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Foden7536

1917 Foden Steam Wagon

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Having been lucky enough upon occasion to drive Mike Wilkinsons WD 5 tonner I can tell you that the tipping gear works very well indeed. Though I can see how you could very easily loose some fingers. 

You are very lucky to have a 5 tonner. A Foden and a living van would be my ideal rig. Ideally a d type however!. 

Father was a Sentinel man, but I'd sooner have a overtype any day. 

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On 3/5/2020 at 11:30 AM, Le Prof said:

Hi,

I've always loved these waggons. It was at Steam Fairs (Husband's Bosworth) in the 1970's that I first saw these and traction engines etc. alongside my  first military vehicles in preservation, so it all has a lot to answer for (-:

Wilkins is a Mr. William Owen Wilkins, and this is his only Patented device, so I don't think that the “Wilkins Patent Unloading Gear” refers to anything else.

I have attached the Patent below.

Wilkins GB108393A.pdf 353.1 kB · 8 downloads

The Patent was still very new ( Applied for Sept 1916, Granted August 1917), so perhaps the waggon was ordered with the intention of fitting this great new innovation, and it was subsequently discovered it was not robust enough for field use, so a tipping body was substituted instead? (Or, indeed, someone figured out a tipping body would be a lot cheaper!)

Best Regards,

Adrian

Thank you for this information Adrian, that’s very interesting.

 

Regards

David

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On 3/5/2020 at 6:37 PM, 8_10 Brass Cleaner said:

Having been lucky enough upon occasion to drive Mike Wilkinsons WD 5 tonner I can tell you that the tipping gear works very well indeed. Though I can see how you could very easily loose some fingers. 

You are very lucky to have a 5 tonner. A Foden and a living van would be my ideal rig. Ideally a d type however!. 

Father was a Sentinel man, but I'd sooner have a overtype any day. 

Good morning Hedd,

Thank you for those comments, yes I am very lucky to own the Foden, my living van is under restoration at the moment (it’s a local van to me, having been built by Weeks of Maidstone) 

In fairness a Marshall Tractor and Fowler T3 are a nice pair too! How is the T3 coming along?

Regards

David

 

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I am in the process of building a model of the 5 ton steam wagon, I have some blueprints and a copy of the parts book, I do have one question though, where was the coal carried ?? There appears to be a partition in the drivers cab area, but this would be a guard between the driver and the chain drive. I would appreciate any extra details you could share.

 

Thanks

George.

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Posted (edited)

Good afternoon George, 

What scale are you building the 5 ton wagon? It will be good to see a miniature 5 tonner, there’s plenty of model 6 ton wagons in various scales and styles, but I don’t recall ever seeing a model 5 ton version. 

Unfortunately where the Foden is currently tucked away in her shed photography isn’t easy, so I’ve done a rough sketch for you, hope this is OK, as you can tell I’m no draughtsman! 

Basically, the divider plate is set at an angle, the gear guard side being 1.5” nearer the boiler than the near side. This plate should be riveted into place with two angle irons, however mine has been fabricated at some time in the past (a detail I wish to correct)

The actual divider plate is made of 3/8plate, with a piece of 3/4” angle riveted to the top. This is held with 1/4” countersunk rivers, at 4” pitch. The height from the steel floor of the man-stand to the underside of the angle iron “capping” is 16.5”

I hope this is of help. If you need any other measurements, or if you want to come and study my Foden (once we are allowed to socialise again) then you’re more than welcome to come and look - we are in Kent. 

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Edited by Foden7536

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Great and thanks for getting back to me.

To start, I make master patterns for a company called Resicast in Belgium. They produce 1/35th scale kits in resin, I am not into model engineering on large scales. They are not toys, but we have a reputation of producing scale models. At the moment we are doing a lot of WW1 equipment, through the good intentions of HMVF members I have been able to source a lot of info. I am currently working on the 15" howitzer, that is quite an undertaking as so little info exists. The current crisis has given me time to pursue my hobby, and as the wife says, no change for you then !!!

Here is a photo of part of the assembled kit, we have to make allowances for parts to be cast, so thicknesses are often exaggerated.

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Looks a lovely model, hope my measurements are of use? If there’s anything else I can assist you with please do not hesitate in contacting me.

On a slight tangent - the title of the book in the background made me chuckle... perhaps you can share a few to cheer us up during these bad times?!

David

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Whoops, didn't notice ! My son bought me a book for Christmas, it has a page a day for comments, and enough pages for 5 years.

I record comments (!!) on a daily basis that amuse me but not for public consumption.

 

OK ????

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Ha ha, sounds like a good book!

Is the model going to be produced commercially in the future?

All the best, please keep us updated on progress of the models, they look very interesting.

David

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Posted (edited)

thanks,

have a look at the Resicast website, Graham Seller is the owner, a Brit having lived in Belgium (Mons) most of his life.

Most of the models on the site have been mastered by me and there is a great chap Christian who paint them.

We have done a few items on the Light Rail, Simplex 20 and 40hp, wagons, artillery, 18 pdr /4.5 howitzer (WW1 and WW2), 9.2" howitzer, 60 pdr, 8" howitzer, FWD (UK and US versions), 6" howitzer....quite a selection. All 1/35 scale. I do not do figures, equipment only. Been involved for years, and again, many thanks to HMVF members who have given me a lot of info, especially build photo's. They are invaluable to make the models as accurate as possible. 

Enjoy.

George.

Edited by george
spellin !

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Good evening, I hope we find everyone well. Unfortunately work on the Foden has been non existent for the last month since where the Foden is currently kept has been on lockdown, however this has meant I can progress on work at home. 
 

I had a few excursions planned for 2020, with rallies in France, Guernsey, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset on the itinerary, however one by one all these events have been cancelled so we won’t be going far this year! 
 

However this does mean that the planned winter jobs can be brought forward. At the end of this season my 10 year boiler test is due, so I need to strip the wagon, I am going to remove the boiler from the chassis, as some bearings need attention, also the tubes need replacing (they were put in when the firebox was fitted 20 years ago, and they have done very well, however they will be replaced. Likewise I will change all studs, overhaul the fittings etc. If this is of interest then I will add photos as and when I get into the jobs.

The other job I plan to do this year is to restore the cab. Unfortunately there is some rot and previously bit of steel plate have been fitted to keep the cab in shape, but I wish to replace the rotted bits and repair the rest, together with new canvas etc. I want to retain as much as possible of the original cab, so this could be an interesting “conservation” job.

Keep well everyone!

David

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Posted (edited)

I hope this is of interest, it’s an account of a steam wagon driver, driving something much like my own wagon. It is from “The Worlds Fair” of January 1916


JUST ONE DAY IN A WAGON IN FRANCE - by “Norman”

 

’There are eighty four steam wagons “parked” in one large yard, hence its name “Lurry Park”. You set off at 4.30am from your tent, which is a good mile from the above mentioned park, and on arriving you start a game of “hunt your slipper”, or I should say hunt your engine; for remember there are eighty four engines, all like yours and the majority of them have been parked after yours. Now, in your hunt you have to be very careful because if you happen to make a mistake and commence to climb on the wrong one, you are in danger of a clump in the ear from the driver, who (no doubt) thinks you are trying to pinch his firewood. After knocking all the skin off your knuckles cleaning the clinkers out,  you light up and having seen your fire strong you set out for your breakfast. Talk about the song “back to the office I went” well, it’s not in it, I walk a mile to work, then a mile back for my breakfast, and a mile back to work again - well, it prevents indigestion. 
 

What a grand thing army life is! After breakfast is a performance that cannot be passed over in a few words - ah no! To get your breakfast you have to pass the cook house, and whilst doing so your nose is assailed by the beautiful odour of fried bacon - hurrah! You make a dash for the mess room where you find you can have your choice of jelly or ham, but the bacon -well the smell is your share; that is for the NCO’s, you have a slice of bread and jam and register a solemn oath that the next time you join the army again it will be as a sergeant or not at all!

 

After breakfast you go back to your engine, oil round, get your sheet, and sort of “get set” for the day. By this time bells are ringing and horns are blowing as this or that impatient individual lets his neighbours know that he is ready and anxious to get to work. Now, if you are also ready you dash out of the yard “a la Donaldson” and nearly hit a corporal or two in your endevours to show How eager you are to get to work! If, on the other hand, she has steamed badly and you are in danger of being last (and so get a  roasting from the Sargent) you shove her in slow gear and crawl out of the park as my Scottish friend has it “on tippy toes for fear of wakening the lazy French folk” !

 

After arriving at your job, which may be one of a hundred you have a look around to see if your engine is intact, and, finding everything ok you make yourself as snug as you can in your bunker and practice French on any of the French people who happen to be around until you are loaded. Dinner time comes as a happy interval, when you can have your choice of bully slice, bully stew, or bully. After dinner you return to the job you have been on in the morning and continue until you are signed off which means you can return to the lurry park on rare occasions, by day five o’clock. You make a dash for home, planning enroute, what you will do in the extra hours that have fallen to your lot. But you must not build too lightly on this, for as you go careering through the gate of the park you will perhaps hear the corporal yelling at you “right round 30 and you wheel your engine round and wish fervently that the corporal finds nothing in his stocking next Christmas! You are now handed another sheet in perusal of which you find you have to take a load of rations for some troops preceding up the line.

 

After missing your tea and nearly breaking your wagon up in some atrocious holes you wander home, wondering meanwhile will this d———— war ever finish!

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Edited by Foden7536
Mis-spelt “oil”
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Good evening. It’s a mainly tractor event at Gournay-en-Bray, but three engines were planning on steaming from home (Hadlow Down) to Newhaven to catch the ferry to Dieppe then it’s about 50 miles down through France to the rally. Some friends did it last year with vintage tractors and this was going to be the first time with steam, so hopefully we can do it again another year.

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Thanks for these, some interesting info.

Work on our kit has stopped for a while to gather a bit more info and some parts need re-working (my error)

Thanks again.

George.

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Well, it’s fair to say that this season isn’t quite going to plan is it! Last time I posted back in May I was saying about my planned trip to France... if all had gone to plan after that I was to attend a show on Guernsey, before taking the Foden back to Devon to mark the centenary of it being purchased by Devon County Council - but alas it wasn’t to be! 
 

The covid lockdown and cancellation of events has moved my planned winter maintenance forward by a few months, this year my Foden comes up for its 10 year hydraulic boiler test. The firebox and front tubeplate were replaced 20 years ago and the same set of boiler tubes have been in it since, and although still in reasonable condition I thought it sensible to replace them whilst the boiler is stripped. So first job was to remove the outer smokebox (for those unfamiliar to Foden wagons the boiler barrel extends into the smokebox, but there is a “outer smokebox” with the gap between them lagged. This outer is held on by 1/2” rivets and is only lightweight so is easily removed. Anyway, once this was removed it was a simple case of grinding the ends of the tubes flush in the firebox and then pulling the tubes out the front, the 53 smoke tubes, and single stay tube were withdrawn within a hour and a half, and then my next job is to needle gun the inside of the barrel - not an easy task with the very small door in the front tubeplate to work through, but it’s all done now. 
 

Removal of fittings and studs was a tedious as always with several broken studs to attend too - and always the ones in the most awkward places! 
 

My next job is to remove the cab and crank (it needs a grind and new bearings etc) then I’m going to lift the boiler assemble out of the chassis, that way I can take the “power unit” home to work on in my shed, rather than having to drive for an hour to get to where the wagon is kept. 
 

Slow progress, but I hope this is of interest. With all the fantastic restoration blogs on here, and photos of things going back together, I thought I’d buck the trend and take mine apart !!!

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Yes Dave, the block has two pipes which go down into the steam space with nuts on the bottom. Rather than having a big hole like on an Aveling etc. Off the top of my head I think it has 16 5/8” bolts just to locate the cylinder. 

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