How It's Made (2001–…): Season 3, Episode 9 - Inflatable Watercraft/Couscous/Modeling Dough/Wicker Products - full transcript

Discover the manufacturing process of inflatable watercraft, couscous, modeling dough and wicker products.


Narrator: TODAY
ON "HOW IT'S MADE"...

INFLATABLE WATERCRAFT...

...COUSCOUS...

...MODELING DOUGH...

...AND WICKER PRODUCTS.

TODAY'S INFLATABLE WATERCRAFT
RANGE FROM RAFTS AND DINGHIES

TO CANOES AND KAYAKS.

THEY'RE LESS EXPENSIVE
THAN CONVENTIONAL BOATS

AND EASIER TO STORE
AND TRANSPORT.

YOU DON'T NEED A TRAILER --

JUST THROW YOUR BOAT
IN THE TRUNK,

THEN UNFOLD AND INFLATE IT

WHEN YOU GET TO
YOUR AQUATIC DESTINATION.

WHETHER IT'S A RAFT
SHOOTING THE RAPIDS

OR A MOTORIZED BOAT
GLIDING ACROSS A CALM LAKE,

AN INFLATABLE WATERCRAFT

BEGINS WITH STURDY,
WATERPROOF MATERIAL.

THIS COMPANY USES PVC FABRIC
.04 OF AN INCH THICK

THAT HAS A NYLON
OR POLYESTER FIBER CORE.

AFTER WORKERS TRACE AND CUT OUT

THE PIECES
THAT WILL FORM THE BOAT,

THEY CONNECT THEM WITH A STRIP
OF THE SAME MATERIAL,

FUSING THEM TOGETHER USING
A MACHINE WITH A PROPANE FLAME.

THE INTENSE HEAT
MELTS THE SURFACE OF THE PVC

UNTIL THE PIECES BOND.

HERE'S THAT BONDING ACTION
IN SLOW MOTION.

NEXT, THEY FUSE
A STRIP OF PURE PVC

TO THE UNDERSIDE OF THE JOINT.

THIS ASSURES THAT AIR
WON'T LEAK OUT OF THE BOAT

WHERE THE PIECES CONNECT.

INFLATING THE BOAT

WILL PULL ON THE MATERIAL
SURROUNDING THE AIR VALVE,

SO THEY REINFORCE THAT AREA

WITH A ROUND PIECE OF PVC
CALLED A DOUBLER.

THIS HIGH-FREQUENCY
WELDING MACHINE

APPLIES 280 POUNDS OF PRESSURE

AND HEAT-GENERATING F.M. WAVES
TO FUSE THE DOUBLER IN PLACE.

THEN THEY CUT A HOLE
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DOUBLER

FOR THE AIR VALVE.

NEXT COME THE CONES.

CONES SUPPORT
THE WEIGHT OF THE MOTOR

AND ENABLE THE BOAT TO PLANE,

TO RISE ABOVE THE WATER
WHEN TRAVELING AT HIGH SPEED.

USING THE PROPANE-FLAME MACHINE,

WORKERS SEAL TOGETHER
THE ENDS OF THE BOAT...

THEN INSERT
THE INSIDE CONE PIECE

JUST BEFORE
THEY CLOSE IT UP COMPLETELY.

THEY FINISH OFF THE SEAL

USING THE HIGH-FREQUENCY
WELDING MACHINE,

THEN PULL
THE CONE PIECE THROUGH.

THEY INFLATE THE BOAT

UNTIL THE PRESSURE FORCES
THE CONE PIECE INTO PLACE.

THEY SEAL ALL AROUND IT
WITH HEAVY-DUTY CAULKING...

STICK ON
THE OUTSIDE CONE PIECE...

THEN SCREW IT SECURELY IN PLACE.

THEY FULLY INFLATE THE BOAT
TO PERFECT THE SEAL

AND EXPEL THE EXCESS CAULKING.

NOW THEY INSTALL
WHAT'S CALLED THE TRANSOM,

A PLANK OF WOOD
THAT SUPPORTS THE MOTOR

AT THE REAR OF THE BOAT.

THEY COVER IT IN BOAT FABRIC,

USING A PLASTIC RESIN-BASED GLUE

THAT'S RESISTANT
TO THE FIERY HEAT OF THE SUN.

THEY APPLY THE SAME GLUE
TO THE PIECE OF MATERIAL

THAT WILL BECOME
THE UNDERSIDE OF THE BOAT,

THEN POSITION IT IN PLACE.

AFTER GLUING ON A BUMPER
MADE OF HARD PVC,

THEY COAT THE BOAT'S UNDERSIDE
IN A LIQUID PLASTIC RESIN.

THIS PROTECTS THE BOTTOM

WHEN THE BOAT RUNS AGROUND
OVER ROCKS AND SAND.

THEY TEST-INFLATE THE KEEL,

A STABILIZER THAT RUNS
THE LENGTH OF THE BOAT.

THEN THEY DEFLATE IT
AND BEGIN INSTALLING THE FLOOR.

THE FLOOR IS MADE UP
OF FIVE CONNECTED PIECES,

THREE MADE OF ALUMINUM

AND TWO MADE OF FIBERGLASS,
PLASTIC, OR WOOD.

THE HOLE IN THE FLOOR
IS FOR THE KEEL'S AIR VALVE.

AFTER INFLATING THE BOAT...

THEY INFLATE THE KEEL.

NOW THEY TAKE MEASUREMENTS

TO DETERMINE
WHERE TO POSITION THE OARS.

FIRST, THEY GLUE ON
THE OARLOCKS,

THE PIECES
THAT HOLD THE OARS IN PLACE.

THE OARS ARE MADE OF ALUMINUM,

SO THEY'RE LIGHTWEIGHT
AND THEY WON'T RUST.

THE MOTOR IS 6 HORSEPOWER
TO 50 HORSEPOWER,

DEPENDING ON
THE SIZE OF THE BOAT.

Narrator: COUSCOUS
IS A TRADITIONAL STAPLE

OF NORTH AFRICAN CUISINE.

IT LOOKS LIKE A GRAIN,
BUT IT'S ACTUALLY PASTA.

THESE DAYS, FEW PEOPLE
MAKE COUSCOUS FROM SCRATCH.

EVEN IN NORTH AFRICA,

THEY USUALLY BUY
THEIR COUSCOUS READY-MADE

AND JUST STEAM-COOK IT.

COUSCOUS IS THE PRODUCT
OF CULINARY SIMPLICITY.

IT'S MADE FROM ONE INGREDIENT
AND ONE INGREDIENT ALONE --

WHEAT, MOST OFTEN,
THE DURUM SPECIES OF WHEAT.

WHEN YOU REMOVE THE GRAINS,
GRIND THEM,

AND SIFT OUT THE FINER FLOUR,

YOU'RE LEFT WITH A COARSER
WHEAT FLOUR CALLED "SEMOLINA."

THAT'S THE FLOUR
FROM WHICH THEY MAKE COUSCOUS.

THE FIRST STEP
IS KNOWN AS "HYDRATION."

AN AUTOMATED FOOD PROCESSOR

MEASURES ABOUT 1/3 WATER
TO 2/3 SEMOLINA,

THEN MIXES THEM FOR 3 MINUTES.

THE FLOUR PARTICLES
ABSORB THE LIQUID

AND BLOAT INTO A RAW DOUGH.

THE DOUGH PARTICLES
THEN GO INTO A ROTATING DRUM,

WHERE THEY SPIN
FOR SEVEN MINUTES.

THIS ROUNDS THEM INTO BALLS
OF VARYING SIZES.

A SCREEN INSIDE THE DRUM
SIFTS OUT THE BIG CLUMPS.

THE RAW DOUGHBALLS GO INTO
A GIANT STEAM-COOKER

FOR 15 MINUTES.

THE INTENSE HEAT,
OVER 210 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT,

COOKS THE DOUGH BY GELATINIZING
THE STARCH IN THE WHEAT.

AS THE COUSCOUS BALLS EXIT
THE STEAM-COOKER STUCK TOGETHER,

GIANT REVOLVING BLADES
BREAK THEM UP.

THE SOGGY COUSCOUS
NOW ENTERS A ROTATING DRYER,

WHERE IT SPINS FOR 18 MINUTES.

THIS REMOVES 22% OF THE WATER.

THE REMAINING MOISTURE
IS NECESSARY

TO PREVENT THE COUSCOUS
FROM DRYING OUT IN THE PACKAGE.

NOW THE COUSCOUS
POURS OUT OF THE DRYER

AND ONTO THE CONVEYOR BELT THAT
FUNNELS IT TO THE NEXT STATION.

YOU CAN SEE THAT
THE BALLS ARE MUCH DRIER

AND RELATIVELY UNIFORM IN SIZE,

BUT THEY'RE STILL STEAMING HOT,

SO THEY GO OFF
TO A REFRIGERATION CHAMBER

FOR TWO MINUTES TO COOL.

AS THE COUSCOUS
EXITS THE CHAMBER,

IT RUNS THROUGH
A SCREENING MACHINE

THAT SEPARATES THE BALLS,
CALLED "GRAINS," BY SIZE.

MEDIUM AND FINE COUSCOUS

GO OFF TO THEIR RESPECTIVE
STORAGE SILOS,

WHILE GRAINS THAT ARE TOO BIG
OR TOO SMALL

GO BACK TO BE REPROCESSED.

THE COUSCOUS-MAKING PROCESS,

FROM WHEAT SEMOLINA
TO THE FINISHED PRODUCT,

HAS TAKEN JUST 45 MINUTES.

AS WE'VE SEEN,

MOST OF THE COOKING'S
BEEN DONE BY THE FACTORY,

SO ALL THE CONSUMER
WILL HAVE TO DO

IS STEAM THIS READY-MADE
COUSCOUS FOR FIVE MINUTES

ON THE STOVE
OR IN THE MICROWAVE.

THIS FACTORY PACKAGES ITS
COUSCOUS IN BULK QUANTITIES,

AS WELL AS IN SMALLER,
MEAL-SIZED PORTIONS.

TODAY, READY-MADE COUSCOUS
COMES IN MANY DIFFERENT FLAVORS.

AND DEPENDING ON
THE DISH YOU'RE MAKING

OR YOUR PERSONAL PREFERENCE,

YOU CAN CHOOSE MEDIUM GRAIN...

OR FINE GRAIN.

PLAIN OR FLAVORED COUSCOUS

IS BECOMING AN INCREASINGLY
POPULAR SIDE DISH,

AN ALTERNATIVE TO RICE,
POTATOES, OR NOODLES.

YOU CAN EVEN BUY
MAIN-COURSE COUSCOUS KITS

THAT COME WITH
A CAN OF VEGETABLES

AND A PACKET OF SAUCE.

Narrator: THERE'S NOTHING
LITTLE KIDS LOVE MORE

THAN DIGGING THEIR HANDS INTO A
MOUND OF SQUISHY MODELING DOUGH,

THEN ROLLING AND SHAPING IT.

IT'S A HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE
IN CREATIVITY,

MADE ALL THE MORE FUN
BY MODELING DOUGHS

THAT COME IN BRIGHT COLORS
AND YUMMY SCENTS.

JUST IN CASE LITTLE BILLY

DECIDES TO SNACK
ON HIS ARTISTIC CREATION,

THIS SCENTED MODELING DOUGH

IS MADE ENTIRELY
OF FOOD INGREDIENTS --

FLAVORINGS AND COLORINGS,
SALT, FLOUR, HOT WATER,

AND SOME SECRET INGREDIENTS
THE COMPANY WON'T DIVULGE.

THE KEY TO ACHIEVING
JUST THE RIGHT CONSISTENCY

IS METICULOUS MEASUREMENT.

THEY USE ELECTRONIC SCALES TO
PRECISION-WEIGH EACH INGREDIENT.

BIT BY BIT,
THEY POUR THE DRY INGREDIENTS

AND FLAVORINGS INTO THE MIXER.

THE AMOUNT OF HOT WATER THEY ADD

VARIES ACCORDING TO THE COLOR
AND SCENT THEY'RE PRODUCING.

THE PROPORTIONS ARE ABOUT 30%
WATER TO 70% DRY INGREDIENTS.

THE LAST INGREDIENT
IS FOOD COLORING --

IN THIS CASE, CHERRY RED.

FOR THE MODELING DOUGH
TO COME OUT JUST RIGHT,

THE MIXING TIME HAS TO BE

PRECISELY 3 MINUTES
AND 20 SECONDS.

WHEN THE DOUGH COMES OUT,

IT'S ROUGHLY
THE CONSISTENCY OF PIE DOUGH.

IT'S QUITE HOT
FROM ALL THAT CHURNING,

ALMOST 160 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT,

BUT THERE'S NO NEED TO COOL IT
BEFORE PACKAGING.

IT GOES RIGHT INTO
A MACHINE CALLED THE STUFFER,

WHICH CUTS IT
IN CONTAINER-SIZED PORTIONS.

THE FINISHED PRODUCT
IS SOFT AND MALLEABLE,

ENOUGH FOR ENDLESS HOURS
OF PLAYING.

BESIDES SMELLING DELIGHTFUL,

THIS MODELING DOUGH
DOESN'T CRUMBLE,

DOESN'T STICK TO THINGS,

AND WON'T STAIN CLOTHES
OR UPHOLSTERY.

A MACHINE CALLED
THE CONTAINER DISTRIBUTOR

LINES UP THE PLASTIC CONTAINERS.

THEN THE STUFFER DROPS A WAD
OF HOT DOUGH INTO EACH ONE.

AS THE CONTAINERS
MOVE DOWN THE LINE,

ON GOES A COVER STAMPED
WITH THE PRODUCTION DATE.

A COMPRESSION ROLLER
THEN RUNS OVER THE COVER

TO CREATE AN AIRTIGHT SEAL.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST,

A COLORFUL STICKER
TO BOLDLY IDENTIFY THE SCENT.

THE CONTAINERS PASS THROUGH
A METAL DETECTOR,

A PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE

IN CASE SOME METAL SHARDS
WORE OFF THE MACHINERY

AND LANDED UNNOTICED
IN THE DOUGH.

THE COMPANY LAB IS CONTINUALLY
DEVELOPING NEW SCENTS.

THIS BRAND COMES IN
36 DIFFERENT SCENTS SO FAR...

FROM A VARIETY OF FRUITS...

...TO KID-FRIENDLY FOODS.

THE LAB IS ALSO CONSTANTLY
EXPERIMENTING WITH NEW COLORS,

THOUGH SOME, SUCH AS PURPLES,
ARE QUITE DIFFICULT TO PRODUCE.

CHILDREN, OF COURSE,
CAN MAKE THEIR OWN COLORS

SIMPLY BY COMBINING
EXISTING ONES.

IF YOU LEAVE THE MODELING DOUGH

OUT OF THE SEALED CONTAINER
FOR TOO LONG, IT'LL DRY OUT.

BUT BECAUSE THIS BRAND
IS WATER-BASED,

NOT OIL-BASED LIKE SOME OTHERS,

YOU CAN REVIVE IT.

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO
IS ADD A FEW DROPS OF WATER,

KNEAD IT A BIT,

THEN PUT IT BACK
IN THE SEALED CONTAINER.

AFTER A FEW HOURS,

YOUR SCENTED MODELING DOUGH
WILL BE AS GOOD AS NEW.

Narrator: WICKER IS
THIN BRANCHES OR VINES

FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO BE WOVEN.

MANY PLANTS
CAN BE USED FOR WICKER,

SUCH AS WILLOW AND RATTAN.

QUALITY WICKER IS VERY DURABLE.

YOU CAN FIND
ANTIQUE WICKER FURNITURE

THAT'S AS STURDY TODAY
AS IT WAS IN ITS HEYDAY.

THE OLDEST PIECE OF WICKER ON
RECORD DATES BACK TO 1400 B.C.

ARCHEOLOGISTS DISCOVERED IT
IN EGYPT,

WHERE, IN ANCIENT TIMES,
PEOPLE USED WICKER CHAIRS.

HANDWOVEN WICKER FURNITURE

WAS THE RAGE IN EUROPE
AND NORTH AMERICA IN THE 1800s.

TO MEET THIS DEMAND,

TRADE SCHOOLS CHURNED OUT
MASTER WICKER WEAVERS.

BUT BY THE 1930s, MANUFACTURERS
DEVELOPED A PAPER FIBER

TO MIMIC THE LOOK OF WICKER

AND LARGE MECHANIZED LOOMS
TO DO THE WEAVING.

TODAY'S GENUINE WICKER ITEMS
ARE USUALLY MADE OF RATTAN CORE,

RATTAN PALM-TREE BRANCHES
STRIPPED OF THEIR BARK

THEN PROCESSED INTO DIFFERENT
DIAMETERS AND PROFILES.

AT THIS WORKSHOP,

THEY USE A MANUAL LOOM
TO WEAVE WICKER HAMPERS.

TAKING WHAT'S KNOWN
AS "FLAT OVAL RATTAN CORE" --

FLAT ON ONE SIDE,
ROUNDED ON THE OTHER --

THEY RUN HORIZONTAL STRANDS
THROUGH VERTICAL STRANDS

IN AN UNDER-AND-OVER PATTERN,

WORKING BETWEEN
THE HAMPER'S WOODEN FRAME

AND ITS FIBERBOARD LINING.

THEY KEEP
THE VERTICAL STRANDS TAUT

BY TYING THEM TO WEIGHTED ROPES.

IT'S IMPORTANT

TO KEEP MOISTENING THE RATTAN
WITH HOT WATER

TO KEEP IT SUPPLE ENOUGH
TO MANIPULATE.

THEY WEAVE ONE THIN ROUND STRAND

AFTER EVERY 5-INCH-HIGH SECTION
OF FLAT OVAL.

THERE'S NO STRUCTURAL REASON
FOR THIS PATTERN --

IT'S PURELY AESTHETIC.

A WICKER WASTEBASKET BEGINS WITH
A BASE THAT DICTATES THE SHAPE.

THEY INSERT VERTICAL STAKES
OF ROUND RATTAN CORE

ALONG ITS PERIMETER,
THEN BELOW THE BASE,

BEND EACH STAKE OVER THE NEXT,
THEN UNDER THE ONE AFTER THAT.

THIS FORMS WHAT'S CALLED
THE FOOT BORDER,

A BOTTOM RIM THAT HOLDS
THE BASE SECURELY IN PLACE.

NOW THEY INSERT A WOODEN FORM
AND BEGIN WEAVING.

FIRST, A SMALL SECTION
OF ROUND ROWS,

THEN A LARGE SECTION
OF FLAT OVAL ONES.

SLOWLY AND PATIENTLY,
THEY WORK THEIR WAY TO THE TOP,

NEVER RESORTING
TO GLUE OR STAPLES

TO HOLD THE STRANDS TOGETHER,

ONLY A HOOK TO COMPRESS THE ROWS
FOR A NEAT AND TIGHT WEAVE.

EVERY SO OFTEN, THEY USE PLIERS
TO TEAR OFF A STRAY FIBER.

NOW FOR THE FINISHING TOUCH.

THEY BRAID WHAT'S LEFT
OF THE VERTICAL STAKES

INTO A DECORATIVE TOP RIM.

THIS PARTICULAR BRAIDING
TECHNIQUE IS VERY COMPLEX,

REQUIRING ALL 10 FINGERS
AND A SPECIAL TOOL

TO PRY STUBBORN STRANDS APART.

THEY SNIP OFF THE EXCESS
WITH A CUTTER.

WHEN THEY'RE FINISHED, THEY
REMOVE THE MODULAR WOODEN FORM.

ITS COMPONENTS ARE NUMBERED,

SO THEY'LL KNOW
HOW TO REASSEMBLE THEM

FOR THE NEXT BASKET.

ANOTHER MORE DECORATIVE WAY
TO FINISH THE TOP OF THE BASKET

IS THIS ARCH TECHNIQUE.

THEY TRIM EACH VERTICAL STAKE,
BEND IT INTO AN ARCH,

THEN TUCK IT INTO THE BASKET
THREE STAKES OVER.

THIS MEASURING TOOL ENSURES
THE ARCHES ARE OF EQUAL HEIGHT,

WHILE THIS METAL DEVICE
CREATES A SPACE

INTO WHICH TO TUCK EACH STAKE.

WICKER WEAVERS
CREATE MAGNIFICENT DESIGNS

BY COMBINING VARIOUS SHAPES
AND SIZES OF RATTAN.

A STRAND CAN BE AS THICK AS
A PENCIL OR AS THIN AS A NEEDLE.

WHILE THIS DOESN'T QUITE FALL
UNDER THE CATEGORY OF WICKER,

IT'S NOT UNCOMMON
TO SEE WICKER WORKSHOPS

USE OTHER NATURAL MATERIALS.

HERE, THEY'RE WEAVING
A CHAIR SEAT

OUT OF CORD MADE FROM SEA GRASS.

THERE'S ALSO
WICKER SEATING MATERIAL.

THIS PREWOVEN SHEET
IS CALLED "CANE SEATING,"

OR "RATTAN PEEL."

IT'S MADE FROM THE BARK
STRIPPED OFF THE RATTAN BRANCH.

FIRST, THEY FORCE IT
INTO A GROOVE

IN THE CHAIR'S WOODEN FRAME,

THEN THEY GLUE IN
WHAT'S CALLED "SPLINE,"

A STRIP OF RATTAN CORE
WITH A POINTED EDGE.

THEY WEDGE THAT EDGE
INTO THE GROOVE

AND BRING IT DOWN TO THE HOLD
THE RATTAN PEEL IN PLACE.

THEN THEY TRIM OFF THE EXCESS.

BECAUSE WICKER IS WOOD,

IT CAN BE STAINED OR PAINTED
OR LEFT ITS NATURAL COLOR.

WHATEVER THE FINISH,

THEY GIVE IT TWO OR THREE COATS
OF VARNISH FOR PROTECTION.

CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

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