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  • Wadkin RJ Manufacturers.

    Originally posted by Devonoak View Post
    I see now I've made the classic rookie error of posting in the wrong place, I had intended to put this in "vintage machinery" but must have missed a trick when pressing the button. Is it ok here or should it be moved?
    It would take a moderator to move it - and rather than muddy the EPA thread, I've started a new one here.

    Cheers, Vann.
    Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.
  • Thread Continues Below...

  • #2

    Re: Wadkin RJ Manufacturers.

    Originally posted by Devonoak View Post
    Hey guys. I make things out of trees in mid devon. Just recently picked up an elderly but gargantuan RJ thicknesser which I'm very happy to own. I believe it was actually built by Vickers Armstrong's judging by the plates. I can't date it using the test no. Because that is prefixed SC (for subcontractor maybe?) But judging by the machine number 1104 it was built late 40s or early 50s. I see rj1296 was a 1955 machine and rj1257 a 53. Gives a little perspective. Also my machine has a suffix S , does this have any significance perhaps?
    any info on this machine welcome. Please see attached pics.
    all the very best
    Tom
    Originally posted by Devonoak View Post
    Bottom right, the RJ plate is almost certainly made by Vickers Armstrong's judging by the fact that both machine number and test numbers run in sequence to mine, but 96 units previous, which would suggest VA possibly made a decent run of the RJ machines. Another fellow on here, will has rj1111s which is 7 units after mine also with a correlating test number, also I believe built by Vickers Armstrong's. Click image for larger version

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    Well, you're way ahead of me in your research. I don't have any info on the other RJ machines you mention.

    There are two RJs in the Wadkin by Test Number thread:
    44455 - RJ 1259 (thicknesser) - Australia - Wadkin Ltd cast tag of 1952; and
    51016 - RJ 1289(thicknesser) - Australia - Wadkin Ltd. cast tag of 1955.

    Cheers, Vann.


    Devonoak likes this.
    Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

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    • #3

      Re: Wadkin RJ Manufacturers.

      Originally posted by Devonoak View Post
      ...doesn't help me find out when mine was made though! Any ideas, I'd be very grateful.
      Okay. So yours has a Wadkin Ltd. tin tag. These were in use from 1936 to 1951. Therefore your machine was most likely manufactured during that period.

      At this point we run out of hard facts - and have to resort to speculation (which can be fun and/or frustrating / ).

      If we assume that the Vickers Armstrongs Ltd. machine serial numbers are sequential with the Green Lane serial numbers (which is definitely an assumption, but not an unreasonable one) we get something like this:

      RJ 1010s sc1519 - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
      RJ 1098s sc1607 - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
      RJ 1104s sc1613 - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag & Vickers Armstrongs Ltd. tag;
      RJ 1111s sc1620 - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
      RJ 1173s sc3987 - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag & Vickers Armstrongs Ltd. tag;
      RJ 1259 44455 of 1952 - Australia - Wadkin Ltd cast tag;
      RJ 1289 51016 of 1955 - Australia - Wadkin Ltd. cast tag.

      Devonoak, do you have any more info on the RJ numbers you provided?

      Cheers, Vann.

      Click image for larger version  Name:	RJ 1098s sc1607.jpg Views:	0 Size:	884.7 KB ID:	1282301
      Last edited by J Vann; 05-07-2020, 11:16 AM.
      Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

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      • #4

        Re: Wadkin RJ Manufacturers.

        Hi Vann
        I think I've given you less than you think. So, the two Australian "1200s" which you have recorded are the same two 1200s which I have misquoted. Scratch them immediately and accept my apologies. I was wading through several bits of info at once and typing from memory.
        rj1111s is owned by Will from Sussex, or Herriwullie and in the "Wadkin dating" thread in 2015 he shows a picture of his tag with test number sc1620. Somewhere else I think I found a mention of it being built elsewhere but I can't find that now, although I'd be happy to bet a couple of fivers on it being a Vickers Armstrong's machine.

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        • #5

          Re: Wadkin RJ Manufacturers.

          One thing I can tell you about mine is that the raise/lower wheel is iron/steel. I have heard some talk about aluminium handwheels dictating dates.

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          • #6

            Re: Wadkin RJ Manufacturers.

            Another Vickers machine recently sold at auction by surplus solutions is rj1173s with a test of sc3987. There are more photos of this including the VA badge but I'll try an attach the one of the plate. It won't do it through my phone but try this link. https://www.surplussolution.com/auct...ls/64350?null#

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            • Thread Continues Below...

            • #7

              Re: Wadkin RJ Manufacturers.

              Originally posted by Devonoak View Post
              One thing I can tell you about mine is that the raise/lower wheel is iron/steel. I have heard some talk about aluminium handwheels dictating dates.
              The change from cast-iron to aluminium occurred somewhere 1948-1950.

              Edit:
              Originally posted by J Vann View Post
              Okay. So yours has a Wadkin Ltd. tin tag. These were in use from 1936 to 1951. Therefore your machine was most likely manufactured during that period...
              Having cast-iron handwheels means your machine is definitely pre 1951 (the "most likely" was in case VALtd were using old stock tags).

              Cheers, Vann.
              Last edited by J Vann; 05-07-2020, 10:29 AM.
              Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Wadkin RJ Manufacturers.

                Originally posted by J Vann View Post
                ...If we assume that the Vickers Armstrongs Ltd. machine serial numbers are sequential with the Green Lane serial numbers (which is definitely an assumption, but not an unreasonable one) we get something like this:

                RJ 1010s sc1519 - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
                RJ 1098s sc1607 - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
                RJ 1104s sc1613 - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag & Vickers Armstrongs Ltd. tag;
                RJ 1111s sc1620 - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
                RJ 1173s sc3987 - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag & Vickers Armstrongs Ltd. tag;
                RJ 1259 44455 of 1952 - Australia - Wadkin Ltd cast tag;
                RJ 1289 51016 of 1955 - Australia - Wadkin Ltd. cast tag...
                It looks to me that Vickers Armstrongs won several sub-contracts: sc3987 stands out as being a separate batch. sc1519 to sc1620 is 102 machines - I'd suggest that is two batches (as it looks like Wadkin were selling 10-15 RJ's each year 1952-1955), making three obvious batches or contracts.

                Click image for larger version

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ID:	1282398Hurriwillie's tag from the "wadkin dating" thread.

                Cheers, Vann.

                Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Wadkin RJ Manufacturers.

                  For those like me, who didn't know what an RJ is before these threads, here are some pictures from the link.

                  Originally posted by Devonoak View Post
                  ...There are more photos of this including the VA badge but I'll try an attach the one of the plate. It won't do it through my phone but try this link. https://www.surplussolution.com/auct...ls/64350?null#
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	RJ 1173a.jpg Views:	0 Size:	69.2 KB ID:	1282469

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	RJ 1173c.png Views:	0 Size:	576.9 KB ID:	1282471Click image for larger version  Name:	RJ 1173d.png Views:	0 Size:	481.7 KB ID:	1282475

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	RJ 1173e.png Views:	0 Size:	606.4 KB ID:	1282473 Click image for larger version

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                  Click image for larger version  Name:	RJ 1173t.png Views:	0 Size:	869.9 KB ID:	1282476

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	RJ 1173b.jpg Views:	0 Size:	35.5 KB ID:	1282468This is a big as I could blow up the "Vickers Armstrongs" tag.

                  And two catalogue cuts from the 1956 Wadkin catalogue on VM.

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                  Click image for larger version  Name:	RJ 1956 p39.png Views:	0 Size:	365.7 KB ID:	1282474

                  Cheers, Vann.
                  Last edited by J Vann; 05-07-2020, 08:47 PM.
                  Devonoak likes this.
                  Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Wadkin RJ Manufacturers.

                    Thanks. The RJ is an absolute beast of a machine. Weighing in at 2 metric tonnes with an 11kw motor running the 4 knife cutter head it will plane 30" width boards. (Or 760mm). Quite something to have in the workshop. Mine came from a disused box factory who I suspect bought it new. I will try and find more history but as it is around 70 years old it will be my contacts father or grandfather who actually installed the "New machinery" sometime after the second world war I'm thinking.

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