16 years ago
the 5x6 hole exposing the spark gaps with a metal screen, or will it affect
it's function somehow?
And now, the rest of the story.
I used to work in a machine shop on a ranch, way out at the end of a
mountain road in the Sierras. I worked with a guy who can charitably be
described to anyone who has seen Spongebob as Squidward incarnate. He was
very meticulous, but couldn't do production work profitably, as everything
had to be the absolute paramount of quality and design. We made parts for,
and worked on vintage. British Lotus race cars. I set my own hours, prefered
4 ten hour days, but could change it at will. We kept the shop immaculate,
and were a good team, both of us designed, and I can do "perfect" too, but
can also make money doing limited production runs. I left to follow other
pursuits, and this became the job I wished I had never left.
I had it all. Great pay, an 18 mile "commute" where I saw more deer than
cars, worked in an old tin-covered barn on a ranch, with a Mill and Lathe
with lots of nice, expensive carbide tooling, a gas-flux brazer, TIG, lots
of other good quality equipment while the boss and the rest of the employees
were 15 miles away. No traffic, no people, no problems and very fun vintage
Six years later, I ran into the owner, and he offered me my old job. I
started last Wednesday. I work alone this time.
The guy he had there last was an animal. I have spent 5 days cleaning shop
and cleaning/inspecting/adjusting equipment, and it will probably be another
5 days before I am ready to actually produce something. I ordered about
$3000 in machine tools and welding supplies today to replace broken and
missing tools. I cleaned up a congealed layer of squirrel crap an inch thick
and 8 inches wide from the wall behind the welding station. That was the
worst of it, but there was and is more to do. Full mask and gloves stuff,
Hanta Virus and Bubonic Plague are carried by squirrels in this region. When
I rolled the welder out, I saw that the fan screen on the back was about
half blocked with grey fur. I took the machine outside and removed the cover
from the cooling unit (Miller cooling unit model 1) . I took out about 30
acorns and a mouse nest, then put a screen across the hole after washing it
out. The coolant tank.was almost empty. I took the top and side plates off
the welder, and filled a 5 gallon bucket with acorns, fiberglass house
insulation, fur and crap. The bottom intake vent screen was totally covered,
the oil-filled electrolytic capacitors under the fan were buried under 8
inches of fiberglass insulation, the rest of it fairly well packed as well.
The only entry point is the hole at the spark-gaps, hence my question. I
don't know how long the machine could have operated without overheating. I
am surprised that there were no tooth marks in any wiring, I have seen many
cars with wire insulation removed by varmints around here. It was a nasty
job, but I am glad I didn't just blow it out and call it good.
The payoff ? I take pride in my work, and my equipment and work space is a
reflection of my skills. I have a four day work week again, and, on my
commute today I saw 9 deer, 7 turkeys, 5 cars, and a 200 Lbs wild boar.
Beats the heck out of city traffic, huh?