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OT? Any Navy Machinery Repairmen know about I-beam trolleys?

Cal Haines

Diamond
Joined
Sep 19, 2002
Location
Tucson, AZ
I don't know if modern US Navy ships still have them, but many WWII capital ships had an overhead trolley system with I-beams/W-beams hanging from the deckhead. Here's an example, from the USS Midway, which is similar to the one I visited on the USS Hornet (CV-12):

USS MIDWAY - MACHINE SHOP - for a closer look LEFT CLICK O… | Flickr

The trolley system is seen in yellow, above the machines. It leads out of the machine shop and disappears down the passageway. The question is, how do they get things past watertight doors?

This post was prompted by one in the heavy iron forum: Machine Shop Aboard the Battleship Missouri

Cal
 

adammil1

Titanium
Joined
Mar 12, 2001
Location
New Haven, CT
I wonder what it is like moving a heavy load on those trolleys in heavy seas? I would hope they had a good hand brake on the trolley in case things got out of hand.
 

Cal Haines

Diamond
Joined
Sep 19, 2002
Location
Tucson, AZ
I was on the USS Prairie. We had removable sections and extensions to get thru the water tight doors.
So was the top of the I-beam below the top of the watertight door? (For some reason I thought that the bottom of the beam was above the door.)

And thanks for your service!

Cal
 

Rogue Willie

Aluminum
Joined
Nov 1, 2013
Location
Idaho
If I remember right, we had both. We had one that would extend out the side of the ship so the top of that beam would have been below the top of the door. I also think we had some that ended on either side of an interior door above the top of the door. We could do a transfer from one hoist to another thru the open door.
 

Toolznthings

Hot Rolled
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Location
Akron, Ohio
I was a machinery repairman on a sub tender. Sections of track were removable for above and below deck hatches. We did not run the machine shop when at sea the few times we left port. On the other hand I ran a lathe at sea all the time when on a different ships repair shop. Constant emergency repairs, etc. Not fun with seas rough enough that you could not set stuff on the work bench and expect it to stay there. No docks or hardware stores off of Vietnam coast.
 

Cal Haines

Diamond
Joined
Sep 19, 2002
Location
Tucson, AZ
If I remember right, we had both. ... I also think we had some that ended on either side of an interior door above the top of the door. We could do a transfer from one hoist to another thru the open door.
So I take it you had trolley hoist on either side of the door? I guess you could take up on one winch while you let off on the other and slowly swing the load through the door, is that correct?

Cal
 

eKretz

Diamond; Mod Squad
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Location
Northwest Indiana, USA
Pretty sure that's what he meant. We often did the same thing in the big shops to get work from one work bay to another. We had a couple rolling trolleys or transfer cars (one at the North end of the shop, one at the South end) on train tracks going from one bay to the other two but it could only be used for one job at a time...
 

Boats

Plastic
Joined
Jan 21, 2018
I beam trolley on a modern merchant ship, stores and engine parts spaces inside the vessel lifts one side of the bulkhead rolls to the W/T Door. Load is hooked to a 2nd Trolley outside the door. Back off on the first take up on the 2nd load swings through the door.

Access for engine spaces from outside in a modern Diesel ship has the Ibeam running the width of the vessel behind the stack with short hinged extensions that can go outboard & make lifts Port or Starboard Most are light duty 5 -10 tons. Any more requires shore side crane. Access to the engine room is through a hatch behind the stack. Engine room itself is one big space seperated from hatch forward and aft spaces by bulkheads no interior water tight decks in the engine room she’s open from the tank top below the engine all the way up to the top deck. 7 levels not unusual.

Boats
 
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Delw

Stainless
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Daughter got a tour of the USS Essex (marine corps amphibious group carrier) this afternoon. She asked if she could see the machine shop. they took her down there. The trolley system is level with the top of the water tight doors and a disconnect between the 2 it looked pretty cool from the pics.
they also had a cnc router in there as well as a hardinge chucker , a bridge port automatic saw and some big lathes and what looked like a small heat treat oven.
she goes in in july her mos is aircrew. she did say it would be fun to work in that machine shop. shes worked in ours(actual work) since she was like 10.
 

rcoope

Stainless
Joined
Sep 25, 2010
Location
Vancouver Canada
I love the Midway shop. One funny thing is they have a sign by the shop door that has the classic "You need to have a proper drawing and work order and shop isn't responsible..." Shops have the same challenges everywhere. The midwaysailor.com link above has great pre-restoration photos and it was neat to see there they had more or less the exact pantograph for sign engraving that I used in my first student job. The crazy thing about a ship like the Midway is there were something like 200,000 people that served on her, including 44 captains. This can only mean that there was pretty limited continuity in maintenance, which I why I suspect there are these absolutely insane bundles of wire all around the vessel. By the end there must have been hundreds of miles of wire for which no one had any idea the purpose, and much of which was disconnected at one end or another. The sign engraving, which would be that plastic with the black or red surface and white interior must have been critical in keeping plumbing and electrical parts somewhat labelled. Can you imagine something so complicated with that many people in charge over a 60 year lifespan?
 

dsergison

Diamond
Joined
Oct 23, 2003
Location
East Peoria, IL, USA
I toured the Midway in December. In the machine shop is a velvet fitted display case of machinist tools which included a planer gauge that is assembled backward with the sliding portion at a weird angle. Who can make a fitted display case that can't tell how to assemble a planer gauge? Is that some sort of intentional "easter egg" for machinists to chuckle over?
 








 
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