Building a mighty elevator required specialized carpentry and subtle touches



Editor’s note: Here, Charles J. Tillotson offers additional explanation about the formwork at the start of the Flagler, Colo., annex, seen in this 1953 photo from Tillotson Construction Company archives. 

All new lumber was used, the amount of which I couldn’t give any idea but it was a few truckloads at minimum.

The curved lumber was done by hand, either with a table saw or a Skilsaw or both. The notches, of course–for example at the jack yoke locations–were again cut in the field.

Mucho carpentry work, the length of which depended on the number of carpenters that could be scrounged up.

Also, the superintendent of the job was usually out of the carpentry world and could pitch in as needed during form construction.

And there remains one more point to make about the photo from a previous post, “Taking it from the top at Tillotson Construction’s annex in Flagler, Colo.” (use the link that’s included below or click on the photo to see an enlarged version). 

ScanThe dark shadow around the circular bin forms is the residue from “washing down the side.” (This is the side where the cement will be poured.)

The formwork was coated with used motor oil or some other type of lubrication.

Doing so made the formboards moisture resistant and let them more easily slip upward with less friction.


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