View Full Version : OT----Mystery Machine?
07-01-2007, 05:28 PM
Local retired well driller with a collection of antique motors, etc. has two flatbed trailers, well loaded, for showing/demoing at the drop of a hat. Tremendous crowd pleasers. Most of the equipment has been found in old, collapsing barns which he scrounged through while drilling a nearby hole. Most stuff was free, some taken in part trade------http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p86/Guido_album/Mr.jpg
These two machines are driven by hit-n-miss motors, making shoe/boot laces of any desired length while the 'customer' awaits the freebee. They were purchased several years ago from an old world machinist/manufacturer, upstate NY.
Colors are geared to the local sports team, nearest where they happen to be operating. Today's colors: Crimson and cream on the left, blue and white on the right. (USC and San Diego's Chargers) Being operated for the crowd at a CGA show in Santee, CA.
I've seen a machine more or less equivalent to those that braided sashcord. Fascinating to watch in operation. It would be an interesting machine to model, if one could measure a prototype and draw the plans. Lots of gears!
07-01-2007, 08:56 PM
In the early '80's I worked at a small division of GE that made aircraft instrumentation. We had a number of machines almost identical (though somewhat larger) to this, except instead of spools of thread, they had spools of thin stainless wire. They were used to put a nice stainless braided sheath on cable assemblies. As I recall, they were used mostly for thermocouple harnesses that mounted on and around jet engines. Really cool machine to watch running, with all of those little spools turning around and weaving in and out of one-another.
07-02-2007, 02:09 PM
When I was a lot younger and all small electrical equipment used rubber insulation and had braided silk outer coverings, I worked for a cable manufacturer and a walk through the braiding shop was a sight to be seen and an assault on your ears. Now it is almost impossible to get any braided cable, I suppose plastic does not need any covering as the copper does not need the tin as the rubber cables did.
Thanks for the pictures brought back some happy memories when the UK actually produced things and sold them.
07-02-2007, 04:09 PM
They are New England Butt Company braiding machines. The things that the spools are on are called carriers. Each set of them travel around a figrure-8 shaped track so that the wire or textile is inter woven. The carriers are made with rollers to guide wire or hooks for textile. The design goes back to around the Civil War and you can still get most of the parts. There is a guy in RI that worked for Butt for like 35 years until they got sold and he went out on his own. He forgot more about these machines than most people ever knew! The ones in the picture look like special ones for making cordage or something of that nature. I guess they are early 1900's vintage. If there are cast iron parts, other than the base, on the carriers, thats a clue.
I worked in the same place that Alan worked, but after GE sold it and the new owner bought another company that did the same kind of work. We used to have (it's mostly all in Mexico now) 16 and 24 carrier machines for both wire and textile (Glass and Nomex). They shure made a racket when you had a bunch of them running in the same room!
07-02-2007, 09:05 PM
What happens if a thread breaks?:D.
Seriously though,amazing machines.
07-03-2007, 03:50 PM
Running one is the "easy" part. The hard part is knowing how to weave a new end into the work (when a bobbin runs out), how to fix a broken strand, etc. Most of the material that you braid with has multiple single strands ("ends") in each main strand to get better coverage. We used to use a lot of stainless with 6 ends of .007 diam wire. The ends are wound in parallel on the bobbins and lord help you if they get crossed up when the bobbins are being wound!