Workshop - Al welding
For the last two weeks of my stay in Adelaide, I joined Daveâ€™s workforce and helped out at the workshop however I could. The company makes steel fabrications, signs and sheet metal forming, otherwise known in manufacturing terms as â€˜Tin Bashingâ€™. They had a sudden influx of work and gladly needed an extra pair of hands; although I used to work in the design office and have little experience on the shop floor, I was very happy to give it my best and learn a few new skills. I simply loved it. I had a good laugh with the boys and they were very helpful teaching me how to use the equipment the proper way. I tell you, the Mig-welder is no toy; you can point it like a gun at someone and press the trigger, wasting a few inches of steel wire, but once you close the electric circuit with the parts you want to join together, you need to pay attention to what youâ€™re doing.
It gets very hot and sparks fly all over the place. The overalls Dave gave me had severe burnt holes around the groin region, which was slightly disconcerting, and I had to pause several time to check whether the smell of burn hair was coming from my arms, my head or wellâ€¦ you guessed it! Working together with Alan we made 80 estate advertisement boards in about a week, which is pretty fast. I also made other bits and pieces for smaller jobs and learnt to use the angle grinder well, mainly to clean up my bad welds. It was good fun, sure I hated getting up early in the mornings but it reminded me of how much I enjoy engineering, designing and making stuff. When I eventually find a nice place to grow my roots and build my eco-home, Iâ€™m going to have a massive workshop, so I can build anything I think up.
Me welding a joing
At the weekend, Dave took me to Murrey Bridge Speedway to watch the races.
His company sponsors one of the sprintcars, and Dave shows his support whenever he can. Itâ€™s a great day out, you can sit around with a beer watching these crazy drivers push their bashed up V6s to their limits flying around the track, and you can be just as brave tackling the unhealthiest and messy stake burger on the planet, you know the kind that just one look at it would give Gillian McKeith a heart attack! Followed by deep fat fried doughnutsâ€¦ I had three :-)
This was my first time at one of these events. I watched them on telly before, but to sit around the track, smelling the oil and petrol in the air, feeling the vibrations of roaring engines and watching attentively for anything which makes the crowd wow in unison, thatâ€™s pretty cool! If you stand right next to the track, you can really appreciate the speed at which these cars are racing, and you can feel it too, nothing like a mouth full of dirt!
On my last Sunday in Adelaide, we took a ride down through the McLaren Vale to sample a few good wines.
My uncle worked for Wolf Blass when he first arrived in South Australia, so he knows a fair bit about wine, though heâ€™s quite modest about it. He took me to three vineyards: the Italian family of Scarpantoni; a very busy Coriole; and Rosemount, one of my favourite. I used to drink the Merlot back in Wales, so thatâ€™s what I wanted to taste. It was just as good as I remembered, however the Rosemount rep wasnâ€™t very impressed with my choice and argued that I was drinking a â€˜grade Câ€™ wine. He pulled out what he reckoned was a â€˜grade Aâ€™ and sure enough it was nice, but I wouldnâ€™t pay $70 for it? Then again, what do I know; I like the cheap wine that comes in plastic containers of 5 litres!
Proud of my welding :-)
Anyway, we got back on the road and drove up the coast stopping for the view.
We met my cousin Charlotte for lunch and took a few family photos, so my siblings can see how much Josh and Charlotte have grown!
Me grinding off the weld joint