Header image link

Monday, February 8, 2021

Suddenly, all those interested in manufacturing and machinery disappeared.... (and header image)

  The rabbit hole was deep with hundreds of branches and paths... (link way down the end.)



 During one of my surfing expeditions I happened upon some images of old planers that led me to the header image today.  I remember being in The United Shoe Machinery Company when they were auctioning off the rest of the equipment in the plant.

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* Just now I did a quick search to find info on that and opened up a wormhole to another rabbit hole.

Check this OUT<<<  page down to the images chapter for some historical pictures. 

NOTE.. right click and open image in new tab. For some reason the back button hangs up.

sample:   


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Anyway, when I was in the plant they had an old Rockford planer mill that was pretty damn big.

I bet the skiving tools were 1.5 - 2.0 inches square.

Obviously I was,  A: young and impressionable  and b: was used to bridgeports and early CNC so this  Rockford planer was a time capsule.

Imagine this ( video ) being the size of the one in the header:


  

Now back to the whole title of this post.  The header image of the Waldrich came from

HERE<<  

After scrolling those I made the mistake of clicking on the Machine Tool Archive << link at the top of the page where I found the Waldrich

 And................this is what I found:


I bet you can't just click on a few and then walk away..............


See some of you in the Spring.....






Enjoy the day....




 

 

 

 

 

 

 








26 comments:

  1. We had a Cincinnatti planer that was used up until the 80's and it was perfect for a couple of jobs we did. If you look at the surface of some (old) machine tools you will see the marks of the planer.

    If you go to lathes.uk, look up the Wade Tool Company -- that was my family's business. Tony Griffiths does an excellent job of archiving industrial history. He is a great guy and has a bunch of pictures of our old shop and products there as well.

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  2. We won't see Phil for at least a week, he will be in the rabbit hole during his off time.

    And I marked the page, see you on Friday.

    chuckling

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  3. I'm gonna have to save this for later. I read a post in Practical Machinist about a guy with a big planer north of Houston. He had to use and crane to get it in his barn, through the roof. I was driving down in Brownsville a couple weeks later, and sitting in an equipment yard with some big presses, was it's twin!! It was weird.

    I love that stuff. Working at LeTourneau in the late 80's we had a mix of everything. Site built lathes, NC plasma torches, manual stuff, gear shaping.... It was an amazing place to be.

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  4. Yup, and every sliding surface on that machine was hand scraped. You can see it in the pics.
    My forearms cramp just thinking about it.

    Leigh
    Whitehall, NY

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  5. Like Ed Sullivan used to say "This is the really big shoe... factory"

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  6. Matt in the peoples' republic of OregonFebruary 8, 2021 at 12:16 PM

    I'm in the manufacturing (tooling side) industry myself, so I was actually pretty surprised when Irishman posted that pic of his new Doosan. The FFF posts were a time sink, but this post is taking the time draining to a whole new level--old tools are such a weakness, I love it.

    Thanks for these sorts of posts.

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  7. The first time I got to see a small planer make a chip was in high school metals shop 1974. So fascinating watching in slow motion the bit shave off a metal chip, get to the end reverse direction, feed a few thousandths and reset. Most metal cutting is so fast it's hard to see, not so with planers.

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    Replies
    1. First time I saw a planer was in a Machine Tool course I took in College. And sure enough, one of the guys using it in class one day was watching it make chips, forgot the ram cam FORWARD, leaned over his workpiece, and BAM! got clobbered in the forehead with the ram when it came back forward.

      I'll bet it left a mark....

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  8. Irish, The other day you posted a vid on an excavator rescue that I had watched (and most of his others) the night before. Coincidence yeah OK. Now this. Was watching a vid last night on those ingenious ways Chinese are forced to complete their tasks in a timely way without electricity and I saw a guy using a foot powered wood lathe. My "I got to get me one of those" button was pushed (it is located in the dystopic section of my brain). First site this morning was this post and I immediately clicked on the Archive links and scanned the list stopping at Marsh (USA) and clicked it. Not knowing anything about Marsh except USA.

    MF Central Highlands.
    If spring is a deadline I might be late.

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  9. The caption reads "two-column rigid planing machine which was released for inspection in our workshops after completion" That is a big planer. I remember one that was small enough to fit on a desk, that was a real machine tool, not a model. That would be fun to have.

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  10. They used to make some MONSTER machines back in the day and at the same time someone would make the castings and build little miniatures that fit on a work bench.
    I already had that UK site bookmarked. A guy could starve to death looking at all that if he didn't stop and come up for air occasionally.

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  11. Irish, you are a cruel, cruel man. I admire that in a person. Rabbit hole bookmarked--preparing first dive. . .

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  12. I just love when you find these gems, Irish! My Dad worked for Chicago Pneumatic back in the day and made tools.

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  13. They call this one a milling machine.

    https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmt-forum/kendall_gent_huge_milling_machine_fullsize.jpg

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  14. I think I have all this figured out. Looking at those machines, they first made a small long bed planer by hand to fabricate precise square and rectangular profile smooth flat bar from castings or rolled, then used those bits to build a bigger one to build an even larger one and on up. Mind boggling that this was late 1800's on into early 20th C with mechanical and steam powered machinery. Used to work at a RR fabricator, biggest press they had was mechanical and I think in the 1000 ton range, when that sucker came down the whole plant shook, the concrete bed was probably 10 of more ft thick.

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  15. I worked in the old USMC building in Beverly, MA, after it was restored to modern offices. The USMC made the machines that made shoes, but it went out of business when cheaper machines were made overseas. My company was one of the first tenants in what is now called the Cummings Center. The place was and still is HUGE! Well over a million square feet, and there were hallways that run most of the length of the right hand building from front to back, so long you couldn't fire a rifle the length of them without hitting the ceiling. The company employed over 5,000 people in its heyday, many of whom took the train from Boston to Beverly - kind of a reverse commute. The building on the far left of the picture was a steel mill/forging area, and after renovations, our offices were on the top floor of the building to the far right and the second from the left. They did a good job renovating the place, keeping a fair number of large pumps and other items outside and a few 'artifacts' from the old company, including the time clock. We had some of the old photos that were found showing things that would make OSHA folks cringe - guys wearing neckties operating lathes with a naked light bulb overhead, for example.
    Thanks for the post, Irish!

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    Replies
    1. I have been by that old plant many times, I think the Cummings people got their start there as real estate magnates. A lot of old mills are mixed use these days, up in Manchester NH you will see this, or almost any industrial town in New England. That is a lot of bricks to lay in constructing those!

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  16. The past manufacturing glory - through a series of screw ups & corporate sales Monroe Salt Works closed in 2010. The owners were is a rush, and sold the machinery for scrap before the staff could get together a bid to buy iy. Gorgeous stuff, and gone forever.

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    Replies
    1. There is a hot place waiting for those that scrap machines. I've heard stories like this that curdle my blood.

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  17. Speaking of big machines, here is a thread on PM regarding a Niles 36ft Vertical Boring Mill

    https://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/antique-machinery-and-history/niles-36ft-vertical-boring-mill-photos-294807/

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  18. How times change... It looks like Waldrich is still in business in Germany, however they are owned by the Chinese, after ownership by Ingersoll. I wonder how many industries in Europe and the US are owned by the Chinese?

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    Replies
    1. To many. Hope they suffer the same fate as the Japanese and our real estate.

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  19. Stonemill in my home town had a monster lathe for turning building columns. I was told that when it was built it was the 3rd largest lathe in the world and was originally used to turn the big guns on battle ships. Never knew the full details about it, I only got to see it once or twice as a teenager. Unfortunately that mill got taken to scrap when metal prices were high about a decade ago.

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  20. Not to quibble, but Cat Decatur has an Ingersoll twice as big for machining 797 main frames. All is not in the past. There is still big stuff going on in the USA.

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  21. Irish, I think we are brothers from different mothers. Appears we have common knowledge of stuff. Love this place!
    One day we will toast. Thank you

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  22. I refuse to go to that site.
    I'll never be seen or heard from again.

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