How It's Made (2001–…): Season 8, Episode 9 - Motorcycles/Clay Pipes/Drumsticks/Whistles - full transcript


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

MOTORCYCLES...

...CLAY PIPES...

...DRUMSTICKS...

...AND WHISTLES.

THE INVENTION OF THE MOTORCYCLE
LATE IN THE 19th CENTURY

WAS SPEED DRIVEN.

PEOPLE WANTED
TO GO PLACES FASTER

THAN THEY COULD ON A BICYCLE.

SO THEY STRAPPED AN ENGINE
ON A BIKE -- A SIMPLE CONCEPT.

TODAY'S MOTORBIKE
IS MUCH MORE COMPLEX,

AND IT LEAVES THE EARLIER
VERSIONS IN THE DUST.

THESE MOTORBIKES
ARE AN ENGINEERING FEAT.

THEY START BY WELDING THE FRAME
OUT OF LIGHTWEIGHT ALUMINUM,

AN ADVANTAGE FOR SPEED
AND FUEL EFFICIENCY.

THE FRAMES ARE CLEANED,
POWDER-PAINTED,

THEN BAKED TO CURE THE PAINT.

THEY FIT A CRANKSHAFT
AND PISTONS

INTO THE ENGINE'S LEFT BLOCK.

THEY TIGHTEN THE BEARINGS
AND CAPS,

THEN SLIDE IN A U-SHAPED TOOL
CALLED A FORK

THAT ORIENTS THE PISTONS
IN AN UPRIGHT POSITION.

NEXT, THEY COMPRESS THE
PISTON RINGS WITH ANOTHER TOOL

SO THAT THE PISTONS
EASILY SLIDE INTO PLACE

AS THEY INSTALL THE OTHER HALF
OF THE ENGINE BLOCK.

THEY PLACE A GASKET
ON THE TOP OF THE BLOCK...

AND THEN INSTALL
THE CYLINDER HEAD.

USING TORQUE-CONTROLLED ELECTRIC
TOOLS, THEY TIGHTEN THE BOLTS

TO ATTACH THE CYLINDER HEAD
TO THE BLOCK ASSEMBLY.

THEY INSTALL THE CAMSHAFT
IN THE CYLINDER HEAD UNIT.

THE CAMSHAFT
WILL DRIVE THE VALVES

THAT BRING IN AIR AND FUEL
AND LET OUT THE EXHAUST.

THEY ROTATE THE CRANKSHAFT
TO FINE-TUNE ITS ACTION.

NOW IT'S TIME TO GIVE
THIS ENGINE A LITTLE TEST RUN.

THEY FILL THE ENGINE
WITH COOLANT AND FUEL,

THEN RUN THROUGH THE GEARS.

THEY CHECK FOR LEAKS
AND OVERALL FUNCTION.

WHEN IT PASSES INSPECTION,

THEY PURGE THE COOLANT
FROM THE ENGINE.

A MOTORBIKE ENGINE
ISN'T ONLY ABOUT FUNCTION.

IT ALSO HAS TO LOOK GOOD,

BECAUSE IT WON'T BE
TOTALLY HIDDEN UNDER A HOOD.

NOW THEY LOWER THE
225-POUND ENGINE ONTO A CRADLE

THAT SITS ON A CONVEYOR.

THEY MOUNT THE FRAME ONTO IT.

THEY ATTACH
THE REAR WHEEL ASSEMBLY...

AND THEN THE FRONT WHEEL.

THEY ATTACH THE HANDLEBAR
USING TORQUE-CONTROLLED TOOLS.

AND THEY TIGHTEN
THE BRAKE ASSEMBLIES.

NEXT, THEY FILL THE RADIATOR
WITH ANTIFREEZE.

MEANWHILE,
OVER IN THE PAINT DEPARTMENT,

ROBOTS ARE HARD AT WORK.

THEY ATTACH THE PAINTED PIECES
TO THE BIKE --

FIRST THE SADDLEBAG BODY,
THEN THE LID,

AND FINALLY, THE TRUNK BODY.

THEN THEY ASSEMBLE
THE INSTRUMENTATION.

THE SPEEDOMETER, FUEL GAUGES,

AND MANY OTHER THINGS
ALL GO ONTO ONE UNIT.

THIS PART IS CALLED
THE FRONT COWL,

AND IT GOES RIGHT IN FRONT
OF THE INSTRUMENTATION.

THEY LOWER THE FRONT COWL WITH
A METER PANEL ONTO THE BIKE.

AND THEN THEY BOLT EVERYTHING
TO THE FRAME.

FINALLY, THEY INSTALL A COVER
FOR THE EXHAUST PIPE.

THEY CHECK EVERYTHING TO MAKE
SURE IT'S SOLIDLY PUT TOGETHER.

AND THEN THEY PULL UP
TO A DYNAMOMETER,

A MACHINE THAT MEASURES
MECHANICAL POWER.

THEY CHECK THE BIKE'S SPEED,
BRAKES, HORN,

NAVIGATION SYSTEM,
AND THE CRUISE CONTROL.

EVERY MOTORBIKE
UNDERGOES THIS SCRUTINY,

AND IF IT PASSES,
IT'S READY FOR LIFE ON THE ROAD.

Narrator: CLAY PIPES ARE PART
OF A MAJOR UNDERGROUND NETWORK,

ONE THAT'S DEDICATED
TO PROPER DRAINAGE.

WE FLUSH WITHOUT THINKING,

BUT IT MAY SURPRISE YOU
TO LEARN

THAT CLAY PIPES
HAVE BEEN SERVING US WELL

FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS,

EVER SINCE THE DAYS
OF ANCIENT BABYLONIA.

THEY'RE THE SANITARY SEWER
SYSTEM'S OLDEST SECRET.

THESE PIPES
CAN TAKE A LOT OF STRESS.

THEY BEAR THE WEIGHT OF SOIL
AND STRUCTURES OVERHEAD,

AND THEY WON'T CORRODE.

THEY START WITH SCRAP CLAY
FROM MANUFACTURING,

RAW CLAY, AND SHALE.

AFTER THESE MATERIALS
HAVE BEEN ROUGHLY PROCESSED,

A LOADER SCOOPS THE MIX
ONTO A CONVEYOR

THAT TAKES IT TO A MILL
FOR A FINER GRINDING.

AT THIS POINT, THE MIX HAS
ABOUT 10% NATURAL MOISTURE,

BUT IT'S NOT ENOUGH
FOR IT TO STICK TOGETHER,

SO THEY ADD MORE WATER
AS IT FALLS INTO A MIXER.

THE MIXER EVENLY DISTRIBUTES
THE WATER IN THE MIX,

THEN MOVES IT
TOWARDS AN EXTRUDER

THAT PUSHES THE CLAY
THROUGH A PIPE-SHAPED EYE.

THE CLAY PIPE THAT EMERGES
IS 7.8 INCHES IN DIAMETER,

THE SIZE THAT TYPICALLY SERVES
A RESIDENTIAL SIDE STREET.

IT HAS A BELL-SHAPED OPENING.

IT'S THE FEMALE PART OF A JOINT

THAT WILL FIT TO THE MALE END
OF ANOTHER PIPE.

A ROTATING BLADE
TRIMS AWAY THE RAGGED EDGES.

THEN AN AUTOMATED SYSTEM
LOADS SEVERAL PIPES AT A TIME

ONTO A RACK
TO AWAIT THE NEXT STEP.

OVER ON ANOTHER PRODUCTION LINE,

THEY'RE MAKING FLUE LINERS
FOR CHIMNEYS.

THE CLAY IS FAIRLY SOFT
AT THIS POINT,

SO LETTERING WHEELS
EASILY ENGRAVE INFORMATION,

AND THEY CAN CUT IT TO SIZE
USING ONLY A THIN WIRE.

AN UPENDER LIFT
STACKS IT ON A PALLET

TO AWAIT FURTHER PROCESSING.

ELSEWHERE IN THE PLANT,
A MAIN TRUNK SEWER PIPE IS BORN.

WITH A DIAMETER
OF OVER 15 INCHES, IT'S BIG

AND NEEDS A SUBSTANTIAL TRIM JOB
TO GET RID OF THE ROUGH EDGES.

IT WEIGHS WELL OVER 660 POUNDS,

NEARLY FIVE TIMES THAT
OF THE RESIDENTIAL PIPE.

ONCE THEY'RE FABRICATED,

EVERY CLAY PIPE GOES INTO A BIG
DRYER FOR AT LEAST 24 HOURS.

A TRIP THROUGH A KILN
WILL TOUGHEN THEM UP EVEN MORE.

THEY'LL SPEND ABOUT 50 HOURS
IN HERE,

EXPOSED TO
VERY HIGH TEMPERATURES.

THIS STEP
IS CALLED VITRIFICATION.

IT FUSES THE MINERAL PARTICLES
TOGETHER.

THEY TAP EACH PIPE WITH A HAMMER
TO TEST IT IF IT'S SOLID...

AND PERFORM A THOROUGH
VISUAL INSPECTION.

TO JOIN LENGTHS OF PIPE
TOGETHER,

THEY POUR POLYESTER RESIN
INTO THE FEMALE JOINT MOLDS

THAT HAVE BEEN PLACED
IN THE BELL-SHAPE PIPES.

THE RESIN HARDENS,
FORMING AN O-RING,

AND THE PRIMER
BRUSHED ON EARLIER

HELPS THE NEW RESIN JOINT
ADHERE TO THE CLAY PIPE.

NEXT, THEY MAKE A MALE JOINT

BY POURING RESIN
AROUND ITS SPIGOT END.

THIS WILL MAKE FOR A JOINT
WITH A TIGHT SEAL.

THEY TEST THE JOINTS
BY PUMPING WATER INTO THE PIPE.

THEN THEY RAISE IT AS THEY
PLACE A LOAD ON THE JOINT.

HOW MUCH PRESSURE WILL
THIS JOINT TAKE WITHOUT FAILING?

OVER A TON, WHICH MORE THAN
MEETS INDUSTRY REQUIREMENTS.

NOW THEY DO ANOTHER TYPE OF TEST
ON A BASIC CLAY PIPE.

A HYDRAULIC JACK
APPLIES PRESSURE ON THE PIPE.

THE NUMBER ON THE GAUGE
FAR EXCEEDS THE BURDEN

OF BEING BURIED UNDERGROUND.

AND SO THESE PIPES ARE NOW READY
FOR CIVIC DUTY

DOWN IN THE SEWERS.

Narrator:
DRUMSTICKS ARE DESIGNED

FOR A LIFE OF HARD KNOCKS.

THEY'RE USUALLY MADE OF HICKORY,

WHICH IS HEAVIER AND STURDIER
THAN OTHER WOODS.

HICKORY CAN ALSO ABSORB
A LOT OF SHOCK,

WHICH MEANS A DRUMSTICK
MADE FROM IT

IS EASIER ON THE HANDS
AND WRISTS,

SO THE DRUMMER DOESN'T HAVE TO
SUFFER FOR HIS MUSIC.

HICKORY DRUMSTICKS ALSO
HAVE GOOD BALANCE AND FEEL,

SO IT'S EASIER
TO HIT THE RIGHT NOTE.

TO MAKE THEM, AUTOMATED ARMS
SERVE UP HICKORY DOWELS

TO A THREE-BLADED CUTTING DEVICE
THAT MOVES ON A RAIL.

AS THE BLADES SHAPE THE SPINNING
DOWELS, THEY FORM A ROUND TIP,

A NARROW SHOULDER, AND A SHAFT
THAT GRADUALLY WIDENS.

THEY SPRAY EACH STICK
WITH A PROTECTIVE COATING.

THESE ROUND BLADES
LOB OFF THE STUBS,

THE ENDS WHERE THE STICKS
WERE HELD

DURING THEIR INITIAL MACHINING.

IT'S JUST A ROUGH TRIM,
AND THE ENDS NEED MORE WORK.

SO THEY FEED THEM
TO SPINNING CHUCKS WITH BLADES.

THE CHUCKS ARE INSIDE
A PROTECTIVE METAL HOUSING

BECAUSE THEY SPIN VERY FAST AND
THE BLADES ARE EXTREMELY SHARP.

FOR A DEMONSTRATION,

THE HOUSING ON ONE OF THE CHUCKS
HAS BEEN REMOVED,

AND THEY TURN IT BY HAND.

THE CHUCK USUALLY ROTATES
AT 10,000 RPM,

BUT AT THIS SLOW SPEED,

YOU CAN SEE JUST HOW IT SHAVES
AN END INTO THE DESIRED SHAPE.

THE STICK COMES OUT OF THE CHUCK
WITH A NICELY ROUNDED TIP.

NOW THEY TEST THE STICKS.

EACH ONE ROLLS DOWN STEEL RAILS

THAT HAVE BEEN
SPECIALLY ALIGNED.

IF IT ROLLS STRAIGHT,
IT MEANS THE STICK IS STRAIGHT.

BUT IF IT WOBBLES, IT ISN'T

AND WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE
TO PLAY WITH.

THEY REJECT THOSE STICKS.

NEXT, A PRINTER EMBOSSES
THE BRAND NAME AND MODEL NUMBER

ONTO EACH OF THE DRUMSTICKS.

NOW THEY SORT EACH DRUMSTICK
BY WEIGHT.

EVEN IF TWO STICKS
HAVE BEEN MADE

EXACTLY THE SAME SHAPE AND SIZE,

THEIR WEIGHT CAN VARY BECAUSE
WOOD HAS DIFFERENT DENSITIES,

AND THAT'S SOMETHING

THAT AFFECTS THE STICK'S FEEL
AND TONE.

FOR EXAMPLE,
THIS DRUMSTICK WEIGHS 53 GRAMS.

BUT THE NEXT ONE COMES IN AT 55.

OVER AT ANOTHER WORK STATION,

THEY'RE MAKING A DIFFERENT KIND
OF DRUMSTICK --

A FELT-TIP MOUNT
THAT WILL HAVE A SOFTER SOUND.

THEY PRESS A WOODEN SHAFT

INTO THE GLUE-FILLED HOLE
OF THE FELT BALL.

THE HOLE IS A BIT SMALLER
THAN THE SHAFT,

RESULTING IN A TIGHT BOND

BETWEEN THE STICK
AND FELT HEAD.

THEY DO A SOUND CHECK
ON THE OTHER STICKS.

EVEN THOUGH THEY'VE BEEN SORTED
BY WEIGHT,

THERE ARE STILL
SUBTLE DIFFERENCES IN TONE.

A COMPUTER ANALYZES THEIR SOUND
AND MATCHES PAIRS.

IT'S A BIT LIKE A DATING GAME.

THE UNMATED STICKS
GO BACK INTO THE MIX,

AND THEY TRY
TO MATCH THEM UP AGAIN.

THIS MATCHING PROCESS
IS CRITICAL.

IF ONE STICK
HAS A DIFFERENT PITCH,

THE SOUND WILL BE OFF-BALANCE.

THEY ASSIGN A NUMERICAL VALUE
TO EACH PAIR OF DRUMSTICKS.

A CARDBOARD SLEEVE HOLDS
EACH MATCHED PAIR TOGETHER.

FROM A ROUGH WOODEN DOWEL
TO A SLEEK DRUMSTICK,

A PROCESS THAT'S DESIGNED
FOR IMPACT.

Narrator:
WHEN YOU BLOW INTO A WHISTLE,

PART OF THE AIR STREAM EXITS
THE SLOT IN A SWIRLING MOTION,

GENERATING SOUND.

THE REST OF THE AIR STREAM

TRAVELS THROUGH
THE WHISTLE CHAMBER,

THEN EXITS THE SLOT,
REINFORCING THE SOUND.

THE LITTLE BALL ROLLING INSIDE

PUTS THE TRILL
IN THE WHISTLE BLAST.

QUALITY WHISTLES
ARE MADE OF SOLID BRASS

BECAUSE NOTHING BEATS
ITS RESONANCE.

[ WHISTLE BLOWS ]

PRODUCTION BEGINS
WITH A NARROW BRASS SHEET

NOT QUITE 4/100 OF AN INCH
THICK.

A PUNCH PRESS
SLICES THROUGH THE SHEET,

CUTTING A SQUARE
CONNECTED TO TWO CIRCLES.

THE FACTORY CALLS THESE PIECES
THE MICKEY MOUSE EARS.

ONE BY ONE
THEY GO INTO A SECOND PRESS

THAT FOLDS THE CIRCLES INWARD

TO FORM THE SIDES
OF THE WHISTLE'S BARREL

AND BENDS THE EDGES
OF THE SQUARE INWARD

TO FORM THE TOP AND SIDES
OF THE MOUTHPIECE.

AT THE SAME TIME, IT STRIKES
THE MOUTHPIECE AGAINST A DIE

THAT EMBOSSES THE COMPANY LOGO
INTO THE METAL.

ANOTHER BRASS SHEET
FEEDS A THIRD PRESS.

THIS MACHINE PUNCHES OUT
AND PARTIALLY SHAPES THE PART

THAT FORMS THE REST
OF THE WHISTLE.

IT NOTCHES THE TAPERED END,

WHICH WILL BE THE UNDERSIDE
OF THE MOUTHPIECE,

GIVING YOUR TEETH
SOMETHING TO GRIP.

NOW A FOURTH PRESS
FINISHES SHAPING THESE PIECES.

IT BENDS THE OTHER END INTO
A CIRCLE TO FORM THE BARREL.

THE TWO MAIN PARTS
OF THE WHISTLE ARE NOW READY.

A WORKER SNAPS THEM TOGETHER
WITH PLIERS.

NOTE THAT ON THE BOTTOM PIECE
THE BARREL STOPS SHORT

OF MEETING THE TOP
OF THE MOUTHPIECE.

THIS CREATES
THE WHISTLE'S AIR SLOT.

THIS PRESS CUTS
AND FOLDS A BRASS SHEET

INTO THE THIRD AND FINAL PART
OF THE WHISTLE, CALLED THE TIP.

IT'S A PIECE ON THE BACK

THAT HOLDS A RING
FOR HANGING THE WHISTLE.

THE TIPS GO INTO A BOWL FEEDER.

THE VIBRATION ORIENTS THEM
IN THE SAME DIRECTION

SO THAT A ROBOTIC ARM
CAN PICK THEM UP

AND PUT THEM IN A HOLDER.

TIN AND SILVER SOLDER
IS APPLIED TO EACH TIP.

THIS WILL BOND IT
TO THE WHISTLE.

TO FUSE ALL THE PARTS TOGETHER,

SOLDER IS APPLIED
IN SIX DIFFERENT SPOTS.

THE SOLDER LIQUIFIES

AS A GAS FLAME HEATS IT TO ABOUT
1,100 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

IT FLOWS AROUND ALL THE SEAMS,

FILLING THEM
IN A MATTER OF SECONDS.

A BLAST OF COLD AIR
SOLIDIFIES THE SOLDER.

EVEN THEN, IT'S STILL STEAMING

AS THE WHISTLE
COMES OFF THE MACHINE.

THE BALL THAT GOES
INSIDE THE BARREL

IS ABOUT A HALF INCH IN DIAMETER

AND MADE OF SYNTHETIC CORK,
WHICH DOESN'T ABSORB MOISTURE,

SO THE BALL NEVER GETS SOGGY
AND STUCK.

A WORKER HOLDS EACH WHISTLE,
NOW PLATED WITH NICKEL,

AGAINST THE INSERTION MACHINE.

THE DEVICE WORKS
LIKE THESE PLIERS,

SQUEEZING A BALL THROUGH
THE WHISTLE'S AIR SLOT.

WITH ONE SIDE OF THE BARREL
CUT AWAY,

YOU CAN SEE HOW THE BALL
REGAINS ITS SHAPE

AS SOON AS IT CLEARS THE SLOT.

THE LAST STEP IS TO HOOK
A STEEL RING ONTO EACH TIP.

THE FACTORY PACKAGES
ITS WHISTLES

WITH A NYLON CORD
CALLED A LANYARD.

A HOOK ON ONE END ATTACHES
TO THE WHISTLE'S RING.

ANOTHER ACCESSORY IN THE PACKAGE

IS A RUBBER COVER
FOR THE MOUTHPIECE.

IT MAKES HOLDING THE WHISTLE
IN YOUR MOUTH FOR A LONG TIME

MORE COMFORTABLE.

THIS FACTORY ALSO MAKES
CUSTOMIZED WHISTLES.

YOU CAN ORDER THEM
WITH YOUR OWN LOGO.

OR TO REALLY BLOW SOMEONE AWAY,
YOU CAN PRESENT THEM

WITH A 24-KARAT GOLD-PLATED
AWARD WHISTLE.

CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

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