Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bump & grind in the heat

Sunday was quite a day at the Hook. We had a Distinguished Guest from the Denmark Cold War Museum as well as a couple of other visitors touring the Launch Area. It was another really hot day... I don't know if it hit triple digits but it sure was hot and humid. The weather notwithstanding it was also one of those brutal personal weeks we go through from time to time...

I started the day by deciding to work on the boosters. It was an extension of getting the lanyard off the missile last week; it just seemed appropriate to get the other end off the boosters.

That led to setting up the grinders and wire wheels and figuring that it should come out fairly easily. I was even able to get an impact gun on it but it just spun. So I took a picture of the inside to see what I was dealing with.

It should have been simple enough, but I did not have a six point wrench and it continued to round out. There are times I wish I could step back and laugh at myself at  the time I am going through this stuff. Instead I dug my heels in and used a cut-off wheel to remove the piece.

By then I was really getting hot (and not just because of the weather) so I started taking out my aggression on the booster's paint. This work would have had to get done regardless but a saner man might have waited for cooler weather. Oh well.  I began by testing the degree of rust that would need repair. This was done by grinding the paint off and using a body pick hammer to pick at the rust spots to find the weak spots.

It was around about this point that BJ brought Mr Thomas Pedersen from Denmark to the A&S building. I showed him the twins and described my thoughts on the restoration project. We had a very nice conversation but he had a limited time frame and had to keep going. I went back to grinding...

I felt that the grinder was a more cost effective paint removal tool than using the paint stripper (at $100/gal) and it provided a means of releasing aggression. It might not have been the best of days to attack this particular piece of the project but it all has to get done.

I will probably be a bit calmer when I can get this booster in primer and then Olive Drab <grin>

'til next time....

Blazing Skies

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