Thursday, 6 March 2014

Thornycroft Building #11 - Pickling Shed

In the photo below this building is shown roughly in the middle of the complex immediately in front of the building with two railway sidings entering it. (Click for a larger view).

  The Thornycrofts Motor Works, Basingstoke, 1928 - Britain from Above


The building contained pickling tanks for cleaning metal casting surfaces prior to the machining process. The castings were submerged in a sulphuric acid and water mixture that remove sand and scale. Hot steam was used to heat the acid as this reduced the pickling time. An example pickling time is 60 centigrade for about 30 minutes. After pickling the castings would have been rinsed, possibly in a tank of lime water to neutralise residual acid and then again in clean water.

Time Line

Probably built when the siding complex was altered and expanded between 1902 and 1919. It did not survive until the end and was probably demolished when the sidings were removed in the 1970s(?).


Open timber frame with corrugated roof, although close scrutiny of the above photo reveals that the end facing the camera was partially covered in corrugated iron.

The Model

Here is the model on our full sized plan in a similar orientation to the above photo.

Being open framed the interior has been modelled. This is entirely fictitious for Thornycroft but is based on a photo of a pickling shed in India! 

The timber frame was designed in CAD as a kit of parts and then 3D printed in plastic.

The is the timber frame after assembly and painting.

Three pickling tanks were also CAD designed and 3D printed. Two girders (Plastruct) are fixed to the roof beams from which hang two hoists made with washers and wire. These hoists are used to lift either large castings into the tanks or a cradle containing smaller parts. The shed lies alongside a siding so that side of the shed has been given corrugated iron cladding for 'elf n safety' reasons. The corrugated iron walls and roof are printed paper stuck to card. This photo shows the interior before the roof was fitted.


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