A flaming guitar. A flaming pile of thermite. Three
flaming musicians/engineers. An open flame. Things are about to get white hot!
Here's a comparison... A candle will burn at 1400
degrees. Firepit... 2000. A flamethrower... 3000. But the MOD today burns at
4500 degrees. It's called... thermite. Thermite is a compound of aluminum oxides
and iron that, when ignited, burns so violently that it will burn through almost
anything. Including.... a $2000 Gibson Les Paul guitar, the tastiest guitar ever
made. And if the challengers want one, they'll have to save it.
- Christopher Dow, aka DOCTOR WOOD. He's a
drummer and a custom carpenter... and a badass... Nuff said.
- BRUCE WAYNE ECKELMAN, inventor and guitarist
- JOE TESSITORE, a fabricator who once chopped a Ducati muscle bike.
Their weapon... 100 pounds of thermite.
Unstoppable when ignited, and burns hot and quickly until there's nothing left
but molten slag. They have 48 hours to save a Les Paul from all that molten
lava. They have an hour to come up with a plan to save that guitar. They cannot
touch it or the MOD until the 48 hours are elapsed.
Time... starts NOW.
And two-thirds of the team get a running start.
Wood wants to order some fire-retardant plywood and drywall to make a box. Joe
suggests a support for said box. Bruce also wants a cooling agent. Wood doesn't
want the cooling agent. In the end, they're going to go the multi-layered box
route. But Mike suggests that they're going to turn the box into a giant
furnace. He thinks that a cooling agent would be a good idea.
Meanwhile, Team Metal can't cut and weld metal,
while Wood takes another look at the guitar. The fire is just going to shoot up
the pipe. He makes a slit to accommodate the armature of the rig.
TEST #1: Material Resistance. A VW Bug is
supported by aluminum, steel, and wood pillars. On the bottom... ignited piles
of thermite. The wood withholds, while the steel and aluminum melts. Wood will
withstand the heat better than metal. The plan is not altered.
Team Metal's frame is starting to come together.
Zach arrives and tells the team that Mike is working on his own solution. His
solution: evacuation. A tower with an arm that will yank the guitar via pulley.
Wood is building his box. He's feeling good about
the rig. The first day is always weird, but with 34 hours to go, Wood calls it a
22 HOURS REMAINING
Wood starts lining his box with drywall, when
Bruce had an epiphany... a Shop-Vac with ice on blow through a pipe to cool the
box. Basically, an air conditioning system. Wood doesn't want to put a hole
through his box. Joe says that they're going to put the hole in it anyway. But
first, they decide to add on a steel roof to the box.
Bruce is convinced that they have a team of two.
If Wood wants to join in, good job. But he's got a team.
Zach has his own solution... which requires
stunt-man-type acrobatics and a convertible.
The team moves forward with the original plan,
trying to mount the box around the guitar. They manage to assemble their
creation in its place... when Zach arrives with...
TEST #2: Radiant Heat. A Les Paul in the box will
be subjected to a lot of heat. Using a sheetmetal box, the team will figure out
how hot the rig can be until things start to go terribly wrong using a sample
guitar. And we have smoke and fire at 131 degrees. That is a drop in the bucket
compared to the 4500 degrees that thermite will produce. This will add weight to
the argument that they need a cooling agent.
"The heat is on..." Glenn Frey.
Wood is still fine tuning his box, while Bruce
and Joe are still trying to hem and haw their way around a cooling system. They
think that they have Wood worn down. In the end, the cooling system goes in.
Test run goes off without a hitch. They're golden.
Meanwhile, Mike's solution is finished as well.
He tests it on a test guitar... and it works.
17 HOURS REMAINING
... and Dr. Wood is calling it a day again. It
looks like he's quite justified as the team goes into some finishing touches,
including having Mike test the drywall.
It doesn't end well. It went with a hole in the
6 HOURS REMAINING
Everyone's well-rested, and it's time to finish
it up with a few fail-safe measures, including a drywall wall between the rig
and the Shop-Vac AND extending the amount of pipe between them... all while
waiting for Dr. Wood to show up.
Little less than three hours to go, and Wood
shows up fashionably late. Meanwhile, Bruce fabricates a shield out of metal to
deflect the slag.
30 MINUTES REMAINING
The metal roof is in place, and now it's time to
power on the Shop-Vac, but first... the test. And the freezing air and the
humidity chokes the motor. The question is.. will it be enough to save the
Time to make it rain fire in five... four...
three... two... one... BURN, BABY, BURN!
And after it rains flames, the box is still
there, but is the guitar still in one piece? Remember, it's only a catch if it
is in MINT condition. And... it is! Zach calls it a CATCH!
But how did Mike's rig do? It... didn't.
Apparently the thermite snapped more than just the roof.
Well, that's another prize caught and another
prize kept. Will we have another win next time? Remember, if they catch it, they
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