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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author cwmystwyth level fawr
jaseredjacket1987

Joined: 07/04/2013
Location: Mid wales

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 04/10/2017 12:32:44
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Hi all first of all please accuse my improper terms and names of the levels as I simply can't remember them---

just a word of warning to anyone exploring cwmystwyth level fawr. After a trip there yesterday for. A visit ( been here many times) I can confirm that the long route around via the floating track up and round, descending the ladder to access the working past the work Roy is doing on the second tube has now collapsed (at the bottom of the ladder). We carefully passed through the second tubes new steelwork to confirm this from the other side ( right hand passage) I recommend this area is left UN explored until Roy can inspect this. I will post a picture from the bottom of the ladder of the blockage. - Jase (redjacket mine explorers)
IP: 213.205.252.97
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 04/10/2017 13:09:36
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Do you have one from the other side to indicate the extent of the collapse?

For what its worth, the steel road is passable with care, the unstable boulders did in fact come down and were removed, there is a lot of timber between an explorer and another one on the move.

I expect that its the hopper that has run, I will be in there to finish off the new road shortly and will report back on the collapse.

The road has been passable for a couple of weeks but wanted people to keep away due to fresh concrete at foot level, rocks are retaining timber shuttering and concrete takes months to harden underground.

The timbers sticking into the new level are quite solid and will need cutting off. Problem here is they 100 year old sodden oak!

--

I wonder about the abandoned flip flops, but how does baling twine get into MY mine?
IP: 88.108.11.91 Edited: 04/10/2017 13:15:21 by royfellows
jaseredjacket1987

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 04/10/2017 13:24:57
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Unfortunately I don't sorry Roy, my camera died when we got there- must remember to charge Smile it's looking pretty bad I'm afraid, from the ladder side it looks like all the rock from behind the timber cladding up to the roof has fallen- u will have to assess for yourself as u know more than me Smile- May possibly go bk up next week, Il post some more pics for u IP: 213.205.252.97
royfellows

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Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 04/10/2017 14:07:11
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The situation on the face of it is that this route is off, as as we are going into the bat hibernation season nothing will be done until next spring.

I am therefore asking everyone to stay out until the steel road is open, at that time skipway and Roman Level will become accessible again, and upper ladderways can be gained by the circular route through the Bell Chamber without recourse to need the blocked route.

So, please stay out and keep out until further notice.

--

I wonder about the abandoned flip flops, but how does baling twine get into MY mine?
IP: 88.108.11.91
Graigfawr

Joined: 04/11/2009

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 04/10/2017 22:08:36
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The timberwork supporting the deads adjoining the ore chute on Level Fawr West Drivage on the Kingside Vein a couple of yards east of the crosscut has not given me confidence for a couple of decades - it a spot I've tended not to linger in. The reported fall is not wholly surprising.

As with so many mines, the timberwork has far outlasted any original design life.

Incidentally the answer to "how does baling twine get into MY mine?" is that when the second tube was installed, it was slightly too large a diameter to fit through the first tube, so Si Hughes cut a three-inch wide slice from its length and compressed the tube by using a hundred yards of baler twine. Once the second tube was installed, the baler twine cut from it was left nearby.
IP: 176.27.91.235
royfellows

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 04/10/2017 22:15:08
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Mystery solved!
Thanks.

The timber that originally failed which was just above the tube and now sticks down into the roadway is of interest.
Its not rotten and must have failed through ground movement.

The totally unenviable job I have before me is cutting it off. The saw does very little. I cut the far end off to ease passage through, this took a lot of time and effort. I have the cut off piece here at home.
What timber do you think it could be. I think oak, what do you think?

--

I wonder about the abandoned flip flops, but how does baling twine get into MY mine?
IP: 88.108.11.91
Morlock

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 04/10/2017 23:19:20
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"I think oak, what do you think?"

If it's quite hard it may be Elm.
IP: 86.184.26.206
robnorthwales

Joined: 21/05/2008
Location: Denbighshire, North wales

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 05/10/2017 09:13:21
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Morlock wrote:

"I think oak, what do you think?"

If it's quite hard it may be Elm.


Or possibly what's called 'bog oak'.

Basically, they'd probe steel rods into a marshy bog, until they hit solid material - which was an ancient fallen tree. They'd then probe the whole area to ascertain the size of the tree and determine if it was big enough to be worth the work of digging it out. If it was, then they'd excavate, and then hew it into the sizes and sections they wanted.

Having had to cut a few pieces of old bog oak in my time with a chainsaw, I can confirm that it's like cutting steel. Blunts chains in seconds. We had to cut one beam that was about 12" square section, and it took well over an hour and 4 chains on 2 chainsaws - as soon as one chain was dull, swap it out, someone starts sharpening it as the next one is fitted - while that's happening the other chainsaw was in use, etc.
IP: 92.29.161.137
royfellows

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 05/10/2017 09:43:13
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Here is the piece I cut away, just taken this here at home.



(click image to open full size image in new window)

The problem I have with Bog Oak is that how would the mine timbermen work it?
My understanding of oak is that when freshly cut its quite workable, but seasons into a very hard substance.

--

I wonder about the abandoned flip flops, but how does baling twine get into MY mine?
IP: 88.108.11.91
legendrider

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Joined: 13/07/2014
Location: Darlington

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 05/10/2017 10:06:10
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doesn't look like Oak to me. The tuna-flake appearance of the worn end suggests pine, of some variety. Douglas Fir was preferred for long straight bits; Larch, Spruce, etc for lesser quality work. Oak is very tight-grained, dense, and older wood acquires a lovely marbling across the grain.

Your local arboretum may be worth a try for an identification, or bring it up here and let the boaty guy have a peep at it!

MARK

--

festina lente IP: 86.138.5.170
Morlock

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 05/10/2017 10:54:44
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Research indicates that the properties of Bog Oak result in it being a somewhat valuable material. IP: 86.184.26.206
royfellows

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 05/10/2017 11:19:28
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I think what is of most interest here is the somewhat general concept of "old rotting timber supporting tons of waste rock"

As I have remarked, the failure of the cribwork at this point must obviously be down to ground movement, rather than the timbers rotting. If anything, this gives us hope that we wont eventually loose everything we cherish.

It has been remarked that the horrifically dangerous - collapse at any time - situation above where the second tube was has remained unchanged since 2005 when the mine was sealed by the previous owners.

--

I wonder about the abandoned flip flops, but how does baling twine get into MY mine?
IP: 88.108.11.91 Edited: 05/10/2017 11:20:27 by royfellows
Ty Gwyn

Joined: 30/10/2009
Location: Lampeter

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 06/10/2017 21:47:57
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It looks like a variety of Pine,and if as hard has you mention European Larch would be my bet,or depending on the period this timber was stood in the Mine,imported would be another bet,a lot of timber classed as Norways were used,and this timber was as hard as nails. IP: 91.85.183.117
royfellows

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 09/10/2017 10:42:27
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I have been in this weekend and assessed the situation.

First though I would like to compliment jase and friends who went through the new roadway without disturbing anything at all, and even replaced the grill at the entrance. I wish everyone who visited the mine was so careful. Thanks.

The run at the hopper is no where near as bad as I feared. It is constructed as a box on cross stemples which appear sound. What has failed is the boards which are between, at one point between two of the stemples.

It will be next year before I start on this due to the bat hibernation season. Ordinary exploration is unaffected, its just work.

Photos


(click image to open full size image in new window)



(click image to open full size image in new window)

The steel road is now open as Barry Clarke was kind enough to turn up with a chain saw and cut off the protruding timbers. I was not optimistic and found an excuse to go and fetch a bag of cement, but the chainsaw eat through it.

Barry, who knows his timber confirmed that the two timbers are different, the upper is ordinary pine, the lower is Scots Pine. However they have been in the for a century and become impregnated with mine metals through being kept wet. I have seen this in Frongoch. Timber kind of 'pickles', some of the stuff in there has appeared blueish in LED lighting.

It was a very successful weekend, in about 15 minutes Barry saved me days work!

Situation, with foot level hardening (slow!) concrete plus a 'situation' on the left, would people please continue to stay out until further notice.

Many thanks.

--

I wonder about the abandoned flip flops, but how does baling twine get into MY mine?
IP: 88.108.11.91
royfellows

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 15/10/2017 21:55:35
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Today I have been round to the ladder side of the new fall and its not as I thought. The far stemple has failed allowing the ore pass to empty itself into the roadway. No sign of the galvanised bucket that hung on a rusting nail for about a century.

All is not lost. The ore pass is basically empty, which means that the fall can be cleared in entirety and stacked behind packwall at the forehead where it possibly wont even be noticed. I can block off the orepass with steel above the hopper in case more stuff comes down, replace the broken stemple and may even find the old bucket to return to its rightful place.

Off the ladder you can traverse across to where you can look down the orepass to the bottom.

The steel road by way, was finished today, but I want people to say out until next month because of fresh concrete. There is floor level shutting held with cross stemples. Should be OK next month but wont harden properly for 6 months.

It will be next month before I knock the shuttering out, then I will take some pictures and get them uploaded.

Been hell of a job, difficulties all the way, but done in the end. I have just got back from Wales and feel OK, only worked 6 hours today so fresh as a daisy, but I do have youth on my side.
Laugh


--

I wonder about the abandoned flip flops, but how does baling twine get into MY mine?
IP: 88.108.11.91
royfellows

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 30/10/2017 10:39:27
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Steel road is now open, knocked out the shutting this weekend.

I have struggled badly moving the truck, eventually got it back about 8 feet. The wheels would rock but not turn, got one off with WD 40 and a lot of leverage and found it free, but could not get it back on again. I did eventually by propping the bucket if that's the correct term.

What has actually happened is that the timber chassis has rotted allowing the bucket to drop onto the wheels. The whole thing is very wobbly and can only be moved by levering each wheel alternately.
To compound matters it was off the rails, rails were partially removed and out of line. I used a temporary rail to get it to move.

Truck moved 8 feet, whole weekend and a bad back, but that life.

Please do not touch it, I will get it further back eventually and get some photos of the finished project.

Only route to main ladder is still through Bell Chamber.

--

I wonder about the abandoned flip flops, but how does baling twine get into MY mine?
IP: 92.24.23.178
Graigfawr

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 31/10/2017 20:49:37
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royfellows wrote:

...the bucket if that's the correct term...


'Tram body' would be a correct term; alternatives exist - e.g. a C20 term in some coalfields is 'tub'.

I can bring to mind only one other example of this type of tram (front-tipping, steel bodied, on wooden chassis) at Cwmystwyth: on Gill's Upper Level driveage on the New Lode, west of the North Crosscut in Pugh's Mine.

There are two other types of tram extant at Cwmystwyth:

Front-tipping, wooden bodied, on wooden chassis, with double-flanged wheels: two examples on the Middle Level drivages and crosscuts between the West Joint (Mitchell's Lode) and the North Crosscut in Pugh's Mine. These are the earliest type of tram surviving at the mine and probably date from early in the period that John Taylor & Sons owned the mine.

Side-tipping, steel bodied, on steel chassis ('Hudson' type): a body survives above the first pipe, at rockhead in Lefel Fawr crosscut 1960s photos show a number of examples complete with wheels on the tips between the mill and the road suggesting that these were the last batch of trams purchased for the mine. A 1920s inventory mentions an internal combustion locomotive - presumably it pulled these trams along the lengthy level tramway from the base of the inclines up to Copper Hill and to Taylor's Level (East), and from Lefel Fawr, to the ore bins at the rear of the mill.
IP: 176.24.180.226
royfellows

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 31/10/2017 21:54:34
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Hi Robert

Just out of interest, do you know where the body in the entrance was originally?


--

Fellows lamp: Dont worry about being caught in *******, by time they get their eyesight back you be gone
IP: 92.24.23.178
Graigfawr

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 31/10/2017 22:57:33
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The 'Hudson' type tram body at rockhead in Lefel Fawr was on surface on one of the tips (it is probably one of the bodies and trams that appear in 1960s photos) prior to North Cardiganshire Mining Club members Simon and Nick Hughes, and Pete Harvey, inserting it to replace or augment sagging failing timbers around the mid 1970s (I'd guess at around 1973/74). This was only possible because the water in the loose spoil trickling in at rockhead was frozen, making the loose material sufficiently competent to allow excavation from the outside to make room to insert the tram body.

Their original plan was to support the tram body with props whilst they dug out all the run-in spoil, and to build a pair of side walls to support the tram body. This would have reopened the crosscut almost to full walking height and would have drained the standing water beyond.

In retrospect, it may have been fortunate that they never carried out this second part of the scheme, because a dry, walk-in entrance may have tempted inexperienced visitors into the level, increasing the possibility of accidents. The presence of a crawl (now a pipe) and thigh deep water, whilst not offputting to experienced mine explorers and cavers, has served as a significant deterrent to inexperienced visitors down to the present.

The tram body inserted by NCMC lasted 25 years before an replacement (the first pipe) was needed, which seems pretty good, given that the tram body was probably at least 50 years old when it was inserted into a very damp position.
IP: 176.24.180.226 Edited: 01/11/2017 19:31:07 by Graigfawr
royfellows

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cwmystwyth level fawr
Posted: 01/11/2017 08:37:41
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Thanks for this, quite interesting.


--

Fellows lamp: Dont worry about being caught in *******, by time they get their eyesight back you be gone
IP: 92.24.23.178
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