Hot Weather. Smiths Elevating Screw.

by John

We are having a La Nina summer. Relatively cool and wet. Humid. But, it is summer, and week long spells of over 30 degree centigrade days are expected, even in a “cool” summer. Today it will be 33c with high humidity, and those are not factors consistent with a pleasant workshop experience. So I will stay home and plan ahead how to make several components for the model Armstrong 80pr cannon on the wooden carriage and slide.

One item is the elevating mechanism for the 4 ton barrel. Several readers have helped with information about the mechanism, which I now believe to be a “Smith Elevating Screw” which adjusts the level of a heavy hinged iron bar, on which sits a wooden wedge called a “quoin”. The breech of the barrel sits on the quoin. The quoin is the coarse adjusting component, the screw is the fine adjusting mechanism.

This is the carriage and traversing platform which I am modelling at 1:10 scale. The barrel is an older smooth bore muzzle loader, but the dimensions of the carriage and platform seem identical to those of the 80pr Armstrongs at Elsternwick which I am modelling. The screw and quoin and iron bar are at the rear of the carriage.

Another 19th century drawing of the wooden carriage and platform, with a 110pr breech loading barrel. Also showing the Smith’s elevating screw.
This is the only picture which I could find with any detail of the Smith Elevating Screw.
….and this is a 1:9 miniature Smith Screw, made by Jefenry for his Armstrong 110pr breech loader, and whose videos I have shown in an older post. Those You Tube videos are really interesting to watch. Just do a search on “Jefenry”. These pictures are very useful to me. Thank you Jefenry!
And finally, a couple of recent photos of progress on the model to date. The Smith’s Screw fits into a half cylindrical nut which sits in a bronze enclosure within the rear transom.