECT

ON TENSE AND TIRED MUSCLES.

TO MAKE A HOT TUB, THEY START
WITH A SHEET OF RIGID ACRYLIC.

THEY REST IT BRIEFLY
OVER A MOLD OF A HOT TUB.

THEN A FRAMELIKE CLAMP
GRIPS IT ALONG THE EDGES

AND TRANSFERS IT TO AN OVEN.

THE OVEN HAS HEATING ELEMENTS
ON THE TOP AND BOTTOM.

THEY BAKE THE ACRYLIC SHEET
UNTIL IT'S SO SOFT, IT SAGS.

THEY TRANSFER THE SAGGING SHEET
BACK TO THE MOLD.

AND NOW THEY TURN ON
A VACUUM SYSTEM UNDERNEATH.

IT SUCKS THE ACRYLIC SHEET
INTO THE CREVICES OF THE MOLD

SO THAT IT TAKES ITS SHAPE.

THEN FANS COOL
THE MOLDED ACRYLIC,

AND IT HARDENS
IN JUST A COUPLE OF MINUTES.

OPERATORS THEN STACK
THE TUB SHELL.

THEY MOLD SWIM SPA SHELVES
USING THE SAME TECHNIQUE.

SWIM SPAS ARE LONGER AND DEEPER
THAN HOT TUBS.

THEY'RE FOR WORKING OUT,
NOT UNWINDING,

SO THERE AREN'T MANY LEDGES
FOR SITTING AROUND.

BACK IN THE HOT-TUB DEPARTMENT,
IT'S TIME FOR A BASE COAT.

THEY SPRAY RESIN ON THE SHELL

AND THEN UNWIND FIBERGLASS TWINE
INTO A SPECIAL SPRAY GUN.

IT CHOPS UP THE TWINE
AND MIXES IT WITH MORE RESIN

TO GIVE THE SHELF
A FIBERGLASS COATING

THAT REINFORCES THE ACRYLIC.

THEY PRESS OUT ANY AIR POCKETS
IN THE FIBERGLASS.

NOW THEY AIM ANOTHER SPRAY GUN
AT THE UNDERSIDE OF THE TUB.

THIS ONE
CONTAINS INSULATING FOAM.

THEN THEY TRIM THE LIP
OF THE TUB WITH A CIRCULAR SAW,

SO IT WILL SIT PROPERLY
IN THE FRAME LATER.

THEY SAND THE EDGES

AND THEN DRILL HOLES
FOR THE NUMEROUS JETS.

WORKING FROM INSIDE OF THE TUB,

AN ASSEMBLER TUCKS PLASTIC JETS
INTO THE HOLES,

WHILE A WORKER ON THE OTHER SIDE
PULLS THE JETS THROUGH.

THEY APPLY SILICONE SEALANT
AROUND EACH JET,

THEN EQUIP IT
WITH A PLASTIC RING

FOR ALIGNING THE JET
TO THE HOT-TUB FRAME.

USING A SPECIAL TOOL,

THE ASSEMBLER DRIVES A NUT
INTO THE ASSEMBLY TO SECURE IT.

NEXT, THEY DIP PVC TUBING
IN ADHESIVE

AND ATTACH IT TO THE JETS,

WEAVING AN ELABORATE WEB
OF HOSES.

THE NARROWER TUBING
WILL PIPE AIR TO THE JETS,

WHILE THE WIDER HOSES
WILL SUPPLY WATER.

TO PREVENT LEAKS,

THEY EQUIP THEM
WITH SELF-TENSIONING CLAMPS.

THEY CONNECT THE INTAKE PIPE
TO THE PUMP,

WHICH WILL FORCE WATER
INTO THE TUBING.

A SUCTION SYSTEM WILL RETURN
THE WATER TO THIS PUMP.

THEY WIRE THE TUB
TO PROVIDE MOOD LIGHTING,

THEN TEST ALL THE WIRING
AND PLUMBING.

THEY SPRAY MORE INSULATING FOAM
ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE TUB.

IT EXPANDS DRASTICALLY

IN CLOSING THE LABYRINTH
OF PIPES AND HOSES.

AND FOR SOME EXTRA INSULATION,

THEY WRAP FOIL-BACKED PLASTIC
AROUND THE TUB.

THE FOIL WILL REFLECT ANY
ESCAPING HEAT BACK ONTO THE TUB.

THEY MOUNT THE EXTERIOR PANELING

AND DRILL THROUGH THE INSULATION
TO VENT THE PUMPS.

CORNER MOLDING GIVES
THE PANELING A NICE FINISH.

THIS HOT TUB IS NOW READY TO
MAKE WAVES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

SOME VERSIONS EVEN COME
WITH TVs,

SO YOU CAN WATCH "HOW IT'S MADE"
WITHOUT LEAVING THE HOT TUB.

IT TAKES ABOUT 20 PERSON-HOURS

TO MAKE A HOT TUB
OR ONE OF THESE SWIM SPAS.

AND AFTER THAT, IT'S TIME
TO TAKE A BREAK AND RELAX.

Narrator: THE INVENTION OF
ARTIFICIAL TURF IN THE 1960s

LED TO A WHOLE NEW FIELD --

ONE THAT NEVER NEEDS MOWING,
WATERING, OR WEEDING.

FAUX GRASS WAS DEVELOPED
BY THE CARPET INDUSTRY

AND MADE POSSIBLE
BY TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES,

AND THE CONCEPT
HAS REALLY TAKEN ROOT.

SYNTHETIC TURF
HAS CHANGED THE LANDSCAPE

OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS.

YOU SEE IT IN STADIUMS, ARENAS,
AND TRAINING FIELDS

AROUND THE WORLD.

IT ALL STARTS WITH BAGS
OF WHITE PLASTIC PELLETS.

THIS IS THE BASE MATERIAL
FOR THE TURF.

THEY ADD GREEN PELLETS
FOR COLOR,

ALONG WITH CHEMICAL STABILIZERS
AND ADDITIVES.

EQUIPMENT MELTS
AND EXTRUDES THE PLASTIC

THROUGH A STEEL PLATE
WITH HOLES IN IT.

THIS CREATES STRANDS OF GREEN.

THE STRANDS EXIT
THROUGH A TROUGH OF WATER,

WHICH COOLS AND SOLIDIFIES THEM.

MACHINERY PULLS THE STRANDS
THROUGH AN ENORMOUS COMB

TO KEEP THEM SEPARATED AS
THEY HEAD TO THE NEXT STATION.

HERE, ROLLERS STRETCH
THE STRANDS

UNTIL THEY BECOME AS THIN
AS REAL GRASS.

THE STRETCHING
ALSO STRENGTHENS THEM.

SPOOLS NOW ROLL UP
THE SYNTHETIC STRANDS.

ONCE A SPOOL IS FULL,
THEY REMOVE IT.

NEXT, THEY UNWIND SEVERAL SPOOLS
AT A TIME.

THE STRANDS COME TOGETHER TO
FORM A MULTI-PLY SYNTHETIC YARN.

THE YARN TRAVELS OVER GUIDES.

THIS KEEPS IT FROM SLACKENING
AS A BIG SPOOL WINDS IT UP.

FURTHER
DOWN THE PRODUCTION LINE,

MESH FABRIC MERGES
WITH SYNTHETIC SHEETING,

WHILE THE MULTI-PLY SYNTHETIC
YARN TRAVELS THROUGH TUBING

TO A TUFTING MACHINE.

THE TUFTING MACHINE
IS A GIANT SEWING MACHINE.

IT HAS UP TO 250 NEEDLES.

THESE NEEDLES HOOK THE YARN

THROUGH THE MESH
SYNTHETIC SHEETING.

THEY MAKE HUNDREDS OF ROWS
OF STITCHES PER MINUTE.

UNDERNEATH, SMALL KNIVES
CUT THE LOOPED YARN,

SO IT LOOKS LIKE SPIKES
OF GRASS.

AS YOU CAN SEE, THIS PROCESS
IS A WHOLE LOT FASTER

THAN WAITING FOR GRASS TO GROW.

AN INSPECTOR EXAMINES THE TURF
TO MAKE SURE THE YARNS ARE EVEN.

THEN MACHINERY MOVES IT FORWARD
TO A COATING ROLLER.

THE ROLLER PICKS UP ADHESIVE
FROM A TROUGH BELOW

AND APPLIES IT TO THE BACKING
OF THE TURF AS IT MOVES ACROSS.

THIS BINDS THE LOOPED WEB OF
ARTIFICIAL GRASS TO THE BACKING.

THE ADHESIVE IS A BIT GOOEY
AT THIS POINT

AND NEEDS TO BE DRIED.

THE DRYER IS PARTLY OPEN-AIR
AND PARTLY ENCLOSED.

THE ENCLOSED SECTION
IS ABOUT 55 YARDS LOW.

THE TEMPERATURE
IS CAREFULLY CONTROLLED.

TOO HOT, AND THE SYNTHETIC GRASS
MIGHT MELT.

AS IT EXITS, HOT PINS BURN HOLES
INTO THE TURF

TO MAKE IT WATER-PERMEABLE.

NOW THEY CHECK TO MAKE SURE THIS
GRASS LOOKS GOOD ON THE SURFACE.

THEY PULL OUT LOOSE BITS
AND MEASURE THE FIBERS.

THEN IT'S OVER TO A DEVICE

THAT SIMULATES THE EFFECT
OF FOOTBALL CLEATS

TO CONFIRM THIS TURF IS TOUGH.

TO INSTALL ARTIFICIAL TURF,

THEY LAY A RUBBER BASE
AND ADD THE TURF.

THEY DISTRIBUTE SAND
THROUGHOUT SPIKES OF GRASS

TO GIVE THE TURF WEIGHT.

THEN THEY SPREAD RUBBER GRANULES
FOR A SOFTENING EFFECT.

BUT SOME TURF
IS MORE CARPETLIKE --

NO FILLERS NEEDED.

YOU'RE MORE LIKELY TO SEE THAT
IN FLOOR-HOCKEY ARENAS.

IT'S TIME TO WRAP UP THIS TURF
JOB AND TOSS A FEW BALLS AROUND.

AND WHEN IT COMES TO LOOKING
LIKE THE REAL THING,

ARTIFICIAL TURF IS DEFINITELY
IN THE BALLPARK.

Narrator:
A STEIN IS A BEER MUG WITH A
HINGED LID YOU OPEN AND CLOSE.

ACCORDING TO SOME HISTORIANS,

IT'S A PRODUCT
OF THE BUBONIC PLAGUE.

AFTER THE PLAGUE SWEPT EUROPE
IN THE 1300s,

MUNICIPALITIES
ENACTED SANITATION LAWS.

IN GERMANY, ONE LAW REQUIRED
FOOD AND BEVERAGE CONTAINERS

TO HAVE COVERS
IN ORDER TO KEEP OUT INSECTS.

THESE TRADITIONAL
GERMAN BEER STEINS,

WITH THEIR ORNATE CERAMIC BODIES
AND PEWTER LIDS

ARE FUNCTIONAL WORKS OF ART.

THE WORD "STEIN"
IS SHORT FOR A GERMAN WORD

MEANING "STONEWARE JUG."

PRODUCTION BEGINS
IN THE CASTING DEPARTMENT

WITH A PLASTER MOLD --

ITS CAVITY THE SHAPE AND DESIGN
OF THE STEIN'S BODY.

THEY POUR IN LIQUID CLAY,

WAIT ABOUT TWO HOURS
UNTIL IT THICKENS,

THEN POUR OUT
WHATEVER LIQUID REMAINS.

AFTER TESTING THE CONSISTENCY
OF WHAT'S STILL INSIDE,

THEY GINGERLY DISASSEMBLE
THE MOLD,

REVEALING THE STEIN'S BODY.

THE MOLD HAS TRANSFERRED
ALL THE INTRICATE DETAIL

TO THE CLAY'S SURFACE.

FOR CERTAIN STEIN SHAPES,

THEY GET BETTER RESULTS
USING SOLID CLAY.

THEY CUT OFF
THE AMOUNT THEY NEED,

THEN DROP IT
INSIDE A PLASTER MOLD.

A MACHINE PUSHES THE CLAY

INTO EVERY CREVICE
OF THE MOLD CAVITY.

A WORKER TRIMS AWAY ANY EXCESS
THAT OOZES OUT.

THEN THE MOLD GOES INTO A DRYING
MACHINE FOR 20 MINUTES.

WHEN IT COMES OUT,

THEY DISASSEMBLE THE SECTIONS
TO EXTRACT THE CASTING.

WHETHER MADE FROM LIQUID
OR SOLID CLAY,

EACH STEIN BODY GOES
ON A POTTER'S WHEEL

FOR SOME REFINING.

THE POTTER REMOVES SEAMS

THAT FORMED
WHERE THE MOLD SECTIONS MET.

HE ALSO TRIMS
AND SMOOTHES OUT THE RIM.

THEN, USING SOME WET CLAY
AS AN ADHESIVE,

HE ATTACHES AN ORNATE HANDLE.

IT, TOO,
IS MADE ENTIRELY OF CLAY.

THE FACTORY SHAPES IT
EITHER IN A MOLD

OR WITH A DYE IN A PRESS.

FINALLY, THEY STAMP THE BOTTOM
WITH TWO MARKS --

"MADE IN GERMANY"
AND THE COMPANY BRAND.

NOW THE COLORING PROCESS BEGINS.

THEY COAT THE STEIN BODY WITH
SPECIAL PAINT FOR CERAMICS --

FIRST, A WATERY COAT OF
THE BACKGROUND COLOR ALL OVER,

THEN A THICKER COAT AROUND
THE RELIEFS TO HIGHLIGHT THEM.

THEY RUB MOST OF THE PAINT
OFF THE RELIEFS

TO ACCENTUATE THE CONTRAST.

NEXT, WORKERS SPRAY A MILKY
GLAZE OVER THE STEIN BODY

INSIDE AND OUT.

THIS GLAZE IS MADE MAINLY
OF SODIUM AND SILICON,

MINERALS THAT TURN
INTO TRANSPARENT GLASS

UNDER HIGH HEAT.

THIS WILL STRENGTHEN
AND WATERPROOF THE STONEWARE

BENEATH IT.

WORKERS LOAD DOZENS OF STEIN
BODIES INTO AN OVEN,

WHERE THEY BAKE AT MORE THAN
2,000 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT

FOR 12 HOURS.

THIS HARDENS THE CLAY,
TURNS THE COLORS VIBRANT,

AND TRANSFORMS THE GLAZE
INTO A PROTECTIVE GLASS COATING.

AFTER A 12-HOUR COOLING PERIOD,
THE TRUE ARTISTRY BEGINS.

A SKILLED PAINTER
EMBELLISHES THE DESIGN

WITH COLORFUL ENAMEL PAINTS.

A SECOND FIRING, THIS TIME
FOR JUST 5 TO 6 HOURS,

BAKES THE PAINT
ONTO THE GLASS SURFACE.

NOW, TO TOP IT ALL OFF,
THE STEIN'S ORNATE LID.

IT'S MADE OF PEWTER
CAST IN A MOLD.

THE THUMB LIFT PIVOTS THE LID
ON A HINGE.

TO ATTACH THE LID
TO THE STEIN BODY,

THEY POSITION THE THUMB LIFT
ON THE HANDLE,

THEN ASSEMBLE
A SMALL MOUNTING TOOL OVER IT.

THEY POUR IN MOLTEN PEWTER...

...THEN, AFTER A MINUTE OR SO,
REMOVE THE DEVICE.

THE PEWTER HAS HARDENED
INTO A RING

ATTACHING THE THUMB LIFT
TO THE HANDLE.

THEY CLIP OFF THE EXCESS,
THEN BUFF THE METAL TO A SHINE.

WITH THEIR TRADITIONAL SCENES
OR MORE CONTEMPORARY THEMES,

THESE BEER STEINS
ARE THE TOAST OF THE TOWN.

CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS

IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS
ABOUT THE SHOW

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

DROP US A LINE AT...