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1940s

Recycling

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robin coleman22/05/2021 19:52:12
18 forum posts

I have an in interest in the 1940s and was wondering if anybody has made any projects similarly to those made in the make do and mend fashion.tgere was an article in a wartime issue making a large bed from concrete due to the steel shortage

Regards

Robin

old mart23/05/2021 19:12:37
3347 forum posts
208 photos

The best I can do on the subject of make do and mend during the second world war are a line of antitank blocks near Crondall in Hampshire. Because there was a shortage of shuttering to cast the concrete, they were built of brick and the concrete poured inside.

robin coleman23/05/2021 20:11:43
18 forum posts

That' sounds I interesting.i have a few bound cops of 1939 and 1940 model engineer magazine wit articles in them from our soldiers overseas making small engines growth basic tools and materials.and another article about arp warden making a trolley from pram wheels to transport his gas bottles on his bycycle.

old mart23/05/2021 20:30:06
3347 forum posts
208 photos

I saw pictures of a small lathe made in a prisoner of war camp in the far east, it was a work of art. I can't remember any other details.

peter smith 523/05/2021 21:03:57
86 forum posts

A friend, long since departed to that great engine shed in the sky, worked the night shift in a famous engineering company throughout the war. The day shift did the bulk of the machining and the night shift made them fit. There was a bank of lathes 300 feet long with a coolant ditch behind them. One bright spark suggested they built a track along the ditch under the auspices of allowing maintenance to ride a trolley and shovel out the swarf that escaped!!!

Approval was duly given and 3 1/2 “ decided on the gauge. The Forman had no idea why that particular gauge was adopted.??? He was told that left and right handed people could do the job with ease working from either end!!

There was a lot of visits from other department on “ errands” and pretty soon everyone was in on the act. It took less than a month for these highly skilled operatives to create a 4-4-0 and steam it every night, even ran during an air raid the driver stating that even Hitler would not stop the midnight special. I was told that the engine was rebuilt twice before the end of the war and was featured on a club stand at ME exhibition in the 50’s.

As I write this I am looking at a “ foreigner “. made by my late father in law in the same war, of a Spitfire in Aluminium. He normally made real Swordfish and lighters from bits of copper tube and aluminium ashtrays turned on Big Ward auto.

I also remember people injecting water into the carb of Austin 7’s to get better combustion and articles in post ware ME’s.

pete

J Hancock23/05/2021 21:23:42
731 forum posts

As I'm sure many on this forum experienced, until the 'powers that be' , were given the 'one off' present of unlimited oil+gas revenues to squander in the 1970's , we all worked in industries that were starved of investment and still running with 'pre-war' equipment that needed every replacement part to be made in-house. Pipes were rotated top to bottom , boiler tubes plugged, 'waste' did not exist.

Once the oil/gas money started to flow , we died.

Grindstone Cowboy23/05/2021 21:34:32
713 forum posts
58 photos
Posted by old mart on 23/05/2021 20:30:06:

I saw pictures of a small lathe made in a prisoner of war camp in the far east, it was a work of art. I can't remember any other details.

That would be the Bradley lathe, I think.

Rob

noel shelley23/05/2021 23:12:30
765 forum posts
19 photos

Pete S, Thankyou for that lovely tale. God bless. Noel

Neil Wyatt24/05/2021 11:00:26
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18777 forum posts
733 photos
80 articles
Posted by robin coleman on 22/05/2021 19:52:12:

I have an in interest in the 1940s and was wondering if anybody has made any projects similarly to those made in the make do and mend fashion.tgere was an article in a wartime issue making a large bed from concrete due to the steel shortage

Regards

Robin

I knew things got pretty tight, but that sounds a particularly desperate example of utility furniture.*

Neil

*Irony being that much real utility furniture is still going being simple but well proportioned and well-made, outliving many late 20thj century flatpack monstrosities.

Neil Wyatt24/05/2021 11:04:50
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18777 forum posts
733 photos
80 articles

A Canadian pilot who was grateful to my grandfather for extra tuition on radar made my dad (who was then a boy) a Liberator or Flying Fortress from tinplate.

My other grandfather who was a coppersmith in the RAF made a spitfire from a penny. Sadly I haven't seen it since I was a boy.

neil

Michael Gilligan24/05/2021 12:55:13
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18972 forum posts
944 photos

Ref the penny Spitfires ...

Have a look at this old thread, Robin: **LINK**

https://www.model-engineer.co.uk/forums/postings.asp?th=94573&p=3

MichaelG.

larry phelan 124/05/2021 12:59:54
1095 forum posts
14 photos

Needs must !! I dont remember much waste around in those days.

Howard Lewis24/05/2021 16:25:13
5328 forum posts
13 photos

The Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company (The Midland Red ) designed and made their own buse, including engines.

During WW2, if a crankshaft broke, the two parts were clamped together and then drilled and tapped, for high Tensile bolts. Commercial Motor showed a photograph of the repair.

Those engines kept the buses running until post war, a new crankshaft could be obtained.

Right until the 70s, on many bus companies, worn brake drums were machined out oversize, until they reached the point where they were relinered back to standard size. London Transport and Green Line had machines that ground the linings to match the drum in which they were going to run.

Worn shackle pins were hard chromed and reground back to original size. Worn spring shackles were bored and fitted with top hat bushes..

Make do and mend is not dead. Within the last month, the plastic wheels on the hosereel collapsed. The tyres are now on solid Aluminium wheels..

Howard.

Edited By Howard Lewis on 24/05/2021 16:25:54

Oily Rag24/05/2021 17:38:06
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480 forum posts
152 photos
Posted by Howard Lewis on 24/05/2021 16:25:13:

Make do and mend is not dead. Within the last month, the plastic wheels on the hosereel collapsed. The tyres are now on solid Aluminium wheels..

Howard.

Edited By Howard Lewis on 24/05/2021 16:25:54

Now that made me smile Howard .... and that is the spirit of 'make do and mend' exemplified.

In other news we have the thread about 'upcycling' (which I thought was about up hill cycle riding! ) and the lament about a perfectly good (apparently ) Wolf drill and its stand now becoming a light bulb holder. On that thread I was going to post a picture of Farmer Hedley's reading light and drinks table made from a tractor flywheel, 2 half shafts, and atop the lot a 1940's anglepoise machinery light - I reckon Drew 'whatsisname' would bid at least 70 quid for it and sell it to some Hampstead Heath London elitist for £750!

There is nostalgia for anything over 50 years old but to mend things nowadays is becoming a lost art. The only proponents of mending things are 'uz lot' and rural folk who know the cost and the value of items. Throw away society has not yet percolated into the 'shires.

Martin

Samsaranda24/05/2021 17:50:21
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1211 forum posts
5 photos

A very good example of make do and mend was the buses that operated in Malta in the post war years, I was posted to Malta in the mid seventies and the buses in Malta were unique, they were so old, you could sit inside and watch the road going by underneath the floorboards which had many gaps. The Maltese were very adept at reworking or making spares to keep these ancient buses going, the buses were still going in the nineties but after that were replaced with new Far Eastern versions because on joining the EU Malta was told it was allowed to join on condition that its transport infrastructure was modernised, when that happened Malta lost a part of its unique character. Dave W

robin coleman24/05/2021 20:17:19
18 forum posts

I restore a few old mowers to as a hobby.and am still using my grandfathers Suffolk mower from 1954.

MichaelR24/05/2021 20:31:45
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443 forum posts
83 photos

Not quite the 1940s, but at 15 years old in 1951 I started to serve my time as a apprentice joiner and was given a spokeshave by a retired joiner as can be seen it is definitely a make do and mend job, the tool was made by E Preston and Son Birmingham.

spokeshave.jpg

spokeshave..jpg

MichaelR24/05/2021 20:31:46
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443 forum posts
83 photos

Not quite the 1940s, but at 15 years old in 1951 I started to serve my time as a apprentice joiner and was given a spokeshave by a retired joiner as can be seen it is definitely a make do and mend job, the tool was made by E Preston and Son Birmingham.

spokeshave.jpg

spokeshave..jpg

Edited By MichaelR on 24/05/2021 20:32:29

MichaelR24/05/2021 20:33:41
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443 forum posts
83 photos

Can somebody explain why these double post's happen.

Michaelr

MichaelR24/05/2021 20:33:42
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443 forum posts
83 photos

Can somebody explain why these double post's happen.

Michaelr

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