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Vickers Bl 8 inch Howitzer cannon of 1917

Vickers Bl 8 icnch Howitzer

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mal webber02/03/2019 22:20:09
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78 forum posts
186 photos

Hi all, that will look good when its done Rich will be nice to see a picture , bit more progress on the Howitzer build sorted the middle cross member and cut the radius trail parts to the wright length [ the corner parts not sure what their called } , next part to be made on the trial are the stub axles but before i have a go making them i thought it would be better to make the wheels first ,so rolled some 4mm plate for the rims and welded them up then into the lathe to trim them up ,milled the T rings out of the same plate and tried them together now to grind an edge on the t rings and weld them in, couple of pictures below.

Thank for your interest Mal.img_20190225_211446.jpgimg_20190301_182617.jpgimg_20190301_182726.jpgimg_20190302_184624.jpgimg_20190302_172806.jpgimg_20190302_190333.jpgimg_20190302_190727.jpg

Plasma03/03/2019 19:12:55
192 forum posts
21 photos

Excellent work so far Mal. The wheel rims look grand.

You truly are a magnificent engineer and fabricator.

mal webber12/03/2019 23:42:22
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78 forum posts
186 photos

Hi all,small update on the Howitzer ,first off thanks Mick for the complement but magnificent,i'am not even in the same ball park as the builders on this forum i'am just having fun in the shed. Welded the T rings into the rims and a bit of grinding and clean up with a flap disc the result looks good to me, then into the lathe to divide up and mark the 32 strakes and 16 spokes on each wheel, plenty of riviting in the next couple weeks for me here are a couple pictures how it went .

Thanks for your interest Mal.

img_20190311_212546.jpgimg_20190312_222642.jpgimg_20190307_222620.jpg

Edited By mal webber on 12/03/2019 23:50:30

David George 113/03/2019 11:18:14
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753 forum posts
261 photos

Never thought of using a dividing head on rear of spindle to divide holes in diameter. I will have to remember that one thanks. Very vice job.

David

mal webber15/03/2019 23:37:34
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78 forum posts
186 photos

Hi everyone ,bit more on the Howitzer build thought I would make the wheel hubs before starting on the strakes and all that riviting , so started with a 60mm dia steel bar bored out to the size I was looking for then turned the outer hub ends x4 with a round insert tool,and for the outer edge used a end mill with lathe in reverse to give me the nice round edge, after that it was the hub centres which were just parting off tool stuff.After working out measurements and placing parts together I think its looking about wright ,mill the slots for the spokes next and they are done ,,couple of pictures how it all went .

Thanks for the interest Mal...

img_20190313_200638.jpgimg_20190314_181950.jpgimg_20190314_183620.jpgimg_20190314_184541.jpgimg_20190314_190002.jpgimg_20190314_194036.jpgimg_20190315_185944.jpgimg_20190315_181038.jpgimg_20190315_192717.jpgimg_20190315_192826.jpg

mal webber23/03/2019 15:23:17
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78 forum posts
186 photos

Hi all small update on the Bl 8inch Howitzer ,one outer rim complete does not sound much but this took me some time to get done 32 strakes 124 rivets later and I think it looks about right , now to get other one done couple of pictures below on how it looks.

Thanks Mal.

img_20190323_145423.jpgimg_20190323_145623.jpgimg_20190323_145653.jpg

mechman4823/03/2019 15:51:43
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2329 forum posts
375 photos

Looking goooood Mal, watching post expectantly for next pics, thumbs up.

George.

Mick B123/03/2019 16:59:28
1001 forum posts
57 photos

Outstanding. laugh

Paul Ainsworth29/03/2019 08:08:30
66 forum posts
7 photos

That looks fantastic.

Maurice29/03/2019 23:14:26
431 forum posts
50 photos

I agree; this model is fantastic! I look forward to seeing the next pictures. Also, I have a question. On traction engines with straked wheels, the wheels were fitted so that the "screw" effect of the slanting stakes when under load, tended to push the wheels in towards the horn plates. Does any such consideration have to be give to this when the wheels are being towed? I can't work it out!

Maurice

mal webber30/03/2019 01:26:52
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78 forum posts
186 photos

Thanks for the interest everyone .Maurice on the wheels the manual reads that the slats or strakes are for grip on soft ground, but looking on the way the slats are angled would bush the wheel inwards to the chassis on firing rather than trying to force them outwards, I mite be wrong but if anyone knows different be nice here.

Mal

Maurice31/03/2019 00:58:03
431 forum posts
50 photos

Hi Mal; following my question about the direction of the strakes on the wheels, I have been looking at pictures on the Webb. They have them both "left" and "right" handed. As far as I can see, pictures of them in service generally show them fitted the opposite way to how yours are temporarily set up, that is the other way round to that of traction engine practice; while those in preservation are the opposite Just to make it really difficult, there is one picture of two guns on active duty, side by side. One has the wheels one way and the other, the other! They don't make it easy do they? I think you can choose which looks best to you. Cant wait for the next update.

Maurice

SillyOldDuffer31/03/2019 09:32:46
4122 forum posts
831 photos
Posted by mal webber on 12/03/2019 23:42:22:

... thanks Mick for the complement but magnificent,i'am not even in the same ball park as the builders on this forum i'am just having fun in the shed. ...

Thanks for your interest Mal.

Edited By mal webber on 12/03/2019 23:50:30

If this is 'just having fun in the shed', what does a proper job look like? While I admire chaps who do super work like this the results do nothing for my inferiority complex! All too often I'm left speechless.

Thanks for sharing.

Dave

AdrianR31/03/2019 10:25:53
136 forum posts
3 photos

Just a thought about the wheel strakes. In 1917 traction engines were more common so people would be used to what wheels should look like. Perhaps they are just put on that way because it was the norm.

mal webber31/03/2019 10:32:15
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78 forum posts
186 photos

Thanks Dave, Maurice thanks for your input and your right I have looked at many pictures before I started building the wheels to see which way the strakes are angled and each picture has them different on the vickers Bl 8 inch mkVI , think i have just about seen every picture the webb can offer, but I came across this youtube video which has a short part of the gun on the factory floor, so I based the direction of the strakes on this, here is a link its at 8.59 on the video.

 

Thanks Mal

Edited By mal webber on 31/03/2019 10:35:39

Edited By mal webber on 31/03/2019 10:42:59

Edited By mal webber on 31/03/2019 10:44:51

mal webber31/03/2019 10:53:04
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78 forum posts
186 photos

Sorry tried to but a link to the video but nut sure how, the video is ,,Armaments Manufacture R3/3 220740-04 Footage Farm . AdrianR good point could well be down to that.

Thanks Mal.

Edited By mal webber on 31/03/2019 10:53:38

SillyOldDuffer31/03/2019 11:03:17
4122 forum posts
831 photos
Posted by mal webber on 30/03/2019 01:26:52:

Thanks for the interest everyone .Maurice on the wheels the manual reads that the slats or strakes are for grip on soft ground, but looking on the way the slats are angled would bush the wheel inwards to the chassis on firing rather than trying to force them outwards, I mite be wrong but if anyone knows different be nice here.

 

Mal

I think you're right to focus on firing as being the reason for having strakes on the wheel. The driven rear wheels on a traction engine are straked to improve grip while the front wheels are left smooth. Presumably because straking the front wheels would increase friction to no good purpose.

In 1917 managing recoil was still only a part-solved problem. When a gun is fired 'every action has an equal and opposite reaction', so on firing artillery jumps violently backwards. Plenty of examples on WW1 film of large guns rolling up ramps positioned to absorb recoil and smaller guns jumping entirely off the ground. This movement badly disturbs accuracy and aim and the gun has to be reset on every shot, greatly slowing down rate of fire. On an ideal artillery piece the barrel should return exactly to the firing position ready for the next shot or to allow rapid and accurate adjustment of aim. Considerable effort has to go into the recoil system and ways unwanted energy can be transferred to ground. Springs, hydraulic recuperators, splayed trails with spade ends, jacks, brakes, concrete emplacements, gun-pits, tram-lines, ramps and pretty much every other method tried. I think strakes on artillery wheels are provided to help stop the gun sliding backwards when it's fired, not to 'improve grip' when it's being towed.

I hadn't thought before that the direction of the strakes made a difference. But it must be true that one way tends to push the wheel on to the axle, whereas the other would tend to push the wheels off. I'd guess that 'pushing on' would put less stress on the wheel bearing whilst 'pushing off' would provide better braking. Or does it make no practical difference. I don't know! Can anyone do the sums?

Dave

PS.  Might also matter that strakes on both wheels are matched, with both levering in the same direction the gun would tend to crab sideways.

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 31/03/2019 11:05:49

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 31/03/2019 11:13:56

Mick B131/03/2019 12:29:56
1001 forum posts
57 photos
Posted by Maurice on 31/03/2019 00:58:03:

Hi Mal;

...

As far as I can see, pictures of them in service generally show them fitted the opposite way to how yours are temporarily set up,

...

Maurice

Think I'm with Maurice on this - two You Tubes I found of these howitzers shooting both showed the top strakes slanted rear inside to front outside, and both guns recoiling and returning straight as far as could be seen. There seems to have been a much wider type of wheel employed on some examples.

Doh! Teach me to go off 'arf-cocked ... just seen about a 2-second counter-example in one of those 2 vids...

Edited By Mick B1 on 31/03/2019 12:36:36

...and there are similar contradictions in illustrative diagrams in the (US) Handbook of the 8-inch Howitzer Materiel, Model of 1917 (Vickers Mk.VI). Couldn't readily see anything ordering removal and refit of wheels ar$e-about-face if firing within specific elevation ranges or other contingencies, so my guess is it didn't matter as long as the strake slant was opposite on each side.

Edited By Mick B1 on 31/03/2019 12:56:41

SillyOldDuffer31/03/2019 13:19:50
4122 forum posts
831 photos
Posted by Mick B1 on 31/03/2019 12:29:56:
Posted by Maurice on 31/03/2019 00:58:03:

Hi Mal;

...

As far as I can see, pictures of them in service generally show them fitted the opposite way to how yours are temporarily set up,

...

Maurice

Think I'm with Maurice on this - two You Tubes I found of these howitzers shooting both showed the top strakes slanted rear inside to front outside, and both guns recoiling and returning straight as far as could be seen. There seems to have been a much wider type of wheel employed on some examples.

Doh! Teach me to go off 'arf-cocked ... just seen about a 2-second counter-example in one of those 2 vids...

Edited By Mick B1 on 31/03/2019 12:36:36

...and there are similar contradictions in illustrative diagrams in the (US) Handbook of the 8-inch Howitzer Materiel, Model of 1917 (Vickers Mk.VI). Couldn't readily see anything ordering removal and refit of wheels ar$e-about-face if firing within specific elevation ranges or other contingencies, so my guess is it didn't matter as long as the strake slant was opposite on each side.

Edited By Mick B1 on 31/03/2019 12:56:41

Don't forget human error! Soldiers are as unlikely to read the effing manual as the rest of us. Perhaps much less likely if they were trained in a hurry and are being shot at!

One of WW2's more embarrassing cock-ups was the large consignment of new British tanks painfully shipped the long way to Egypt where most of the engines seized in the depot because no one read the instructions. To avoid spillages in transit the tanks were shipped with no oil or water in the engines...

Dave

Mick B131/03/2019 18:44:59
1001 forum posts
57 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 31/03/2019 13:19:50:
Posted by Mick B1 on 31/03/2019 12:29:56:
Posted by Maurice on 31/03/2019 00:58:03:

...

One of WW2's more embarrassing cock-ups was the large consignment of new British tanks painfully shipped the long way to Egypt where most of the engines seized in the depot because no one read the instructions. To avoid spillages in transit the tanks were shipped with no oil or water in the engines...

Dave

By 'eck, that's a dreadful story! I always heard that more tanks were lost to mechanical failure than enemy action - at least in the early part of the North African campaign, but my uncle's stories were that it was sand getting in everywhere. But there were later tales of tanks (Valentines, I thought?) running 3000 miles without major servicing.

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