ANTIQUE MECHANICS SOCIETY
JUNE 5, 1999 at the Shop
Meeting 2:00 P.M.
Tri-Tip BBQ afterwards
Come show your support
and have a great time!
From the President:
We are still investing much of our time in facility upgrade and maintenance. My time has become a bit limited because I have finally purchased some property again, and I am busy trying to move my collection of "valuable stuff." In the tradition of Antique Mechanics I have, of course, bought a fixer upper. Fixing the place and hauling equipment in will no doubt drag on for a couple of years. On the positive side I will be permanently located just north of Woodland, less than 15 minutes from Antique Mechanics.
Work has continued with the shop lights. We have now had a few week period where all lights in every hangar were operational simultaneously. I think this means we have now caught up with the lighting and minimal maintenance should keep things going now.
The fork-lifts have been another continual maintenance area. We have now completed the backlog of work on the Allis Chalmers agricultural forklift and have both of our forklifts in good operating condition and housed indoors.
The machine shop was partially installed in the past, but has received very little use with some machines not yet installed. We have started going through the rest of the area to bring things to operating condition with correct tooling, etc. The big lathe has been kept operational by occasional use from Physical Plant. The smaller gap bed lathe has been cleaned up and put back into operation. We have found most of the tooling needed for this lathe including a collet chuck, and have made a few parts with it (the ability to make parts always helps speed maintenance). Our milling machine has been operational, but has had a habit of throwing oil in the air while running. This problem appears to have simply been an overfilled gearbox and has been remedied. We have almost no tooling for this machine. It is fairly large, with a #50 taper spindle, so new tooling will be expensive. We presently have a collet chuck with one collet and a vise. We are working on a list for tooling needed to make this a good usable mill. Our belt/disc sander is now correctly wired and operational though we still need to get new belts and disks for it. We will continue working on the machine shop area as time allows. Future projects include work on the three drill presses, installing the surface grinder and plumbing our shop air system along with bringing our second air compressor online.
Harvester disassembly has continued with two machines left for final tear-down in the yard, which we are trying to keep empty for now. Empty spaces tend to fill up rapidly if not guarded carefully. We now have a 40 foot office trailer which we will use as storage once we determine the permanent area in the yard for it. We plan to incorporate a roofed storage area for the Diamond T roll back truck next to this trailer. Much of the miscellaneous in hangar two will be sorted and stored in this trailer which will then allow using part of hangar two for display purposes. Work is progressing on the pressure washer to use in washing down the yard in an attempt to expose the surviving asphalt. This should be usable by the time summer finally arrives and we will hopefully get a large part of the dirt removed from the yard before the next winter sets in.
As our colleagues in Antique Mechanics know, our department has a long history in developing machines and cultural practices for agriculture. Over the past 84 years, tractors, implements, and harvesting machines have been studied, improved, or developed from basic concepts. Harvesters for processing tomatoes, wine grapes, cantaloupes, dates, fresh market tomatoes, asparagus, prunes, peaches, and raisins were firsts for us. In the early 1980's, however, federal funding for mechanization research received the political ax, and our activity ceased. There is now interest in California and elsewhere for a renewed thrust in this area.
Several factors affect this renewed interest in mechanization. In the increasingly competitive global market, California's relative cost in producing fruits and vegetables is likely to become higher and may eventually force growers out of business. In addition, the availability of harvesting labor is becoming tighter every year, as federal authorities act to curtail the entry of illegal foreign workers. Many farm workers are also leaving agriculture in search of better living and working conditions. At the same time, growers are faced with the basic problems of decreasing labor quality, increasing difficulties in farm management, and, most recently, the issue of food safety.
Several of our faculty are presently interacting with government and academic people across the country to gain a better understanding of current needs and appropriate procedures. It is clear to us that several concerns need to be addressed before mechanization of many crops can proceed: lack of uniform maturity and the difficulties in applying selective harvesting; incompatibility between machines and fruit orchards in regard to size, maneuverability, terrain negotiation capability, and soil compaction; and high initial cost. These concerns imply a need for a multidisciplinary approach, involving not only agricultural engineers, but plant breeders, postharvest physiologists, and agricultural economists.
Development of mechanical systems is a complex and lengthy process, and the time to launch a project dealing with mechanical harvesting is not when the labor is gone and a crisis occurs. We are therefore evaluating the situation now and planning for the future. Since our activity in this area likely interests you, we'll keep you informed of developments. As always, we value your thoughts and comments.
David J. Hills
Chair, Biological & Agricultural Engineering
From the Club Advisor
Dear Alumni and Friends,
Usually I have the opportunity to write you once a year, but with increased volunteer support from the Society it now appears to be happening twice a year. This increased support, particularly from Sue Esdaile and Brian Barnett, also has allowed for improved maintenance and use of restoration equipment at the shop. For activities as complex as ours can be, this infrastructure is immensely important. One exciting development is the forthcoming donation of a suburban truck with a 454 engine and factory-installed "Trailering Special" equipment. The students and the rest of us who hang out at the shop look forward to the opportunities for doing recruitment on campus with medium-sized displays, for supporting College of Ag events, for running parts, for hauling items to proper steam cleaning facilities on campus, for group visits to local museums and events, and for a pilot vehicle when hauling oversize low-bed loads. The list goes on. Most importantly, current and upcoming projects at the shop will immediately benefit from this. I am writing this at the moment that we are trying to get the L engine back together with new rings and a wild float assembled in time for Picnic Day in three days. Let me also add that we had have a number of alumni Antiquers stopping by just because. This has been a lot of fun for me and the students as well. I hope you continue to stop by and hang out and sometimes even help out. Thank you for all of your support to help keep Antique Mechanics going. We all appreciate it greatly.
From the Club President
I would like to start off by saying thank you to the society for all of the support and assistance you have provided. We are working hard to complete a few last minute projects for display at Picnic Day. The John Deere Model L will be finished for Picnic Day, along with a thirteen foot flying cow. Students and alumni have also been finishing the work on the Chrysler Imperial. The TD6 is now apart and the restoration has begun. Once all of the stress of Picnic Day has passed, we plan to begin work on 1C1. Another exciting bit of news is that the club just received a Suburban, donated by one of the faculty members on campus. New tires were put on and we have been working to fix all of the minor problems with the car, but overall, it is in very good condition. We plan to use this vehicle as a mode of transportation and towing to machine shows throughout the area. We also plan to have organized club visits to nearby museums, using the Suburban as transportation. Again, I would like to thank you for all of your support and assistance and I would like to say a special thank you for all of you who were able to help get ready for or participate in Picnic Day.
Photo Quiz: What is it?
(See end of document for solutions)
National Ag Week
In conjunction with National Ag Week, the College of Ag & Environmental Sciences organized a tour of Antique Mechanics. Approximately twenty individuals arrived by bus and received the normal tour: the most notable equipment parked in the shop, in Tractor Row, and in the third hangar. Before the bus arrived, however, a writer and a photographer from the Woodlands Daily Democrat newspaper arrived; they had been invited by the Deans Office. Lots of pictures were taken as well as a few interviews of the visitors by the paper. Notably, the next day the paper ran with a 6x9 inch color photo "above the fold" - of the group standing at the "big" end of Tractor Row listening to the tour guide discuss the merger of Holt and Best into Caterpillar. The caption read, "Victor Duraj points to models of tractors that set new standards for their time as he leads a tour of UC Davis antique farm equipment boneyard." The accompanying article included a few quotes about the equipment being fired up and the museum being "very much alive." There was also mention of Cat 1C1 and in particular its serial number one identification plate. Two other stops the tour group made on campus pertained to fish and bees. The article opened with "Agriculture its not all dirt and seeds .The tour highlighted the very best of aquaculture (fish), apiculture (bees), and antiques." See the full article at the Annual Meeting.
Last October the Collection accepted a donation of a 1912 Almond huller manufactured in Davis for the Cadenaso family in the Capay Valley. The Standish engine was donated to the Collection by the descendants of this same family. Ron Allen, Victor Duraj, and Sue Esdaile picked up the huller one Saturday morning, thanks to the loan of a truck and trailer from the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. The huller was housed in an old barn in the Capay Valley for the past eighty years or so, and came out the barn with surprising ease, and in one piece. Victor, Sue and Solomon Teklu returned about a month later and picked up the original feed belt, gears and other parts. The huller has been slightly modified, but still retains its original paint and detailing. The huller is currently stored indoors at Antique Mechanics.
Ron Allen and Victor Duraj securing the almond huller
The Collection lacked much nut harvesting equipment, so we were happy to be able to accept this donation. The nut industry played an important role in this part of California, in fact, when the photo below was picked up from the one-hour developer, the lady behind the counter asked, "Was that an almond huller?" As a girl, she had worked with one identical to this one on her uncles farm.
Picnic Day, 1999
Nathan Fleischer tows the "Flying Rocket Cow."
The theme for this years Picnic Day was "Moo-ving into the Future," and the club responded with an idea for a float that was realized late Friday before Picnic Day. The fiberglass cow head, which has appeared previously at Picnic Day 1998, College Celebration and Field Day, was given new form as a twenty-foot long proportionally correct jet-propelled bovine. This massive structure was supported only at the rear legs. As the "super-cow" rounded a corner of the parade route, I listened carefully to the response of the crowd (in order to make an accurate report for this newsletter), and noted that the onlookers seemed to be stunned into silence as the float appeared.
The weekend before Picnic Day, re-assembly of the John Deere L engine began. New piston rings were installed, and the crankshaft bearings were shimmed. The Thursday before Picnic Day, the engine had popped, but had not run. Much to everyones relief, the tractor was hand-cranked on Picnic Day morning, and ran without incident through the entire parade. The Allis Chalmers WC also ran in the parade.
Christina Woosley driving the John Deere L
There are many people to thank, and much more to say, but due to lack of space and time, a full description of Picnic Day will appear in the Fall 99 newsletter.
Thanks again to Lorraine Teklu for providing the club with a delicious lasagna dinner on the Friday night before Picnic Day. It was a real boost to the students to have a home-cooked meal before getting ready for Picnic Day.
Antiques on the Internet
The Spring 98, Fall 99, and now Spring '99 newsletters have been posted on the internet, thanks to Society Board member Alex Smith. If you want to see the newsletter photos in color, you will have to check out the Antique Mechanics Website. Alex has done a fantastic job with it. The internet address is: http://www.engr.ucdavis.edu/~antiques
Roger Welsch, in his recent book, Busted Tractors and Rusty Knuckles, 1997, listed our pages as one of his favorite websites.
Antique Mechanics now has a list serve to inform interested persons about whats happening at Antique Mechanics. If you would like to be on the list serve and receive updates about Antique Mechanics activities, e-mail your request to email@example.com.
Relative electronic images can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do You Remember When
we took the weekend to go to Taylorsville, CA. It is located up in the Sierras southeast of Lake Almanor. We left here thinking it would be an easy trip to pick up the Case portable steamer, a Cat 20 and maybe a Graham Truck. We normally expected a lot of work to pick up these "gems" but we usually missed out on the rain and snow that we got that weekend.
Originally, the Case was used in the area as a power source for a companion thresher, but it was used last as a boiler for the local dairy. That meant that it had been pulled inside the end of a building and a sheet metal stack now extended through the roof and about 20 feet into the air. Removing this without conveniences like a crane or even a close tree made for some excitement. Pictures of us bear hugging the stack and the loaded steamer on a snowy/rainy day are in the collection at the hangar.
On the same trip Jerrold Franklin, Ron Allen and Lorry Dunning went out to a local farm to pick up a Cat 20 and a Graham truck that had also been donated. We talked to the lady that was donating the equipment and she had lived on the farm most of her life. The Graham truck had seen service as a farm truck, a school bus and in its last configuration as a sheep truck. It was located out behind the barn in some tall weeds and we were beginning to wonder how we could pull it out close enough to load. The Cat 20 was sitting inside the barn but she said that it hadnt run for at least 20 years. From the way it looked and the path worn around it, it was easy to believe. We decided "what the hell" lets see if it is free. A slow crank to see if it had a chance, gave us hope that we could at least pull it out without dragging a set of frozen tracks.
If we could be this lucky why not shoot the wad. We put gas into the gas tank, primed the cylinders and made sure the carburetor had gas. Now all we had to do was crank. Within the first two or three turns the engine came to life and we not only pulled out the Graham but make a hard loading job almost easy. This one made up for all the trips for engines and tractors that were frozen solid and had to be drug out with winches, other tractors or with bars.
Mexican Students tour the Collection
A group of 20 graduating agricultural engineers from Mexico was provided an extended, engineering-oriented tour of the Collection. The engineers were accompanied by one of their instructors who also served as translator due to the students limited English language skills. The students seemed to have enjoyed seeing all of the equipment. They also had the tour guide take a group photo with about 14 cameras.
Antiquers would have appreciated the pristine, nearly-Antique bus whose qualities included a light but ever present scent of cigarette smoke. (The author of this article was reminded of his first bus rides between Davis and Palo Alto as a freshman without his own set of wheels.)
The visit to UC Davis included two days of seminars and lectures by a wide variety of Biological & Ag Engineering Department faculty and staff. Prior to arriving in Davis, the group spent nearly two days at the Tulare Farm Show.
Tractor Row: High and Dry
Antique Mechanics, being always on the look out for surplus materials or items for realistic future use, spotted a stack of reinforced concrete blocks of about five feet in length in the Bainer Hall courtyard. A little bit of investigating determined that these were unneeded civil engineering test specimens that could not be accepted by the landfill because of their length and rebar. So, a new home with a legitimate purpose was found - Antiques - and all crawler tractors on Tractor Row on now literally up on blocks.
Tractors on "Tractor Row" up on concrete blocks to keep the tracks dry.
This summer, approximately twenty surplus vehicles will be removed from the Antique Mechanics Collection by public sale. The trucks slated for sale have not been used or restored by the club, and are not likely to be restored in the foreseeable future. All of the vehicles have deteriorated from outside storage, and would probably serve better use in other public and private collections. All proceeds from the sale will be directed to a future Antique Mechanics endowment fund.
The sale will begin June 12 and continue through July 3. The trucks will be available for viewing on Saturdays from 10am-4pm. If you would like more information regarding the sale, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
Antique Mechanics Society
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering University of California One Shields Avenue Davis, CA 95616
Photo Quiz Solutions
1. The steering gear on the Holt 75. The shaft in the upper left hand corner goes directly to the steering wheel. The large ring gear is directly attached to the front wheel.
2. This is a ram pump. It requires only head pressure to pump water (no outside power source is needed).
3. Close-up of the Cletrac model F track. This is one of the first crawler tractors to use "high-drive" sprockets that we see today on many modern crawlers. It also used an unusual floating roller chain, as shown in this photo.
Some companies will match your donation to qualified charitable organizations. Find out if your company will match your donation to the Antique Mechanics Program at UC Davis, and double your support!
Student Club Members 1998-1999
Antique Mechanics Society
Executive Committee 1998-99
|Vice President||Solomon Teklu|
|Chancellors Representative||David Hills|
|Department of Bio andAg Eng. Rep||Victor Duraj|
|Members:||Ron Allen, J.B. Hay, Jerrold Franklin, Jim Keller, Ann Mansker, Rick Mansker, Alex Smith|
Ron Allen Brian Barnett Victor Duraj Sue Esdaile David Hills Christina Woosley
I want to support Antique Mechanics!
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Please send check and this completed form to:
Antique Mechanics Society Bio & Ag Engineering 1 Shields Ave. Davis, CA 95616-5294
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To contact Antique Mechanics, please call (530) 752-6177
The University is grateful for the support it receives from alumni and friends. One of the ways our thanks is expressed is through listing the names of donors in various publications. Should you wish that your name not appear as a donor, please notify us if you have not already done so.
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