French Flake

E.Martin
20th August 2011, 16:14
I was sea going 11 years then worked as a rigger for 36 years so I must have coiled many thousand fathoms of wire mostly right handed as you are coiling when it starts getting awkward you would
pull a bight under which would make coiling easier,this flake under was called a French Flake,any one know how it became known as a French Flake?.

slick
20th August 2011, 16:16
Hello E.
Anything that is awkward or off the wall was referred to as French, maybe?

Yours aye,


slick

vickentallen
20th August 2011, 17:32
RN was known as a Frenchman....spooky that I just put it into nautical sayings somewhere 2 days ago along with sh+t on a Raft..(kidneys on toast)

Pat Kennedy
20th August 2011, 19:10
I was sea going 11 years then worked as a rigger for 36 years so I must have coiled many thousand fathoms of wire mostly right handed as you are coiling when it starts getting awkward you would
pull a bight under which would make coiling easier,this flake under was called a French Flake,any one know how it became known as a French Flake?.

I never heard it called a french flake, we always referred to throwing in a back turn. and I can still remember fighting that backspring on my first ship
You learn something new every day, french flake sounds much more snappy!
Best regards,
Pat
(Thumb)

madbob
21st August 2011, 02:05
Was trained to call this a "Frenchie or French Turn". All many years ago but when I coil wire I still use it.

Binnacle
21st August 2011, 11:50
I was sea going 11 years then worked as a rigger for 36 years so I must have coiled many thousand fathoms of wire mostly right handed as you are coiling when it starts getting awkward you would pull a bight under which would make coiling easier,this flake under was called a French Flake,any one know how it became known as a French Flake?.

Frenchman -
The name given to a left-handed loop when coiling down wire right-handed. Wire rope, especially in long lengths, does not absorb turns as easily as fibre rope, and if the wire being coiled is not free to revolve during coiling it will become twisted. An occasional left handed loop introduced into the coil will counteract the twists.
(Oxford Companion To Ships & the Sea)

French Fake -
A name for what is merely a modification of the Flemish coil, both being extremely good for the object, that is, when a rope has to be let go suddenly, and is required to run freely. Fake, in contradiction to long coil is, run a rope backward and forward in one fathom bends, beside each other, so that it may run free as in rocker lines.
Flemish Fake -
A method of coiling a rope that runs freely when let go; and was used for the head braces. Each bend was slipped under the last, and the wholw rendered flat.
Fake -
One of the circles or windings of a cable or hawser, as it lies disposed in a coil.
(The Sailor's Word Book)

Robert Hilton
21st August 2011, 16:18
Underneath bight in a coil more usually known as a "Flemish flake" but "French flake" would do.

"Flake out" more usual than "Fake out" for laying out a line on deck so that it will run clear, or to go to sleep or become unconscious or inebriated.

stein
21st August 2011, 17:30
I still get a seriously bad conscience for doing that... The thing was to blame skinflint owners and old wire. Old wire sprouted broken strands as well, turned into something close to barbed wire - any name for that? (Jester)

Pat Kennedy
21st August 2011, 17:36
Well if you were on a ship were the topping lifts were turned up on a set of cleats rather than bitts, then all the French flakes in the world wouldnt produce a tidy coil of wire.(EEK)

E.Martin
21st August 2011, 18:36
Well if you were on a ship were the topping lifts were turned up on a set of cleats rather than bitts, then all the French flakes in the world wouldnt produce a tidy coil of wire.(EEK)

If you could run the end of the topping lift down the deck and run any
turn out of the end of the wire you would not have to use French Flakes.

Pat Kennedy
21st August 2011, 19:08
If you could run the end of the topping lift down the deck and run any
turn out of the end of the wire you would not have to use French Flakes.

Well I bow to your experience as a rigger, but as with wire preventers, once you put a wire rope onto a cleat and subjected it to some weight, it often produced a permanent kink.
I agree you could get rid of a lot of stress in a wire rope by stretching it out full length, and taking the turns out of it.
Best Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

Tom Condren
21st August 2011, 19:36
Never heard of a French flake before. Of the two methods of making up a topping lift, ratchet gear aside, cleats play havoc with the wire where bitts do not.

Robert Hilton
21st August 2011, 23:22
I still get a seriously bad conscience for doing that... The thing was to blame skinflint owners and old wire. Old wire sprouted broken strands as well, turned into something close to barbed wire - any name for that? (Jester)

And I have seen injuries caused by the jags on a wire catching working gloves and taking a man's hand round the winch drum. I have always refused to wear working gloves for this reason. Better to have a small piece torn out of your hand than to go round the drum and lose your whole hand or arm. Safety rules make too many assumptions.

joebuckham
22nd August 2011, 00:47
Underneath bight in a coil more usually known as a "Flemish flake" but "French flake" would do.

"Flake out" more usual than "Fake out" for laying out a line on deck so that it will run clear, or to go to sleep or become unconscious or inebriated.

when i first went to sea, after tieing up, the old mate or bosun would point at the mares nest of mooring rope short ends and say, flemish down, meaning to tidy and lay them down in the flemish way. the word fake was never used in the order as a fake is one turn of a coil.
however if we were running moorings by boat to a distant point we sometimes "flaked" the ropes out up and down the deck so that they ran freely and no accidents occurred

hughesy
22nd August 2011, 00:49
I see a lot of wire rope, on traction elevators (lifts) and the powers that be always are going on at us over the use of gloves, they want them worn. I always tell apprentices about the dangers of jags in the
rope, my uncle and AB for many years, got a terrible cut on his forearm from a bull wire, so I'm always carefull around them.
But these elevator ropes are 1/2" 5/8" and 3/4". But very long in some cases. On high rise buildings etc..
They are singled up, one rope for one groove on the sheave. Unlike a crane, which please let me know if I am wrong in one cable through all the grooves on the sheave?. So on and elevator if one rope parts the others are still good. Only one case of freefall (don't believe the movies} was in the Empire State Building, in the 1930's I believe.
A plane flew into the building cut all the ropes on an elevator plus the governor rope, and it fell something like 70 floors, a woman was it by all accounts and she survived the ordeal. Not something i would like to see or experience.

all the best
Hughesy(Thumb)

barrinoz
22nd August 2011, 01:45
I still get a seriously bad conscience for doing that... The thing was to blame skinflint owners and old wire. Old wire sprouted broken strands as well, turned into something close to barbed wire - any name for that? (Jester)

As a rigger and seaman they were known to me as 'sprags'. Like Robert Hilton, as a rigger, I very seldom wore gloves as you were more likely to get your entire hand ripped off. I don't know how many guys I had to tell to remove their rings from their fingers. We just referred to wrong turns as 'inside out'. Sometimes E. Martin's solution of running the turns out wasn't feasible. Flaking was as joebuckam describes with all types of rope. Preventers were different and more cantankerous creatures altogether. Hated them with a passion!
barrinoz.

Pat Kennedy
22nd August 2011, 06:28
I see a lot of wire rope, on traction elevators (lifts) and the powers that be always are going on at us over the use of gloves, they want them worn. I always tell apprentices about the dangers of jags in the
rope, my uncle and AB for many years, got a terrible cut on his forearm from a bull wire, so I'm always carefull around them.
But these elevator ropes are 1/2" 5/8" and 3/4". But very long in some cases. On high rise buildings etc..
They are singled up, one rope for one groove on the sheave. Unlike a crane, which please let me know if I am wrong in one cable through all the grooves on the sheave?. So on and elevator if one rope parts the others are still good. Only one case of freefall (don't believe the movies} was in the Empire State Building, in the 1930's I believe.
A plane flew into the building cut all the ropes on an elevator plus the governor rope, and it fell something like 70 floors, a woman was it by all accounts and she survived the ordeal. Not something i would like to see or experience.

all the best
Hughesy(Thumb)

Hughesy,
All the cranes I drove were rigged the way you describe, with either a single whip on dockside cargo cranes, or rove in the same way as a ship's jumbo on shipyard cranes, ie a single wire rove through multiple sheaves and taken to a single drum.
However I've seen very large floating cranes which appear to have more than one hoist and topping lift ropes, leading to twin drums for each.
Something I've never been able to figure out, but maybe some of the riggers on here can explain, is how can a crane be constructed and rigged in order to make it 'level luffing'?
I vaguely remember being told that the hoist drum in such a crane must be sited below the level of the bottom end of the jib, where it hinges to the main body of the crane.
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

hughesy
22nd August 2011, 07:55
thanks Pat

Good to know, my friend he's a crane op offshore. He tells they will
sometimes weld to new cable to the old and reeve it through the cranes system that way. Nice smart quick way to do it?

all the best
Hughesy(Thumb)

Tom Condren
22nd August 2011, 08:07
And I have seen injuries caused by the jags on a wire catching working gloves and taking a man's hand round the winch drum. I have always refused to wear working gloves for this reason. Better to have a small piece torn out of your hand than to go round the drum and lose your whole hand or arm. Safety rules make too many assumptions.

How many ABs did you ever sail with who wore wedding rings? None I would say. They were always considered a danger and stories of fingers being lost around the drum end are plenty.

joebuckham
22nd August 2011, 09:53
Hughesy,
All the cranes I drove were rigged the way you describe, with either a single whip on dockside cargo cranes, or rove in the same way as a ship's jumbo on shipyard cranes, ie a single wire rove through multiple sheaves and taken to a single drum.
However I've seen very large floating cranes which appear to have more than one hoist and topping lift ropes, leading to twin drums for each.
Something I've never been able to figure out, but maybe some of the riggers on here can explain, is how can a crane be constructed and rigged in order to make it 'level luffing'?I vaguely remember being told that the hoist drum in such a crane must be sited below the level of the bottom end of the jib, where it hinges to the main body of the crane.
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

hi pat, now done with electronics and sophisticated motor systems, but still in operation "horses head" cranes, a bit like the drawing machines draughtsmen use, pantographs (Thumb)

Pat Kennedy
22nd August 2011, 10:37
hi pat, now done with electronics and sophisticated motor systems, but still in operation "horses head" cranes, a bit like the drawing machines draughtsmen use, pantographs (Thumb)

Hi Joe, Yes we called them Gooseneck cranes on the docks, and I figured out how the level luffing worked on them, but the likes of these Stothert and Pitt 5 ton cargo cranes were a mystery. At first glance you see what looks like a topping lift, but its not, the jib is raised and lowered by a direct drive from a motor connected to the jib by an eccentric wheel and shaft. What looks like the topping lift is in fact a complicated rig of the single whip hoist, which allows it to maintain the hook completely level when luffing the jib.
I looked at the set up for hours but could never work it out.
Pat

E.Martin
22nd August 2011, 11:59
thanks Pat

Good to know, my friend he's a crane op offshore. He tells they will
sometimes weld to new cable to the old and reeve it through the cranes system that way. Nice smart quick way to do it?

all the best
Hughesy(Thumb)

The best way I know of marrying to run through the system is a "Snake" if the snake is put on properly it makes the job simple we always used the snake on container cranes.

hughesy
22nd August 2011, 13:48
We use something like that in Elevator rigging. It fits round the rope and
constricts keeps the two ends together, keep the weight on it and it usually goes through OK.is that what you call a snake Mr Martin?

all the best
Hughesy

slick
22nd August 2011, 16:26
All,
Or a 'Mexican finger', the only gloves I ever saw anyone use on wires were called i believe 'Iron Boys', another useful tool when working on wires with 'jags' was of course a pair of pliers.

Yours aye,

slick

E.Martin
22nd August 2011, 18:55
We use something like that in Elevator rigging. It fits round the rope and
constricts keeps the two ends together, keep the weight on it and it usually goes through OK.is that what you call a snake Mr Martin?

all the best
Hughesy

Yes Hughesy we are talking about the same thing,depending on the size of the wire you have differant sizes, for 26mm it would be a hollow plated wire about a metre long you had to push old and new wires into the snake then had to pick up strands from both wires and put some seizing wire seizings on.

Pat Kennedy
22nd August 2011, 19:11
Hi Joe, Yes we called them Gooseneck cranes on the docks, and I figured out how the level luffing worked on them, but the likes of these Stothert and Pitt 5 ton cargo cranes were a mystery. At first glance you see what looks like a topping lift, but its not, the jib is raised and lowered by a direct drive from a motor connected to the jib by an eccentric wheel and shaft. What looks like the topping lift is in fact a complicated rig of the single whip hoist, which allows it to maintain the hook completely level when luffing the jib.
I looked at the set up for hours but could never work it out.
Pat

Well, this GOOGLE is a wonderful thing. I looked up level luffing, Stothert and Pitt, and came up with the answer.
Its called the Toplis level luffing system and was invented in 1914 by a Stothert and Pitt engineer. Its a bit complicated to explain here how it works, but it satisfied my thirst for knowledge. The best explanation is at this Meccano modelling site;
http://www.btinternet.com/~a.esplen/models/pic12.htm

hughesy
23rd August 2011, 01:38
Any of you guys ever use "Babbet" we used it attache the wires to the Elevators in sockets which had a threaded rod which is attached to the
top of it to pull it up and down.
But did'nt they use babbet sockets to hold wires on winches etc.
A friend got very sick from the fumes of the babbet, same as welding
galvanized materials. Very painfull and uncomfortable he said all his joints aching.
Now we use a wedge socket, much quicker and safer (no fire around)
but it took some skill to get the ropes at the right length, and turn
back the strands of the wire, to make the "rosette's".
I really liked re roping elevators it was a challenge. Still is today though.

all the best
Hughesy(Thumb)

hughesy
23rd August 2011, 01:41
Hi Pat

So on that crane, is there one wire for lifting the load. Plus one for the jib??

all the best
Hughesy(Thumb)

Pat Kennedy
23rd August 2011, 10:42
Hi Pat

So on that crane, is there one wire for lifting the load. Plus one for the jib??

all the best
Hughesy(Thumb)

Hughesy,
No mate, the jib is raised and lowered by an 8hp motor which is connected on each side of the base of the jib by a rod arrangement. It was possible to luff the jib right out and leave the controller on. After a few seconds motionless, the jib would begin to luff in. You could leave it like that and it would luff in and out all day, and the hook would remain perfectly level.
The only wire rope used on those Stothert and Pitt cargo cranes is the hoist.
Lovely cranes to drive though, perfectly silent and smooth, and very fast.
Best Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

E.Martin
23rd August 2011, 11:35
Any of you guys ever use "Babbet" we used it attache the wires to the Elevators in sockets which had a threaded rod which is attached to the
top of it to pull it up and down.
But did'nt they use babbet sockets to hold wires on winches etc.
A friend got very sick from the fumes of the babbet, same as welding
galvanized materials. Very painfull and uncomfortable he said all his joints aching.
Now we use a wedge socket, much quicker and safer (no fire around)
but it took some skill to get the ropes at the right length, and turn
back the strands of the wire, to make the "rosette's".
I really liked re roping elevators it was a challenge. Still is today though.

all the best
Hughesy(Thumb)

Hi Hughesy yes i have used babbet or white metal for hundreds of sockets but myself i prefer Wire Lock it makes the job so simple.
Two men could go on a tug to put a socket onto a 52mm wire using
Wire Lock could be finished in 2 hours and the socket would be ready for use,useing babbet would take longer and would not be used for 24 hours
Wire Lock consisted of a tin of liquid and a tin of powder,pour the
liquid into the powder mix for 2 minutes then pour into the socket
after 90 minutes the socket is ready for use.

hughesy
23rd August 2011, 13:51
Thanks Pat and Mr Martin that "wire lock" sounds like good stuff.

all the best
Hughesy(Thumb)

joebuckham
23rd August 2011, 21:06
came across this, they say a picture is worth a thousand words(Thumb)

hughesy
24th August 2011, 00:14
Hi Joe
If you look at a rocket line. It is laid out just like that?

all the best
hughesy(Thumb)

Pat Kennedy
24th August 2011, 18:42
came across this, they say a picture is worth a thousand words(Thumb)

Joe,
I always though it was flake out the rope, not fake out.
We always did that with the three mooring ropes on the focsle and the poop when approaching the berth, or the locks, so they would virtually run out with the gig boat's pull. Same with the backsprings, always pulled them off the reel and flaked them out on the foredeck, made life a lot easier.
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

joebuckham
25th August 2011, 14:28
Joe,
I always though it was flake out the rope, not fake out.
We always did that with the three mooring ropes on the focsle and the poop when approaching the berth, or the locks, so they would virtually run out with the gig boat's pull. Same with the backsprings, always pulled them off the reel and flaked them out on the foredeck, made life a lot easier.
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

yea pat and me, but as i said in an earlier post a fake is just one turn of rope in a coil. from which language i don't know but a good bet would be most likely from flemish of long past