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....good thing it’s not a vital organ....


F_in Ray Of Sunshine
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Way back in the early 80's I worked at a steel slag processing plant. 

One of the operations was using a big (5' diameter) drop ball with a magnet crane to break up the big chunks. Old slag transfer pots were among the big chunks (they held 50 tons of liquid steel slag)

The crane operator kept an old slag pot to set the drop ball in, cause it had a tendency to roll away from him, while he did other chores.

So we had a new foreman, young guy, about 22. Russ, the crane operator was out of the crane, having a smoke. Randy, the newby foreman walked up the ramp to chat. 

Noticing the ball in the pot, Randy asked Russ what that was all about. Russ told him it was stuck. Randy suggested a sledge hammer, Russ acknowledged that might work.

Russ climbed back into the crane, Randy wandered away.

Russ was loading a rail car. Randy was hauling a sledge hammer up the ramp.

Russ finished loading the rail car and rotated around to pickup the drop ball, noticed Randy laying on the dirt and called for help.

When he came to Randy explained that he had fetched a sledge hammer, lined up and took one hell of swing on that 17 ton ball. The hammer came back as fast as it went down.

 Randy's forehead didn't hold up any where near as well as the ball had. 

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10 hours ago, Further said:

Way back in the early 80's I worked at a steel slag processing plant. 

One of the operations was using a big (5' diameter) drop ball with a magnet crane to break up the big chunks. Old slag transfer pots were among the big chunks (they held 50 tons of liquid steel slag)

The crane operator kept an old slag pot to set the drop ball in, cause it had a tendency to roll away from him, while he did other chores.

So we had a new foreman, young guy, about 22. Russ, the crane operator was out of the crane, having a smoke. Randy, the newby foreman walked up the ramp to chat. 

Noticing the ball in the pot, Randy asked Russ what that was all about. Russ told him it was stuck. Randy suggested a sledge hammer, Russ acknowledged that might work.

Russ climbed back into the crane, Randy wandered away.

Russ was loading a rail car. Randy was hauling a sledge hammer up the ramp.

Russ finished loading the rail car and rotated around to pickup the drop ball, noticed Randy laying on the dirt and called for help.

When he came to Randy explained that he had fetched a sledge hammer, lined up and took one hell of swing on that 17 ton ball. The hammer came back as fast as it went down.

 Randy's forehead didn't hold up any where near as well as the ball had. 

Dang.  Kill Randy?  Or is he still alive and well and making bad decisions to this day?

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17 minutes ago, maddmaxx said:

A steel mill is an unforgiving place to discover the human condition.

I knew a guy who had done some contract welding in a local steel mill. When I told him I was going to be working there, he said "Ugh, that place is a shithole". 

A few days later, I was talking to another guy - who had never even met the first guy - who had done some air quality testing there. His response, when I told him? "Ugh, that place is a shithole". 

They weren't wrong.

I wasn't that young and wet behind the ears - late twenties- but I spent the whole two years I was there walking around slackjawed at the level of theft that went on there. Everyone from the CEO to the janitor was raping the place. Everyone had some kind of scam going on:

For some reason, someone decided the machine shop needed an automotive valve grinder. Why? I have no idea. They decided to have the tinsmiths make a cover for it. One day, we lifted the cover up and there was nothing underneath. This is NOT something you carry out in a lunchbox. Like Amelia Earhart's disappearance, this may never be solved.

We had a horizontal mill that was thoroughly whored-out, so they sent it out for a rebuild. Coincidentally, it went to the company that my boss and his boss came from, for the work. When it came back, it as the same POS it was when it went out, but it had a nice, shiny, new paint job. A $20,000 paint job.

They used to have "yard trucks" - pickup trucks that they'd use to drive from building to building in the mill, transporting stuff. When they came off lease, they'd get auctioned off. Certain foremen would get wind of the impending sale and send the trucks over and have all brand-new parts put on....and then buy them for a song.

There were a whole group of middle managers who were in cahoots with the truck drivers and they were fudging weights on the truckloads of steel that went out and were splitting the proceeds....

 

....and on and on....

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2 minutes ago, maddmaxx said:

a steel mill (rolling not melting

Yeah, where I was was a rolling mill as well. I had to walk through the 26" mill to get to the machine shop. There was one path through the mill with caution tape on either side because there was asbestos in the dirt. My buddy explained that the Magic TapeTM kept the asbestos on the other side. One night the tape was down and he ran through screaming "AHHHH!!! THe Magic Tape is down!!!!" :runcirclsmiley:

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15 hours ago, Further said:

Way back in the early 80's I worked at a steel slag processing plant. 

One of the operations was using a big (5' diameter) drop ball with a magnet crane to break up the big chunks. Old slag transfer pots were among the big chunks (they held 50 tons of liquid steel slag)

The crane operator kept an old slag pot to set the drop ball in, cause it had a tendency to roll away from him, while he did other chores.

So we had a new foreman, young guy, about 22. Russ, the crane operator was out of the crane, having a smoke. Randy, the newby foreman walked up the ramp to chat. 

Noticing the ball in the pot, Randy asked Russ what that was all about. Russ told him it was stuck. Randy suggested a sledge hammer, Russ acknowledged that might work.

Russ climbed back into the crane, Randy wandered away.

Russ was loading a rail car. Randy was hauling a sledge hammer up the ramp.

Russ finished loading the rail car and rotated around to pickup the drop ball, noticed Randy laying on the dirt and called for help.

When he came to Randy explained that he had fetched a sledge hammer, lined up and took one hell of swing on that 17 ton ball. The hammer came back as fast as it went down.

 Randy's forehead didn't hold up any where near as well as the ball had. 

That might be why they always called that ball "the skull crusher" in the steel mill I used to work in.

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4 hours ago, F_in Ray Of Sunshine said:

Yeah, where I was was a rolling mill as well. I had to walk through the 26" mill to get to the machine shop. There was one path through the mill with caution tape on either side because there was asbestos in the dirt. My buddy explained that the Magic TapeTM kept the asbestos on the other side. One night the tape was down and he ran through screaming "AHHHH!!! THe Magic Tape is down!!!!" :runcirclsmiley:

I was in electronics and we did stupid stuff like replacing radiation sources on a running mill.  It was a union shop with basic wages but a bonus schedule that made people extremely unwilling to stop running no matter what the danger.  We were required to wear CO monitors while working on the 7 story tall annealing oven (co collects on the upper stories around the oven) but when the alarm went off it was frowned on for you to stop working and leave the area so long as you could stand.  It was the most dangerous place I've ever worked (including being wounded in a war zone) and they probably did me a favor by not extending my probationary period.

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30 minutes ago, jsharr said:

I hope he did not knock his tooth out.

My wife is from the south, I used to make a lot of toothless redneck jokes like that.  She has nearly perfect teeth.  I am missing two, have many crowns, and many fillings.  I'll likely have false teeth before I'm 70.

I no longer make those jokes.

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9 minutes ago, maddmaxx said:

It was the most dangerous place I've ever worked

Yup. There were two guys killed while I was there. "<shrug> ?‍♂️cost of doing business....". We seldom got called out into the mill itself - that's what they had millwrights for and pretty much everyone in the machine shop claimed to be afraid of heights, so we all had climbing exemptions. 

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My brother did a similar thing when we were kids.  We were hanging out front shooting hoops and my brother for some reason grabbed a baseball bat and told his friend to toss the ball and hed hit it.  I was like 10, he was around 15 and I recall thinking, um thats a bad idea....  it was...

His buddy tossed the ball up in the air like he was shooting a basket, my brother took a tomahawk swing hitting the ball and the bat bounced off the ball hitting him square in the head.... Knocked his ass out, my parents had to take him to ER where he had a concussion but was otherwise OK.

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35 minutes ago, Square Wheels said:

My wife is from the south, I used to make a lot of toothless redneck jokes like that.  She has nearly perfect teeth.  I am missing two, have many crowns, and many fillings.  I'll likely have false teeth before I'm 70.

I no longer make those jokes.

all bark, no bite.

 

Sort of like me.  I am all hat, no cattle.

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8 hours ago, Parr8hed said:

Dang.  Kill Randy?  Or is he still alive and well and making bad decisions to this day?

This was in the early 80's, before much was known about concussions, Randy woke up and continued on. Didn't even see a doctor.

The mills have done 180 from those days, now if you break a fingernail you're supposed to see the nurse. 

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