Machinery Restoration

Logos three

The Coker Rope & Sail Trust is very grateful to:
– PRISM – The Arts Council section dedicated to The Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material
– The Association for Industrial Archeology
– South West Museum Development Programme
for their support which made possible the restoration of Dawe’s Twineworks machinery and the installation of the engine.

Machinery Restoration was carried out by Neil Evans and Chris Barker in Spring 2014. They checked out, rebuilt and restored the actual twine-making machinery which was abandoned, almost intact, when the twineworks closed in the 1960s. This included the ground floor machinery, notably the main line shaft which is driven by the engine, and which in turn drives all the ground floor drying drums, and the first floor shaft for the twisting heads. The main line-shaft which runs above the ground floor had its bearings cleaned and aligned.  The pulleys were sand-blasted and painted in the original blue. One pulley was fitted so that the shaft could be turned with our 2HP engine and de-rusted. An additional bearing and support was designed and installed to support the shaft cut off about 20 years ago.  It was bent slightly when cut, so some grinding and shimming was undertaken to centre the bearing. The big pulleys were lifted back in place, and restoration of one set of ground-floor machinery was completed. Best of all, the complete system could be driven at about 1/3 speed using our trusty 2HP Ruston & Hornsby ‘portable stationary engine’.
The illustrated 12 page report prepared to secure the funding is available here: PRISM report FINAL lite

Of course, things have moved on, and we now power the whole works with our ‘new’ 1927 Shanks oil engine.

Click on any of the photos below to get a full-size picture.
Latest photos are at the top; oldest at the bottom.

Ground Floor Restoration

First Floor Restoration

Neil started at the top with the line-shaft which drives the four machines which actually twist the twine.   On November 14th, the overhead shaft and two sets of twisting heads were successfully driven for the first time since 1968 by the Trust’s  Ruston & Hornsby 2HP ‘mobile’ stationary engine.  See photos below.

Finished twine was usually wound into balls for retail sale, and the Twineworks had several special machines to do the winding.  The Trust has been fortunate to get one of the original machines.  The twine is fed through the winder to a conical hub (see last photo).  Pressing the pedal angles the hub so the string winds at that angle.  The conical pulleys are linked by thin rope, and they rotate very slowly so that the winding moves round the ball.