The fluted float and others

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Nobby
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The fluted float and others

Post by Nobby » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:53 am

I've understood for some years now that Major Albert Smalley invented the fluted float in the early Sixties and that he is also credited as being the inventor of floats made from elder pith..the foamy soft wood in the centre of some young branches.


It turns out neither is true; Two Yorkshiremen patented the fluted float in 1947:

Image

And elder pith is specifically mentioned in this patent application from 1928:

Image


It may well be that Maj. Smalley never made these claims about himself, of course and it might be that it was he alone who thought of adding to the flutes of the original design to create the huge-vaned floats of the sixties that Belglow, for example offered.

Belglow themselves have been particularly hard to track down. A chance find of a packet of float rubbers gave an address of Beltack Works, Middleton Road, Sudbury in Sufflok....I wondered if the name might imply Bell Tackle at the time....but tracking down the factory was hard.

In the end I concluded the only building in Middleton Road from the right period was this...a scrap metal dealers until recently:

Image

I suppose they tested their floats ... some of them weird and wonderful....in a barrel, but it's tempting to think they might have tried the fluted floats in the river behind the factory........there seems to be a tributary of The stour there, as well as a cut leading straight from the factory to the main river...... :Chuckle:


Image
Last edited by Nobby on Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Michael
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Re: The fluted float and others

Post by Michael » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:24 am

I knew that Frank Oates had a patent for a vaned float;
https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publica ... cale=en_EP#
And I`ve always presumed it was the same Frank Oates, who was involved in the book Match Fishing How to Join the Ranks of the Experts and Uncle to the artic explorer....
http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/8878062 ... ates_dies/
Last edited by Michael on Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth
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Duebel
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Re: The fluted float and others

Post by Duebel » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:45 am

Very interesting, Nobby! Thanks for sharing.

I'm still to be convinced of the advantages a fluted float has to offer. My attempts usually twisted the line as hell ...
Greetings from Bamberg
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Michael
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Re: The fluted float and others

Post by Michael » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:03 pm

I`ve just re read my previous posting and I should clarify, "I knew", was actually from reading a posting Nobby did last year, it looked like I was being a big headed know it all... :Hide:
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth
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Match Aerial
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Re: The fluted float and others

Post by Match Aerial » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:20 pm

Excellent bit of research Nobby good find mate.

JAA

Re: The fluted float and others

Post by JAA » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:22 pm

Nice post Nobby. :Hat:

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Watermole+
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Re: The fluted float and others

Post by Watermole+ » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:01 pm

Whilst not wishing to appear as a nit-picker Nobby, the drawing doesn't show fluted floats, but vaned floats as per Frank Oates patent.

There is a big difference in that vaned floats have normal oval, or tapered bodies, which have vanes set in to slots cut along the length, as this drawing clearly shows in the end elevation at the top of the picture.

The fluted float in the strict sense of the word, has a 'normal' oval or tapered body, which has the fluting cut in to it, usually in four places. In this case, the body of the float is virtually parallel all the way down, to all intents & purposes, rather like the "web", or core of a twist drill and it is the flutes, NOT the body which are oval or tapered.

The difference between the two is that the vaned float has more body mass and must therefore be the more buoyant, size for size, whilst the true, fluted float would have far less water resistance and drag..

..just my two denarii worth..

wm+

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Re: The fluted float and others

Post by Fredline » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:12 pm

Great stuff Nobby. Just when you think you know it all, something pops out of the woodwork.
If you have no grease with you, and your rings are full of ice, do not cut out the ice with a pen-knife but get your man to put the rings one by one in his mouth, and so to thaw the ice.
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Nobby
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Re: The fluted float and others

Post by Nobby » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:23 pm

Michael wrote:I knew that Frank Oates had a patent for a vaned float;
https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publica ... cale=en_EP#
And I`ve always presumed it was the same Frank Oates, who was involved in the book Match Fishing How to Join the Ranks of the Experts and Uncle to the artic explorer....
http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/8878062 ... ates_dies/
Yes that's the same patent as my drawings Michael, applied for in 1947 and granted in 1949. I think you just may be right...at least both Franks are from York.

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Re: The fluted float and others

Post by Nobby » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:30 pm

Watermole+ wrote:Whilst not wishing to appear as a nit-picker Nobby, the drawing doesn't show fluted floats, but vaned floats as per Frank Oates patent.

There is a big difference in that vaned floats have normal oval, or tapered bodies, which have vanes set in to slots cut along the length, as this drawing clearly shows in the end elevation at the top of the picture.

The fluted float in the strict sense of the word, has a 'normal' oval or tapered body, which has the fluting cut in to it, usually in four places. In this case, the body of the float is virtually parallel all the way down, to all intents & purposes, rather like the "web", or core of a twist drill and it is the flutes, NOT the body which are oval or tapered.

The difference between the two is that the vaned float has more body mass and must therefore be the more buoyant, size for size, whilst the true, fluted float would have far less water resistance and drag..

..just my two denarii worth..

wm+

That's a fair point Wm+, I think what we see being made by current floatmakers are more fluted than vaned....indeed they have no body apart from what connects the vanes, whereas the original patent drawings are clearly bodies with vanes added.

I think those current floats are largely made using routers, though JAA came up with a way to copy the Belglow ones a couple of years ago.

I suppose it all comes down to how you interpret those words fluted and vaned.....one hears of the Fluted Avon, but really they were vaned I suppose? Indeed the Williams/Oates patent uses the word vaned.

What should I call these? The flutes are so pronounced they have become vanes...there is no part apart from the vanes...

Image



Here's some more,.... from the left, 5,6,and 7 .... had them for years and only just identified them this year....and I suppose these truly are fluted:

Image

From the left, a rare cork one, three Belglows, the 3 mystery floats . One by a chap who sold on eBay and may have moved to France. A JAA Belglow copy and three by me made to his method.


Here's how I accidentally identified the mystery three:

Image



All from a Tom Watson catalogue for 1969-70. It rather implies that Maj. Smalley made them to Jim Sharp's design....


Now I just need a Fluted Windscape to complete the set. I can't imagine what use they were though...maybe I'm not 'discerning' enough.... :Wink:

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