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[TowerTalk] At least all this wind was good for something.

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Subject: [TowerTalk] At least all this wind was good for something.
From: "Roger (K8RI)" <>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2010 15:13:32 -0400
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Last night I had decided to finish welding on the new gin pole mounts.
My hands are not quite as steady as they used to be but not all that 
bad. OTOH enough that I expected the need for some grinding.

I had welded some 4" X 12" pieces of 1/8" steel plate onto 16" lengths 
of  2" EMT to form a triangle. IOW one side of each welds to opposite 
sides of the EMT with the opposite side of the plates welded together.  
The narrow part is where the hinges go for the 1 1/4" X 1/8" angle  that 
clamps on the tower legs.

The welding went pretty well, but still needed a bit of touching up with 
the grinder.  So I clamped the 4" extension in the vise and started 
trimming.  Something smelled like cloth burning and I thought, "Oh NO, 
not the sweat shirt, my wife is not going to be happy", but I didn't see 
any spots so I went back to grinding. However the smell was getting much 
stronger. Still nothing on the sweat shirt which was the only cotton I 
had on besides my welding jacket.

However...when I turned around I discovered I could only see a couple of 
feet. The shop humidifier was behind me and had not been started up for 
the season yet which left the inside dry. IOW the large wicks in the 
bottom were really dry.  Smoke was coming out of that thing like it was 
being pumped out. I immediately pulled the top off which reduced the 
chimney effect, but I was able to see those large wicks glowing.  I had 
a gallon water jug there for watering the plants/Alovera so  I grabbed 
that and poured it on the wicks which improved things greatly.  I then 
hauled the frames holding the still smoldering but now soggy wicks 
outside. I opened the 8' garage door on the West end of the South side 
of the shop and opened the 16' one on the East side about a foot or so 
which made it more than a little drafty in there.   The wind was coming 
across the yard from the SW, right into that open 8' door and really 
flushing out the air in the shop. It was actually pressurizing the shop.

So I headed in the house to get something to eat, and try to flush my 
sinuses out so I could breathe through my nose again. It never occurred 
to me to grab one of the masks I have out there.
Fortunately the station and equipment I'm working on was all covered and 
well protected along with the high wind quickly clearing out the smoke, 
so it should have, and seems to have avoided an aromatic fate. I just 
came back in from the shop and it doesn't appear to have any residual 
odor. We'll see what it's like after I bring the temp back up to 70 degrees.

With my normal, single mindedness when working on something I could have 
easily kept right on working until it started getting warm from a much 
more serious situation. All I lost was a large, inexpensive humidifier 
and that was mainly due to my none so gentle hauling of the thing 
outside as fast as I could.

So, instead of finishing up the rotator and gin pole I'm getting rid of 
every thing not needed out there go give a lot more space.


Roger (K8RI)

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