Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's What I Do

Many people are quite shocked to hear that I work at a factory, and on top of that I work at an ammunition factory. It's really not that big of a deal to me, in fact I kind of like the job. The work can get REALLY tedious sometimes, but other than that, I have a lot of fun working there!

Yesterday I was doing the most dangerous job, making the lead balls for the shells. I took a few pictures and thought I'd post them for all to see. As time goes on I'm sure I'll take more pictures of the various tasks that I do.

These first two pictures are of the ball making machines (I don't know what else to call them). Large hunks of lead are placed in the top of the machine and are melted. The melting point of lead is 621.5 degrees Fahrenheit. As the lead melts any impurities rise to the top, which, depending on what is in there, gives off a rainbow effect, it's kinda cool!

Once the lead is heated the lead is then poured into molds for the balls. This tends to take quite awhile, because only two balls at a time can be made. Depending on which machine is used it takes between 3 and 7 seconds per 2 balls. Maybe that doesn't sound like much, but when there are several hundred or a thousand balls to make, it takes FOREVER.


*****This first machine is the fastest. All that is needed is to fill the molds, wait for the lead to harden and then pull the lever, and wahlah! two balls are made. It is also the safest of the machines.


*****The second machine is the most dangerous and hardest to work, for several reason. First of all, the lead pot is much lower, which makes it easier for lead to come in contact with me! Not a good thing! Secondly, it requires much more hands on with the heat and lead. Sitting on top of the machine is a set of molds. I have to take that and place it under the machine and pull a lever to fill up the mold. After the mold is filled I wait until the lead is hardened, about 2 seconds. I then have to hit a lever with a rod to break the mold open and the balls then fall out.

Sometimes the balls are deformed in some way and lead gets onto parts of the mold where it shouldn't be. This is where it gets really dangerous. I have to use a little screw driver to scrape the hot lead off the mold. I usually am wearing leather gloves, but for this part I have to take the gloves off because they get in the way. So pretty much my bare hand is maybe 4 inches from over 600 degree metal! One wrong move and I could be burned pretty badly!


*****I have to wear safety glasses, a leather apron, and gloves! It's a funny picture, I know, and I laugh every time I have to put on that wonderful outfit, but at least I haven't hurt myself yet!

1 comment:

Debbie said...

I think you look cute in your outfit!!! Just please don't burn yourself!! Love you!