In defence of RHS!

matthewhigby at matthewhigby at
Wed Feb 8 21:25:55 GMT 2006

In a message dated 08/02/2006 20:37:07 GMT Standard Time,  
davidbryant at writes:

Are  there many frames of tubular steel? Most of those I've seen have 
been made  predominantly of channel. RHS is common for headstocks - I'm 
not a  fan!
There are a few frames of tubular steel, I am pretty sure that Taylors  
designed one a while ago. It was built by a firm who specialised in the use of  
tubular steel - free of charge from memory. I am sure ADH will be able to  
confirm this.

Some modern H section framesides are also made of RHS (we  are installing one 
shortly at Preston by Weymouth - the lower  tier is H's). All box section has 
to be appropriately  drilled for the  galvanizing process - so that it is 
galvanized on the inside surfaces  too.
Is there really any evidence that steel headstocks are more likely to  fail 
due to fatigue? My personal view is that a headstock of galvanized  RHS which 
has been either powder coated or primed and painted, is belt  and braces above 
a cast iron stock from a corrosion point of view.
There are heaps of steel headstocks from the early 20th Century that are  
still doing good service, and in much better condition than some cast iron ones  
that I have seen.
I suppose that it mainly comes down to looks, cast iron looking much more  
stylish than RHS - a bit of a Rolls Royce vs Ford Escort scenario - they both do 
 the same job, but one looks more stylish and costs a lot more! 
RHS is more robust than grey cast iron - I have lost count of the number  of 
stay sockets I have seen cracked or broken out, caused by improper fitting of  
replacement stays..............."Oh one bolt will be enough Jim - we had 
better  get a move on, practice starts in 10 mins" and all that............
The steel corrosion at Rosscarbery is the most extensive that I have  ever 
seen - I have kept some bits as souvenirs! However it was  only extensive where 
it was in direct line with the sea air (near the  windows), or in contact with 
the tower walls.
The slating of RHS on this list is undeserved, I have seen no compelling  
evidence (as yet) to convince me otherwise.
Nuff from me!
Matthew (Who drives an Escort Van and supplies both RHS and Cast iron  
headstocks ;-)

Matthew Higby  & Co Ltd,
Church Bell Engineers.
Jasmine Cottage,
The  Street,
BA3 4HN.
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