I pulled in my driveway after dark yesterday and saw four cardboard boxes just sitting there. I soon found out why my ups driver didn’t carry them to the hangar: they weighed about 50 pounds each. A quick check with a flashlight reveals joyous news; A three year supply of hybrid studs had arrived!
Above, the boxes in my living room. When I opened them, the oily smell of serious old school machine shops filled the room. The studs are made from heat treated 4140 us steel, the same as WWII .50 BMG barrels. The smell brings me back to my youth in NJ, some of my first jobs working in the remnants of the state’s once thriving machine parts industry. As a Corvair builder, you can have a certain pride your CEO here is sipping a beer, listening to Check Berry and savoring the smell of heat treated steel.
The studs have always been made for me in a giant midwest machine shop that specializes in aerospace fasteners. They don’t do small orders, so once every 30-36 months, I empty my piggy bank and send in an order. A few months later, their arrival comes without announcement. Insisting on ‘Made in America’ from serious suppliers isn’t cheap: The stack of four boxes cost more than my last two pickups, and my Suburban…combined. Carrying this kind of inventory on an engine program known for being inexpensive is tough, but when it comes down to the fasteners which hold the prop hub on, if you understand strength of materials and ethics, you don’t go shopping in China.
3 Replies to “The glorious smell of heat treated steel.”
Merry Christmas William.
Love that smell too, I spent the day in my shop making washers on the lathe that go on my landing gear installation, and making other assorted parts.
One of your best posts William!