Reynolds French History
REYNOLDS-FRENCH & COMPANY began in the early 1940's as one of several small companies that repaired cracks in castings with a method of metal stitching that included small locks and overlapping threaded dowels, called "lacing". This proved to be successful on relatively low-stress areas on some castings. In the first five to ten years the Company operated as a two to four man business.
During the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's, REYNOLDS-FRENCH explored new methods of repairing damaged castings which could not be held by the conventional method of locking and lacing. In fact, a very small percentage of the many companies who were limited to locking and lacing were able to survive.
REYNOLDS FRENCH PIONEERED INNOVATIVE REPAIR TECHNIQUES
The new methods used in high-stress areas or on very badly damaged castings included combinations and variations of several repair techniques which REYNOLDS-FRENCH pioneered, including the following:
Larger Locking Devices
Much larger locking devices made in our shop to be custom-made in size, shape and type of materials for the particular job, according to the level of strength needed, temperature, and amount of parent material available. These larger locks required a completely different method of installation from the conventional method used for the smaller locks.
Installing high-strength steel bolting in such a way that the bolt shank (between the bolt head and the threads) spans the crack. The crack is pulled together as the bolt is heated and installed, further increasing the effect of the tightening. This method transfers the load from the cracked area to the bolt threads and the areas below the bolt.
Replacing sections where holes have been knocked out or there are so many cracks to make locking impractical. Steel is cut and hand-fitted to an area of the casting which has been cut out and removed. It is then secured in place without welding.
Reinforcing the walls of the casting with steel plate. This is secured by bolting. The steel is hand-fitted for a maximum contact. Steel pieces, often very many, are cut, fitted, and installed in such a way that the damaged area, which was previously overloaded with stress now is relieved because the steel is transferring the load to a different area.
In several extreme cases, it has been necessary to totally remove a part of a casting. We will then bring in a pattern maker, cast a section, stress- relieve it, and install it with one or a combination of several methods.
Because of the high costs of equipment downtime and assembly/disassembly for our customers, the repair philosophy of REYNOLDS-FRENCH & COMPANY has always been to do everything feasible to reclaim strength of the casting, usually resulting in some combination of the above listed repairs. For instance, most every job includes a certain amount of locking and lacing. We feel that it is largely due to this philosophy that our success rate on repairs, our growth, and reputation have become what they
REYNOLDS FRENCH ESTABLISHES ON-SITE SERVICES
Beginning in the late 1960's, we started a Field Machine Division that can travel with portable boring bars and portable milling machines to reclaim precision surfaces and alignment. Our Field Machine Group can work on strictly machining-type (in-place machine work, engine alignment, etc.) jobs or work hand-in-hand with our Repairmen when necessary. On these combination jobs, having one company do both portions has tremendous advantages over separate companies. First, the coordination due
to optimum communication greatly improves overall job efficiency and lowers downtime. Second, if any problems relating to the overall job were to arise, the customer would not have to ferret out the responsibility.
The Field Machine Group has grown in size and reputation to a point that it rivals our Casting Repair Group. The Company has grown from a company known as good "crack patchers" to a full-service Casting Repair company. REYNOLDS-FRENCH now numbers approximately 40 employees, and we always use our own trained personnel to do our work. Most of our field personnel have at least five years experience.
In the 1980's, Reynolds French added onsite Crankshaft Services to its growing capabilities. We could now turn crankshaft journals, straighten crankshafts, and polish rod pins without crankshaft removal. This has been a mainstay of R-F services, and in fact, in the 1990's, Reynolds French pioneered the equipment and technique to successfully machine and polish main bearing journals in place.
REYNOLDS FRENCH RECOMMENDED BY CUSTOMERS AND ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS
Perhaps the greatest feathers in our cap are the strong recommendations given to our customers by insurance carriers, who must be assured of regaining the full operability of the insured equipment. The same can be said of the confidence displayed through recommendation of REYNOLDS-FRENCH by the Original Equipment Manufacturers under Warranty situations. In both cases, the confidence level must be at the highest; otherwise, they face the prospect of complete replacement of the equipment. Indeed,
in many cases, we can honestly say that we are putting back in more strength than the equipment originally had.
REYNOLDS-FRENCH has served almost every industry but worked more for the energy industry than any other. We have successfully repaired thousands of pieces of equipment (in our Tulsa, OK facility and on location) from coast to coast, in Canada, and occasionally, overseas.
REYNOLDS FRENCH ADDS EPOXY GROUTING PRODUCTS
Since June 1980, we have been distributors of an epoxy grouting product line that we had always felt was the very best. This is ITW/Philadelphia Resins Chockfast which has many advantages for both deep pour foundation grouting and excellent pour-in-place chocking. As this part of our business grew, many other foundation products came into the growing list of products readily available to meet the needs of our customers.
During the 1990’s, we added adjustable chocking system products, complete anchor bolt systems, cementitious grouting products, a complete line of Epoxy Coatings and Repair Compounds. Since the early 2000’s, Reynolds French has now acquired both CWC Epoxy Grout and Escoweld Epoxy Grout, through ITW/Philadelphia Resins, to its stocking products list.
TULSA PIPE SUPPORTS
In the late 1990’s, Reynolds French began manufacturing its own line of cast epoxy pipe supports. Unique in design, this engineered product line allows for pipe to be supported without corrosion, without fretting, and without the vibration of the traditional metal supports. Often referred to as TPS, they are easily removed for pipe inspection, easily adjustable, are made from high strength epoxy material and corrosion-free zinc plated hardware, with no painting required. Pipe sizes fitted for this product goes from 2” to 54” inclusive.
It was not long after this product proved to be what many customers needed (early 2000’s) that R-F began manufacturing the TPS Pipe Clamps to meet customer demands. Standard design sketch with a corresponding standard dimension schedule were developed, along with the stocking of Fabreeka liner material to be used to protect the pipe from fretting, vibration, and corrosion.
In 2006, due to specific requests from customers, Reynolds French worked on an engineered Flywheel Lock that could be more reliable than other designs being used, could be set to any desired position of the flywheel or crankshaft in the complete 360° turn radius. In short, they needed an Infinite Position Flywheel Lock, which is the Patent Pending name we gave this invention. And Safety had to be our top priority, as men and equipment inside engines would completely depend on it.
Reynolds French now has several of these installed for customers, with over a hundred more orders pending. We design, build, test, and install the Infinite Position Flywheel Lock to custom fit the flywheel of the customer’s engine. The Infinite Position Flywheel Lock is easily positioned using the R-F supplied turn handle.
Reynolds French has always had its same capabilities in the Tulsa shop facilities that it had in the field. Generally, the cost will be 20-50% less when done in the shop, although that requires equipment removal and shipment from the customer.
In-Shop demands from R-F customers have necessitated, from those early days in the 1940's, moving to a new, much larger shop in 1970, doubling the shop space with a building addition in 1975, building and moving again to a much larger shop facility with much greater crane capacity in 1980, and making several additions and improvements since then, in floor space capacity, in equipment upgrades, and in job capabilities.
One major equipment addition worth noting is the large capacity Horizontal Boring Mills. We have a G&L and a Sellers, with 6" Spindles, 6' effective vertical travel, 10'-31' horizontal travel, and 3'-4' stroke. Complete engine machining can be done on these machines, as well as many other special machining jobs other than engines.
1945 MOON SHOT
Earl Reynolds co-founder of R-F, is pictured below after this turbine case repair was completed. A repair of this magnitude
was unbelievable and unheard of in 1945. It was the "moon shot" of its