How It's Made (2001–…): Season 11, Episode 8 - Hot Rods/Decorative Eggs/Fire Hose Nozzles/Baseballs - full transcript

Find out how Levels, Hot Dogs, Abrasive Grains and Sandpaper are made.


CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS

Narrator:
A HOT ROD IS A NORMAL CAR

THAT'S BEEN RADICALLY MODIFIED

TO LOOK SNAZZIER
AND DRIVE FASTER.

SOME AMATEUR MECHANICS
TINKER AWAY AT BUILDING ONE

IN THEIR GARAGE,

WHILE OTHER CAR BUFFS
CUSTOM-ORDER ONE

FROM A SPECIALTY AUTO SHOP.

EITHER WAY, HOT-ROD LOVERS
ARE DRIVEN BY THEIR PASSION

FOR THESE MEAN MACHINES.

HOT RODS ARE CUSTOMIZED
INSIDE AND OUT.

THE CLASSIC CARS
THEY START OUT AS

ARE PRETTY SCARCE THESE DAYS,

SO SPECIALTY SHOPS NOW DESIGN
AND BUILD HOT-ROD BODIES

FROM SCRATCH,

USING STATE-OF-THE-ART
TECHNOLOGIES.

IT ALL STARTS WITH CURVED
STEEL RAILS 15 FEET LONG

THAT FORM THE BASIS
OF THE CHASSIS.

EVERY 12 INCHES, WORKERS WELD
THE RAILS TO THE CAR'S FRAME.

NEXT THEY POSITION CROSS
MEMBERS
TO REINFORCE THE FRAME.

WITH UTMOST CONCERN
FOR QUALITY CONTROL,

THEY'LL ASSEMBLE AND INSTALL
BY HAND THE TRANSMISSION,

THE SUSPENSION,
AND THE SHOCK ABSORBERS

AND WELD THOSE PRECISELY
ALIGNED
CROSS MEMBERS

TO THE CURVED RAILS.

ELSEWHERE, SOMEONE POLISHES
THE STAINLESS-STEEL WINGS,

WHICH HAVE BEEN LASER CUT.

THESE WINGS MAKE UP THE
HOT ROD'S SIGNATURE FRONT
GRILL.

MOUNTING THE DISC BRAKES
ONTO SUCH A HIGH-END MACHINE

TAKES SPECIALISTS.

FIRST, THEY SCREW THE SPINDLES
TO THE SUSPENSION ARM...

...THEN GREASE
THE BALL-BEARING MECHANISM...

...AND FINALLY BLOCK THE DISC
BRAKE WITH A COTTER PIN

TO FASTEN THE PIECES TOGETHER.

THE BRAKE SYSTEM HAS FOUR
CALIPERS, ONE PER WHEEL.

EACH ONE HOLDS TWO BRACKETS
CALLED THE BRAKE SHOES.

THEY CLOSE DOWN
ON THE BRAKE DISC

TO SLOW DOWN
AND STOP THE WHEEL'S ROTATION.

A COUPLE OF SLIDE PINS
LOCK THE CALIPER INTO PLACE.

BRAKE SHOES ARE PRONE TO WEAR,

SO THEIR ALIGNMENT AND OILING
MUST BE PERFECT.

TIME HAS COME TO INSTALL
A HYDRAULIC DEVICE

THAT REACTS TO THE STEERING
WHEEL'S MOVEMENT,

DIRECTING THE TIE RODS TO TURN
THE FRONT WHEELS ACCORDINGLY.

A PNEUMATIC TOOL IS USED

TO AFFIX THE PINION
OF THE STEERING MECHANISM.

AT EVERY STEP, WORKERS CHECK
AND DOUBLE-CHECK EACH PART.

USING A JACK,

THEY LIFT THE DIFFERENTIAL
HOUSING INTO POSITION.

IT ANCHORS THE REAR WHEELS'
PROPULSION SYSTEM

TO THE CAR'S FRAME.

THEY ATTACH THE SUSPENSION
ARMS
TO THE AXLES AT AN ANGLE.

MEANWHILE, A PAINTER SPRAYS
A COAT OF RESIN GEL

ON THE PLASTIC MOLDS

WITH WHICH THEY MAKE THE CAR'S
FIBERGLASS BODY PARTS.

THE GEL COATING EASES
EXTRACTION

AND GIVES THE FIBERGLASS
A HIGH-GLOSS FINISH.

TO MOLD THE PARTS,

A WORKER SPREADS RESIN
ON FIBERGLASS CLOTH.

THEY CALL THIS STEP
"WETTING THE FIBERGLASS MAP."

THEY LAY THE MAP ON THE MOLD
--
IN THIS CASE, ON A DOOR MOLD
--

THEN WITH A ROLLER, CAREFULLY
PRESS OUT ALL THE AIR BUBBLES.

IT TAKES ABOUT 40 MINUTES

FOR THE RESIN-IMPREGNATED MAP
TO SOLIDIFY.

EXTRACTING THE BODY PART
IS A TRICKY PROCEDURE.

THEY HAMMER WOOD WEDGES IN
BETWEEN THE HARDENED
FIBERGLASS

IN THE MOLD.

IT'S CRUCIAL TO ANGLE THE
WEDGE
JUST RIGHT.

OTHERWISE,
THE MOLD MAY COLLAPSE.

IT TYPICALLY TAKES
ABOUT 25 MOLDED PARTS

TO MAKE UP
A COMPLETE HOT-ROD BODY.

AFTER THREE WEEK'S WORK,
FINAL ASSEMBLY BEGINS.

AFTER THE BACK PANELS
COMES THE FRONT,

OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE NOSE.

NEXT COME THE FENDERS,
THEN THE STYLISH RUNNING
BOARD.

AND NO HOT ROD IS COMPLETE
WITHOUT ITS SIGNATURE GRILL.

THE WINDSHIELD FRAME
HELPS SUPPORT THE ROOF,

OR "CARSON TOP"
IN HOT-ROD LINGO.

THE FRONT HOOD COMPLETES
THIS '37-FORD-INSPIRED BODY.

IT SHIPS OUT
WITHOUT A PAINT JOB.

THAT'S BECAUSE CUSTOMIZATION
IS
EVERYTHING IN THE HOT-ROD BIZ.

THE BUYER DECIDES
HOW TO FINISH THE CAR

BY CHOOSING, FOR EXAMPLE,
THIS RETRO DASHBOARD

DESIGNED TO BLEND
SPECTACULARLY
WITH THE REST OF THE CAR.

EVEN CAR JUNKIES CAN BE
FORGIVEN

FOR STRUGGLING
TO KEEP UP TO SPEED

WITH THE EVER-GROWING
CUSTOMIZATION OPTIONS OUT
THERE.

FROM THE ENGINE TO THE RIMS
TO THE SEATS TO THE CHROME --

WHEN IT COMES
TO CUSTOMIZING YOUR HOT ROD,

YOU'RE IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT.

Narrator:
EGG DECORATING IS A CRAFT

PRACTICED AROUND THE WORLD
FOR CENTURIES.

THE ANCIENT PERSIANS
PAINTED EGGS FOR NORUZ,

THEIR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION,

A TRADITION
THAT CONTINUES TODAY.

PROBABLY THE MOST FAMOUS

ARE THE EXQUISITELY DECORATED
FABERG EGGS,

EXCEPT THEY AREN'T EGGS AT
ALL.

THEY'RE MADE FROM PRECIOUS
METALS AND GEMSTONES.

EACH ONE OF THESE DECORATIVE
EGGS IS A UNIQUE PIECE.

THE ARTIST PAINTS THEM,
COLLAGES IMAGES AND FABRIC,

AND CREATES JEWELRY
AND MUSIC BOXES

OR HANGS THEM AS ORNAMENTS.

SHE ALWAYS WORKS WITH REAL
EGGS

FROM BIRDS LIKE THE RHEA,
THE EMU, GEESE, OR TURKEYS.

HERE, SHE SELECTS AN OSTRICH
EGG

AND GENTLY CLAMPS IT IN PLACE
ON AN EGG-MARKER STAND.

ON THE UNDERSIDE OF THE STAND
ARE A SERIES OF GUIDELINES

TO HELP DIVIDE THE EGG
INTO TWO OR MORE EQUAL PARTS.

WORKING WITH THE PENCIL
HELD IN A BRACE,

SHE DIVIDES THE EGG
INTO FOUR EQUAL PARTS.

THEN SHE DRAWS A HORIZONTAL
LINE
ACROSS THE EGG

WHERE SHE'LL CUT IT IN HALF
TO CREATE A LID.

SHE'LL USE A HINGE
TO HOLD THE LID IN PLACE,

SO FIRST,
SHE DRAWS THE CONTOUR...

THEN A LOOSE, WAVY LINE
ALL ALONG THE EGG
CIRCUMFERENCE,

USING THE PENCIL GUIDELINES
AS REFERENCE.

A ROTATING CUTTER EQUIPPED
WITH A DIAMOND DUSTED BLADE

MAKES A CUT
WHERE THE HINGE WILL BE.

THE ARTIST NOW PREPARES
SOME FIVE-MINUTE EPOXY GLUE.

SHE HAS A NEAT TRICK
TO APPLY JUST THE RIGHT
AMOUNT.

SHE WORKS WITH A STRAND
OF UNCOOKED SPAGHETTI,

THEN SETS THE HINGE IN PLACE.

ONCE THE HINGE HAS SET,
SHE CUTS ALL AROUND THE EGG,

THEN OPENS AND CLOSES IT TO
MAKE
SURE THAT HINGE WORKS
PROPERLY.

IT'S THE FIRST TIME
SHE SEES THE EGG'S INTERIOR.

IF IT NEEDS CLEANING,
NOW'S THE TIME.

THOUGH THIS ARTIST OFTEN
CHOOSES

TO LEAVE OSTRICH EGGS
THEIR NATURAL COLOR,

HERE SHE'S DECIDED
TO GIVE THE LID

A THIN COAT OF ACRYLIC PAINT.

FOR THE LOWER HALF,
SHE CHOOSES A DARK TONE.

ACRYLIC PAINT ALLOWS HER
TO WORK QUICKLY,

AS IT TRIES
IN JUST A FEW SECONDS.

NEXT, SHE USES A SPECIAL GLUE

TO COLLAGE STRIPS OF JAPANESE
RICE PAPER ONTO THE EGG.

SHE LAYERS SMALL PIECES TO
ACHIEVE A TORTOISE-SHELL
FINISH.

SHE'S READY TO SET THE EGG
ON ITS STAND,

SO SHE COATS THE RIM WITH
EPOXY,
THEN SETS THE EGG DOWN,

MAKING SURE THE HINGE IS LEVEL
WITH THE STAND'S RIM.

THE ARTIST NOW TURNS HER
ATTENTION TO THE EGG'S
INTERIOR.

SHE LIGHTLY GLUES
PERFUMED COTTON BALLS

TO FILL OUT
THE TOP AND BOTTOM PARTS.

THEN SHE APPLIES GLUE
ALONG THE INNER RIMS

AND CLIPS ON A PIECE
OF IVORY SATIN.

BY THE TIME SHE MAKES IT
AROUND BOTH HALVES,

SHE CAN REMOVE THE CLIPS.

THE FABRIC NOW HOLDS
FIRMLY IN PLACE.

NEXT, SHE GLUES A FABRIC BRAID
TO TRIM THE SATIN'S EDGE.

HERE, THE ARTIST LAYS DOWN A
DELICATE STRAND OF
RHINESTONES.

SHE APPLIES MORE GLUE

TO ADD ANOTHER BRAID
ALONG THE LOWER RIM...

...THEN PLACES A FINAL STRAND
TO COMPLETE THE EFFECT.

SHE SETS IN A TINY RHINESTONE

TO DECORATE THE METALLIC
FILIGREE THAT HIDES THE
HINGES.

EVEN THE EGG'S UNDERSIDE
GETS SPECIAL ATTENTION.

SHE GLUES ANOTHER FILIGREE

TO COVER THE HOLE THROUGH
WHICH
THEY EMPTIED THE EGG,

THEN APPLIES
A WATER-BASED VARNISH.

THIS STRENGTHENS THE EGG
AND GIVES IT A GLOSSY FINISH.

HERE'S THE FINISHED PIECE --

A DELICATE JEWELRY BOX

THAT OPENS WITH THE HELP
OF A FINE CHAIN

TO REVEAL ITS SATIN INTERIOR.

THERE'S NO END TO THE
CREATIVITY

THAT GOES INTO MAKING
THESE DECORATIVE EGGS.

THIS MODEL
EVEN HAS A MUSIC BOX BUILT IN.

Narrator: PRECISION TOOLS
THAT PERFORM THEIR TASKS

WITH SPLIT-SECOND SPEED
AND ACCURACY

ARE KEY IN JOBS
WHERE TIME IS OFF THE ESSENCE.

TAKE FOR EXAMPLE THE NOZZLE AT
THE END OF A FIREFIGHTING
HOSE.

IT ALLOWS A FIREFIGHTER

TO REGULAR THE PRESSURE
OF THE WATER EXITING THE HOSE,

NO MATTER HOW CONFINED
OR WIDESPREAD THE FLAMES.

A FIRE-HOSE NOZZLE ISN'T
A SIMPLE POINT-AND-SHOOT
DEVICE.

IT ENABLES FIREFIGHTERS
TO TAILOR THEIR TACTICS

BY FIRING WATER IN A STREAM
OR FLUSH.

PRODUCTION BEGINS
WITH A LONG ALUMINUM TUBE.

A SAW SLICES OFF 6-INCH PIECES
CALLED BLANKS.

JUST ONE TUBE
MAKES ABOUT 46 BLANKS.

A ROBOTIC ARMS SWOOPS DOWN
TO TRANSPORT THEM TO A LATHE.

CUTTING TOOLS
FORM THE VALVE BODY,

WHICH CONTROLS THE FLOW
OF WATER.

THEN THEY ROUGH UP THE
SURFACE,
MAKING IT EASIER TO GRIP.

THEY MAKE A BALL GROOVE
ON THE OUTSIDE RIM

FOR ATTACHING THE HOSE
COUPLING.

NEXT, THEY FORM THE INTERIOR.

TECHNICIANS VERIFY
THE INSIDE SHAPING

WITH COMPUTER-IMAGING
SOFTWARE.

IT'S ON TO THE MILLING
PROCESS.

A COMPUTER-GUIDED DRILL
BORES SEVERAL HOLES

FOR THE NOZZLE
AND GRIP ATTACHMENTS.

COOLANT WASHES AWAY
THE METAL CHIPS

AND KEEPS THE DRILL BIT
FROM OVERHEATING.

THE TRANSFORMATION
FROM A BLANK TO VALVE BODY

IS STRUCTURALLY COMPLETE.

A LASER NOW ENGRAVES
THE FLOW INDICATION.

WORKERS INSTALL RUBBER O-RINGS

ON A MANDREL SHAPED LIKE
THE VALVE-BODY INTERIOR.

THE RINGS KEEP WATER

FROM LEAKING OUT THE SIDE
OF THE NOZZLE.

THEY POSITION THE VALVE BODY
OVER THE MANDREL

AND BLOW THE RINGS INTO PLACE
WITH A BLAST OF AIR.

AUTOMATED MACHINES
NOW MATE THE VALVE BODY

TO THE NOZZLE'S HANDLE.

A HEATED MOLD
MELTS GRANULATED RUBBER

AND CASTS IT INTO RIDGES
AT THE TOP OF A RUBBER
CYLINDER.

THIS MAKES THE SHAPER,
THE NOZZLE'S ADJUSTABLE HEAD

THAT SWITCHES THE WATER FROM
A WIDE SPRAY TO A NARROW
STREAM.

WORKERS SNIP OFF
ANY EXCESS RUBBER,

THEN ENSURE THE RUBBER
IS SOLIDLY MOLDED.

NEXT, THEY APPLY GREASE
TO THE INSIDE

TO LUBRICATE THE PARTS
AND PREVENT CORROSION.

TWO MORE O-RINGS ARE INSERTED

TO KEEP WATER FROM LEAKING OUT
UNDER THE SHAPER.

USING A SPECIALLY DESIGNED
SPOON,

THEY SCOOP UP
TINY, PLASTIC BALL BEARINGS

AND DROP THEM INTO A GROOVE
IN THE SHAPER.

THESE ALLOW THE SHAPER
TO ROTATE EASILY.

THE SHAPER THEN GOES
OVER A BARREL --

A METAL TUBE THAT HELPS
FORM THE STREAM OF WATER.

TO ATTACH IT,

THEY APPLY AN ADHESIVE TO THE
THREADS ON THE SHAPER'S BASE,

THEN SLIDE THE PART INTO
PLACE.

WORKERS INSERT A PAIR OF HARD
PLASTIC BALLS INTO THE SHAPER.

THESE ENABLE THE SHAPER TO
GLIDE
BACK AND FORTH ON THE BARREL

TO SHAPE THE WATER STREAM.

NOW IT'S TIME
TO BUILD THE SUB-BAFFLE,

THE NOZZLE COMPONENT
THAT CONTROLS WATER PRESSURE.

FIRST THEY INSERT
A PRESSURE-REGULATION SPRING

INTO THE BAFFLE BODY,

THEN SNAP ON A KNOB,

WHICH CHANGES BETWEEN STANDARD
WATER PRESSURE AND LOW
PRESSURE.

THE WHOLE DEVICE SLIDES
DIRECTLY INTO THE BARREL.

ON THE OTHER END OF THE
BARREL,
THEY SCREW ON THE VALVE BODY.

A ROTATING WHEEL
SIMPLIFIES THIS PROCESS.

THEY NOW AFFIX
A PISTOL-STYLE GRIP.

FINALLY, THE GASKET GRABBER
GOES IN.

THE STEEL SCREEN KEEPS
OUT NOZZLE-CLOGGING DEBRIS

COMING FROM THE HOSE.

WITH THE NOZZLE ASSEMBLY
NOW COMPLETE,

IT'S TIME FOR WHAT THEY CALL
A DAMP RUN.

WORKERS CHECK EVERYTHING

TO ENSURE THE NOZZLE
PERFORMS ITS TASK

AT EVERY TWIST AND TURN.

FROM THE OLD-FASHIONED NOZZLE
TO THE MODERN VARIETY

THAT COMES IN AN ASSORTMENT
OF FLOWS, PRESSURES, AND
SIZES,

THE EVOLUTION
OF THE FIRE-HOUSE NOZZLE

IS UNDOUBTEDLY A LIFESAVER.

Narrator: WHEN THEY MAKE
BASEBALLS FOR THE PROS,

THEY AREN'T JUST PLAYING
AROUND.

THEY BUILD THESE BALLS
PRECISELY
TO LEAGUE STANDARDS.

AND INCREDIBLY, THOSE
STANDARDS
DATE BACK TO 1872.

EACH BALL IS UNIFORM
IN CIRCUMFERENCE AND WEIGHT

SO THE GAME IS AN EQUAL
CONTEST.

CROWDS WILL GO WILD FOR THESE
PROFESSIONAL BASEBALLS.

AND AT THE HEART OF EACH ONE
IS SOMETHING CALLED THE PILL.

THE PILL IS SMALLER
THAN A GOLF BALL.

IT'S ABOUT 4 1/2 INCHES
IN CIRCUMFERENCE.

INSIDE THE PILL'S RUBBER
CASING
IS A SPHERE OF CORK.

THEY POUR LATEX ADHESIVE

OVER HUNDREDS OF PILLS
LOADED INTO A DRUM.

ROLLERS SPIN THE DRUM
TO EVENLY COAT THE PILLS

WITH THE ADHESIVE.

THIS ADHESIVE
NEVER DRIES OUT COMPLETELY,

AND THE PILLS REMAIN STICKY
TO THE TOUCH.

NEXT, THEY LOOP FOUR-PLY WOOL
AROUND THE PILL.

THIS MACHINE SPINS THE PILL
TO WIND THE YARN AROUND IT.

THIS WINDING SUBSTANTIALLY
FATTENS THE PILL.

IT'S THE FIRST TIME A CAMERA
HAS EVER BEEN ALLOWED

TO RECORD
THIS PROPRIETARY MACHINE,

SO WE CAN'T SHOW YOU ALL OF
IT.

THEY WIND A SECOND LAYER OF
WOOL
AROUND THE PILLS.

THIS YARN IS THREE-PLY, AND IT
THICKENS THE BALL A LITTLE
MORE.

FOR A THIRD WINDING,

THEY USE ANOTHER THREE-PLAY
YARD, BUT IT'S A BIT LIGHTER.

THE VARIOUS LAYERS OF YARN

ARE WHAT GIVE THE BASEBALL
RESILIENCE,

SO IT SPRINGS BACK INTO SHAPE
DESPITE BEING HIT REPEATEDLY.

FOR THE FINAL WINDING,

THEY USE A MUCH THINNER
POLY/WOOL BLEND

BECAUSE ITS SURFACE IS
SMOOTHER.

THIS WOUND PILL IS CALLED
THE CENTER.

THEY WEIGH IT
AND MEASURE ITS CIRCUMFERENCE,

WHICH SHOULD BE
ABOUT NINE INCHES.

THEY ADD ADHESIVE
TO A SPINNING DRUM,

THEN LOAD THE CENTERS INTO IT.

AS THE CENTERS TUMBLE,
THEY ABSORB THE GLUE,

AND THE WOUND FIBERS
ADHERE TO EACH OTHER.

THE CENTERS AIR DRY FOR 48
HOURS
BUT REMAIN STICKY.

USING THIS HYDRAULIC PRESS,

THEY PUNCH OUT FIGURE-EIGHT
SHAPES FROM LEATHER,

COMPLETE WITH HOLES
AROUND THE PERIPHERY,

ALLOWING THEM TO BE STITCHED
INTO BASEBALL COVERS.

BUT FIRST, THEY STAMP THE DATE
AND LOT NUMBER ONTO THEM.

THEN THEY WRAP THEM
IN WET TOWELS.

THE MOISTURE WILL MAKE THE
LEATHER PLIABLE ENOUGH TO SEW.

THEY ROLL
THE WATER-BASED ADHESIVE

ONTO ONE SIDE OF THE CUTOUTS,

WHICH STICKS
TO THE MOIST LEATHER.

THEY PRESS TWO CUTOUTS
TO THE CENTER'S STICKY
SURFACE.

IT'S AN EXACT FIT.

THEY CLAMP THE LEATHER BALL
IN A VICE, AND IT'S TIME TO
SEW.

WORKING WITH TWO NEEDLES,

THE SEWER PULLS THREAD
THROUGH THE BALL'S CENTER

AND UP THROUGH THE HOLES
IN THE LEATHER PIECES

TO CROSS-STITCH THEM TOGETHER.

HE RUBS WAX ON THE THREAD
TO STIFFEN IT,

BECAUSE IF IT SLACKENS,
IT'S MORE LIKELY TO TANGLE.

WHEN IT COMES
TO CROSS-STITCHING,

THESE WORKERS ARE IN A LEAGUE
OF THEIR OWN.

THEY MAKE QUICK WORK OF
THE 108 STITCHES IN EACH BALL.

THERE ARE 350 SEWERS
IN THIS FACTORY,

AND THEY PRODUCE
8,000 TO 10,000 BALLS PER DAY.

THAT'S A LOT OF HOME RUNS.

THE FINAL STITCH GOES THROUGH
THE CENTER OF THE BASEBALL

AND OUT THE OTHER SIDE.

THE SEWER THEN PULLS STITCHES
INTO A "V" CONFIGURATION

TO GIVE THE BALL
A CONSISTENT LOOK AND FEEL.

THE BALLS NOW ROLL INTO A
PRESS
THAT SMOOTHES DOWN THE SEAMS.

SMOOTHER BALLS
ARE HARDER TO GRIP,

AND THEY MAKE PITCHING
A BIT TOUGHER FOR THE PROS.

FINALLY, A THREE-HEADED
STAMPER
GIVES IT THE TRADEMARK,

LEAGUE LOGO, AND
THE COMMISSIONER'S SIGNATURE.

WITH DRYING CYCLES,

IT TAKES A WEEK TO MAKE
A PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL.

IT WILL BE WHACKED AND SLAMMED
OUT OF THE PLAYING FIELD.

BUT THAT'S LIFE
IN THE BIG LEAGUES.

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