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Old 03-09-2018, 10:49 PM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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March 10th, 2018: Ruby Loftus

Ruby Loftus became Britain’s Rosie the Riveter, on posters throughout the war.
It started with this Laura Knight painting, commissioned by The War Artists' Advisory Committee to recruit more women to ordnance factories.
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It was painted in the Royal Ordnance Factory in Newport, South Wales, and shows a young woman, Ruby Loftus, performing a highly skilled piece of work on an industrial lathe. The component being worked is the breech ring of a double-barrelled, anti-aircraft gun designed to fire twenty rounds per minute. Any lack of precision in forming the breech ring could result in the gun being destroyed when fired. In peace-time this task would only be performed by a man with eight or nine years' experience but the 21-year-old Loftus mastered the technique after only a year or two of training.


The painting is titled, “Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech Ring” and I have a problem with that.
She’s obviously boring the ring, maybe she’ll cut an internal thread later but not in the painting.
Maybe they called it that to convince women if they work in ordnance they’ll get a little.
Or maybe like everything in Britain during the war, the terms were meant to obfuscate reality for spys.
The other things are no glasses and she should have one hand on the carriage feed lever at this point.

But Ruby was really screwing Lance Corporal John Green whom she married that year.
She became an oxymoron… Ruby Green.

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Old 03-10-2018, 11:05 AM   #2
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Ah, the good old days before safety goggles. But all of the women DO have hairnets, so at least a hair won't fall onto a piece of machinery and damage it.
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Old 03-10-2018, 03:26 PM   #3
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Ruby Green? Did she emigrate to Canada and give birth to a son named Red?
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:00 PM   #4
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Yes, they moved to British Columbia but don't know if they had kids.
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Old 03-11-2018, 09:32 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by gozar View Post
Ruby Green? Did she emigrate to Canada and give birth to a son named Red?
I haven't seen that in forever.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:10 AM   #6
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A modern version of that painting would have a German or Japanese lathe at its centre.

How times change.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:34 AM   #7
Griff
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Now we have American Nazis agitating in France, strange times.
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:49 PM   #8
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Putin's puppets are everywhere.
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:05 PM   #9
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With a custom tool she may be cutting threads. Brits are weird, perhaps they called this operation "screwing" back in the day.

Goggles? Real machinists need no bloody goggles.

Yes, both hands are in the wrong place.

Oh, the hairnet is for keeping your scalp in place.

Beautiful painting, yeah?
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:14 PM   #10
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Yes, both hands are in the wrong place.
I wasn't paying attention to that, but now it bugs me. Poser. Like GWB in a flight suit.
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:57 PM   #11
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Brits are weird...
I think that you mean enigmatic or engagingly eccentric.
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Old 03-13-2018, 06:31 PM   #12
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I wasn't paying attention to that, but now it bugs me. Poser. Like GWB in a flight suit.
Could be a 'poser', like when a scientist is told to look more sciencey by a photographer, and holds a test tube even though they're an astrophysicist.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Leus View Post
With a custom tool she may be cutting threads. Brits are weird, perhaps they called this operation "screwing" back in the day.
I figured they might call tread cutting screwing, but in the painting she is not cutting threads.
I think the thread cutting bit may be shown sitting behind the turret toward the tailstock.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:37 AM   #14
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Machinist here. Clicking through to the source image shows a much higher resolution and clearly shows to me a very coarse thread or grooving inside the bore, likely what would have been a buttress or trapezoidal thread (very common on large guns because of strength characteristics). The swarf (chips/cuttings) in the bore and on the machine are very similar to what actually results with single-point threading, with large width that's along the axis of the cut and high stiffness that keeps the chip relatively straight. The thread cutting tool tip itself is hidden from view, it would be on the left side of the tool holder in the turret. The controls for feed for threading would be out of view below her right hand, and it is possible that after engaging the cut, she is leaning forward to get a better look at the tool position while it is far away from the end and she doesn't need to disengage the feed for some time still. My verdict is that the description is plausible and accurate. (for reference, I have attached a photo showing how a threading operation chip looks like)
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:43 PM   #15
xoxoxoBruce
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Still don’t think she’s “screwing”, just boring, maybe in advance of “screwing” a buttress (breech-lock) thread, but the trapezoidal is metric.
Ah…
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The British Army had first examined the weapon when they received a number of Polish-built examples in 1937 for testing, known as the "QF 40 mm Mark I" (QF standing for "quick firing"), or "Mark I/2" after a minor change to the flash hider. A licence was acquired and the gun was converted from metric to imperial measurements. They also made numerous changes to the design to make it more suitable for mass production, as the original Bofors design was intended to be hand-assembled, and many parts were labeled "file to fit on assembly", requiring many man-hours of work to complete.
I highly doubt Ruby had carbide inserts.
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