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Moving Load with Ivory Soap


Cast Iron
May 11, 2007
ann arbor, mi
I had not heard of using solid soap for lubricant to move something. I have used Dawn dish soap to lubricate 20 long 3 foot diameter augers that I slid in machines as apart of a rebuild process.

The Ivory soap trick works surprisingly well especially when you don't have overhead clearance for rollers or skates. 6mil poly works well in tight places also. Bob
I had a tell me they used to use pork belly with the hide facing up to slide big things. He said it's important not to push very hard or it will crash through the wall at the other end.
The Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were launched on a film of bar soap. I have a book about the Queen Mary and it is essentially a reprint of articles from The Shipbuilder and Marine Engine Builder magazines of the day. The magazines were full of ship related advertisements and one of them was from a soap company that supplied the soap for the launch. It didn't say if they supplied soap for the washrooms on board. Come to think of it soap for the launch and soap for the washrooms would have been purchased by two different companies. The first by John Brown and Company, the second by Cunard White Star.
When seeing these huge buildings being moved I am always amazed that the whole structure doesn't just collapse when divorced from its foundation.
A historical house was moved in Durban, South Africa using spay and cook. They wanted to build on the site but needed to preserve the old building so they extended the foundations and then jacked the old building onto the new foundations slowly using the spray and cook as a lube.

"One of the weirdest architectural stories also belongs to this area. 638 Stephen Dlamini Road (formerly Essenwood Road) was in the wrong position on the right piece of land. The owners wanted to add buildings to the land, but the house was in the way. So, they literally moved it 15 metres closer to the road. Spray and Cook, the non-stick baking spray, was supposedly used to effect the move. Whether true or not, the house is often called the Spray and Cook House by Durbanites."

I can attest to it being true as I clearly remember watching it on the news at the time.

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