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Author Topic: The Brunel Sawmill  (Read 39907 times)

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Offline cliveh

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Re: The Brunel Sawmill
« Reply #48 on: December 29, 2012, 18:55:03 »
Sorry I should have studied my plans more closely before posting. I see the Mast Pond on them now. This was fed by a tunnel from the river and then from the mast pond via a canal and tunnel to the 'elliptical pool'.

cliveh

Offline kyn

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Re: The Brunel Sawmill
« Reply #47 on: December 29, 2012, 18:28:34 »
Thank you :)

Offline cliveh

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Re: The Brunel Sawmill
« Reply #46 on: December 29, 2012, 18:27:12 »
How was the timber from the Mast Pond drawn to the saw mill? There is no walk way/tow path shewn. How deep was the water inside the tunnel? Were Men/Boys expected to wade through pushing/pulling the timber? What is that detail at the pond end of the tunnel?

Wonderful drawings, thanks Kyn.

S4.

S4 the timber was floated from the river, (not the Mast Pond), via a canal into a tunnel which emptied into an 'elliptical basin' (presumably the basin was at a lower level to the tunnel). From the basin the logs were raised by a mechanical lift powered by the Sawmill's steam engine. When it reached the surface it was grabbed by the arms of a moveable crane on rails. This crane descended an incline and then deposited the log onto a 'drying bed' where it would be surveyed. The same crane would then move the dried logs into the saw mill for sawing.

Hope this helps

cliveh

Offline kyn

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Re: The Brunel Sawmill
« Reply #45 on: December 29, 2012, 18:02:00 »
I don't know enough about the workings of the system to answer your questions.  Someone else is bound to be able to answer them though!

I have some more plans to post at a later date :)

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: The Brunel Sawmill
« Reply #44 on: December 29, 2012, 17:58:04 »
How was the timber from the Mast Pond drawn to the saw mill? There is no walk way/tow path shown. How deep was the water inside the tunnel? Were Men/Boys expected to wade through pushing/pulling the timber? What is that detail at the pond end of the tunnel?

Wonderful drawings, thanks Kyn.

S4.

 
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline kyn

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Re: The Brunel Sawmill
« Reply #43 on: December 29, 2012, 17:50:51 »
Some colourful plans for you.  Unfortunately the writing hasn't come out very clear.

1840

Chatham Shed.  Front and side view of standards to 2nd slip roof.  (This was in a folder marked Brunel Saw Mill.


These show the tunnel to the mastpond






Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: The Brunel Sawmill
« Reply #42 on: November 08, 2012, 20:14:30 »
WOW :)! Thanks for that gents.

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline cliveh

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Re: The Brunel Sawmill
« Reply #41 on: November 08, 2012, 11:05:27 »
A few plans of some of the machinery used by the sawmill; apologies for poor quality:


cliveh

Offline cliveh

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Re: The Brunel Sawmill
« Reply #40 on: November 07, 2012, 08:37:24 »
I think this photo shows the remains of the sawframes in situ:

cliveh

Offline Bilgerat

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Re: The Brunel Sawmill
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2012, 22:32:04 »
Leofwine is right. I was in there last summer and it's pretty much a modern sawmill/joinery shop. No old-fashioned steam-driven machinery in there now I'm afraid.

ps - sorry it took so long to respond to this one.........
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline DaveTheTrain

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Re: The Brunel Sawmill
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2011, 22:17:48 »
Thanks CliveH,

Your notes prompted me to look on the British Newspaper Archive.  There is an article in the Morning Post for March 1862, reviewing a biography of Brunel.  It notes he also built a mill (sic) at Battersea.

SA

Offline cliveh

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Re: The Brunel Sawmill
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2011, 19:23:37 »
Description of the Sawmill

[Wright, Topography of Rochester, Chatham, Strood, Brompton &c (Chatham Hill, 1838), p.73]

1838

The sawmills are situated at the northeast extremity of the dockyard. They are erected on rising ground about thirty-five feet above the level of the lowest part of the yard, and are enclosed in a room ninety feet square, roofed in by a light covering constructed of wood and wrought iron. The machinery comprises eight saw-frames, and two circular benches, with windlasses and capstans, which feed the frames; to work which an excellent thirty-horse power steam-engine is employed. These frames again are wholly independent of one another, and each of them formed to admit of from one to thirty saws, inserted or removable at pleasure, according to the number of planks required to be oibtained out of a beam of timber, which, moreover can, by their arrangement, be procured of various thickness if necessary.

The ground on the north side of the mills is appropriated to the stowage of the timber, to which balks are floated from the river by means of a canal running open to the extent of about 250 feet, till it enters the rising ground, when it becomes a tunnel 300 feet in length, and discharges itself into an elliptical basin ninety feet long, seventy-two feet broad, and forty-four feet deep, from whence the timber is raised to the saws with extraordinary velocity by the machine of the mills.

There is also a room appointed to models of blocks, and is a very handsome exhibition.

The whole of these admirable contrivances were projected and executed by the ingenious Mr. Brunel, of Thames tunnel celebrity.


(Macdougall ‘Chatham Dockyard 1815-1865’)


And that concludes my humble offerings about the Saw Mill from Macdougall's fine book! Hope they've been of interest!  :)


cliveh

Offline cliveh

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Re: The Brunel Sawmill
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2011, 18:29:36 »
Admiralty to Superintendent Gordon: powering of turning lathe

[NMM, CHA/H/9]

24 March 1834

I am commanded by My Lords Commissioners of the Admralty to acquaint you that they approve of applying the spare power, not at present used by the machinery at the sawmills, for turning spindles of capstans and other iron and woodwork, and for drilling holes in iron knees &c. as mentioned in your letter of the 22nd inst.


(Macdougall 'Chatham Dockyard 1815-1865')


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Offline cliveh

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Re: The Brunel Sawmill
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2011, 18:23:39 »
Surveyor of Navy to Admiralty: powering of turning lathe

[TNA, ADM222/4]

22 January 1834

Recommended that the spare power not at present used in the machinery at the sawmills at Chatham be applied to a turning lathe for spindles of capstans and for iron and woodwork, which are at present effected by manual labour.

[Marginal note]
This measure is very desirable but I do not know if there is any lathe at Chatham applicable to the purpose. I would submit that the officers report on the measure requisite to be taken, and the means they have applicable thereto and an estimate of such parts as they can form a judgement of.


(Macdougall 'Chatham Dockyard 1815-1865')


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Offline cliveh

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Re: The Brunel Sawmill
« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2011, 18:19:32 »
Commissioner Cunningham top Navy Board: employment of saw mill

[TNA, ADM106/1838]

5 March 1829

In return to your letter of the 10th ultimo, signifying that it appears expedient in that the sawmills should if possible be employed exclusively in cutting African timber into thick stuff and planks. I acquaint you that the officers report that in their opinion it is probable that 1560 loads of thick stuff and plank can be cut there per annum by employing four frames, it being necessary to continue the other three frames in cutting beams, waterways, deals, scantlings &c. The officers further state that £12 7s 9d is the probable rate per load, at which the said thick stuff and plank can be cut, having calculated the timber at the rate of £9 9s per load conformably to your letter of the 6th August 1828.


(Macdougall 'Chatham Dockyard 1815-1865')


cliveh

 

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