When it came to it,  the laminated oak sections I’d intended for the drums didn’t stay so laminated during machining.  Bummer, I should have known that.   Shop husbandry and old glue are not the best of partners for facing the unknown.   No matter, the drums below are made from some billets of tight grained white ash and will do to get things started.


It seems logical to infer that inswingers probably had wider winches like this to reel in all the rope needed for their unusually long draw lengths.  It may well be that this one could be an inch or two narrower per side,  but given Firefly’s higher purpose as a research vessel  it seems better to build in some overcapacity rather than skimping and suffering the ignominy of reduced performance.  I suspect that when she is finished,  her total weight will be perhaps 20% higher than an original Roman machine.

Reconstructions like this are never perfect affairs;  after all,  one can hardly expect a firefly to light up an entire room (sorry).   I am not discouraged by these observations.  Time travel is never easy that first trip out.

One Response to “Coffee cups begone”


  1. Gareth says:

    Nice work, solid piece of engineering! Looking forward to seeing what the performance is.

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