Saturday, March 6, 2010

Expedition washing machine

Here is the washing machine that will be used on the expedition. Got it at an antique shop years ago. It was nice and warm outside today so decided to pull it out and give it a good going over. My daughter and I put some water in and it promptly leaked like a seive! Have begun identifying where the holes are and plugging these. Also revarnishing it in places, replacing some screws, etc. It used to have a brass piston pump on top of the lid that fitted onto a garden hose. We won't have pressurized water or a garden hose in the field so I am converting this machine to hand operation. Any parts that need modifying are not being changed, but removed and replaced with new machined parts to the same specifications that are altered as required. This way, when the trip is over, I can restore the machine back to its original condition. Uncertain as to the vintage of this machine, but it is close in style to the 1915-1925 period. The brass pump had a part inside with an embossed "7-21" stamp, suggesting a July 1921 manufacturing date.

We are hoping to resume scow and rowboat construction in about a month.


  1. Hi Darren,

    You probably know this, but just in case... If the tub hasn't had water in it for many years or even less, leaking is a natural part of the process. Before plugging holes, keep refilling it with water to let the staves rehydrate, and then after a week or two check for leaks again. If you fill gaps early on with anything close to a rigid or permanent fill, it may prevent the tub from ever properly holding water as the wood expands and contracts throughout its life.

    Great project!

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