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Thread: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

  1. #151
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    I have both an original Holsclaw (slides over the tingue and pinches it with bolts) and one other (top mount using U bolts) that I can measure and photograph if you need additional design ideas.

  2. #152

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Back at the beginning of the thread you mentioned that you had photos and left a link. I couldn't find it the other day but I enjoyed looking at sail photos. My local library has your book and I have taken it out several times. I don't know what the attraction is for me because I have never sailed. Anyway yes I would like the photos. I drove around to several boat/trailer places today and I have an idea where I am going with this but the more ideas the better............. Tom C.

    Does your ice boat have a wing like the Blackbird on your sight that is a mean looking sail.

  3. #153
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    I'll shoot some photos of the bow stop brackets tomorrow. I'm really limited for space in my web closet, so things tend to come and go depending on what I'm working on at the moment. I'll stick the entire Holsclaw folder back in. If anybody wants copies of the pictures, it would be a good idea to save them to your hard drive as there is no telling how long they will be in there.

    http://webpages.charter.net/tbradsha...lans/Holsclaw/

    Our current iceboat is a modified Arrow side-by-side two-seater - comfortable and not too extreme with a normal fully-battened sail.
    http://webpages.charter.net/tbradsha...arrow-011a.jpg

    The Blackbird design is one that I drew up a few years ago for a little bow-steerer based on some of the big Skeeters with the aft-mounted sails.
    http://webpages.charter.net/tbradsha...s/!BLACKBI.PDF
    http://webpages.charter.net/tbradsha...ans/!Bbird.PDF
    One of these years I'll get around to building one, probably with a stitch and glue body over a "T" configuration of the laminated runner plank and springboard. Rather than a full wing (which tends to present transportation and storage problems) it would most likely be rigged with a battened sleeve sail over a hook-topped mast, similar to this system:
    http://webpages.charter.net/tbradsha...ans/scoot3.jpg

    I used to have a little iceboat that was only about 7' long and it was a blast to sail, except for the fact that it had foot-pedal steering. The faster you went, the more touchy the steering became and at about 45 mph it got downright scary. The Blackbird will have tiller steering, which is a lot easier to control and it should be a pretty interesting ride with so little visible structure out ahead of the sailor.
    Last edited by Todd Bradshaw; 12-01-2011 at 01:16 AM.

  4. #154

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Did I see the Blackbird wing on a small boat or canoe somewhere or is that my imagination. Do you have plans for that wing?
    If I remember right there is only a photo in your book.

    Thanks for directing to your Holsclaw folder. I have copied it and it has already given me some ideas..........Tom C

  5. #155
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Yes, there is one on a canoe near the front of my book. It was a concept cartoon for a high-performance dedicated sailing canoe and was placed opposite a Rushton old-style sailing canoe. The sail is the same type as the one above, with full battens and a wide luff sleeve over a mast with a hooked top to give it that "Spitfire wing" sort of profile. There really isn't a plan as such for it, as it would need to be developed on a case-by-case basis in order to match the sail's luff curve and spar bend allowance to the flex patterns of the mast. Draft would also vary, depending on the intended use. The iceboat version, for example, would be cut much flatter than a canoe version.

    If my wife ever wins the lottery, I plan to hire a couple full-time employees to build some of my crazy prototypes, just to see if any of them work - because at the rate I'm going, I'll never get around to most of them myself. At this point, I'm still working on a boat that I built 35 years ago.....

  6. #156
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Holsclaw Bow bracket. Made from a hunk of 3-sided channel, cut open on the bottom so that it can slide down over the tongue. Bolts above and below the tongue squeeze it into position. On the front side, there is a patch welded-on to close up the channel's open side.





    and here is a more simple one from a different trailer.


  7. #157

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    I found a piece of 2" square tubing in my steel pile that I am going to use for the bow post. I will model it after the Holsclaw one. I found a 1962 Holsclaw brochure and here is a photo from it.



    the link for the brochure is here

    http://www.fiberglassics.com/library/Holsclaw

    This is an interesting site the library has lots of classic boats in wood fiber glass and aluminum. Make sure you check out the price list............Tom C

  8. #158
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Just as far as the ride, it seems that summarizing a lot of the comments on this thread, most of the light trailers have springs too stiff and no shocks, so even if you had a simple generic design to add-on shocks to a HF (or other typical) trailer and optionally also remove a leaf, then we could get a soft ride without a lot of fuss and expense? As a practical matter it seems there is typically additional height available on the sides by the bunks for the additional height required for shocks as opposed to jacking up the entire bed ala Holsclaw?

  9. #159
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Suspension tuning is a critical part of the performance package in any wheeled motorsport.

    It's better to think of the shock absorbers as dampeners, as in they dampen the springing action of the (leaf or coil) springs that do the actual work of buffering the bumps in the roadway. Fancy-pants adjustable shocks have adjustments for both the compression and rebound side of the equation and you fine tune them along with the spring rate to get the ride you are looking for. Simply bolting on a set of shocks may do more harm than good if the goal is a "softer" ride without knowing what the rates of compression and rebound are.

    The key is to start with springs that are appropriate to the load, don't use a 2000lb suspension on a 200lb load, it won't flex nearly enough.

    Steve

  10. #160

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Well I got the metal work pretty much done on the converted Holsclaw motorcycle trailer. All that is left is to disassemble, paint, reassemble and wire. The bunks are just scraps of two by four so they will be replaced with proper lumber and carpet. I am still fooling with the pivot position on the center beam. I moved it and the boat up a foot or so to balance the boat better. I think I will drill another couple of pivot points before I paint so I can move things if I have to.





    It would be nice if there was a wooden boat on it. If I use it enough this summer and like it I will build Robb White's version of this Sportboat.



    Here is a shot of the front post. Very simple. I will add a cleat to the front for the bow line.



    The only thing I would change so far is that the tongue should have been longer. I extended it 5 feet. It should have been seven feet .................Tom C.
    Last edited by calfee20; 02-26-2012 at 07:54 PM.

  11. #161
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Looks great! And I wouldn't worry about the tongue, as a different boat will require different balance points, so the current setup may work just fine.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  12. #162
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    I have seen & repaired several wooden boats stove in on badly spec'd trailers, the suspension units commonly available in the uk are rubber torsion ones & can be pretty violent. One good one i have seen used a Mini car rear subframe with the hydrolastic suspension as its base. Indespension also used to make decent trailing arm suspension units with horizontal shocks.

  13. #163

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    I do not know how this will ride when it is done and in use but the people in this thread seem to feel the holsclaw gives a superior ride. Quite a few years ago I built a trailer out of an Audi 100 LS torsion rear axle and it rode nicer than anything I have towed, even empty. In fact it is in the back ground of the photos. In front of the wagon wheels. I was going to resurrect it but the audi axle was to badly rotted and it is closer to a 1200# trailer vs the Holsclaw which is around 600#. I put some weight in the boat to simulate motor, fuel, and gear and the trailer had nice travel in the suspension. I am looking forward to using it............Tom C

  14. #164
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by keith66 View Post
    I have seen & repaired several wooden boats stove in on badly spec'd trailers, the suspension units commonly available in the uk are rubber torsion ones & can be pretty violent.
    Torsion axles are awful things, good only for trailers with fixed weight like pump engines or something similar. I have a covered utility trailer with a torsion axle that can't be towed over about 45mph when empty, as it makes terrifying leaps and bounds if it hits any uneven pavement, and although I've done a lot of towing it scares me and stresses the ball and hitch assembly. Fully loaded it isn't bad, but you can't rely on that with a boat trailer. Glad to see so much good info and experience show up in this thread!
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  15. #165
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Thorne,

    The root of the problem is that the leaf springs are rated too high as you've identified. Assuming you can't find springs with weaker spring rates that are compatible, you can cut your leaf springs (lengthwise) to reduce the spring rate. A plasma cutter would be the tool of choice. Leave the ends alone, but cut out material similar to a "dog bone".

  16. #166
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Another idea is to get rid of the leaf spring, fab a simple trailing arm and pick your coil spring. You could probably do all of that without welding with careful layout, but it would be also some of the simplest arc welding most anyone could do.

    I've pulled a leaf out of my harbor freight, added 10' of box tube extension, painted it with rustoleum and its been dandy.

  17. #167

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Never thought of cutting a leaf spring that way. That is a good idea to keep for another day..........Tom C

  18. #168
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by calfee20 View Post
    Never thought of cutting a leaf spring that way. That is a good idea to keep for another day..........Tom C
    Boring "Lightening holes" with a carbide tipped drill could also work leaving the overall width of the spring alone. A problem with "dogboning" it just occured to me, on a trailer, there is no Panhard Rod/Watts Linkage or other setup to control the axle's side to side location. Dogboning it might allow it to flop side to side as the stiffness of the system is greatly reduced by that kind of alteration to the leaf spring. You could ADD a panhard rod to regain axle control.

  19. #169
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    I looked at every light boat trailer, I could find and they all looked, cheap, and old fashioned. They were heavy, didn't fold up and were already rusting just sitting on the dealer's lot. So I bit the bullet and bought the Yakima Rack and Roll trailer.

    I've never looked back. It tows like a dream on both freeways and rough unpaved roads. I've carried two kayaks and 14' Wherry and all combos of the three. If I needed another trailer I'd buy it again.

    This trailer is all aluminum with trailing link suspension. I can disassemble it in about 5 minutes and store it out of the way against the garage wall. Assembly / disassembly requires no tools. It store in a spot the width of the trailer and about 1' deep.
    The tongue slides out, the wheels and suspension come off. There are small wheels like roller blade wheels on the rear cross bar, so you can just roll it to the storage spot.

    It's a light weight high tech solution. it works for me because I have two kayaks and the wherry hanging from the garage ceiling and the trailer sitting against the wall. And I can still get two cars in the garage.

  20. #170
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    I am restoring a 1960?? Sea King trailer and wonder where I might find shock absorbers to replace the ones that rotted off. It has good solid coil springs and I pulled a 17 foot Penn Yan home on it without the shocks and it rode fine, do I really need them? Have tried on the net to find a source but no luck so far.
    Oldad

  21. #171
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    I used Monroe RV shocks on my old Holsclaw and they worked fine. They (Monroe) have a recommended length range for each shock. I just picked the shock that fit the range between the bolt holes on the trailer.

    Brian

  22. #172
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Does anybody know how long the coil springs originally were on a 600 lb Holsclaw trailer?

    I took mine off this weekend and plan to replace them because of rust. They are currently just under 8 inches long. They have 10 coils, and at the bottom the pitch of the coils is 1.0 inches and at the top 0.75 inches. A sales rep from Diamond Wire Spring Company says that is probably because of the springs taking on a set as they sat under load (for the last 36 years). If the pitch on all of them was originally 1.0 inches, they would have been 10 inches originally, but I wonder if Holsclaw had a progressive pitch built into the springs?

    I can get springs that 8, 9, or 10 inches long in the correct diameter and wire size.

    Thanks in advance,

    Brian

  23. #173
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Be aware that shorter springs (fewer coils of the same diameter material) are stiffer. If the number of coils are the same for the different lengths, they will have the same compression rate. I hope this makes sense.

  24. #174
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    [IMG][/IMG]

    I just got my new coil springs from the Diamond Wire Spring Company. They have a lot of stock sizes of coil springs. These are a stock size that I ordered from their web site they and came in only four days. Made right here in Pennsylvania. I just picked the size that was closest in length, diameter, and wire size to the ones I am replacing.

    Brian

  25. #175
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    This may have been addressed earlier in this thread, sorry if it a repeat question, but does anyone have a source for shock absorbers for these light trailers? I am restoring an old (1960?) Sea King trailer and the shocks are totally rotted off, hanging in pieces or at least they were when I got it. Otherwise in great shape.
    Oldad

  26. #176
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldad View Post
    This may have been addressed earlier in this thread, sorry if it a repeat question, but does anyone have a source for shock absorbers for these light trailers? I am restoring an old (1960?) Sea King trailer and the shocks are totally rotted off, hanging in pieces or at least they were when I got it. Otherwise in great shape.
    Oldad
    See post #171. Here is the Monroe web page: http://www.monroeheavyduty.com/produ...rofit_kits.asp

    For my 600 lb trailer I used the Monroe 55502, even though the "typical axle use" is 1500 to 3500 lbs, and it works fine. Make sure you pick one with the correct type of ends for your trailer.

    Brian

  27. #177
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    I recently saw a listing for a 1950's Holesclaw trailer. It had dual springs (each side), so probably was for a heavier boat. The seller was asking $250, which seemed kind of high, given the amount of rust on it. What do you guys think -- is this a fair price?

  28. #178
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Thanks for the infor, will check post 171, as far as the $250 goes, do this: are the tires good and free from age checks, are the grease seals in good condition, bearings packed and in decent shape, is the reciever the size you need (2" or 1 7/8) are the lights working, are the safety chains in place and in good condition??? If you can answer yes to all or most all of these questions you are already $250 to the good. My trailer was "free" and needed most all of the above... see my point? Free isn't always free. If it is decent otherwise, the rust is meaningless, wire brush and $12 worth or paint and you are good to go.
    Oldad
    Last edited by Oldad; 03-16-2012 at 12:12 PM.

  29. #179
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Oh my, Brian, just went to post 171 and saw that I asked the same question a few days ago. So, is this the beginning of old timer's disease? I really should keep a log of what i post, thanks again for the info.

  30. #180
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Brian, thanks for references for both the springs and the shocks. I have previously tried to surf Monroe's site and found it frustrating since I did not have year-make-model of a car to plug in. The best I was able to do was go to their pdf catalog and scan for length. Your link will help others who search this topic. Now I'm off to check out Diamond Wire...
    Dave
    StorerBoat Builder, Sailor, Enthusiast
    Dave's GIS Chronicles
    Dave's Lugs'l Chronicles

  31. #181
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Armstrong View Post
    I recently saw a listing for a 1950's Holesclaw trailer. It had dual springs (each side), so probably was for a heavier boat. The seller was asking $250, which seemed kind of high, given the amount of rust on it. What do you guys think -- is this a fair price?
    Do you need a title to register a boat trailer where you live? If you do, and it does not have one (considering the age), it could be more trouble than it is worth. Just one more thing to check when considering a purchase.

    Brian

  32. #182

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Finding the right trailer seems to be a real problem. I finally had to settle for this antique. It's far from the ideal. You can check my blog for the foto if you want. It's worth a laugh! http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blo...28834283882734.

    This trailer is exceptionally light. I chose not to make it a "folder." Instead I added more 2x2 steel to the center beam to stretch it, kinda of like a carrier/launcher. Where there are no paved ramps I just walk it down to the shore. It's okay for the short hauls. The lakes are just blocks from my house.

    If you have to build you might want to look into a product called Unistrut which is pierced steel tube and channel. They also sell structural fiberglass. You could probably bolt everything together a lot easier.

  33. #183

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Brian how much did those springs set you back? Mine are quite rusty also but I am going to derust and paint for this year...............Tom C

  34. #184
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by calfee20 View Post
    Brian how much did those springs set you back? Mine are quite rusty also but I am going to derust and paint for this year...............Tom C
    The catalog price is about $55 for the pair. They had a thin coating of oil when they came that I removed with some paint thinner, and then I am priming and painting with Rustoleum.

    Brian

  35. #185

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Wow that is a good price. I found these but I am not sure what spring rate to go with.

    http://www.afcoracing.com/springs_2_58id.html mouse over the 10" tab on the left.

    Anyway I am going to stick with mine for at least a year.. I am going to try to use electrolysis to get the rust off a few parts of my trailer.

    http://www.wag-society.org/Electrolysis/electros_1.php

    I have never tried this before so it should be an interesting experiment. It will be great if it works as glass beading is slow even with my 3 hp air compressor which is in need of an overhaul right now. If money was not a concern you could always get these springs for $220 each.

    http://www.roadmagnet.com/products-b...railer-springs

    The original springs are progressively wound and will give a softer ride. I hope you will keep us informed on how these springs work out on the on the road. I will be putting my electrolysis tank together now that threat of freezing is less and I will post some photos of the attempt..................Tom C

  36. #186
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    I would have been reluctant to spend $220 for a pair of springs, or even for four springs.

    I can't believe I'll be able to really tell the difference. The old ones are stiffer than you might imagine for a 550 lb boat. Standing on one of the old springs (I weigh about 160 fully clothed), my son measured that I depressed it only about 1/4 inch.

    Brian

  37. #187

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    I have about a hundred pounds on you "not something I admit to very often" and when I stepped on a spring it hardly felt like it deflected at all. I rarely have any helpers so I couldn't measure the deflection. However when I had the boat on the trailer I added three sealed five gallon buckets of oil to simulate a fifty pound motor plus gas and gear, and the trailer had a nice give to the suspension when I bounced the back. We will have to see how it works on the road.

    If it isn't to hard to find, what was the company part number for those springs.........Tom C

  38. #188
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Dwc-406rs-21

  39. #189
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldad View Post
    I am restoring a 1960?? Sea King trailer and wonder where I might find shock absorbers to replace the ones that rotted off. It has good solid coil springs and I pulled a 17 foot Penn Yan home on it without the shocks and it rode fine, do I really need them? Have tried on the net to find a source but no luck so far.
    Oldad
    I do not know what size boat you are hauling, but the original intent of this thread was about trailers for light wooden boats. This link shows some coil and spring assemblies that might work: http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.as...8-1720&catname=

    Note that these are substantially lighter rated than the original equipment on the trailer.

    They are so inexpensive they might be worthwhile to experiment with. If they are found wanting, you are not out of a lot of money.

    I will be buying some to test on my newly acquired Holsclaw.

  40. #190

    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    Sorry about posting the dead link with my earlier reply. This one should work: http://twincitiesboating.blogspot.com/

    As I said, I couldn't find a good trailer so I bought some old antique on Craigslist. In my case, improving the suspension would have been putting good money after bad. So I lengthened it by five feet. The difference was noticeable.

    I will not go into a lengthy explanation, but this has something to do with added tongue weight. Most trailers are made for heavier boats. Too much tongue weight and people can't lift the rig off the hitch ball. In our case, tongue weight is a good thing.

    There is a down side, however. A longer trailer is harder to steer when backing up, but this will come with practice.

    Now I feel a lot better about owning the thing. I think I will be converting it to a folder, using galvanized Unistrut, maybe next winter.

  41. #191
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    Default Re: Small boat trailer design w/light suspension, folding, good support?

    I just reassembled my Holsclaw with the new coil springs. I have not tried it out. I still need to do some work on the boat.

    One take-away from my recent experience is that with the coil springs, if I wanted a softer ride for a lighter boat, I could have easily ordered softer springs from the same place I got my replacements, and they would have fit right in where the originals are, with no cutting or welding. Just some simple nuts and bolts mechanical work.

    Brian

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