How It's Made (2001–…): Season 8, Episode 1 - Photographs/Fur Tanning/Welding Electrodes/Electric Violins - full transcript

Common items have unlikely beginnings. Learn the secrets behind fur tanning, photographs, welding electrodes and electric violins.


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

PHOTOGRAPHS...

...FUR TANNING...

...WELDING ELECTRODES...

...AND ELECTRIC VIOLINS.

IN THE 1830s,

THE FIRST PHOTOGRAPHERS
USED LIGHT-SENSITIVE CHEMICALS

TO CAPTURE IMAGES ON PAPER.

TODAY, MACHINES DO MUCH THE SAME

BUT WITH AMAZING SPEED,
ACCURACY, AND VERSATILITY.

IT'S A TRIED AND TRUE METHOD
MANY PEOPLE STILL PREFER

TO MAKE THEIR MEMORIES
INTO PICTURES.

THE PHOTO LAB RECEIVES ENVELOPES

CONTAINING ROLLS OF FILM
FOR DEVELOPING.

PROCESSING WILL TURN EACH
EXPOSURE INTO A NEGATIVE IMAGE

AND THEN A POSITIVE.

THAT POSITIVE IS WHAT WE KNOW
AS A PHOTOGRAPH.

A SCANNER TAKES A DIGITAL PHOTO

OF THE ORDER DETAIL
SPECIFIED ON THE PACKAGES.

IT TRACKS THINGS
SUCH AS PRINT SIZE AND FINISH

AND THE NUMBER OF COPIES
YOU ORDERED.

A CONVEYER THEN SORTS
THE ENVELOPES INTO BINS,

GROUPING THEM
WITH SIMILAR ORDERS.

NEXT, A MACHINE EXTRACTS
THE FILM ROLLS

FROM THE METAL CAPSULES
IN TOTAL DARKNESS.

EXPOSING THE FILM TO LIGHT
WOULD RUIN THE PHOTOS.

THE ENVELOPES GO INTO BUNDLES
SO THEY CAN LATER BE RE-MATCHED

WITH THE RIGHT PICTURES
AND NEGATIVES.

HERE'S WHAT THE MACHINE
LOOKS LIKE INSIDE.

A BLADE CUTS OPEN
THE METAL CAPSULE,

AND ANOTHER SLICES OFF
THE LEADER.

THE MACHINE UNRAVELS
AND LINES UP

AS MANY AS 60 FILMS END-TO-END.

THE FILMS ARE JUST OVER
THREE FEET LONG.

A STICKER JOINS THE ENDS

AND IDENTIFIES EACH FILM
WITH A BAR CODE.

THE MACHINE MEASURES
THE ASSEMBLED STRIP,

THEN WINDS IT ONTO A REEL
INSIDE A METAL BOX.

ANOTHER MACHINE UNWINDS THE REEL

AND RUNS IT UNDER
A NONDAMAGING INFRARED LIGHT

SO THAT A TECHNICIAN
CAN CHECK FOR TEARS.

JUST ONE TINY TEAR
COULD JAM THE MACHINE

AND RUIN ALL THE PHOTOS.

IF THE TECH DOES FIND A TEAR,
HE REPAIRS IT BY HAND.

HE PUTS HIS ARMS

IN THE MACHINE'S
LITTLE DARK ROOM

SO AS NOT TO EXPOSE THE FILM
TO REGULAR LIGHT.

FIRST, HE APPLIES TAPE
TO REATTACH THE AREA.

BLADES THEN CUT THE TAPE EVENLY
ON BOTH SIDES.

THE WORKER IS ABLE TO SEE
WHAT HE'S DOING

ON A TV MONITOR HOOKED UP
TO AN INFRARED CAMERA INSIDE.

DEVELOPING THE EXPOSURES
REQUIRES FOUR CHEMICAL BATHS

STILL IN THE DARK.

IN THE FIRST, SULFATES MAKE
THE IMAGE APPEAR AS A NEGATIVE.

THE SECOND INCLUDES ACETIC ACID

TO HALT THE EFFECT
OF THE SULFATES.

THE LAST TWO BATHS
PRESERVE THE IMAGE

AND RINSE AWAY CHEMICAL TRACES.

TO PRINT THE PICTURES,

WORKERS LOAD THE NEGATIVES
INTO YET ANOTHER MACHINE.

THIS ONE CONTAINS
LIGHT-SENSITIVE PAPER.

ALL IT TAKES IS A FLASH
TO TRANSFER THE IMAGE.

BUT THAT LIGHT IS POWERFUL,
ALMOST AS BRIGHT AS THE SUN.

A SENSOR INSTANTLY ADJUSTS
THE INTENSITY

TO CORRECT ANY IMPROPER EXPOSURE
BY THE PHOTOGRAPHER.

TO DEVELOP THE PRINTS,

THE PAPER GOES THROUGH
FOUR CHEMICAL BATHS

SIMILAR TO THOSE USED
FOR THE NEGATIVES.

ONE BATH REVEALS THE IMAGE,
ANOTHER STOPS THAT PROCESS,

AND TWO MORE PRESERVE THE IMAGE
AND RINSE OFF THE CHEMICALS.

WHAT'S DIFFERENT THIS TIME

IS THAT THE PAPER
THEN HEADS INTO AN OVEN TO DRY

FOR TWO MINUTES
AT 160 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

NOW A TECHNICIAN MARKS THE
PICTURES THAT ARE TOO BRIGHT,

TOO DIM, OR OUT OF FOCUS,

AND THEN REMOVES THEM
FOR REDEVELOPMENT.

NEXT,
A MACHINE UNWINDS THE STRIP,

SCANS THE BAR CODES,

AND CUTS OUT THE PICTURES
THAT BELONG TOGETHER.

IT ALSO CUTS THE NEGATIVES
INTO NUMBERED STRIPS OF FOUR.

A WORKER NOW SLIPS
THE PROPER PHOTOS AND NEGATIVES

INTO AN ENVELOPE.

THE COMPUTER SHOWS HER
WHAT TO INCLUDE,

AND A MACHINE
PROVIDES THE ORIGINAL PACKAGE

THE FILM CAME IN.

WHEN YOU GET YOUR PHOTOS,

YOU CAN CHECK THEM
AGAINST YOUR ORIGINAL ORDER.

THAT WAY, YOU CAN ENSURE

THAT EVERYTHING'S
PICTURE-PERFECT.

Narrator: FUR HAS BEEN IN STYLE
SINCE PREHISTORIC TIMES.

TALK ABOUT A FASHION ORIGINAL.

IN THOSE EARLY DAYS,
FUR GARMENTS WERE PRETTY BASIC.

THEIR MAIN PURPOSE
WAS TO KEEP PEOPLE WARM,

A PRIMARY NEED.

THESE DAYS,
FUR IS OFTEN A FASHION CHOICE,

BUT IT STILL PROVIDES
OLD-FASHIONED WARMTH.

AT THE TANNING PLANT,

A WORKER SORTS THROUGH
RAW BEAVER PELTS

PURCHASED AT AUCTION.

HE INSPECTS THE QUALITY
OF THE HAIR,

THEN DETERMINES THE TYPE
OF GARMENT THEY'RE SUITABLE FOR.

HE HAMMERS A LOT NUMBER
INTO THE UNDERSIDE OF THE PELT.

IT PERFORATES THE SKIN.

THIS TECHNIQUE IS USED

SO THAT THE NUMBER STAYS
ON THE PELT DURING PROCESSING.

USING A PNEUMATIC PUNCH,
HE CUTS OUT THE EAR CARTILAGE.

IT'S A CRUCIAL STEP.

THEY NEED TO GET RID
OF THE CARTILAGE EARLY ON

SO THE PELTS CAN GO THROUGH
CERTAIN MACHINES DURING TANNING.

THE PELTS ARE A BIT DRIED OUT

BECAUSE
OF PRESERVATION TECHNIQUES

USED BEFORE THEY WERE DELIVERED
TO THE TANNING PLANT.

TO REHYDRATE THEM,

THEY PUT THEM THROUGH
VARIOUS CHEMICAL WASHES.

THE FINAL BATH
CONTAINS TANNING CHEMICALS.

THEY CONVERT THE UNDERSIDE
OF THE ANIMAL SKINS TO LEATHER.

THE SUPPLE LEATHER TEXTURE
WILL ALLOW THE PELTS

TO EVENTUALLY BE SHAPED
INTO GARMENTS.

BETWEEN EACH WASH,
THE FURS GO INTO A RINGER.

IT SPINS OUT THE EXCESS LIQUID.

ALL THAT MOISTURE
HAS CAUSED THE PELT TO THICKEN,

SO THEY THIN IT DOWN
WITH A SPINNING BLADE

CALLED A FLESHER'S KNIFE.

YOU NEED TO BE AN EXPERT
TO WIELD THIS TOOL.

ONE FALSE MOVE,

AND YOU'LL CUT INTO
THE FOLLICLES AND LOSE FUR.

NEXT, A WORKER SHOVELS SAWDUST
INTO A BIG DRUM.

HE GATHERS UP THE PELTS

AND PLACES THEM IN THE DRUM
ALONG WITH THE SAWDUST

AND ADDS A MINERAL SOLUTION.

THE DRUM TURNS,

TOSSING IT ALL
FOR ABOUT HALF AN HOUR.

THIS CLEANS AND CONDITIONS
THE LEATHER SIDE OF THE PELTS.

THE FURS EMERGE STILL DAMP,

SO THEY HANG THEM
OVER WOODEN DOWELS

LEATHER SIDE UP.

THE REST OF THE SAWDUST
WILL FALL AWAY

IN SUBSEQUENT OPERATIONS.

NOW A WORKER SCRAPES OFF
THE PELT'S LONG HAIR

TO EXPOSE THE DOWNY UNDERCOAT.

THIS UNDERCOAT HAS A MORE
DESIRABLE LOOK AND TEXTURE.

HE RUBS A GENEROUS AMOUNT OF OIL

INTO THE LEATHER OF THE PELT
TO LUBRICATE IT.

THEN HE TOSSES THE PELTS
INTO A KICKER BOX,

SO NAMED
FOR THE AUTOMATED KICKERS.

THE KICKING ACTION CAUSES
THE OILS TO PENETRATE THE SKIN.

NEXT, A SPINNING METAL WHEEL
TUGS AT THE PELT TO STRETCH IT.

A WORKER CUTS AWAY THE EDGES...

AND IT'S INTO THE HOT-PRESS.

THIS IRONS AND ADDS LUSTER
TO THE FUR.

AFTER A QUICK BRUSH,
THE PELTS GET ONE MORE PRESS.

THEN A SHEARING MACHINE

CUTS THE HAIRS
TO AN EVEN LENGTH.

FINALLY,
THEY BUNDLE UP THE PELTS

FOR A TRIP
TO THE GARMENT FACTORY,

WHERE THEY'LL BE GREAT
DESIGN MATERIAL.

Narrator:
MORE THAN A CENTURY AGO,

WELDERS FIRST FUSED
TWO METAL SURFACES

BY MELTING A METAL STICK
OVER THEM

USING AN ELECTRIC CURRENT.

THAT STICK IS NOW CALLED
A WELDING ELECTRODE.

IT'S THE SIMPLEST
AND MOST POPULAR WAY TO WELD.

FARMERS AND MECHANICS
OFTEN USE THIS TOOL

TO REPAIR HEAVY MACHINERY.

THIS COMPANY'S ELECTRODES

ARE COATED WITH POWDERED METALS
AND MINERALS.

DURING WELDING, THE METALS MELT,

AND THE MINERALS
PROTECT THE AREA FROM OXYGEN,

WHICH WOULD WEAKEN THE BOND.

THE ELECTRODE TRANSMITS
AN ELECTRIC CURRENT

THAT HEATS AND MELTS
BOTH THE ELECTRODE

AND THE METAL SURFACES,
WELDING THEM TOGETHER.

THIN METAL WIRE
FORMS THE ELECTRODE'S CORE.

THE KIND OF WIRE DEPENDS

ON WHAT THE ELECTRODE
IS DESIGNED TO WELD.

BUT MOST OFTEN, THE CORE'S MADE
OF CARBON OR STAINLESS STEEL.

A MACHINE SIMULTANEOUSLY SPINS
AND BENDS IT,

EVENLY RESHAPING THE WIRE
UNTIL IT'S COMPLETELY STRAIGHT.

FOUR METAL ROLLERS
THEN PUSH AND GUIDE THE WIRE

INTO A GUILLOTINE.

THE BLADE CHOPS THE WIRE
INTO SEGMENTS

THAT WILL BECOME
THE ELECTRODE CORES.

THESE SEGMENTS RANGE FROM 10
TO 17 1/2 INCHES LONG.

THE FACTORY PUTS A VARIETY
OF METALS AND MINERALS

IN THE COATING.

THE METALS ARE OFTEN NICKEL,
MANGANESE...

AND IRON.

THE MINERALS --

ALUMINA, MAGNESIA,
AND LIMESTONE.

THEY ALSO ADD A COLORANT
TO DIFFERENTIATE THE MODELS.

WORKERS MIX THE INGREDIENTS
WITH A BIT OF GLUE

UNTIL THEY TURN
TO THE CONSISTENCY OF WET SAND.

A WORKER THEN PACKS THE MIX
INTO A MACHINE

THAT FORMS IT INTO SLUGS
WITH A HOLE DOWN THE MIDDLE.

HE ADDS A PLASTIC CAP.

THEN A METAL COVER SLIDES ON,
AND THE MACHINE TAKES OVER.

IT TAKES ONLY A MINUTE
FOR THE MACHINE'S PISTON

TO COMPRESS THE POWDER
INTO A SOLID.

NOW TO PUT THE POWDER COATING
ON THE CORE WIRES.

A WORKER LOADS FOUR SLUGS
INTO AN EXTRUSION PRESS.

IT WILL APPLY 120 TONS
OF PRESSURE ON THE SLUGS

TO SHOOT THE POWDER
THROUGH NOZZLES

THAT WILL COAT THE WIRES

AS THEY PASS THROUGH
THE SLUG'S HOLE.

TO LOAD THE WIRES
INTO THE PRESS,

THEY FIRST STACK THEM
IN THIS FEEDER.

THE OPENING AT THE BOTTOM

IS ADJUSTABLE
FOR DIFFERENT DIAMETERS

BECAUSE CORE WIRES
RANGE FROM SPAGHETTI-THIN

TO PENCIL-THICK.

THESE ROLLERS PASS THEM THROUGH
THE PRESS ONE AT A TIME.

FOUR WHEELS THEN PULL THE WIRES
FROM THE FEEDER

INTO THE EXTRUSION PRESS
FOR COATING

AT A RATE OF UP TO
1,000 ELECTRODES A MINUTE.

WHEN THE COATED ELECTRODES
EMERGE,

THEY HIT A METAL WHEEL

THAT POSITIONS THEM
ON A CONVEYER.

A SANDER REMOVES
UP TO 2 1/2 INCHES OF COATING

FROM THE BOTTOM
WHERE YOU GRIP THE ELECTRODE,

AND IT BEVELS THE TIP

SO IT CONDUCTS ELECTRICITY
EVEN BETTER.

A WORKER NOW CHECKS
FOR UNEVEN COATING

AND TO SEE IF THE WIRE'S
WELL CENTERED.

THE COATING DRIES
AT ROOM TEMPERATURE

FOR UP TO 72 HOURS.

TO CURE THE COATING,

WORKERS PUT THE ELECTRODES
IN AN OVEN

HEATED TO 905 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT
FOR UP TO 5 HOURS.

ONCE THEY'VE COOLED,

THE ELECTRODES
HEAD INTO A PRINTING PRESS.

AN INK WHEEL
FIRST PRINTS THE MODEL

AND TYPE OF CURRENT
THAT'S REQUIRED.

ANOTHER INK WHEEL THEN APPLIES
A COLOR TO THE GRIPPING END.

IT'S ANOTHER WAY
TO DIFFERENTIATE THE MODEL

IN CASE THE LETTERING
ON THE SIDE RUBS OFF IN STORAGE.

FROM THERE,
IT'S OFF TO PACKAGING.

AN OPTICAL SCANNER
COUNTS THE ELECTRODES.

THEN A STACKING MACHINE
SEPARATES THEM

INTO 7.7- TO 11-POUND BUNDLES.

FINALLY, A WORKER INSERTS THEM
INTO CARDBOARD CANISTERS.

HE ADDS A PIECE OF CARDBOARD

TO COMPRESS THEM TIGHTLY
FOR THE TRIP.

A STICKER MARKS THE CONTENTS,

AND TAPE KEEPS THE PACKAGE
TIGHTLY SEALED.

Narrator: THE INVENTION
OF THE ELECTRIC VIOLIN

WAS ALL ABOUT TURNING UP
THE VOLUME.

IT WAS BACK IN THE BIG-BAND ERA,

AND THE SOUND
OF THE TRADITIONAL VIOLIN

WAS OVERPOWERED
BY THE HORNS AND DRUMS.

AMPLIFYING THE VIOLIN
CHANGED EVERYTHING.

SUDDENLY, THE VIOLIN WASN'T
JUST A BACKGROUND SOUND.

IT WAS PART OF THE SHOW.

THE WIRED VIOLIN
COMES IN DIFFERENT SHAPES

BECAUSE IT DOESN'T RELY
ON THE BODY TO RESONATE SOUND.

THIS CRAFTSMAN
BUILDS HIS ELECTRIC VIOLINS

ONE PIECE AT A TIME,

STARTING WITH THE NECK.

HE TRACES THE SHAPE
ONTO A PIECE OF MAPLE.

THEN, HE OUTLINES THE TOP PLATE.

HE USES WALNUT

FOR THE LOWER BOUT,
OR BOTTOM PART,

AS WELL AS FOR THE BACKBONE
OF THE VIOLIN.

NEXT, HE CUTS OUT THE SHAPES
USING A BAND SAW.

HIS GOAL HERE
IS TO BE VERY PRECISE

BECAUSE THE CLOSER HE GETS
TO THE OUTLINE,

THE LESS SANDING
HE'LL HAVE TO DO LATER.

THE DIMENSIONS
FOR THE TOP AND NECK

ARE EXACTLY THE SAME
AS A TRADITIONAL VIOLIN,

SO THERE WON'T BE ANY DIFFERENCE
IN THE REFERENCE POINTS

THE VIOLINIST RELIES ON.

THE LOWER BOUT
IS VERY STYLIZED...

AND THE HEAD IS MORE STREAMLINED
THAN A TRADITIONAL VIOLIN.

THERE'S NO DECORATIVE SCROLL.

NEXT, HE CHISELS OUT A CAVITY
IN THE HEAD OF THE VIOLIN

TO CREATE THE PEGBOX.

HE CARVES PARALLEL GROOVES
ONTO THE BACK

TO GIVE IT A SNAZZY LOOK.

USING A RASP,

HE SHAVES THE WOOD
TO THE CORRECT THICKNESS.

HE DRILLS HOLES
FOR THE TUNING PEGS

INTO THE SIDE OF THE PEGBOX,

ONE FOR EACH
OF THE FOUR STRINGS.

HE FILES DOWN THE GROOVES
ON THE BACK A LITTLE MORE.

THEN HE SCRAPES
THE REST OF THE NECK

TO GIVE IT A FINAL FINISH.

USING A REAMER,
HE TAPERS THE PEG HOLES.

THE EBONY PEGS
HAVE MATCHING TAPERS,

SO THEY FIT SNUGLY
INTO THE HOLES.

HE CHECKS TO MAKE SURE
EVERYTHING MEASURES UP.

NOW HE BRUSHES WOOD GLUE
ONTO THE NEXT SECTION

AND PRESSES THE EBONY
FINGERBOARD ONTO IT.

HE WRAPS THEM
WITH SURGICAL TUBING

TO HOLD THEM TOGETHER
WHILE THE GLUE DRIES.

HE DRILLS TWO ASSEMBLY HOLES
IN THE TOP PIECE

AND MAKES CORRESPONDING HOLES
IN THE OTHER PARTS.

HE SMOOTHES THE EDGES
OF THE BACKBONE

WITH AN OSCILLATING SANDER.

THEN, USING A HIGH-SPEED ROUTER,

HE BEVELS THE LOWER BOUT PIECE
TO GIVE IT A CLEAN EDGE.

HE RUBS TEAL-COLORED STAIN
INTO THE WOOD

BECAUSE LOUD COLORS
SEEM APPROPRIATE

FOR THESE
HIGH-VOLUME INSTRUMENTS.

A CRYSTAL HAS BEEN GLUED
INTO THE VIOLIN'S WOODEN BRIDGE

TO GENERATE ELECTRICITY
FROM THE STRING'S VIBRATIONS

AND CREATE SOUND.

HE PULLS THE WIRE
FROM THE BRIDGE

THROUGH THE BACKBONE...

...AND THEN MOUNTS THE BOUT
TO THE BACKBONE.

HE BOLTS AN EBONY CHIN REST
ON TOP.

NEXT, HE ATTACHES THE NECK
TO THE REST OF THE ASSEMBLY.

HE LOOPS ON
THE EBONY TAILPIECE.

HE PULLS A STRING
FROM THE TAILPIECE TO A PEG.

THE ACT OF TIGHTENING
THE FIRST STRING

RAISES THE BRIDGE,

WHICH WILL BE HELD IN PLACE
ONLY BY TENSION.

NOW IT'S TIME TO HOOK UP
THE VIOLIN TO THE AMPLIFIER

AND LET THE MUSIC
TELL THE REST OF THE STORY.

CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

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