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Post Info TOPIC: Compilation of sources from WWI-era American Machinist volumes (includes Welin breech manufacturing)


Corporal

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Compilation of sources from WWI-era American Machinist volumes (includes Welin breech manufacturing)
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Since I posted my article on the Canon de 75's recoil system and how it was mass-produced by Singer in WWI, I had planned to post my other American Machinist sources at some point.  During the isolation of the last few days, I finally got around to organizing all of the sources I found.  These don't have a lot of photos of the battlefield, but do have a lot of images of the guns being built, and lots of diagrams and specifications on their designs and how they were made.  Not all of them are about artillery, some are just about infantry weapons or even just machines that made machines to make artillery (mainly the big planer used for making gun-boring lathes), but I prefer to keep the sources in one place, and they still have some applicability to WWI weaponry and the war industry.  These are often incredibly technically detailed, with some information that I haven never been able to find anywhere else (as will be seen later).  So for each volume of American Machinist I'll first list the links to Google Books, Internet Archive, etc. where that volume can be found, and then list the pages where the articles of interest are.  

First, a general link to the Hathitrust page with links to their American Machinist volumes during this era (Volumes 19, 20, 24, and 29-58):

https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008896977

And then going in chronological order, the specific volumes where my sources are:

 

American Machinist Volume 45 (late 1916):

Articles in this volume:

  • Manufacturing the 1-Lb High Explosive Shell by Robert Mawson, Part I p. 157-162, Part II p. 199-203, Part III p. 233-236
  • Making the British Time Fuse Mark 80-44-I by Fred H. Colvin, Part I p. 367-374, Part II p. 421-425
  • Operations on the British 12-In. Mark IV Howitzer Shell Special Correspondence, p. 485-489
  • Varnishing Shells by W. H. Watson (specifically British 4.5-In. Ones), p. 510-511
  • Polishing Lathe for Shells by John S. Watts, p. 532-533

 

American Machinist Volume 46 (early 1917):

Articles in this volume:

  • United States Common Shrapnel and Common Steel Shells, 3.8, 4.7, and 6 In. manufacturing specifications, p. 1113-1118
  • United States Munitions 3-In. Common Shrapnel Shell manufacturing specifications, p. 353-377
  • United States Munitions 3-In. Common Steel Shell manufacturing specifications, p. 486-507
  • United States Munitions 3 to 6 In. Cartridge Cases manufacturing specifications, p. 881-903
  • Three-Inch United States Navy Projectiles by Lieut. A. G. Dibrell, p. 969-976
  • Handling 8-In. Shell Forgings by M. E. Hoag, p. 1101-1105

And one article so large it gets its own list:

United States Munitions The Springfield Model 1913 Service Rifle manufacturing specifications:

  • Sleeve Operations, Part II, p. 19-27
  • Cocking Piece, p. 69-76
  • Striker, Mainspring, Extractor, Extractor Collar, Ejector, Ejector Pin, Part I p. 111-119, Part II p. 153-161
  • Safety-Lock Spindle, Plunger, p. 245-250
  • Guard, Sear, Trigger, Floor Plate, Floor-Plate Catch, Magazine Spring, Cutoff, Follower, Part I p. 287-294, Part II p. 333-338, Part III p. 551-558, Part IV p. 415-426
  • Movable Stud, Front Sight, Movable Base, Leaf, Slide, Cap, Part I p. 463-469, Part II p. 595-602, Part III p. 641-647
  • Drift Slides, Windage Screw, Butt Plate, Butt-Plate Cap, Upper Band, Lower Band, Spring and Swivel, Butt Plate Swivel, Part I p. 685-690, Part II p. 729-735, Part III p. 771-779
  • Stacking Swivel, Hand-Guard Clip, Front-Sight Cover, Cleaning Rods, p. 817-823
  • Oiler and Thong Case, Spare Parts Kit,Screwdriver, p. 947-953
  • Making the Stock, Part I p. 1031-1041, Part II p. 1079-1085, Part III p. 1123-1129

 

American Machinist Volume 47 (late 1917):

Articles in this volume:

  • The Manufacture of the Lewis Machine Gun by Frank A. Stanley (at Savage Arms Corporation, continues in Volume 48), Part I p. 969-971
  • Building Carriages, Caissons and Limbers for 75-mm. Guns by M. E. Hoag (continues in Volume 48), Part I p. 793-796, Part II p. 861-865, Part III p. 901-904

 

American Machinist Volume 48 (early 1918):

Articles in this volume:

  • Manufacture of the 4.7-Inch Gun Model 1906 by E. A. Suverkrop, Part I p. 519-524, Part II p. 649-658
  • The Manufacture of the Lewis Machine Gun by Frank A. Stanley (at Savage Arms Corporation, continued from Volume 47, continues in Volume 49), Part II p. 265-273 (February 14), Part III p. 397-403, Part IV p. 579-584, Part V p. 663-667, Part VI p. 747-752, Part VII p. 825-828, Part VIII p. 873-878, Part IX p. 949-952
  • Manufacture of the 75-mm. High-Explosive Shell by S. A. Hand, Part I p. 435-439, Part II p. 535-539, Part III p. 705-712
  • Building Carriages, Caissons and Limbers for 75-mm Guns by W. J. Larson (continued from Volume 47), Part IV p. 229-231, Part V p. 277-279
  • Hydraulically Operated Shell Production Machinery by I. William Chubb, p. 939-943
  • Making 50,000 French 75-mm. Shrapnel per Day by Robert K. Tomlin Jr (specifically about Citroën), p. 987-990
  • Manufacturing Base Plugs for the 80 Mark VIII Time Fuse by John Campbell, p. 414-417
  • The Relining of Guns at Watervliet Arsenal by E. A. Suverkrop, Part I p. 687-691, Part II p. 783-785, Part III p. 859-862
  • Boring and Reaming Tools for 220- and 270-mm. French Shells by James Forrest, p. 70-72
  • Self-Centering Driver for Rough-Turning Shells by H. A. Wilson, p. 427
  • Making Concrete Metal-Planing Machines by Ethan Viall (for planing beds for further gun-boring lathes), p. 603-608

 

American Machinist Volume 49 (late 1918):

Articles in this volume:

  • Manufacture of the Lewis Machine Gun by Frank A. Stanley (at Savage Arms Corporation, continued from Volume 48, continues in Volume 50), Part X p. 25-29, Part XI p. 203-207, Part XII p. 481-484, Part XIII p. 529-531
  • The British 6-In. Howitzer by I. William Chubb, Part I p. 231-242, Part II p. 411-423, Part III p. 605-612, Part IV p. 697-704
  • How the 155-Mm. Howitzer is Made by J. V. Hunter (specifically about the 155 M1918 made at American Brake Shoe and Foundry, continues in Volume 50), Part I p. 941-945, Part II p. 983-986, Part III p. 1123-1129
  • The Development of the French 75-mm. Field Gun by J. A. Lucas, p. 149-152
  • Lathes for the Present Gun Program by A. L. de Leeuw, p. 491-493
  • The 75-mm Field Gun Model 1916, M.III Special Correspondence, p. 323-328
  • The Three-Inch Anti-Aircraft Gun, Model 1918 Special Correspondence, p. 185-190
  • The Engineering Division of the Ordnance Department by John H. Wan Deventer (about design and transport of weapons in general in the WWI US Army), p. 921-931
  • What Ordnance Is and Does by John H. Van Deventer (mainly useful as the only photo I have of an 8-inch US pre-WWI howitzer on p. 876), p. 875-881
  • Chilled Cast-Iron Dies for Forging and Nosing Shells by A. F. White, p. 747-748
  • Slotting Breech Bushings by H. W. Merrill, p. 1186
  • Making Boring Bars for Big Guns by M. E. Hoag, p. 987-988
  • Tool for Burring Inside of Dummy Cartridge Shells, p. 1048-1049
  • Making a Spiral Rack for the Sights on the Six-Pound Gun Mounts by Severin Seaberg, p. 470
  • Polishing Inside Profile of Nose on High-Explosive Shells by H. A. Wilson, p. 168
  • Some Types of Modern Grenades by Rudolph C. Lang, p. 139-143
  • Grinding 6-In. Shell-Boring Cutters by George M. Dick, p. 207-208

 

American Machinist Volume 50 (early 1919):

Articles in this volume:

  • Manufacture of the Lewis Machine Gun by Frank A. Stanley (at Savage Arms Corporation, continued from Volume 49), Part XIV p. 55-60
  • How the 155-Mm. Howitzer is Made by J. V. Hunter (specifically about the 155 M1918 made at American Brake Shoe and Foundry, continued from Volume 49), Part IV p. 199-204, Part V p. 249-252, Part VI p. 303-306, Part VII p. 587-593, later acknowledgement that Schneider actually designed it and the 240-mm howitzer (apparently no one mentioned this in the main article) p. 908
  • The British 8-In. Howitzer by I. William Chubb (continues in Volume 51), Part I p. 1189-1194
  • Manufacturing the 9.2-In. Howitzer Shell by S. A. Hand, Part I p. 799-801 and 839-842, Part II p. 895-897 and 947-950, Part III p. 1089-1093
  • Cam Rails Used in Planing Howitzer Jackets by E. A. Thanton, p. 230
  • Unique Shell-Profile Turning Attachment by Donald A. Baker, p. 161-162
  • 155 mm Howitzer Production (about American Brake Shoe and Foundry production of 155 mm M1918 howitzers), p. 162
  • How Ordnance is Inspected by Fred H. Colvin, Part I p. 263-267, Part II p. 311-316, Part III p. 557-563
  • Modern Artillery Ammunition by H. M. Brayton (continues in Volume 52), Part I p. 707-710
  • Finding the Cost of Ordnance by Lieut. L. S. Gatter (mainly including a 6-inch shell inspection as an example), p. 657-660
  • Railway Gun Mounts by Lieut. Col. G. M. Barnes (mainly about US ones), p. 329-335
  • The 14-In. Naval Railway Batteries by C. L. McCrea, p. 141-149
  • History of the Aberdeen Ordnance Proving Ground by Major F. P. Lindh (mainly only photos of artillery pieces that are useful), Part I p. 459-461,Part II p. 509-513, Part III p. 607-611
  • Gun-Boring Tools and Data by Fred H. Colvin (about the US 4-inch naval gun specifically), p. 997-999
  • Hardness Tests of Gun-Barrel Steel by William Kent Shepard, p. 739-742
  • How Army Ordnance Met Its Responsibilities by Brig-Gen. W. S. Peirce, p. 408-409
  • Making Gun-Sights for Anti-Aircraft Guns by Fred H. Colvin (most likely about the 3-In. AA gun), p. 681-684
  • High Production Tooling Methods as applied to the Machine-Gun Tripod, Model 1918 by Albert A. Dowd and Donald A. Baker (continues in Volume 51), Part I p. 1029-1036
  • Radius Link Designing by Arthur R. Melloy (about turning the points of shells), p. 993
  • Instruments for Hardness Tests by C. E. Clewell (about testing shells and armor), p. 93-96

 

American Machinist Volume 51 (late 1919):

Articles in this volume:

  • The Field Mount for the 7-In. Navy Gun by C. L. McCrea, p. 523-527
  • The British 18-Pounder Quick-Firing Gun by I. William Chubb, Part I p. 617-621, Part II p. 733-735
  • The Manufacture of Artillery Range Finders by Geo H. Thomas (continues in Volume 52), Part I p. 1045-1047
  • Operations on the British 9.2-In. Gun by I. William Chubb, Part I p. 275-280, Part II p. 373-377, Part III p. 423-427
  • The Ordnance Repair Shops at Mehun-Sur-Yevre by Maj. George S. Brady, p. 575-578
  • Machining Problems Solved in Gun-Making, Editorial Correspondence (about the 4.7-inch gun, continues in Volume 52), Part I p. 949-952
  • Mounts for Naval Anti-Aircraft Guns by Fred H. Colvin (about the 3-inch AA gun in US service), Part I p. 79-83, Part II p. 457-461
  • The Stamets Gun-Boring Lathe by E. L. Dunn (for large-caliber guns), p. 1071-1073
  • The British 8-In. Howitzer by I. William Chubb (continued from Volume 50), Part II p. 13-17, Part III p. 171-176 and p. 227-230
  • High Production Tooling Methods as applied to the Machine-Gun Tripod, Model 1918 by Albert A. Dowd and Donald A. Baker (continued from Volume 50), Part II p. 401-407
  • Cutting the Rotating Rack For a Breech Block by L. E. Olson (about the breech block for the 12-inch M1895 coastal artillery gun), p. 1063-1064

 

American Machinist Volume 52 (early 1920):

Articles in this volume:

  • Machining Problems Solved in Gun-Making by J. V. Hunter (about the 4.7-inch gun, continued from Volume 51), Part II p. 39-43, Part III p. 133-136, Part IV p. 613-616, Part V p. 733-735
  • Broaching the Recoil Cylinder of the 4.7-In. Gun by M. E. Infiorati, p. 977-978
  • The Manufacture of Artillery Range Finders by George H. Thomas (continued from Volume 51), Part II p. 249-254, Part III p. 301-304, Part IV p. 403-404
  • Unusual Methods of Securing Extreme Accuracy by A. L. De Leeuw (about the Canon de 75’s recoil cylinder), Part I p. 595-599, Part II p. 937-941, Part III p. 1049-1053, Part IV p. 1094-1097
  • Graduating Range Finder Sights by L. B. Rich, p. 1097-1098
  • Modern Artillery Ammunition by Capt. H. M. Brayton (continued from Volume 50), Part II p. 95-101

 

American Machinist Volume 55 (Late 1921):

Articles in this volume:

  • Manufacturing with Special Machines vs. Standard Equipment by Col. G. F. Jenks and M. H. Christopherson (about the 240 mm US siege howitzer recuperator), Part I p. 37-39, Part II p. 97-101, Part III p. 228-233, Part IV p. 349-353, Part V p. 475-479

 

One of the interesting things in Volume 46 is that apparently the US couldn't contact every machine shop in the country quickly, so decided to post the specifications in the magazine to enable shops to start setting up production if they could.  So the manufacturing specifications in Volume 46 are intended to partly be instructions on how to make them.

As an example of the technical detail in these articles, here are some pages from Part I of "The British 6-In. Howitzer" in Volume 49, specifically pages 237-240.  These deal with the milling of the threads on the Welin breechblock and breech:

 p237.jpg

 p238.jpg

p239.jpg

p240.jpg

 

The full images should have high enough resolution to see the numbers and writing in the diagrams, and if not the original scan on Google Books (linked to above) certainly does.  Incidentally, this exact manufacturing of Welin breech threads is a mystery to many machinists (as seen here, here, and here) so those pages have more detail than they know of.



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Legend

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Fantastic. That will give me something to do during lockdown.

BTW, I have seen several sources (including Ernest Swinton) that call it American Mechanist. I think that's because in the UK, "machinist" usually means someone who operates a sewing machine. "Mechanist" sounds more like something involving mechanical stuff.



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