How It's Made (2001–…): Season 9, Episode 10 - Umbrellas/Outboard Motors/Silver Cutlery/Tape Measures - full transcript


CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, LLC

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

UMBRELLAS...

...OUTBOARD MOTORS...

...SILVER CUTLERY...

...AND TAPE MEASURES.

IT PROVIDES SHELTER
FROM THE RAIN,

PROTECTION FROM THE SUN,

AND IT'S A CHIC
FASHION ACCESSORY.

THE UMBRELLA ORIGINATED
IN ANCIENT CHINA

SOME 1,700 YEARS AGO.

SINCE THEN, IT'S EVOLVED
FROM THE ORIGINAL PARASOL

TO THE MODERN-DAY
COLLAPSIBLE CANOPY.

UNLIKE MASS-PRODUCED MODELS,

THIS QUALITY UMBRELLA
IS METICULOUSLY CRAFTED BY HAND.

PRODUCTION BEGINS
WITH A BIRCHWOOD SHAFT,

WHICH AN ARTISAN STAINS
TO MATCH THE UMBRELLA'S HANDLE.

HE NARROWS DOWN THE SHAFT

SO IT WILL FIT PERFECTLY
INTO THE HANDLE.

AFTER BUFFING THE HANDLE
TO A SHINE,

HE GLUES IT ONTO THE SHAFT.

NEXT, THE ARTISAN
FORMS TWO SPRINGS

FROM WIRE
MADE OF NICKEL SILVER,

A METAL THAT CAN WITHSTAND
EXTREME TENSION.

HE BENDS ONE END OF THE WIRE
INTO A TRIANGULAR SHAPE...

AND HAMMERS IT FLAT
TO ENSURE A NEAT FIT.

HE CUTS TWO SLOTS IN THE SHAFT,

ONE AT THE TOP
AND ONE AT THE BOTTOM.

THEN HE PIERCES EACH SLOT,

CREATING A HOLE
FOR THE SPRING TO HOOK INTO.

WITH A BIT OF STAIN,
HE HIDES THE EXPOSED WOOD.

FOR THE UMBRELLA
TO OPEN AND CLOSE EASILY,

THE SPRINGS MUST FIT SNUGLY,

SO THE END OF THE SPRING
GETS A RIGHT-ANGLE BEND.

THIS SHAPE
SETS THE CORRECT TENSION.

WITH A TAP OF THE HAMMER,

THE SPRINGS NOW REST FIRMLY
INTO THE SLOT.

AFTER TRIMMING THE SPRING,

THE ARTISAN FORMS IT
INTO THE PERFECT SHAPE

BY PURPOSELY OVERBENDING,
THEN CORRECTING THE POSITION.

A SMALL PIN INSIDE THE SHAFT

PREVENTS THE SPRING
FROM OPENING FULLY.

THIS BRASS RUNNER
IS WHAT YOU SLIDE UP THE SHAFT

TO OPEN THE UMBRELLA.

A STOP PIN
LIMITS THE RUNNER'S TRAVEL,

PREVENTING THE CANOPY
FROM BLOWING INSIDE OUT.

THE ARTISAN FITS A LENGTH
OF TYING WIRE

AROUND THE SLOT IN THE RUNNER,

THEN THREADS THE CANOPY'S
EIGHT RIBS ONTO IT.

THE RIBS ARE MADE
OF A TYPE OF STEEL

THAT'S STRONG, YET FLEXIBLE,

SO THEY CURVE INTO A DOME SHAPE
WHEN THE UMBRELLA'S OPEN,

THEN STRAIGHTEN OUT AGAIN
WHEN IT'S CLOSED.

THE RIBS' OTHER ENDS ARE WIRED
TO WHAT'S CALLED A NOTCH.

ONCE THEY'RE IN PLACE, THEY'LL
REST JUST BELOW THE HANDLE LINE.

AT THE SPOT WHERE THE NOTCH
WILL SIT ON THE SHAFT,

A HOLE IS DRILLED.

THIS WILL HOLD THE PINNING WIRE
IN PLACE.

WORKERS CUT EIGHT
TRIANGULAR-SHAPED PANELS

CALLED GORES FROM DURABLE NYLON.

THEY ATTACH A LABEL,

THEN ASSEMBLE THE CANOPY BY
SEWING ALL EIGHT GORES TOGETHER.

NEXT, EIGHT METAL TIPS
ARE INSERTED INTO A MACHINE

THAT WRAPS THEM IN FABRIC.

THEN THEY'RE STITCHED TO EIGHT
LOCATIONS INSIDE THE CANOPY.

THESE SMALLER PIECES OF FABRIC,
CALLED PREVENTS,

STOP THE CANOPY FROM CHAFFING
AGAINST THE FRAME.

THIS DECORATIVE ROSETTE
HIDES THE POINT

AT WHICH THE RUNNER AND RIBS
MEET.

NEXT, THE CANOPY IS DRAPED
OVER THE SHAFT

AND HAND-SEWN
TIGHTLY OVER THE NOTCH.

A TIP IS ATTACHED
OVER THE END OF EACH RIB.

THEN EACH RIB IS ALIGNED
WITH A CANOPY SEAM.

AFTER CHECKING THE FABRIC
FOR IMPERFECTIONS,

A WORKER SECURES THE RIBS
IN POSITION

BY SEWING THEM
TO THEIR RESPECTIVE SEAMS.

THEY ROLL UP THE UMBRELLA

TO CHECK THAT THE FASTENING
BUTTON AND BAND ATTACHED EARLIER

ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE.

A DECORATIVE RING
GOES OVER THE NOTCH.

THEN THE TOP OF THE SHAFT
IS CROWNED WITH A FERRULE --

A BRASS CAP
WITH A PROTECTIVE STEEL TIP.

THIS COMPANY EMBELLISHES ITS
SHAFT WITH A STEEL-PLATED BAND,

IDEAL FOR ENGRAVING
THE OWNER'S INITIALS.

AFTER A QUICK WASH,

THE CANOPY IS IRONED
FOR A NEAT, CRISP FINISH.

THE FINAL TOUCH
IS A MATCHING COVER

WHICH YOU CAN SLIDE OFF
IN AN INSTANT

IF YOU'RE CAUGHT
IN A SUDDEN SHOWER.

WHEN WE RETURN, AN INSIDE LOOK
AT THE OUTBOARD MOTOR.

Narrator:
OUTBOARD MARINE MOTORS

COME IN A VARIETY
OF SIZES AND HORSEPOWERS,

RANGING
FROM SINGLE-CYLINDER MODELS

TO POWERFUL
EIGHT-CYLINDER CONFIGURATIONS.

THEY CAN RUN ON GAS, DIESEL,
OR ELECTRICITY,

AND THEY CAN PROVIDE POWER
FOR A QUIET DAY OF FISHING

OR AN EXHILARATING
OFFSHORE DRAG RACE.

OUTBOARD MOTORS HAVE AN ENGINE
ON TOP AND A GEAR CASE BELOW.

THIS ALUMINUM ENGINE BLOCK
IS THE SKELETON

THAT HOUSES THE CYLINDERS --

THE HEART OF THE ENGINE'S
INTERNAL-COMBUSTION SYSTEM.

UNDER A STREAM OF CUTTING FLUID,

MACHINES HONE THE CYLINDERS
TO PRECISE DIMENSIONS.

MINISCULE X's ARE CARVED
INTO THE STEEL

THAT LINES THE CYLINDER WALLS.

OIL WILL SETTLE INTO THESE X's,

KEEPING THE WALLS
WELL-LUBRICATED FOR THE PISTON.

WORKERS ASSEMBLE
EACH PISTON MANUALLY.

FIRST THEY BUILD
A RIDGED BEARING

AND INSERT IT INTO THE LOOP
AT THE END OF A CONNECTING ROD.

THEN THEY FIT THE ROD
INTO A PISTONHEAD,

SECURING IT WITH A PIN.

THE PISTONS ARE PLACED
IN THE CYLINDERS.

THEN THEY LOWER THE ENGINE'S
CRANKSHAFT INTO PLACE

AND ATTACH IT TO THE LOOPS

AT THE ENDS
OF THE CONNECTING RODS.

THE CRANKSHAFT'S BEARINGS
ARE LUBRICATED AND CAPPED OFF.

THEN THIS PART OF THE ENGINE IS
SEALED WITH AN ALUMINUM COVER.

TO GET THE COVER'S POSITIONING
JUST RIGHT,

THE FIRST BOLT IS DRIVEN
INTO PLACE MANUALLY.

A PRECISION TORQUE WRENCH
DOES THE REST.

NOW THE TOP IS SCREWED ON.

A MAGNETO SYSTEM
IS MOUNTED ONTO THE CRANKSHAFT.

AS IT SPINS,
IT GENERATES ELECTRICITY

FOR THE ENGINE'S ELECTRONICS
AND PUMPS.

MEANWHILE,
ON ANOTHER ASSEMBLY LINE,

THE GEAR CASE TAKES SHAPE.

THIS MACHINE LOCKS THE CASE'S
FORWARD GEAR

TO A SHAFT THAT'LL TURN
THE MOTOR'S PROPELLER.

THE PROPELLER SHAFT
CONNECTS THE LOWER DRIVESHAFT.

THE FACTORY BUYS THESE PIECES
READYMADE FROM A SUPPLIER

BUT STILL HAS TO REFINE
THE DIMENSIONS

SO THAT EVERYTHING
FITS TOGETHER PERFECTLY.

THIS MACHINE ANALYZES THE SHAFT.

IT CONCLUDES THAT THIS ONE

NEEDS TO BE A FRACTION
OF AN INCH LONGER,

SO WORKERS ADD THE REQUIRED
NUMBER OF STEEL DISKS

CALLED SHIMS.

THEY INSERT THIS DRIVESHAFT
INTO THE GEAR CASE,

THEN ATTACH THE PROPELLER SHAFT
WITH THE FORWARD GEAR.

NOW THE GEAR CASE
IS LINKED TO THE DRIVESHAFT,

WHICH CONNECTS
TO THE PROPELLER SHAFT,

WHICH TURNS THE PROPELLER.

THE NEXT PIECE TO GO INTO PLACE

IS THE MIDDLE SECTION
OF THE MOTOR --

THE PART IN BETWEEN
THE ENGINE AND THE GEAR CASE.

FIRST, WORKERS ATTACH
THE GEAR CASE --

NOW FITTED WITH A SHIFT ROD
FOR SWITCHING GEARS --

AND AN UPPER DRIVESHAFT

WHICH TRANSFERS POWER FROM
THE ENGINE TO THE PROPELLER.

NEXT, THE UNIT
GETS A COAT OF PAINT

THAT'S SALT-WATER RESISTANT.

WHEN THE PAINT'S DRY,

WORKERS BOLT THE ENGINE
ON TOP OF THE ASSEMBLY.

THE ENGINE IS PLUGGED INTO
A MASTER COMPUTER

WHICH AUTOMATICALLY UPLOADS
AN OPERATING SYSTEM

ONTO THE ENGINE'S
INTERNAL COMPUTER.

THEN, USING A SCANNER,

THEY INPUT INFORMATION
ABOUT EACH CYLINDER.

THE MOTOR IS NOW
FULLY OPERATIONAL.

WORKERS INSERT A PROPELLER
ONTO THE PROPELLER SHAFT,

THEN LOWER THE MOTOR
INTO A TEST TANK.

THIS FACTORY TESTS
EVERY MOTOR IT PRODUCES.

THEY RUN THE ENGINE
FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES

WHILE A COMPUTER ANALYZES
THE PERFORMANCE DATA.

AFTER DRYING THE ENGINE
THOROUGHLY,

WORKERS APPLY
THE FINISHING TOUCHES,

STARTING WITH THE TWO-PART COVER

THAT ENCASES THE LOWER PORTION
OF THE MOTOR.

THEN THEY LATCH ANOTHER COVER
OVER THE ENGINE...

...AND STICK ON DECALS.

BOTH COVERS ARE MADE
OF HEAVY-DUTY PLASTIC

COATED IN PAINT THAT WON'T FADE,

EVEN AFTER A LIFETIME
OF SUN, WIND, AND WATER.

UP NEXT,
TURNING OUT THE SILVERWARE

THAT TURNS AN ORDINARY DINNER
INTO SOMETHING SPECIAL.

Narrator: CUTLERY DATES BACK TO
THE STONE AGE 300,000 YEARS AGO.

PREHISTORIC PEOPLE
MADE THE FIRST CUTLERY

FROM SPLINTERS OF STONE,
SHELLS, HORN, AND WOOD CHIPS.

DURING THE BRONZE AGE,

HUMANS FOUND
A BETTER MATERIAL -- METAL.

FORKS CAME ALONG MUCH LATER,
ORIGINATING IN ANCIENT GREECE.

WHETHER CUTLERY
IS STERLING SILVER,

SILVER-PLATED,
OR STAINLESS STEEL,

THE PRODUCTION PROCESS
IS THE SAME.

IT ALL STARTS
WITH THIN SHEETS OF METAL.

AS WORKERS MANUALLY FEED
THE SHEET THROUGH A PRESS,

A DIE INSIDE PUNCHES OUT
UTENSIL SHAPES CALLED BLANKS.

FORK BLANKS GO INTO
A PIERCING TOOL

WHICH SLICES AWAY
THREE STRIPS OF METAL.

THIS CREATES FOUR PRONGS

WITH A SUPPORT BAR
ACROSS THE TOP -- FOR NOW.

MEANWHILE, SPOON BLANKS
GO INTO A MACHINE

CALLED THE CROSS ROLLER,

WHICH EXPANDS
THE SPOON HEAD SIDEWAYS,

THINNING OUT THE METAL
AT THE SAME TIME.

THEN IT'S INTO A CLIPPING TOOL

WHICH TRIMS THE SPOON HEAD

TO PRECISELY THE RIGHT SIZE
AND SHAPE.

BOTH SPOON AND FORK BLANKS
NOW GO INTO A GRINDING MACHINE

THAT SMOOTHES AWAY ROUGH EDGES

BY VIBRATING THEM AGAINST
SMALL PLASTIC CONES.

ELSEWHERE IN THE FACTORY,

A SPECIALIZED TRADESMAN
SCULPTS THE STEEL DIE

THAT WILL STAMP THE PATTERN
ON THE CUTLERY HANDLES.

WORKING FROM
A DESIGNER'S ILLUSTRATION,

HE HAS TO INTERPRET THE PATTERN
IN THREE DIMENSIONS.

THIS REQUIRES TREMENDOUS SKILL

BECAUSE THE DEPTH OF THE DESIGN
VARIES THROUGHOUT THE HANDLE.

HE MEASURES
THESE MINUTE VARIATIONS

WITH A TOOL CALLED A MICROMETER.

IN THE PRESS,
THE DIE DOES THREE THINGS --

EMBOSS THE PATTERN,
GENTLY BEND THE HANDLE,

AND MARK THE BACK OF THE UTENSIL
WITH THE MANUFACTURER'S NAME.

NOW BACK TO THE HEAD
OF THE UTENSILS.

THE FORKS GO INTO A PRESS

THAT BENDS THE PRONGS
TO THE RIGHT CURVE.

NOW THAT SUPPORT BAR
CAN FINALLY COME OFF.

SPOONS, MEANWHILE,

GO INTO A PRESS FITTED WITH
WHAT'S CALLED A BOWLING DIE.

IT STRIKES THE SPOON'S FLAT HEAD
INTO A BOWL SHAPE.

EVERY TIME YOU STRIKE METAL,
IT HARDENS A BIT.

SO REPEATEDLY
DURING THE SHAPING PROCESS,

WORKERS HAVE TO HEAT THE BLANKS
TO SOFTEN THEM AGAIN.

MAKING KNIVES
IS MORE COMPLICATED

THAN MAKING SPOONS AND FORKS.

EACH KNIFE HANDLE
IS CONSTRUCTED FROM TWO HALVES.

A PRESS PUNCHES THEM OUT
AND STAMPS THE PATTERN.

THEN A CLIPPING MACHINE

REMOVES EXCESS METAL
AROUND THE PERIMETER.

NOW WORKERS COAT THE EDGE
WITH FLUX, A CHEMICAL CLEANSER.

THE SURFACES HAVE TO BE SPOTLESS
TO BOND PROPERLY.

THE TWO HALVES ARE WRAPPED
TOGETHER WITH STRING.

THEN POWDERED METAL
IS POURED INTO THE CAVITY.

IT IMMEDIATELY STICKS
TO THE FLUX ON THE EDGES.

THE EXCESS IS DISCARDED.

THEN THE HANDLES ARE RUN THROUGH
A MINI FURNACE FOR 12 MINUTES.

THE 1,600-DEGREE HEAT
LIQUIFIES THE METAL POWDER,

SOLDERING THE TWO HALVES
TOGETHER

AND BURNING OFF THE STRING.

AFTER POLISHING, THE SOLDER LINE
WILL BE INVISIBLE.

WORKERS POUR CEMENT INTO THE
CENTER OF A CENTRIFUGE MACHINE

AND LOAD THE HOLLOW HANDLES
ALL AROUND.

AS THE MACHINE SPINS,

IT FILLS EACH HANDLE
WITH CEMENT.

NOW EACH HANDLE
GETS A STAINLESS-STEEL BLADE.

THE BLADE'S STEM GOES DIRECTLY
INTO THE WET CEMENT...

AND A CLAMP HOLDS THE PARTS
TOGETHER

DURING THE HARDENING PROCESS.

A 12-MINUTE BATH IN HOT WATER
CURES THE CEMENT,

MAKING THE HANDLE/BLADE
CONNECTION ROCK-SOLID

AND GIVING THE HANDLE WEIGHT.

FOR WORKER SAFETY,

IT'S ONLY NOW,
NEAR THE END OF PRODUCTION,

THAT THEY SHARPEN THE BLADES.

A GOOD POLISHING

AND THIS ELEGANT SILVERWARE
IS READY

FOR EVEN THE MOST SOPHISTICATED
DINNER PARTY.

COMING UP, A FACTORY
THAT GOES THE WHOLE NINE YARDS.

Narrator: A POPULAR TOOL
IN ANY UTILITY CLOSET,

THE SPRING-DRIVEN,
RETRACTABLE TAPE MEASURE

WAS INVENTED IN THE MIDDLE
OF THE 19th CENTURY.

BUT IT DIDN'T REALLY BECOME
POPULAR UNTIL THE 1940s.

TODAY, ANY HANDYMAN WITHOUT ONE
JUST DOESN'T MEASURE UP.

MEASURING TAPES TAKE
THE GUESSWORK OUT OF ANY JOB,

AND IF YOU DON'T USE ONE,

YOU'LL SOON SEE THE ERROR
OF YOUR WAYS.

PRODUCTION BEGINS

WITH A THREE-DIMENSIONAL
COMPUTER DESIGN.

TO BRING THAT VISION TO LIFE,

A MACHINE FIRST PULLS
HARDENED STRIPS OF STEEL --

FIVE AT A TIME --

ACROSS A NETWORK OF ROLLERS
THAT COAT THEM WITH PRIMER.

THEN COMES THE PAINT.

AFTER THE PAINT DRIES,

THE STRIPS ARE REWOUND
IN PREPARATION FOR PRINTING.

PRINTING CYLINDERS
ROLL THE MEASUREMENT MARKINGS

ONTO THE STEEL STRIPS.

THEY USE BLACK INK
FOR MILLIMETERS

AND RED FOR METERS.

NEXT, THEY HEAT
THE MEASURING TAPE.

THIS ENSURES

THAT THE PROTECTIVE PLASTIC FILM
APPLIED BY THIS MACHINE

WILL STICK WELL TO THE STEEL.

ROLLERS THEN GIVE THE TAPE
A CONCAVE CONTOUR

SO THAT IT CAN BE EXTENDED
RIGIDLY.

EVERY FEW SECONDS,
THE PRESSES GRIND TO A HALT

AND A BLADE CUTS THE TAPE
TO THE CORRECT LENGTH.

AT THE SAME TIME, IT PUNCHES
A HOLE FOR THE END HOOK,

WHICH IS THEN RIVETED
INTO PLACE.

ANOTHER MACHINE ROLLS UP STEEL
TO MAKE SPRINGS.

THE SPRING ENABLES THE MEASURING
TAPE TO RETRACT INTO THE CASING.

THE END OF THE SPRING IS CLIPPED
TO AN AUTOMATIC-WINDING MACHINE.

A WORKER PLACES THE LOWER HALF
OF THE TAPE MEASURE'S CASING

INTO POSITION.

THE MACHINE THEN REWINDS
THE STEEL SPRING

AND TRANSFERS IT
INTO THE CASING.

THE SPRING GETS
A LITTLE LUBRICATING OIL.

THEN WORKERS INSTALL
THE CONTROL BREAKS,

WHICH CAN BE USED TO LOCK
AND UNROLL TAPE IN PLACE.

ASSEMBLING THE REST
OF THE CASING IS A SNAP.

EVERYTHING IS SCREWED TOGETHER.

THE MEASURING TAPE
IS ATTACHED TO THE SPRING.

AND THEN IT'S TIME TO TEST
THAT SPRING ACTION.

THIS FACTORY MAKES
SOME LONGER MEASURING TAPES

FROM GLASS FIBERS, WHICH ARE
FAR LIGHTER THAN STEEL.

MULTIPLE STRANDS OF GLASS

ARE PULLED THROUGH A TUB
OF WHITE LIQUID PLASTIC

SO THAT THEY'LL STICK TOGETHER.

THE FIBERS THEN ENTER A MACHINE

THAT COATS THEM
WITH MORE PLASTIC

MELTED DOWN FROM HARD PELLETS
LIKE THESE.

THIS PROCESS TRANSFORMS
THE GLASS FIBERS

INTO A STRONG YET FLEXIBLE TAPE,

THE TYPE COMMONLY USED
FOR SURVEYORS' TAPE MEASURES.

A COMPUTERIZED PRINTER

TRANSFERS MEASUREMENTS
TO THE TAPE A METER A SECOND.

LIGHTS ILLUMINATE THE TAPE

SO A CAMERA CAN CHECK
FOR PRINTING DEFECTS.

AN INSPECTOR DOUBLE-CHECKS
THE PRINT JOB

AND ALSO EXAMINES EACH TAPE
FOR ACCURACY.

SOME TAPES
ARE MORE ACCURATE THAN OTHERS

BECAUSE OF VARYING STANDARDS

IN DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES
AND DIFFERENT COUNTRIES.

SHE GRADES EACH TAPE
AND MARKS IT

SO THAT IT CAN BE TRACKED
BACK TO THE OPERATOR.

A LASER THEN
MOVES OVER THE TAPES

TO CHECK THE ACCURACY LEVEL
AGAIN.

IF THE READING IS OFF

BY EVEN A FEW THOUSANDTHS
OF A MILLIMETER,

THEN THE TAPE IS REJECTED.

WINDING A SURVEYOR'S TAPE
IS A MANUAL JOB.

NO SPRING SYSTEM HERE,

BECAUSE THAT WOULD MAKE THE TAPE
MEASURE TOO HEAVY AND UNWIELDY.

AFTER WINDING, THE TAPE IS CUT

AND THE END HOOK
IS FASTENED INTO PLACE.

AND FINALLY, THESE MEASURING
TAPES ARE READY TO ROLL.

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