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Because most people are not familiar with tools and tool use in the US, from time to time I’ll post a few hints on the easy way of doing things.

OK, let’s say you have a 21-inch carbon steel pipe that is standing vertically a mile under water and you need a “square” cut so you can attach something to the top. Oh, yes, there is a mixture of oil and gas moving through the pipe.

Now inexperienced people would probably go for a power tool, like a pneumatic grinder, with a cut-off blade. While this wouldn’t be a terrible choice if the pipe were horizontal and supported on both sides of the cut, on a vertical pipe with fluid passing through it, the blade is going to jam up.

The easiest way of accomplishing something like this is with a pipe cutter, a tool specifically designed to do the job. Reed Manufacturing makes a fine tool for the job, the RC20S Rotary Cutter with RCX cutter wheels and RC8-30XR rollers. It will cut through ¾-inch pipe wall with tool steel cutter wheels.

Of course you will need a chain wrench below the cut so your ROV just has to pull the lever on the cutter and the handle on the wrench together, since you don’t have the normal leverage of standing on the ground. It will go faster if you have a second ROV on the other side of the pipe to tighten the cutter every half turn.

It will be a bit slower, but the result will be professional. This is what a pipefitter would do, and the depth of the water doesn’t make a bit of difference.

June 4, 2010   3 Comments

Hiding The Truth

Gulf Gusher symbolThe ABC reports on BP turning down outside expertise to deal with their problem in the Gulf: Oil spill ‘morons’ turn down Avatar director’s help

Film director and deep-sea explorer James Cameron says BP has turned down his offer to help combat the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Over the last few weeks I’ve watched – as we all have – with growing horror and heartache, watching what’s happening in the Gulf and thinking those morons don’t know what they’re doing,” Cameron told the All Things Digital conference.

Cameron, director of Avatar, Titanic and The Abyss, has worked extensively with robot submarines and is considered an expert in underwater filming. He did not say explicitly who he meant when he referred to “those morons”.

“The government really needs to have its own independent ability to go down there and image the site, survey the site and do its own investigation,” he said.

“Because if you’re not monitoring it independently, you’re asking the perpetrator to give you the video of the crime scene.”

Cameron has connections to the real experts in deep water vehicles, but he is not subject to anyone’s control, and will say what he thinks. If he sees something, the public will see it.

Cameron isn’t the only deep water expert BP has turned down. After requesting information from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, BP turned down their offer to send their submersible, Alvin, to help with the problem.

I’m more than a little sick of listening to the excuse that no one knows anything about working at these depths, after BP turns down offers of assistance from people who work at even greater depths.

June 4, 2010   Comments Off on Hiding The Truth

Friday Cat Blogging

Sleeping Like A Log

Friday Cat Blogging


[Editor: This is a power sleeper, or she is just annoying her littermate by ignoring the attempts to start a fight.]

Friday Ark

June 4, 2010   10 Comments