What's new
What's new

Another Great Pakistani youtube


Oct 25, 2021
Manitoba, Canada
I used to work with another guy called Glenn who had it bad. He’d worked abroad a lot in places were there was nothing else to do but hang around in the hotel bar. He was banned from driving and he never bothered to re-apply for his licence because he couldn’t stay sober for long enough to pass the mandatory blood test.
My drinking buddy and I used to finish our evening with a glass of a spirit we’d never had before. One night we tried “ Stroh 80 “ . It blew my socks off.
One day I mentioned this to Glenn. I asked him if he’d ever heard of it ? He said “ Oh Yeah, there are a lot of Eastern European pilots in central African countries. They drink it all the time ! “
Regards Tyrone.
My dad started out his working life as an electrician. To make more money he took remote jobs (mostly on hydro electric plant construction) that paid better hourly rates and had way more hours. There wasn't much to do during the off hours so many guys drank and played poker. He said every pay day there would be guys phoning their wives back home telling them they'd have to get by another two weeks without any money as they had lost it in a poker game. He was very disciplined about this and sent almost everything to my mom and kept a small amount back for cigarettes and poker. When he was 30 he got out of that industry to help his dad run a small trucking company. The trucking company was successful and when he was about 65 he and my mom bought a place in south Texas and spent their winters there. My wife and I went down to Texas to visit and one day my dad and I went for a ride around the park in his golf cart. He recognized a last name on a camper trailer and we stopped in. It was a retired electrician that my dad had worked with back in the day and they hadn't seen each other since the early 1970's. They got to talking and my dad started asking about other guys they had worked with and what they were doing now. I think my dad was shocked that most of them were dead. For most of them it was booze. They drank themselves into a hole they never got out of and were dead in their 40's, 50's or early 60's. My dad has had cancer four times in the last 20 years but is still going strong at 78 years old.


Mar 12, 2001
New Haven, CT
Yes I know Muslims don't drink or they are not supposed to. I met a guy that was making a fortune buying Booze from companies like Seagrams and Jack Daniels that didn't meet their requirements and shipping it to Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. Later the companies learned what he was doing and started shipping the defective brews direct! Yes they are not supposed to drink but drink quite a bit especially the rich.
We build custom aircraft test stands that test all the parts and pieces in an airplane, from the toilets to the fuel controls. The Saudis have bought quite a few machines from us over the years. Each of them have several reservoirs ( fuel, oil etc..) on them, and not a single one of them ship from the US without being loaded with hard liquor first when the customers come for factory demo!

In the old days I'm told the space in the reservoirs had to be split with porno videos, but now with the Internet I believe it can either be downloaded locally via VPN or brought home on thumb drive so we don't see that anymore.


Hot Rolled
Apr 9, 2009
Back in the heyday of KSAN radio in San Francisco there was a DJ that knew just what length record to put on the air that it gave him enough time to run down the street & get a couple of beers .
You can't make up stories like on these pages here .These machinist's in these youtubes always amaze me whith how they do what they do with so little as far as tooling & " measuring equipment " .

Joe Michaels

Apr 3, 2004
Shandaken, NY, USA

Is the booze poured into the reservoirs, or are bottles stashed in various places on the test stands ? Be real funny if the booze was poured into a reservoir for testing the on-board toilets/sanitary holding tanks.

Year ago, on powerplant construction work with Bechtel, I worked with a pipefitter superintendent. He had worked for Bechtel on a job in Saudi (oil refinery or something similar, if I remember rightly). This fellow was an old Southern boy, and he and I worked as a team. He told me a story about his time in Saudi and how it nearly cost him his life. The story he told was that he and some other good old boys were working for Bechtel, and were billeted in a company compound. Alcoholic beverages of any sort were forbidden. Each morning, a bus, driven by a local Saudi driver, would bring them to the jobsite and return them each evening. They got friendly with the Saudi driver. At the same time, the good old boys were wanting a drink of some liquor of some sort. The bus driver supplied them with dates. The good old boys took stainless steel pipe and fittings and built a fermenter and a still. Soon enough, they were making white lightning from the dates. The bus driver was getting some of the white lightning in return for supplying the dates. The bus driver was peddling the hooch to other locals, and sharing the profits with the good old boys. At the time, some of the Saudi coinage was made of gold.

All was going well until the bus driver got drunk and got into an accident with the bus. He was arrested by the Saudi police and hauled into their station. They must have threatened him with the maximum punishments under Islamic law, as he came clean as to where he was getting the hooch. The Saudi police caught up with the Bechtel good old boys and arrested them and jailed them. To add to the matter, the good old boys had taken to melting down some of the Saudi coinage for the gold, using a rosebud and an ingot mold they'd made from steel plate. They were hiding the ingots in piping, planning to smuggle the gold back to the USA. Flanged joint piping, put the gold into a spool of pipe and make up the joints. I believe the plan ultimately was to retrieve the gold before crude oil started flowing in that piping, with some talk of getting it aboard a US flagged tanker, piecing off some of the crew to smuggle the gold stateside. These good old boys definitely knew how to maneuver and cut deals. Aside from all else, they were great teachers for me to learn from.

When all of this came to light, the Saudi police told the Bechtel guys that they would be sentenced to death by beheading. Apparently, not only was making and selling alcohol to the local population a high crime, but melting Saudi coinage was at least as bad. The pipefitter super told me he'd sat in the Saudi lockup with the other good old boys, figuring they were as good as dead. Bechtel got word to the US embassy, and they were able to pry the good old boys from the Saudi law's clutches. They were taken immediately to the US Embassy, and the very next morning, were put aboard a US plane which carried military, diplomats, and paperwork. No time to pack their personal belongings, no returning to the compound, right to the airfield and away. Years later, this pipefitter super still mourned losing what he claimed to be a small fortune in gold bars. According to him, those bars might well have still been inside piping in a Saudi oil facility.

A similar story concerns my younger brother. He was in law school at Case Western in Cleveland, about 1976. He was billeted in a graduate student dorm. One day, he heard a hell of a ruckus in the hallway, incoherent wailing and yelling. Going into the men's room at the end of the hallway, he found a couple of guys sprawled on the floor or in the toilet stalls, and one guy mis-using a urinal. It turned out these guys were Arabic students and they were literally drunk on their asses. My brother called campus security to come deal with the situation, and he also called the local health department and put in a complaint due to what these guys were doing to the mens' room. The first respondents were the campus security guys, in uniform. They brought a faculty member to translate. At the sight of the uniforms, the Arabic students froze. The faculty member told them something which sent them howling in fear and running into their dorm rooms. It turned out the faculty member had said: "You will be punished according to the laws of the land." They took this to mean the law as they knew it back home. Hence, they bolted in fright, calling out to Allah and hunkering down in their dorm rooms. Subsequently, the health department sent people to instruct these guys in the use of inside plumbing, and the benefits of proper personal hygiene. As per the previous incident, they had a translator along for the ride. The Arabic students found it is was my brother who'd blew them in. Instead of being vengeful, they were grateful and came to him with all sorts of questions in broken English. My brother became sort of their business agent and coach as to how we live in the USA. It turned out these students were from poorer families. Oil money had trickled down from the top, and their families had received some small share of it, which included sending these guys to the USA. No previous knowledge of inside plumbing, but studying computer science and business administration.


Mar 12, 2001
New Haven, CT
Hi Joe,

All the booze is always in the bottle, it'd be pretty weird to store liquor in a used hydraulic reservoir. All of our machinery is heavily tested before it ships so the reservoirs would all be filled previously with either fuel or oil, or skydrol or whatever other nasty chemical we are using to test that part of the aircraft.

It's just when the test stand comes through customs no one ever bothers to look inside of the reservoirs for contraband.

The other thing too about Saudi that's kind of messed up is that they never really send the guys who will actually run the machine, who would actually know what they're looking at.

We always wind up with extended members of the royal family or other high end spoiled members of society who are part of plant management. These guys usually have tons of money, and are just looking for a free trip to the USA. Often times they get taken to higher end liquor stores than the local variety has. One guy I know they took to a real high end store in Hartford and the bill was several grand.

Funny you should mention testing aircraft toilets. Believe it or not we make the machine that tests those too. A few years back they sent me to Singapore, my specialty has always been the hydraulic systems as well as the fuel systems, I've never worked on a toilet stand yet, however the funny thing was we were talking to one of the guys who tests the fuel control in Singapore. Now Singapore is city-state derives something like 30 to 40% of its income each year from aviation, be it their airport where tons of people transfer each year, to an entire industry repairing most of the aircraft of all of Asia.

As such they have something like 200 aircraft repair stations with a mind boggling number of test stands.

Being a test stand operator over there is a formal trade that is a subset of an aircraft mechanic field with very nice local wages attached to the work. I'm told that there's a local test stand operator Union that pretty much sets the rates for test stand operators in the country. Over there it's a very nice lucrative middle class career for the operators.Fuel control test stand operators are the second highest pay grade, toilet test sand operators/mechanics are at the top of the pay scale, and for good reason that I have come to have seen firsthand.

When we were making the a toilet test stand a few years back the customer a big well-known African airline sent us a whole bunch of toilets to prove out the machine with. Believe it or not a modern aircraft toilet is somewhat complex It even communicates on a CAN bus protocol to the rest of the aircraft if there is a problem. One of my co-workers who was running the machine developed a really nasty rash on his arm, he went to his doctor and was told that it was an infectious disease that's not well known in the USA, she asked if he had been to any foreign countries to have picked this thing up. When he explained to the doctor that it may have came from anywhere that the African airline flew it rapidly got him sent to the infectious disease department at Yale New Haven. Fortunately it was something treatable but working on aircraft toilets is one nasty job with unique hazards.


Apr 11, 2002
Syracuse, NY USA
This youtube is entitled "Craftsman are making the flour milling machine roller". It is an amazing study in how the Pakistani machinists, foundrymen, and forge shop blacksmiths work to produce flour mill rollers. The youtube begins with a neighborhood foundry. This foundry uses torpedo shaped melting furnaces, fired on waste engine oil. The torpedo furnaces turn slowly when firing. They are charged with scrap cast iron, much of which looks like products of other local foundries- stuff like curved spoke pulleys, smashed finned motor stators, busted pump housings, and any other cast iron scrap. The foundry uses centrifugal casting machines, driven by one-lung diesel engines. A flat belt spins the mold, and it is shifted and held in location by a bar driven into the ground to keep the mold spinning.

The hollow cast iron roller bodies arrive at the machine shop. This shop can only be described as the Pakistani equivalent of the shop where the "Bull of the Woods" worked. Old lathes are adapted to part off the ends of the cast roller bodies. A strap clamp around the rough casting trips a 'peck feed' mechanism to work the cross feed and run in a parting tool.

The shaft ends of the rollers are made in another local forge shop. Again, waste oil fired furnaces are used to heat the steel, which appears to be scrap from the ship breakers. The hammer smiths are quite good and have swage dies made up for this particular job.

The machinists bore the roller bodies using a shop-made line boring setup on another old lathe. Interestingly, the line boring bar is supported on a tapered roller bearing, the roller/cone being on an arbor in the tailstock, the female race or outer cone being in the end of the boring bar. The machinist uses a home-made telescoping gauge to get the inner diameters of the bored ends of the roller body. His telescoping gauge is two studbolts with rounded ends, a tapped bushing and a couple of hex nuts. He gets the bore diameters locked in on his home made telescoping gauge handily.

The shaft ends for the rollers are turned on another lathe, and the home made telescoping gauge and outside micrometer are used to turn the shaft ends for a shrink fit. The roller body is heated with open propane burners, with what look like oil drum lids used as heat/flame shields to keep the heat in the roller bodies. The machinist figured his shrink fit correctly as the shaft ends slide in, and soon are locked solid.

After the roller and shaft journals are turned to final diameters, a shop-made motorized milling head is mounted on a lathe topslide and used to mill a keyway in one shaft end. It looks like the Pakistanis use water dripping on the milling cutter as coolant. No guard or shroud on the milling head motor's cooling fan, and wiring looking like it could give someone a nasty shock, and water dripping for coolant. The milling head appears none too rigid in its setup, or the camera was shaking, but it does hog in a large keyway.

The really interesting finale comes with the machining of the grooves in the surface of the milling rollers. This shop has several specialized machine tools for this operation. These appear to be a light duty openside planer crossed with a rifling machine. As the roller is moved along the ways of the planer, it rotates a few degrees. This causes the toolbit to cut a groove on a very long spiral, almost a diagonal line. The machine tool for this job appears to have been specially built, and automatically indexes the roller for the next groove. No name was visible on these machine tools. The amount of 'spiral' appears to be adjustable, as is the indexing. When the rollers are finished, there are numerous fine 'rifled' grooves around the outside surface.

This shop has a mix of geared head engine lathes and cone drive lathes. Some of the cone drive lathe headstocks were modified to use roller chain drive for very low speed/heavy work like parting off the roller body casting ends. The carbide lathe tools look to be shop made with chunks of carbide brazed to steel bodies. In one sequence, a shop made carbide-tipped parting tool is used as a shim in a toolpost to hold another tool. As this particular lathe operation was being filmed, a chunk of the carbide tip on the parting tool/shim breaks off, but does not affect the operation and no one seems to notice. The shop has some overhead powered hoists, and rigging is done mainly with chains. It is a somewhat dark older shop, and while not having lineshafts, is a forest of older lathes and older machine tools. Instead of the Bull of the Woods walking the shop floor, there are a variety of older men, some who seem to be keeping a watchful eye on the work, some who do lend a hand to the younger machinists. The machinists use a surface gauge and pointer of sorts to center work in the lathe 4 jaw chucks, no dial indicators seen in use. However, they do use micrometers for the critical fits. They do not seem to own a combination center drill or 60 degree countersink. Rather, they simply poke a drilled hole in the end of the work and run the tailstock center into it. The shop is not what we'd consider a safe place to work, with many unguarded or open gears and unguarded belts and pulleys and similar. No one seems to wear safety glasses and many of the men work in sandals or light shoes. Despite this, whether in the foundry, the forge shop, or the machine shop, no one is wandering around with any bandages, eye patches or obvious missing parts. The men wear loose clothing typical of Pakistan, yet no one seems to have gotten wound up in the open gearing, nor does anyone get burned by molten iron, sparks or hot scale. The men in this youtube all seem happy to be working, and invariably, there are also men in these youtubes who are taking pictures or video on their phones aside from whomever is taking the actual youtube. While conditions there are not the safest and overall living conditions are a subject not for discussion here, it is heartening to see how local industry works. Scrap iron and old crankcase oil and scrap steel from the ship breakers and old machine tools and ingenuity and grit on the part of the Pakistanis all come together to meet the needs in their country.

In another youtube, a local shop is building what might be called 'wheat separators' or "threshing machines". These are PTO driven small threshing machines. The local shop builds them using plate brakes, shears, oxyacetylene cutting torches and stick welding. The Pakistanis have moved up from the locally built 'buzz box' welders to inverter power supplies. Seeing this, I was surprised they had not started using MIG welding as the building of the threshers required a lot of long seam welds on light sheet steel and light angle. They use stick welding, and despite having the inverter welding machines, do all their tack welding and some stitch welds without a shield. Aim the electrode for where they want to strike an arc, close their eyes and turn their head aside and burn rod for a second or two. When they do use a welding shield, it is a beatup piece of fiberboard with a welding filter lens, held in one hand. No one seems to wear gloves when welding or using a cutting torch, nor does anyone wear cutting goggles or similar. Feet in sandals, working cross legged while welding or burning with a torch seems the norm. Again, no one seems to be showing obvious past injuries, but I cringe when I see how these guys work. Anyone who has ever 'caught a flash' around welding knows what that feels like (sand under your eyelids later in the evening after you are done working). Anyone who has ever had a piece of weld slag pop into their eye and had to have the slag removed at the ER also knows how that feels. Been there a few too many times with both these injuries, so marvel at the Pakistanis and how they subject themselves to those conditions and keep on working. They produce equipment to meet their needs- threshers to harvest grain and mill rollers to mill it into flour to feed the population, using recycled machine tools and recycled materials and fueled on waste crankcase oil.

This youtube is unique in that it traces the making of the flour mill roller from the casting and forging to the complete machining.
I remember visiting Westmoreland Malable iron in the 90s. Other than just buying a new induction furnace, the plant looked exactly the same as the Pakistany plants including the wheelbarrows. Even 20 years ago there were fab shops around here like that


Nov 4, 2005
Upstate NY
All was going well until the bus driver got drunk and got into an accident with the bus. He was arrested by the Saudi police and hauled into their station........
Joe -

My one uncle who died at age 92 some 2 1/2 years ago put himself through back in 48-53 as a petroleum engineer at Ohio State. He was a member of the 'Stadium Club' as was one of his older brothers - but that's another story. He was born with only 1 arm but was one sharp cookie. After starting work in West Texas he ended up in just about every country in North Africa/Middle East that drilled for oil, finally retiring after 10 years with Saudi Aramco. I always wanted him to write a book - he had stories a lot like yours.

During his time in Saudi he and my aunt lived in a compound - from the aerial pictures (which were illegal to even take) it could have passed for an Army base in Arizona if you ignored the drilling equipment on 'motor pool row' and imagined tanks and such. Probably built by Bechtel or similar. My aunt could drive on the compound - she taught school - but of course not off; it got harder and harder for her to go back as the years went on. They were always careful to not get mixed up with some who made 'bathtub gin' and such (seemed to be a specialty of some Brits). Aramco started putting Saudi nationals into some of the engineering and management jobs and allowed them to live on the compounds. That really complicated things as it raised the exact situation of the bus driver / Bechtel guys. Some of the western folks would make hooch and drink with their Saudi friends. My uncle's take was always that you couldn't really trust anyone in that situation and the consequences were too crazy to risk. Of course as a member of an older generation who had a lot to lose (he reached the level of drilling superintendent with however many crews working for him and a helicopter as the 'company car') I didn't blame him at all.

As I have personally seen the bad impact alcohol abuse can have in my own family I'm sure it colors my view on things.
Last edited: