Thursday, April 9, 2015
Oregon Barrel Works Wk 1
Starting out my first week at Oregon Barrel Works was very nerve wracking. The first day I showed up the hustle and bustle of workers and the noise of machines cutting the edges of the barrels. Then after I was given my gloves, safety glasses, and earplugs, a huge cloud of smoke rises to the celling and fills the rooms with smoke. It had a very distinct smell of burnt wood, and being my first day I thought something was on fire! Luckily after observing where the smoke was coming from I found out that it was only the smoke from the oak chips they were producing after they were heated, then ran down a convayerbelt into a cooling drum where they would wait to be packaged and sent off.
The first week I was there I mostly spent my time packaging the oak chips. After the chips were fired until they had a dark brownish color to them they would wait in the cooling drum until they had cooled to 100 degrees from about 350 degrees. Then I would take the plastic sacks and fill them up to the top with the chips. The bags had to weight precisely 40 lbs. so I would have to guess and see what was about 40 pounds then put them on the scale and add or take out chips depending on the weight. After this I would tie the tops with zip ties and begin loading them onto pallets that were stacked about 8 feet high. If you can imagine lifting 40 pound bags up over your head to stack them on the very top its not a fun experience.
Overall my first week was very interesting and just being there one week already thought me a lot. I cant wait for the weeks to come and see what else interesting things I can learn.