THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Stanley
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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See THIS website for some interesting facts about about the Planet Foundry on Corporation Road Audenshaw which was part of the General Gas Appliances complex.

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Notice that the trailer in question is a four in line. The text is wrong in that Allied Ironfounders bought the design and licence to manufacture what became the Aga from a Scandinavian company. I remember my dad going to Copenhagen in I think it was 1946.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Johnny Pickles with his pattern maker in the shop at Wellhouse in 1924. When making a part for a repair the standard practice was to make a pattern and get a casting made. Today it would probably be done by milling out of the solid but in 1924 such machines did not exist. Patterns were made out of the best timbers and kept for years afterwards in case a replacement was needed. The pattern cost more than the casting.
Today, if a casting is needed, many patterns are made direct from the drawings by the use of 3D printers.
One thing that strikes me in this picture is that in 1924 Johnny hadn't yet assumed the dignity of the Bowler Hat!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Bob Fort using a small shaper in the Wellhouse shop in 1979 to make a couple of small cotters. Notice that there is a milling machine in the background that could do the job but he prefers the shaper. I doubt if you could find a shaper in commercial use today.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Head and tail stocks of a shell lathe on the planer at Brown and Pickles Wellhouse shop. WW2 war production. Like the shaper, I doubt if there is a single planing machine in commercial use in the country. At one time it was the standard method of generating flat surfaces or gang cutting as in this example.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Fire welding on the anvil. For thousands of years this was the only way to fuse two pieces of iron together. Heat them to 'welding heat' (When it starts sparking) in the fire and then hammer the two together so they fuse and 'weld' together. Superseded by oxy/acetylene welding and later in the 1930s by electric arc welding, variations of which are today the favoured method.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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At one time when all water piping was lead the wiped lead joint was universal but in today's plumbing is only used when modern copper pipe has to be connected to obsolete lead piping.
Traditionally a piece of Mole skin was used to shape the soft hot lead. Then special hard cloths were woven from cotton but still called moleskin.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Stanley wrote: 15 Jun 2021, 04:22 Then special hard cloths were woven from cotton but still called moleskin.
That makes me think of all the companies that sell granite tops for kitchens, granite cladding for buildings etc and most of the time the rock isn't granite. I've tackled them in the DIY stores and they just say `We call any hard rock granite'. In fact there are harder rocks than granite and also rocks that are less water permeable than granite. It's enough to make a geologist throw away his hammer! :smile:
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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In days long gone the builders round here used a very hard blue limestone for the bottom course of the walls because they said it was impervious to water and stopped rising damp. Don't bother trying to drill through them, just dig down another foot and go under them. They were only laid on the surface once the turf had been removed.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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This is a star drill and before the advent of tungsten carbide tipped drills and hammer functions this was the way you bored a hole on stone using a big hammer and lots of patience. For smaller holes there was the Rawldrill.

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All Flatley Dryer country now.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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This mangle looks antiquated now but a century ago was a wonderful innovation that made a housewife's work in the laundry so much easier. The wooden rollers wore in the middle and over time reduced the efficiency of the machine. The cure was to go to one of the numerous providers and get your rollers turned on a lathe or, if really badly worn, get new rollers made.

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When I rebuilt the machinery at Higher Mill, Helmshore I had to get a new squeeze roller made for the dolly scourer and one of the things we discovered was that if you didn't keep a large roller like this wet, it split.
This applied to the smaller rollers as well and wasn't cured until the advent of rubber rollers but even those wore in the middle and had to be replaced eventually.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Whyperion »

Some hand car wash places have got mangles for wringing out the wash leathers.
Wish we had space in the flat for one still as they are useful for getting the main water out without resorting to an electric spin - which can tangle the fabrics
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Another of the machines I rebuilt at Helmshore was the teasel raising gig. It was used to raise the nap on cloth using rows of dried teasels tied to the frames as the aggressive surface that lifted the nap of the cloth.
We had two Flatley Dryer problems. One was getting the right size of teasels, in the end we had to make do with Spanish ones which were slightly smaller. The other was getting properly seasoned wood of the right quality and length. At that time the vinegar distillery at Barrowford was being demolished and they had some very tall wooden vats, the staves of this were just the right material. I suspect it will be proof against rot and insects for many years because over the years it had been thoroughly infused with vinegar. It smelled lovely when you were cutting it.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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The waterwheel and fulling stocks at Higher Mill in 1980. Fulling was a process that originally was done by treading cloth in a mixture of lant (Old urine) and water to tighten up the weave by shrinking the woollen fibres.

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Treading cloth in Ireland in the 20th century.

This 'treading' of cloth was superseded by the fulling stocks like those at Helmshore but is remembered in that many fulling mills were called 'walk mills'.
One thing to note is that fulling is often confused with felting. This is a mistake, they are completely different processes.
In later years the stocks were in turn superseded by rotary fulling mills and this process is still used today when a dense thick woollen cloth is needed. One surprising use for such cloths I found was for wide moving belts on which biscuits cooled after leaving the oven. At one time it was used in paper making as well.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Forgive me but that last photo made me think of Monty Python! :smile:
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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I can see why Peter....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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We talked about tentering cloth recently and since then I have found some great pictures and the key was an internet search for 'tentering' that led me to This site.
Also, if you search the first edition OS 6" maps you can find tenter fields marked on them as in this case at Higher Mill Helmshore.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

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The Jubilee engine crankshaft and flywheel hub sat in Gissings shop in 2004 awaiting transport to Masson.
The Flatley Dryer element here is the flywheel hub, how it was made. It started life as a very complex iron casting, note that much of it is hollow. Then consider how it was machined and you soon realise that it was done entirely on the lathe and a very big lather at that! When the engine was built large planing machines were recent inventions and thin on the ground so all machining had to be done in the lathe. Many of the flat surfaces you see on other parts like the cranks were hand work. It would be made quite differently today.
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