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Mobile Army Machine Shop- then and today

Discussion in 'QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (Get Help Fast Here!)' started by Nels, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. Nels

    Nels Founder Administrator Supporter

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    The US Army mobile machine shop, 1943:

     

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  2. Pacer

    Pacer Active Members Active Member

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    That sure looks like a fine set-up -- have to wonder what "we" paid for it. And the sad part is, in 3-4-5 years (if that long), it'll be shuttled off in some corner of a base and left with a door or window open, uncovered, and sit there to be auctioned off in 15-20 years after the electrics are ruined and totally out of date, and everything else rusty and dusty.
     
  3. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells Administrator Administrator

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    Impractical. Does the government actually own any of these, or is that from a prototype or sales pitch?
     
  4. mikew67

    mikew67 New Member

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    Pacer, I think you have it right -- but not just for the military. I just bought a Mitutoyo CMM (coordinate measuring machine) off the surplus list from SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center -- a research facility funded by your tax dollars and mine :) The good news is that it only cost me $80. The bad news is that it sat unprotected from the weather on a loading dock for many years. My first step was to use about a gallon of EvapoRust to remove the rust from the (formerly) very precise THK linear ways and bearings. The balls were unrecoverable (but easily replaced). The electronics are missing. It was only used for a couple months -- until they determined that they couldn't use it successfully for beam alignment.

    I'm still optimistic that I'll be able to recover it to a level useful for an HSM (i.e., some semblance of its former accuracy).

    Mike
     
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  5. mikew67

    mikew67 New Member

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    Just for grins, here's a picture of a corner of the machine shop onboard the USS Midway, a late/post WWII aircraft carrier, now docked as a historical display for the GAP (Great American Public) in San Diego harbor. Looks like the Navy got to carry heavier iron :)

    Mike

    [attachimg=1]
     

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  6. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells Administrator Administrator

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    Heidenhein makes good scales that you could most likely repair your CMM with. I've worked on Boice and Hansford CMM's a bit. Mostly pretty straightforward.
     
  7. mikew67

    mikew67 New Member

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    Tony,

    Thanks. I'm hoping to recover the existing scales. The linear scales, the read heads and the preamps are there and appear OK. I just need to reverse engineer the preamps and go from there. (Anybody have any inside info on Mitutoyo CMM electronics? :) My main issue is with rusting of the linear tracks. Plan is to dissolve the rust (done) and hone the tracks with diamond paste.

    Mike
     
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  8. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells Administrator Administrator

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    I have a copy of some older, but still useful, IMO, software for CMM use. I'd have to think about the interface a bit, but as I recall, it's not too complicated. This software is PC based. It comes from Caliper Designs.
     
  9. mikew67

    mikew67 New Member

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    Tony,

    Thanks. Any info on the electronics and hardware would be especially useful. (I plan to rewrite the software, since it'll probably run on an embedded system.) But the software would be useful, too, especially insofar as it helps me define the interface hardware and timing.

    Mike
     
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  10. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells Administrator Administrator

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    I'll dig it up, Mike.
     
  11. Pontiac Freak

    Pontiac Freak Active Members Active Member

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    Neat ship! I took the family through it 2 years ago and we were all amazed.
     
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  12. Rbeckett

    Rbeckett Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator

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    The biggest issue with the mobile machine center is the armies policy that no feild fabbed parts will be installed. While I was in Iraq we had several issues of air leaks and could fabricate a perfectly usable replacement hose but were not allowed to since the replacement part did not have a NSSN and may or may not have been compliant with some obscure, esoteric standard. These were all MRAP vehicles built by International, nothing special other than the armor. It was very frustrating to hold a vehicle for one simple line and wait 7-8 weeks for it to arrive. Happened too many times to too many vehicles. Hated that aspect of that job.
    Bob
     
  13. HSS

    HSS Active Members Active Member

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    The machine shop on board a Navy vessel was always a much nicer and more convenient work center than anything transportable by the Army. When the Navy moved to a new location, the machine shop didn't have to fold their tents. When the Army moved to a new location, everything had to be closed up, folded up and packed up. We had a machine shop truck in our company in Viet Nam that looked like the WWII machine shop in the picture. The sides opened up and the floor slid out on both sides. I think it opened up to about 15' wide, IIRC. Sometimes I think I would like to have one of those old machine shops on wheels, but I get over it and say "naw"

    Pat
     
  14. Nels

    Nels Founder Administrator Supporter

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    That is a huge lathe aboard the Midway-

    What type was it?


    Nelson
     
  15. Nels

    Nels Founder Administrator Supporter

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    That's a beautiful machine.

    Way too big for my tiny home shop, but still, nice.


    Nelson
     
  16. Nels

    Nels Founder Administrator Supporter

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    Some more Army mobile machine and welding shops!

    Ordnance Maintenance Truck, 2 1/2 Ton

    There were several types of trucks beyond those pictured below, including the automotive repair truck, for general vehicle maintenance; the electrical repair truck, for various types of automotive electrical equipment; the instrument bench truck, to maintain and repair special fire-control equipment; and the tire repair truck.

     

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  17. mikew67

    mikew67 New Member

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    Thanks, Allthumbz, for the neat pictures and history!

    Wonder how uniform the lathe cuts were in the presence of "incoming"? ;)

    Mike (who's workshop is about the same size and even more crowded, but not mobile, even though it's in a garage :)

    PS: BTW, I should forward this thread to a friend who is now president of the MVTF (Military Vehicle Technology Foundation; check it out at http://www.mvtf.org/ And if you're ever in the SF Bay Area, you simply have to do a tour.)
     
  18. Nels

    Nels Founder Administrator Supporter

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    Here is another modern mobile Army machine shop for sale on Ebay:

    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/tls/2781522069.html
    [h=2]Army SGPMSMD Machine Shop Equipment Trailer - $9800 (SLE)[/h][HR][/HR]Date: 2012-01-03, 12:27PM PST
    Reply to: sale-jrntb-2781522069@craigslist.org [SUP][Errors when replying to ads?][/SUP][HR][/HR]
    Here's your chance to own a mobile turn-key machine shop and a peice of history.

    Description provided by previous owner...

    "This SGPMSMD Shop Equipment Trailer was manufactured by the Southwest Truck Body Company for the U.S. Army. It features a 60 kilowatt White-Diesel generator set with a Hobart DC Welder, a 60,000 BTU furnace, 27-inch lathe, drill press, air compressor and more, plus tent accessories to enclose the trailer when the clamshell doors are open."

    Please note that this unique trailer weighs 31,000 pounds. No trades please.

    keywords: mill, lathe, grinder, cutter, dro, vise, press, cnc, phase, machining, surplus, military, militaria, WWI, WWII, rare

    • Location: SLE
    • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
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  19. ScrapMetal

    ScrapMetal Active Members Active Member

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    Dang, I really, really would like to have that parked in my driveway. :biggrin:

    -Ron
     
  20. goldenchips2

    goldenchips2 New Member

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    11 mpg highway
    8 mpg city
    gas ain't cheap !!
     

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