Friday, October 15, 2010

The joy of engineering

As I sit here tonight I ache all over as I've had the day from hell in so far as my normal occupation goes. I've spent the majority of a 12 hour shift sitting on top of a 100 foot crane trying to replace the rope pulley after the bearings had collapsed in it. It's normally a 3 man job, there were only 2 of us and the design leaves a lot to be desired with the pulley being held in a blind socket through a welded frame. Getting it out required that the pin be drilled and tapped so battery drills it is, flat battery drills at that, charger being 100 foot below in the workshop and not a quick charger either, still we managed though it was not as deep a hole as I'd normally like, by that time we were going for it.
So we extracted the pin, quite easily, only to discover there were two spacers front and back, not only front and back but 100 foot below us on the floor too.
A not so quick trip to the ground to get the replacement bearings, a new pin, new spacers (God knows where the others landed) and back up the crane to fit them, this was supposed to be the easy bit, but would the pin go back in the damned socket? No, it bloody wouldn't! At first we thought it was the spacers dropping a tad, but no, industrial strength sellotape held them in place, hitting the damned pin with a large copper mallet didn't help either, it was only by running a fingertip along the socket that we discovered a ridge had built up. Normally you'd use a small grinding wheel to remove these. No power. I just spent 2 hours with a needle file removing this ridge. The pin the went home thank God! And the next shift said they'd tidy up and put the ropes back on the drums.

I managed 1 cup of lukewarm coffee and 2 ham sandwiches in 12 hours. To top it all off I think I'm getting a case of piles from sitting/standing around on cold metal.

I love my job, just not today.

5 annotations:

Bucko said...

My best mate is an engineer. When he comes over for a beer, he says things like that. I have to admit, I have no idea what either of you are talking about.
It's worse here because I can't just bob my head.
*bob* *bob*

Conan the Librarian™ said...

In the summer of '76, I was trapped using a shot-blasting cabinet for three weeks.What made it sooo bad that it was placed in a loading bay in which the door was always open.
Watching the sun dressed tottie walk by tended to distract me from the job, so the quality control bastard made me do it again. And again. And again.

Three weeks of pure hell.

Johnnyrvf said...

I can well sympathise,you should see some of the horrible bodges and so called track preparation I have to repair when a customers bike comes in for repair, having said that I recommend you by a battery powered dremmel, they are fantastic for that sort of job, I ported the head of my old BSA with one, much more responsive motor, better mpg and did it in less then 3 hours, result!

Anonymous said...

100 foot of rope, a bucket and a mobile may have come in handy for a job like that. Can also recommend the dremmel.

TheFatBigot said...

Ah now, piles. Yes, we know about piles. Forget fancy ointments that make your nether regions go white. A Zoom lolly is the answer, it's perfectly formed for the job. Whatever you do, don't use a Strawberry Mivvy, I did once and it came out looking like the face of Judith Durham.