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Yet Another Mystery Object

Look what the dog dragged in

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Brian G24/07/2020 12:14:00
726 forum posts
29 photos

Last night my dog was frantically trying to get this out from under a cabinet (I think he believed it was a rawhide cigar). I guess it rolled under there when clearing my father's shed and has lain there in the dark ever since. There are no markings, not even a broad arrow, although I wouldn't be surprised if it came from the 'yard.

The body is a solid brass cylinder 1" in diameter with a black clip attached to a square loop at the end. One side is flattened and marked from the bottom up to 4 inches in tenths. I doubt it is intended as a weight as at 15 1/2 oz, it doesn't lend itself to calculations.

Any ideas?

Brian G

whatami.jpg

Rob Thomas 424/07/2020 12:46:36
11 forum posts
6 photos

Could it be for measuring the level of the remaining liquid in the bottom of a liquid (oil) tank?

Regards,

Rob

Marischal Ellis24/07/2020 12:47:08
69 forum posts
27 photos

Perhaps part of a dip stick or some thing like that . So, inches convert into capacity (surface area) in a tank or perhaps it establishes a level 'down below some where'. Maybe not, not sure having written it.

Perhaps reads some thing from up above. Float on one end..................just a thought

ega24/07/2020 12:55:29
1940 forum posts
160 photos

Reminds me of this bit of brass that an ex-dockyard friend gave me years ago:

dscn1858.jpg

Brian G24/07/2020 13:08:57
726 forum posts
29 photos

I did wonder if it was for checking bilges, but thought that 4" was a bit optimistic.

Brian G

SillyOldDuffer24/07/2020 14:20:29
Moderator
6699 forum posts
1507 photos
Posted by Rob Thomas 4 on 24/07/2020 12:46:36:

Could it be for measuring the level of the remaining liquid in the bottom of a liquid (oil) tank?

Regards,

Rob

Very likely. Ships and commercial operations take fuel by the ton and the huge quantities involved provide many opportunities for dishonesty. The remainders at the bottom of a tank are called ullage, and the cumulative value of ullage is big money. 75mm of oil left at the bottom of a small 20m diameter tank would amount to nearly 2.4 cubic metres of fuel, roughly 530 gallons, and the tank might one of dozens each emptied several times a year.

Tanks were frequently dipped at all stages of fullness, even those notionally empty. A small weight on the end of a line is a good way of dipping empty tanks. At least two types of fraud prevented, stealing left-overs or using an empty tank to collect fuel misappropriated from other tanks. One way of profiting from privated collected ullage is for a road tanker to arrive, do the paperwork at the gate, pretend to unload into a tank already full of ullage fuel, and then leave - still full - for private sale. Fuel isn't physically stolen from the big tank - instead the owner pays for fuel that stays in the road-tanker, while his trusted employees retire in comfort. (Or go to jail!)

Dave

steamdave24/07/2020 16:04:38
462 forum posts
35 photos
Posted by Rob Thomas 4 on 24/07/2020 12:46:36:

Could it be for measuring the level of the remaining liquid in the bottom of a liquid (oil) tank?

Regards,

Rob

Indeed, it is the end of a sounding tape for manually dipping fuel (not cargo fuel) tanks. The tape was metal and graduated in inches, taking over from the graduated brass weight. The tape was wound on a reel.

Bilge sounding rods were usually thinner brass rods (1/2" or so diameter) about 12" long and the 'tape' was a rope. This was just coiled up after use.

At the bottom of all sounding pipes was a disc welded to the shell plating and due to the continual speedy lowering of the weights, this disc would quite quickly become pitted. It was not unknown for the weight to become detached from the tape and lodge at the bottom of the sounding pipe staying there until the next drydocking! Needless to say, spare sounding tapes were always carried on board.

Dave
The Emerald Isle

duncan webster24/07/2020 18:21:43
avatar
2956 forum posts
34 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 24/07/2020 14:20:29:
Posted by Rob Thomas 4 on 24/07/2020 12:46:36:

The remainders at the bottom of a tank are called ullage, and the cumulative value of ullage is big money. 75mm of oil left at the bottom of a small 20m diameter tank would amount to nearly 2.4 cubic metres of fuel, roughly 530 gallons, and the tank might one of dozens each emptied several times a year.

T

Ullage is the amount by which the tank is not full, ie the space above the liquid. Pedantic me?? Never!

Mike Woods 124/07/2020 18:22:16
37 forum posts
1 photos

Yes, most probably a fuel tank/bunker sounding weight of some sort. IIRC there was a green paste to smear up the side of the weight which turned red in the presence of water.

Mike E.24/07/2020 18:35:29
avatar
209 forum posts
31 photos

It looks like the internal sliding part of a device for measuring a volume of powder, such as that for reloading cartridges; although larger.

oldvelo24/07/2020 18:53:23
257 forum posts
54 photos

This does not happen often both Duncan and Dave are sort of right it depends on the liquid in the tank was it wine or beer. Had to consult Wikipedia for more information.

Ullage

Based on this Dave is a beer drinker and Duncan a wine drinker.

Eric

duncan webster24/07/2020 20:22:14
avatar
2956 forum posts
34 photos

Because of the dreaded virus I've given up entirely, but before that I'd drink almost anything with alcohol in it. Drew the line at liquers and Advocaat

Tim Stevens24/07/2020 21:20:46
avatar
1310 forum posts

Now let me think - might there be a prolific source of bilge somewhere near the north end of Westminster bridge ... ?

Tim

Brian G25/07/2020 10:43:41
726 forum posts
29 photos
Posted by duncan webster on 24/07/2020 18:21:43:
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 24/07/2020 14:20:29:
Posted by Rob Thomas 4 on 24/07/2020 12:46:36:

The remainders at the bottom of a tank are called ullage, and the cumulative value of ullage is big money. 75mm of oil left at the bottom of a small 20m diameter tank would amount to nearly 2.4 cubic metres of fuel, roughly 530 gallons, and the tank might one of dozens each emptied several times a year.

T

 

Ullage is the amount by which the tank is not full, ie the space above the liquid. Pedantic me?? Never!

In the brewing trade, "ullage" is the beer which is left in the barrel when it is returned to the brewery. When I worked in the lab, one of our tasks was to check that the ullage being claimed was actually beer, and that the publican wasn't claiming credit on water. I was told that during a fuel shortage a brewery was contaminated with petrol causing thousands of pounds worth of damage, far more than the loss of his hoard would have cost the publican.

Brian G (who in his youth was paid to be a beer drinker)

Edited By Brian G on 25/07/2020 10:45:12

larry phelan 125/07/2020 18:07:52
907 forum posts
17 photos

Ah, Brian !!

Some people have all the luck !

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