Apprentice Projects - Gary Sutton

During my apprenticeship I was involved with many unusual projects, some new, some that needed de-bugging etc.

Apprentice projects:

  1. Zimmer frame with spring loaded steel balls in each leg so that person doesn’t have to lift the frame when using it to walk.
  2. Hoist for lowering disabled into swimming pool for hydro therapy.Hydraulic operating table for hospital. It was commissioned at the Hyde and Glossop Hospital. Press and TV were present so I’m sure there would have been publicity photos taken as it was a very costly project which was donated to the hospital.

Whilst I was at Dowty Hydraulic Units I debugged a couple of projects for a DHU open day:

  1. Hydraulic fruit machine. Large wooden discs with fruits painted on them and Hydraulic valve operated hydraulic motors in series.
  2. Pneumatic ram controlled by Dowty servos servo control and light sensor. It was used to sort mixed white and black ping pong balls. It only detected the white or the black, can’t remember which, and fired one colour into a basket, the other colour dropped through the machine into a box underneath it.

Both these were just fun projects but created a lot of interest with visiting families on the open day, especially the ping pong ball machine which had a habit of over firing the selected balls so instead of landing in the basket they shot across the floor much to the delight of the gathered children who ran around collecting them!

I also made a Unipivot Pickup Arm from drawings published in Wireless World. The challenge I was given, was that I could not use any proprietary parts so all parts had to be made from raw material and I had to obtain all materials from within the Company.

I succeeded in completing it and also persuaded Rotol anodising plant, to grey anodise the aluminium head shell. The finished project was exhibited in the Town Hall at one of the prize giving evenings and also was exhibited at a show of apprentice work in London, though I can’t remember where. I still have this pickup arm.

Does anyone have any photographs of further memories of the above?

Gary Sutton 1975 - Apprentice Completion Certificate
Gary Sutton

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