Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: Seattle's Wilson Machine Works

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    3,360

    Default Seattle's Wilson Machine Works

    Seattle still has an industrial waterfront along Elliot Avenue. Ace Tank is gone, and so is the Williams Potato Chip factory which I toured when I was a cub scout in the 1950s. But the Wilson Machine Works is still there. I stopped by on a Sunday last week, and found a machinist and his pit bull inside. They were happy to let me take photos.

    The shop has been around for over a hundred years. It still has belt pulleys on the ceiling, and one machine is still driven by an overhead belt. In the foreground of this photo you can see a 22" Cadillac lathe.



    This Cincinnati is the largest lathe I ever saw. It was acquired from the Bremerton Naval Shipyard where it was used to machine propeller shafts. Now it is used to turn and repair elevator pulley sheaves. The machinist said it swings a 66" diameter.



    The distance between centers is over thirty feet. Now you know where to go if you need a huge custom shaft turned, or just to have a good look at a really old shop.

    Last edited by aostling; 08-06-2009 at 04:33 PM.
    Allan Ostling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    4,452

    Default

    Cool old place. Any idea what that motor/generator on the wall is for? I'm presuming it is- or more likely was- to get DC to power something.

    I like how they mounted a teeny (relatively speaking) 3-jaw to the center of the big lathe's faceplate.

    Doc.
    Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    3,360

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Nickel
    Any idea what that motor/generator on the wall is for? I'm presuming it is- or more likely was- to get DC to power something.

    I like how they mounted a teeny (relatively speaking) 3-jaw to the center of the big lathe's faceplate.
    Doc.
    Your guess about the motor/generator may be correct. I don't know if it is still in use.

    This photo shows the gearing on the Cincinnati. The faceplate can be geared to a tenth of the spindle speed, the lowest setting being 2 RPM.

    Last edited by aostling; 08-06-2009 at 06:02 PM.
    Allan Ostling

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Central Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    2,201

    Default

    Beautiful pictures...

    Just a question...How do they scrape beds of such length??

    I assume there would not have been straight edges of 30 feet length so they must have used some other method..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Oroville, WA
    Posts
    12,033

    Default

    This tiny building near Boeing Field in Seattle was stuffed to the gunnels with machines last I was in there:

    http://tinyurl.com/noczt3

    It was and possibly still is an A&P shop. The owner overhauled the engine on my airplane many years back and his equipment was an eye-popper. You had to slip sideways down the work aisles but the machines were beautiful and state of the art. How he got all that in through the little door is a mystery. Might be worth knocking on the door to see who's there now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    On the Oil Coast,USA
    Posts
    19,685

    Default

    Looks like work,except they're shop is cleaner and has less stuff in it
    I just need one more tool,just one!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Salmon Arm, BC, Canada
    Posts
    212

    Default

    Jeeez;
    They operate that lathe with the gear train open like that ?
    Worker's comp. would be crawlin down my throat (or up sumthin else) if they saw that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    169

    Default

    dp,
    Is that Allied Aircraft Welding and machine shop? Hard to tell from the Google pic but its within a block or so. Run by a guy named John something? They do some impressive work.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Oroville, WA
    Posts
    12,033

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jmm360
    dp,
    Is that Allied Aircraft Welding and machine shop? Hard to tell from the Google pic but its within a block or so. Run by a guy named John something? They do some impressive work.
    Can't say as I haven't been there in a long time but yes, it was capable of just about anything and from what I saw, did some fantastic things. I wonder if it still smells of cigars...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Bremerton Washington
    Posts
    5,792

    Default

    I think I remember that lathe. It maybe was taken out in 1965 when the two 60" Betts Bridgeford lathes were moved inside the main shop center bay from the shaft lean-to (had to remove the roof to get crane access to the work) on the West side of the shop. All the old foundations in center bay were broken out and new poured. The shop was torn up fro months. We're talkin' 10 ft wide x 4 ft deep by maybe 70 ft long. These were big marine shaft lathes having many sections to the bed to get the length.

    The hand wheel on the headstock near the chuck ran the faceplate drive pinion in mesh with the internal gear inside the faceplate.

    Lathes this size don't have interchangeable chucks. If you wanted jaws you bolt on faceplate jaws. Or you could clamp work direct to the faceplate, or run it between centers.

    I see only two steadys. A long lathe like this needed several for long work measured in tons.

    No live center quill either where the center is built into the quill bearings an all. You had another quill with a machine taper. I wonder what taper the quill is. I think the headstock is #7 Morse.

    The compound had power feed on it and on the compound was a 90 degree cross slide you fed with a big allen wrench.

    Note there is no QC tool post. Not beefy enough. It's all T bolts and strap clamps and the tools have 3" and larger x 2" wide shanks. A 50 HP lathe could exert 20,000 lb against the tool.

    I can't remember. Seems to me the lathe that came out of the PSNS machine shop had two carriages on it. Was one sacrificed?

    The lathe in the photos looks to have two (? hard to say) 20' sections beside the headstock section. I never ran it. I saw in Hallidie in their old shop when new hard steel way inserts were installed on a big lathe. This was about 1970 or so. The inserts for the bed sections were whoppers. Was this the lathe?
    Last edited by Forrest Addy; 08-08-2009 at 12:54 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •