Becker lift jacks------1911
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  1. #1
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    Default Becker lift jacks------1911


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    I've wondered about how to confidently calculate the bearing capacity of ice,,most of it ultimately rests on its buoyancy, but judging thickness alone is hard enough, let alone presence of cracks and the variability of its properties with temperature.

    King of Obsolete in Alberta has posted some recoveries of sunken machinery through ice.

    I'd like th see better pictures of those Becker jacks.

    Thanks for posting.

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    Someone had to rig that under water, ice cold water.

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    Some poor old peasant. Prolly one of my relatives...

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    Interesting, thanks for posting. But does anyone else wonder if "Nigel Fowler Sutton" is a "nom de Youtube" for a Russian person? Misspellings and sometimes odd syntax in the English subtitles makes me curious...

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    I communicated with Mr Fowler Sutton months ago--he kindly granted permission to link his posts

    He is a current resident of Laos but spent many years in Russia--legacy photos and his presentation take the viewer off the beaten track
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails zfdsff.jpg  

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    I enjoyed the youtube. In asnwer to how that locomotive was rigged for jacking, there is a diver shown in one of the photos. He wears the old "hardhat" diving dress, and the glass portlight on the front of his helmet is swung open. The diver sports a heavy dark handlebar mustache.

    The style of jack shown in the youtube was quite common for heavy work. I saw them used in Paraguay in 1981. At remote sawmill sites, a semi-portable mill was brought in. To power these mills, a "Locomobile" type of steam engine/boiler unit was also brought on site. The locomobile consisted of a firetube boiler with internal combustion chamber, and a tandem-compound steam engine mounted on top of the boiler. These were apparently built to a German design ( approximately what the youtube of the Wolf factory shows being built). The locomobile steam power units were the heaviest single part of the sawmills, and arrived on lowboy trailers. These were skid mounted units, so needed to be unloaded from the lowboy. To unload the locomobile from the low-boy trailer, jacks very much like the "Becker" jacks in this youtube were always used. four such jacks were set on wood "mats" (pieces of heavy timber like 8 x 8's, through bolted together). The mats spread the load onto the ground.

    The four jacks were hand cranked, just as in this youtube. Slow going, but it worked and was a very sure and safe means of lifting and lowering heavy loads. In the USA, I believe Whiting made similar types of jacks, electric motor driven, for work in railroad shops.

    An interesting point to consider about this youtube is whether the locomotive and train were running on a "winter ice railroad". In some parts of Russia, particularly during WWII, rails were laid on frozen lakes and trains run on track supported by the ice. During WWII ("The Great Patriotic War" to the Soviets), during a long siege, the Russians laid rails on Lake Ladoga, which was frozen. The eventually had a double tracked line on the frozen lake to bring in food and other supplies and take out sick and wounded people. I've seen old footage of women in the most bitter cold imaginable, laying ties and rail on the ice on Lake Ladoga.

    I get the impression this locomotive and train may have been on a temporary track laid on ice. If I am off base in my thinking, I'd be interested to know how that locomotive broke through ice and landed in the drink. Another interesting point is how a boiler, with steam up, survived a cold dunking without exploding. I know when ships were torpedoed at sea, as the seawater surrounded hot boilers, explosions were quite common. When a ship was in danger of foundering or taking on water to the point of flooding the machinery spaces, the engineers usually tried to have their crew get the boilers as full of feedwater as possible. This was to reduce the risk of explosion when the cold sea water hit hot boilers. On the other hand, there is that old "Marmaduke" story where he ran a traction engine through a flooded creek under its own steam without damage. I imagine the locomotive in this set of photos probably had its firetubes loosened by the shock of the cold water.

    I enjoy these Nigel Fowler Sutton photos. It is a window into some of the world my grandparents emigrated from. My grandmothers on both sides of the family emigrated from what was then Czarist Russia. Both had small children with them, and both took trains to the ports of embarkation. My father's mother and her children took a train from Wolkowisk, which is Byelorus, and was said to be a railroad hub. She took something like 6 small kids and got on a train which took them to Libau- a Latvian port where they boarded a ship to the USA. My mother's mother emigrated in 1917. She came from a tiny place called Lunienetz. It is near the present day Chernobyl, and was in the marshes along the Pripyet River. Because of WWI, my mother's mother and her infant son took a train to Vladivostok, then a ship to Yokahama, Japan. From there, my grandmother and her infant son took another ship to San Francisco and then a train to East St. Louis, Illinois- where my mother was born in 1918. Mom is still with us at age 99, still driving to some extent, still using a computer and sharp as ever. Her mother made it to 102, and the infant son she carried on that journey made it to age 94. My father's father fought in the Czar's Army in the Russo-Japanese War before coming to the USA. He lived to a ripe old age, and lived on a typical diet for that place and era: hard black bread or rye bread, onions, radishes, potatoes, tea, and his own vodka. I can remember seeing him show my father how "good" it was by flaming some off in a spoon. The stuff burned off with nothing left in the spoon. That grandfather made it to almost 90, died in his own bed, so a diet of herring, and that high proof vodka did not hurt him any.

    My mother's mother was someone I knew pretty well, as she died in 1992. She had come from a little village with mud streets and thatched roofs on the houses to the USA. She saw things we take for granted come into use, and lived to travel on a jet airliner. She told me bits and pieces of her journey to the USA, but never remarked about the contrast of travelling in a jet airliner, or watching television, having central heat, inside plumbing and all else we take for granted.

    My mother's mother told me that, on the train trip from her village to Vladivostok, it was cold weather. At every station, the passengers would shuffle (wearing felt inner boots or boot liners) up to the locomotive. The engine crew would fill the tea-pots (known in Russian as chainiks- in the russian or Yiddish my grandmother spoke) with hot water right out of the locomotive boiler. The passengers would shuffle back to their compartments and make tea and have it to keep warm with until the next stop.

    The men in those photos simply worked hard in bitter cold because that was all there was- and the work was probably a step up from the life of a typical Russian peasant in those days. Chances are they had a pull of good strong vodka and kept on working, glad of having that job.

    The people in this set of photos are likely made of the same stuff as my forebears. I laugh about the weather reports and newscasters nowadays. Get a couple of inches of snow down in NYC and the weather forecasters and news reporters are acting like it is a serious blizzard. My ancestors had nothing like the warm clothing we have, let alone cars or pickups with that miracle of a heater/defroster. My grandmother told me that sometimes in Russia, the winters were so cold that a person had to be careful when coming indoors. The normal impulse was to take a cup of hot tea from the chainik or samovar ( a charcoal heated tea pot with a center flue). If a person came in from that bitter cold and immediately drank hot tea, there was a good chance of cracking their teeth from the thermal shock. After coming in from the cold, people had to wait a bit before drinking tea. My ancestors, and the people in these photos got out in the snow and cold beyond our imagination and did what they had to do, whether it was going to tend livestock, get to the village for supplies or religious services, bury their dead, or take a bunch of small kids and head for the USA. The people in these photos probably thought it was all in a day's work to go out in bitter cold and pull a locomotive up thru the ice with hand cranked jacks. Even the timber used for the cribbing and sheer legs in these photos was cut by hand and likely dragged and lugged into place by manpower. Bundled up in layers of wool and maybe sheepskin, wearing shapeless boots with felt liners, and mittens, these guys managed to do the job shown in the photos. Not included in the series of photos is the fate of the engineer and fireman. I imagine they survived, probably just took a few good slugs of high proof vodka and, if lucky, got into a railroad car with a wood stove going.

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    Hi. Been a while. This video and discussion was interesting to say the least for numerous reasons. Agree I would like to see those jacks from the video in detail.

    We or most of us have become a nation of pansies for sure. My goodness yesterday I worked out side in the cold, windy and miserable weather and it was crappy out. No it wasn't -30 degrees. But I thought at the time that as bad as it is out this ain't nothing to complain about. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do and the conditions outside just have to do what it is going to do. Sometimes you can put off a day or so but sometimes not. The railroaders and miners often did not get a choice on when and where to go or what they had to attempt to do. I think of the folks in the UP of MI or the Rangers in MN in days of old. They were a tough lot living in a tough environment. I am not nearly the manly man as these people. But I also do a lot more than many in our current society, so I can appreciate what others HAVE done. In NE WI some farms have more stone than dirt and I go through these areas and see fence lines that are 2-3 high from all the stones that have been picked out of some old forgotten field. I shake my head thinking about some poor SOB who homesteaded this land and tried to make a living or stay alive for that matter.

    Anyway I am curious about these jacks. I took an old railroad Duff {not Duff/Norton} jack out of a muddy scrap pile where I wondered about it for quite a few years. Brought it home and tried to see if I could make it go. Never had one apart so it was kind of cool project to just see how this monster worked. Guessing it is about a 50 ton jack or so? Could be a 30 ton but it is pretty big. The thing was rusted tight and there was no squirting penetrating oil and coming back in a day or two. Got it all freed up without breaking anything. Except for what I think is supposed to be a fast or rapid traverse crank for down direction? Looks like it has three dogs that keep it from working in the up position and should just "clickety clack" when in the up motion. Seems to me that the shaft should spin independently when engaged by button that is pressed down while cranking. The upward motion is done by separate gear that appears like it would be operating by a lining bar or some long stout handle, but only goes up not down. No provision for the direction to be changed like on the more modern air operated 50 tonners? The main gear on the bottom of the jack is to go up or dog can be flipped into neutral but no provision that I can see for going down. You have to use a crank with a .75 square hole that is mounted half way up the jack. The live gears turn a lead screw to elevate or lower the ram. Incredibly stout jack and you need two strong men and a boy to move this thing around. The more modern Duff/Norton RR jacks have a lip on the bottom for getting under things and lifting from there if need be and I think have a more modern way of changing direction. Like two separate gears and socket for handle to go in. To me the ultimate is the Duff/Norton air jacks with wheels and a direction lever and a large T handle. Still heavy and awkward but doable. Currently have transmission soaking in fuel oil to hopefully free up the shaft that I think is supposed to spin independently. Sorry to ramble on so but the crank mounted in mid height of the jacks in the pictures/video is about where the crank on my jack is. Though mine is much smaller and a different make altogether. Will have to see if I can google some info on these ones from video.

    Fun seeing some of the older names I recognize and glad to see them too. Regards, John.

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    Not everyone is a pansy in recent times.

    Private school my mother taught at in Minnesota, had a week-long annual winter break camp..... in northern Minnesota, around the first of the year. Temperatures down in the -30F area, no cabins, tent living. One of my mother's students found that she enjoyed the camping, and later she skied across both the North and South poles, each time making the trip with just her and one other woman, IIRC.

    That's pretty tough stuff.

    I do not know if the school still does the winter camp, but I rather suspect that they do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    Not everyone is a pansy in recent times.
    I'll agree with JST. But I do think that most people have lost the skills to survive - just not needed by most members of current society. Like one old boss of mine used to say - you don't really have to train people to be miserable. But very few WANT to have the skills - too easy to survive without having to learn such.

    Another example of those who still know and do - try spending a winter as an 11B (light infantry variety) with the 10th Mountain at Fort Drum in extreme northern NY.

    Personally, I've always hated the rain low 30s F type of existence more. 20 below and snow was preferable. But to each their own!

    Dale

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    Quote Originally Posted by duckfarmer27 View Post
    ......

    Personally, I've always hated the rain low 30s F type of existence more. 20 below and snow was preferable. But to each their own!

    Dale
    I will totally agree with that. Where I am now it does that rain deal a lot, and it truly does seem colder than 20 below zero.

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    I think the difference between many people in the succeeding generations to the people in this set of photos has to do with what they've come to expect vs what they never have had to experience as routine. I know that is mouthful of a run-on sentence. Weathertight housing, central heat, inside plumbing, electric lights, vehicles with heated interiors and lightweight warm clothing are almost commonplace across the board in our society. We simply have gotten away from having to really do work just to get through the basics in a day. I tend to think scouting and military service are a great thing, kind of a great "equalizer" which puts young people from all stratas of society together and brings them back to the basics. It teaches things no school can. My father was a product of immigrant parents- of the generation shown in this set of Nigel Fowler Sutton photos. He grew up learning much through Scouting, the Great Depression, and served in WWII- all of which shaped him and made him into a role model that I still use a bench mark in my own life.

    I worked overseas in primitive conditions, and it also shaped my thinking and ways of doing things. Perhaps the best way to put it is: "You have to play the hand you are dealt". If you land on a jobsite in a village with dirt streets, no grid power, and stay in a board shack of a bunkhouse with an outhouse, and have a language barrier with a crew who has never done the kind of work the project requires, you have two major choices: cut and run back to the USA; or, go the distance and figure out a way to work with the people and resources at hand to get the job done. I did the latter. Maybe I was a bit crazy, but mainly, I am my father's son. On my first overseas job, I instantly realized that bitching about what we did not have and what we might do back in the USA on a similar job was going to accomplish nothing.
    I remembered my father's old admonishment- "pick youself up and get moving". Those jobs taught me how to lead, even with a language barrier. I led by taking the point. If I could not explain a job entirely in a language the workforce understood, I could sketch it step-by-step, and then get in and start doing it. I'd work along with the crews, and that tended to weld the crew together with me. If I had to teach one man to weld pipe with open root welds, I did. If I had to teach other men to scrape in babbitted bearings, or use a precision level or cut threads in a lathe, or braze, or rig loads... I was with the men and we got the jobs done. My other rule was never to eat unless my crew was going to be fed. If the crew was in a poor place where lunch was a luxury, I got food for the crew. We sometimes had draft animals on some of the jobs. It meant that haulage which- in the USA- might mean a dump truck, pickup, or similar- required someone to harness or at least hitch up oxen or mules.

    I am glad I had the experiences I did. It shaped me and made me into a much more patient person, and taught me to work with who and what were at hand without bitching or looking back at what I had elsewhere.

    As for weather, I can say I will take heavy snowfall and cold over most other forms of bad weather. My Mom lives in Walnut Creek, CA. She grew up in the Northeastern USA. However, Mom will hear the weather 'back east' and call to see if we are OK. Mom will remark that the snowfall or cold is something that must be hard to deal with. My answer is simple: "Let's see you plow a wildfire or an earthquake, or a tornado or hurricane." Mom chuckles and says I am right.

    When I was working full time (prior to "retirement"), I had to be in to the powerplant before 0700. It was 32 miles over local back roads to the powerplant. On favorable mornings, I'd ride one of my motorcycles to work. Often, the early morning temperatures were in the 30's, but I new the day would warm up. I'd pull into the powerplant parking lot, and be unable to unbuckle my helmet strap until I warmed my fingers on the engine cases. Sometimes, one of the mechanics would see me and come over and unbuckle my helmet for me. I've been caught on the rides home in heavy thunderstorms, complete with hail. I rode every day I could, and I can remember seeing a light frost on my leathers on some mornings. I loved the riding, even in that cold, as it was a time to appreciate the start of a new day and be alone with my thoughts, listening to the wind and the bike.

    When we'd get snow, I'd be up earlier to plow us out. I had promised a neighbor, when he was dying of ALS, that I'd always look in on his widow and kids and plow them out. So, I'd get up at about 0430 on snowy mornings. Plug the tractor engine's jacket heater in, and get a quick breakfast. Get on the tractor and plow out our driveway, then drive about 1/2 mile to the neighbor and plow them out. I loved the predawn, seeing the new snow and seeing the animal tracks as I'd ride along on the tractor. One time, a fox was startled by the tractor and seemed to be pacing the tractor briefly. I'd plow the neighbor out, usually getting a load of snow down my neck as their driveway was overhung with evergreen boughs, heavy with snow. I'd come home, have more coffee and maybe more food, grab my lunch and get in my pickup for the run to work. I chose to live in the Catskills and chose to live as we do. We had supplemental wood heat for some years, so that meant getting wood into the basement- something my son and I did. Our son grew up with a small town/rural upbringing and it shaped him as well. He learned a sense of community and responsibility early on, and he grew up knowing how to do a day's work and to empathize with other people less fortunate. Our son grew up in the Catskills, and when he was in HS, was chosen to be a ski instructor for children at a nearby ski slope. They bent the rules on minimum age as he was known as a responsible and thoughtful young man. He never said: "it's too cold" or "I do not feel like working today". He balanced his school work against his ski instructor's job, and graduated with honors and was senior class president in his HS. He graduated from college cum laude and is making his way in the world. Recently, my son asked me for a box of tools. He lives in an apartment, but he does get out and about to go fishing, camping, and rides 15-20 miles some evenings on his bicycle. I am doing what my father did for me- fixing him up a toolbox and passing along some of our tools. There is a lot to be said for living a life where children are exposed to work, given responsibility and not sheltered from life's realities.


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