How It's Made (2001–…): Season 9, Episode 8 - Swords/Pontoons/Grandfather Clocks/Fuses - full transcript


CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, LLC

Narrator: SWORDS.

PONTOONS.

GRANDFATHER CLOCKS.

AND FUSES.

FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, WARS
WERE WON AND LOST BY THE SWORD.

SWORDS HELPED SHAPE HISTORY.

TODAY, MODERN ARTISANS CRAFT
HISTORICAL REPLICAS

OF THESE AGE-OLD WEAPONS,

AND THEY GO TO THE HILT TO MAKE
SURE THE DETAILS ARE JUST RIGHT.

THIS REPRODUCTION
OF A MEDIEVAL SWORD

HEARKENS BACK TO THE DAYS
OF KNIGHTS IN SHINING ARMOR.

THE FIRST STEP TO MAKING A SWORD

IS TO PLACE A PIECE OF
HIGH-CARBON STEEL IN A FIXTURE.

COMPUTER-GUIDED BLADES CARVE OUT
THE BASIC SHAPE OF THE SWORD

WITH ALL THE SPECIFICATIONS
OF THE ORIGINAL.

CENTURIES AGO,

A BLACKSMITH WOULD HAVE DONE
THIS PAINSTAKING JOB BY HAND,

BUT THIS MACHINE IS MUCH FASTER

AND CREATES
A MUCH MORE CONSISTENT CUT.

AFTER ABOUT AN HOUR OF CARVING,

A NICELY TAPERED
SWORD BLANK EMERGES.

THE BLANK IS SUBMERGED
IN HOT LIQUID SALT --

A CRITICAL STEP
THAT SOFTENS THE STEEL

TO ELIMINATE STRESSES
CREATED BY THE CARVING.

NEXT, THE BLADE
IS PLUNGED INTO COOL LIQUID

IN A PROCESS CALLED QUENCHING.

IT IMMEDIATELY HARDENS
THE EDGES OF THE SWORD,

BUT THE CENTER
COOLS MORE SLOWLY.

THIS ALLOWS THE SWORD
TO RETAIN FLEXIBILITY,

GIVING THE BLADE
A SPRINGY QUALITY.

USING A BELT GRINDER,

SWORD MAKERS FINE-TUNE
THE BLADE'S SHAPE

AND HONE ITS EDGES.

THE BLADE IS NOW
INCREDIBLY SHARP.

TO TEST ITS STRENGTH, THEY
STRIKE A METAL BARREL WITH IT.

INCREDIBLY,
THE SWORD DOESN'T CHIP.

NEXT, WAX IS PUMPED INTO MOLDS

TO MAKE HISTORICALLY ACCURATE
COPIES OF THE HILT PARTS

LIKE THE POMMEL --

WHICH IS THE COUNTERWEIGHT
AT THE END OF THE HILT --

AND THE GUARD THAT SEPARATES
THE BLADE FROM THE HANDLE.

THESE WAX COPIES ARE USED
TO CAST THE PARTS IN METAL.

THEN THE CAST-METAL PIECES
ARE SMOOTHED AND POLISHED.

THEY SMOOTH AWAY THE ROUGH EDGES
ON THIS SWORD GUARD

AND HONE ITS PROFILE.

GRINDING THE POMMEL
IS A CHALLENGE,

BECAUSE IT HAS SO MANY CURVES
AND ANGLES.

ONE MISTAKE, AND THE POMMEL
COULD END UP LOPSIDED,

WHICH MEANS IT WOULDN'T BE VERY
EFFECTIVE AS A COUNTERWEIGHT.

WITH THE BLADE IN A PADDED VISE,
THE GUARD SLIDES ONTO THE TANG,

WHERE IT'S CUSHIONED
WITH A PIECE OF PLASTIC

AND A METAL PIPE.

THEN A SLEDGEHAMMER
POUNDS IT INTO POSITION.

NEXT, THE POMMEL
IS HAMMERED INTO PLACE.

AND FINALLY, A SMALL PIECE
OF STEEL CALLED A PEEN BLOCK

IS SLIPPED ON.

HEAT FROM A TORCH
SOFTENS THE PEEN

SO IT SPREADS
AS IT'S HAMMERED DOWN.

THE EPOXY GETS A QUICK STIR.

THEN IT'S APPLIED
TO TWO WOODEN GRIPS

AS WELL AS TO THE HANDLE
OF THE SWORD.

THEN THE GRIPS
ARE CLAMPED INTO PLACE.

NEXT, BLACK DYE IS BRUSHED
ONTO A THIN PIECE OF LEATHER.

THE OTHER SIDE
IS COATED WITH GLUE.

THIS GLUE-AND-DYE-DRENCHED
LEATHER

IS THEN WRAPPED AROUND
THE WOODEN HANDLE.

IT'S BOUND WITH CORD TO COMPRESS
THE LEATHER WRAP WHILE IT DRIES.

NOW IT'S TIME TO BRAND THE BLADE
WITH THE MAKER'S INSIGNIA.

CHEMICALS ETCH THE MARK INTO
THE STEEL .4 OF AN INCH DEEP.

AND NOW YOU HAVE A REPLICA

THAT'S TRUE
TO THE MEDIEVAL ORIGINAL --

A PIECE OF ART THAT TAKES YOU
BACK IN TIME AT SWORDPOINT.

COMING UP, PUTTING TOGETHER
THE PIECES OF A PONTOON BOAT.

Narrator: PARTY BARGE,
FLOATING BRIDGE, LUXURY RAFT --

JUST SOME OF THE MANY FUNCTIONS
OF PONTOON BOATS.

WHILE THEIR BASIC DESIGN HASN'T
CHANGED MUCH OVER THE YEARS,

NEW MATERIALS HAVE MADE PONTOONS
BIGGER, SLEEKER, STURDIER,

AND FASTER.

AND WHAT BETTER WAY TO ENJOY
AN AFTERNOON THAN ON THE LAKE.

IN THE OLD DAYS,

PONTOONS FLOATED ATOP
45-GALLON STEEL DRUMS.

TODAY, THEY RIDE ON
CUSTOM-BUILT FLOATING CHAMBERS

MADE OF SPECIAL ALUMINUM ALLOY.

THESE FLOATING CHAMBERS
START OFF AS SHEETS OF ALUMINUM.

THIS ROLLING MACHINE
FORMS THEM INTO TUBES,

APPLYING PRESSURE EQUIVALENT
TO THE WEIGHT OF 26 ELEPHANTS.

A WORKER SLIDES EACH CYLINDER
ONTO A TRACK

TO STABILIZE IT FOR WELDING.

A PACING MACHINE REGULATES
THE SPEED OF THE WELDING TORCH

SO THAT IT CONNECTS
THE TUBE'S EDGES EVENLY,

PRODUCING A SOLID,
WATERTIGHT SEAL.

MEANWHILE, THIS ROLLING MACHINE
SHAPES ALUMINUM SHEETS

INTO TAPERED CYLINDERS
CALLED NOSE CONES.

BY VARYING
THE HYDRAULIC PRESSURE,

THE OPERATOR
IS ABLE TO MOLD THE ALUMINUM

INTO THE SHAPE OF A LARGE CONE.

THEY USE
A SPECIAL ALUMINUM ALLOY

TO MAKE THE CHAMBERS SHOCKPROOF.

NEXT STEP,
MAKING THIS PONTOON LEAKPROOF.

FIRST, THE WELDER CLAMPS
THE NOSE CONE SEAMS TOGETHER

TO PREPARE FOR WELDING.

BECAUSE OF ITS UNIQUE SHAPE,

THE NOSE CONE HAS TO BE WELDED
COMPLETELY BY HAND.

THIS TYPE OF WELDING,
CALLED TIG WELDING,

GENERATES TEMPERATURES THAT CAN
REACH 9,000 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

THE NOSE CONES
WILL SIT AT THE BOW OF THE BOAT,

IN FRONT OF
THE OTHER FLOATING CHAMBERS.

THE WAFFLED COMPONENT
AT THE END OF EACH CHAMBER

IS CALLED THE BAFFLE.

IT ADDS EXTRA PROTECTION
AGAINST LEAKS.

THIS HYDRAULIC PRESS
SQUEEZES THE SECTIONS TOGETHER

FOR AN EXTRA-SNUG FIT.

CHAMBERS ARE WELDED TOGETHER
TO FORM FLOATS.

THE NUMBER OF
CHAMBERS PER FLOAT VARIES

DEPENDING ON
THE PONTOON'S LENGTH.

THESE RISERS WILL HOLD
THE PONTOON'S FLOOR IN PLACE.

EACH CHAMBER FLOATS ON ITS OWN,

SO EVEN WITH SEVERAL PUNCTURES,
THE BOAT WOULD STAY AFLOAT.

A WORKER SHOOTS COMPRESSED AIR
INTO EACH CHAMBER

TO CHECK FOR LEAKS.

HE COATS THE WELDS
WITH A SOAPY SOLUTION,

WHICH WILL BUBBLE UP
IN THE CASE OF AN AIR LEAK.

THIS DEMONSTRATION SHOWS

THAT IF AIR CAN GET OUT
THROUGH THIS TINY HOLE,

THEN WATER CAN GET IN
THROUGH IT.

WORKERS INSTALL
ALUMINUM CROSS MEMBERS

TO SUPPORT ALL THE WEIGHT
THAT WILL BE ADDED ON TOP.

A PNEUMATIC TORQUE WRENCH
IS USED

TO BOLT THE CROSS MEMBERS INTO
THE RISERS WITH RUSTPROOF NUTS.

NEXT, THE BOAT'S FLOOR
IS CONSTRUCTED

FROM SHEETS
OF PRESSURE-TREATED PLYWOOD.

POP RIVETS ANCHOR IT SECURELY
TO THE CROSS MEMBERS.

WORKERS CUSTOM-CUT AND GLUE
DOWN A MARINE CARPET.

IT'S MADE OF PLASTIC,

SO EVEN WITH A LOT OF WATER
EXPOSURE, IT STILL WON'T ROT.

NOW FOR SOME
FADE-RESISTANT DECALS.

ROLLERS CRIMP
THE BOAT'S ALUMINUM SIDE PANELS

TO MAKE THEM STRONGER.

CORRUGATED PANELS DON'T WARP
OR WOBBLE AS MUCH AS FLAT ONES.

USING A POP-RIVET GUN,

A WORKER FASTENS THE PANELS
ONTO THE RAILING.

THIS SHAPING MACHINE CURVES THE
RAILING IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES,

BENDING THE MALLEABLE METAL
WITH VARYING PRESSURE.

NEXT, WORKERS
BRING THE ASSEMBLED PIECES

TO THE PLATFORM.

SCREWS AND BOLTS SECURE
EVERYTHING TO THE BOAT'S FLOOR,

INCLUDING THE FURNITURE.

THE PONTOON'S CAPTAIN
WILL COMMAND THE CRAFT

USING THIS CONSOLE.

THE BUTTONS FOR THE HORN,
LIGHTS, AND MUSIC

SIT AT THE TOP OF THE CONSOLE
FOR EASY ACCESS.

EXTRA TOUCHES BRING SOME OF THE
COMFORTS OF HOME TO THIS CRAFT.

WIRES AND CONTROL CABLES
CONNECT THE CAPTAIN'S CONSOLE

TO THIS 50-HORSEPOWER MOTOR.

IT'S BY NO MEANS
A HIGH-SPEED ENGINE,

BUT IT GIVES A PONTOON BOAT
ALL THE POWER IT NEEDS

FOR A LEISURELY SPIN
ON THE LAKE.

WHEN WE RETURN, CLOCKING IN AT
A FACTORY WHERE TIME IS MONEY.

Narrator:
INVENTED CENTURIES AGO,

GRANDFATHER CLOCKS
RUN ON GRAVITY.

WHEN YOU WIND THE CLOCK, WEIGHTS
INSIDE ARE DRAWN UPWARDS.

GRAVITY THEN PULLS THE WEIGHTS
DOWN GRADUALLY,

UNWINDING THE CABLES AND
TURNING THE HANDS OF THE CLOCK.

THE PROPER TERM FOR THIS TYPE OF
TIMEPIECE IS A LONG-CASE CLOCK.

[ CLOCK DINGS ]

THE NICKNAME "GRANDFATHER CLOCK"

CAME FROM A POPULAR SONG
FROM THE 1800s.

THIS LONG-ESTABLISHED COMPANY

MAKES ITS CLOCK CASES
OUT OF QUALITY HARDWOODS,

SUCH AS MAPLE AND OAK.

TO CONSTRUCT FRAMES
FOR THE FOUR SIDES AND DOOR,

WORKERS FIT DOWELS INTO HOLES,

THEN SECURE THE PIECES TOGETHER
WITH SCREWS AND GLUE.

THEY LAY EACH FRAME
IN THIS CURING MACHINE

THAT USES HIGH-FREQUENCY
RADIO WAVES TO GENERATE HEAT,

DRYING THE GLUE IN SECONDS.

WORKERS CONNECT THE FOUR FRAMES
WITH SCREWS AND GLUE.

THEY'LL LATER ATTACH
THE DOORFRAME WITH HINGES.

THE NEXT STEP
IS TO ASSEMBLE A BASE --

AGAIN, WITH DOWELS, GLUE,
AND SCREWS.

ONCE THE GLUE IS DRY,

THE ASSEMBLED FRAME
GOES INTO THE BASE.

NOW FOR SOME EMBELLISHMENT.

COMPUTER-GUIDED ROUTERS
CARVE ELEGANT WOOD MOLDINGS

THAT GIVE THIS PARTICULAR MODEL
A TRADITIONAL FEEL.

TODAY'S GRANDFATHER CLOCKS COME
IN STYLES TO SUIT ANY DECOR.

WORKERS CAREFULLY SAND

EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF WOOD
IN THE CLOCK CASE.

THE SURFACE
MUST BE FLAWLESSLY SMOOTH

FOR IT TO ABSORB COLOR EVENLY.

THE MOLDINGS ARE ATTACHED WITH
A COMBINATION OF GLUE AND NAILS.

THESE LONG PIECES OF WOOD
BECOME CURVED, FLUTED MOLDINGS.

THEY ADORN THE SIDE
OF THE DOORFRAME.

THIS MODEL ALSO FEATURES
A PAIR OF STATELY COLUMNS

ABOVE AND BELOW THE FLUTES.

A WORKER FIRST
POSITIONS THEM WITH GLUE,

THEN SCREWS THEM SECURELY
INTO THE FRAME FROM BEHIND.

THE NEXT STEP
IS TO STAIN THE WOOD,

HAND-RUBBING IT
TO BRING OUT THE GRAIN.

A COAT OF LACQUER
PROTECTS THE WOOD

AND GIVES IT A DEGREE OF SHEEN,
FROM MATTE TO GLOSSY,

DEPENDING ON THE MODEL.

AFTER INSTALLING
THE GLASS AND DOOR,

IT'S TIME TO INSTALL
THE CLOCK'S COMPONENTS.

WORKERS START WITH LONG,
METAL BARS CALLED CHIME RODS,

8 TO 12 OF THEM,
DEPENDING ON THE MODEL.

EACH CHIME ROD PRODUCES
A CERTAIN DIFFERENT MUSICAL NOTE

WHEN STRUCK.

NEXT COMES A MECHANISM
CALLED THE MOVEMENT.

IT CONTAINS
TIMEKEEPING COMPONENTS

THAT TRIGGER THE CHIME HAMMERS
TO HIT THE CHIME RODS

ON THE HOUR, HALF-HOUR,
OR QUARTER-HOUR.

THIS COMPANY
USES ONLY TOP-QUALITY,

ALL-BRASS MOVEMENTS
IMPORTED FROM GERMANY.

THE CHIME HAMMERS
ARE ALSO MADE OF BRASS,

BUT THEY HAVE PLASTIC TIPS,

SO YOU ONLY HEAR
THE MUSICAL NOTE,

NOT THE SOUND
OF METAL STRIKING METAL.

THESE BRASS PULLEYS

HANG FROM CABLES
CONNECTED TO THE MOVEMENT.

THE PULLEYS WILL SUPPORT
THE CLOCK'S THREE WEIGHTS.

AFTER CONNECTING THE MOVEMENT
TO THE CLOCK DIAL,

A WORKER INSERTS
A DECORATIVE DETAIL --

A WOOD PANEL TO FRAME THE DIAL.

THEN SHE INSTALLS
THE CLOCK'S SECOND HAND

INTO THE CENTER
OF A MINIATURE DIAL.

ON THE MAIN DIAL, THE HOUR AND
THE MINUTE HANDS ARE ATTACHED.

DEPENDING ON THE MODEL,

THESE ALUMINUM HANDS ARE PAINTED
EITHER BLACK OR GOLD.

A DECORATIVE NUT SECURES THEM.

FINALLY, THE ALL-IMPORTANT
WEIGHTS AND PENDULUM.

THE WEIGHTS ARE BRASS CANISTERS
FILLED WITH LEAD.

EACH ONE
WEIGHS ALMOST 9 POUNDS.

THE PENDULUM SWAYS FROM
SIDE TO SIDE AT AN EVEN PACE.

THIS ENSURES THAT THE CLOCK
KEEPS ACCURATE TIME.

IT ALSO DRIVES THE CLOCK
TO CHIME ON THE HOUR

OR FRACTION OF THE HOUR.

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO
TO KEEP THIS CLOCK TICKING

IS WIND IT UP ABOUT ONCE A WEEK.

UP NEXT, BEHIND THE SCENES
AT A FUSE FACTORY.

Narrator:
INVENTED IN THE 19th CENTURY,

FUSES ARE DESIGNED TO BLOW

WHENEVER THERE'S
A POWER OVERLOAD.

THIS STOPS
THE FLOW OF ELECTRICITY

AND PREVENTS A WIRING FIRE.

WE MAY NEVER SEE FUSES
IN ACTION,

BUT THEY'RE CONSTANTLY
WORKING TO PROTECT US

WHEREVER
ELECTRICAL CURRENT FLOWS.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT FUSE DEPENDS
ON THE AMOUNT OF CURRENT.

TO MAKE A HIGH-VOLTAGE FUSE FOR
USE IN ELECTRICAL SUBSTATIONS,

THIS MACHINE CUTS NOTCHES
INTO A LONG, SILVER STRIP,

WHICH WILL SERVE AS
THE FUSE'S ELEMENT.

THE NOTCHES WILL HELP CONTROL
THE WAY THE FUSE BLOWS.

BITS OF SOFT METAL
ARE MELTED ONTO THE STRIP.

THESE WILL BE THE POINTS WHERE
THE FUSE BLOWS.

ONE END OF THE SILVER ELEMENT

IS WELDED TO THE TOP
OF A CERAMIC CORE...

...AND THE ELEMENT
IS WOUND AROUND IT.

WORKERS SLIDE THE ELEMENT CORE
INTO THE FUSE CASING

AND BEND BACK METAL TABS.

THEN, USING A SOLDERING
TECHNIQUE CALLED BRAZING,

THEY SEAL EVERYTHING TOGETHER.

THEY TAKE A BRASS WASHER AND
WIND IGNITION WIRE AROUND IT.

THEY'RE ASSEMBLING
THE STRIKER PIN --

THE DEVICE THAT INDICATES
A BLOWN FUSE

AND SHUTS DOWN THE POWER.

THE STRIKER PIN
IS FITTED TO THE WASHER,

AND WITH THE WIRE PROTRUDING,

IT'S PLACED
INTO A HOLDING DEVICE.

EXPLOSIVE POWDER IS ADDED
TO EACH STRIKER PIN.

THEN THE BOTTOM OF THE PIN IS
PLUGGED WITH A RUBBER STOPPER.

NEXT, THE STRIKER PIN
IS PRESSED INTO A BRASS CAPSULE.

THIS WILL CONTAIN
THE MINI-EXPLOSION

THAT PUSHES OUT THE PIN
WHEN THE FUSE IS BLOWN.

THIS TEST RUN
SHOWS HOW IT ALL HAPPENS.

THE PIN'S IGNITION WIRE

IS WRAPPED AROUND
AN ELECTRICAL POST.

WORKERS CLAMP DOWN THE PIN

AND POSITION THE PENDULUM
THAT SWINGS

TO INDICATE THE AMOUNT OF FORCE
WITH WHICH THE PIN FIRES.

A JOLT OF POWER
DETONATES THE EXPLOSIVE.

THIS CAUSES THE PIN TO PROTRUDE,
SIGNIFYING A BLOWN FUSE.

NOW, A METAL EYELET SLIDES ONTO
THE STRIKER PIN'S IGNITION WIRE,

AND THEN A WIRE COIL
IS ATTACHED TO IT,

COMPLETING THE STRIKER PIN'S
IGNITION SYSTEM.

A SNARE PULLS THE WHOLE ASSEMBLY
INTO THE FUSE.

THE END OF THE COIL
IS TIED TO THE FUSE'S CAP.

AND AN OUTER CAP IS PRESS-FITTED
OVER THE INNER ONE.

NEXT, THE FUSE
IS FILLED WITH SAND.

THIS SAND WILL ABSORB ENERGY
FROM THE ELEMENT

WHEN THE FUSE BLOWS.

AUTOMATED RODS TAP THE FUSES
TO COMPACT THE SAND INSIDE.

NEXT, AN OUTER CAP
IS LUBRICATED...

...AND IT'S PRESSED ONTO
THE OTHER END OF THE FUSE.

THIS MACHINE SPINS GROOVES
ONTO THE CAP,

PINCHING IT TIGHTLY
TO THE FUSE CASING.

A CURRENT IS RUN THROUGH
EACH ONE OF THESE FUSES,

CHECKING THE VOLTAGE

TO CONFIRM THAT THEY'RE
IN GOOD WORKING ORDER.

SEALANT IS THEN PUMPED AROUND
THE CAP'S RIMS

TO MAKE THEM
COMPLETELY AIRTIGHT.

FINALLY, THE SAFETY INFORMATION
IS AFFIXED TO THE FUSE.

AND SOME
ELECTRICAL SPECIFICATIONS

ARE STAMPED ONTO THE CAPS.

NOW THESE FUSES ARE READY TO GO
WITH THE ELECTRICAL FLOW

AND BLOW AT THE FIRST SIGN
OF TROUBLE.

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