We have done alot of research in the area of Gin Stand Conversions. Most of this has been based on the seminal work done by Mr. A.L Vandergriff in this area. In 1996, he converted a gin stand at Elbow Gin in Visalia, CA to 181 saws, using the narrowest spacing in the industry. This stand ran unnoticed until the mid 2000's when one company starting applying these same spacings to their new gin stands. Since then, Vandergriff Inc. worked with Namoi cooperative several years ago helping them convert their 161 Continental Gin Stands to 181 saws. Of course the Vandergriff Rib is in all these conversions, and key information on saw spacings were provided by Vandergriff Inc.
Last year, Loyd Vandergriff started going through his father's files and notes relating to the 1996 conversion. From this, much important information was pulled and applied to what Vandergriff Inc. is currently doing with these test conversions in Alabama. We have taken fronts from 2 161 gin stands and installed new rib rails. These rails are solid, and drilled and tapped accurately at CNC Production Engineering in North Carolina. Then they are installed in the 161 fronts. Again, solid..stout, and most importantly accurate spacings. CNC Production Machine also machines the 181 rib used in the conversion from 1018 steel forgings. Vandergriff Inc. has proprietary rights on all of this process from forging to final ribs. You simply can not get this quality anywhere else. We also modified the profile of the rib to let the out seed better, because the seed roll will become denser. We also provide our own space blocks machined from 6061aircraft aluminum to close tolerances. These space blocks aren't the sorry cast mess you get from overseas. No one can provide a quality package for a conversion like this. Best part of all of it? Made in USA. All of it.
Here are some pictures of what is going on now in Alabama. There are other pictures in this blog as well you can look for, as well as a video of a conversion being tested in early January 2014.
Conversion on site in Alabama.
Please take note of the new rib rail. Solid and accurate. Vandergriff 181 ribs are so precision they bolt right on. No variation at ginning point. No little seed escape. Modified rib profile lets the seed out better. Those space blocks are machined from 6061 aircraft aluminum with precision.
Vandergriff End Rib Plates.
Take note of the end rib filler plates. Again, stainless and accurate. The plate is machined at the bottom to the contour of the end rib. The end rib fits snug against the plate. The stainless is smooth and all the troubles associated with badly made end plates etc. will be eliminated. This of course is a constant issue in 161 gin stands as well as 141's.
181 Saw Rib Alignment.
The accuracy of this entire conversion is reflected in this picture.
181 Saws/Ribs in Vandy 181 Conversion.
This conversion is a "Product of Vandergriff Research."
Made in the USA.