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Thread: The History of Scaffolding

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    Talking The History of Scaffolding

    Those were the days, my friend......we thought they'd never end,
    Oh yes,....... those were the days.........

    Here is a good example of Scaffolding in the Victorian era:



    Some of our ancestors are posing for a rare photo on a Birdcage Scaffold of the period.
    Note that the method of extending the Standards was known as Scarfing (from the Scarf Joint). This may explain why
    the height of the tube that you are Hemping onto (or Topping, if you are a Northener) is known as the Scarf.......

    One Scaff to another dialogue: "I was hemping 21's on a five foot Scarf......!"

    The term Hemping may come from the material that was often used for lashing the wooden poles together: Hemp Rope.
    Other ropes that were used were Manilla and Sisal, until eventually Wire Bonds were used.

    The main lashings (knots) being the Square Lashing
    (which is still used, as the preferred method of tying a ladder) and the Sheer Lashing which was used to join poles in parallel, particularly the uprights.

    If anyone else has any knowledge of the history of scaffolding it would be interesting to hear .......... I have used wooden poles in the 60's
    in London, but only for Cradles.......... and it was always good to hear tales from the Old Boys .....
    Scaffolders Have The Hardest Erections



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    Charlie

    Iv read your post with interest---the History of Scaffolding is very interesting, I have read that apparently it was Master Mariner Hendry J Palmer one of the three Founder Members of the National Association of Scaffold Contractors ( NASC ) who led his Sea Dog Riggers ashore to construct the Scaffold for the Construction of Buckingham Palace in the 19th Century.

    I have often felt a kinship towards Riggers, when one reads the History and the techniques used to Erect Timber Scaffolds one begins to reolise that Riggers and Scaffolders are cut from the same cloth.

    When the great fleets embarked to the Holy Land, they had to stop off for Supplies along the way, when the Fleet would come upon a Castle close to shore, the Master of the Vessel would weigh anchor---the Crew would strike parts of the Masts and decking, ship them to shore, and erect a Skaffnaut ( a Moble Tower ), push it towards the Castle Battlements and Storm the Castle, sack the Castle replenish supplys---strike the Skaffnaut and re-erect the Masts rigging and be on their way---
    Your only as good as your last Job

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    Default History of Scaffold - SGB

    Hi Charlie

    Thanks for the photo very interesting.

    When I worked at SGB they had some photos of boards suspended off wires for access to the Old ICI building on Millbank, shame I did not get a copy.

    I knew I had seen something in the SGB website. Just thought I would post the interesting earlier bits.

    In 1909 Palmer-Jones was granted Patents for the "Scaffixer", a coupling device which was to revolutionise scaffolding construction. The Scaffixer soon became the accepted industry standard coupling and in 1913 was used exclusively in the reconstruction of Buckingham Palace.

    This milestone invention was followed in 1918 with the "Universal Coupler" which would still be familiar to scaffolders today.

    1920 saw the introduction of Tubular Steel Scaffolding, a complete step change in an industry which had been based largely upon timber and another example of the foresight of Palmer-Jones.

    1944. The very first Frame System was brought to the market by SGB, its timely introduction providing a valuable tool in the many and massive construction projects following the Second World War.

    1949. The introduction of Simon Hydraulic Platforms captured the attention and acclaim of the industry and SGB continued to expand into new markets.

    Have added the photos later as could not post in the text.

    Seems strange that SGB have dropped the name after 100 years ??

    Thanks

    Chris Eng
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    Default Old Scaffold - What no braces

    Hi All

    Found this old photo of Plymouth Indoor Market in 1959, browsing on Google.

    Amazing that there are no braces, ledger or sway.

    Looks like it could have been done with Mills doubles as the transoms are fixed close to the standards though I could be wrong.

    The boarded access looks a bit dodgy as well.

    Good old days LOL. Bit before my time though just.

    All the best

    ChrisEng
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    apparently, the first Scaffold Tubes were Lengths of water pipe the longest lenth being 21 Ft and the out-side diameter 1 27/28 ths ( 2 inch ) hence the Universal Coupler manufactured to take a 2" tube---which insidently has the same slip test load when used either vertical or horizontal...
    Your only as good as your last Job

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    Very good Charlie, funnily enough I was trying to explain the term 'scarf' to one of our lads the other day and just got a funny look from him, this explains it nicely.

    Dave.

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    Hi Charlie good photo, i to used wooden poles with cradles for a firm call upright scaffolding in the 70s-80s.
    Larry

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    Quote Originally Posted by LARRY View Post
    Hi Charlie good photo, i to used wooden poles with cradles for a firm call upright scaffolding in the 70s-80s.
    I always thought they were great for Cradles..........especially Laydowns.......I used them at Tasker and Booth, Big Ben, Peter Cox's and SGB.

    It's shame Roped Cradles got phased out....... you only needed one 56lb (1/2 cwt) weight at the end of each 20 foot jib for most fixings..... compared to the Powered Access monstrosities that seem to use about twenty weights per jib.......oh well, that's progress?
    Scaffolders Have The Hardest Erections



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    Intresting post's Charlie

    Mills scaffold used them for cradle work back in the day

    Had a go with pole and rope down at Croyden Palmers yard to celebrate there
    centenery in 1980 I think,All the staff nationwide from supervisor up went to a London hotel for the weekend for a very big dinner dance
    Rigger

    What life this if full of care,
    we have no time to stand and stare ?

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    My Brother and I started with a Leading Scotish Cable Powered Access Company earlyer in the year---we wanted to sus out the System of Work---lasted a day and a dinner then jacked---nothing to it no challenge, sused it in no time at all---I found it to be very cumbersome and the counter wieghts were savage as were the out riggers and associated tackel---

    Is there any images of the Old Style Pole and Rope System, I never had the opportunity to use it...
    Your only as good as your last Job

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