US Metallic Packing

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Merlyn
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US Metallic Packing

Postby Merlyn » Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:59 am

Wish I still had my US Metallic packing 6 inch ruler, reckon it could be worth a million quid by now. Had a super folding blade on it.
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.

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Merlyn
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Re: US Metallic Packing

Postby Merlyn » Tue May 12, 2015 4:49 am

Fabulous bit of kit this, old up and downer triple or quad expansion, on the bottom of each cylinder where it enters the lower half. Drilled and tapped a large machined stuffing box containing not steam packing but U.S. Packing. Let go all the nuts on the studding bar two, chainblocks on, let go the remaining two and lower down the piston rod. Looking in the top you have many layers of phosphor bronze segments round the shaft, maybe 5/6 on each row. Behind each segment the casing and each segment was drilled to take several coil springs, just like small valve springs to push the packing against the piston rod. The tops of each piece was drilled and tapped ( you always had to run a tap down each one ) to enable you to screw in an extractor, a slide hammer one or similar was good. Draw each piece out, all of them then onto the next set down . Several layers to come out. Each insert was machined out to take beautifully machined white metal inserts to contact the rod, ie it ran on the white metal inserts and not the casing. Always new sets coil springs fitted and a lot of the time new inserts too. Miles and miles of emery tape to be used here, as the boy on the job helping the U.S. Metallic packing bloke that's all you did for days on end, emery and more emerying. Staggered gaps like rings here mind. Any tramlines repairable on the rods and out with your flat file. ( Or Mr Belzona ) and file flat as you had been taught to do. Very time consuming job, rep normally stayed in a pub for the week and should you get caught up with him night times the other training was executed, training in ale consumption. Good days or what. Build it all back up together, the torque setting for the stuffing box was always FT with locknuts/ split pins fitted. We did two of these old fellows for five years till they went for scrap. One of these featured in my Turning gear question and one of them was in the film " the Heroes Of Telemark " by Kirk Douglas filmed off our coast. You can see the open crankshafts thrashing around in the film. No control rooms here, only low guard rails to stop you being a part of the crank. Bonus of this job ? Scrap white metal paid for Saturday nights plus, provided another apprentice who had done all of this before knew where you kept the whitemetal. In your toolbox? No way, every one knew how to pick locks from day one, it was one of the first things you learnt, you had to to get your own tools back. You had it JK in your old fella?
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.

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JK
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Re: US Metallic Packing

Postby JK » Tue May 12, 2015 1:54 pm

yes I've done this. We didn't have the whitemetal face, the segments were brass only, if I remember. Didn't they have a knife edge to scrap cylinder oil as well?
We put all the segments in the gland, put the new springs on. The gland was sitting on the crosshead, we just engaged the turning gear to lift it in place.
Myself and the other engineer are standing, peering up in the crankcase scratching out heads a bit when the 2nd came in and wanted to know what was going on.
We explained our dilemna, he went around to the inboard side of the engine and looked at the listometer ( a 2" nut hanging on a string in front of the hotwell), walked back, said the ship is on a list, straighten her up.
The ship crane worked buoys and cargo for 40 years over the port rail, the engine liners had a bit of wear and the pistonrod was off center. We corrected the list and the gland popped right up in place. LOL
In 4 years I only seen one down from both engines. The engineroom was kept up to snuff for leaking packing. The only pumps that ate packing were the feed pumps, we resorted to larger packing hammered down to fit. The piston rods were all original and showing necking.

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JK
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Re: US Metallic Packing

Postby JK » Tue May 12, 2015 2:00 pm

I am sure you fitted shuttle valves on the pumps then. They'd get a little worn and the pump would stop. We had them on the feed and boiler fuel pumps. Everyone hated when the fuel pumps acted up as they were in the depths of the boiler room with the oil heaters behind them. The rest of the pumps were duplex, one smack with a hammer on the valve rods would get them running.
Our domestic pump worked until you were in the shower, all soaped up then it would quit. More then once I'd have to get into coveralls and slippers and go down to the engineroom and beat on it so I could finish my shower.

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Merlyn
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Re: US Metallic Packing

Postby Merlyn » Wed May 13, 2015 4:36 am

Can't remember a knife edge arrangement, remember the huge polished brass container with black oil in it feeding the packing. Full time oiler/ greaser carried here. What a stressful job or what. Well remember beating and banging the Weir pumps snifter valves, they used to jerk up, load sniff, wait and then on the down run and sniff again. They were on most pumps, remember the Paragon pumps? Dear old souls. Ships ran for 40 years over here, quite reliable too.
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.

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Merlyn
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Posts: 787
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:19 am
Currently located: South Coast UK

Re: US Metallic Packing

Postby Merlyn » Wed May 13, 2015 4:40 am

Can't remember a knife edge arrangement, remember the huge polished brass container with black oil in it feeding the packing. Full time oiler/ greaser carried here. What a stressful job or what. Well remember beating and banging the Weir pumps snifter valves, they used to jerk up, load sniff, wait and then on the down run and sniff again. They were on most pumps, remember the Paragon pumps? Dear old souls. Ships ran for 40 years over here, quite reliable too. PS keep your scraper, with all this common rail stuff, you never know they might be back and you and I can really clean up then.
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.


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