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Cooper Shearing Plant Transporter


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  #1  
Old 06-12-2016, 05:14:35 AM
Inter Bloke Inter Bloke is offline
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Default Cooper Shearing Plant Transporter

Would anyone out there have a photo of an original Cooper / Stewart little wonder shearing plant 4 wheel transporter ?

I have a running engine, have located some shearing arms and down tubes and managed to purchase the bones of a transporter at a clearing sale with wheels and axles but not much timber to show how it was all mounted. I have been trolling the net but all the photos are either just engines or mounted on home made transporters.
I know some of these are out there because I remember seeing an original one on display some years ago but unfortunately didn't take a photo.

Thanks blokes,
Graham
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Old 06-12-2016, 05:28:07 AM
Famous Fitter Famous Fitter is offline
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Default Re: Cooper shearing plant transporter

Hi Graham,

I have good original timbers from one of these little wonder transporters, i assume its the long one with the comb grinder on the end you are looking for. can have a look tomorrow and measure up when its not so dark and cold !!! they had a cast turntable as well , hope you have that bit !!. if you pm me your mobile phone number i can hook you up with pictures and lengths

Cheers Justin
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2016, 07:49:25 AM
Inter Bloke Inter Bloke is offline
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Default Re: Cooper shearing plant transporter

Thanks Justin,
I aren't sure whether the transporter bits I have are short or long, I didn't know there was more than one style !
I have a grinder and I assume the grinder and clamp mount out of the way somewhere probably on the drawbar end, and the axles and turntable are all there, just not much wood to work out how it all went together.
It's cold and horrible raining its head off here as well at the moment so I wouldn't be venturing out either.

Thanks ,
Graham
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Old 06-12-2016, 08:27:08 PM
LizRon LizRon is offline
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Default Re: Cooper shearing plant transporter

Hi Graham
From memory the cooper trolley had a cooper cast iron toolbox with grinder on top see if i can find photo's
Ron
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:06:00 PM
Chester Chester is offline
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Default Re: Cooper shearing plant transporter

Hi Graham,
i have a cooper tb shearing plant in the shed, i think it is the same transporter, you are welcome to have a look.
(i still need to check out those flywheels for you),
cheers,
Chester.
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:08:40 PM
Scotty 2 Scotty 2 is offline
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Default Re: Cooper shearing plant transporter

Hello all
Found this on the idiotnet. I have no idea if original design or not.
Oldengines.org is a wonderful place to look around in sometimes.

Cheers Scott

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Old 06-13-2016, 02:30:12 AM
cobbadog cobbadog is offline
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Default Re: Cooper shearing plant transporter

Isn't that Patrick Livingstone site?
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  #8  
Old 06-13-2016, 03:24:35 AM
Darryl Darryl is offline
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Default Re: Cooper shearing plant transporter

I think that's my old girlfriend
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  #9  
Old 06-13-2016, 05:46:19 AM
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Patrick M Livingstone Patrick M Livingstone is offline
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Default Re: Cooper shearing plant transporter

Here is a good example.


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Old 06-13-2016, 10:30:43 AM
grahamjb grahamjb is offline
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Default Re: Cooper shearing plant transporter

Graham
Fred Playne who is a member of the Avon Valley Vintage Vehicle Association might be able to help you out.
I met Fred about 15 years ago when I was working for the Fire Brigade and he was into Cooper Shearing plants.

Graham
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  #11  
Old 06-13-2016, 07:46:48 PM
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Patrick M Livingstone Patrick M Livingstone is offline
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Default Re: Cooper shearing plant transporter

Here is a nice 1917 advertisement from 'The Land' showing the various Cooper engines available at the time and showing the Little Wonder on transport.
Patrick
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Old 06-14-2016, 06:23:41 AM
Inter Bloke Inter Bloke is offline
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Default Re: Cooper shearing plant transporter

Thankyou Patrick and Scotty, that was just what I wanted (sort of)

I thought I had found the "correct" grinder for this project but the one I have is mounted on a square block of pine wood, looks nearly as big as that rather nice iron box on the shearing plants featured but definitely "wood" , I think the grinder itself is the same but the mounting is not. Oh well it will do for now and I will just have to keep an eye out for the right mounting.

Graham, I have met Fred a few time's (although I don't know him well), he was down here with a display out at Eaton several months ago and I had quite a lengthy talk to him then, so next time I see him I will ask a few pertinent questions.

Chester, I think its possible the transporter is similar to the TB, but using the Stover engine I think the TB would be quite a bit longer than the little wonder, but I aren't sure. As for the Inter flywheels, there is no hurry, I just thought of a way to use a heap of parts I have in a useful project and thought I would try and find the bits I haven't got, but I have plenty to keep me occupied for the time being (and the next 200 years)

Thanks again blokes,
Graham

---------- Post added at 06:23:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:08:19 PM ----------

Patrick, I have just been examining that 1917 advert you posted and it looks to me like the grinder may be mounted on the wooden block like I have rather than the iron box that is in the other photos, so thankyou very much for posting that add. Mine is reputed to be a 1917 model as told to me by the original owners son, although the grinder I have didn't come from the same farm as the engine, and neither of those parts came from where I got the transporter, and the arms and down tubes came from three different farms again. It's been quite a jigsaw with bits found all over the place !

Graham
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:01:04 PM
Paul Richardson Paul Richardson is offline
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Default Re: Cooper Shearing Plant Transporter

Hi Graham,it would take a Cooper expert to tell you,which I am not,about the grinder,but I know that it is the same grinder used on horizontals in the early 20s as it is possibly 20 years later on the various verticals that came along in the Cooper range.I was told by a bloke who had owned various 'Little Wonder' engines that the grinders were the same.
I had owned a Cooper Stover plant myself and was surprised to see that the carriage was every bit as long and perhaps a fraction wider on an original portable setup with the earlier vertical engine like yours.
A year can mean quite a few minor changes with these little portable plants.
Mine was 1925 and is pictured with the 'tumbling Tommy' overhead gear. (which doesn't belong until a year or two later),and a modified Ronny 'n' muffler pointing upwards.The original pipe was down and horizontal.
The jigsaw will be ok and I hope you enjoy finding more pieces
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  #14  
Old 06-14-2016, 07:24:47 PM
Inter Bloke Inter Bloke is offline
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Default Re: Cooper Shearing Plant Transporter

Thanks Paul, that photo of your transporter is very good because it shows the actual construction so I have a better idea of how they were assembled. I have cheated a little in my parts finding because the down tubes I found were attached to the same type of later arms with the tumbling tommy clutch set up as yours, but I also found 4 of the original arms without the tumbling tommy, 2 in very good order and 2 not quite so good.

Chester, it looks like I might have to call in some time with tape measure in hand and have a look at yours, no idea when though.

Thanks blokes,
Graham
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:33:51 PM
Paul Richardson Paul Richardson is offline
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Default Re: Cooper Shearing Plant Transporter

Graham,you might need to keep an eye on pulley diameter on the tumbling tommy units,because tha later ones off some of the skid and portable upright models were a larger diameter.Downtubes from the 1920s and possibly some of the later ones are identical I think?The early style arbour is a bit scarcer to find,and I think if you don't mind a few empty pin holes the spindle from the later tumbling tommy units will fit if needed.
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:54:04 AM
Inter Bloke Inter Bloke is offline
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Default Re: Cooper Shearing Plant Transporter

Paul,
When rummaging around the scrap heap where I got the engine from I actually found one of the original arms, but it has been broken off at the mounting point where it screws on to the engines upright posts but it will serve well as a guide to which components are the right ones. It is repairable but I have since found two others that seem identical (when I look closer I may find out some thing I don't want to know) and I also found one on another farm almost buried in a pile of super phosphate (very corroded) so I am hoping that between them and the two with the tumbling Tommy's I will have enough to resurrect this interesting old plant.

Thanks to everyone for their input
Graham
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:02:57 AM
typak typak is offline
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Default Re: Cooper Shearing Plant Transporter

Don't really know much about shearing plants but have this picture.... interesting to see some in use.
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Old 06-15-2016, 05:51:47 PM
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Default Re: Cooper Shearing Plant Transporter

I cannot remember where I found this pic, but it is a good original pic of a portable Little Wonder.
Patrick
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:40:27 PM
Paul Richardson Paul Richardson is offline
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Default Re: Cooper Shearing Plant Transporter

Quote:
Originally Posted by typak View Post
Don't really know much about shearing plants but have this picture.... interesting to see some in use.
Patricks picture has some good detail,and the grinder on that unit appears identical but with a single and larger diameter driven pulley.

Typak,..your pic triggered some memories of working in the old style sheds that were mostly designed for blades without a thought for the arrival of machine shearing.Im not sure why but the engines seem to have been fitted by removing part of the shearing board so that they mount at ground level on their bearers?They would certainly have moved about if simply placed on the board,and if those engines were early enough I think there might be an oil problem as well where the workers needed good grip.
That shearing shed is an old pole structure and I see the catching pens are the old style designed for two shearers to share.There is a certain etticut to observe between yourself and your 'penmate' and a book could be written filled with stories of the wranglings and goings on over proper and fair sharing of the space.In short if the two of you got along well and worked together it would be typical to have some banter at the end of each break(before starting) about who was going to pull out the worst looking big muffly headed wrinkly necked loose pizzled ba$**rd and shear it out of the way,so that the two of you would work continuously to clear the pen first of the worst looking animals,instead of you both avoiding them and having to begrudgingly face them 2 hours later when you were both tired.
If that good relationship wasn't struck it might be a long two or three weeks.
If your penmate continuouosly took for himself the best shearing animal in the pen ahead of you he was said to be"snobbing you".
Prior to machine shearing I am told the the blade blokes could both pull out of the one pen in reasonable comfort,being able to start work on the animal within any reasonable proximity of their 'let go' port hole.Machines added to these old sheds designed for blade work often made every second shearing position very uncomfortable and often much more difficult to work.
The usual thing in smaller sheds was to draw lots or straws for shearing positions prior to the start of the job.
Working with these old two stand engine plants in a confined space in mid 30 cels temperatures could get pretty uncomfortable.Looking at Typak's pic makes me wonder what a bad draw the exhaust side of that engine would be?The right hand side would be bad enough with any mechanical plant for a right hander because he has a need to pull and turn the animal into the right position to start each time,and pulling with a necessary twist with a 50kg animal all day is certain trouble ahead in the form of hip and back pain.At least the drag with the animal to the left would be a natural enough pull.
I have done just a little bit of work with those type of plants,but not as ancient as the ones shown.It seemed that you were always very easily out of position with larger animals and on occaision could even find yourself almost getting tangled up in the engine.A left handed shearer might find additional problems in a situation like that and concessions would normally be made for him.
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:08:14 AM
Inter Bloke Inter Bloke is offline
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Default Re: Cooper Shearing Plant Transporter

Paul, you pinched a bit of my "thunder", I couldn't have said it better myself ! What amazed me is the fact they have 3 of these plants working in the same shed, I always had visions of these units operating independently in 2 stand sheds and under a tree out in the back padock but you can see three plants working together in at least a six stand setup. I suppose in the changeover from tongs to mechanical shearing contractors would have found it useful to be able to take plants into a shed only set up for blade shearing and supply the required number of stands to fill the board, and the ability to send the team off to 2 separate sheds and split the machinery would be very usefull, that is a very historic photo Typac, thankyou for sharing.

Patrick, thankyou again for that photo of the "new" plant ! I recon that is a photo of the sales team demonstrating the new machine to prospective customers and again a very historic story being told. It is also a good photo for showing some of the finer points in detail.

Graham

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