Tuesday, May 25, 2010
When Boring Becomes Tedious
Today the boring fellows came back to knock out the last of the run. I went out and annoyed them by asking alot of questions and taking pictures of their equipment. Here is the faceplate of the locator. It tells us that they are boring down at a 14% slope and that the drill bit is a chillin' 63 degrees. A push of the button will tell you how deep the bit is underground. They had to keep it quite deep to make sure it didn't pop out of the ground when they crossed under the embankment. Not that they got that far.
When the boring man swings the locator back and forth over the general area, it makes an eerie "oooooh" noise that changes pitch and becomes an "eeeeeeee" noise when it is over the drill bit. It sounds exactly like the noises a boy would make when his brother is trying to study or do homework (ask me how I know!). When he is satisfied that he has located the bit, the boring man sprays a bit of white paint to mark its way like Hansel, so it can find its way back home.
The boring man and the King of Boring have walkie talkies, and they say things like, "Give me two feet at 3 o'clock and then rotate." What that means is that they will rotate the drill bit 90 degrees to the right, push the whole business forward for two feet without rotation, to try to turn it, and then begin to rotate to commence drilling. Honestly, I need small boys again. A trip to radio shack for walkie talkies, a pair of hard hats, and a short visit to the boring crew, and they would be entertained for days in the sand box.
Now the only problem with the whole business of "give me 2 feet at 3 o'clock" is this: the drill bit is one leg of a triangle. It is about 4 feet long. The sections of pipe are another leg of a triangle, they are about 90 feet long. The idea is to get the pipe to slide over and start playing the part of the hypotenuse. There's not a whole lot of difference between the hypontenuse of the triangle I just described and the 90 foot leg, so the pipe says to the boring machine, "Hypotenuse this!" and continues drilling along its previous path. That's why you see the white dot next to the driveway here instead of up the bank about 6 feet. The goal is to round this bend and tie into the existing underground electric cables that are just beyond line of site here. Solutions were tossed around, the power company was called, and I needed to leave, so tomorrow, hopefully, it will all be resolved.