Gallery, Projects and General => Oooops! => Topic started by: awemawson on October 11, 2016, 05:18:44 PM

Title: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: awemawson on October 11, 2016, 05:18:44 PM
OK, fellow has bought my Alba 3S shaper, and wants it collected on a pallet. Well, I didn't have a strong enough pallet, so I screwed some 4"x4" timber baulks to it's base, so effectively it's it's own pallet  :ddb:

Got the pallet jack out, moved it to the outside end of the welding shop, plonked it down and went and got the fork lift to put it in the stable ready for collection. Good theory. Picked it up with the fork lift, left it about 18" off the ground while I wrapped pallet wrap around the various levers and cranks to stop them coming loose in transit.

Then the engine stopped - the lights went out - fork lift half in half out of the door so can't shut the door, and the Shaper is up in the air.  :bang:

Quick bit of diagnosis needed. No fuses in this thing - battery excellent at 13.6 as it's just stopped charging when the engine and lights died, what the heck can it be  :scratch:  Trotted round with the multi-meter - earth straps, main feed to the ignition switch - all ok. Then at last, with the aid of a torch and mirror I found a multi-way connector on the back of the ignition switch the had vibrated 'almost off' - a good re-seating and off we went to complete our mission, but is was a bit of a dodgy moment  :bugeye:

Title: Re: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: Pete. on October 11, 2016, 05:27:51 PM
Whoops indeed!

Back around 2000 I was working on a site where they had a tower crane powered by a big 3 phase generator. They wanted to move the generator, so they picked it up with the crane - and pulled the wires out with the genny about 20 feet in the air!
Title: Re: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: vintageandclassicrepairs on October 11, 2016, 06:17:07 PM
Having worked in a Power Generating station, heavy lifts were a regular occurrence
Having the overhead crane trip out with 60 odd tons hanging from it lost me some more hair  :Doh:
At least this did not happen :bugeye:

      (2m 20s in)

The shaper's new owner got a bargain ????

Title: Re: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: johnbaz on December 25, 2016, 09:37:27 PM
Hi all

A press head that we made some time ago, It's just been pulled from the molding/casting pit, Can't remember what it weighed but the crane has a 300t lifting capacity, We also have a 200t crane on the same track (And a 60 tonner)
The two larger cranes can be joined as we have a lifting beam that fits both cranes and makes them in to one, As the beam weighs 25tonnes we can pick up castings to 475 tonnes but we make castings (In the black) to around 580tonnes so we have to burn heads (Risers) whilst the job is still in the pit until it drops within the capacities of the cranes..

A job in the pit that we were cleaning at the time..

After the ancilliaries have dug the sand away and we're burning the heads to get the weight down for lifting, By the way, We have to cut the heads at temps between 150c and 450c, If it's too cold then large cracks can appear, If it's too hot lots ansd lots of smaller cracks show so we have to keep within the parameters, Only trouble is that I was on the cutter standing about a foot away from the 450c and had to get loads of leather on (As well as tin sheets against the casting) to keep me from scorching!


The years of doing this has taken it's toll and now i'm over the moon to not have to do this any more as i've been given a cushy job reclaiming sand so I sit in a bucket truck all day loading lumpy sand in to a shaker to break it down for reuse!, There was a condition though that if the burners were short handed, I had to make the numbers up, I've only had to go back on the job once for a week though in the last year!!!

A 90tonne ladle being purged and alloys added to aid running of the metal..

A 250tonne press leg ready for delivery to the customer..

This was me cleaning the nozzles of a ladle after pouring, My mate used to do this job, He must have been off that day!

Cheers, John  :beer:
Title: Re: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: SwarfnStuff on December 25, 2016, 10:56:39 PM
Wow Johnbaz,
  That's some casting.  No wonder it needed a 96 wheel trailer to move it. Good photo record of what you get up to on a daily basis.
John B
Title: Re: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: SDL on December 26, 2016, 04:18:20 AM
Nice to see some heavy engineering still going on in U.K.

Title: Re: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: awemawson on December 26, 2016, 04:54:58 AM
I echo Steve's comment - glad we still have some heavy engineering capabilities  :thumbup:

Title: Re: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: johnbaz on December 26, 2016, 07:56:04 AM
Unfortunately Health and Safety will end up closing our place  :(

On the burning scetion, To cut the heads off at almost 10' diameter, A 3' HiLo Oxy-Propane cutter is used in conjuntion with Oxygen lances, To get the volume of Oxy to push this much molten metal away we operate at 250psi with no anti blowback devices to hinder the flow, H&S have now said this isn't a safe working practice and have pushed big heavy brass holders that are protected against a blowback down the line (Something that's never happened in the 40years we've been doing it this way), This will reduce the thickness we're able to cut and so reduce the casting size, This work will most likely be lost to India or other such places where there are no concerns about safety..

In my bay, I cut scrap bars that I remove from the sand, I came on one day and my own tackle had gone and was replaced by a set with TWO anti blowback devices, When I lit the cutter and adjusted the preheat flame for working, It wouldn't cut when I applied the hi pressure, The anti blowbacks had slowed the flow of gas to the point that the flame drew out and wouldn't do as intended (The hi pressure robbed the pre heat Oxygen!)..

When I complained, Nothing was done to address the problem so now the bars will just stack up unless someone uses and old setup which will now be deemed, Illegal!! One step forwards and three steps back, I fear we won't be staying open and viable for much longer!!  :bang:

By the way, Here is an album of pic's taken by a really nice fella (Photographer) that came to our company, Davi Chang, He took some fab photoe's for anyone that may be interested.. (

John  :(

Title: Re: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: Pete. on December 26, 2016, 09:13:43 AM
Those are some great photos John.

Could you not bank-up the anti-blow-backs on a manifold to give you the required flow? It seems to me that it should be a viable solution.
Title: Re: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: mcostello on December 26, 2016, 11:59:54 AM
Next size bigger hose? I would fight tooth and nail before giving up ANY jobs.
Title: Re: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: SwarfnStuff on December 26, 2016, 11:33:13 PM
I agree with Pete,
Title: Re: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: Biggles on December 29, 2016, 03:58:58 AM
Title: Re: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: Joules on December 29, 2016, 06:57:18 AM
Both me and my other half have links with British steel.  Fond memories of time past when Sheffield was a still a thriving steel city.  My grandfather was a special steels inspector for Hadfields, I only recently cleared out his note books and records, but kept some of his books.  Engineering in the blood, thanks for the great photos.

Title: Re: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: millwright on December 29, 2016, 03:17:55 PM
Great photos John, I always remember the glow in the night sky as you neared Sheffield  on th M1 coming home from a weekend in London in the 60s and 70s.  All the well known Leeds heavy engineering gone now and the surviving skill base getting less and less as time takes its toll.

Title: Re: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: Will_D on December 29, 2016, 05:24:36 PM
I worked in Ebw Vale steel works for the summer shutdown 2 years running. 1970 & 71

Awesome place and awesome money for a student!

15 days straight double shifts!
Title: Re: Left Hanging in the Air !
Post by: hermetic on December 29, 2016, 05:58:48 PM
Used to stay at Wentworth in the seventies, and drive up to the motorway services at night and watch the glow and sparks as they tapped the furnaces at park get I think, was it wooley edge services?