UK 55 gallon oil drums.

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George Stein
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UK 55 gallon oil drums.

Postby George Stein » Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:42 pm

A prototype question. Peco/Wills supply oil drums in black, bright red, and green. Did the UK use different colors to indicate the content of the drums? e.g., red for flammable? Or is Peco just being colorful. Normally, I'd paint mine steel.

I've also seen many photos in your hobby magazines where the "lid" of a barrel was painted different than the wood cask. Again, prototype or modellers' license?

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Mountain
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Re: UK 55 gallon oil drums.

Postby Mountain » Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:05 pm

They were mainly painted to represent the brand of the oil (Or whatever else they carried) as far as I am aware.

Bigmet
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Re: UK 55 gallon oil drums.

Postby Bigmet » Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:27 pm

George Stein wrote:A prototype question. Peco/Wills supply oil drums in black, bright red, and green. Did the UK use different colors to indicate the content of the drums? e.g., red for flammable? Or is Peco just being colorful. Normally, I'd paint mine steel.

I've also seen many photos in your hobby magazines where the "lid" of a barrel was painted different than the wood cask. Again, prototype or modellers' license? ...

My first employer had many dozens of these for bulk solvents and feedstocks for pilot plant trials work when I was starting my career. Always painted as I recall, but the colours were not standardised for content, the label or paint stencilled description told you what kind of (evil) stuff was inside. Black, grey, ranges of blues, greens, reds and yellows, also brown and fawn/beige. (BTW, these are 45 gallon drums in the UK: 45 x 8 pints = 360 pints = 55 x 6 pints; same drum both sides of the pond...)

Wooden casks, haven't a clue about these beyond what I have seen visiting malt whisky distilleries in Scotland. Quite a number of the 'heads' of the casks (5%ish)were 'painted' a red tint. Not sure if the colour was paint or a stain and didn't ask, as it was the process producing what was inside that I was interested in...

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Peterm
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Re: UK 55 gallon oil drums.

Postby Peterm » Sun Dec 13, 2020 11:04 pm

I always thought that the ones I handled as a lorry driver were 44 gallon. Not arguing, just surprised that I've been wrong all these years. What I do distinctly remember is how heavy they were when you pulled them over to their edge to spin along the trailer. And of course the more you had, the more tired you got as you got further away from the back.
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captrees
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Re: UK 55 gallon oil drums.

Postby captrees » Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:53 am

Peterm wrote:I always thought that the ones I handled as a lorry driver were 44 gallon. Not arguing, just surprised that I've been wrong all these years.


Well here's the drum, mate. You are correct in Oz. 44's are 44's here. Its an American thing. Their 44's are 55's because they want more gallons than us in the same drum. So they have smaller gallons. Gallons were one of the few things which we have that are larger than the American equivalent. Until we joined the French and went to litres. And are still wondering why? Maybe after Brexit Australia can return to gallons, feet, fathoms, miles, pounds and ounces. But its probably too late. But a 44 is still a 44. Thats sacred.

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glencairn
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Re: UK 55 gallon oil drums.

Postby glencairn » Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:06 pm

Peterm wrote: What I do distinctly remember is how heavy they were when you pulled them over to their edge to spin along the trailer. And of course the more you had, the more tired you got as you got further away from the back.


Oh my!! That took me back sixty or so years. With barrels and casks spinning them round and round.

As for drums. My first job was working at Smith & Butler's (Wallpaper Printers) in Leeds. At break time if a wagon arrived I would watch as different coloured drums were being unloaded. I have no idea as to what was in the drums. I just assumed they were different colors of paint

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Peterm
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Re: UK 55 gallon oil drums.

Postby Peterm » Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:42 pm

captrees wrote:
Peterm wrote:I always thought that the ones I handled as a lorry driver were 44 gallon. Not arguing, just surprised that I've been wrong all these years.


Well here's the drum, mate. You are correct in Oz. 44's are 44's here. Its an American thing. Their 44's are 55's because they want more gallons than us in the same drum. So they have smaller gallons. Gallons were one of the few things which we have that are larger than the American equivalent. Until we joined the French and went to litres. And are still wondering why? Maybe after Brexit Australia can return to gallons, feet, fathoms, miles, pounds and ounces. But its probably too late. But a 44 is still a 44. Thats sacred.

Aah. Good to hear. It never once occurred to me that those damned yankees were involved. Same as tons. 2240 pounds in a ton for us. 2000 for them.
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Peterm
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Re: UK 55 gallon oil drums.

Postby Peterm » Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:46 pm

glencairn wrote:
Peterm wrote: What I do distinctly remember is how heavy they were when you pulled them over to their edge to spin along the trailer. And of course the more you had, the more tired you got as you got further away from the back.


Oh my!! That took me back sixty or so years. With barrels and casks spinning them round and round.

As for drums. My first job was working at Smith & Butler's (Wallpaper Printers) in Leeds. At break time if a wagon arrived I would watch as different coloured drums were being unloaded. I have no idea as to what was in the drums. I just assumed they were different colors of paint

Glencairn

Spinning round and round was a definite knack and every so often I'd lose one, unlike the blokes that were doing it all the time I'd only do it once in a while because I was on general haulage.
Pete.

brit-in-bama
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Re: UK 55 gallon oil drums.

Postby brit-in-bama » Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:22 am

As an old brit living in Alabama, I can tell you why the U.S gallons are smaller than imperial, it goes back to just after the war of Independence, back then everything British was scorned upon, particularly why there are 16 oz in a pound, and 20 oz in a pint, so they standardized it, to 16oz=1lb and 16oz=1pint, thats why a US gallon is less than an imperial gallon, and as for metrication over here, it has made a few inroads like in the medical stuff, and the car industry, but on the whole even most kids deal in feet and inches, oil is still sold in quart cans, as is milk, but if its made or canned over here, its always imperial amounts, and by the way I am bilingual in the measurement dept, and I have a had a hell of a job trying to get a metric retractable tape measure over here! :lol:

Byegad
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Re: UK 55 gallon oil drums.

Postby Byegad » Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:09 am

Bigmet wrote:
George Stein wrote:A prototype question. Peco/Wills supply oil drums in black, bright red, and green. Did the UK use different colors to indicate the content of the drums? e.g., red for flammable? Or is Peco just being colorful. Normally, I'd paint mine steel.

I've also seen many photos in your hobby magazines where the "lid" of a barrel was painted different than the wood cask. Again, prototype or modellers' license? ...

My first employer had many dozens of these for bulk solvents and feedstocks for pilot plant trials work when I was starting my career. Always painted as I recall, but the colours were not standardised for content, the label or paint stencilled description told you what kind of (evil) stuff was inside. Black, grey, ranges of blues, greens, reds and yellows, also brown and fawn/beige. (BTW, these are 45 gallon drums in the UK: 45 x 8 pints = 360 pints = 55 x 6 pints; same drum both sides of the pond...)

Wooden casks, haven't a clue about these beyond what I have seen visiting malt whisky distilleries in Scotland. Quite a number of the 'heads' of the casks (5%ish)were 'painted' a red tint. Not sure if the colour was paint or a stain and didn't ask, as it was the process producing what was inside that I was interested in...


Erm... 55x6=330.

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Bufferstop
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Re: UK 55 gallon oil drums.

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:12 am

Retention of Imperial Measure is, like so many other things, eg the Internet, purely an illusion. Units of Imperial measure are now defined in terms of fractions or multiples of the Metric units. About the only thing not metricated is circular measure and time despite Napoleon's best efforts. 'bout the only thing of permanence he achieved was getting the majority of countries to drive on the right, and that was probably down to him only having one functional arm :twisted:
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Re: UK 55 gallon oil drums.

Postby Bigmet » Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:41 am

Actually the other thing French revolutionaries including Napoleybogey achieved, which Hitler would later encore, is scaring away all the smartest people that survived to the lands of Freedom!, where they promptly played a role in seeing these vermin off. Consider Marc Brunel (father of IKB) who spotted the potential of Henry Maudslay's advances in machine tools and promoted the idea of employing this for a mass production assembly line to make the essential pulley blocks that any sailing navy required in huge quantities. The resulting 'Block Mill' is still to be seen at Portsmouth, very impressive. And the RN did the job...

Byegad wrote:
Bigmet wrote:... these are 45 gallon drums in the UK: 45 x 8 pints = 360 pints = 55 x 6 pints; same drum both sides of the pond...


Erm... 55x6=330.

He's right you know! My mental arithmetic on the way out I think. Where's my 1978 Casio fx1000?

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Forfarian
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Re: UK 55 gallon oil drums.

Postby Forfarian » Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:24 pm

https://www.creativesafetysupply.com/ar ... ty-colors/
A few examples here, re steel drums they rely on the standard signage OSHA for safety of contents
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4472
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Re: UK 55 gallon oil drums.

Postby 4472 » Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:15 pm

Not being in the industrial side of things I would have thought mixing colours would be dangerous when changing contents even with a good washout
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Bigmet
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Re: UK 55 gallon oil drums.

Postby Bigmet » Tue Dec 15, 2020 3:44 pm

Forfarian wrote:... re steel drums they rely on the standard signage OSHA for safety of contents

That's presumably current practise, but being personally forty years distant from activity that involved such drums I have no familiarity with it. I couldn't tell you when that was introduced for 'oil drums' (it's in quotes because liquid chemicals various were supplied in them, not solely oils) because that was under other's control.

(The similar concept of colour coding of gas cylinders and gas lines was already in place in the UK by 1970, and as I worked with these daily, they were immediately learned for the safety of my own and others skin.)

4472 wrote:Not being in the industrial side of things I would have thought mixing colours would be dangerous when changing contents even with a good washout

Oh yes. The essential rule is that 'you' simply don't do such things! Those that through ignorance or willfulness infringe the rule, tend to create a Darwinian cure for themselves, sadly often involving others. This is an application of the old saw that rules are for the guidance of the wise and the absolute obedience of fools.

The major parallel example that occurred near where I worked at the time again relates to gas cylinders: 'someone' decided that Nitrogen cylinders could be recharged on a DIY basis, by filling them practically to the valve with liquid Nitrogen. The resulting bomb - once enough of the Nitrogen entered the gas phase to take the pressure above what the cylinder could tolerate - took several lives and injured several more people.


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