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willedoo
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You don't have to go back very far to see massive changes. In the eighties I used to make copies of drawings and documents. The drawings went into a machine with a UV lamp inside a glass cylinder. The tracing against the glass and paper outside of it. Roll it through and develop the paper and one copy of drawing. Now it is done by a computer and instantly available a thousand Km away. Documents were even harder to copy and none could go by telephone.

Nowadays you can have an X ray, it is sent to the specialist in a distant city and the treatment is prescribed by computer. No long trip to see the medico.

When I worked in Collinsville in the sixties I had to book a phone call out for the next day and hope there was not an incoming one .Now it is instant contact through something smaller than my wallet.

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That looks very much like the generator I have. Our engine was a lot bigger than that one though, water cooled with a big flywheel. Watching those small engines run at the pioneering shows can be very mesmerizing. I like the ones that only fire at the occasional stroke. A mate of mine is a tractor restorer and has some Lanz Bulldogs. It's interesting watching them at idle with the front end bouncing up and down.

Edited by willedoo
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3 minutes ago, Yenn said:

You don't have to go back very far to see massive changes. In the eighties I used to make copies of drawings and documents. The drawings went into a machine with a UV lamp inside a glass cylinder. The tracing against the glass and paper outside of it. Roll it through and develop the paper and one copy of drawing. Now it is done by a computer and instantly available a thousand Km away. Documents were even harder to copy and none could go by telephone.

Nowadays you can have an X ray, it is sent to the specialist in a distant city and the treatment is prescribed by computer. No long trip to see the medico.

When I worked in Collinsville in the sixties I had to book a phone call out for the next day and hope there was not an incoming one .Now it is instant contact through something smaller than my wallet.

Computers also changed commercial art in a big way. I remember when it was all done by hand, burnishing on letters with letraset sheets etc..  It's all quick now with computers.

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In my case, I was brought up until age 12 on a rural property with no power whatsoever - and we only lived 11 miles (17.7 kms) from the Perth CBD!

We used Tilley kerosene lanterns for lighting, a Metters No 2 wood stove for cooking, and water from a bore. Mum had a Briggs & Stratton powered washing machine, but did more washing by hand, than that machine ever did!

At age 12, Dad had to get off the farm (it had been leased out for 5 years, with an option to purchase at a low price, that he failed to understand) - and we moved to the city, with mains power and mains water!

 

That lasted 4 years, until I left school at 16 to join the older brother in the earthmoving business in the wheatbelt. We had a caravan for initial accommodation.

But then we rented a very nice farmhouse very cheaply - but it had 32V power, a bank of batteries, and all backed up by a Southern Cross model YB engine.

 

I'm not sure of the alternator size, probably about 1.5 or 2KVA. Of course, the 4HP YB was crank-started - and on cold mornings, you had to give her a "shot" of oil into the intake to assist with starting.

The batteries we had were in fairly good condition, but the Southern Cross had to be run most days. Luckily, it was supplied by a bulk fuel tank, so no awkward refilling of a small tank.

The genset and batteries were housed in a big shed about 250M from the house, to keep the noise level down - and you walked that distance on good nights, and jumped into the ute to do it, on cold or wet nights!

 

The farmhouse was a nice house, it had stood empty for several years before we moved in, as the farmer had bought the neighbour out, and this bloke had departed the house, to live in a major town.

The house had been built after WW2 with big concrete bricks, made in a hand-operated brick press - and the roof was (surprisingly), corrugated aluminium sheeting.

I think there some deal on after WW2 to sell aluminium cladding, but it must have been dearer than CGI.

 

The farmhouse was a fabulous design, with absolutely huge rooms, and a massive verandah on all sides. It was a nice place to live in in Summer, but it hard to heat in Winter. I think the loungeroom was about 10M x 8M, it was massive.

The bedrooms were all about 5M x 7M, they were enormous. The kitchen had a massive slow-combustion stove with inbuilt HWS that kept the kitchen area warm, and which devoured heaps of mallee roots (that I had to chop!)

 

We moved out after 7 yrs when we knew the farmers son was getting married and would want the house. The farmer really wanted us to stay, saying the son could build his own small place - but we knew there'd be pressure on us to move out.

In 1972, we moved to a small town about 60kms E, where we acquired 5 acres on the outskirts of town with an old CGI-clad, timber-framed house on it.

We had mains water (from the Wellington Dam near Collie) and mains power - but that was provided by several big Blackstone horizontal "oil" engines, from the town powerhouse, about 1.5kms away!

 

This house had originally been built in the Goldfields in the early part of the 20th century - then in the early 1920's, it was dismantled and carried on drays to the wheatbelt, where it was re-assembled!

This was a fairly common exercise in W.A. during that era, when gold had lost its lustre, and returning soldiers were taking up and developing farmland, wholesale.

 

That house provided fairly tight shelter for the brother, his wife, myself, and his 3 growing boys, up until 1982. We did have to add some external accommodation in the late 1970's.

We bought a partly-developed farm about 120kms SSE of Perth in 1977, and the brother and his wife and boys moved onto the farm in early 1982. 

On 4th Oct 1982, while I was out working (on a long weekend holiday), an electrical fault developed in the power supply to the house (an overvoltage to 330V) and the house caught fire and burnt so badly, it had to be demolished.

That was a particularly devastating time, I lost a huge amount of personal possessions, photos, trophies, and other irreplaceable items in the fire. You never recover from a loss like that.

 

What was interesting, is that when I was demolishing the remains of the house, I found the pressed sheet metal lining the interior walls had about 5 layers of wallpaper on the side facing the rooms - but there was another 2 layers of wallpaper on the inside of the pressed sheets!

That was because the blokes re-assembling the house had turned the interior sheeting around, when re-erecting it, to present a new pressed metal finish on the inside of the walls!

Edited by onetrack
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I wonder if the wallpaper got knocked around during the dismantling and moving, and they decided to turn the sheets inward and start with fresh wallpaper.

 

P.S. onetrack, thanks for the reference to the 4hp YB southern Cross. Found this photo online and it's the same model we had on the farm.

 

 

48_20.jpg

 

This startup video brings back some memories.

 

 

Edited by willedoo
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Willedoo - Geez, the sounds of that old YB cranking and firing up sure bring back some memories! I'm only a featherweight, and cranking that thing was hard work on cold days! I wonder how many thousands of YB's the Toowoomba Foundry cranked out?

 

I haven't been back to the old farmhouse since 1972, and looking on Google Satellite images, it appears the son built a new house virtually adjacent to the old one, and the old one is now derelict and abandoned. A sad end to a nice old farmhouse.

 

I forgot to mention, when we had the family (dairy) farm, Dad bought a 27HP Ronaldson Tippet twin, a model CK.

It came from the Williams (W.A.) powerhouse, and Dad used it to drive a 4" Stalker centrifugal pump, to irrigate Elephant Grass for the cows. We had a huge underground water supply, part of the Gnangara Mound.

 

That Ronaldson Tippett was a real beast! I was only about 8 or 9 when he acquired it, and I can recall my elder brothers, who were 9 and 10 yrs older than me, trying to crank it into life!

What an effort to get it to fire, when you released the compression! If you didn't keep up maximum momentum, it would kick back, and drive you into the ground!

 

 

I'm currently in possession of a vertical 3 cylinder, 30 HP Ruston-Hornsby, model VSO. It was originally a genset engine, and pulled from an abandoned brickworks by another bloke, who dropped dead before he got it running.

 

This engine weighs over 800 kgs! I don't know how I'm going to crank that!! I think I'll be building a starting system of some kind for it!

 

Here is the 4 cylinder version of the VSO, the flywheel on these genset engines is massive!

 

https://myoldmachine.com/topic/1774-ruston-hornsby-vso-size-4-diesel-engine-and-generator/

 

 

I might add - you do know the Southern Cross YB was a licence-built Ruston-Hornsby YB engine, don't you?

 

 

Edited by onetrack
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Those posts sure reminded me of growing up on our old dairy farm at Old Koreelah. We had two Lister engines, both of which I learned to start at a young age:

Pour a gallon of standard petrol in the tank, palm of your left hand pressed over the intake nozzle to richen the mixture, give the handle a good heave and pull it off the shaft before it rips your arm off! 

The one that powered the milking machines also ran a huge old 32v generator that ran a couple of feeble light bulbs. Overhead wires carried the power 75m to the house, where we sometimes enjoyed electric light. The old bank of batteries must have worked once, but I don't recall ever having power on demand.

Once when the family was away and the plurry Lister refused to start, my sister and I hand milked the herd by kero lamp. (I still have that lamp, which is older than me; it gets used during blackouts.)

 

I remember my Dad's efforts to ease my mum's household workload with a kero fridge and shellite-powered iron- both of which could catch fire. 

 

I guess the radio must have been battery-powered. It provided the soundtrack to our mealtimes: the Golden Fanfare ABC News theme (which is only kept alive today by JJJ) and Blue Hills, by Gwen Meredith...

 

My dad mounted the other Lister engine in a pump house by the creek, pushing water up the hill for livestock and the dairy. Decades after the farm was sold, my older brother came home from the Air Force, bought that engine and restored it. We both get a kick out of cranking her up when I visit him.

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Old Koreelah, someone in my area has a Gane 3&1/2 hp engine for sale. It's a water cooled diesel in running order. I don't know much about them but it's Australian made for the Gane Milking Machine Company in Sydney. I think it might have been a British company. My family went out of dairying a couple of generations ago, so I was lucky enough to avoid getting up in the dark to milk a bunch of sh*tty ars*d cows. I do have memories of doing it at ag college in the middle of winter, in the dark and having cows flick sloppy, poo saturated tails in one's face. I take my hat off to anyone who does it for a living.

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Where I milked cows which was in the UK it was great in winter. Sit down on the three legged stool, stick your head into the cows flank, just ahead of her leg and milk her. Nice and warm, most of the runny smelly stuff behind you and you got warning of her kicking, when you head was pushed away.

Happy daze. Much better when machines came into common use, but colder.

I went back many years later to one of the farms I worked on and the cowsheds are now luxury holiday accommodation. The photo brings up the nostalgia.

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21 hours ago, Yenn said:

I went back many years later to one of the farms I worked on and the cowsheds are now luxury holiday accommodation.

I regularly watch that British show, 'Escape to the Country', and quite a big percentage of the properties are barn conversions. It must be a big thing in Britain, converting old buildings. It looks like their building code is easier than ours; a lot of them wouldn't pass our laws. I guess cyclone rating here has some bearing with that. Where I live, you can re-locate an old Queenslander but it must be brought up to current bracing and tie down specifications. So that does away with a lot of the t&g single skin internal walls.

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On 13/07/2020 at 3:02 PM, willedoo said:

I don't have the Southern Cross engine, but I still have the old 32 volt generator and inverter stashed away somewhere in the shed.

So I had a rummage through the shed yesterday and found the generator and inverter. The generator is a Quirk's and the TV inverter motor and switchboard are made by Davy. I might put something on them to keep further rust out. Maybe a turps/linseed oil mix or penetrol. Any suggestions? Kero doesn't last long and from memory penetrol sets with a bit of a glaze. Straight linseed oil on old metal doesn't look too good and I think it gets fungal growth. Maybe a bit of turps with it would be better.

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The UK building code is way worse than ours. You have to get approval to build anything, even a garden shed. If you are in a National Park and they are not like our NPs, but just areas within park boundaries, you have to comply with even more regulations. No big windows, because they would look out of place and that sort of thing.

I went to a family reunion and one woman I met there was a planner who could approve or disapprove  building permits. She openly admitted that some of the time she had no idea what she was doing.

Even if you own a farm and it doesn't have a house on it, your chances of getting permission to build are very slim.

They do not have the high winds, nor do they have heavy rainfall. That is the downfall of a lot of Pommies designing here, they love flat roofs and the drainage doesn't cope.

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2 hours ago, willedoo said:

So I had a rummage through the shed yesterday and found the generator and inverter. The generator is a Quirk's and the TV inverter motor and switchboard are made by Davy. I might put something on them to keep further rust out. Maybe a turps/linseed oil mix or penetrol. Any suggestions? Kero doesn't last long and from memory penetrol sets with a bit of a glaze. Straight linseed oil on old metal doesn't look too good and I think it gets fungal growth. Maybe a bit of turps with it would be better.

Get a spray can of Inox, available in any hardware store. Gun collectors use it to prevent surface rust.

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38 minutes ago, Yenn said:

Lanox would probably leave a residue of lanolin.

Use it as hair spray, have you ever seen a bald sheep?

Lanox does leave an oily residue; I think that's why gun owners use inox rather than lanox. Less drying with a rag before using them.

 

As far as using it as a hair spray, they say you can't grow grass on a busy street. But who knows, maybe I'll give it a try. Grow a bit of wool for winter.

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The early caneite house-lining sheets were inflammable. My mates and I accidentally burned down a house in Alice Springs because it had been lined with this stuff, although in this case the caneite was mainly on the floor, such was the age and condition of the old place.

We had had a great war game with one lot attacking with firecrackers as grenades and the defenders throwing them out again if there was enough fuse still there to do this. The smouldering crackers mixed in with the caneite and started fires, which we put out till teatime anyway.

Later that evening the whole place burned down, watched by the crowd from the nearby open-air picture theater, on account of how the fire was more entertaining than the picture show.

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I don't know whether it's appropriate but I got a bit of a chuckle out of that story, Bruce. Not many people can lay claim to burning down a house. I remember caneite; it was horrible stuff. Only ever lived in one house with it and it wasn't hard to accidentally put your foot through it.

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During our game, the next-door lady put her head over the fence to tell us to stop before we burned the place down. We were polite kids, and we listened but when she went away we returned to our game.

Next day at school was when I first heard of the fire and my knees went like rubber. Bobby Baldock,  who had been in the picture crowd,  said the old woman next door knew just who done it. So I spent the next several days expecting to get arrested but it never happened... This was in 1959, so I maybe safe now. If you ever go to Alice Springs, the place was dead opposite the Flynn church and next door to what had been the newsagents.

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I wonder if this pile of rust would qualify as nostalgia for some. It might be getting to the age where it would be of interest to tractor buffs.

 

It's a TD-8B and I've never known it's manufacture date, but I'd guess somewhere in the 60's. Despite the urban myth that all TD Internationals were American made and all BTD's British, this TD is British manufactured. It must have been one of the earlier power shift machines, or more correctly a hybrid. It has a torque converter coming off the engine which is coupled to a manual high/low range gearbox. The power shift lever provides only a forward /reverse function and a long gear stick between the operator's legs gives high or low range. High range is a bit too high for anything other than smooth flat ground, so an intermediate range would have made it a lot better. I believe the International four cylinder engine is a longer stroke version of the smaller TD-6; basically the same engine with a different block.

 

The question is whether it will ever run again as it hasn't run for years. Youtube seems to be full of videos of various diesels cranking up after a lot of years, so maybe there's hope. About five years ago, I took out the injectors and put a bit of upper cylinder lubricant in for a couple of weeks. After that I hooked up a battery, took out the injectors again and gave it a crank. Nothing nasty like water came out, so I sealed it up again and changed the oil. It now has no visible coolant above the top plates in the radiator, but I'm hoping it might have just leaked out one of the hoses. There doesn't seem to be any water in the sump.

 

It might be a good Covid project to try and get it running again. Any advice from mechanical minded people would be appreciated, but here's the basic plan so far.

 

Drop the bottom radiator hose and drain the block, flush the cooling system and replace the coolant.

Change the engine oil and filters.

Check the air cleaners.

Replace the fuel filters.

Put some fuel in the tank and bleed the fuel system.

Emery a bit of rust off the hydraulic ram staunchions to hopefully save the seals. Also the track adjustment rams.

Hook up a battery and give it a go.

 

I'm not sure if the power shift transmission oil should be changed. That's a fairly expensive thing, but I do have an old 20 litre drum of it somewhere. It was a handy little machine in it's day, with a good set of Lewis rippers and angle blade. Sometime in the past, I added a blade tilt ram. The only way I could practically do it was to add a selector valve so you could have either tilt or rippers, but not both at the same time. When the rippers would creep down, you would have to lose tilt for a moment while you lifted them. Who knows, it might actually fire up and run again.

 

 

 

20200717_160918.jpg

 

20200717_160848.jpg

 

Edited by willedoo
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