Steam, steam and more steam

thunderd
22nd September 2005, 07:09
In the last few days the Discovery channel on satellite TV has had a couple of fascinating shows. Firstly let me confess I am not an engineer so don't shoot me down if my terminology is not correct.

The first one was about the old steam mechanism that used to lift the two halves of London Bridge. They have thankfully restored and preserved it and it is a massive and impressive piece of machinery. It is all gleaming steel rods and (I think brass bushes) they have painted parts of it in heritage red and green colours.

Apparently in its day it was very state of the art and was one of the first major steam engines to re-use the steam in a device called an accumulator.

The second show I saw was again all about steam engines in ships and explained the basics of things like triple expansion engines. They also showed the engine (not steam) in what was then the worlds biggest container ship, it was called the Shen**** something and weighed in at some 80-odd thousand tons, a very impressive ship.

I guess to those of you who worked these engines all your working life its all a bit boring but I must admit I find it fascinating just to see the raw power that steam can generate. I very much admire the people whose hobby is restoring old steam driven tugs, locomotives etc.

Santos
22nd September 2005, 21:19
Hi Derek,

My maternal grandfather was a Chief Engineer in Steam, a Lt Commander Engineering RNR in WW1 on destroyers and in peace time and WW2 he was a Chief Engineer with Elders and Fyffes.

The stories he told me about those engines and how they were the best in the world. How they tested the temperatures of bearings and other bits of machinery by touch, knowing exactly where and when to touch a moving part.
No temperature gauges just personal judgement and sound knowledge.

You are right, those men earned their money in pretty awful conditions. He was torpedoed in WW2 on a Fyffes ship, was down below and got washed out of a hole in the ships side, tearing his leg open from knee to ankle on the broken steel. It never healed properly and he was in and out of hospital all the time when I was a kid with ulcers from the fuel oil that had got in the wound.

He never tired of telling his little grandson ( me ) about the sea and his engines and his little grandson never tired of listening to him and went to sea too when he was old enough. However I went on deck, because I wanted to drive. Lazy or what ?

Chris.

lakercapt
22nd September 2005, 22:02
When I was on steamers they had to test between the webs to find out if the oil was going in. Had to time it with the rotation of the engine and put their hand in,palm vertical, and see if their fingers came out with a coating of oil. I was asked to try but declined. Like many sea going things it had a mystique and an acquired art.
Course the triple expansion was only! doing 65 revs/min flat out.

michael james
22nd September 2005, 22:53
I was on Deck but always had a significant interest in what went on down below (on ships with boilers and turbines) though was never lucky enough to sail on a up and downer.
Whilst on leave, and later, after I left the sea, I made model steam engines although I didnt consider my skill sufficient to tackle a triple expansion engine
- I still have the old Myford lathe and lots of tools.

John Rogers
22nd September 2005, 23:34
I felt many a bottom end in my watch below,and yes you can get your hand slapped hard if you don't hold it right. We are talking about steam engines are we not.
John.

billyboy
22nd September 2005, 23:52
Yes the timing was very important. My late grandfather was an engineer on a trawler out of Aberdeen. on one trip some cotton waste fell into the sump. as he thrust his hand down to retrieve it the trawler gave a violent roll and he miss timed it. engine took the back of his head off. My Father who was a stoker on a sister trawler got his orders from his mother to get out of engine rooms. hence he worked on deck and eventualy got his ticket there. Steam is fascinating, but, must be treated with respect.

thunderd
23rd September 2005, 00:04
I felt many a bottom end in my watch below,and yes you can get your hand slapped hard if you don't hold it right. We are talking about steam engines are we not.
John.

We have to get to the BOTTOM of this John I'm getting worried about how you are going to END up.

Kenneth Morley
23rd September 2005, 00:40
Steam, I started in 1945 as trimmer (aged17) after leaving the Pamir, why because the money was better 14pound 10 shillings plus 10 pounds war risk, firsttrip Newzealand to England from there on the next 20 years spent at sea both on deck and below, however I prefferd down below. I used Marrseille as my home port. I was happy shovelling coal. Great memories .Kenneth

thunderd
23rd September 2005, 06:25
Some great stories there and hopefully more to come.

Kenneth there is a very good thread called Stokers & Trimmers in the members notice board, some excellent stories well worth a read.

KenLin39
24th September 2005, 18:47
In the last few days the Discovery channel on satellite TV has had a couple of fascinating shows. Firstly let me confess I am not an engineer so don't shoot me down if my terminology is not correct.

The first one was about the old steam mechanism that used to lift the two halves of London Bridge. They have thankfully restored and preserved it and it is a massive and impressive piece of machinery. It is all gleaming steel rods and (I think brass bushes) they have painted parts of it in heritage red and green colours.

Apparently in its day it was very state of the art and was one of the first major steam engines to re-use the steam in a device called an accumulator.

The second show I saw was again all about steam engines in ships and explained the basics of things like triple expansion engines. They also showed the engine (not steam) in what was then the worlds biggest container ship, it was called the Shen**** something and weighed in at some 80-odd thousand tons, a very impressive ship.

I guess to those of you who worked these engines all your working life its all a bit boring but I must admit I find it fascinating just to see the raw power that steam can generate. I very much admire the people whose hobby is restoring old steam driven tugs, locomotives etc.

A bit lost here Derek, what London bridge are we talking about. Ken.

fred henderson
24th September 2005, 19:09
A bit lost here Derek, what London bridge are we talking about. Ken.
When the present London Bridge was built the previous one was bought by some town in western USA (In Arizona?). It was dismantled in London, all the stones were marked and it was re-erected in the US. The buyers were very disappointed. They thought that they had bought Tower Bridge. Do you think that we can repeat the trick Down Under, Derek?
Fred (Thumb)

thunderd
24th September 2005, 23:23
Sorry folks another senior moment perhaps, anyway it was some bridge, somewhere that opened in the middle. I'm just going to have to listen more closely as my wife always tells me LOL

R651400
25th September 2005, 10:03
How about Tower Bridge which seems the likely one Derek?

thunderd
25th September 2005, 10:24
Thanks Malcolm for putting me out of my misery, the other rotten so and sos left me hanging out to dry LOL

Doug Rogers
25th September 2005, 10:57
We did, we did, but we made sure the pegs had more than sufficient tolerance to support the strain.

R651400
25th September 2005, 17:49
Think we should do a wee bit of tartan-trumpet-blowing here Derek.
For what it's worth, the original London Bridge dismantled and shipped piecemeal for rebuilding in Arizona U.S. was designed by architect John Rennie born nr the village of East Linton, Dunbar, Scotland.
Some of Rennie's many other works include Grimsby, Leith and London docks.
Another son of Dunbar, Robert Wilson, inventor of the modern ship's propellor.
and yet another, John Muir founder of USA's national parks.

John Rogers
25th September 2005, 19:47
One time a Scotsman was asked "If Scotland was such a good place why is it that Scotsmen always leave" The answer was 'Well somebody had to go out in the world to educate the others."
Remembered that saying from way back when sailing on Donaldson's of Glasgow.
John.

thunderd
25th September 2005, 23:02
Malcolm & John I don't know why you think you had to trumpet the qualities of Scotsmen, it goes without saying that everybody knows they are a superior race.

billyboy
25th September 2005, 23:23
Hear Hear Derek. well said!

John Rogers
26th September 2005, 00:07
All I was doing was sucking up to a "SUPER MODERATOR"
John

Kenneth Morley
26th September 2005, 04:00
12/4 watch below. HI all are there any ex Aldinga or Aroona Fireman or Greasers out there. ex Australian coast, I joined in Port Kembla, in those days we New zealanders were pig islanders to the aussies great times were had on the coast Kenneth

neil maclachlan
26th September 2005, 22:07
Hi Thunderd,
Can't agree more with your comments--re Scotsmen. I am an old steam engineer having served my apprenticeship building old up and downers,alas when I went to sea I was assigned to motor ships and latterly steam turbines,I think I was good at wealding Monday Hammers?I sailed on one triple expansion steam engine,and boy, it was like a sewing machine---what nostalgic memories?
Neil Mac.

thunderd
27th September 2005, 00:18
Hi Thunderd,
Can't agree more with your comments--re Scotsmen. I am an old steam engineer having served my apprenticeship building old up and downers,alas when I went to sea I was assigned to motor ships and latterly steam turbines,I think I was good at wealding Monday Hammers?I sailed on one triple expansion steam engine,and boy, it was like a sewing machine---what nostalgic memories?
Neil Mac.

Neil, I didn't understand tha "Monday Hammers" could you enlighten me please?

Also talking about Scotsmen is it true that all the best steam engineers, regardless what the steam was powering, came from Scotland?

John Rogers
27th September 2005, 00:54
I bet Neil is talking about the big sledge hammer we used to hit the spanner wrench with to loosen the big nuts that held the bottom end together. Between shoveling coal and swinging that hammer thats how I developed my arms to look like Charles Atlas.
And with a hangover, working with that hammer was no fun.
John

thunderd
27th September 2005, 04:40
Thanks for that little Johnny but I can't understand how you got hangovers from attending church services, did you perhaps take too big a sip of the wine?

neil maclachlan
27th September 2005, 17:22
Hi John,
You are right, a Monday hammer was 28lb sledge uded to persuade the massive star spanners used to loosen up the big end bolt at the bottom of the connecting rod connecting the rod to the journal of the crankshaft. When I sailed on the "Australia Star" I was about the only engineer apart from some of the engine room ratings who was used to methods like this,the old Chief (out of John Browns,Clydebank,) would say let young Mac at it ,he'll move it. We also used to swing a ram on a chain block to do the same job.
Neil Mac.

lakercapt
27th September 2005, 18:43
Steam up and downers still exist and work well.
On Lake Muskoka there is the old Royal Mail Steamer "RMS Segwin".
She was shipped over from Scotland in sections and assembled on the lake. She has two small triple expansion steam engines that run like the proverbial sewing machines.
Does cruises all summer round the lake and a great day out for enineers and old sailors.
The engines were built in Goderich Ontario Canada.
If ever you have a chance its worth the trip.

lakercapt
27th September 2005, 18:52
Further to my last post about steam up and downers still working.
Spelt the name wrong, it is RMS Segwun and it was built in 1887 so its older than some of our super moderators!!!

michael james
27th September 2005, 19:14
I very much like your models Michael, how many more have you hidden away that we might be privelidge to see!. At most of the shows I attend there is nearly always a Model Engineer section with everything working on compressed air, and always a great crowd puller.

Ernest, Thank you for your kind words, I still have one of my first attempts, which is not worthy of public showing and yet it runs on steam or compressed air much more smoothly than the better looking models. All were machined from Stuart Turner casting sets - time consuming hobby 5 models in 12 years !

The model I was most proud of was a Coal mine winding engine, which I exhibited at a Model Engineer Exhibition in London in 1984 and I was offered what I considered silly money for it, thats the only one I no longer have, unfortunately I dont even have photographs as I passed over all photographic records of the build and later ones to the new owner.

For your eyes only, first attempt photo ! Dont look too closely

Kind regards

Santos
27th September 2005, 19:41
Well done Mike, lovely model, its a pity about the winding engine, I would like to have seen that one.

I have great respect and admiration for model builders especially those of working engines like yours. The time, effort and skill that goes into making those tiny metal parts is fantastic. You all must have tremendous patience.

I imagine you must get a great thrill seeing the models working after all the hard work you have put into them, a great reward.

Chris.

John Rogers
27th September 2005, 20:00
Hi Neil, yes that was a big hammer to swing. Because I was always willing to learn new things I was picked on to help the engineers all the time,ended up doing things they should do like packing the seals on the pumps and tearing down the generators to put new rings on the pistons. I must say it never hurt me to do it. One job I didn't like was on the big diesels when we had to clean out the sludge from inside the engines being only 5 ft 7in I would slip right into the access plates,and I was always glad to slip right out again. The way I dressed for that job was to cut two holes in a burlap sack for my legs and do the same for my arms in another sack and thats the way I went into the engine. I wonder if they done it that way in later years. What a dirty black mess that was,took days to get myself clean again.
John.

Ron Stringer
27th September 2005, 22:40
[QUOTE=thunderd "the old steam mechanism that used to lift the two halves of London Bridge".

The proper term for the lifting roadway decks on Tower Bridge is "bascules". As far as I recall (and others older and wiser will correct me) the moving parts of Tower Bridge were driven by hydraulic power. In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, parts of London were equipped with a hydraulic power supply which was used to drive many moving facilities, such as lifts (elevators to those of you West of Greenwich) in hotels and office buildings. A sort of ring main of hydraulic pipes ran under the streets of the city and business premises took out a contract with the supply company and were then connected to the hydraulic main in the street outside. The company that supplied this service was in direct competition with the electricity companies that sprang up to supply power to the metropolis.

Tower Bridge was only one of many users of the service.

Ron

neil maclachlan
28th September 2005, 17:19
Hi John,
My you bring back memories to me re cleaning the scavenge ducts on B&W two stroke engines,I used to feel sorry for the lads dressed as you descibe with rags out the rag bag over their heads--what a mess,try and get that stuff out your nails, commonly known as scavenge sh---t
Cheers
Neil Mac.

John Rogers
28th September 2005, 18:44
Not good memories Neil but memories no less. I'm wondering what clothing they wear these days and do they receive extra money for that kind of work. Its Possible that kind of work be contracted out to some native Contractor staffed with small people.
Like Munchkins!! from the Wizard of OZ. Note: Derek notice I did not say the land of OZ
John.

japottinger
28th September 2005, 19:43
Apart from getting the timing right the most dangerous thing when "feeling round" on a triple expansion engine was if a piece of a thin shim had been left protruding out between the faces of top and bottom ends.

KIWI
18th October 2005, 06:51
Steam Engines.When I joined Kronviken a Liberty I was down below leaving Welligton & on being shown how& told to feel the big ends Ifelt like packing my bags to go ashore in the Pilot boat.That egine was a tiddler compared to those on Maloja.A film of those engines at if I remember rightly 70 odd revs would fascinate many people in this day & age. Kiwi

Burwah
18th October 2005, 09:47
There is a steamship still in regular service in N.Z. It is the SS Earnslaw, built in 1911 to service the farms and settlements of the upper reaches of Lake Wakatipu in the South Island, but is now mainly used as a tourist attraction.
It is 329 GRT, and has twin triple expansion engines supplied with steam from two coal fired boilers.
Sid.

Burwah
20th October 2005, 10:51
Kiwi, it may be of some interest to you that at least one triple expansion engine has been recorded on film while at sea. Included in it are two separate shots showing the watchkeeper feeling both the top and bottom ends which has been a matter of discussion through this thread.
The filming was done in 1963 on the Balarr, which was engaged on the Australian Coastal trade.
Some footage of this film has been incorporated in a video produced by Des Cox of Snowbow Productions. The video is "Ships to New Zealand", (Part 5), Episode 22. There is also footage depicting the routine life on board an ordinary old cargo ship, both above and below decks as it was back in the 1950's, with shots of a Doxford engine probably not seen before.
Sid.

bobby388
15th December 2005, 03:42
hi derek dont know if youve seen poem by kipling macandrews hymn its very long but my fav verse goes i stand the middle watch up here alone wi god an these my engines efter 90days o rake an rack an strain thro a the seas o thy world slam bangin home again slam bang to much she knocks a wee the crosshead jibs are loose but thirty thousand miles o sea has geid them fair excuse p.s not a steam man myself but if any body would like the lot give me a messg (bobby)glagow cheers

R651400
15th December 2005, 04:11
Hi John,
My you bring back memories to me re cleaning the scavenge ducts on B&W two stroke engines,I used to feel sorry for the lads dressed as you descibe with rags out the rag bag over their heads--what a mess,try and get that stuff out your nails, commonly known as scavenge sh---t
Cheers
Neil Mac.

What I would like to know, looking at photographs of pristine modern engine and control rooms, does this sludge cleaning still occur?
The fuel must be the same and presumably the diesel engine behind all that casing is producing the same residue as before?

raybnz
16th December 2005, 06:37
If some of you guys are interested in firing coal into a scotch boiler be on the Devonport Wharf here in Auckland tomorrow afternoon (Saturday 17th December) and you can do the honours.Plenty of spare shovels to go around.The steam tug W C Daldy only takes 1 1/2 tons per hour if the skipper wants to go water skiing.

Also you could have a go at feeling for warm bearings too.But a well maintained and loved triple expansion steam engine run smooth.Just as Mr Weirs pumps do also.

Doug Rogers
16th December 2005, 07:59
Sorry, would love to join you, apart from 3 stuffed lower vertebrae and a host of Xmas engagements...enjoy..I will be with you in spirit...

Doxfordman
16th December 2005, 09:44
If only I lived in KIWI and not Tassie, served with a lot of Scotch boilers, some converted to burn oil and not coal.

R651400, yes scavange sh.t still does occur, the fuel quality these days is even worse then in my day, but there of course plans afoot by IMO to change all of that and reduce the sulpher content, a new MARPOL ruling. Modern engines do burn a lot cleaner but the old scavange clean still needs to be done - load up the rag bin!

R58484956
16th December 2005, 16:02
As mentione d in post 13 ss Earnslaw has a scott chief engineer, with a chiefs and used to work for Bibby line.

R651400
16th December 2005, 17:22
Thanks for reply D-man.
The mind boggles at the pollution created by all the ships in the world's oceans burning what I can assume is as close to crude as you can get.
Likewise all the oil rigs you see burning off excess gasses.
Mind you, the British govt I believe is taking this global warming problem really seriously.
They have introduced a quango to look into how to stop cows farting.
Aparently the amount of methane in all the cowfarts throughout the world is so high it adds drastically to global warming.
Research into ship, aeroplane and any other emissions will no doubt be held in abeyance until this problem is resolved.

KIWI
16th December 2005, 20:09
Steam Engines.There has been mention of engines running like "sewing machines" but the best examples I have seen were the Bellis Morcom driven generators on the old Union Co Wahine.They just purred & more noise could be heard from the generator brushes.A much bigger working BM can be seen in Sydney Maritime Museum. KIWI

raybnz
18th December 2005, 00:22
Last night while doing a bit of driving on Daldys Starboard engine I wondered why Mr Weir built that special moan into their feed pumps. Our port feed pump has a nice moan built into it and it can be heard all around the tug.

I suppose it was that way so the duty engineer could lay in his bunk while alongside and know all is well with boiler feed system. Should he awake and not hear it he would no doubt arrive on the plates to find the fireman bashing the **** out of the shuttle valve.

A terrific reliable simple pump and a credit to the tradesmen that manufactured them.

ps: one of the engineers was asked by a passenger where the ignition key was to start the engines. At least it wasnt for a bucket of steam or the golden rivet.

KIWI
18th December 2005, 05:41
Re B&M engines.Had an aged moment it is the old Pyrmont Power House museum that has a quite big working B&M engine not the Maritime. KIWI

Phill
18th December 2005, 13:09
Tower Bridge. I’m lucky enough to work just 5 minutes away from her, come all weathers I have spent many an hour there, having taken many hours of video of all forms of shipping , of which I’m slowly converting to CD, I say her, do they not class her as a ship, a busy city like London and still traffic has to give way to shipping, although when the bridge is raised this causes very little disruption to traffic, as all is timed to perfection, the engines you talk about are in a separate building below the bridge on the south side of the river, an excellent exhibition even down to the oily engine room smell, well worth a visit.

for lifting times and prices visit the site www.towerbridge.org.uk

Phill

janbonde
18th December 2005, 16:54
kenneth morley a great port as a home base Marrsellie

douglasjamesmichael
18th December 2005, 20:51
Last night while doing a bit of driving on Daldys Starboard engine I wondered why Mr Weir built that special moan into their feed pumps. Our port feed pump has a nice moan built into it and it can be heard all around the tug.

I suppose it was that way so the duty engineer could lay in his bunk while alongside and know all is well with boiler feed system. Should he awake and not hear it he would no doubt arrive on the plates to find the fireman bashing the **** out of the shuttle valve.

A terrific reliable simple pump and a credit to the tradesmen that manufactured them.

ps: one of the engineers was asked by a passenger where the ignition key was to start the engines. At least it wasnt for a bucket of steam or the golden rivet.


Thank you - I was one of these men during my apprenticeship at G&J Weir / Weir Pumps

billmaca
22nd January 2006, 18:51
I dont think most folk I speak to dont beleave it when you tell them that you used to hang on to a hand rail and stick your hand into the crank of an engine steam of course with just a small strip of steel plate to stop your feet going in with her rolling all over the place, you had to watch the oil pipe dpwn to the bigend as it could grip the fingers they were lovely engines all the same

jock paul
22nd June 2006, 19:00
First time I have read this thread. Brings back happy memories. Feeling bottom end bearing by hand. God help the engineer who had refitted a bottom end bearing without trimming his brass shims! It could tear your hand open. Also nostalgia for the "groan" of well fitted bucket rings on a Weir's pump. The usual way of testing whether these needed attention was to open water to the pump, close the discharge valve and count the number of strokes per minute. On a well fitted pump it wasn't more than about 3.

BarryM
27th June 2006, 21:31
Hi John,
You are right, a Monday hammer was 28lb sledge uded to persuade the massive star spanners used to loosen up the big end bolt at the bottom of the connecting rod connecting the rod to the journal of the crankshaft. When I sailed on the "Australia Star" I was about the only engineer apart from some of the engine room ratings who was used to methods like this,the old Chief (out of John Browns,Clydebank,) would say let young Mac at it ,he'll move it. We also used to swing a ram on a chain block to do the same job.
Neil Mac.

I well remember the 28lb Monday hammer and the skill/strength needed to swing it. What I never found out was why it was called a 'Monday' hammer?

KIWI
14th October 2006, 22:13
Would remind NZ members that there is a very good Steam Museum at Tokomaru,on highway 57 between Levin & Palmerston North.It is some years since I visited but they frequently fire up the boiler & have everthing working.Kiwi

Gulpers
14th October 2006, 22:47
I well remember the 28lb Monday hammer and the skill/strength needed to swing it. What I never found out was why it was called a 'Monday' hammer?

Barry,

How's this from an ex Deck Officer?

I've heard two versions of the "Monday Hammer" definition.

1/ In the yards a "Monday Hammer" was so called because it weighed 28lbs, and if you used it on a Monday, you were on the sick for the rest of the week!

2/ The second version was that shipyard workers came to work suitably refreshed after the weekend (as if) and were able to wield the heavy hammer on Mondays! (Thumb)

BarryM
15th October 2006, 11:30
Barry,

How's this from an ex Deck Officer?

I've heard two versions of the "Monday Hammer" definition.

1/ In the yards a "Monday Hammer" was so called because it weighed 28lbs, and if you used it on a Monday, you were on the sick for the rest of the week!

2/ The second version was that shipyard workers came to work suitably refreshed after the weekend (as if) and were able to wield the heavy hammer on Mondays! (Thumb)

Ray,

If either is correct my money is on No. 1.

Cheers

Barry

Gulpers
15th October 2006, 11:33
Yeah Barry, on reflection, you are probably right! (Jester)

Hawkeye
15th October 2006, 15:01
Hi
I remember reading a story about steam engines in a paddle steamer. A new engineer was joining one of the Paddle Steamers, somewhere in the Clyde. The previous Chief was either on leave or just retired, having been with the ship since she was built. Something went wrong with the engines, can't remember what, and the new boy couldn't fathom out what was wrong. He tried everything he could think off. After starting, it stopped after a while. This continued for some time. Anyway, during a rest period, he found a small note book, hidden away a corner of the engine room. He started reading it and found it was written by the previous engineer. It had solutions to some of the problems he had picked up on during the time he spent there, including what he did when the engine did this. The new boy found the problem was a recurring one, with a simple remedy. Find such and such spot of engine, and hit it with a hammer. He did, and had no more problems.

My only time seeing a steam engine in action was on the Waverly, during a tour of the Clyde, when I was camping up there with the Scouts.

Regards
Karl

BarryM
15th October 2006, 16:01
Brings to mind the story of the newly-promoted Fourth Engineer standing his first night-watch in full charge. Worried that a bearing felt too hot, he woke the Chief from his slumbers to report it.

"Exactly how hot is it?" asked the Chief.
"Well I'm not exactly sure, Chief", replied the Fourth.
"Listen son," grunted the Chief, "Spit on it - and if it doesn't spit back, it's not too hot. Goodnight to ye."

.....and the Chief was right!

Peter Dryden
15th October 2006, 17:48
Talking about, "Feeling Bottom Ends", was this not what Steve McQueen was doing in the film, "The Sand Pebbles" just before the little chinese fellow got under the crank journal to do a repair and was subsequently crushed when the engine turned.
The "Star Spanners" that were wellied with the monday hammer were these not called Flogging Spanners.

jock paul
15th October 2006, 18:38
Talking about, "Feeling Bottom Ends", was this not what Steve McQueen was doing in the film, "The Sand Pebbles" just before the little chinese fellow got under the crank journal to do a repair and was subsequently crushed when the engine turned.
The "Star Spanners" that were wellied with the monday hammer were these not called Flogging Spanners.

yes, Peter, flogging spanner it was. Bloody great heavy things. Sometimes it was all I could do to lift the spanner, never mind wield the hammer. All these spanners had a hole in them at the "hitting" end so that you could pass a piece of line through for one man to hold the spanner taut while it was being struck with the hammer.
Cheers. jock.

Riptide
4th March 2008, 01:17
Barry,

How's this from an ex Deck Officer?

I've heard two versions of the "Monday Hammer" definition.

1/ In the yards a "Monday Hammer" was so called because it weighed 28lbs, and if you used it on a Monday, you were on the sick for the rest of the week!

2/ The second version was that shipyard workers came to work suitably refreshed after the weekend (as if) and were able to wield the heavy hammer on Mondays! (Thumb)

There is a skill to using a hammer,For those that do not know,you do not choke a hammer & let the weight of the head do the work,all you have to do is guide it.Sounds easy & looks easy used by a skilled man.Kenny.

JeffM
5th March 2008, 11:04
For a number of years I was a greaser and occasional cook on the tug Wattle - a compound oil burner. Stand out memory is that of the ANL engineers who came to spend summer on the Wattle in order to keep up time on their steam tickets. My standing order for breakfast from them was rum, milk and weetbix - the engine room was always a happy place after breakfast.

JoK
5th March 2008, 12:01
I started on Skinner steam engines-no feeling of bottoms ends on there!! They run about 120RPM, on a long run could get 135 RPM, probably more if we put bigger tips into the boiler.
I smiled when I read the post about the Weir feed pumps groaning. Same as the extraction pumps-you could lay in the bunk and tell if the engineer on watch had the recirc on to the condensor or the LP filter was dirty, by the noise they made.
Good days.
Google SS Master, there is some stuff on YouTube. A pretty little steam plant on a well kept BC tug.

joebuckham
5th March 2008, 12:18
9377I well remember the 28lb Monday hammer and the skill/strength needed to swing it. What I never found out was why it was called a 'Monday' hammer

Colin Clark Economic Journal (U.K.) (Mar.) “Review: Economics and Sociology of Industry. A Realistic Analysis of Development.” vol. 75, no. 297, p. 190: Professor Sargant Florence still seems surprised that absenteeism should be at its highest on Mondays.…From its relatively greater incidence among unskilled men, he asks whether it is due to boredom, and does not discuss the possiblity that it may be due to sheer physical incapacity (on Clydeside a hammer with a very thick head is known as a “Monday hammer"). (Jester)

Pat Thompson
5th March 2008, 12:50
Greetings,

MacAndrew's Hymn.

Lord, Thou hast made this world below the shadow of a dream,
An', taught by time, I tak' it so---exceptin' always Steam.
From coupler-flange to spindle-guide I see Thy Hand, O God---
Predestination in the stride o' yon connectin'-rod.
John Calvin might ha' forged the same---enorrmous, certain, slow---
Ay, wrought it in the furnace-flame---my "Institutio."
I cannot get my sleep to-night; old bones are hard to please;
I'll stand the middle watch up here---alone wi' God an' these
My engines, after ninety days o' rase an' rack an' strain
Through all the seas of all Thy world, slam-bangin' home again.
Slam-bang too much---they knock a wee---the crosshead-gibs are loose,
But thirty thousand mile o' sea has gied them fair excuse....
Fine, clear an'dark---a full-draught breeze, wi' Ushant out o' sight,
An' Ferguson relievin' Hay. Old girl, ye'll walk to-night!
His wife's at Plymouth.... Seventy---One---Two---Three since he began---
Three turns for Mistress Ferguson... and who's to blame the man?
There's none at any port for me, by drivin' fast or slow,
Since Elsie Campbell went to Thee, Lord, thirty years ago.
(The year the Sarah Sands was burned. Oh roads we used to tread,
Fra' Maryhill to Pollokshaws--fra' Govan to Parkhead!)
Not but that they're ceevil on the Board. Ye'll hear Sir Kenneth say:
"Good morn, McAndrew! Back again? An' how's your bilge to-day?"
Miscallin' technicalities but handin' me my chair
To drink Madeira wi' three Earls---the auld Fleet Engineer
That started as a boiler-whelp---when steam and he were low.
I mind the time we used to serve a broken pipe wi' tow!
Ten pound was all the pressure then---Eh! Eh!---a man wad drive;
An' here, our workin' gauges give one hunder sixty-five!
We're creepin' on wi' each new rig---less weight an' larger power;
There'll be the loco-boiler next an' thirty miles an hour!
Thirty an' more. What I ha' seen since ocean-steam began
Leaves me na doot for the machine: but what about the man?
The man that counts, wi' all his runs, one million mile o' sea:
Four time the span from Earth to Moon.... How far, O Lord from thee
That wast beside him night an' day? Ye mind my first typhoon?
It scoughed the skipper on his way to jock wi' the saloon.
Three feet were on the stokehold-floor---just slappin' to an' fro---
An' cast me on a furnace-door. I have the marks to show.
Marks! I ha' marks o' more than burns---deep in my soul an' black,
An' times like this, when things go smooth, my wickudness comes back.
The sins o' four an' forty years, all up an' down the seas.
Clack an' repeat like valves half-fed.... Forgie's our trespasses!
Nights when I'd come on to deck to mark, wi' envy in my gaze,
The couples kittlin' in the dark between the funnel-stays;
Years when I raked the Ports wi' pride to fill my cup o' wrong---
Judge not, O Lord, my steps aside at Gay Street in Hong-Kong!
Blot out the wastrel hours of mine in sin when I abode---
Jane Harrigan's an' Number Nine, The Reddick an' Grant Road!
An' waur than all---my crownin' sin---rank blasphemy an' wild.
I was not four and twenty then---Ye wadna judge a child?
I'd seen the Tropics first that run---new fruit, new smells, new air---
How could I tell---blinf-fou wi' sun--- the Deil was lurkin' there?
By day like playhouse-scenes the shore slid past our sleepy eyes;
By night thos soft, lasceevious stars leered from those velvet skies,
In port (we used no cargo-steam) I'd daunder down the streets---
An ijjit grinnin' in a dream---for shells an' parrakeets,
An' walkin'-sticks o' carved bamboo an' blowfish stuffed an' dried---
Fillin' my bunk wi' rubbishry the Cheif put overside.
Till, off Sambawa Head, Ye mind, I heard a land-breeze ca',
Milk-warm wi' breath o' spice an' bloom: "McAndrew, Come awa'!"
Firm, clear an' low---no haste, no hate---the ghostly whisper went,
Just statin' eevidential facts beyon' all argument:
"Your mither's god's a graspin' deil, the shadow o' yoursel',
"Got out o' books by meenisters clean daft on Heaven an' Hell.
"They mak' him in the Broomielaw, o' Glasgie cold an' dirt,
"A jealous, pridefu' fetich, lad, that's only strong to hurt.
"Ye'll not go back to Him again an' kiss His red-hot rod,
"But come wi' Us" (Now who were They?) "an' know the Leevin' God,
"That does not kipper souls for sport or break a life in jest,
"But swells the ripenin' cocoanuts an' ripes the woman's breast."
An' there it stopped: cut off: no more; that quiet, certain voice---
For me, six months o' twenty-four, to leave or take at choice.
'Twas on me like a thunderclap---it racked me through an' through---
Temptation past the show o' speech, unnameable an' new---
The Sin against the Holy Ghost?... An' under all, our screw.

That storm blew by but left behind her anchor-shiftin' swell.
thou knowest all my heart an' mind, Thou knowest, Lord, I fell---
Third on the Mary Gloster then, and first that night in Hell!
Yet was Thy Hand beneath my head, about my feet Thy Care---
Fra' Deli clear to Torres Strait, the trial o' despair,
But when we touched the Barrier Reef Thy answer to my prayer!...
We wared na run that sea by night but lay an' held our fire,
An' I was drowsin' on the hatch---sick---sick wi' doubt an' tire:
"Better the sight of eyes that see than wanderin' o' desire!"
Ye mind that word? Clear as gongs---again, an' once again,
When rippin' down through coral-trash ran out our moorin'-chain:
An', by Thy Grace, I had the light to see my duty plain.
Light on the engine-room---no more---bright as our carbons burn.
I've lost it since a thousand times, but never past return!

Obsairve! Per annum we'll have here two thousand souls aboard---
Think not I dare to justify myself before the Lord,
But---average fifteen hunder souls safe-born fra' port to port---
I am o' service to my kind. Ye wadna blame the thought?
Maybe they steam from Grace to Wrath---to sin by folly led---
It isna mine to judge their path---their lives are on my head.
Mine at the last---when all is done it all comes back to me,
The fault that leaves six thousand ton a log upon the sea.
We'll tak' one stretch---three weeks an odd by ony road ye steer---
Fra' Cape Town east to Wellington---ye need an engineer.
Fail there---ye've time to weld your shaft---ay, eat it, ere ye're spoke;
Or make Kergueen under sail---three jiggers burned wi' smoke!
An' home again---the Rio run: it's no child's play to go
Steamin' to bell for fourteen days o' snow an' floe an' blow.
The beergs like kelpies oversde that girn an' turn an' shift
Whaur, grindin' like the Mills o' God, goes by the big South drift.
(Hail, Snow and Ice that praise the Lord. I've met them at their work,
An wished we had anither route or they another kirk.)
Yon's strain, hard strain, o' head an' hand, for though Thy Power brings
All skill to naught, Ye'll underatand a man must think o' things.
Then, at the last, we'll get to port an' hoist their baggage clear---
The passengers, wi' gloves an' canes---an' this is what I'll hear:
"Well, thank ye for a pleasant voyage. The tender's comin' now."
While I go testin' follower-bolts an' watch the skipper bow.
They've words for every one but me---shake hands wi' half the crew,
Except the dour Scots engineer, the man they never knew.
An' yet I like the wark for all we've dam' few pickin's here---
No pension, an' the most we'll earn's four hunder pound a year.
Better myself abroad? Maybe. I'd sooner starve than sail
Wi' such as call a snifter-rod ross.... French for nightingale.
Commeesion on my stores? Some do; but I cannot afford
To lie like stewards wi' patty-pans. I'm older than the Board.
A bonus on the coal I save? Ou ay, the Scots are close,
But when I grudge the strength Ye gave I'll grudge their food to those.
(There's bricks that I might recommend---an' clink the firebars cruel.
No! Welsh---Wangarti at the worst---an' damn all patent fuel!)
Inventions? Ye must stay in port to mak' a patent pay.
My Deeferential Valve-Gear taught me how that business lay.
I blame no chaps wi' clearer heads for aught they make or sell.
I found that I could not invent an' look to these as well.
So, wrestled wi' Apollyon---Nah!---fretted like a bairn---
But burned the workin'-plans last run, wi' all I hoped to earn.
Ye know how hard an Idol dies, an' what that meant to me---
E'en tak' it for a sacrifice acceptable to Thee....
Below there! Oiler! What's your wark? Ye find it runnin' hard?
Ye needn't swill the cup wi' oil---this isn't the Cunard!
Ye thought? Ye are not paid to think. Go, sweat that off again!
Tck! Tck! It's deeficult to sweer nor tak' The Name in vain!
Men, ay an' women, call me stern. Wi' these to oversee,
Ye'll note I've little time to burn on social repartee.
The bairns see what their elders miss; they'll hunt me to an' fro,
Till for the sake of---well, a kiss---I tak' 'em down below.
That minds me of our Viscount loon---Sir Kenneth's kin---the chap
Wi' Russia leather tennis-shoon an' spar-decked yachtin'-cap.
I showed him round last week, o'er all---an' at the last says he:
"Mister McAndrew, Don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit! I'd been doon that morn to see what ailed the throws,
Manholin', on my back---the cranks three inches off my nose.
Romance! Those first-class passengers they like it very well,
Printed an' bound in little books; but why don't poets tell?
I'm sick of all their quirks an' turns---the loves an' doves they dream---
Lord, send a man like Robbie Burns to sing the Song o' Steam!
To match wi' Scotia's noblest speech yon orchestra sublime
Whaurto---uplifted like the Just---the tail-rods mark the time.
The crank-throws give the double-bass, the feed-pump sobs an' heaves,
An' now the main eccentrics start their quarrel on the sheaves:
Her time, her own appointed time, the rocking link-head bides,
Till---hear that note?---the rod's return whings glimmerin' through the guides.
They're all awa'! True beat, full power, the clangin' chorus goes
Clear to the tunnel where they sit, my purrin' dynamos.
Interdependence absolute, forseen, ordained, decreed,
To work, Ye'll note, at ony tilt an' every rate o' speed.
Fra' Skylight-lift to furnace-bars, backed, bolted, braced an' stayed.
An' singin' like the Mornin' Stars for joy that they are made;
While, out o' touch o' vanity, the sweatin' thrust-block says:
"Not unto us the praise, or man---not unto us the praise!"
Now, a' together, hear them lift their lesson---theirs an' mine:
"Law, Orrder, Duty an' Restraint, Obedience, Discipline!"
Mill, forge an' try-pit taught them that when roarin' they arose,
An' whiles I wonder if a soul was gied them wi' the blows.
Oh for a man to weld it then, in one trip-hammer strain,
Till even first-class passengers could tell the meanin' plain!
But no one cares except mysel' that serve an' understand
My seven thousand horse-power here. Eh Lord! They're grand---they're grand!
Uplift am I? When first in store the new-made beasties stood,
Were Ye cast down that breathed the Word declarin' all things good?
Not so! O' that warld-liftin' joy no after-fall could vex,
Ye've left a glimmer still to cheer the Man---the Arrtifex!
That holds, in spite o' knock and scale, o' friction, waste an' slip,
An' by that light---now, mark my word---we'll build the Perfect Ship.
I'll never last to judge her lines, or take her curve---not I.
But I ha' lived an' I ha' worked. Be thanks to Thee, Most High!
An' I ha' done what I ha' done---judge Thou if ill or well---
Always Thy grace preventin' me....
Losh! Yon's the "Stand-by" bell.
Pilot so soon? His flare it is. The mornin'-watch is set.
Well, God be thanked, as I was sayin', I'm no Pelagian yet.
Now, I'll tak' on....
'Morrn, Ferguson. Man, have ye ever thought
What your good leddy costs in coal?... I'll burn 'em down to port.

Rudyard Kipling

Aye

Pat Thompson

You can't Get enough photos of "O'Boats"

He also made exceedingly good cakes (exclam)

BarryM
5th March 2008, 13:01
9377

Colin Clark Economic Journal (U.K.) (Mar.) “Review: Economics and Sociology of Industry. A Realistic Analysis of Development.” vol. 75, no. 297, p. 190: Professor Sargant Florence still seems surprised that absenteeism should be at its highest on Mondays.…From its relatively greater incidence among unskilled men, he asks whether it is due to boredom, and does not discuss the possiblity that it may be due to sheer physical incapacity (on Clydeside a hammer with a very thick head is known as a “Monday hammer"). (Jester)

B***** Hell Joe! Is that what you do for light reading? (No pun intended.)

Barry M (EEK)

joebuckham
5th March 2008, 13:13
hi barry,
the truth is i did`nt know why the monday hammer was so called so i went surfing but now i've found this author i can't wait to get to the library to see what else he's wrote, then i can throw away the sleeping tablets.(Whaaa)

albert.s.i
12th March 2008, 12:10
i remember those words steam steam and more steam, only i was fireman in coal burners and to me it ment coal coal and more coal, to keep up the steam pressure the sweat rag around your neck was forever getting rung out but now all that was coal burning is now oil, and now as donkeyman i kept the 8 to 12 watch for the chief engineer got to lubricate and feel the bottem ends of the triple expansion steam engine and it became quite easy after awhile and became confidant when joining other ships. albert.s.i

BlythSpirit
12th March 2008, 16:57
JeffM
Stand out memory is that of the ANL engineers who came to spend summer on the Wattle in order to keep up time on their steam tickets.

Since when did a steam engineer's "ticket" have an expiry date? Mine must be well out of date!!(Jester)

Jim S
12th March 2008, 17:25
Jeff

Since when did a steam engineer's "ticket" have an expiry date? Mine must be well out of date!!(Jester)

The above rather grand sounding title means that for those of us who hold certificates of competency issued before28th April 1984 who wish to continue to serve at sea in a capacity that requires a "ticket" require to obtain a document entitled Certificate of Continued Proficiency and Updating of Knowledge. Valid for 5 years and requires renewal every 5 years.
I think it is fair to say that those of us who obtained our tickets before 1984 would have great difficulty now in re-validating our tickets
I think this is what is now known as STCW 95 when these changes came into force in 1995.

ccurtis1
12th March 2008, 18:38
Steam !!!!!
HOT FOG
Nuff said

JoK
12th March 2008, 19:23
Ah, STCW, when my steam ticket power rating instantly dropped by over 2/3rds. Not that I will be using it but I worked damm hard to get that(Cloud)

BlythSpirit
14th March 2008, 02:32
Certificate of Continued Proficiency and Updating of Knowledge

Thanks for that Jim - at 60 years old I don't think I'll bother.
Like Jok (and everyone else) I worked hard for my tickets, and will allow them to remain along with my fathers war medals in the old Oxo tin for my grandson!!

Doxfordman
14th March 2008, 05:09
STCW 95 has a lot to answer for. I have a Steam and Motor, Class 1 COC.

Because I still work in the industry with medium speed / high speed marine diesels I can re validate my motor ticket, should I feel the need, but as there is no such thing as steam fast craft, my steam ticket has lapsed. To regain it I would have to go back to sea as a junior watch keeping engineer. On reflection probably right too.

Strange but true.

JoK
14th March 2008, 09:32
Good thing I work in the marine industry ashore or my ticket would be dead. Since I have been ashore, ISM has happened and ISPS. It would be strange to go back and deal with all of that garbage close up and personal. I don't know how the Chiefs handle all the paperwork.

Pat Thompson
14th March 2008, 10:48
Greetings,

JoK mon brave, I suspect that Chief's handle the paper hemorrhage the same way that I did....with the contempt it deserved.

Aye

Pat Thompson

You can't get enough photos of "O'Boats"

surfaceblow
14th March 2008, 16:37
My first Chief's job the required paper work took 4 hours a day. For the machinery history I would put an extra carbon paper so when I typed in the request for the spares that was used to repair the machinery I would have a completed history plus parts used. I used the other 4 hours a day for inspecting the vessel and doing odd improvements or making parts that were not available any more for the T2 I was on.

When I got a computer the paper work went to 8 hours a day the computerized stores and maintenance program could not use the same database so I had to enter the same information several times for each program.
With e-mails the paperwork went to 12-14 hours a day. I would get up early just to read my e-mails most mornings there would be around 80 - 100 urgent request for information. The ones that I could not answer with out inspection or measurements I would bring with me on my walk around the ship my only joy of not beening stuck in the office.
I would have more paperwork but the company put in a network on the ship so the crew member could access the maintenance program from the engineroom and enter there own reports. Look up parts in the spares program. Once the part is removed from the store room a report is generated for part reordering.
The only problem was that the network supervisor was the Chief Engineer this added another hour a day with the Steward adding programs to his workstation and forgetting his password.

Bob McColl
18th April 2008, 07:12
It's an old tale that you can go on any ship in the world and open the engine room door and shout "Hey Jock" and sure as hell you'll here "WHIT"

orcades
31st July 2008, 20:59
I felt many a bottom end in my watch below,and yes you can get your hand slapped hard if you don't hold it right. We are talking about steam engines are we not.
John.

No one seems to mention the top end, if the centers of the crosshead had,nt been ragged after machining it cut circles[ usually in ones fingers] and for some unknow reason more oftern than not it was the index finger,I still have a faint scar from an above meeting.(Smoke)

Ghost
14th August 2008, 23:33
Blythspirt.
Yours in an oxo tin too! Didn't get the tin from Renwick stores with a 1/2d bag of sherbet and a stick of liquorice did you?

JoK
15th August 2008, 10:38
Greetings,

JoK mon brave, I suspect that Chief's handle the paper hemorrhage the same way that I did....with the contempt it deserved.

Aye

Pat Thompson

You can't get enough photos of "O'Boats"


The Chiefs I deal with are working until 22-2300 at night doing paperwork.
But, they change every 28 days, so they tag-team me. I get about 5 days breather on crew change week. The off going Chief is doing his end of shift paperwork, then the new guy has to get up speed. Always glad to see them sail.

japottinger
26th August 2008, 16:37
Re "feeling round bottom ends" (what a phrase that is in these PC days!)
The one thing we were always taught was when taking leads, adjusting clearances etc on the crankpin and using shims was to NEVER allow and shim to protrude out past the faces of the top and bottom end halves. This was a sue way of taking off the points of your fingers when feeling round.

bluenoser
26th August 2008, 17:38
Hello;
Personally by the time I see the remains of a ship's steam engine it is boilers and wreckage usually covered in marine growth. How you guys could tolerate the heat and noise of the engine room ( espically in the tropics) is beyond me!! My uncle was an oiler in merchant ships during W W11 and it left him deaf as a post . Bluenoser

chadburn
27th August 2008, 19:46
Re.shims it was also a matter of good old fashioned "workmanship" not to leave shims pertruding, my favourite job on a triple expansion was setting up the "tumbler block" and the Stephenson reversing link guide shoes.

Re paperwork, like most Chief's I hated it but it had to be done and it does not appear to be any easier from what have I read above.

and finally bluenoser, what was that you said? deafness, asbestosis, plural plaques, but we all had some great times and went to some great places, we were also VERY SLIM down the Engineroom. Now all we hear is "you will have to lose some weight" from No1

Mike Griffiths
28th August 2008, 22:12
Hi I only sailed on one steam "up & downer" a Mobil tanker called SS Vacuum Pioneer, a rock dodger from Birkenhead , in the mid 60s. I remember keeping a respectful distance from the split pins when checking the crank temps, and being bollocked for making smoke in port when I changed the burners.