Heavy Iron Being Built In Houston in 1975
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    29,485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Heavy Iron Being Built In Houston in 1975

    This is heavy, and is USA, so I elected to put it in this section

    Page two mentions folks - Ralph Stokley is Ken's (4GSR) dad. Charlie Elder founded Boring Specialties, that both Ken and I worked for briefly. Duane Wolfe and Harvey Benoit were Drilco folks that hired me in the fall of 1974. Roy Arledge worked for Charlie and then Charlie Jr for ages at Boring Specialties.

    The awkwardly posed photo of Duane and I shows the 150 HP motor on that particular trepanner.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails page-1.jpg   page-2a.jpg   page-2b.jpg   back-page.jpg  

  2. Likes 4GSR, swatkins, SAG 180, Paolo_MD, Limy Sami and 11 others liked this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Victoria, Texas, USA
    Posts
    3,922
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2016
    Likes (Received)
    953

    Default

    Brings back fond memories! I was in in high school at this time in 1975. We as a family looked forward getting our copy of the Drilco "Heartbeat" in the mail, to read up on happenings at Drilco/Houston as well as things happening at other Drilco facilities at other places around the World.

    John, Thanks for sharing!

    Ken

    BTW John, my last tenure at Smith in 2003, they still had one of the Heil-Mills left spiraling drill collars. It was retrofitted with a CNC controller. All the rest remained the same.

  4. Likes Billyum liked this post
  5. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    7,410
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    424
    Likes (Received)
    3393

    Default

    John, thanks for a look at another page in your impressive resume.

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    29,485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thank you Gbent. There was lots of good luck along the way and this was one of those places. It was their idea to refer to this youngster only 6 years out the apprenticeship as the "E" word, but the only college work I ever did was a few semesters of AUTO BODY and that was twenty years later.

    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    John, thanks for a look at another page in your impressive resume.

  7. Likes Billyum, tdmidget liked this post
  8. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    18,594
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    14135
    Likes (Received)
    14096

    Default

    Another great ''true life'' thread, showing the sort of work the great majority of machinists will have never heard of let alone seen.

    Thanks John.

  9. Likes Zahnrad Kopf, Ray Behner liked this post
  10. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    29,485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default My frist Drilco review December 1974

    You are welcome Limy - thanks for kind comments.

    Here is a piece of paper from those days (a few months short of forty years back) bumping me up to a little less than 8 dollars an hour. Seems to be legible if you click on it a few times to make as big as it will get.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails review-19-dec-74.jpg  
    Last edited by johnoder; 08-01-2014 at 08:54 AM.

  11. Likes Billyum, JHOLLAND1, jeff76 liked this post
  12. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,010
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4154
    Likes (Received)
    3661

    Default

    John, all snarky kidding aside - I make it a point to read your posts when I visit PM, but even aside from that, I very much enjoy when you post these snippets of your past. Wonderful stuff, really. Kepp on keepin' on.

  13. Likes Billyum liked this post
  14. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    29,485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thanks kindly Mr. Gear Head!

  15. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    3,809
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    16
    Likes (Received)
    1860

    Default

    So is that great big trepanner still making drill collars today?

    On Edit; Never-mind, just saw that Ken already answered that.

  16. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Victoria, Texas, USA
    Posts
    3,922
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2016
    Likes (Received)
    953

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alskdjfhg View Post
    So is that great big trepanner still making drill collars today?

    On Edit; Never-mind, just saw that Ken already answered that.
    Matt,

    I missed putting a comment in my post about the trepanners. Sad to say, all but two LeBlond trepanners were left out of the the nearly 15 plus trepanners they had back in the early 1980's. Including the one that John worked on.

  17. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    29,485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Found this today - I had no idea Duane was a Chief Machinist Mate back in WW2 (not that MMs were machinists)

    Duane Milton Wolfe (1920 - 1984) - Find A Grave Memorial

    His wife , always referred to as Irene, was a career IRS person

    Grace Irene Wolfe (1922 - 1998) - Find A Grave Memorial

  18. Likes 4GSR liked this post
  19. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Victoria, Texas, USA
    Posts
    3,922
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2016
    Likes (Received)
    953

    Default

    John,

    Thanks for sharing. I didn't know that Duane was from Oklahoma. He must have been one of the several people Drilco hired and moved to Houston when American Iron Works closed down in Oklahoma City back in the late 1960's.

    Ken

  20. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    29,485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Yes American Iron, and apparently (?) the father of high speed trepanning as we know it. Here is his 1959 patent:

    There is also an Induction Head patent, which I thought this was.

    Patent US2869405 - Trepanning head - Google Patents



    Quote Originally Posted by 4GSR View Post
    John,

    Thanks for sharing. I didn't know that Duane was from Oklahoma. He must have been one of the several people Drilco hired and moved to Houston when American Iron Works closed down in Oklahoma City back in the late 1960's.

    Ken

  21. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Victoria, Texas, USA
    Posts
    3,922
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2016
    Likes (Received)
    953

    Default

    Wow! I remember someone mentioning him and another person introduced trepanning to America as we know it today. I didn't realize he had a patent on the trepan head pretty much as the one we use today.

    Ken

  22. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    29,485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    One of my Drilco projects never photographed to my knowledge was the pair of huge (and long) Seneca Falls Lo Swing lathes dedicated to the "Hevi wate"(?) product line - sort of a section of drill string with an integral "cat head" or steady rest band in the middle

    The deal was to produce this feature from the solid - which involved turning down the bulk of each end to some smaller diameter - all at once using the pair of carriages.

    I got to figure out how to install early versions of SMW's hydraulically operated steady rests which if I recall correctly were used as follow rests

    The lathes were more equipment left over from WW2 ordnance production. I seem to recall each lathe had 75 HP
    Last edited by johnoder; 08-26-2019 at 12:04 PM.

  23. Likes Limy Sami, 4GSR liked this post
  24. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Missouri
    Posts
    778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    665
    Likes (Received)
    217

    Default

    back-page.jpg
    That huge motor on that gearbox resembles a freight train. That's work history to be proud of. Is that a gear reduction or just the bearing housing for the drive

  25. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    29,485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The big ribbed casting split on the center line is just a head stock containing large bore spindle and its quite large Timken bearings. I think we used a big timing belt. The big motor is just a DC controlled - in those days - by a SCR, so no gearing needed. Not a large range of speed was needed since there is not a large range of diameters in the trepanning - regardless of how big the OD.

    The large power was needed because this was a double end trepanner - working from both ends of maybe 32 feet of 11" bar at the same time.

    The high pressure coolant pumps on each end also aggregated 150 HP. There must be no failure in getting the chips out like right now

    As far as exactly remembering details, this was all going on 45 years ago



    Quote Originally Posted by mllud22 View Post
    That huge motor on that gearbox resembles a freight train. That's work history to be proud of. Is that a gear reduction or just the bearing housing for the drive

  26. Likes mllud22, 4GSR, cyanidekid liked this post

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
  •