Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Bronze Rage

Here's what we already knew before today:

Copper  +  Tin  =  Bronze
Copper  +  Zinc  =  Brass

But here's what we learned today (!) from one of our customers who uses bronze on boats:

Until I joined this industry, from the heavy equipment industry where everything is steel, the only bronze I knew was the type used in statues.

The fasteners are "silicon" bronze, zinc making up about 1.5% and silicon about twice that much. In a salt water environment the zinc is the sacrificial metal and it can be leached out of the bronze (by galvanic corrosion) leaving the base copper resulting in a very "pink" fastener. The composition of the bronze is much like grains of sand, lots of copper grains and in between some silicon or zinc grains. When the zinc is leached out the metal becomes porous like osteoporosis in bones - and just as weak and brittle. When you see pink in a bronze fitting think green - it's going to cost to get it fixed because if it's pink it has to be replaced.

Silicon bronze fasteners in wooden boats can last 50+ years but with the advent of electricity on boats and docks supplying shore power and poor power maintenance on docks or boats in a "hot" dock, any or all of theses problems can "cook" the fasteners in months - the last thing you want in a wooden boat is to have a fasteners breaking and planks coming loose - we call that a "boat sinker" incident.

The worse case of galvanic corrosion I've seen was a boat that was "refastened" (new screws put into the wood hull) with galvanized screws without the original bronze screws being removed. Not only did the new screws rot out but the resulting brew of decomposing chemicals rotted out the wood. Entire sections of planks had to be replaced - see what the local lumber store gets for a single piece of  2" by 6" x 120" white oak. This boat was eventually cut up - too expensive to repair.

And stainless underwater is another can of worms. Embedded in wood where oxygen cannot get to the fastener results in crevice corrosion - another "boat sinker" incident waiting to happen.

My first eye-openers in this business were: (1) what time do you need me here in the morning? 3am? because of the tide? You've got to be kidding? No? and (2) If you want to keep your boat afloat why do you put so many holes in the boat under the waterline? (engine raw water intakes and discharges, head raw water intakes and overboard discharge, air conditioning/refrigeration raw water intakes and discharges, grey water discharges, bait tank intakes,...)*


*He did want us to mention that he's no expert on bronze fasteners but what he's learned about them is from people who have owned boats or built boats, or both, for most of their lives. 

Brought to you by Freeway Fasteners, Inc.
We share because we care.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Our STREET TEAM is out there

I went to LA's Largest Mixer over at the Shrine Auditorium Expo Center yesterday with my brand new business card!

I saw pretty much every chamber of commerce in Southern California and met lots of nice business owners and people who wanted to talk and talk and talk.  It was pretty fun (they had cocktails.)

I was a STREET TEAM of 1 (I guess there is an 'i' in team.)

Inside I met the company that makes those floating lights that look like planets.
I thought they were hanging from the ceiling but they're full of helium - they're actual balloons! They're so cool.

These were sitting on the table of a company that makes t-shirts. Weird, right?
Well turns out they do t-shirts AND manufacture custom fastener jobs. Perfect for us!

Me & the mascot for HOOTERS! We danced together too...which has nothing to do wih fasteners - it's just fun!
It was really interesting. I learn a lot attending these things.
I want to be able to promote my business in a really organic, word-of-mouth, friendly sort of way and mixers are a great opportunity to be casual & share information.  And women in my industry are still sort of rare so it's fun to tell people I sell screws, nuts & bolts. I always get a response like "REALLY?!" or "YOU?!" I love it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Anaheim Bolts

Did you know there is soccer in Anaheim?!
And they are named after one of our favorite things!  BOLTS!!
Of course they aren't referencing our kind of bolts but still, we like it.
Here's their website if you want to check them out:  Bolt Soccer

Friday, July 8, 2011

Colossal Squid Eye Bolts!

Yesterday I posted what I thought was our largest Eye Bolt, which alerted my coworker to inform me that about 10 years ago we had some super huge Eye Bolts made for a customer, and she dug out the old photos.  So if yesterday's Eye Bolts were from a Giant Squid then the ones from 2000 were from the Colossal Squid!!!!  LOOK AT THESE MONSTERS!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Squid Eye Bolts!

Did you know that the squid has the largest EYE ever recorded?
Well these eye bolts were the largest we've ever sold so we called them Squid Eye Bolts.
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