No post yesterday. I made it through the workday on about 3 hours of sleep without biting anyone’s head off, went home, had the lovely dinner K prepared for me, did the dishes, read the paper, took the trash to the curb, and managed to stay awake long enough to watch CSI:Miami (last new episode of sweeps) and not quite enough of the 11:00 news to catch the weather forecast. As I’d set the sleep timer on the bedroom TV, and K was already solidly unconscious, not a major problem.

Today, though, I made it out to the prototype casting shop that’s doing some pretty tricky work for me on a very tight timeline and not only did I get to inspect the tools for all three parts, but I was able to actually hold in my hands the first parts cast of two of the three part numbers. Whoo-hoo! I love it when a plan comes together.

As background, there are a bunch of specialized shops around the Detroit area that do different kinds of automotive parts — this one does casting tooling and machinery, for both prototype and production, as well as small-run castings from their on-site foundry and small-run machining of those castings. About 3 years ago, I went to them with a very tricky job and no time to do it in, and they pulled off nothing short of a miracle for the roughly 150% expediting charges we gladly passed on to our customer: I gave them CAD models of the casting, which was pretty complicated and had 7 internal cores, and I handed finished, assembled, and tested parts to my customer 23 days later.

So when this job came my way, they were my first choice. And to have the first castings done now and being able to see what we have created is wonderful.

Note that I’m not saying WHAT these things are, or what they’re used for, or who my customer is. Don’t ask, ’cause I won’t tell.



  1. From the vocab you’re tossing around, I could have used you under my elbow on my last translation. something about smelting shops, dry oven shops, casting shops and sanding shops. Oh well.


    1. Translating industrial terms can be interesting to say the least. I’m guessing “dry oven” is actually “heat treating” or “heat treatment”, and “sanding shop” is probably “machine shop”, although it could be “mold shop” (many castings are done in sand molds). “Smelting shop” and “casting shop” could both be “foundry”, although a smelting shop could also be a metals mill, like a steel mill or aluminum mill, where the raw material the foundry uses is formulated.


      1. The variety is endless. I have a really good tech dictionary, which gives many different variations and their context, but none of this is helpful when the client (an agency) doesn’t really know the context. So I sort of float several possibilities and pick the one that comes up most frequently on the Net. To make things even more difficult, the terms appear to be different in UK and USA English, and even some companies use X and others use Y to refer to the same thing. I imagine this must make working together rather interesting.

      2. I’ve had to become somewhat adept at understanding different local colorations on language, as I deal on a regular basis with folks from the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Korea, China, India, and an assortment of EU nations. There are a lot of Brits involved with one of my programs, and my understanding of Britishisms and UK-specific stuff has been a great help to establishing the working relationship. As an example, the program manager was holding an odd-shaped device about a week ago, and I remarked that it looked a lot like something out of the TARDIS. He was very pleasantly surprised that I knew of the TARDIS and Doctor Who…

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