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Victor Vectis

One For Machine Tool Fans

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This is a WW2 painting, now in the IWM collection, titled 'Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech Ring'. It shows a munitions worker using a lathe in a Newport (Wales, not IoW) factory. It was published in the Daily Torygraph yesterday.

Today someone had a letter published saying:

"Sir-Ruby Loftus may well have been an exceptionally skilled turner and borer (Letters, January 29th) but the painting of her by Dame Laura Knight does her no justice.

It depicts her resting her hands, in an arbitary fashion, on parts of her lathe where she has no direct control over the machining operation.

This would not have happened in reality"

I think the letter writer has got it wrong! I see the tool boring or, internal screwcutting, under power feed. She is looking to see when the cut ends to knock the feed off. I'm not sure what her right hand is doing, or what it is resting on. Something to do with the power feed? (And we won't mention lack of yellow tabbards/eye protection/chuck guard will we)

I would welcome your opinions.

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The way her hands are placed and leaning in like that does look odd but those were different times and I am no that familiar with such lathes.  I suspect though that the picture has some artistic licence and the leaning in is to focus the view and highlight topical focal point for the painting rather than actual work practice. It generates a level of concentration and intent on behalf of the woman, working hard for the War effort.

Edited by churchward

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Would agree with the above and having spent half a lifetime in engineering I must  say that the aggrieved reader seems to have no idea of what goes on in a machine shop

Phil 

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No eye protection or ear protection either, probably no safety boots or barrier cream and she looks like the sort of gal who'd enjoy a fag too. Namby pamby mutter moan nanny state can't wait to leave the EU 'elf and safety blah blah. (Sorry, meant to post this to the Torygraph)

  • Greenie 1

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A larger version:

Ruby_Loftus_screwing_a_Breech-ring_(1943

 

It's an artistic piece. She's got tools littered all over the lathe, and neither hand are in a useful place.

If she's screwcutting fast enough to throw suds oil off like that, she'd better have an automatic stop in place. Otherwise she's going to get it wrong once and have an almighty tool crash

I say artistic license, not reality

Good picture though

Richard

MORE: If she is actually doing something useful, she's boring a recess in the end of the breech block. The swarf, speed, tool and calipers match that. Even so, it's a bit cavalier as it's a short recess

Edited by RLWP

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Definitely artistic licence there. That's really a Myford lathe, just made to look a bit bigger.

  • Haha 1

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50 minutes ago, Bee said:

Definitely artistic licence there. That's really a Myford lathe, just made to look a bit bigger.

Why is it a Myford? 

Love the picture, takes me back a while..

Ian.

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1 hour ago, RLWP said:

Several Myfords in Coventry:

JS37875016.jpg

Do you know which factory that is? Also how do you know there Myfords? 

Ian.

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3 minutes ago, ianali said:

Do you know which factory that is? Also how do you know there Myfords? 

Ian.

Yes, it's the Coventry Ordnance Works

No, they are not Myfords, I was trying to be funny

There are a few more here: https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/lifestyle/nostalgia/gallery/7181403

Richard

MORE: Myford didn't start until 1934: http://www.lathes.co.uk/myford/

That image is from WW1 or before

Edited by RLWP

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11 minutes ago, RLWP said:

Yes, it's the Coventry Ordnance Works

No, they are not Myfords, I was trying to be funny

There are a few more here: https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/lifestyle/nostalgia/gallery/7181403

Richard

MORE: Myford didn't start until 1934: http://www.lathes.co.uk/myford/

That image is from WW1 or before

Interesting link, thanks Richard. I served my apprenticeship in the 70 s at Webster & Bennett's in Coventry. Had some big bits of kit there. I do miss the smells and sounds.

Ian.

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7 minutes ago, ianali said:

Interesting link, thanks Richard. I served my apprenticeship in the 70 s at Webster & Bennett's in Coventry. Had some big bits of kit there. I do miss the smells and sounds.

Ian.

The ordnance works was on Red Lane, in Paradise (!), next to the canal. Some of the sheds are still there

Oh yes, be careful on that Lathes.co.uk site, there's hours of browsing and daydreaming there: http://www.lathes.co.uk/webster-howarth/ http://www.lathes.co.uk/webster-bennett/

img0.jpg

 

Edited by RLWP

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8 minutes ago, RLWP said:

The ordnance works was on Red Lane, in Paradise (!), next to the canal. Some of the sheds are still there

Oh yes, be careful on that Lathes.co.uk site, there's hours of browsing and daydreaming there: http://www.lathes.co.uk/webster-howarth/

 

Yes I do browse them...we sold our business 18 months ago. Had several older lathes as they could perform tasks that modern types can't. Thinking about it I do have a large garage..

Ian.

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1 hour ago, RLWP said:

Several Myfords in Coventry:

JS37875016.jpg

What are they turning on those model makers lathes?  :lol:

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3 hours ago, X Alan W said:

What are they turning on those model makers lathes?  :lol:

Syringe needles 

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21 minutes ago, RLWP said:

Syringe needles 

Yeh no wonder they are so expensive!  Those guys will be knee deep in swarf in a minute!

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1 hour ago, RLWP said:

Syringe needles 

A bit of waste metal there then. as said the swarf will get a bit deep

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On 31/01/2018 at 20:43, X Alan W said:

What are they turning on those model makers lathes?  :lol:

Gun barrels for battleships i think .

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Heres an nice old photo of the Ordnance Works, Coventry, transporting a gun barrel. 

2018-02-14 13.00.41.png

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Not quite a machine tool, or a gun barrel, but a nice painting of another Coventry hero, Frank Whittle, born in same street as my mum in Earlsdon. This is his experimental jet engine testing at BTH works in Rugby and nearby Lutterworth.  His maths teacher didnt think he,d make much of himself either !

2018-02-14 13.11.33.png

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Having worked on the SR71 ti

3 hours ago, Irob said:

Not quite a machine tool, or a gun barrel, but a nice painting of another Coventry hero, Frank Whittle, born in same street as my mum in Earlsdon. This is his experimental jet engine testing at BTH works in Rugby and nearby Lutterworth.  His maths teacher didnt think he,d make much of himself either !

2018-02-14 13.11.33.png

Having worked on the SR 71 power plants things have come on a bit

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2 hours ago, IanD said:

And it's a terrible painting of the engine, technically speaking...

Is it?

NASM-SI-2003-10546.jpg

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