How It's Made (2001–…): Season 9, Episode 7 - Racing Shells/Stainless Steel Sinks/Leather/Pedal Steel Guitars - full transcript

Find out how racing shells, stainless steel sinks, leather, and pedal steel guitars are made.


CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, LLC

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

RACING SHELLS...

...STAINLESS-STEEL SINKS...

...LEATHER...

...AND PEDAL STEEL GUITARS.

THE RACING SHELL IS A HIGH-TECH
ROWBOAT THAT'S BUILT FOR SPEED.

LONG AND EXCEPTIONALLY NARROW,

IT'S DESIGNED
TO CUT THROUGH WAVE DRAG

AND LEAVE THE COMPETITION
IN ITS WAKE.

RACING SHELLS ARE MADE FOR
SINGLE ROWERS, CALLED SCULLERS,

FOR PAIRS, OR ENTIRE CREWS.

THEY'RE CUSTOM-MADE
TO PRECISE SPECIFICATIONS.

RACERS NEED TO TRAVEL LIGHT
TO MAINTAIN SPEED,

SO THESE BOATS ARE MADE
FROM REINFORCED CARBON FIBER,

WHICH WEIGHS A LOT LESS
THAN WOOD.

FIRST, SEVERAL OF THESE
CARBON-FIBER SHEETS

ARE LAYERED IN A MOLD
AND TRIMMED ALONG THE EDGE.

TEXTURED THERMOPLASTIC CALLED
HONEYCOMB GETS A SPRAY OF GLUE

AND IS THEN PRESSED ONTO
THE CARBON-FIBER PLIES.

SANDWICHED BETWEEN LAYERS
OF CARBON FIBER,

THE HONEYCOMB WILL SERVE
AS THE SHELL'S CORE,

LENDING SOME LIGHTWEIGHT
REINFORCEMENT

TO THE DELICATE HULL.

NEXT, THE ENTIRE BOAT
IS WRAPPED IN BREATHER CLOTH

AND A PLASTIC BAG

SO THAT THE AIR CAN BE VACUUMED
FROM BETWEEN THE LAYERS.

THE BREATHER CLOTH
IS A PERMEABLE LAYER

THAT PREVENTS THE PLASTIC
FROM STICKING TO THE MOLD

AND CREATING AIR POCKETS.

NEXT, THE SHELL GOES
INTO A LONG OVEN,

WHICH MELTS THE GLUE

THAT'S BEEN IMPREGNATED
IN THE CARBON MATERIAL,

FUSING THE LAYERS TOGETHER.

THE SHELL BAKES AT 210 DEGREES
FOR 8 HOURS.

THEN THE PLASTIC AND
BREATHER CLOTH ARE PULLED AWAY.

AND THE BOAT IS PRIED OUT OF
THE MOLD USING PLASTIC WEDGES.

THE HULL COMES OUT
IN ONE SOLID PIECE,

AND A PRIMER PAINT SPRAYED
INTO THE MOLD EARLIER

HAS ADHERED
TO THE SHELL'S SURFACE.

WORKERS CHECK THE WEIGHT,

WHICH HAS TO BE EXACTLY
WHAT THE CUSTOMER ORDERED.

NEXT, THEY REINFORCE
THE BOAT'S COCKPIT

WITH SEVERAL
CARBON-FIBER BULKHEADS.

FOAM IS GLUED ON THE INSIDE RIM
OF THE RACING SHELL,

USING A PIECE OF WOOD
AS A GUIDE.

GLUE IS APPLIED
AROUND THE BULKHEADS.

THEN THE COCKPIT PANEL
IS LOWERED

SO THAT IT ADHERES
TO THE GLUED AREAS

AND RESTS ON TOP OF THE FOAM

THAT'S BEEN INSTALLED
ALONG THE EDGES.

NEXT, A COMPUTERIZED TOOL
DRILLS HOLES

FOR THE HARDWARE AND RIGGERS

AND WORKERS TRIM THE RIM
FROM STERN TO BOW.

THEY SMOOTH THE HOLES' FINISH
WITH A GRINDING TOOL.

AND NOW IT'S OVER
TO THE PAINT STATION

FOR SOME SANDING AND PRIMING.

ANY FLAWS ARE MARKED FOR REPAIR

BECAUSE THE SLIGHTEST
IMPERFECTION

COULD AFFECT THE BOAT'S ABILITY
TO SPEED THROUGH THE WATER.

ONCE THE BOAT
IS PERFECTLY SMOOTH,

IT GETS A HIGH-GLOSS
URETHANE COATING.

NEXT, A FIN IS INSTALLED
FOR A LITTLE STABILITY.

A LASER GUIDE HELPS ALIGN IT
INTO PERFECT POSITION.

A RUDDER GOES INTO THE BOTTOM
OF THE BOAT.

THE SYSTEM OF ROPES
THAT'S ATTACHED NEXT

WILL ALLOW THE ROWERS TO STEER.

THIS BOAT COMES WITH SPECIAL
SHOES AND SLIDING SEATS

THAT ALLOW ROWERS TO PUT A LOT
OF LEG POWER INTO THEIR STROKES.

FINALLY, THE RIGGING EQUIPMENT
FOR THE OARS GOES IN.

NOW THIS SLEEK RACING SHELL
IS READY TO HIT THE WATER.

WHEN WE RETURN,

TURNING STAINLESS STEEL
INTO A SPARKLING NEW SINK.

Narrator:
THE STAINLESS-STEEL SINK

IS AN INVENTION BORN
OF PATRIOTISM.

IT EVOLVED DURING WORLD WAR II
WHEN SINKS WERE OFTEN MADE

FROM COPPER-NICKEL MATERIAL
CALLED MONEL.

WHEN THAT MATERIAL WAS NEEDED
FOR THE WAR EFFORT,

STAINLESS STEEL WAS DRAFTED
FOR USE ON THE HOME FRONT,

AND IT'S STILL ON KITCHEN DUTY
TO THIS DAY.

STAINLESS STEEL IS LIGHTWEIGHT
AND HEAVY-DUTY,

WHICH MAKES IT GREAT FOR SINKS.

THE PROCESS BEGINS WITH A LARGE
SHEET OF STAINLESS STEEL,

UNCOILED AND SLICED INTO PIECES
CALLED BLANKS.

EACH BLANK GOES UNDER
A 1,000-TON PRESS.

AS THE PRESS DESCENDS,
A PUNCH RISES FROM BELOW,

STRETCHING THE STEEL
INTO A ROUGH SINK SHAPE.

THIS PROCESS ALSO TRANSFORMS
THE STEEL ON A MOLECULAR LEVEL,

HARDENING IT.

WORKERS BRUSH LUBRICANT IN
AND AROUND THE SINK BOWL

TO MAKE IT EASIER
TO STRETCH IT AGAIN.

THE BOWL GOES UNDER THE SAME
PUNCH PRESS A SECOND TIME

FOR MORE PRECISE SHAPING.

THIS SECOND WORKING OF THE STEEL
HARDENS IT EVEN MORE.

NOW THE SINK GOES UNDER
A DIFFERENT PUNCH DEVICE

THAT CUTS OUT A DRAIN HOLE
AND FORMS A LIP AROUND IT.

AS COOLANT FLUSHES THE SINK,

AN ABRASIVE BELT
GRINDS THE SURFACE

TO GIVE IT A BRUSHED LOOK.

NEXT, A SINK BOWL SLIDES
INTO A WELDING MACHINE.

A SECOND SINK BOWL IS LINED UP
AGAINST THE FIRST ONE.

INSIDE, AN ELECTRODE WELDS
THE TWO SINKS TOGETHER.

USING ENORMOUS FORCE,

A ROLLER MOVES ACROSS THE SEAM
TO FLATTEN IT.

A GRINDING BELT BEHIND
THE ROLLER SANDS IT DOWN.

NOW THAT THE SEAM JOINING THE
TWO SINKS IS LEVEL AND SMOOTH...

...IT'S TIME TO GIVE
THE SINK'S RIM SOME SHAPE.

THIS DIE FORMS RECESSES
ALONG THE SINK'S PERIMETER.

THESE RECESSES GIVE THE SINK
A SLEEK LOOK

AND COLLECT WATER RUNOFF.

ANOTHER PRESS TRIMS THE RIM
AND GIVES IT A BEVEL FINISH,

WHICH SOFTENS THOSE ROUGH EDGES.

NOW, USING A PUNCH CUTTER,

WORKERS PIERCE THE BACK RIM
OF THE SINK

TO MAKE HOLES FOR FAUCETS
AND A SOAP DISPENSER.

THEN THEY GRIND AND BUFF
THE SINK TO A FINE FINISH.

IT'S A VERY INTENSIVE PROCESS
THAT TAKES ABOUT 25 MINUTES.

THE COMPANY'S TRADEMARK
IS EMBOSSED ON THE SINK.

THEN THE SINK'S DRAINS
ARE PLUGGED

AND A SUBSTANCE
SIMILAR TO LATEX PAINT

IS SPRAYED ONTO THE OUTSIDE.

THE FINISH WILL MUFFLE THE SOUND
OF CLATTERING DISHES

AND PROTECT THE OUTSIDE
OF THE SINK FROM CONDENSATION.

IT TAKES ABOUT 2 1/2 HOURS TO
MAKE A STAINLESS-STEEL SINK --

A FUNCTIONAL AND STYLISH
ADDITION TO ANY KITCHEN.

COMING UP,
TURNING HAIRY COWHIDES

INTO BUTTERY-SMOOTH LEATHER.

Narrator: LEATHER PRODUCTION
DATES BACK TO PRIMITIVE TIMES

WHEN HUMANS RUBBED FATS INTO
ANIMAL SKINS TO PRESERVE THEM.

TIMES HAVE CHANGED,
BUT LEATHER ENDURES.

FROM FOOTWEAR TO FURNITURE,

THIS TOUGH MATERIAL REMAINS
AN INTEGRAL PART OF OUR LIVES.

THIS LEATHER COMES FROM THE
HIDES OF COWS KILLED FOR MEAT.

WITHOUT TANNING, THESE COWHIDES
WOULD GO TO WASTE.

CONVERTING THEM TO LEATHER
IS A KIND OF RECYCLING.

THE FIRST STEP
IS TO CUT EACH HIDE IN HALF.

THE HIDES ARE DRAPED
OVER A SAWHORSE,

STAMPED WITH
AN IDENTIFICATION CODE...

AND SLICED DOWN THE CENTER.

TWO SMALLER PIECES WILL BE
EASIER TO HANDLE AND PROCESS

THAN ONE LARGE HIDE.

HUNDREDS OF THESE HIDE HALVES

ARE LOADED
INTO A MODIFIED CEMENT MIXER

FOR SOME SERIOUS HAIR REMOVAL.

AS THE MIXER FILLS WITH WATER,

A WORKER DUMPS IN A COMBINATION
OF SODIUM SULFYDRATE AND LIME.

A CHEMICAL REACTION
STRIPS THE HAIR FROM THE HIDES.

THE HAIRLESS HIDES
NOW GET AN ACID BATH

TO PREPARE THEM
FOR THE TANNING PROCESS.

THE TANNING ITSELF HAPPENS
INSIDE BIG WOODEN DRUMS

WITH PRONGS TO KEEP THE SKINS
FROM GETTING TANGLED.

CHROME SALTS TURN THE HIDES
A ROBIN'S-EGG BLUE

AS THEY BIND TO THE
COLLAGEN FIBERS OF THE SKINS.

THE HIDES HAVE NOW BEEN
PRESERVED INTO LEATHER.

NEXT, THE PIECES
ARE FED GRAIN-SIDE UP

INTO A MACHINE THAT SLICES THE
LEATHER TO AN EVEN THICKNESS.

THE CUTOFFS WON'T BE WASTED.

THEY'LL BE RECYCLED INTO SUEDE.

WORKERS CHECK EACH PIECE
OF LEATHER WITH A GAUGE

TO CONFIRM THAT THE THICKNESS
IS UNIFORM.

NOW IT'S BACK INTO THE WOODEN
DRUMS FOR A SECOND TANNING,

THIS TIME USING A SOLUTION
OF VEGETABLE EXTRACT,

TREE BARK, AND WATER.

DYE IS ADDED
ALONG WITH A CHEMICAL

THAT WILL MAKE THE LEATHER
WATER-RESISTANT.

THE SOLUTION
BINDS TO THE LEATHER,

GIVING IT A BROWNISH TONE.

IT'S A GENTLER PROCESS
THAN THE FIRST TANNING,

AND IT SOFTENS THE LEATHER.

NOW A MIXTURE
OF STARCH AND WATER

IS BRUSHED
ONTO THE TANNED HIDES.

THIS PASTE-LIKE SOLUTION
ALLOWS THE HIDES

TO BE PRESSED
ONTO BIG GLASS FRAMES,

WHICH ALSO HAVE BEEN MOISTENED
WITH THE SAME STARCHY MIXTURE.

THIS PROCESS ALLOWS THE LEATHER
TO DRY FLAT...

...PREVENTS IT FROM SHRINKING...

...AND STOPS THE EDGES
FROM CURLING UP.

AFTER FOUR HOURS IN A DRYER,
IT'S TIME TO REMOVE THE LEATHER.

IT EASILY PEELS AWAY
FROM THE GLASS.

A REVOLVING PAINT-GUN SYSTEM
DYES THE LEATHER.

AND NOW IT'S TIME
FOR THE FINISHING TOUCHES.

A GLAZING JACK PULLS A GLASS
CYLINDER OVER THE LEATHER,

AND THE ABRASIVE ACTION
POLISHES IT.

THIS GLASS IS VERY STRONG,

SO IT CAN DO THIS VIGOROUS WORK
WITHOUT SHATTERING.

FINALLY, HUGE HEATED ROLLERS
SMOOTH OUT ANY WRINKLES.

IT'S THE END
OF THE PRODUCTION LINE

FOR THIS BIG PILE OF LEATHER

BUT JUST THE BEGINNING
FOR SO MANY OTHER PRODUCTS.

FASHIONABLE AND TOUGH, IT'S
NO WONDER THIS ANCIENT MATERIAL

CONTINUES TO BE ONE
OF OUR FAVORITE PRODUCTS TODAY.

UP NEXT, AN INSTRUMENT

THAT'S ALMOST AS TRICKY TO BUILD
AS IT IS TO PLAY.

Narrator:
PLAYING THE PEDAL STEEL GUITAR
TAKES QUITE A LOT OF SKILL.

YOU SLIDE A STEEL BAR
UP AND DOWN THE STRINGS

AS YOU PLUCK THEM,

ALL THE WHILE OPERATING A SYSTEM
OF PEDALS AND KNEE LEVERS BELOW.

THIS MEANS USING BOTH HANDS,
BOTH FEET, AND BOTH KNEES.

BUT A PEDAL STEEL GUITAR'S
UNIQUE SOUND

AND IMPRESSIVE RANGE
ARE WORTH ALL THE EFFORT.

[ PEDAL STEEL GUITAR PLAYS ]

TO MAKE ONE, A GUITAR MAKER

FIRST CARVES THE NECK
OF THE INSTRUMENT FROM HARDWOOD.

HE BEADS GLUE
AROUND THE EDGES OF THE NECK

AND APPLIES STRIPS
OF INTRICATE WOODEN INLAY.

ONCE THE FRETBOARD DESIGN
IS SILK-SCREENED ONTO THE TOP,

THE GUITAR NECK IS COMPLETE.

THE GUITAR MAKER
THEN OUTLINES A DESIGN

ONTO AIRCRAFT-GRADE ALUMINUM
AND CUTS IT OUT

TO MAKE AN END PLATE
FOR THE GUITAR FRAME.

HE POPS THE END PLATE
OUT OF THE HOLDING DEVICE.

THEN HE WELDS IT
TO THE REST OF THE FRAMEWORK

AND POLISHES EVERYTHING
TO A MIRROR FINISH.

NEXT, THE PART OF THE GUITAR
CALLED THE STEPS IS MACHINED.

THE HOLES IN THE STEPS WILL
BE USED TO ATTACH TUNING PEGS.

THERE'S ONE FOR EVERY STRING.

THE STEPS ARE ATTACHED TO THE
NECK JUST ABOVE THE FRETBOARD.

THIS IS THE PICKUP PLATE.

IT WILL HOLD THE DEVICE THAT
TRANSFERS SOUND TO THE AMPLIFIER

AS WELL AS A SERIES
OF METAL FINGERS.

THE FINGERS ARE MADE
FROM SEVERAL ALUMINUM PIECES

THAT ARE MACHINED
AND ASSEMBLED TOGETHER.

THE FINGERS PIVOT TO RAISE AND
LOWER THE PITCH OF THE STRINGS.

ALL OF THE FINGERS ARE FITTED
INTO THE PICKUP PLATE

AND SECURED WITH SCREWS.

THE GUITAR MAKER DOUBLE-CHECKS
THE FINGERS' MOVEMENT,

THEN HE HOOKS SPRINGS
TO THE END OF EACH ONE

TO MAINTAIN THE PROPER TENSION.

A LITTLE GREASE ENSURES THAT
THIS NEXT STEP GOES SMOOTHLY --

THE PRODUCTION
OF THE GUITAR'S CROSS-SHAFTS.

THEN IT'S ON
TO THE GUITAR'S UNDERCARRIAGE

AND THE SYSTEM OF FOOT PEDALS
AND KNEE LEVERS

THAT WILL MOVE THE FINGERS.

THE GUITAR MAKER
SCREWS SEVERAL CROSS-SHAFTS,

ONE FOR EACH PEDAL,
INTO THE UNDERCARRIAGE.

HE ATTACHES BELL CRANKS
TO THE CROSS-SHAFTS...

...THEN CONNECTS THIN STEEL RODS

FROM THE FINGERS
TO THE BELL CRANKS.

THIS SYSTEM
WILL ALLOW THE PERFORMER

TO TIGHTEN OR RELAX STRINGS
WHILE PLAYING,

WHICH GIVES THE INSTRUMENT
ITS CHARACTERISTIC SOUND.

THE GUITAR MAKER
TESTS THE KNEE LEVER.

HERE HE'S WINDING
COPPER-COATED WIRE

AROUND A CARTRIDGE
THOUSANDS OF TIMES

TO MAKE THE GUITAR'S PICKUP,

WHICH TRANSFERS SOUND FROM
THE GUITAR TO THE AMPLIFIER.

HE TAKES TWO
OF THE WIRE-BOUND CARTRIDGES

AND PLACES A MAGNET BETWEEN THEM
TO COMPLETE THE PICKUP.

THEN HE FITS IT INTO THE OTHER
SLOT IN THE PICKUP PLATE

JUST ABOVE THE FINGERS.

NOW, USING A GAUGE AND A LEVEL,
HE ADJUSTS THE PICKUP.

IT HAS TO SIT LOW ENOUGH
IN THE SLOT

THAT IT WON'T INTERFERE
WITH THE STRINGS.

THERE'S NO ROOM FOR ERROR HERE.

THE POSITIONING MUST BE EXACT
OR THE GUITAR WON'T SOUND RIGHT.

10 TO 12 STRINGS ARE ATTACHED
TO THE GUITAR NECK.

SOME INSTRUMENTS HAVE TWO NECKS

TO ADD EVEN MORE DIMENSION
TO THE SOUND.

IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS
ABOUT THE SHOW,

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

DROP US A LINE AT...