How It's Made (2001–…): Season 7, Episode 11 - Halogen Bulbs/Cellulose Insulation/Aluminium Ladders/Bamboo Fly Rods - full transcript

Find out how halogen bulbs, cellulose insulation, aluminum ladders, and bamboo fly rods are made.


CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

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

HALOGEN BULBS...

...CELLULOSE INSULATION...

...ALUMINUM LADDERS...

...AND BAMBOO FLY RODS.

HALOGEN HEADLIGHTS

ARE AN EXAMPLE
OF TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS.

THE HALOGEN BULBS
THROW COOL, WHITE LIGHT

THAT MIMICS DAYLIGHT,
ILLUMINATING THE ROAD AHEAD.

AND BECAUSE
THEY'RE ENERGY-EFFICIENT,

THEY DON'T BURN OUT TOO OFTEN.

THAT'S A PLUS WHEN YOU'RE TRYING
TO KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD.

TO MAKE A HALOGEN HEADLIGHT,

MECHANICAL JAWS LOAD
THREE LEAD WIRES INTO A MACHINE.

A GRIPPER MOVES IN AND
BENDS THE WIRES AT THE BOTTOM.

MEANWHILE, A CONVEYER SYSTEM

FEEDS LITTLE GLASS RODS
TO A BURNER.

THE SOFTENED GLASS
IS NOW PRESSED

UNDER EITHER SIDE OF
THE LEAD WIRES, ENCASING THEM.

NEXT, A WELDING HEAD
FUSES TUNGSTEN COILS

TO THE LEAD-WIRE ASSEMBLY.

THE COIL IS THE FILAMENT,

THE PART OF THE BULB
THAT EMITS LIGHT.

OVER AT ANOTHER STATION,

A MECHANICAL ARM LOADS A GLASS
TUBE INTO A MACHINE HEAD.

A BURNER AIMS A FLAME
AT THE CENTER TO SOFTEN IT UP.

THEN MECHANICAL HEADS
PULL THE GLASS AT BOTH ENDS

AS THE BURNER CONTINUES
TO FIRE HEAT AT THE MIDDLE.

THIS CREATES A NECK IN THE TUBE.

NOW MECHANICAL ARMS POSITION
THE COIL-AND-LEAD-WIRE ASSEMBLY

UNDER THE NEWLY SHAPED
GLASS TUBES.

GRIPPERS LOWER THE GLASS TUBE
OVER THEM

SO THEY SIT UNDER THE NECK.

BURNERS MOVE IN AND ENCIRCLE
THE GLASS AT THE BOTTOM,

SOFTENING IT.

THEN A PRESS SEALS THE GLASS
AROUND THE LEAD WIRES,

WHICH PROTRUDE FROM THE BOTTOM.

NEXT, A TEST -- AN ELECTRODE
SPARKS THE LEAD WIRES.

WHEN THE CAPSULE ILLUMINATES,

IT MEANS THERE'S
AMBIENT AIR INSIDE

THAT WOULD INTERFERE
WITH THE BULB'S FUNCTION.

VACUUMS AT THE TOP OF THE BULB

SUCK OUT ALL THE AIR
AND CONTAMINANTS.

THEN NOZZLES SPRAY
LIQUID NITROGEN ONTO THE BULB.

THIS FREEZES IT INSIDE AND OUT,
CREATING A PRESSURE DIFFERENCE.

THAT CHANGE IN PRESSURE
PULLS HALOGEN GAS INTO THE BULB

FROM A CHAMBER ABOVE.

ALLOWING NO TIME
FOR THE GAS TO ESCAPE,

BURNERS HEAT-SEAL
THE BULB AT THE NECK.

THE BULBS THEN COOL AS THEY MOVE
ON A TRANSFER CHAIN.

GRIPPERS NOW LOAD THE BULBS
INTO ANOTHER MACHINE.

A PUSHER MOVES UP
AND SNAPS A STEEL RETAINER

AROUND THE BOTTOM OF EACH BULB.

MEANWHILE, ANOTHER MACHINE
BUILDS THE BASE FOR THE BULB.

IT PUSHES ELECTRICAL CONTACTS
INTO THE PLASTIC RECEPTACLE.

THIS IS THE VIEW
FROM THE BOTTOM.

THESE PRONGS
WILL EVENTUALLY CONNECT

THE HEADLIGHT TO THE VEHICLE.

NEXT, JAWS FLIP THE BASES.

THEY LOAD THEM
ONTO A TRAY ON TRACKS.

THE TRAY DELIVERS THE PLASTIC
BASES TO A MECHANICAL ARM

THAT INSTALLS METAL RETAINERS
ON EACH ONE.

THE BASES SLIDE FORWARD,

AND THE MACHINE INSERTS
THE GLASS BULBS INTO THEM.

BUT IT'S A LOOSE FIT.

THIS MACHINE ALIGNS
EACH BULB TO ITS BASE.

JAWS TILT
AND SLIDE IT INTO PLACE,

THEN A LASER WELDS IT TOGETHER.

THIS ALIGNMENT IS CRITICAL.

COILS FOR THE LOW-BEAM
AND HIGH-BEAM MECHANISMS

MUST BE PRECISELY POSITIONED

FOR THE HEADLIGHT TO PROJECT
THE RIGHT LIGHT.

NEXT, A SERIES OF CLAWS
PICK UP THE BULBS.

THEY DIP THEM
IN AN OPAQUE COATING.

IT'S CALLED BLACKTOP

BECAUSE IT ONLY COVERS
THE TOPS OF THE BULBS.

THIS WILL DIRECT LIGHT
OUT OF THE SIDES OF THE BULB.

NOW IT'S TIME
TO TAKE THESE HEADLIGHTS

FOR A TEST-DRIVE, SO TO SPEAK.

A BRACKET HOLDS THEM DOWN

WHILE PROBES UNDERNEATH ENERGIZE
THEM TO MAKE SURE THEY WORK.

A PLUNGER PLACES A GASKET
AROUND THE BASE.

THIS WILL SEAL THE HEADLIGHT
CAPSULE TO THE AUTOMOBILE.

AND NOW THEY'RE READY TO GUIDE
YOU ON YOUR NIGHTTIME DRIVES.

Narrator: INSULATION KEEPS
YOUR HOME WARMER IN THE WINTER

AND COOLER IN THE SUMMER.

ONE TYPE OF INSULATION MATERIAL

IS CELLULOSE FIBER
MADE FROM RECYCLED PAPER.

IT'S DERIVED FROM
A NATURAL SOURCE, WOOD FIBER,

SO IT'S NONPOLLUTING.

IT CONTAINS NO ASBESTOS,
NO FIBERGLASS,

AND THERE'S
NO FORMALDEHYDE IN IT,

SO IT DOESN'T EMIT ANY GASES.

LIKE OTHER INSULATION MATERIALS,

CELLULOSE FIBER HAS TO MEET

STRICT GOVERNMENT
SAFETY STANDARDS.

ONE FIRESAFETY TEST ASSESSES

WHAT'S CALLED
SMOLDER RESISTANCE.

THE COMPANY LAB WEIGHS A SAMPLE
FROM THE PRODUCTION LINE,

THEN INSERTS
A LIT CIGARETTE IN IT.

ONCE THE CIGARETTE BURNS OUT,
WHICH TAKES AN HOUR OR TWO,

THE LAB WEIGHS THE SAMPLE AGAIN.

THE WEIGHT LOSS
MUST BE LESS THAN 15%.

HOW THEY MAKE
CELLULOSE INSULATION

ISN'T VERY COMPLICATED.

IT ALL BEGINS WITH RECYCLED
PAPER DELIVERED IN BULK.

WORKERS LOAD IT
ONTO A CONVEYOR BELT,

AND FROM THAT POINT ON,
THE ENTIRE PROCESS IS AUTOMATED.

THE PAPER FIRST GOES

INTO A MACHINE
CALLED THE PRIMARY MIXER.

IT SEPARATES
THE BUNCHED-UP PIECES,

PREPARING THEM FOR SHREDDING.

THE MACHINE'S POWERFUL MAGNET

REMOVES STAPLES, PAPER CLIPS,
AND ANY OTHER PIECES OF METAL.

FROM THERE,
THE PAPER GOES INTO A SHREDDER,

WHICH RIPS IT INTO PIECES
ABOUT 2 INCHES LONG.

THE FACTORY MIXES THE SHREDDED
PAPER WITH BORIC ACID,

A NATURAL COMPOUND
THAT ACTS AS A FIRE RETARDANT.

IT ALSO MAKES
THE INSULATION PEST-RESISTANT,

AND IT HELPS FEND OFF MOLD,
WOOD DECAY, AND CORROSION.

NOW A MACHINE CALLED A FIBERIZER
SHREDS THE PAPER

INTO TINY PIECES ONLY
ABOUT 1/8 OF AN INCH LONG,

AND IT MIXES THEM
WITH MORE BORIC ACID.

FROM THE TIME THE RECYCLED PAPER
ARRIVES BY TRUCK

TO THE TIME
IT COMES OFF THE LINE

AS CELLULOSE-FIBER INSULATION,

ONLY ABOUT FIVE MINUTES
HAVE PASSED.

BUT THE INSULATION
DOESN'T LEAVE THE FACTORY

BEFORE UNDERGOING
THOROUGH SAFETY TESTING.

THIS TEST ASSESSES
WHAT'S CALLED OPEN FLAMMABILITY.

THEY HEAT THE INSULATION
TO 122 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT

TO REPRESENT THE TEMPERATURE
OF A ROOF IN THE HOT SUN.

THEN THEY IGNITE IT.

THE FLAME TRAVELS
BUT THEN DIES OUT,

THANKS TO THE BORIC ACID.

IF THAT HAPPENS
WITHIN A CERTAIN DISTANCE,

THE INSULATION IS SAFE.

OUTSIDE RESEARCH FIRMS
ALSO TEST THE PRODUCT FOR SAFETY

TO INDEPENDENTLY CORROBORATE

THE RESULTS
OF THE COMPANY'S TESTS.

THE AUTOMATED
PACKAGING EQUIPMENT

BLOWS 25 POUNDS
OF INSULATION INTO A BAG,

AT THE SAME TIME COMPRESSING
THE FIBER INTO A BLOCK.

SOME TYPES OF THERMAL INSULATION

COME AS THICK RECTANGULAR
BLANKETS KNOWN AS BATTS.

YOU INSTALL THEM BY HAND,

FITTING THEM SNUGLY
BETWEEN THE WALL STUDS.

CELLULOSE FIBER
DOESN'T COME IN BATTS.

IT'S KNOWN
AS LOOSE-FILL INSULATION.

A PROFESSIONAL INSTALLER

HAS TO INJECT IT
IN BETWEEN THE WALLS.

BY SPRAYING IT UNDER PRESSURE,

IT FILLS ALL THE SPACES
WITHOUT ANY GAPS,

SOMETHING THAT'S HARD TO DO
WITH PRE-SHAPED BATTS.

INSULATING PERFORMANCE
IS REFERRED TO AS R-VALUE.

THE HIGHER THE R-VALUE,

THE MORE EFFECTIVE
THE INSULATION.

CELLULOSE-FIBER INSULATION
HAS A HIGHER R-VALUE

THAN LOOSE-FILL
MINERAL-FIBER INSULATION

AND, DEPENDING ON WHICH
STATISTICS YOU'RE LOOKING AT,

HAS EITHER THE SAME R-VALUE
AS LOOSE-FILL FIBERGLASS

OR A HIGHER R-VALUE
THAN FIBERGLASS.

CELLULOSE FIBER IS DENSER
THAN OTHER MATERIALS,

SO IT BETTER RESISTS
AIR MOVEMENT,

MAKING IT LESS LIKELY TO MOVE
OUT OF PLACE AFTER INSTALLATION.

Narrator: THE ALUMINUM LADDER
IS VERY CONVENIENT.

LIGHTWEIGHT AND STURDY,
IT MAKES ANY ASCENT EASIER.

BACK IN THE 1930s,
WOODEN LADDERS WERE THE STANDARD

BUT WERE EXTREMELY HEAVY
AND DIFFICULT TO POSITION.

THE USE OF ALUMINUM TOOK THINGS
TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL.

FOR A LADDER TO REALLY HOLD UP,

THE ALUMINUM NEEDS
TO BE STRENGTHENED

WITH THESE INGREDIENTS --

SILICON, MAGNESIUM,

MANGANESE, AND COPPER.

IT ALL GOES
INTO AN ENORMOUS FURNACE.

IT TAKES A CRANE
TO TRANSPORT A HOPPER

FULL OF ALUMINUM
OVER TO THE FURNACE.

THE HOPPER OPENS
AT THE BOTTOM TO UNLOAD.

A WORKER OPENS A DOOR
AT THE FRONT OF THE FURNACE.

HE WEARS A FACE SHIELD
TO PROTECT HIM

FROM THE BLISTERING
1,300 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

HE ADDS THE OTHER INGREDIENTS,

AND THE HEAT TURNS IT ALL
INTO A LIQUID MASS.

THE LIQUID FLOWS OUT
OF THE FURNACE INTO TROUGHS.

IT SEEPS THROUGH HOLES
IN THE TROUGHS

TO MOLDS IN THE GROUND.

THE LIQUID COOLS AND HARDENS
IN THE MOLDS.

THIS MAKES LOG SHAPES THAT ARE
ALMOST 23 FEET IN LENGTH.

A HYDRAULIC LIFT EXTRACTS THEM
FROM THE MOLDS

AND SLOWLY TAKES THEM
TO THE NEXT STATION.

YOU WOULDN'T WANT
TO RUSH THIS JOB.

EACH LOG WEIGHS
ABOUT 1,100 POUNDS,

AND DROPPING ONE
COULD DO SERIOUS DAMAGE.

A SAW CUTS THEM INTO PELLETS.

THE SIZE DEPENDS ON
THE TYPE OF LADDER BEING MADE.

A MECHANICAL LIFT DELIVERS
A HEATED PELLET TO AN EXTRUDER,

AND A RAM PUSHES IT
INTO THE OPENING.

THEY MOVE THE DIE PLATE
INTO POSITION.

THE RAM FORCES THE HOT PELLET

THROUGH THE HOLES
IN THE DIE PLATE.

THIS MAKES A RAIL SHAPE
ABOUT 130 FEET LONG.

A PULLER DRAGS THE RAIL
ONTO A TABLE

AND LEAVES IT TO COOL
AND HARDEN.

THEN A CIRCULAR SAW SLICES IT

INTO MANAGEABLE LENGTHS --
19 1/2 FEET.

OPERATORS FEED EACH END
OF THE LADDER RAIL

TO JAW SYSTEMS WHICH PULL IT
TO MAKE IT COMPLETELY STRAIGHT.

THE STRAIGHTENED RAILS
NOW MOVE ON TO THE NEXT STATION,

WHERE THEY RIVET PLASTIC FEET
ONTO THE ENDS

TO KEEP THE LADDER
FROM SLIPPING.

THEY STICK SAFETY INFORMATION
ONTO THE RAILS.

AND NOW THEY ASSEMBLE THE LADDER
ONE STEP AT A TIME.

WORKERS FIT EACH STEP
IN THE RIMS OF THE LADDER RAILS.

THEY RIVET THEM INTO PLACE.

THIS WILL BE THE FRONT
OF A LIGHT-DUTY STEPLADDER.

THEY INSTALL A DIAGONAL BRACE...

...AND TURN THE LADDER OVER

TO RIVET THE STEPS
FROM THE OTHER SIDE.

IT'S A LITTLE MORE
REINFORCEMENT.

THEN THEY BUILD THE BACKSIDE
OF THE STEPLADDER.

THEY RIVET
THE STURDY BLUE PLASTIC TOP

ONTO THE FRONT AND BACK PIECES,
JOINING THE TWO.

THEY INSTALL A SPREADER,

SECURING IT WITH RIVETS,
AS WELL.

AND NOW THIS STEPLADDER

IS READY TO PROVIDE
A LITTLE ELEVATION.

FOR A LOT OF ELEVATION,
THEY MAKE EXTENSION LADDERS.

THEY USE ROUND RUNGS
FOR GREATER STRENGTH.

THEY FEED EACH RUNG
TO A COINING MACHINE,

WHICH TAPERS THE ENDS.

ANOTHER MACHINE PRESSES
ALUMINUM FERRULES ON RINGS

ONTO EACH END.

THIS ALLOWS THE RUNGS
TO FIT SNUGLY INTO SLOTS

IN THE EXTENSION LADDER'S
SIDE RAILS.

HYDRAULIC ARMS REACH
FROM ABOVE AND BELOW

TO PRESS-FIT THE RUNGS
INTO THE SIDE RAILS.

FINALLY, WORKERS RIVET
RUBBER PADS

ONTO THE ENDS OF THE RAILS.

THIS PROVIDES
A FIRM FOOTING FOR THE LADDER.

THESE LADDERS ARE NOW COMPLETE.

AND IF YOU'RE ON YOUR WAY
UP IN THE WORLD,

THEY'LL COME IN HANDY.

Narrator:
THE BAMBOO FLY ROD IS A CLASSIC.

THE SPLIT-BAMBOO ROD
HAS BEEN AROUND

SINCE THE EARLY 19th CENTURY,

AND FOR MANY YEARS, IT WAS
THE ONLY KIND OF ROD AVAILABLE.

THESE DAYS,
SYNTHETIC RODS ABOUND,

BUT BAMBOO STILL HOLDS
A TRADITIONAL APPEAL

TO THOSE THAT LIKE
TO FISH THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY.

GOING FISHING?

A BAMBOO ROD IS CONSIDERED
A WORK OF ART

IN FLY-FISHING CIRCLES.

TO MAKE ONE, A CRAFTSMAN TOASTS
A BAMBOO POLE ON AN OPEN FLAME.

HE HOLDS IT CLOSE TO THE FIRE,
BUT NOT TOO CLOSE --

ONE FALSE MOVE,
AND HE COULD SCORCH IT.

THE GOAL IS TO TURN THE BAMBOO
A GOLDEN BROWN.

HE POUNDS A WEDGE
INTO THE TOASTED BAMBOO

AND DRIVES IT
DOWN THE LENGTH OF THE POLE.

HE PULLS THE POLE APART,
SPLITTING IT IN TWO.

THEN HE CONTINUES
TO SPLIT THE BAMBOO,

MAKING STRIPS THAT ARE LESS
THAN A HALF-INCH IN WIDTH.

HE GRINDS DOWN THE BUMPS ON THE
EXTERIOR OF EACH BAMBOO STRIP

USING A BELT SANDER.

NEXT, IT'S OVER
TO THE MILLING MACHINE.

IT TAPERS THE UNDERSIDE
OF THE BAMBOO STRIP,

BEVELING IT TO A 60-DEGREE ANGLE
FROM END TO END.

THE TAPERING IS A CRITICAL STEP

THAT WILL AFFECT
THE ROD'S CASTING PERFORMANCE.

EACH STRIP HAS TO BE PERFECT.

THE ROD MAKER INSPECTS THEM
FOR FLAWS...

AND THEN FITS SIX TOGETHER
IN A HEXAGONAL CONFIGURATION.

HE WRAPS THEM WITH COTTON TWINE

TO HOLD THEM TOGETHER
VERY LOOSELY AT ONE END.

THEN HE DIPS THE BAMBOO STRIPS
IN A TANK OF THERMOSETTING GLUE.

HE FEEDS THEM
TO A TWINING MACHINE

WHICH BINDS THE STRIPS
TIGHTLY TOGETHER.

IT'S A TEMPORARY WRAP --
A KIND OF CLAMP

TO HOLD THE PIECES TOGETHER
WHILE THE GLUE DRIES.

THE PIECES ARE
NOW LAMINATED INTO ONE,

BUT THE RESULT IS
NEVER PERFECTLY STRAIGHT,

SO THE ROD MAKER HEATS IT
OVER AN OPEN FLAME.

THE HEAT SOFTENS THE BAMBOO
SO HE CAN SMOOTH OUT THE KINKS.

NEXT, HE GLUES FERRULES
MADE FROM NICKEL SILVER

ONTO THE LAMINATED
BAMBOO PIECES.

THIS TUBING WILL BE USED

TO CONNECT THE TIP
AND BUTT PIECES OF THE ROD.

THE BUTT SECTION
NOW TURNS ON A LATHE

WHILE A BLADE CUTS INTO IT.

IT'S SLIMMING DOWN SECTIONS

TO ACCOMMODATE THE HANDLE
AND REEL SEAT.

HE SLIPS ON THE WALNUT REEL SEAT

AND THEN SLIDES CORK RINGS
ONTO THE ROD TO MAKE THE HANDLE.

HE GLUES EACH RING.

IT TAKES 12 TO 14

TO MAKE A HANDLE
FOR THE TYPICAL BAMBOO ROD.

IT WILL ALLOW
FOR A SOFT, NONSLIP GRIP.

ONCE THE GLUE HARDENS,
HE SHAPES THE CORK ON A LATHE.

HE SANDS IT
TO GIVE AN EVEN FINISH.

NEXT, HE HEATS GLUE
OVER A FLAME.

HE APPLIES THE HOT GLUE
TO THE STAINLESS-STEEL TIP

AND STICKS IT ON THE NARROW END
OF THE ROD.

WITH BLACK INDIA INK,

HE INSCRIBES THE MODEL
AND SERIAL NUMBER ONTO THE ROD.

NOW THEY COAT IT WITH VARNISH,
USING A TURKEY BASTER.

HE HANGS THE RODS TO DRY.

IT WILL TAKE THREE COATS
TO GIVE THEM A NICE GLOSS.

AFTER THAT,
THEY WIND SILK THREAD

TO ATTACH THE STEEL GUIDES
TO THE ROD.

THEY'RE THE LOOPS THAT THE
FISHING LINE WILL GO THROUGH.

THEY BRUSH THREE COATS
OF VARNISH ONTO THE STRING.

THIS SOLIDIFIES THE WRAP...

...AND FUSES IT TO THE ROD.

THEY SLIDE A RING
ONTO THE REEL SEAT.

IT PROVIDES A LITTLE SEPARATION
FROM THE CORK GRIP.

THEY FIT THE BUTT AND TIP PIECES
OF THE BAMBOO ROD TOGETHER

AND DO A FINAL INSPECTION.

IT HAS TAKEN 40 HOURS
TO MAKE THIS BAMBOO FLY ROD.

BUT IT SHOULDN'T TAKE YOU
THAT LONG TO CATCH THE BIG ONE.

IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS
ABOUT THE SHOW,

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

DROP US A LINE AT...

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