Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Day Two at Sovereign Hill

On our free second day we saw a few more of the attractions.

We weren't really the only people there today, but it wasn't crowded. That's an advantage of being able to avoid the school holidays.

The beautiful clydesdales being harnessed up:

The Chinese temple in the diggings area:
I don't remember that being there on my previous visits. It seems the Chinese participation in the gold rush is treated more respectfully these days.

A giant gunnera in a garden I didn't notice yesterday:
We'd probably have room for one of those here somewhere... However it is weedy in some parts of the world so maybe not a good idea.

Wheel manufacture. The process of turning chunks of wood into wheels is fascinating. There is a steam-powered machine for just about every process. This amazing machine is turning round pilot holes (drilled by a different machine) into rectangular ones to hold the spokes:
A pair of chisels alternately drive down into the wooden hub, and move apart from each other as they enlarge the rectangular hole. It is incredibly fast, and the ingenuity of the inventor is astounding.

This machine shapes the outer ends of the spokes so the rim pieces can be attached:
It can do the whole wheel in about 45 seconds, but the operator only does a couple for each demonstration. I wasn't fast enough to get a photo of the shavings flying off either of them!
The finished wheels are ornamental, and are for sale for $500 each. But they do also make wheels for the carriages in use in the park.

Timber bending is not a regular attraction, but we were lucky that it was happening today. In less than a minute a big lump of wood (which had been steamed for some hours) was turned from flat:
 Sorry about all the people's heads - this was a popular attraction.
And the blurry photo - I'm obviously not an action photographer. And there's no second chances because it happens so fast.

Now it's a semi-circle!
 It will stay in the machine overnight to cool.

Over the course of the two days we did lots of other activities, including taking an underground mine tour, eating a Devonshire tea, watching the Redcoats firing muskets (very loud!) and visiting all the shops and schools. It was really nice to spread the activities over two days rather than feeling we had to rush around like crazy things to see everything. It was a fantastic couple of days!

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