prune picker

This is the blog of a prune picker. (Native born Californian) Retired oilfield. I am an old man. (91) I blog a lot about my body and getting old. As I approach death life gets more interesting. More interesting is not good. I still drive. I attend sports, music, and civic events. I am writing my memoirs. I attend swim class three times a week. Some of my blogs might be interesting. A lot of my blogs are silly and trivial. None are very long.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

(Poly 6) Learn by doing!

Cal Poly started out as a trade school. As it grew they adopted a policy that they called "learn by doing". They still have that policy. Where ever possible they require a shop course where the student actually built or did something. They have a full machine shop. I remember machining a thing. I can not remember what it was. They have a large welding shop. I spent many hours welding, both gas and electric. They have a large hanger where planes were repaired. Amelia Earhart visited here once. Burt Rutan designed the airplane that was the first plane to fly non stop, without refueling, around the world. Burt is a graduate of Cal Poly.

I liked to go on the school sponsored field trips. In my last couple of years I concentrated on welding. A group of us went to several places that had some linkage to welding.

Mojave desert to watch a large pipe line from Texas being built. This was out in the desert east of Mojave. The job site was several miles long. From where the dich was being dug to where it was being covered. In between the pipe was being welded and wrapped and laid in the ditch.

South San Francisco to vist a US Steel pipe manufacturing plant. This was very large pipe. We saw huge sheets of steel being rolled and the seam welded. After that the pipe was subjected to high pressure and force out to fit a precise die. This sized the pipe and also cold worked the weld for strength.

Fontana to visit the  Kaiser Steel Plant. At that time the mill was in full operation. A fascinating operation was the tube mill where seamless pipe was manufactured.

Alhambra to visit a plant that manufactured various pressure vessels. Every kind of boiler.

My senior thesis was titled "The physical properties of flat welded in pressure vessel heads". I welded the test vessels and subjected them to high pressure. I had strain gages glued to the heads and took readings. I cut samples out of the weld and took phtomicrographs. The results are in my thesis. I wonder if I understand my findings now. I have the thesis somewhere. I should look it up.

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