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Billhook

Big Tree Trunk Splitter

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3 hours ago, Billhook said:

Dangerous territory Sawchip!

 

Have you not heard about the father who took his little daughter to the zoo where she became fascinated with the penguins .   So for Christmas he bought her a book on penguins and after she had read it asked her if she had enjoyed it

” it was ok dad, but it told me more about penguins than I wanted to know!”

 

of course there is my Avatar with the two wonderful Airedale’s helping me level the chalk roads on the farm.

 

So a long Christmas shaggy Caterpillar story for you

 

It all started back in the 1960s when my father bought me a book of science fiction short stories .  One was called Killdozer by Theodore Sturgeon about a D7 which became overcome by an alien force which entered the very atoms of the machine and then proceeded to try and kill all the civil engineering crew on this island in the Pacific where the Americans were making a runway

It was made into a film of the same name which was rather poor and featured a D9 not a D7

When the boss of the civil engineering team was asking the team who drove what, he came to a Mexican who said he drove Daisy Etta.  The boss said that was cool because if a man called a machine a pet name then he was likely to care for it.

“No, no “said the Mexican, “I drive de siete” which is of course Spanish for D7, but the original name stuck in the book, though of course they could not use it for the film.

 

I bought it in 2000, it had been sitting on an airfield for many years and the story was that the head was cracked as it spewed out water.  After buying it I discovered that the reason it was losing water was because someone had blocked up the pressure relief valve with silicone

There was no starting engine, just a not very well engineered electric starter which was useless.  I asked father and son team Robert and Allan Wilson to find one and they put me right from the start

I had already bought some high quality bolts to fix the new donkey on the block but they refused to use them as they were not Caterpillar bolts

They then showed me the difference.  The Caterpillar heads were about one and a half times deeper but more than that every bit of steel on the D7 has to meet the Caterpillar standard which is why these machines last so long

 

It is a 1956 D7 C. 17A with hydraulics as opposed to cable.

The blade had three positions which are easily adjusted by hand as the blade of perfectly balanced 

There is a two speed gearbox with the donkey/ pony starting engine which is a twin cylinder petrol of about 1400 cc which shares its water with the main 13.5 litre four cylinder diesel.

This engine produces maximum power at about 1000 rpm and it has a decompression lever above the high/ low gearbox lever on the donkey

The idea is that in Artic conditions, when the oil is cold and thick, you can run the donkey with the main engine decompressed until the oil pressure is normal and then temperature is up.  The exhaust of the donkey heats the inlet manifold which is clever.

The donkey is strong enough to lift the blade and move the crawler on level ground

The Hyster winch has about a thirty to pull

In the picture with the levers, the far right is the blade up and down, then the forward reverse, the the five gears.

Two hydraulic assisted steering clutches with brake pedals below for turning on a sixpence

The main throttle in the centre back to increase forward to idle.

The main hand clutch lever then the two winch levers, the nearest is the brake and the other the forward/ neutral/ reverse.

Here is a video of spooling a new winch cable on the drum using the Matbro as a dead weight to keep it tight.

 

Warned you it might be more than you wanted to know!

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Im Simon by the way. Thank you for taking the time with your post.

Far from to much information....a truly fascinating back story to " Daisy Etta and its meaning. 

I incorrectly had her down as 1959 leading me to thinking D7D.

What little first hand knowledge I have of Cat machines would be a few D2's that have been at the rallies that I used to attend with a few tractors of my own. Even with these small track machines, I can see what you talk of as to Cat build ethos!

This takes me back to when the need for a extraction track on one of our wooded banks ended up with a Int TD6 dozer proving just how much value having some of this old kit can be. Im only sorry to say it was a mates rather than mine! All this vintage kit was cheep as you like not so long ago ...No more. 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, dumper said:

Nice but no film of it working 

We have several specimen trees in the old parkland which was ploughed up during the war for the much needed food for the nation 

My father kept all the major trees, oaks, ash, hornbeam, beech, chestnut and walnut which I had the pleasure of ploughing, cultivating, drilling and spraying and harvesting around for about forty years, but it all seemed worth it for the wonderful view.

In this video an old rotten chestnut stump had sent up some suckers and a willow and thorn had grown together next to it.

So Daisy Etta took them out and there is a beautiful hornbeam

growing there now.

 

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1 hour ago, Sawchip said:

Im Simon by the way. Thank you for taking the time with your post.

Far from to much information....a truly fascinating back story to " Daisy Etta and its meaning. 

I incorrectly had her down as 1959 leading me to thinking D7D.

What little first hand knowledge I have of Cat machines would be a few D2's that have been at the rallies that I used to attend with a few tractors of my own. Even with these small track machines, I can see what you talk of as to Cat build ethos!

This takes me back to when the need for a extraction track on one of our wooded banks ended up with a Int TD6 dozer proving just how much value having some of this old kit can be. Im only sorry to say it was a mates rather than mine! All this vintage kit was cheep as you like not so long ago ...No more. 

 

 

 

 

 

Glad to hear your warm comments Simon,I thought I was alone in my classic machine madness.

The D7C is not fitted with the turbo of the D7D, but that is fine with me as I can do without dealing with a sixty year old turbo engine.

I had a catastrophe when the Beast from the East hit us.  Daisy Etta was in an open fronted shed surrounded by one ton boxes of wood and sheltered from the prevailing wind and the sky.  I forgot to drain the water and the freezing temperatures cracked the block, the water pump and the starting engine cylinder head.  My Fiat Panda was sitting outside on top of the hill fully exposed with no antifreeze and was unaffected.

I had to send the old girl back to Robert Wilson for an expensive engine swap, ouch!  But it is running a lot better than the old one and it is the only expense I have had in 20 years

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Another demonstration of the massive forces involved with the D7 and the knife

There are four pieces of half inch by three inch  bar that were bent when the log went sideways 

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10 hours ago, difflock said:

It is called "mild" steel for a good reason mind  .  .  .

I was going to gusset it with some angled, sharpened triangles but in the end I could not be bothered thinking it may be mild steel but it is four pieces of half inch mild steel..  I tend to learn by my mistakes!

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