July 15, 2010

Bolton Emerson Americas: Drill Baby Drill


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I didn’t know it was a drill. When I think of drills, I think of the one I have in my basement. The hand held one, with the battery that is never charged when I need it to drill a hole in the wall. Well, usually two — maybe three — holes, since I can never get it right on the first try.

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I wasn’t sure what this was or what it did when I first saw it, but I would not have thought “drill”.

When I took this shot I was mesmerized by the knobs, handles and labels on the controls of the gigantic arm that would rise, swing and pivot under the control of one of the shop’s able staff. I never saw the drill bit chuck underneath.

I shot this on my first visit to the shop a couple of weeks ago with my Nikkor 16-35mm lens. I shot it at the widest end to maximize the distortion — as if this needed distortion to make it interesting. What was I thinking?

Anyway,  I already knew I was going to use this image for today’s post, so when I was shooting in the shop yesterday morning I asked Frank (a 20 year employee of Bolton Emerson Americas) what the machine was for. He said something like, “Its a DRILL, you idiot!” (Just kidding)

Frank happily gave me a demo of the drill and explained how it is used on some of the more complex parts. The conical form in the smaller image (click on it for a larger version), for example, is used to hold the cones (called either “Shells” or “Plugs” depending on which part) of the pulping machines in place while the drill does its thing.

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