dafi

Chain pumps on first and second rates

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A long time ago on the research for the pumps of my Vic I realised that all drawings  of first and second rates at NMM from a certain date on show at least two of the four chain pumps reaching the middle deck. 


 


This started about 1760 to 1780. All the drawing showing details have a cistern on the lower deck even for the pumps reaching the middle deck, mostly showing something that appears like an exhaust for a dale or hose. 


 


From about 1810 both pairs of pumps reached the middle deck, both having a cistern and an "exhaust" on both decks.


 


Searching for quite a while already I just found one source apart from the drawings - the model of the Princes Royal. Here one pair of pump is reaching the upper deck, also showing the cistern, but no details of the mechanism is revealed.


 


The only reason so far I can see is that the double amount of man could man the handles. But no idea whatsoever how the technical side worked. Where these one chain running though the lower deck (as it seems to me) or were those two different chains for each pump? Was the cistern on the lower deck a water tight "passing through" cistern?


 


As usual - question over question ...


 


I just add some pictures of what I mean, some drawings out of NMM and of the Princess Royal.


 


XXXDAn


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Daniel,

 

You always seem to ask the tough questions...  :D  :D  :D

 

I gave this some thought since 1) the plans are flat sectional plans and thus no detail as to how these were done  2) much wasn't written down as it was "common knowledge"  and...   3)  the builders and sailors were practical men who seemed to take the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) principle to heart.

 

Ok.. here's my musings.   Having two sets of dales seems counter-productive since if the lower pump set was open, no water would reach the top.  I notice that most of the plans (but not the photos you show) have only one set shown on the upper deck.   I've read that most 1st and 2nd rates had pressure pumps for these function which drew in sea water from under the ship.  But, these weren't pressure pumps that could be used for fire-fighting or washing the decks, the water came from the deep down in the hull... probably very yucky. 

 

So... back to the original thought that it's counter-productive to have both sets of dales open...   Well, there's no sign that there were two chains or two tubes inside one tube.  If it had been two tubes, I think it would have been shown on the draughts.  Could it have been in case of battle damage?  Probably not, since anything taking out the upper cistern would damage the chain.  Back to brain work.

 

Your premise that double the men could operate the pumps, but what would be the advantage to have  4 cisterns down low and only 2 up top (unless there were 4 up top, but they would be shown, right?   Then not battle damage.  Maybe exhaustion.  Double the men wouldn't mean double the water being pumped but it is hard work to crank the pumps. 

 

My thought would be that it allowed the men to be rotated as exhaustion set in.  Use the lower deck crew and switch to the upper deck crew without stopping the pumps.  I read somewhere that starting the pumps moving was when many times things went to hell... the chain broke, jumped off the sprocket, etc. so it makes sense in a logical sort of way, to keep that chain moving.  Stopping the pump to change out the pumpers would be asking for Murphy to jump in and break something.

 

I'll go with this for now until someone versed in the research (Hi Druxey :) ) slaps some sense into me and has the correct answer.

 

Edit... hmm... my reasoning falls to the wayside when I see that there's only one top set of cisterns and not two.  I did mention I was musing out loud, right?  However, the lower set are connected by the cranks.. Which creates another set of headaches in that crew up top is only half as great as the crew at the lower...  

Very strange on there only being one set on the upper vs. two sets on the lower..... 

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Interesting question and I really can't offer much.  The only thing I can think is that I understand that in heavy seas if the ship is listing the lower gun ports might actually be underwater.  So maybe then you'd want to pump the water higher?  It would be interesting to see what sort of valve system they might have had.

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OK, I bite! There is one level of discharge - at lower deck level -  for the one pair of pumps. It would be reasonable not to have to raise bilge water any higher than necessary to discharge it. The first deck above water level was the lower gun deck. Hence the cisterns and brakes (cranks) to work these pumps placed here.

 

The other set of pump tubes continue one deck higher - the middle deck - to terminate at their upper end in the usual cisterns and cranks. However, on their way up, there are boxes at lower deck level that the chains pass through. This would allow water to discharge at this level as well. However, the pumps were worked one deck higher: more men could be employed on both set of pumps this way. Again, less effort would be required to raise water only as far as the lower deck level, rather than all the way up to the middle deck. Does this make sense?

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Without a side view it would be hard to say. What would be reasonable is those pumps that appear to be on the same tube, aren't. Maybe the lower pump is rigged to discharge into a cistern which would be open to drain to the deck if the discharge would drain overboard and closed if the water was needed or wanted to be pumped higher. The upper set of pumps would need to be offset so the same cistern could be used to catch the discharge of the lower and hold it for the upper pump to use it a a water intake. Water is heavy and enough of it riding up in separate moving chambers on the same chain might have a lift height limit or they wanted to be able to occasionally discharge water on both decks..

jud

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Thank you all, you confirm some my thoughts :-)

 

The plans from the decks in NMM show quite clearly that there are no two tubes and threre is no offset for the second level - both levels look to be perfectly in line. 

 

My personal guess is that the cistern from the two storeys pump has a watertight "passing through" cistern that could be opened if necessairy.

 

if the cranc of the "normal" pump that leads through this cistern is just passing through or if it also drives a coq wheelis pure guess from my side.

 

But interesting, that no further technical evidence so far is to be found ...

 

XXXDan

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The rods of the lower deck pumps pass through the boxes of the middle deck pumps. Rhodings (bearings) would support the rods here. There would not be wheels inside the boxes at lower deck level. The normal drive mechanism would be under the hoods at middle deck level.

 

The only difference between the 'short' and 'long' pumps would be the boxes with their discharge dales and longer chains of the latter.

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Hello everyone;

 

This is an interesting topic;  I have read the comments above,  and looked at the pictures (I too have the Princess Royal book,  which is very helpful)  I think Druxey is totally correct in that the idea was to allow more men to work the pump,  and not to try an raise water to the middle deck.  

 

Neither the main pump chain,  though,  nor any water it carried,  can have risen to the middle deck,  as the carlings are located in the centre of the trunking to the middle deck,  and this would prevent the pump discs and washers passing through this space;   but it would allow a chain to pass down each side of the carling,  which could be connected to an additional,  thinner and secondary sprocket on the lower deck adjacent to the lower deck sprocket over which the head of the main pump chain with its washers would pass.  The width of the casing on the middle deck would seem to indicate that two chains were used,  which were connected to a secondary sprocket on each side of the main sprocket on the lower deck.

 

Alternatively,  the pump reaching the middle deck was worked from the middle deck only,  but discharged on the lower deck. However,  see next paragraph for reasoning as to why this is unlikely.

 

HMS Nelson,  1806,  is perhaps the earliest vessel which has the arrangement with both pumps brought up to the middle deck,  which Dafi says becomes the norm after this.  This would seem to illustrate that the idea was to allow extra manpower to the pumps,  as otherwise,  if water cannot be raised to that height due to the position of the carlings,  it would be simpler to just terminate the pumps on the lower deck.  If the pump is simply worked from the upper deck,  but discharges on the lower deck,  there is no connection between the turning effort applied by men on the lower deck,  and that from the men on the upper deck.  There must have been an additional sprocket(s) fitted on the pump axle at the lower deck level,  and a separate chain mechanism to link this to the pump handles cranked by the men on the middle deck. 

 

Regards,

 

Mark P

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Your concept of a thinner sprocket and secondary chain is an appealing one, Mark. The reason for this being the ease of repair (assuming the side of the casing at lower deck level was removable to carry this out). It would be more difficult to fish out a longer broken chain in adverse conditions. However, I've never seen any illustration or description of such an arrangement.

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Hi Druxey;

 

No,  nor me either.  It is purely a personal supposition.

 

The one thing that I cannot make fit my theory is that one of Dafi's photos does seem to show a discharge hole in the cistern on the middle deck.  As he asks,  why would they want to raise water to here?  Not for fire fighting,  as it is not under pressure;  nor for washing decks;  for even if the lower decks were washed,  something of which I have no knowledge (the upper deck was washed every morning) there are no scuppers fitted to the middle deck to allow water to disperse.

 

Maybe Testazyk's proposition is correct:  it was to allow water to be discharged at a higher level when the ship was heeling so much that the pump-dale outlets from the lower deck were under the water line.  But if that is the reason,  why was it not done on a 74,  which would also heel over in strong winds,  and had a deck above the pumps? 

 

A bit of a conundrum!

 

Mark P

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As always, one question will bring forward 3 or 4 more question. Mark P. You have a very good point if it was done on that ship why was it not done on the 74. I know someone might have the answer so like the rest of us I will be waiting to hear of it.

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I find that the argument about the dales being too low when the ship is heeled difficult to accept. The dale scuppers are not much lower than the lower deck ports, which have a good amount of freeboard. Counter-arguments, anyone?

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I have to admit that my thoughts were that any ship which was heeled to such an extent that the lower deck gunports were nearly under water would already be in such dire straits that the pumps probably wouldn't help much,  so I was never a strong fan of the possibility. 

 

I find my earlier thoughts more convincing;  but then why would they wish for outlets on the middle deck.  The location of the carlings in Dafi's photograph from the Princess Royal makes it difficult for me to believe that water could be raised past them,  which if true,  means one is back to the idea that it is just to give extra men the ability to work the pumps.  The strongest argument against this is the outlet in the upper cistern,  which seems to be quite clearly shown in Dafi's monochrome picture of the inner works.

 

Then again,  maybe it is not an outlet;  yet,  what else could it be?

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I'm thinking Druxey is right on the more men and easier to pump concept.  Those pumps had to have been hard work.  More men on the pumps would mean they could do it longer before having to rest.  

 

I'm still puzzled by the drawings showing dales at two levels.  I suppose it's possible that the lower dales let the water out and the upper ones stayed "dry".  I'm also wondering if the Navy ordered these boxes in quantity and used the same ones on the upper and lower level.

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The pumps were definitely hard work.  CS Forester,  author of the 'Hornblower' books,  who was born at a time when the Napoleonic wars were still just about in living memory,  and certainly seems to know his stuff about the era,  makes reference to seamen being given a turn at the pumps as a punishment for minor infringements of discipline.

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Gentlemen, thank you very much for all your input, it is pleasure to follow :-)

 

My basic thpought of having more people being able to work is still the strongest reason for this setup.

 

But the cisterns and the outlets shown still puzzle me to bits ;-)

 

What Mark and Druxey guess would makes sense. Having the pump in the lower deck being worked with cranks on both sides and the pump in the middle deck also being manned on both sides would give the double amount of people being able to pump this resulting in a higher speed and therefor more water being raised.

 

Still puzzling is here the two cisterns and also that later on both pumps were made reach the lower deck. All the drawings in NMM show these setups and dales on all the cisterns (if shown).

 

Are there any other models known like the Princess with this setup?

 

Cheers, DAniel

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Greetings dafi,

 

Longridge's book on Victory has a section drawing through the ship center line from stem to stern. This drawing shows the four pumps, located on the Gun Deck, situated fore and aft around the main mast - 2 on each side. Note that the Gun Deck is the next deck up from the Orlop. The crank handles run through each set of pumps and extend about 20' fore and aft respectively from each pump, for a total crank length of over 50' for each set of pumps. According to Longridge, the cranks were long enough to accommodate six men per side. The pump discharges were on the Gun Deck as part of the pump housings. Longridge states that the pump mechanisms were the endless chain type with sprockets for each pump located in the pump well at the bottom (bilge) and in the semi circular casing on top of the pump housing. Pumped water discharged from the well up to the Gun Deck via a cast iron pipe. There were also port and starboard elm tree pumps adjacent to the main mast.

 

wq3296

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Thank you wq!

Longridge describes exactely what is on display today in the ship. There are some documents in the NMM suggesting that the arrangement could have been different in the past.

 

Cheers, DAniel

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There are deck plans of the Victory in the NMM,  believed to date from around 1788,  showing her after a large repair at Portsmouth.  These can be accessed on the internet at a large enough scale to distinguish the layouts.  The plan of the lower deck shows the four pumps around the mainmast,  with the two after pumps discharging into a single long cistern athwartships,  and the two fore pumps not joined.

 

The plan of the middle deck quite clearly shows the two fore pumps continuing up to this deck,  where each has again a separate cistern,  not joined together.

 

So obviously at this point in her history she had pumps on both decks. They may indeed have been there from her first build,  in the 1760s,  which is around the time when Dafi's research indicates that they were coming into vogue.

 

I will look at some earlier plans of three-deckers,  and see if they show pumps on both decks.

 

Mark P

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Okay,  here goes:

 

I have spent an hour or so looking through some of the plans from the NMM collection via their website,  and there are some rather interesting details on some. 

 

The inboard profile of 'Sandwich' 1759,  90 guns,  and that of 'Princess Royal' 1773,  both seem to show a sprocket on the middle deck in line with the cistern of the pump below on the gundeck. There seems to be a horizontal shaft drawn through it,  extending from aft bitt pin to fore bitt pin,  and a much narrower vertical trunking running down from it to the deck.

 

The details are not completely clear,  as the plan does not come up to a large enough scale to be completely doubt-free,  but I think I am right in saying that this is what I am seeing on the draught.

 

Even more interestingly,  the deck plans of 'Duke' 1777,  show the pumps on the gundeck,  and then immediately above on the middle deck,  in line with where the pump tubes are on the gundeck,  no pump cistern or similar is shown;  but there is something else:  two pairs of small holes (not sure if they are circular or square) either side of a longitudinal pair of lines each side which seem to represent carlings.  This could well be holes for a mechanical link to join a sprocket on the middle deck with the actual cisterns on the lower deck.

 

The inboard profile of 'Duke' though,  is clear: it definitely shows a sprocket and shaft on the middle deck,  with a narrow trunking running down to the deck planking.  However,  and intriguingly,  there does not seem to be a continuation of this trunking running down from the middle deck to the cisterns on the gundeck below.

 

On my next visit to the NMM,  which has a large-scale plan viewing screen in the Caird Library,  I will look at these plans and see what is shown,  then report back.

 

Thanks,  Dafi,  for introducing such an interesting and novel topic!

 

Mark P

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Funny enough I just prepared a post parallel to yours in our german forum towards this topic, thank you Mark :-)

 

 

If one looks long enough one can find wondrous things in well known sources ...
 
Here is a picture I posted a long time ago when I was dealing with the pumps in my build                                           #157                         .
It shows the draughts of the repair in 1788 and clearly indicates the cisterns in the two decks:
 
800_Victory-NMM-pump-plan.jpg
 
Also I detected some marks exactly in the positions the elm tree pumps had to be (blue circles). But not two of them like today - in the lower and upper deck - no there were three. As today one pump is situated in the upper deck I supposed the one on this deck missing in the drawing (green circle)
 
Lately I realised something on a well known picture:
SLR0782;  Scale: 1:24. A midship sectional model of the 110-gun first rate ship HMS Queen (1839)
 
Pumps-HMS-Queen_7330a.jpg
 
Do you see it, do you see it?!?
 
One pump (light blue) goes to the lower deck and two go to the middle deck, none to the upper deck, just as seen in the drawing of 1788.
 
Pumps-HMS-Queen_7330c.jpg
 
... very interesting ...
 
... and do you see more!?
 
What are those octagonal double bits always on to of one cisterne?
 
Fore pump ...
 
Pumps-HMS-Queen_7330d.jpg
 
... aft pump.
 
Pumps-HMS-Queen_7330b.jpg
 
Usually ships of that class used to have both chain pumps reaching the upper deck.
 
And ... no handles or wheels shown ...
 
Questions over questions - it stays puzzling :-)
 
XXXDAn
 
PS: Mark, you are welcome, and thanks biting the bait ;-)
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Here are some more interesting details:

 

The detail mentioned from Mark on Princess Royal 1773 as model ...

pump%20_qcharl.jpg

 

... and as drawing in NMM ZAZ0339 ...

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/80130.html

large.jpg

 

... with an interesting detail:

post-182-0-36807400-1417733418_thumb.png

 

 

See also ZAZ0348 for the same detail. Anybody with a better resolution?

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/80139.html

 

 

Also Sandwich 1759 ZAZ0494

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/80285.html

large.jpg

 

ZAZ0496

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/80287.html

large.jpg

 

The same seen on Duke 1785 ZAZ0219

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/80010.html

large.jpg

ZAZ0215

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/80006.htmllarge.jpg

 

ZAZ0216

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/80007.html

large.jpg

 

Could possibly be also seen on 'Barfleur' (1768); 'Prince George' (1772) ZAZ0349

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/80140.html

large.jpg

 

 

 

HMS 

Britannia (1820); Prince Regent (1823); ZAZ4908; http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/84699.html 

 

pumps-Britannia_7347.jpg

 

Queen Charlotte 1810

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/79809.html ZAZ0018

 

pumps-Q-Charlotte_7338.jpg

 

 

HMS Hibernia 1804 ZAZ0012

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/79803.html

pumps-Hibernia_7354.jpg

 

HMS Nelson

pumps-Nelson_7343.jpg

PAH9223

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/149170.html

 

pumps-Nelson-1814_7323.jpg
 
And interesting too, the spanish Salvador del Mundo ZAZ0042
 
pumps-Salva-del-Mun_7355.jpg
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Daniel,

 

On the Queen cross-section.... it looks like the lower pumps are chain pumps (cistern) and elm-trees.   The lower chain pumps have square 'pipe' and the elm-trees have hexagon 'pipes'.  Neither set of pumps has any detail such as dales or pump handles.   The upper pumps are elm-trees... hexagon 'pipes'.

 

The ones I think are elm-trees is due to their length above the deck and the hexagon shape.  Note the number of, let's call them pipes) going up from the  lowest deck and that they stop at two decks pump areas.

 

Those hexagon things on the upper.... I have no idea. 

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Hello Mark, thank you, I am also strongly convinced about those three blue ones being elm tree pumps.

 

And I am with you ...

 

 

"Those hexagon things on the upper.... I have no idea. "

 

;-)

 

But exactly above the lower cisterns ...

 

... just handles and coq-wheels missing like the lower deck?

 

XXXDAn

 

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Hi Dafi;

 

Your picture of the NMM inboard profile,  immediately below the picture from 'Princess Royal',  shows the characteristic which I saw in some of those other draughts I mentioned:  this is that the upper deck pump detail shows a sprocket and much narrower trunking,  much smaller than the cisterns below on the gundeck. 

 

However,  some of your other attached copies of sections from draughts show the same size of cistern on both decks (cue head-scratching) 

 

Concerning the elm-tree pumps,  these delivered water under pressure,  although maybe not particularly high,  and so may have been intended for fire-fighting,  so it would be logical to have them on each deck.

 

I must get to the NMM,  and have a look!

 

Mark P

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@ Mark, I have updated the article above.


 


Could those "hexagon things" be the upper part of ZAZ0216?


 


Thanks for the help!


 


 


Just some left-overs from above article ...


 


Queen Charlotte 1790; ZAZ0160


http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/79951.html 


 


large.jpg


ZAZ0159


http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/79950.html


large.jpg


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Hi Dafi;

 

Thanks for adding the pictures of the draughts I mentioned;  I don't know how to do it yet (must work it out!) I think that you are right about the octagonal bits on the middle deck of the 'Queen' mid-section.  They are not the elm-tree pumps,  as these are quite visible in other parts of the picture,  and completely separate to the bits you have outlined in red,  which,  most importantly,  do not continue below the deck planking,  and have no direct physical connection with the cistern below it.  Again,  and most importantly,  they are situated directly above the pump cistern,  so I am sure that these are what is represented by the four small marks each side of the carlings in the deck plan of 'Duke' (which was launched in 1777) shown in ZAZ2016,  which are directly above the pump cisterns shown in ZAZ2015,  the lower deck of 'Duke'. 

 

I think that as the mid-section of 'Queen' quite clearly shows that the octagonal trunking on the middle deck stops at the deck level,  which matches the details shown on several inboard profile drawings,  these were not intended to raise water,  but were guides for either the pump chains,  or a secondary chain,  rising from the lower deck,  and then turned by the sprocket and shaft quite clearly shown on the same inboard profile drawings.  This sprocket and chain is not shown on the 'Queen' mid-section,  unfortunately,  but I think that the octagonal trunking could not be anything else.

 

(The sprocket and chain is not shown on her lower deck,  either,  so the absence of the mechanism on the middle deck does not show that it did not exist) 

 

The only question left to solve,  I think,  is did the pump chains rise in one loop to the middle deck,  in which case why would crank handles be fitted on the lower deck,  as these cannot have been linked very well to the chain if it just passed through vertically;  or was a secondary chain fitted,  which would give a second set of men on the middle deck the ability to assist with the pumping. 

 

The model of 'Princess Royal' shows cranks on both decks (although there are no pictures of the middle-deck pumps the plan at the beginning of the middle-deck chapter shows them quite clearly) so they were clearly intended for men to turn from there.  I think that the vertical trunking shown on this model,  running up from the lower-deck pumps,  is purely trunking to help guide the chains and prevent accidents to those working the cranks on the lower deck.  As it is quite clear from the previously mentioned inboard profiles and the 'Queen' mid-section that the trunking did not always extend down to the cisterns below,  I think we can be absolutely certain that the mechanism on the middle deck was not for getting water to that deck.

 

Mark P

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I agree that the fore octagonal (discontinuous) chambers on the Queen model's middle deck are simply guides for the chains to the wheel and cranks at that level. There is no intention of lifting water to discharge at middle deck level. The long octagonal tubes to the middle deck are the brake pump tubes.

 

The above confirms the thesis that this arrangement of chain pumps increases manpower on them when required. QED!

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Hi Dafi;

 

I like your picture of the bicycle,  that is exactly the kind of linked mechanism that I visualise. 

 

Thanks for the interesting discussion,  and happy modelling!

 

All the best,

 

Mark P

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