Author Topic: Scraper boxes  (Read 1454 times)

Online Tomferry

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Scraper boxes
« on: July 05, 2021, 08:53:43 pm »
Hello everyone

Have been reading metalliferous mining by s higham it is a very good read to say the least if your into learning about how stuff works and was designed in great detail.

I have asked a few people and these appear to be quite rare and not a a great deal known about them  I am going to kindly ask Chris to attach a couple of photos for how it explains they are used etc

My question is if anyone has seen these on the journeys out could you please say where or if their sensitive sites feel free to private message .

Or any useful information would be great to have added into the thread .

Regards Tom .

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2021, 08:56:31 pm »
Presto!
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Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2021, 08:00:22 am »
Never noticed, but if the scrap man removed the hoist, cable etc I bet that snatch block would more trouble than worth if far out of reach so I'll keep my eyes peeled for that in future thanks
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Online Tomferry

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2021, 08:12:35 am »
Is interesting their appears to be many different capacities / types I am surprised I have not seen one or remains indicating this was one , it seems to be a well used technique  as it reduces the cost of Labour  the other benefit being you can have this constantly running especially if their is ore chutes near by , in normal stope conditions,  some times they was short on mine carts coming into it “empty” ones as so much is being removed at once , with this it frees up many mine carts and appears to be a simple design to construct  you still need the winch like always  but appears a very good simple design ?

Tom

Offline LJR

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2021, 08:18:07 am »
Quite a common mining tool. Not just in metal mining but coal too.
There are still some about in working condition.
We used one when infilling the stopes at Snailbeach shown in photo with the late Dave Williams driving the winch.

Offline Minegeo

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2021, 09:34:56 am »
Scrapers (or more commonly "slushers") used until early 1980's at Silvermines, Ireland.  Photos from late 1960's (B&W) from Upper G-Zone and late 1970's (colour) B-Zone.


Online Tomferry

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2021, 10:28:03 am »
Very nice thanks for sharing lovely photos

Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2021, 03:11:14 pm »
Those pics seem to show 2 steel ropes (head and tail presumably), which makes sense, and operation by a pair of levers.

How does that work? Does pulling a lever winch in that cable while releasing the other lever lets it freely pay out?  How does it operate?
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Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2021, 04:07:20 pm »
Looking again... those levers could be brakes, so are there a pair of foot pedals as well out of shot?
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Offline Mark

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2021, 04:39:30 pm »
Heres one in action


Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2021, 05:42:58 pm »
Thanks Mark -- that clears it up, looks as simple as it gets to operate

Maybe a kind of digression, but you want to see a big drag bucket?? look at this beast

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Offline Minegeo

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2021, 09:27:16 am »
Actually the slushers (scrapers) have three ropes:  Pulley blocks are installed at the corners of the stope and the cables from the winch these are attached via these to the back of the slusher bucket.  The third rope is attached to the front of the bucket.  By using the two cables controlled separately the bucket can be dragged to the furthest corners of the stope and then retrieved by the single cable to the ore pass in front of the winch location.

Online Tomferry

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2021, 04:10:08 pm »
Definitely going to be keeping my eyes open for of these beauty’s .

Offline Kevin_Williams

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2021, 04:41:12 pm »
Having mined in several coal and metalliferrous mines in England, Zambia and USA I have experiences with both compressed air and electric 2 and 3 drum scrapers over the years. I have no preference to either, both are good to use with the three drum easier to work in wider ore bodies.

Online Tomferry

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2021, 06:14:37 pm »
Kevin what types of metalliferous mines did you use them in during what time period in the uk ? just am curious as I have not heard much about these before I am assuming iron ?  .

Offline Mark

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2021, 07:11:18 pm »
We used them in the 1970s in Sallet Hole Mine (fluorspar) about 60ft above the 130ft Level (which was above the adit level).
We would put a raise hole in the vein (cribbed all the way up) and then drive a small level in the vein, (just big enough to get a long hole rig in) first few rounds would be shovelled by hand, then the slusher would be hauled up the raise hole and used to clear the level for about 100ft to meet the next raise hole.
Long holes were drilled in the vein above the level and the whole lot fired (after the slusher had been moved along beyond the next rise hole)

Online Tomferry

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2021, 07:17:12 pm »
Thanks mark most helpful  :thumbsup:

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2021, 07:33:04 pm »
Pic from Tomferry - question to follow.
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Online Tomferry

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2021, 07:42:26 pm »
Thanks Chris .

I am reading some pamphlets that I have purchased and was wondering was these common practice during the period after the 2nd world war ? As health and safety started to evolve  and the war time rush finished many new rules / standards / guide lines got brought into place ? Did they give similar out at sallet hole since we already have that in conversation above ?

Offline Mark

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2021, 08:42:33 pm »
Thanks Chris .

I am reading some pamphlets that I have purchased and was wondering was these common practice during the period after the 2nd world war ? As health and safety started to evolve  and the war time rush finished many new rules / standards / guide lines got brought into place ? Did they give similar out at sallet hole since we already have that in conversation above ?

There were rules and regulations to be followed but a lot of stuff went on, that would definitely not be allowed now.
It was a hard rock mine nothing like the coal mines with all the hazards.

One health and safety snippet that still makes me chuckle, was the introduction of an accident book next to the clocking off machine

One report went as follows

Nature of injury - "Badly bruised knee"

How did the accident occur - " I was knocking a nail into leg, and hammer slipped"

Offline Kevin_Williams

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2021, 12:48:53 pm »
Tom, in the early 70's while fluorspar mining at Redburn mine, Rookhope. For stope cleaning a two drum scraper was used, firstly we pulled it up the stope's access ladder-way. We made it simple by rigging the tail rope over a pulley that we fixed to the top of the stope ladder-way and returned the rope directly to the scraper unit. We then closed the tail brake band so that the unit was able to pull itself up to the top of the stope with its own air power. We had to do this steadily as we moved up ourselves so we could keep the brake band under control. For stope cleaning we would pass the tail rope through a pulley at the far end of the stope and attach it to the back of the scraper hoe with the pulling rope attached to the front of the hoe to enable the filled hoe to be pulled to the scraper unit. For speed in setting the scraping operation up quickly we sometimes wedged a timber into the rock pile in the stope where we could attach the return pulley onto it.
When emptying the stope, the practice of controlling the momentum of the hoe ensured it was easy to place it right at the far end of the stope.
The access ladder-way was usually positioned between two box-holes on the sub level where a wagon was used to empty the box which was filled by the stope’s slushier operation. The full wagon was moved to a dump hole where it was transferred down the ore pass. Trammers on the main 17 fathom level then pulled the transfer pass to fill a train of ore wagons that would be transported back to the shaft for hoisting.
I did use a three drum unit in a wide stope while I was there where there were two tail ropes that enables the hoe to be positioned towards the sides of the stope.
The action of pulling on a brake band lever does operate that drum which pulls the rope. The direction of movement depends on whether the rope is a tail or a pull one.
In England I also experienced 3 drum air slushers in operation from the late 1970’s to 1989 at Geevor Mine. More recently I’ve used an electric 3 drum slusher at South Crofty Mine which for a while we loaded directly into a scooptram!!
On another note, I notice the pictures showing several scrapers in operation do not have any safety features. The Chinese one go's part ways there with the rope roller guides. Should any rope snap there is no protection on any drum shown. The slushers/scrapers I have used in Cornwall all have the necessary guides that would probably comply with current mining and other safety legislation.     

Online Tomferry

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2021, 01:22:45 pm »
Thanks Kevin that is  some great information  :thumbsup:

Offline pwhole

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2021, 01:26:29 pm »
I'm finding all this fascinating, but that was my main thought in all this - what happens if it goes wrong? As in, the scraper just gets totally jammed? Presumably there's only so much load the pulley anchors can take? The winch guy seems awfully vulnerable in that situation. Also the noise operating these things in an enclosed space must be close to unbearable? I'm not seeing many ear-defenders, but is that as they were already deaf? I know Mark can still hear though, so maybe not :)

Offline LJR

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2021, 01:48:30 pm »
Phil, if you look carefully at the photo of Dave Williams, he is wearing defenders. You can just see the orange pivots on his helmet through the condensation that the slusher has chucked out.
As conscientious employers we always provided our men with safety gear.  ;D
I believe TW still has that slusher and bucket in working condition.

Online Tomferry

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2021, 02:00:33 pm »
I am assuming the dangers people are speaking about   flying winch wires etc ?  I did think this myself when I use to have to go collect tarmac on the tipper vans they have set ups that bring the cooking tarmac up to the hopper this is powered by big winch around this winch is a very heavy duty mesh cage , I saw a winch wire break off roading before luckily the guy had his Landrover bonnet up and it hit that I wouldn’t want to be on a receiving end of any of them .

Offline pwhole

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2021, 02:55:57 pm »
Phil, if you look carefully at the photo of Dave Williams, he is wearing defenders. You can just see the orange pivots on his helmet through the condensation that the slusher has chucked out.

Haha, yes, I stand corrected! Seems sensible to wear them really with that racket going on. To be honest I wouldn't mind a ten-min audio recording of one of those operating at full bore - you could have some fun with that on a computer :)

I had a close shave a few years ago load-testing some abseiling rails, lifting up a 600 kg weight-box with a Tirfor clone. The entire front end of the casting broke off the winch, the mechanism collapsed, the weight box hit the floor (luckily only a few inches up, but only a few inches from my feet), and the lifiting cable twanged up into the roof and nearly took out my colleague, who was moving the abseil trolleys along for testing. The winch was rated for at least 800kg, so that was pretty shit all round. At least we got to go home early. I doubt they bought a better-quality winch as a replacement.

Offline Mark

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2021, 03:35:23 pm »
I'm finding all this fascinating, but that was my main thought in all this - what happens if it goes wrong? As in, the scraper just gets totally jammed? Presumably there's only so much load the pulley anchors can take? The winch guy seems awfully vulnerable in that situation. Also the noise operating these things in an enclosed space must be close to unbearable? I'm not seeing many ear-defenders, but is that as they were already deaf? I know Mark can still hear though, so maybe not :)

As I recall, you had to keep a lot of pressure on the lever to get the rope to move, if the bucket got stuck it just stopped, you couldn't apply enough pressure to keep the drum turning & break the rope, (each drum had a sort of band brake/clutch thing) which you had to pull really hard to make things move

It was a case of crawling down the heading and freeing the bucket when things came to a stop,

I don't remember it being particularly noisy more of a rumble than a screaming air motor, I do however struggle with my hearing now, particularly when there is a lot of background noise.


Offline LJR

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2021, 06:21:23 pm »

As I recall, you had to keep a lot of pressure on the lever to get the rope to move, if the bucket got stuck it just stopped, you couldn't apply enough pressure to keep the drum turning & break the rope, (each drum had a sort of band brake/clutch thing) which you had to pull really hard to make things move


True, which is why you will notice Dave Williams has two bits of scaffold tube stuck over the handles to get more leverage!

Offline Kevin_Williams

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2021, 09:06:11 pm »
A couple of further points on operating a scraper at Redburn. If the bucket got stuck and the return pulley was tending to pull out the usual practice was to place a stick of powder against the rock that prevent the bucket moving.

I am aware of the bad practice whereby a miner helped the bucket to move by standing and bouncing on the back end of it. To prevent him him falling over he was holding onto the return rope. With the rope moving in both directions either side of the return pulley it was just a matter of time before an accident occurred.

If the rope broke while operating the machine you would stop the machine simply by releasing the brake band. If the rope was repairable this would be done correctly using u-bolt rope clamps (or incorrectly by tying a reef knot in it). Should a rope repair feed into the scraper drum it might cause problems which meant that the rope was replaced.

Later on at Geevor rope guards were mounted onto the unit that prevented the rope whip-lashing over the machine. 

Offline Manicminer

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2021, 09:11:44 pm »
We had a few at Gwynfynydd gold mine in the 1990's.
Double drum 'slusher' air winch, pulley that you fitted on a short wire rope with a wedge holding it in a drill hole(forgotten the name of it).
Worked well for scraping the stopes to the kibbles

Online Tomferry

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Re: Scraper boxes
« Reply #30 on: September 20, 2021, 12:41:51 pm »
All the books I been reading make much more sense now due to all the very helpful points / usage guides above .  I am glad I found a couple of these to look at their interesting things when you understand how their used simple but effective  :thumbsup:

 

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