Take a Shine to The Shins

9 11 2007

 I woke up this morning with The Shins’ song, Red Rabbits, running through my head. It’s such a sweet little tune and a nice way to start the day. It stuck with me through the morning, which was sort of an odd soundtrack for producing forty fence pickets with the accompanying racket of mechanical hammer and gas forge. I’ve been kind of stuck on this Shins album, Wincing the Night Away, for the last week or so.

I often wonder just how many pounds of iron I lift in the course of a morning at the shop, so I decided to calculate the number of times I lift each picket while I’m creating it, and how much each one weighs. According to Walt, a 5′ length of mild steel, 5/8″ square weighs roughly 6 pounds, 10 ounces. I figure it’s one lift to move the raw material into the shop, one lift to move it through the shear, one lift to carry it to the mechanical hammer, one lift to chamfer the corners in the hammer, one lift to put it in the forge, then one lift to hammer it to a point and run it through the hammer again for it’s delicate little neck. That means I lift about 1590 pounds in the production of forty pickets.

This really doesn’t mean a thing, other than that I think I’ll have a beer tonight, serenaded by The Shins. 

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