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Thread: Interesting Old Equipment, Projects & Work Places

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Interesting Old Equipment, Projects & Work Places

    Having been guilty of hi-jacking a couple of other threads with off topic posts I thought that this might work. More for the grumpy old retired,(or should be) members.

    I have done many different things in many different places in my life, starting off with growing up on a dairy farm in the south west of WA where we had our own 32 volt generator.

    My late Father insisted that I learnt some qualifications, "to have a piece of paper" to fall back on, after which I could return to the farm.

    The farm was about 10 miles from a big regional centre (Bunbury) and I was able to quit school about halfway through 3rd year high, (before I was expelled) and I served a 5 year apprenticeship as an electrical fitter / armature winder. As it turned out it was probably the best place any electrical apprentice could ever have wished for.

    We repaired EVERTHING that could be either connected too an electrical supply, or could produce a supply. From electrical shavers and household appliances right up to 200 / 300 HP motors from the coalmines and everything in between. There was no "throw away" mentality in those days, so everything was worth repairing.

    The boss / owner was from the UK and had worked at General Electric. He had also worked on Spitfires during WW2 and was highly qualified and experienced. The foreman fitter was also from the UK and had been trained in the RAF.

    So lets see how this thread goes! Cheers




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Brisbane
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    1,771
    Some of those old armautre/ motor rewinders were amazing. I knew a guy that could work out how to rewind a motor when given just the stator that had been blown up, he'd measure up the iron in the stator, and then work out how much copper windings that equated to, then work out the pattern for winding from the slots. Then they would delaminate the stator if it had a hole blown in it, and re-assemble the wafers distributing the "hole" over the entire area of the casing.
    2005 D3 TDV6 Present
    1999 D2 TD5 Gone

  3. #3
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    May 2012
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    As I started this thread, I suppose that I had better try and kick it along a bit.

    To follow on from when I finished my apprenticeship is a story in itself, but not of interest here.

    With a new farm and a downturn in both cattle and sheep prices I needed some off-farm income. Due to changes in the Australian maritime industry in the late 1960's there was a sudden increase in crew requirements, along with much improved leave schedules.
    So, I was able to obtain a job with what was then the WA State Shipping Service as ships electrician sailing up and down the West Coast and into Darwin.

    My first assignment was on the MV Kabbarli, a small general cargo ship that also carried about 12 passengers. It was built in the old State Dockyards of NSW in 1951. Fitted with two British Polar diesel engines with a single screw through a reduction gearbox. The complete electrical system was DC with associated generators, and the refrigeration a brine system.
    No air conditioning in those days, just "punka" fans. All the cargo working gear was DC electric motors. (another story in itself)

    The most unusual fact that I recall about the propulsion system was the two magnetic couplings from the engines to the gearbox. These couplings were about 5 or 6 feet in diameter, open coil windings with sliprings for the DC supply. Not sure about the voltage but I seem to recall 220 volts.

    The engines MAY have been direct reversing as most marine diesel engines of the time were. What I DO recall very clearly is the chief engineer standing on the manoeuvring platform with his back to the couplings control panel and the telegraph in front of him. I can still see him in my mind to this day! (RIP Lew). One engine may have been running in reverse and the other ahead, OR, more likely, the polarity of the couplings could be changed to obtain ahead and astern input to the gearbox.

    There was a rotary control switch with a circular handle like a water valve, which the chief used to switch the couplings behind his back! I guess that there was some form of interlock to ensure both couplings were set the same direction if they were indeed the reversing method. They never gave any problems in my time, just a matter of keeping the sliprings clean.

    Today the young tradies are unlikely to know what a DC motor is, never mind how to maintain them! DC is something you get from a battery, is it not!

    Kabbarli on bottom at Broome.jpg

    The Kabbarli sitting on the bottom at low tide at the old Broome jetty circa 1965

  4. #4
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    Jan 1970
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    Central West NSW
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    To push this along - in the 1960s I was working in Roma, Qld. On one occasion (1964?) I got a tour of the power station (later replaced and now, I am pretty certain on the Eastern Australia Grid Network). This power station was in the middle of town between the railway on one side and a street parallel to and, I think one or two blocks from the main drag.

    At the time, the power station was a virtual museum showing the development of electricity in Roma. Again, from memory, there were three spark ignition motor/alternator sets side by side, the smallest a four cylinder around 300hp and standing about 2m high, the middle one a bit longer, being a six of 500hp, and the third also a six, a bit higher and about 650hp. All of these were installed from about 1925 to 1940, and were designed to operate on producer gas produced on site from the scrap wood that went along with the active land clearing then in progress. (some of this wood also went to heat homes).

    End on to these three were two identical 1,000hp straight eight diesels installed in the 1950s as power demand increased and the grid extended a bit out of town. Most of the time these were the only engines used, the others (all were apparently serviceable) only being used in the case of one of the diesels being out of service for maintenance. All of the sets ran at hundreds of rpm, and were direct coupled to the alternators, which, on the largest sets were about 2.4m in diameter.

    The interesting point was that when I was there, all of them were running on unprocessed natural gas direct from a sub-commercial gas discovery a few miles out of town. For ignition, the diesels used a small quantity of crude oil filtered but otherwise unprocessed, also from a subcommercial well (Richmond No.1) close to town.
    John

    JDNSW
    1986 110 County 3.9 diesel
    1970 2a 109 2.25 petrol

  5. #5
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    Part 1

    While still trying to prop up the farm by working on a ship my late Father suggested that a second hand backhoe would be "very handy"! The property had been taken up in the very early days and was riddled with the remains of BIG tree stumps. His comment was: " I could sit out there and dig the bloody things out".

    There was a Toyota dealer that also dabbled in agriculture machinery that had a backhoe parked on his lot, which I had noticed driving past in our old Thames Trader 8 ton truck.

    Ah, a second hand car dealer to the core! "What else have you got" says he, "something to trade in?"

    At the time we had an old Massey Harris 744D with a big blade on the front that had come with the farm. It had a Perkins 6 cylinder engine and I had converted the blade from a useless old cable winch to a hydraulic ram. We also had a 'daily driver" MF135 and a TEA 20 that we had brought with us from the dairy farm. Also laying around were a couple of old drawbar cultivators that were of no use to us.

    Along with the backhoe the stealer also had a low hour MF 165, but it was set up as a row crop and not suitable for us. But "no problem" says he, I can get a new MF 165 and will trade in your MF 135, the 744D and all the old implements! "And how do I pay for all of this", I asked him?

    Commonwealth Development Bank, easy! But as we processed the deal the Bank says that they will not finance 2 tractors! Only paperwork for him!

    The Bank will include attachments for the new tractor, but they need serial numbers! So out comes a set of metal number stamps, a set of letter stamps, and we now have legal attachments complete with "manufactures" markings! The tractor part of the deal was invoiced direct to me for a small cash payment!

    The deal was done, everything delivered and swapped around.

    Some of these types of posts tend to ramble on like me, so I will post this bit and some more later, as the real story concerns the mongrel backhoe!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Days of our lives, rural edition.
    If you don't like trucks, stop buying stuff.
    http://www.aulro.com/afvb/signaturepics/sigpic20865_1.gif

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by V8Ian View Post
    Days of our lives, rural edition.
    Comm. Development Bank were a PIA to deal with from the Sales Dept. point of view. Their loans were meant to be for business development in that their money was to be used not to replace existing equipment with similar but to increase the size or capacity of your business or start a new one. You would normally have to provide financial statements and a business plan. Their invoicing requirements were specific and rigid. Get it right or else.
    URSUSMAJOR

  8. #8
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    Aug 2012
    Location
    Encounter Bay
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    Oh Ian! That comment is sacrilege .......Blue Hills if you donít mind 🐏🐎🐂🐓🐚

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by V8Ian View Post
    Days of our lives, rural edition.
    Queensland Edition:

    I bought this old backhoe. Was a piece of crap, aye!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Westlake ,brisbane
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    This is not old but is one of the many foot bridges my company made , ready for delivery to a park in Brisbane
    DSCN4354.jpg

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