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Who remembers Granny Gear?

43 posts in this topic

The "Drybollock" paddle gear first started appearing in the late 60's when lock repairs/ replacements were carried out, the problem was you would come across one at random spots.Early ones were prone to hydraulic failure, pipes bursting/leaking seal failure on coming across one or more on a lock it was more or less guaranteed to be inoperable the BW trick seemed to be to fit the Hyd to only one paddle at each end of the lock so the stone age rack & pinion was operative whilst the super duper all singing/dancing latest technology gismo was US.  Typical of the time though nobody I ever came across boating liked them complaints were many but the were fitted even though the maintenance & cost must have exceeded the old type paddle gear by a considerable amount,

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We don't need to remember it ! Out of 72  paddle sets on the Ashton, 68 are still hydraulic and forty plus  years old. Wear and tear and bad pressure setting-up means that several paddles are out of order at any one time. CRT did replace 2  bottom gate sets at locks 8 & 16  with real rack & pinion gear when the gates were renewed a few of years ago but have since reverted to putting old hydraulics back on new gates, a very strange policy.  It is common to find a hydraulic oil leak from worn pumps or rams, this finds its way onto the floor, into the canal and onto your clothing. Fortunately the very expensive biodegradable  oil is now used  (and wasted) so not so much environmental damage these days. To  prevent  paddles running down on their own , quickly swing the anti-vandal lock bar up onto the spindle  after taking your windlass off,no need to lock it until you've finished with it. Some gears are harder to wind down than up . I rather think the skills to  correctly set-up these abominations have been lost ,or were they never there?

Bill

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Who remembers the paddle gear on the Shroppie in the 60's.

Rack and pinion, no gearing, a snatch and a single turn of the windlass, a metal tongue on a chain to stop the paddle dropping down again.

Proper!

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2 hours ago, billh said:

We don't need to remember it ! Out of 72  paddle sets on the Ashton, 68 are still hydraulic and forty plus  years old. Wear and tear and bad pressure setting-up means that several paddles are out of order at any one time. CRT did replace 2  bottom gate sets at locks 8 & 16  with real rack & pinion gear when the gates were renewed a few of years ago but have since reverted to putting old hydraulics back on new gates, a very strange policy.  It is common to find a hydraulic oil leak from worn pumps or rams, this finds its way onto the floor, into the canal and onto your clothing. Fortunately the very expensive biodegradable  oil is now used  (and wasted) so not so much environmental damage these days. To  prevent  paddles running down on their own , quickly swing the anti-vandal lock bar up onto the spindle  after taking your windlass off,no need to lock it until you've finished with it. Some gears are harder to wind down than up . I rather think the skills to  correctly set-up these abominations have been lost ,or were they never there?

Bill

That's the ones I was thinking of that we did about 3 weeks ago, I found that on at least one the anti vandal thing didn't grip the shaft.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

19 hours ago, Athy said:

It looked like the gear in the photo above. Is there actually a difference?

Yes, we were taught to remove the little catch after working the lock, as the gear would lower itself unaided, a good labour-saver.

Come to think of it, last time I encountered this gear we still had 'Batto', which we sold in 2005 so my memory may be faulty.

Inside Ham Baker gear:

DSCF2075.JPG

DSCF2076.JPG

Not aimed at anyone on here but why do many folks think this gear is hydraulic? Rhetorical question I suppose.

Also if "you" are told these weren't designed to "drop."

387,951. Sluice valves. BENCE, E. H., Municipal Engineering Works, Langley Green, Birmingham, HAM, P. S., 70, Victoria Street, London, and MORGAN, E. I., 8, Wolverhampton Road, Sedgley, Birmingham. Aug. 24, 1932, No. 23694. [Class 68 (ii).] A sluice valve is operated by screw gearing of such a pitch that the valve, when raised and released, will descend by its own weight. The Figure shows a gearing for raising a flat sliding valve, not shown, at the lower end of a non-revolving rod 14. It comprises a gear case 19, 20, containing bevel wheels 23, 24 rotatable so that the nut 35 raises the rod 14. When raised, it is retained by pawls 33a, 33b engaging with ratchet wheels 30, 31 ; these may be released by overturning a link 34, and the valve then descends. The stop 37 is fitted with a buffer 38, or may function as a dashpot. In a modification, the rod 14 is keyed to the wheel 23, and rotates in a nut at the upper end of a tube attached to the valve rod. Buffers are fitted at the lower edge of valve ; they may be removed to enable the valve to be removed.

Whether with age this may now be a different matter.

Edited by Ray T
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6 minutes ago, Ray T said:

Inside Ham Baker gear:

DSCF2075.JPG

DSCF2076.JPG

Not aimed at anyone on here but why do many folks think this gear is hydraulic? Rhetorical question I suppose.

 

I've just realised what would make a more than adequate, (and exceedingly robust), replacement for the current barely adequate bevel gears used to operate "Sickle's" Blackstone box with a traditional GUCCCo gear wheel!

It might take up a bit too much space in the engine room , though!

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Does anyone know the original arrangement for holding the paddle in the raised position and why it was necessary to put in place the work around involving the claw and chain that is now on the HB gear?

Phil

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Just now, philjw said:

Does anyone know the original arrangement for holding the paddle in the raised position and why it was necessary to put in place the work around involving the claw and chain that is now on the HB gear?

Phil

 

Ham & Baker winding mechanism.jpg

 

387,951. Sluice valves. BENCE, E. H., Municipal Engineering Works, Langley Green, Birmingham, HAM, P. S., 70, Victoria Street, London, and MORGAN, E. I., 8, Wolverhampton Road, Sedgley, Birmingham. Aug. 24, 1932, No. 23694. [Class 68 (ii).] A sluice valve is operated by screw gearing of such a pitch that the valve, when raised and released, will descend by its own weight. The Figure shows a gearing for raising a flat sliding valve, not shown, at the lower end of a non-revolving rod 14. It comprises a gear case 19, 20, containing bevel wheels 23, 24 rotatable so that the nut 35 raises the rod 14. When raised, it is retained by pawls 33a, 33b engaging with ratchet wheels 30, 31 ; these may be released by overturning a link 34, and the valve then descends. The stop 37 is fitted with a buffer 38, or may function as a dashpot. In a modification, the rod 14 is keyed to the wheel 23, and rotates in a nut at the upper end of a tube attached to the valve rod. Buffers are fitted at the lower edge of valve ; they may be removed to enable the valve to be removed.

Edited by Ray T
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I think people tend to call Hatton etc "Hydraulic" as they can't see any gearing: many people perhaps don't understand what hydraulic means either

I remember them well: they were a curse in many ways and my first real introduction to the loss of heritage at a tender age (certainly under ten). That said, they were a (misguided attempt) to make the waterways easier to operate for the family leisure user. I recall taking my nine year old nephew on the Mon  and Brec (1999) and the hydraulics on the bottom gates were well within his capabilty. 

35 minutes ago, Ray T said:

Inside Ham Baker gear:

DSCF2075.JPG

DSCF2076.JPG

 

I can imagine them putting that back together and finding a few bits left over...

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37 minutes ago, Ray T said:

When raised, it is retained by pawls 33a, 33b engaging with ratchet wheels 30, 31

So the mechanism was somewhat similar to a GU gate paddle spindle ratchet and the ratchets can still be seen on the HB gear. I wonder why they were replaced.

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2 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

That's the ones I was thinking of that we did about 3 weeks ago, I found that on at least one the anti vandal thing didn't grip the shaft.

That's the case on several on the HNC, resulting in those paddles not being used because people can't unlock them. But I made up a 'secret weapon consisting of a reversed 1/4" socket drive on a ratchet.  Works on them all, and much less fiddly than a handcuff key.

3 hours ago, TimYoung said:

Who remembers the paddle gear on the Shroppie in the 60's.

Rack and pinion, no gearing, a snatch and a single turn of the windlass, a metal tongue on a chain to stop the paddle dropping down again.

Proper!

We don't have to remember - there's still a couple on the Rochdale!

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1 hour ago, philjw said:

So the mechanism was somewhat similar to a GU gate paddle spindle ratchet and the ratchets can still be seen on the HB gear. I wonder why they were replaced.

I think they got broken. Looking at the diagram above, the part of the casting supporting Parts 33 and 34 looks a bit vulnerable to a casual clout with a windlass, aimed at releasing the pawls. 

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3 hours ago, Ray T said:

Inside Ham Baker gear:

DSCF2075.JPG

DSCF2076.JPG

Not aimed at anyone on here but why do many folks think this gear is hydraulic? Rhetorical question I suppose.

Also if "you" are told these weren't designed to "drop."

387,951. Sluice valves. BENCE, E. H., Municipal Engineering Works, Langley Green, Birmingham, HAM, P. S., 70, Victoria Street, London, and MORGAN, E. I., 8, Wolverhampton Road, Sedgley, Birmingham. Aug. 24, 1932, No. 23694. [Class 68 (ii).] A sluice valve is operated by screw gearing of such a pitch that the valve, when raised and released, will descend by its own weight. The Figure shows a gearing for raising a flat sliding valve, not shown, at the lower end of a non-revolving rod 14. It comprises a gear case 19, 20, containing bevel wheels 23, 24 rotatable so that the nut 35 raises the rod 14. When raised, it is retained by pawls 33a, 33b engaging with ratchet wheels 30, 31 ; these may be released by overturning a link 34, and the valve then descends. The stop 37 is fitted with a buffer 38, or may function as a dashpot. In a modification, the rod 14 is keyed to the wheel 23, and rotates in a nut at the upper end of a tube attached to the valve rod. Buffers are fitted at the lower edge of valve ; they may be removed to enable the valve to be removed.

Whether with age this may now be a different matter.

As you say, they were designed to be closed by gravity, i.e. dropped. As I see it, if you can't drop them  they aren't being maintained properly. When I was boating with youth groups, I was happy for them to wind them up, but was always a bit worried about letting them wind them down, safer to knock off the catch.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

3 minutes ago, archie57 said:

As you say, they were designed to be closed by gravity, i.e. dropped. As I see it, if you can't drop them  they aren't being maintained properly. When I was boating with youth groups, I was happy for them to wind them up, but was always a bit worried about letting them wind them down, safer to knock off the catch.

Archie, I find this a little more difficult with the "Claw" now fitted. I find I have to hold the spindle then pull the windlass off the spindle. I have tried knocking off the claw but an not always successful and on occasions looks like I am having a hissy fit belting the gear with my windlass.

Edited by Ray T
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1 hour ago, Iain_S said:

the part of the casting supporting Parts 33 and 34 looks a bit vulnerable to a casual clout with a windlass

You are probably right but it would be a hefty clout. I know cast is brittle but the broken bits are about an inch thick.

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8 hours ago, TimYoung said:

Who remembers the paddle gear on the Shroppie in the 60's.

Rack and pinion, no gearing, a snatch and a single turn of the windlass, a metal tongue on a chain to stop the paddle dropping down again.

Proper!

I do most of my commercial boating involved them even so many were not as heavy as some of the T&M gear

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5 hours ago, philjw said:

So the mechanism was somewhat similar to a GU gate paddle spindle ratchet and the ratchets can still be seen on the HB gear. I wonder why they were replaced.

The reason for the claw/chain was the casting that the pawl was attached to the paddle tower got broken off, see picture of stripped gear, rather than replace a large expensive casting they drilled an extra hole & bolted a short length of chain & claw to work as a stop for the unit money saving scheme

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5 hours ago, Mac of Cygnet said:

That's the case on several on the HNC, resulting in those paddles not being used because people can't unlock them.  

You miss understood me, the anti vandal lock could be both removed and fitted with no problem, but when locked it didn't prevent the hydraulic drive spindle rotating, it did prevent you getting a windlass on it, so in the case of it creeping down putting the lock on didn't stop it.

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