Heavy Iron still in use in Belle Chase, Louisiana
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    Default Heavy Iron still in use in Belle Chase, Louisiana

    A few weeks ago I had to take a trip to a sister branch in Belle Chase, LA. I typically stay in Texas, but that particular week we were super busy, and short handed. So I got sent over to give those fellas a hand. My primary gig is commercial marine work on tugs, barges, supply vessels and such. Of that, I predominantly work on the engine side of things, but tend to get my fingers in other pies on occasion as well.

    This is a bit of a continuation of an off topic thread I started nearly a year ago on EMD engines to show some correlation between marine work, Heavy Iron, and manual machine work still being done today:
    O/T V8 EMD Engine

    First stop was Marine Systems in Belle Chase:

    11.jpg 12.jpg

    Their high speed engine side covers Caterpillar, John Deere, Detroit, and Cummins. Medium speed department covering EMD's, and another somewhat internal department covering gear boxes such as Falk and Reintjes marine gears.

    A high percentage of the work is done in the field, on both the engine and marine gear side. Including some of the machine work to the gear boxes where line bores, and bore work that is done for bearing seats and the like.

    While not an every day use machine, the marine gear side does have the pleasure of having an L & S Powerturn:

    1.jpg 2.jpg

    The machine originally shipped in December 1967. Whether at that time, or later, it made a stop in Los Angeles CA at some point:

    5.jpg

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    The lathe can be used for repairing or cleaning up the shafts in the gear boxes. We can see a couple of gear boxes parked in from of the lathe here:

    3.jpg

    A better look at some of the sheer size of the marine gears with the lathe in view for comparison:

    4.jpg

    A couple of other shots of the lathe:

    6.jpg 7.jpg

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    I didn't have time to dive into the electric and control side of lathe, other than to know its 20hp:

    9.jpg 10.jpg

    Up next, a travel down the road to FMT Shipyard. . .

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    Hope your retreating to higher grounds.... Be safe!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4GSR View Post
    Hope your retreating to higher grounds.... Be safe!
    I was only over there a couple of days, back home now.

    For those that don't know, there have been some heavy rains, and I assume over in that area as well.

    Funny thing, I took some pics during the trip. Some of which are the 'sea wall' that runs miles along the road there. I've seen some sea walls around sections of refineries, chemical plants, etc. One that comes to mind is in the Texas City Port, but nothing this long. This sea wall runs miles along this road, as far as you can see:

    14.jpg 13.jpg

    Each business along here has a special fortified gate you enter through. In cases of high water, the gate is shut. Pulling out from the FMT gate, crossed through the wall here:

    15.jpg

    A bad pic, but just past the wall here. Might be hard to tell, but from my perspective, the boats look higher in the air than I might normally expect, because they are. The water level is about even with the parking lot:

    17.jpg

    Through the gate and half way to the waters edge, and looking back at the gate:

    16.jpg

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    Along the entirety of the waters edge is a levee or berm, about 4' high. You can get some perspective here:

    18.jpg

    Looking more or less from the water side:

    19.jpg 20.jpg

    And that was a few weeks ago, without rain. . . But I think most outfits over there know how to deal with it, or have contingencies.

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    Default Heavy Iron still in use in Belle Chase, Louisiana

    Quote Originally Posted by texasgunsmith View Post
    A few weeks ago I had to take a trip to a sister branch in Belle Chase, LA. I typically stay in Texas, but that particular week we were super busy, and short handed. So I got sent over to give those fellas a hand. My primary gig is commercial marine work on tugs, barges, supply vessels and such. Of that, I predominantly work on the engine side of things, but tend to get my fingers in other pies on occasion as well.
    That’s cool that you get to go help out elsewhere!
    I hope the shop stays dry!

    That’s a beautiful lathe!

    Quote Originally Posted by texasgunsmith View Post
    While not an every day use machine, the marine gear side does have the pleasure of having an L & S Powerturn:

    1.jpg 2.jpg

    The machine originally shipped in December 1967. Whether at that time, or later, it made a stop in Los Angeles CA at some point:

    5.jpg
    Same swing, but a longer bed than my new to me Large & Shapely!

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    That Storm is a big one. Wishing well for everyone that's in the storms path.
    That's a nice lathe.
    With weather pattern changes I wonder about the long term survival of cities like New Orleans.
    I grew up swimming and fishing in the Mississippi and know its strength often we were let out of classes if we were helping friends or family move belongings out ahead of the flood.
    I would never live in a river bottoms from seeing the destruction..

    Texas
    That sounds like heavy but rewarding work. Are those big power units built on their own removable steel frame for easy servicing and brought to your shop.?
    i remember seeing something like that at a riverside scrapyard once'

    I got a quick tour of a tugboat as a kid. I was fishing in my johnboat between the bank and some parked barges. I asked a guy on the tug about the engine. He invited me up to take a look. The boat is mostly engine and was clean and looked well maintained. Huge inline ?? cylinders

    The tug worker wasn't so well maintained. He smelled bad with days of sweat ring stains on his shirt with a soggy cigar butt in his mouth.
    I started feeling uneasy and thanked him and made it back to my boat. The rough old boy spooked me a little I don't think he was the captain
    Late 1960's


    Edit
    I see the size of the gearbox in the photo now. Earlier when I read I overlooked it. That's huge

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    Quote Originally Posted by mllud22 View Post
    I would never live in a river bottoms from seeing the destruction..

    Texas
    That sounds like heavy but rewarding work. Are those big power units built on their own removable steel frame for easy servicing and brought to your shop.?
    i remember seeing something like that at a riverside scrapyard once'

    Edit
    I see the size of the gearbox in the photo now. Earlier when I read I overlooked it. That's huge
    As much as I like the atmosphere being near the water, don't think I'd want to live directly on the coast with a history of continuous harsh weather.

    I'm not sure about the manufacture process of those gear boxes, but most repairs and rebuilds take place in the boat. The top cover lifts off and you can pull the shafts and bull gear out. Those gears have 3 positions, forward, neutral, and reverse.

    In the boat there are two rails for each main propulsion engine. They are referred to as engine bed, engine skid etc. Using jacking screws, shims, and other means you adjust alignment of gear box to wheel shaft, then engine to gear box. In a straight line from the prop through engine crankshaft, it should all be aligned to single digit .001"s.

    Looking at that gear box mount:

    21.jpg

    A smaller version of that type of marine gear, and where it mounts to engine bed:

    22.jpg

    This pic shows rear engine mount, plus that gear box:

    23.jpg

    Then the wheel shaft coming out of the boat:

    24.jpg

    And for a broader view of getting all that aligned:

    25.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by texasgunsmith View Post
    As much as I like the atmosphere being near the water, don't think I'd want to live directly on the coast with a history of continuous harsh weather.

    I'm not sure about the manufacture process of those gear boxes, but most repairs and rebuilds take place in the boat. The top cover lifts off and you can pull the shafts and bull gear out. Those gears have 3 positions, forward, neutral, and reverse.

    In the boat there are two rails for each main propulsion engine. They are referred to as engine bed, engine skid etc. Using jacking screws, shims, and other means you adjust alignment of gear box to wheel shaft, then engine to gear box. In a straight line from the prop through engine crankshaft, it should all be aligned to single digit .001"s.

    Looking at that gear box mount:

    21.jpg

    A smaller version of that type of marine gear, and where it mounts to engine bed:

    22.jpg

    This pic shows rear engine mount, plus that gear box:

    23.jpg

    Then the wheel shaft coming out of the boat:

    24.jpg

    And for a broader view of getting all that aligned:

    25.jpg

    That water bottle in picture 4 sitting on the wheel shaft support bushing puts things in perspective.
    Thanks for the pictures and the explanation. Your rigging experience should be pretty good by now.I did see the lifting rings but just pulling a shaft /gears would require careful moves.

    I miss going too work.

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    Here's some wheel shafts lined up to go into the machine shop:

    26.jpg

    Besides wheel shafts, rudder shafts are a regular repair and maintenance item for the machine shop as well. Rudders get bumped and bent on occasion. Also normal dry dock maintenance would see them yanked out and repaired. This lot standing up I believe are customer spares. The rudder get cut off the shaft so the shaft can be turned on the lathe. Then the rudder is welded back on, or a new one made:

    27.jpg

    Heading down to the machine shop at FMT shipyard:

    28.jpg

    Shafts are brought in on the heavy cart that's on tracks:

    29.jpg

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    One of the big dogs in the shop, right at the entrance, Sidney Lathe from 1956, still having at it:

    30.jpg 31.jpg 32.jpg

    Looks like top speed is 306rpm.

    33.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by texasgunsmith View Post
    One of the big dogs in the shop, right at the entrance, Sidney Lathe from 1956, still having at it:

    30.jpg 31.jpg 32.jpg

    Looks like top speed is 306rpm.

    33.jpg
    i like the "kickstand" for the quick change.

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    I bet that old Sidney is smooth, quite running.

    BTW, what brand of lathe is that one behind the Sidney?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4GSR View Post
    I bet that old Sidney is smooth, quite running.

    BTW, what brand of lathe is that one behind the Sidney?
    It a Monarch behind the Sidney, but facing the other way. If you go back and look at the full length Sidney pic you can see the Monarch headstock just over the Sidney tail stock.

    I did get some pics of this one too. Monarch 25" swing with 33.5" actual swing,

    From 1952, looks like top speed at 505rpm:

    36.jpg 37.jpg 38.jpg 39.jpg

    I was at the shipyard to work, so I couldn't hang out too long. I want to say they have 8 to 10 large lathes, at least half are Monarchs. There's an Axelson too. I do have more pics to post once I get them uploaded, I just wasn't able to get every machine.

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    I missed that Monarch in your previous post. A 25N raised to swing 33". NICE! There's a shop here in Victoria that has four of this size Monarchs in their shop at last count. Haven't been by there in a while.
    I ran one back when I was in college in 1978. It was a 25N raised to swing 36" and had 12 foot between centers. IT was fresh from government storage back then. It was nice sweet running machine. Was not problem holding tight tolerances on that machine. Sure miss running it all these years. I couldn't hold up to running one today much less pick up one of those Aloris EA tool holders!
    Thanks for Texas! Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4GSR View Post
    I missed that Monarch in your previous post. A 25N raised to swing 33". NICE! There's a shop here in Victoria that has four of this size Monarchs in their shop at last count. Haven't been by there in a while.
    I ran one back when I was in college in 1978. It was a 25N raised to swing 36" and had 12 foot between centers. IT was fresh from government storage back then. It was nice sweet running machine. Was not problem holding tight tolerances on that machine. Sure miss running it all these years. I couldn't hold up to running one today much less pick up one of those Aloris EA tool holders!
    Thanks for Texas! Ken
    Good call on the 25N. Looking at some other pics I see that on there.

    Across the main aisle from the Sidney there's a couple of foreign lathes. A Kingston HLC 1860, and another I don't know:

    40.jpg 41.jpg

    Next to those two is a smaller Axelson:

    42.jpg

    Moving to the far end of the shop are some more Monarchs, but I didn't get a good pic of the data tag on this one:

    43.jpg

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    There is a 25N I did get some pics of. From 1953, top end 405rpm. One interesting thing it has two Monarch data tags. Not sure the purpose of the 2nd tag, but I'm curious the "Spec Mil-L" in the label.

    44.jpg 45.jpg 46.jpg 47.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by texasgunsmith View Post
    There is a 25N I did get some pics of. From 1953, top end 405rpm. One interesting thing it has two Monarch data tags. Not sure the purpose of the 2nd tag, but I'm curious the "Spec Mil-L" in the label.

    44.jpg 45.jpg 46.jpg 47.jpg

    The second tag may be a government order [ Required tag ]

    THE Order number has A.F.. circled before the order number [ Air Force ]

    The MIL - L 4.370 could refer to a specification in [ Thousanth's = Mil ]
    Maybe its a tolerance spec. of deviation over the L=length = 4.370 thou
    There may be a symbol stamped between the L and the 4

    A WILD guess
    Maybe others could elaborate.

    47uuu.jpg

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    Some other machines at the FMT shipyard. One is an American Tool Works radial drill:

    49.jpg 50.jpg

    Another is a little more modern Cincinnati mill:

    51.jpg

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