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  1. #46
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    Default Proof Positive

    While stripping down my own RB, I found this cast tag on one side.

    RB 236.jpg

    "WR 6064" - I've been trying to figure out what it means/meant?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vann View Post
    ...These tenders closed on 15th February 1926, and the tender for Specification 101 for 12 Bench Planers - High Speed was won by Wadkin & Coy. With the exception of 1 further Bench Planer (ordered in September 1928) Wadkin did not win any other orders for planers...

    ...So I conclude that the 12 Bench Planers - High Speed supplied by Wadkin would have all been the same model.

    And with the knowledge that Hutt, Addington and Hillside workshops each had at least one RB that date back to around that period – I also conclude that the 12 buzzers Wadkin supplied to NZ Railways at that time were all RBs...
    In doing this research, conclusions are all very well, but I prefer actual evidence. I think I've finally found proof that these RBs, and the twelve machines supplied in the 1926-30 period, really are the same machines (i.e. that it's not just a coincidence).

    Quote Originally Posted by Vann View Post
    ...A further document dated 17th September, 1930, summarises all new machinery supplied.

    RB 1666d.jpg

    Included is that the 12 Bench Planers - High Speed were shipped as follows:
    - 3 to Auckland (nearest port to Otahuhu workshops) – value £176 6s 9d;
    - 3 to Wellington (nearest port to Hutt workshops) – value £176 6s 9d;
    - 3 to Lyttleton (nearest port to Addington workshops) – value £176 6s 5d;
    - 3 to Port Chalmers (nearest port to Hillside workshops) – value £176 6s 5d.
    an average value of £58 15s 6d each...
    The penny finally dropped: taking a closer look at this document of 17th September, 1930, you can see that the Order No. for the 12 "Bench Planers H.S." was "W.R. 6064"

    RB 237.jpg

    I think that pretty much confirms that my Wadkin RB 116, along with RB 109 and RB 113, are from the batch of 12 - and therefore confirms that these (and by association RB 117) date back to 1926-30.

    Footnote:
    Quote Originally Posted by Vann View Post
    ...I spent a lot of time over the last few days, going through official government records relating to the re-equipping of these workshops. The files I found are in regard to Workshops Machinery (for anyone wishing to verify or follow up this research, the files are NZR files 1916/1666 – and the best information I’ve found so far is in part 2 (1924-27) & part 3 (1927-31)...
    I neglected to mention that these files are held at Archives NZ in Mulgrave St, Wellington.

    Cheers, Vann.
    Gatherer of rusty planes tools...

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  3. #47
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    Default One More.

    Here's another RB - from the UK.

    RB 242.jpg No full view of the machine.

    The tag is hard to read. I've played with the exposure, saturation, definition, shadows, etc. and I think the Serial number is 415 (or 416/18/19), while the Test No. appears to be 10699. The first two test digits are certainly 10 - so that makes it another 1938 machine (the first with a "Wadkin Ltd" tag).

    RB 239.jpg

    It has the second type of handwheel...

    RB 240.jpg Cast iron, solid, knobbed.

    ...full size "Brookhirst" door - with overload reset button...

    RB 243.jpg No longer in use as this machine is now single phase.

    ...2nd type of fence...

    RB 244.jpg

    ...and cutterhead with micrometer knife adjustment and provision for moulding cutters.

    RB 241.jpg

    Cheers, Vann.
    Gatherer of rusty planes tools...

  4. #48
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    Default July 2017 Update:

    The following is an updated list of known RB buzzers;

    RB 109, test 4359, pre-1937 - New Zealand (RIP in 1987);
    RB 113, test 4367, pre-1937 - New Zealand;
    RB 116, test 4374, pre-1937 - New Zealand;
    RB 117, test 4375, pre-1937 - New Zealand;
    RBA 158, test 8623, of 1937 - United Kingdom;
    RBA 183, test 9335, of 1937 - United Kingdom;
    RB 190, test 9407, of 1938 - United Kingdom;
    RBA 415, test 10699, of 1938 - United Kingdom;
    RB 512, (test no. unknown) - United Kingdom;
    RB 563, test 29408, of 1947 - United Kingdom;
    RB 734, test 35301, of 1949 - New Zealand;
    RB 745, test 35560, of 1950 - United Kingdom;
    RB 830, test 39773, of 1951 - United Kingdom;
    RB 876, test 42337, of 1952 - New Zealand;
    RB 886, test 42636, of 1952 - New Zealand;
    RB 921, test 45225, of 1953 - New Zealand;
    RB 1010, test 50380, of 1954 - United Kingdom.

    Hmmm... 226 machines produced in 1938 (RB 190 to RBA 415), then less than 100 over the next 9 years? Something weird going on there - but I feel sure I've read the tags correctly.

    Cheers, Vann.
    Gatherer of rusty planes tools...

  5. #49
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    Default Correction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vann View Post
    The following is an updated list of known RB buzzers...

    RBA 415, test 10699, of 1938 - United Kingdom...
    The seller says it's RBA 418, test 10699.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vann View Post
    (edited)...Hmmm... 229 machines produced in 1938 (RB 190 to RBA 418), then less than 100 over the next 9 years? Something weird going on there...
    Actually, that's 145 over the next 9 years (RBA 418 to RB 563 - as we can't verify when RB 512 was tested). I can only speculate - but it would seem that they must have made a large batch in 1938, and then ceased production of this model until after the war???

    Cheers, Vann.
    Gatherer of rusty planes tools...

  6. #50
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vann View Post
    RB 116g.jpg RB 116h.jpg Cool gear teeth ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Wadkin Pattern Shop foreman
    "Mr Goddard sir, we have finished the pattern for the RB planer herringbone drive. But I think your draughtsman has mixed his feet and inches..."

    RB 250.jpg
    Cheers, Vann .
    Gatherer of rusty planes tools...

  7. #51
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    Default

    This tale is a bit fishy to me.

  8. #52
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    Default And Still One More.

    Another RB - again from the UK.

    RB 251.jpg Front view of the machine.

    RBA 497, test 25435, of 1945. This makes it a few months younger than my PK (test 25031) which was dispatched from Wadkin factory on 19th September, 1945 (according to paperwork that came with the PK).

    RB 255.jpg

    It has the second type of handwheel...

    RB 252.jpg Cast iron, solid, knobbed.

    ... and the 2nd type of fence.

    RB 253.jpg RB 254.jpg

    Cheers, Vann.
    Gatherer of rusty planes tools...

  9. #53
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    Default And Still One More, More.

    Still another RB - again from the UK.

    RB 256.jpg Front view of the machine.

    RBA 464, test 14604, of 1940.

    RB 257.jpg

    It has the second type of fence...

    RB 258.jpg

    ... and the 3rd type of handwheel...

    RB 259.jpg Cast iron, 5 spokes

    ...which is a bit strange because RBA 497 and RB 530 have the earlier (2nd type) handwheel. Go figure...

    Cheers, Vann.
    Last edited by Vann; 13th Aug 2017 at 06:31 PM. Reason: One way of utilising a double post is to edit it by posting something completely different
    Gatherer of rusty planes tools...

  10. #54
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    Default August 2017 Update:

    The following is an updated list of known RB buzzers;

    RB 109, test 4359, 1926-30 - New Zealand (RIP in 1987);
    RB 113, test 4367, 1926-30 - New Zealand;
    RB 116, test 4374, 1926-30 - New Zealand;
    RB 117, test 4375, 1926-30 - New Zealand;
    RBA 158, test 8623, of 1937 - United Kingdom;
    RBA 183, test 9335, of 1937 - United Kingdom;
    RB 190, test 9407, of 1938 - United Kingdom;
    RBA 418, test 10699, of 1938 - United Kingdom;
    RBA 464, test 14604, of 1940 - United Kingdom;
    RBA 497, test 25435, of 1945 - United Kingdom;
    RB 512, (test no. unknown) - United Kingdom;
    RB 563, test 29408, of 1947 - United Kingdom;
    RB 734, test 35301, of 1949 - New Zealand;
    RB 745, test 35560, of 1950 - United Kingdom;
    RB 830, test 39773, of 1951 - United Kingdom;
    RB 876, test 42337, of 1952 - New Zealand;
    RB 886, test 42636, of 1952 - New Zealand;
    RB 921, test 45225, of 1953 - New Zealand;
    RB 1010, test 50380, of 1954 - United Kingdom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vann View Post
    ...I can only speculate - but it would seem that they must have made a large batch in 1938, and then ceased production of this model until after the war???
    It does seem likely that Wadkin made a large batch just before WW2 and then ceased production of RBs until near the end of hostilities.

    Cheers, Vann.
    Last edited by Vann; 13th Aug 2017 at 03:53 PM. Reason: RBA 464 added.
    Gatherer of rusty planes tools...

  11. #55
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    Default

    With wartime restrictions in place, I wonder if any machines were made during the war whether they may have ended up being dated pre-war to avoid issues.

  12. #56
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    Default

    I have a catalogue with an amendment stuck into the front cover stating that 'owing to the curtailment in our range due to war production, we are temporarily unable to offer the following'
    SR,SP,12"RD,16"RE,RL,SBF,EZ,ECA,JW,GV
    This is dated november 1945

  13. #57
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    Default War production etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by wallace1973 View Post
    I have a catalogue with an amendment stuck into the front cover stating that 'owing to the curtailment in our range due to war production, we are temporarily unable to offer the following'
    SR,SP,12"RD,16"RE,RL,SBF,EZ,ECA,JW,GV
    This is dated november 1945
    I have a similar date cattle dog with a loose leaf stating what they didn't make during hostilities.
    But it is in Oz and I am in Canada currently so can't be more definitive than this.
    One really interesting thing I found on the net was a listing of the machine makers used in Oz when they were making the Mosquitos here during the war.
    Ill stick it below if I can, its from their restoration site.
    They also have an interesting anecdote from Ship heavy in transit?!
    H.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Jimcracks for the rich and/or wealthy. (aka GKB '88)

  14. #58
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    Default

    Have you seen this one Wadkin 9" RB Surface Planer - Superb Refurbishment Oppertunity - Vintage Wadkin | eBay it has a number of 2559 which predates my list. It is being sold by advanced machinery, there the last remnants of wadkin. In the listing they date it as 1934

  15. #59
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    Default And More...

    Quote Originally Posted by wallace1973 View Post
    RB 260.jpg

    RB 265.jpg RBV 255, test 2359, of... well maybe 1943 - or not

    It's serial number of 255 sits nicely between RB 190 and RBA 418. For example it has the second type of fence...

    RB 264.jpg

    The second type of handwheel...

    RB 262.jpg RB 261.jpg Cast iron, solid, knobbed.

    Cutter-block with provision for moulding cutters...

    RB 263.jpg

    So I don't know what's up with that test number (2359 , a pre-1937 number) which the seller (with strong ties to the former Wadkin Ltd) says is manufactured in 1934. It has the second type of main casting...

    RB 270.jpg No "arch" in bottom of casting.

    RB 190, of 1938, is the last recorded with the arch in the bottom of the main casting. RB 418, also of 1938, is the first without the arch, suggesting this change was made during 1938 (not pre-1937, ~1934).

    RB 190 and all previous machines have the first type of fence, which attaches to the buzzer infeed table by a dovetail slot.

    These two significant details point to RB 255 being 1938 or later.

    The base casting does not have a cut-out in the side to house the On/Off switch, a detail first encountered in RB 418, of 1938 - suggesting RB 255 is not later than 1938...

    RB 267.jpg RBV 255 - no slot.

    RB 271.jpg RBA 418 - with slot for On/Off switch.

    Yet there can be little doubt that the test number is 2359 (or as wallace suggests, 2559) a pre-1937 test number...

    RB 266.jpg


    And what's with the RBV? RB indicates a line belt driven machine; RBA indicates an AC electric driven machine; and RBD indicates a DC electric driven machine. Could RBV indicate an early Vee-belt driven machine?

    And while on the subject of electrically driven machines, here are two little brothers - Wadkin RAs, or as originally outshopped from Wadkin, at least one is an RAD with 220v DC motor (now converted to AC). The first DC tag I've seen.

    RB 268.jpg RB 269.jpg RAD 734, test 21786, of 1944.

    Cheers, Vann.
    Gatherer of rusty planes tools...

  16. #60
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    Default

    For the RB to be belt drive would it not have to be RBB

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