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WWII Liberty ship lathe

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CluelessNewB

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#3
I'm guessing that was designed for some special purpose, maybe servicing valves of some sort. I don't think it is a general purpose lathe. If someone knows for sure what it was made for it would be interesting.
 

westsailpat

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#4
Hmmm , seems they just changed the website around . It was described as a packing gland boring lathe , on the right side of the lathe it looks like there is a packing gland mounted .
 

NortonDommi

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#6
It is for cleaning up the gland packer casting. There are standard sizes and the recess in the packer needs to be true to pack the gland evenly. Should be somewhere on it to assist in cutting the packing at an angle as well. Square Graphite impregnated Asbestos rope is a pretty awesome product given what it can do. I have a few packs of different sizes sitting on a shelf, as a seal if installed correctly it lasts and lasts and lasts. Nip it up if it weeps. Good Ships Chandlers and Propeller makers usually have it in stock. The greenie eco-terrorist fear mongers have not been able to come up with even a suggestion of a matching product that I am aware of. In a pinch you can double up or pull out your trusty knife and cut/trim to size. A spool of cord or string is the emergencey go to.
 
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Bob Korves

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#7
Where I used to work we had lots of rolls of different styles and types of packing material. We used quite a bit of it on mobile and stationary heavy equipment. Packing glands look crude and makeshift to those of us used to oring and Teflon seals, but that stuff was cheap, worked great, it was field adjustable, simple as can be, and lasted a long time. You could also make do with something handy for a while while you found the correct packing. I have a few sizes of graphite impregnated asbestos rope packing somewhere in my shop.
 

NortonDommi

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#8
Hemp cord or rope boiled in wax,(superfamily Apoidea preferably), or even well greased with dripping, lard or anything a bit slippery will work in a pinch with these seals. Rip a bit from the cuff of your jeans. The system looks simple but has thousands of years of engineering knowlodge behind it.
Sometimes the simplilest things are just the best for a particular application.
Horses for courses of course.
 

Ironken

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#9

westsailpat

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#10
Now Harry's site is working perfect , yesterday it was all jacked up . I'm wondering if I need one of these lathes in my engine room . I would put my Atlas/Craftsman 6" in there but I don't have 110V at sea . Plus you never know we may need to bore out that packing gland while under way , so the hand crank is the fix .
 

4GSR

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#11
It is for cleaning up the gland packer casting. There are standard sizes and the recess in the packer needs to be true to pack the gland evenly. Should be somewhere on it to assist in cutting the packing at an angle as well. Square Graphite impregnated Asbestos rope is a pretty awesome product given what it can do. I have a few packs of different sizes sitting on a shelf, as a seal if installed correctly it lasts and lasts and lasts. Nip it up if it weeps. Good Ships Chandlers and Propeller makers usually have it in stock. The greenie eco-terrorist fear mongers have not been able to come up with even a suggestion of a matching product that I am aware of. In a pinch you can double up or pull out your trusty knife and cut/trim to size. A spool of cord or string is the emergencey go to.
I've toured the old Utex manufacturing plant about 70 miles north of me back in the early 1990's and watched them making that "rope". They made all the different grades of that material including the "Graphoil" packing, boy that was nasty stuff to make. You felt like you were sliding around on the floors in the areas where that stuff was made in. Get high in the room where the impregnate the rope with nitrile rubber using Acetone and MEK as the solvent. All of the floors in these areas were coated with graphite to reduce the chance of static electricity. Sure glade to get out of that room!
 

Dredb

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#12
The SS Richard Montgomery is only a few miles away from me, I wonder if there is one on board.
For a number of reasons, it would be difficult to find out.
Dredb
 

Terry Werm

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#13
The SS Jeremiah O'Brien is a Liberty ship that is docked in San Francisco, and I toured that ship last February. Awesome place to visit. The tour is self-guided, so you can linger in areas that are of greater interest if you wish. The engine room was fantastic, and the ship is still operational, it sails a couple of times per year and is steamed regularly just to keep everything in working order. Anyway, I did not see such a lathe anywhere, but that doesn't mean that they don't have one. Considering that the ship had been in the mothball fleet prior to being brought back to operation, I'll bet that they still have one on board.
 

Ray C

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#14
I've cracked my head on quite a few places on the USS Liberty Ship, John Brown docked in Baltimore. For a couple summers, I had full access to help restore it. My good friend is a licensed steam engine operator (licensed to pilot such vessels too) and he pulled me into helping with the John Brown. I made several parts using the ship's lathe (and I assure you, it was not hand operated, LOL).

FWIW, those that know me from years ago... I'm still making parts on a part-time basis for the Marinas around here.

Ray C.
 

Nogoingback

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#15
The SS Jeremiah O'Brien is a Liberty ship that is docked in San Francisco, and I toured that ship last February. Awesome place to visit. The tour is self-guided, so you can linger in areas that are of greater interest if you wish. The engine room was fantastic, and the ship is still operational, it sails a couple of times per year and is steamed regularly just to keep everything in working order. Anyway, I did not see such a lathe anywhere, but that doesn't mean that they don't have one. Considering that the ship had been in the mothball fleet prior to being brought back to operation, I'll bet that they still have one on board.
Terry is right: the O'Brien is VERY cool if you get a chance to go aboard. My Dad was a merchant mariner during WWII
and spent most of the war on Liberty's, so for me it was of particular interest. All you folks interested in steam engines should go aboard: everything on the ship is steam powered including the (huge) engine, winches and steering gear.
My best friend once bought tickets for us for one of the cruises around SF Bay. Absolutely fabulous!
 

benmychree

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#16
My 19" Regal lathe, I was told by the machinery rebuilder that I bought it from, came off a liberty ship; this was about 30 years ago when they were scrapping the liberties from the reserve fleet near Benicia Ca.
If these hand operated machines were actually built in 1945, it is more likely they were used on a Victory ship, the Liberties were no longer being built by then. The Liberty ship, as some will know were an 1890s design given us by the British so we could ship them much needed supplies during the war; the original design was for a riveted hull, we redesigned it for a welded hull and changed from the British Scotch boilers to Water tube boilers in the engine room, not separated in a separate room as with the Scotch boilers.
The reason that we built Liberty ships early in the war is that we did not have capacity to produce the reduction gears in sufficient quantity for ships with turbine engines like the later Victory ships which were faster and more economical/efficient.
 

Nogoingback

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#17
The redesign from riveted to welded hulls was in part responsible for cracking in the decks and hulls of the Liberty's. Later ships had
different steel in their hulls, reinforcements, and better process controls for the welders.

There were some freighters with turbine engines: the pre-war C-3 design had turbines, but the engines were costly to build and needed
for warships.
 

markba633csi

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#18
Kaiser-Frazier used rope seals on their crankshafts for the inline sixes on old Jeeps- I had one but sold it- thank goodness
Mark
 

amuller

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#20
The redesign from riveted to welded hulls was in part responsible for cracking in the decks and hulls of the Liberty's. Later ships had
different steel in their hulls, reinforcements, and better process controls for the welders.

There were some freighters with turbine engines: the pre-war C-3 design had turbines, but the engines were costly to build and needed
for warships.
I was surprised to see that the Brown had welded vertical hull plate seams but the longitudinal seams were lapped and riveted, at least the ones I could see.
 
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