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Missing nuts in Whalf!

zomjon

Member
Having a wander past the Wharf entrances today, to find both the climbing shaft and the engine shaft were minus their nuts!…though the ones for Knotlow shafts were intact
 

pwhole

Well-known member
It's not an unfamiliar situation. Devonshire is one thing, but these are deep shafts, and it just keeps happening. We have 'wondered' whether it's not cavers doing this, but I think that's just as we're being kind. Mind you, I don't think anyone's used the climbing shaft as a toilet lately :(
 

Pete K

Well-known member
Anyone recall what sized nuts are needed? I might be able to get there in the next few days but only have a small selection of spare hardware to hand.
 

AR

Well-known member
Not sure about the climber but the engine shaft may be an odd older size like the Knotlow engine shaft, might even have been a Whitworth. Jenny P may remember. I'm going to take the dog for a walk over there in a bit and take my adjustable spanner, I'm thinking I might be able to borrow a nut off Knotlow for the engine shaft as a temporary measure, though I can have take a few of my own large size nuts over on the off-chance.
The climber needs its method of securing changing; I did look at what needed to be done a few years back but I haven't got time to re-engineer the lid in the required manner.
 

alastairgott

Well-known member
Clearly they’ve got the rock to work on the nut again. I’ve been there a few times and seen fresh scratches in the concrete from a rock being used to nudge the nut. Anyone going to those lengths isn’t going to assist us with kindly placing the nut back on the bolt after looking down the shaft.
 

shotlighter

Active member
Not sure about the climber but the engine shaft may be an odd older size like the Knotlow engine shaft, might even have been a Whitworth. Jenny P may remember. I'm going to take the dog for a walk over there in a bit and take my adjustable spanner, I'm thinking I might be able to borrow a nut off Knotlow for the engine shaft as a temporary measure, though I can have take a few of my own large size nuts over on the off-chance.
The climber needs its method of securing changing; I did look at what needed to be done a few years back but I haven't got time to re-engineer the lid in the required manner.
Whalf Engine shaft is 16mm.
 

AR

Well-known member
Okay... having just got back from a quick dogwalk over to the shaft, the good news is I found the nuts in the grass alongside the shaft lid. The bad news is that the threading has worn to the point that the nuts can no longer be tightened. The only big nuts I could find at home were 21mm (truck wheel nuts, I think) so I've had to just leave the shaft looking secure. The climber is missing its nut, that I think is either an M10 or M12.
New 16mm nuts might be enough to get the engine shaft secure again in the short term but really it needs an alternative means of shutting. As mentioned above the climber also needs something else.
 

shotlighter

Active member
Okay... having just got back from a quick dogwalk over to the shaft, the good news is I found the nuts in the grass alongside the shaft lid. The bad news is that the threading has worn to the point that the nuts can no longer be tightened. The only big nuts I could find at home were 21mm (truck wheel nuts, I think) so I've had to just leave the shaft looking secure. The climber is missing its nut, that I think is either an M10 or M12.
New 16mm nuts might be enough to get the engine shaft secure again in the short term but really it needs an alternative means of shutting. As mentioned above the climber also needs something else.
The threads have not done too badly, considering the weather and dirty conditions they are in. I just realised that they've done 24years.
Tempus fugit again!
 

Chocolate fireguard

Active member
The screw or bolt shanks that form the hinge pins of the inner lid of the engine shaft were well worn last time I looked (probably pre-pandemic) and could also do with replacing. I imagine that would be a grinder job.
 

shotlighter

Active member
The screw or bolt shanks that form the hinge pins of the inner lid of the engine shaft were well worn last time I looked (probably pre-pandemic) and could also do with replacing. I imagine that would be a grinder job.
Sorry can't comment on the inner lid construction, as that was a later addition by someone else.
 

Pete K

Well-known member
Okay... having just got back from a quick dogwalk over to the shaft, the good news is I found the nuts in the grass alongside the shaft lid. The bad news is that the threading has worn to the point that the nuts can no longer be tightened. The only big nuts I could find at home were 21mm (truck wheel nuts, I think) so I've had to just leave the shaft looking secure. The climber is missing its nut, that I think is either an M10 or M12.
New 16mm nuts might be enough to get the engine shaft secure again in the short term but really it needs an alternative means of shutting. As mentioned above the climber also needs something else.
For the Engine Shaft, what about a piece of angle steel bolted into the existing lid near the handle and running parallel to the hinges. Long enough to overlap the lid frame and sit on the concrete either side. This would have a hole drilled at each end and fit over new large threaded studs set in the concrete. Being angle, there would be less room to hit the nuts with a rock, but still easy to use a spanner.

For the climber. It looks like the front bit of small angle is bolted to the grill that forms the main lid. If we cut that off and fitted a larger section of angle, drilled to fit over two big (cM16) threaded studs, we'd also make it harder to bash open with a rock.

Use Nyloc nuts in future and that way even flexing the lids by jumping on them should prevent the nuts coming loose. Probably good to fit new signs reminding folks who to contact if they do drop a nut.
 

Pete K

Well-known member
I had another idea. One of my first DCA jobs was fitting a locking catch to the Credit Crunch shaft lid. I think something like this would work well on these lids too, and the nuts cannot be removed and lost. Just need to find someone who can bend that thickness of steel.

PC050100.JPG
 

shotlighter

Active member
I had another idea. One of my first DCA jobs was fitting a locking catch to the Credit Crunch shaft lid. I think something like this would work well on these lids too, and the nuts cannot be removed and lost. Just need to find someone who can bend that thickness of steel.

View attachment 19052
Thats a cracking idea. Even better if the threaded rod cound be made replacable somehow?
Edit, an alternative to bending would be welding a short bit of angle to the end of that flat bar.
 
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AR

Well-known member
I had another idea. One of my first DCA jobs was fitting a locking catch to the Credit Crunch shaft lid. I think something like this would work well on these lids too, and the nuts cannot be removed and lost. Just need to find someone who can bend that thickness of steel.
Someone like a trained blacksmith with a small hearth and anvil in his garage?

Something like that could work on the engine shaft; the other thought that's occurred to me as a shorter-term fix is to grind back the thread on the studs, then re-tap to M14 but right now I have neither the time nor the energy to do that.

As for the climber, I was thinking internal catches would be better, like the ones on Wardlow Sough - easy to open with a spanner, shuttable from inside without one and you can't get locked in by dickheads. I had a good look a while back and it's certainly feasible; needs slots cutting into the inside of the frame to receive catches and two of the bolts on the nameplate could be repurposed as the openers. As with so many other jobs I'd like to do, it hasn't happened because there were higher priority calls on what little free time I have these days.
 

AR

Well-known member
Picked up a couple of M16 nuts this morning and took the dog for a walk over to the shaft; the new nuts seemed to have plenty of bite so hopefully they'll do until something longer-term can be arranged.
Apologies to whoever was down there at the time if I've confused you by magically changing the old rusty nuts into shiny new ones! :D
 

Pete K

Well-known member
Nice one Adam, thanks! Let's still continue the conversation at DCA for a drop-proof solution, but at least we know the shaft is secure now.
 
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