Monday, February 22, 2010

Large equipment

It was off to Mt. Jefferson OR, for Dave and his father, Larry during the heat of August to tear apart and move literally TONS of wool equipment.

The card was built in 1925 by Davis and Furber in Massachusetts, it came to Oregon on ship, "around the horn" and had been operating in Mt. Jefferson for 50 years. The difficulty in moving this big machine was partly due to it's size, one section weighs 9 tons, and partly due to the doorway not being big enough. Part of the building had been built after the card was in place.

Dave's Dad, Larry with one section of the card.

Same part of the card just outside the door. Notice the step-up the card had to go. Lifting inside the mill was all done with floor jacks and pipe was used to roll the machine along the floor.

Here is all the equipment we purchased loaded onto two Semi trucks. It traveled from Mt. Jefferson to Bellingham, about 350 miles along I-5, naked, with no tarps. This was on the advice of the truck drivers due to all the sharp parts on the machine. Good thing it didn't rain.

We have a long skinny gravel driveway and the large trucks could not get to our place. Dave had them go to a freinds business with a large unloading area and drop off the equipment. We then rented another smaller (but still big) truck to drive it home. Oh, also we had to rent a large fork lift.

Unloading day arrived and I had the flu. Dave and our son Andy were excited, they both love big equipment.

Tarp covered Card coming up the drive way. Our Great Pyrenees dog, Luke, watches.

Dave on the fork lift, Andy offering advice as he lifts the card off the truck in front of the shop.

Dave and I, happy to have the card inside safely.

So the big questions: how do we run this big machine and how to make it do what we want?

The first step was cleaning, lots of old wool and bug from the drive in the carding cloth. (Carding cloth is the material that covers the rolls. Simple description -leather with thousands of sharp thin metal wires poking out.) Then adding electricity and computer controls. We then had to design, and Dave had to build, attachments to fit on the end of the card which would allow us to produce a hand-spinning product, "Roving" and to produce large "batts". All that took about 3 months.

I found old books on carding and Davis and Furber equipment on Ebay. They gave us the information on setting up the distances between the rollers. Dave researched and designed the attachments, a roving maker and Batt winder.

Here is the infeed belt with colored wool going in.

This is the roving maker with the striped roving being made off the end of the card.

The batt maker in action. Batts made are about double bed size.

Next post will be a description of the process, from fleece to roving.

1 comment:

  1. The size of that equipment is overwhelming and I love my batt..I think I've told you that over and over!