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Wadkin Time Warp Workshop - Kent

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jimi43

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I recently received an invitation from a gentleman called Ben in East Kent to visit the old house that he is currently restoring that has at times various been a malting house, and oast house and latterly, a woodworking shop.

His description was that it appeared to be entirely fitted out with old Wadkin equipment, driven by a steam engine!!!

Now this was far too enticing to turn down, so today Douglas (condeesteso) and I ventured out in the snow to pay a visit.

We were not disappointed! Hidden amongst the "stuff" also in the workshop before it is cleared out were a whole range of Wadkin BELT DRIVEN machines....saws, thicknessers, morticers, planers and spindle-moulders.



So....for the purposes of historical recording and to spark some debate and initiate research...I have decided to document the contents for Ben and post it here....

I shall try to move around the workshop in some order....showing shots of the various machines along with identification plates where present.

Clockwise from the foreground then...firstly we have a planer/thicknesser....



Difficult to photograph the ID plate on this one but you can see all you need Machine number MJ244 Test Number 3719:



Amazing 16" bed we think...huge cast iron frame....and the iconic name...



Moving around we have the table saw....



I didn't have a tape measure with me...but the blades are about 2 feet I think....



After all these years...these machines have only a slight surface rust...



...wonderful blade guard...



...and some huge controls...



Here is the ID plate...Machine Number PD351 Test Number 4737:



Next we have a rather large morticer, here being modelled by our very own Douglas....



...another large lump of cast iron with many wheels to turn...and they did!



Again we have the ID plate....Machine Number MD343 Test Number 4734



Now we come to the all-important machine...the sharpening station...



This machine provides a grind wheel for narrow edge tools and a wonderful planer blade (?) jig on the other side...



The ID plate for this machine shows...Machine Number NB216 Test Number 2315



And now friends...my favourite machine of all...the massive bandsaw.....



This thing has huge bands...stored upstairs on this contraption...



We ain't mucking about here with tiny controls...but it could probably do with a TUFFSAW blade! :mrgreen:



The ID is...Machine Number DH122 Test Number 1450.



Last of the belt driven machines....a spindle moulder....



There appears to be two sides to this model (see how much I know! :oops: )....



The cutters look rather "dangerous" to the uninitiated....



The Machine Number EV815 Test Number 4782



In the workshop and in an adjacent room were two other machines not powered by the belt system....both three phase and obvious later additions to the catalogue of Wadkins populating the shop....

This is EDIT now believed to be a tenoner....



Sadly there was no plate visible on this machine...but I have put it in for completeness but outside was a HUGE radial arm saw...



...again modelled by a now frozen Douglas....and still being used for restoration work and "chopping up firewood"!



Mmmm....rather you than me Ben!! :shock:

Douglas reported no play whatever in the controls which still move very smoothly and precisely.



I think this one weighs a few hundredweight!



And the last ID plate Machine Number CC847 and Test Number 6556



The motor is also and old one....



So...there you go. A time warp of Wadkins indeed!

Upstairs is a beautifully light workshop....



Douglas took photos of the benches (of course!)....I think he may be building one soon! :mrgreen:



Ben is not sure what to do with all of these pieces of British machine history...and it probably is a bit much to expect the missus to allow them to remain in the living room so would appreciate some suggestions on this score along with any information that could shed some light on the date of these machines and any other information that might help his research.

I hope you guys and gals enjoyed this virtual tour as much as we did...and thanks again to Ben for the visit and warming cups of tea!

If anyone would like further information or to contact Ben then please PM me. I also have more photos and all in HI RES.

Cheers

Jim and Douglas.
 

jimi43

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9fingers":2f5yto73 said:
Excellent find Jim.
Absolutely criminal to have all that rust though!!

Bob
Well, you've got to do something before the bootfairs open! :mrgreen:

Actually the rust is only a powder....all machines move fine. If you got a rag you could wipe most of the rust off in one go.

I am glad you came on here first mate...do you think these could be powered by electrickery?

Jim
 

MickCheese

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Very interesting.

Museum pieces I think, cannot imagine anyone having the room or the drive system for all of those.

Mick
 

9fingers

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jimi43":r6tu5oce said:
I am glad you came on here first mate...do you think these could be powered by electrickery?

Jim
Don't see why not. Depends a bit if only one machine would be run at a time.

I'd consider putting in 5-10hp motor with a fast and loose pulley running on the lineshaft.

My guess would be that the original steam engine would have been run at or near fixed speed so just choose the motor/pulley drive to get a similar lineshaft speed.

For a multi user workshop drive system, the motor would need to be of similar capability as the steam engine.

hth

Bob
 

jimi43

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9fingers":1tg62vzv said:
jimi43":1tg62vzv said:
I am glad you came on here first mate...do you think these could be powered by electrickery?

Jim
Don't see why not. Depends a bit if only one machine would be run at a time.

I'd consider putting in 5-10hp motor with a fast and loose pulley running on the lineshaft.

My guess would be that the original steam engine would have been run at or near fixed speed so just choose the motor/pulley drive to get a similar lineshaft speed.

For a multi user workshop drive system, the motor would need to be of similar capability as the steam engine.

hth

Bob
I was thinking about whether each machine would be able to be electrified?

Jim
 

Blister

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Wow Jim

Looks like the HOLY Grail of workshops

Should have a preservation order on it , Its HISTORY

I would love to have a go on them 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

Wadkin have a historical department http://www.wadkin.com/wadkin-library

They may be able to date the machines
 

9fingers

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jimi43":1t0puou4 said:
9fingers":1t0puou4 said:
jimi43":1t0puou4 said:
I am glad you came on here first mate...do you think these could be powered by electrickery?

Jim
Don't see why not. Depends a bit if only one machine would be run at a time.

I'd consider putting in 5-10hp motor with a fast and loose pulley running on the lineshaft.

My guess would be that the original steam engine would have been run at or near fixed speed so just choose the motor/pulley drive to get a similar lineshaft speed.

For a multi user workshop drive system, the motor would need to be of similar capability as the steam engine.

hth

Bob
I was thinking about whether each machine would be able to be electrified?

Jim
Can't see why not in principle. Assuming that the flat belt pulleys can be removed that is. Flat belts don't work properly on short belt runs.
Adding motor mounts would be easy for anyone mechanically minded. Beware of some machines like a table saw that might have a tilting arbour that relies on the flexibility of a long belt. It might be difficult to mount a motor on the trunnion of such machines.

hth
Bob
 

Oryxdesign

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Is there a stream nearby?

Amazing place btw thanks for showing us
 

jimi43

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Isn't it just Blister. I'm sure if you wanted to go and see it before it is gone for good, Ben would be accommodating.

Thanks Bob...we thought the same...but you are THE man! :wink:

There probably is Simon...wouldn't that be grand!

liam8223":32rxwun1 said:
I think the 'new spindle moulder'
is actully a tenoner......


Liam.
You're probably correct Liam...I don't know much about big joinery power tools.

We have come to the conclusion because of artefacts found upstairs and because of the size and shape of some of the mouldings and cutters....the shop was mostly used for making doors and windows for the village so a tenoner would make sense.

Jim
 

wallace

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WOW, I want them. That is an amazing find. Was the line shafting ran by a steam engine or stationary engine. I bet Jack will like this find.
 

jimi43

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wallace":1o0470r7 said:
WOW, I want them. That is an amazing find. Was the line shafting ran by a steam engine or stationary engine. I bet Jack will like this find.
Yup...I actually commented to Douglas that these workbenches were just up Jacob's street! The place was littered with old moulding and plough planes too!

I think Jack is probably on a boat to Ramsgate now! :mrgreen:

The engine is a NATIONAL and stationary...steam generated by gas/oil as far as I can tell but I am by no means a steam engine expert and somehow I was so awestruck by the thing I completely forgot to take a photograph of it. I think Douglas might have taken one. Ben wants to keep the engine anyway but the feed is run underground/overground with a series of pulleys in pits with guards and covers...all of which were off.

Jim
 

Steve Blackdog

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How fantastic!

I'd get in touch with the Amish in the States, I seem to recall a post elsewhere here showing an Amish workshop powered by a horse with a treadmill! Just think what they could do with this lot:)
 

Steve Maskery

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Remind me again what the max distance from riving knife to blade is....!
Hey, at least it has a riving knife.

Fantastic in every other respect. great find.
S
 

toolsntat

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jimi43":imtlibfd said:
This thing has huge bands...stored upstairs on this contraption...


king/wadkinminsterworkshop/DSC_0394.JPG[/img]
Hey up Jim , this looks more like a sharpening jig :wink:

Andy
 

jimi43

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I think a number of us here would love the opportunity to restore just one of these beauties...I definitely would go for the bandsaw...but alas...even if I could move it...there is no way it would fit in my workshop and I doubt very much if I could afford the blades :mrgreen:

No elves in sight Rob....none. There may have been some at the end of the huge garden but I couldn't see that far!

I was more worried about getting excited with the photos and forget for an instance that there were huge pits in the floor housing the pulleys!



Some may notice even more old Wadkin accessories...these were liberally scattered around on the floor!

There were also boxes of cutters and other bits and bobs!

Some may notice I have changed one of the last two photos for one of the bench which was the intention anyway....the original being another shot of the last and an error.

One other correction having read the article on the subject HERE it would appear that the engine is a National GAS engine made in 1933 not a steam engine. Excellent bit of kit even so!

Jim
 
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