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twowheelinjim
03-12-2006, 12:07 AM
Did anybody know the Navy has a mobile machine shop? I thought someone would find it intresting to know. It's set up on an enclosed lowboy trailer. On board it contains a lathe, a mill, surface grinder, drill press, various other tooling , and an overhead crane running through the middle. It also has provisions to carry a healthy stock of metal. The trailers are issued to the Naval construction battalions. The Naval personnel attached to these units are the famous "seabees". Each battalion is a self contained unit that supports Marines in combat, and during peace time work on humanitarian projects worldwide. The motto of the Seabess is " we build, we fight". Some of the most intresting characters I have ever had the pleasure to meet were seabees. I spent the better part of nine years on board two active duty battalions.

sch
03-12-2006, 12:31 AM
Older versions of these pop up from time to time on surplus auctions, usually at prices in the $10-30k range.
Steve

Fasttrack
03-12-2006, 12:53 AM
Thanks for sharing! I never heard of that before - it rocks. I always liked the idea of taking a trailer and making into a shop that could handle whatever the needs were. I always got a kick out of seeing the trailers that people had for race cars. When i was younger i used to sketch out what i would want one to have in it and where i'd put the various tools. Now i got a new trailer to dream about - a machine shop on wheels!

meho
03-12-2006, 08:42 AM
Here is a link to a Macromedia 16 pic set of the USAMU machine shop:
http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/amu/shop/shop.swf

They also have a small machine shop inside a trailer that they take to various shooting matches around the country.

James

Wirecutter
03-12-2006, 10:01 AM
In the book (pamphlet, really) that I have from South Bend, "How to run a lathe", there is a picture of an appropriate age truck, and it's outfitted as a mobile machine shop.

In light of a number of discussions here and elsewhere, I always wondered if a truck or trailer could be made rigid enough for that task. A lot has been said about having everything super flat and super level to assure accurate parts. I guess it doesn't really surprize me that the US military would come up with a structure solid enough for the job, but couldn't this be a big problem?

TECHSHOP
03-12-2006, 12:05 PM
Fasttrack wrote,

"When i was younger..."

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

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Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."

Carl
03-12-2006, 12:21 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">In light of a number of discussions here and elsewhere, I always wondered if a truck or trailer could be made rigid enough for that task. A lot has been said about having everything super flat and super level to assure accurate parts. I guess it doesn't really surprize me that the US military would come up with a structure solid enough for the job, but couldn't this be a big problem?</font>

Have Lathe...Will Travel

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v35/lathefan/ffd2452a.jpg

TECHSHOP
03-12-2006, 12:32 PM
Wirecutter:

Never been in a war zone?

Military things (and too often people) only need to last the duration of the next mission/firefight, "make do" is an understatement and far too common, even the US military.

NOT trying to start a "flame" thread, I'm out of this one. Let us just say, the Queen of Battle is a harsh Mistress.

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Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."

Carl
03-12-2006, 12:37 PM
New Guinea. Mobile Machine Shop truck of the 741st Ord. Co., 41st Inf. Div., at Horanda, New Guinea. Pfc. George Chapman, Helena, Montana and Sgt. John Eppard, Pasadena, Cal., machinists, working on automotive parts. (9 May 43) Signal Corps Photo: GHQ SWPA SC 43 6856

http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/photos/WWII/ErlyYrs/SC180731.jpg

Tin Falcon
03-12-2006, 03:01 PM
here is another one.
http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/OEP/first/archive/2001/MachineShop.htm

x39
03-12-2006, 03:23 PM
A mobile machine shop set up in a 6x6 box truck sold within the last year at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard through a govliquidation.com auction. It went for about $5500.00.

Tin Falcon
03-12-2006, 03:53 PM
Here is a home built one on a trailer.
http://www.plansandprojects.com/My%20Machines/shop.htm

HTRN
03-12-2006, 07:22 PM
How about something that can be shipped anywhere - a machine shop built into a 40 foot shipping container?

Now there's an idea..

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This Old Shed (http://thisoldshed.tripod.com)

Wirecutter
03-12-2006, 07:32 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by TECHSHOP:
Wirecutter:
Never been in a war zone?
</font>

Fortunately, no.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by TECHSHOP:
Military things (and too often people) only need to last the duration of the next mission/firefight, "make do" is an understatement and far too common, even the US military.

NOT trying to start a "flame" thread, I'm out of this one. Let us just say, the Queen of Battle is a harsh Mistress.
</font>

No offense taken. My "prejudice" about "militarized" stuff comes from occasionally seeing or being involved in something designed to "mil-spec". On the design side, there is a pretty serious effort made to make sure that, when things get hairy, the gear works. And of course, there's a lot of folklore about it, too.

I see your point, though. It's not hard to understand that, in battle, if it will run, shoot, fly, or float, it's going to be used. Any available resource will be used to death to try to ensure a winning outcome.

But in general, the US military has a reputation for stuff that's rugged and expensive. Well, except for the Army Corps of Engineers. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

(apologies to residents of the Gulf region)

jkilroy
03-12-2006, 09:36 PM
Blaming the problems of New Orleans on the Corps shows you're complete lack of understanding of the situation.

ARFF79
03-13-2006, 01:05 AM
HTRN:
The military currently has at least 1 possibly 2 mobile cnc equiped machine shops in the Iraq/Afganistan opperations area. This was profiled in a recent issue of the magazine put our by Jim Graff of Graff/ Pinkert Machinery Dealers. It is in a Conex box and is linked to a rapid prototype center back here in the US. If the print is in the files they can make the part ASAP otherwise they need to do what every other job shop in the world does, and do it the hard way, either manually or by reverse engineering the part,to make a print,to write the program. Irt is a neat article.

chief
03-13-2006, 01:18 AM
HTRN,
You are too late we, always deployed with one attached to our special boat unit.
Tool van, machine and welding shop and a gen set all mounted in conex boxes.

HTRN
03-13-2006, 01:33 AM
Another getrickquick scheme down the drain... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif


HTRN

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This Old Shed (http://thisoldshed.tripod.com)

Peter S
03-13-2006, 04:23 AM
Carl, thats a neat photo (the one in PNG).

This one is a Scammell from the mid 1920's, it was supplied to the Newcastle-on-Tyne Electric Supply Co Ltd so they could impliment their standardisation of frequencies at Colleries, factories etc.There is a Parsons engine and 15 kw generator on board for power.

This photo comes from the book "Scammell: The Load Movers From Watford" by Nick Georgano.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/PeterS/Scammellwithlathe.jpg

[This message has been edited by Peter S (edited 03-13-2006).]

Wirecutter
03-13-2006, 12:29 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by jkilroy:
Blaming the problems of New Orleans on the Corps shows you're complete lack of understanding of the situation.</font>

My apologies. I was making a rather lame joke - I do actually understand that the problems in NO and the surrounding areas can't all be laid at the feet of one entity. It's a pretty sad mess, IMHO - didn't mean to oversimplify.

Veering closer to on-topic, though. I have thought in the past that a shipping container might make a cool mobile machine shop. Maybe brace it up a little for added rigidity, then set it up. There are ways to move such containers nearly anywhere - so it could be pretty handy for a military or corporate (like oil drilling or something) support tool.



[This message has been edited by Wirecutter (edited 03-13-2006).]

Carl
03-13-2006, 01:08 PM
Peter S, thanks for the photo. I tuned it up a bit to get a better look inside. That's a good sized lathe in there!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v35/lathefan/Scammellwithlathe.jpg

HWooldridge
03-13-2006, 09:16 PM
The 3/4 ton M37 and M715 trucks were set up as maintenance trucks with a Koenig body - those were mostly for welding and fabrication. The 2-1/2 ton trucks (M35 and other variants) came with box bodies and sides that flipped up to shade the sides of the body - also giving access to the bed. I have seen pics of these with a small lathe and mill in the bed - plus many boxes for hand tools, vises, etc.