What is this old grooved-pulley clutching mechanism? How does it work?
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    16
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    12
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default What is this old grooved-pulley clutching mechanism? How does it work?

    I am having trouble finding out about the clutching mechanism shown in the photos below. It was part of cargo hoisting machinery popular in the 1910s to 1960s on small Australian coastal trading vessels, and I suppose also their British counterparts.

    The first pic below is of a Smart & Brown motor winch circa 1914, driven by a 4 h.p. paraffin motor. It was intended for use on small motor barges and the like. The photo is from the "Marine Oil Engine Handbook", 3rd ed. London: Temple Press, 1914, p.150. (link here) The accompanying text says: "The winch itself is merely a drum driven directly off the engine by a large friction pulley that is entirely controlled by one lever, the latter throwing the friction drum in or out of action as desired. On the rim of the friction drum there are four deep grooves, which interlock with duplicate grooves on the driving pulley."

    The second two pics show another winch, with the same sort of clutching mechanism, being used on a WWII Australian Army vessel in Papua New Guinea.

    I am hoping to find out exactly how the mechanism worked, as in, if one were to make one today, what components would we make?

    Hopefully there is some information in an old textbook I've overlooked.

    I have a large pdf library of old engineering books from Internet Archive and normally I am quite able to answer all my own queries from them. But on this occasion I am struggling to come up with anything and would be grateful for input.

    Ian Scales
    Canberra, Australia

    smart-brown-winch.jpg ak82-awm-091694-pic1.jpg ak82-awm-091696-pic2.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Lexington, VA
    Posts
    625
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    158
    Likes (Received)
    242

    Default

    I'm not familiar with that engagement method. Sounds like a rubber or other friction material on the small "pulley" always turning by the engine. Either it or the large pulley is moved toward the other to make contact.
    Perhaps a shaft on an eccentric?
    The first picture looks like a brake block underneath and in mesh with the large pulley? If so then the main winch shaft might be rotating on an eccentric shaft and the shat can be rotated with a hand lever to bring it in contact with driven pulley or brake alternately? Seems like you'd have little to no control the moment between brake and drive, so I'm probably missing something. Perhaps the moveable part is a third pulley in between engine driven pulley and large pulley, this looks like the case in second two pictures with the Lister diesel. The large chain being final drive from large pulley shaft to the capstan shaft.

    I did help rebuild a similar but different old engine driven winch from the 30's. The capstan shaft carried a large bull gear geared to the engine through a second jack shaft for speed reduction. The bull gear had a segmental maple (now locust) cone clutch bolted to it. A winch drum floated on the same shaft and with an externally supported double start acme screw and hand lever could be thrust endwise onto the always rotating cone clutch. Foot lever for band brake around one end of the winch drum.

  3. Likes Toolrunner liked this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Cairns, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    666
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    213
    Likes (Received)
    47

    Default

    Hi Ian,

    Malcolm Moore used to make an non-hydraulic end loader for Fordson N tractors using this system, powered by the belt pulley drive. A factory where I used to work was still using a pre WW2 one in 1962.

    There is a photo in the first post and description in the second post of how it works here:
    The Fordson Tractor Pages Forum • View topic - Malcom Moore loader

    I remember the fitters saying that it required fairly frequent maintenance to stop the drive from slipping. The article above also mentions this. I suppose on a light winch this would be less of a problem.

    franco

  5. Likes Toolrunner, Peter S liked this post
  6. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    16
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    12
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    Thanks so far -- I'm on the run but I just wanted to acknowledge these replies. I have had a quick look at the youtube video of the Malcolm Moore attachment to the Fordson tractor, in franco's link. Well spotted, franco, that really does look to be the mechanism. Seems that Grigg guessed it right.

    I'm going to have to get a quiet time to absorb the concept fully. Interesting that the tractor attachment was made in Melbourne, Australia. Although I suppose the grooved-pulley clutch idea may have originated in Britain, it seems to have caught on in Australia; while it seems not to have shown up in mechanical engineering textbooks of the time (e.g., no mention in Staniar's 1928 'Mechanical Power Transmissions' (link)).

    Please I'd be interested in anything else anyone has to add to this.

    Ian

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Country
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    1,889
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    9
    Likes (Received)
    581

    Default

    The Duryea brothers used the groove drive system in the first production car in the world.So reliable ,five Duryeas finished the first car race,then towed home all the other competitors ,including Henry Ford and Alexander Winton.

  8. Likes Toolrunner liked this post
  9. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Somerset, UK
    Posts
    5,023
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    508
    Likes (Received)
    1734

    Default

    The Smart & Brown winch undoubtedly has an eccentric bearing on the large friction gear. It also has a brake, as suggested by Grigg. Pulling the lever would raise this large wheel into engagement with its pinion. Releasing the lever allows it to drop onto the fixed cast iron brake block - note the counterweight.

    I haven't found anything showing details of an eccentric bearing, and unfortunately I didn't pay any attention when I came across the one in New Zealand in my photo.

    jd-winch1.jpg jd-winch-2.jpg

    As to the origins of 'wedge' or 'frictional gearing', it was patented in the 1850s by James Robertson. In an article in The Engineer of 3 Sept 1858 he described a variety of applications, and thought it was very promising for screw propulsion. The largest wheel he'd made at that time was 13.5 ft diameter.

    1858 Engineer article here (small charge payable):-

    https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Specia...Er18580903.pdf
    Last edited by Asquith; 08-16-2019 at 04:56 AM. Reason: Historical stuff added

  10. Likes Toolrunner liked this post
  11. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    16
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    12
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    Asquith, thanks for the photos of the New Zealand example - was that at a museum, and if so, where?

    Also, you've nailed it as far as the origins of the mechanism are concerned - by James Robertson in the 1850s. For what it's worth, I ocr'd the text of his paper in that old copy of 'Engineering'. The most useful part for explaining his mechanism seems to be as follows (with figures reproduced, the lettering overtyped for better visibility).

    Engineering, 3 September 1858, pp.173-4
    Abstract of paper on Winding Apparatus, including Mining Hoists, read before the Institution of Engineers in Scotland, by Mr. James Robertson, of Ardrossan.

    =EXCERPT=

    "In a simple modification of grooved-wheel winch or hoist, driven by a belt, the pulley spindle has keyed upon it a grooved pinion, and revolves continuously with the pulley. The chain barrel has keyed on it at one end a wedge-surface wheel gearing with the pinion on the pulley spindle, and on the other end an internal brake rim. The barrel revolves loosely on its spindle, and the spindle is supported in its position by eccentric snugs formed on each of its ends, which rest in the cheeks. On one end the snug is extended beyond the cheek, and a handle fixed on it. By moving the handle backwards or forwards, the spindle is partially turned round, and in consequence of the eccentricity of the snugs, this motion gives the barrel a small amount of lateral traverse, in consequence of which, when the handle is brought into a forward position, the wheels are in gear and the barrel in motion, whilst on the handle being drawn backwards, the internal break rim is brought into contact with the segmental brake-piece fitted on the cheek; and finally, when the handle is held in a central position, the barrel is free to unwind. This kind of hoist can be variously formed, so as to be suited for fixing either on a floor, wall, or ceiling.

    Fig. 1 is a front elevation, and Fig. 2 is an end elevation of a steam winch, worked by one steam cylinder, the crank shaft being made to revolve continuously in one direction, whilst the motion of the barrel is reversed by means of an internal reversing wheel of the kind already described. The frame of the winch is constructed of the usual form, with two cheeks A, connected together by stay rods B, the barrel gearing working between the cheeks. A small friction pinion C is keyed on the crank shaft D, which acts on the internal or external rims E, F, of the reversing wheel, and gives reverse motions, the power being further reduced at the winding barrel G by a grooved pinion H, and wheel I. The pinion H is keyed on the spindle J of the reversing wheel E, F, the wheel I being keyed on the winding G. The outer rim of the reversing wheel is grooved externally, to form a brake wheel, and is acted upon by a concave segmental brake K. The changing of the pinion C to different rims E, F, of the reversing wheel to suspend or produce motion in either direction, is provided for by passing the end of the crank shaft D nearest the grooved pinion through an eccentric bush L, on turning which bush partially round a slight lateral shift is given to the pinion. The adhesion is maintained on either side by a small balance weight M keyed on the bush L, and when the weight and its connecting lever is in a vertical position, the pinion C is out of gear, and when the weight M is turned to either side, the pinion C is brought into contact with the reversing wheel E, F.

    For regulating the motion of the winch, a handle N extends conveniently outwards from it for the hand, and this handle is keyed on the spindle O, which passes through the cheeks A, and along the entire length of the winch, and having upon it in appropriate positions various levers for working the brake, reversing movement, and steam valve, and so arranged that when the handle N is held in a central position the brake is applied, the pinion C out of gear, and the steam shut off. When the handle N is moved forwards the brake is disengaged, the pinion C thrown into gear for lifting, and steam to the amount required at the same time admitted for lifting. When the handle N is drawn backwards, a corresponding action at double the lifting speed is obtained for lowering, and at a less distance back for lowering a weight by the break without the steam."


    robertsons-apparatus-er-1858-09-03-p174-relettered.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails robertsons-apparatus-er-1858-09-03-p174-relettered.jpg  

  12. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Somerset, UK
    Posts
    5,023
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    508
    Likes (Received)
    1734

    Default

    Toolrunner,

    The winch was in a very small workshop in a street in Waimate, NZ. I think I have a note of the owner's name if required, but it was back in 2009.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •