The works of Sakubei Yamamoto

Coal Cutter
1958 - 1963

Koru Katta
[Coal Cutter]
21.2 x 30.4 cm Ink Painting

Text at the Bottom Left of the Lower Box
Planer-type Coal Cutter
This type of coal cutter was introduced to our pit around 1937 (but I do not know when it was invented). It increased mining efficiency with its many picks driven by a chain. However, the top and bottom chain guides of the machine were quickly worn away if it was frequently used, and these guides sometimes had to be changed with new ones made of special steel. We frequently had to repair the machine if we could not use two of them at one coalface.

Text at the Top of the Lower Box
In long-wall workings, the coal cutter wound itself up, cutting the coalface from the bottom of the workings with a special zincked rope about 5/8 inch thick with a steel core.
The picks used for the coal cutter were made of 4/10-by-1 machined and sharpened flat irons. They were fastened onto the chain with 6/10-inch set bolts. A coal cutter of this kind was operated by about ten trained cutter men.

Detail of the Pick at the Top Left of the Lower Box
pikku: pick
yon-inchi kurai: about four inches long

Figure in the Box at the Top Right
harai kiriha men: long-wall coalface
hikae kirikomi mokuchu: wood pillar driven to tie the wire rope of the coal cutter
waiya ropu: wire rope
roramu jidoteki ni maki noboru: drum to wind up the wire rope and automatically raise the coal cutter itself
koru katta: coal cutter

Text in the Box at the Top Left
This figure shows the head of an old coal cutter which was abandoned after the one below was introduced to the pit. It became very clear that this old coal cutter was outclassed by the new one. However, it was easy to remove its picks by driving them with gads from below though it was difficult to make them. It was because each pick had to be driven into the die to make nock on both sides. This type of pick did not last long.

Detail of the Pick in the Box at the Top Left
san-inchi kurai: about three inches long

Detail of the Head of the Cutter in the Box at the Top Left
nagasa 5 fito kurai: about five feet long
yon-inchi maru: four inches in diameter
san-inchi maru: three inches in diameter

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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