Second verse, almost the same as the first: same style bucket, just as abused, but the wear is different on this one. Two of the outer ribs were torn off, so the barrel has just had about 5 working years shaved off in two jobs. There is also a bunch of fatigue cracking in this one, and a mis-aligned lid, but I’m pretty sure they won’t allow enough time for me to reset the lid. I’ll get the rest of the pictures of this one posted tomorrow.

All that beautiful work covered up by a bunch of gnarly hardfacing.



The Deer Hunter

"This is THIS. This ain’t something else. This is THIS."

(Source: fuckhvornice)

Borrowed gold. Out of print, hard to find, and expensive when you can. I’m going to hate giving these back.

“Look girl, you are a holy ocean into which boys willingly plunge. They are standing on your shore, dying to drown in you. Look girl, we can all tell you hold too many untouched continents to count. We have our flags ready, hoping that you will let one of us claim you. Here is the truth: You are not like the others. You ring in our ears, you tangle our vocal chords. We sing you in our sleep. You are not like the rest. You are a bruise, you are a stain. And when you leave, the memory of you long remains. Your laugh is louder, your heart a shouter, your skin a secret we hope to breathe. We speak you like a promise-true, not yet ruined, always slightly out-of-tune. But, like all good things, you are so easily cracked and broken. You contain so much of what we want to be that we threaten to drain you completely. So, I tell you this: Keep your hills green, your lakes full of fish, your sunsets unphotographed. We will do nothing but cover you in slobber. Keep your trees standing, your passion demanding, your heart shining like the moon. When we come by the shipload, turn us away. We will only mark you, then leave. And you deserve so much more than our footprints on you.”

I Have Thrown You Into The Sky Because That Is The Only Place You’re Safe | Lora Mathis  (via lora-mathis)

My dad was NOT poetic, not even a little bit. But he told me this in his own wobbly human way, and I took it to heart.  I still miss him most days.

All the work now is done with build up rod, which is sort of an intermediary hardness: 85 or 90, I think. It’s not good for anything structural because it doesn’t really have the penetration properties needed for joining two separate pieces. It will go right over a minimum amount of old hardfacing, which saves a bunch of time in wiping the old hardfacing off with an air arc. Although tedious, I don’t really mind this sort of slow, repetitive stuff. My mind gets to wander and nobody bugs me. (Again, some explanatory captions on the individual photos.)

The first couple of pictures here, I started building the lip of the butterfly with MIG, because it’s much faster and at this point I just need volume. It is, however, much hotter than using stick electrodes, so I put a small tattletale weld between the lip and the barrel. Even though I have bracing welded on the inside of the barrel (to control, or at least minimize warping), I wanted the tattletale there to indicate when pressures started. (When you hear the sharp little “spang” of that small weld snapping, it’s time to stop and let things cool a bit.) That’s a good time to lay this bucket on it’s side and get the rest done with stick electrodes. Yes, it’s tedious and a lot slower, but the heat is gentler and minimizes distortion. (I captioned these photos individually if you wanted more detail. just click on the pictures.)

Now we know. Happy Easter.

….I broke a nail.


We’ve been patient all week. It’s finally Friday!!

Never in a bazillion years would either of my malamutes allow anything edible to rest on their noses. They both subscribe to the notion that biscuits should be eaten and not seen.

Tooth shanks are on. I still think they’re too big to tear much…. not enough space in between them to disrupt the material very well. If the outer teeth look crooked to you, you’re right. They are placed that way to cut clearance for the sides of the tool. If you don’t do this, the bucket will 1) bind in the hole and 2) wear the sides of the barrel to the thickness of tin foil in no time by abrasion with the excavated material. I was interrupted a couple of times by “Can you fix this for me real quick?”, so tomorrow I will replace the lost metal along the edges of both the butterfly and the barrel.

This photograph by Asher Svidensky is from an article at BBC online. You can read the whole thing here.  This young woman just knocked my socks off.

…More wreckage. This tool was run for quite some time with no outer tooth on either edge of the butterfly. The field guys said the tooth “just wouldn’t stay on the shank”. I’m not convinced they were using the proper keeper pins, but what do i know? Anyway, they were so disgusted (!) and the tool was so destroyed, that they said that they wanted new shanks and bigger teeth.  Hokey Dokey… here we go…. off to the races: a few 1/2 inch  copperclad will pretty much wipe off anything in very short order. Tomorrow I’ll put on six new shanks and teeth that in my humble opinion are too big for this bucket. I don’t believe they will cut as well since they will act more like scoops than cutting teeth, and I also think the odds of the butterfly door getting warped from too much torque and drag are pretty high. ‘Sokay… I’ll fix it again later.


Got questions? ask ‘em Getting ready for episode #2!

Bummer… every hope I’ve ever had of time in a smithy has been DASHED UPON THE ROCKS of terminal beardlessness.