Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Greetings All,

A cool and overcast day, we had a bit of drizzle early but then the cloud cover lifted and the weather was actually pleasant if not attractive to the eye. Never saw the sun but any day in Weardale without rain is a good day.

The early morning project was to drive Jurgen Tron and Mark Kielbaso to Newcastle airport so they could catch their flight to London, then Jurgen would head home to Bamburg and Mark would continue on to South Africa. We were back at the mine by about 11:30a.m. and Kerith and Shanade set to washing up bits and doing a blue bin or two.

Dave, Joe and Andrew had hoped to blast today but the front end was so mucked up from a weekend of collecting that the rails were at an angle and had to be re-positioned again before mucking could begin. With the various wiring problems of the hydraulic power unit solved and new inline fuel filters in place the unit is finally starting up on command. Once again I drug out the saw and a host of specimens that needed attention and set to doing the little pieces first. Unfortunately about a half hour into the process the saw seized and after two hours of taking it apart and coaxing it to perform I finally threw in the towel. It become obvious that one of the bearings in the sprocket at the tip of the blade was bad and no matter what I tried it was not going to work. And we had no backup for the new 880. It was still only about 1:15p.m. so I sped back home to phone ICS and order two blades and a backup chain. I was able to talk to one of their engineers and found out why we have had so many problems the last few years with the sprockets and their self-contained bearings ..... Chinese assembly and parts. 'Nuff said. At this point it is absolutely necessary that we have no further wasted time and delays with the saw and power unit. I have a serious backlog of sawing to do and really need to get it done.

We had enough blue bins to do a pallet's worth and more so late in the afternoon Andrew and I loaded up the van and drove over to meet Alistair about 4:30 p.m. The saw mill is closed this week and next but Alistair agreed to meet me, he drove up on his new toy... large BMW motorcycle that looked like it could be very invigorating. Probably enough material for a second pallet by the end of the week but while we have a stack of pallets at the mine most are not suitable for shipment to the US so at least two will have to be obtained from Evergreen which involves a lost half day or more. Since delivery charges for just two pallets is absolutely exorbitant.

Tomorrow I will bide my time near the cell phone hoping to hear from Kerith when the ICS parts arrive so I can rebuild the saw. And actually set to on some of the larger bits. Today's picture shows the van with a load of fluorite, which is ultimately makes its way to Fallbrook.

That's all from the Dales today.


Cal & Kerith

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