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Author Topic: Oh no, not another TVR1A!  (Read 24114 times)

SailorGreg

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Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« on: August 15, 2012, 04:16:33 PM »

The recent thread on the TRV build prompts me to ask a few questions, as I have one of these kits on its way.  Not wanting to hijack that thread, I thought it best to start afresh.  I have never built a steam plant (other than the little one for the Midwest Fantail Launch, some years ago) so a lot of these questions are pretty basic stuff, and I am sure are answered somewhere in the bowels of Mayhem's archives - but I couldn't find them!

I plan to get a Maccsteam 3.5" boiler once the piggy bank has recovered.  I have also identified sources for the gas tank, the separator, the lubricator, a water pump and a steam attenuator, along with the pipes and connectors.  But where can I get a steam throttle valve? Or have I just missed a website somewhere?

Should I buy copper or brass tubing for the connections, or doesn't it matter?

Should I try and standardise on 1/8" or 5/32" tubing or should I just get a selection of sizes depending on the application/fitting?

Where can I get a small piece of mineral wool (or something) to lag the boiler under the cladding?

Will a chef's blow torch be OK for silver soldering - it's just there's one I found in the kitchen, so I wouldn't have to get one specially for that.... :-))

I am thinking of painting some parts (cross head guides, cylinder mounting plate, baseplate perhaps?) - will Humbrol enamel or similar be OK - is that paint suitable for bare metal and the heat?

Is there any big advantage to using disposable gas canisters rather than filling a purpose-built gas tank?  The disposables lose out on appearance, they are probably bigger than a custom tank, but is the filling process difficult/dangerous/messy?  I know filling a gas lighter from a refill often results in spluttering and overspill - is it the same with a gas tank?

Are there anywhere a set of instructions for designing and operating a steam plant of this sort?  I understand the principles but I am in Donald Rumsfeld mode at the moment - I suspect there are lots of unknown unknowns!  I have just discovered that there is a club very local to me that runs steam models, so perhaps a visit there is called for.

The kit is coming via a circuitous route so I won't have it until the end of September, so I am in no rush.  My plan is to build the steam plant then consider a hull to fit it into once I know it all works and how big/heavy it is.  I guess I'll probably go for one of the open launch types in the 40" - 45" range, but we'll see. 

Thanks for being patient!

Greg

SailorGreg

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2012, 04:22:29 PM »

Oops, sorry - that's TVR1A of course.  :embarrassed:

But you all knew what I meant didn't you!

steam up

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2012, 04:53:58 PM »

Its a nice slide valve engine takes some care to put together due to the small size of the bolts.
Timing takes some care especially if you do not read the instructions.
Taking it along to the local club with model steamers would be a good idea.

muleears

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2012, 11:29:21 PM »

I insulated my Macsteam 3.5" with this: "Silica fabric"  insulates to 1800* part # 8827K15

http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/118/3510/=iv4owd

I should have enough left to do another. It is 6" wide which is the  same length as the Macsteam boiler so no cutting there.   It's yours if I can find it and you want to pay the postage!

I can post a pic of how mine turned out if you'd like to see it.
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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 08:49:32 AM »

Good morning Greg. A 5/32 pipe nipple fits over the inlet and exhausts nicely, your chef,s torch should be ok for pipe fittings, as they are only small, just be carefull you dont melt the silver soldered joints that are already there. You will find that the fittings will be in brass and the tubing should be copper. Maccsteam do a range of gas tanks at very reasonable prices ( about the cheapest I have found), I have included some links where you will find everything you need. as far as a boat for your engine go's you cant go wrong with a hull from Kingston Mouldings, the quality of their products is second to none, or if it is a kit you are after, Krick do 3 kits, all of excellent quality. For boiler lagging, try Bruce engineering, model engineering suppliers, or GLR distributors. I got my regulator from the 21st Century Steam Company. He has regulators in stock, I got one last week but cant find his email, you could contact him via his ebay shop.
Hope this helps,
Regards,
Nick. :-)) :-)) :-)) :-))

http://www.steamfittings.co.uk/asp/index.asp

http://www.pollymodelengineering.co.uk/sections/bruce-engineering/index.asp

http://www.cupalloys.co.uk/

http://www.kingstonmouldings.com/home.htm

http://www.clevedonsteam.co.uk/

http://www.cornwallmodelboats.co.uk/acatalog/krick_steam_launches.html

http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/21st-century.steam.company/
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kiwimodeller

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 11:27:47 AM »

Further to that I have just had a couple of steam regulator valves sent to me from 21st Century Steam after seeing them in Chandlery section of Model Boats a few months ago. The are ideal for what you want and the service was great, arrived in New Zealand in less than a week. They do not have a website yet other than the Ebay page but you can contact them direct at steam.engine.com@hotmail.com if you do not want to go through Ebay. I have attached a photo I hope. Also endorse what Nick says about the Kingston hulls, I have had several now and all have been top quality. I am sure you will manage the engine without any problems, just read the instructions in separate sections several times over. I have persuaded several friends to buy these engines and we are still friends! Dont forget we want to see postings about the assembly job and the boat build. Cheers, Ian.
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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 11:39:12 AM »

Strongly reccomend CUP alloys Silver Solder/Flux in a syringe for small jobs. Handy for larger ones too.

  Regards  Ian.
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SailorGreg

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2012, 01:58:41 PM »

Thanks everyone, I feel more confident already :-)

@ muleears - thanks for the offer - PM on its way shortly (I know you're in VA but so's my engine!) - and a picture of your boiler and engine would, I am sure, be of interest to everyone.

@ kiwimodeller - I'll certainly post when I get going.  I plan to do the steam plant over the winter and then think about the boat for it in the spring.  Kingston Mouldings are on my short list for a hull, and I plan to do a freelance open launch on whatever hull I get.  Lots of ideas on that from the builds on Mayhem, Bernhard's Youtube clips and elsewhere - spoilt for choice!

Greg

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2012, 05:34:35 AM »

Hi Greg,
I've got a TVR1A in my Lady S.
Works a treat, :-)) the boat is 900mm long, sailing weight is about 9kg, top speed is way over scale, so I trrottle back and get about 15min steaming time.
I had a thread (pre Melt Down) called, from memory "it works" under my old user name of MichaelK
 I used 5/32 copper  tubing all the way, that way you don't get confused! %%
 I use a refilllabe gas bottle, take it out of the boat and carefully fill it. I never have any problems. Just make sure it is up to ambient temp before you light the boiler.
 The instructions that I used came form this forum, :-)) club members (JOIN A CLUB!!!) :-)) and the School of Hard Knox!  {:-{(and I'm still learnig, every time I take her for a sail!!)
Best of luck, I'm sure you will have lots of fun building your boat.
Mick
 
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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2012, 10:10:17 PM »

Thread  renamed
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SailorGreg

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2012, 02:17:11 PM »

Thanks Martin - at least we're calling the engine by its proper name now!

Well, I got my TVR1ABB (and boiler and stuff from Maccsteam, of which more later) and have started assembly.  One thing I should say straight away is that I don't plan a blow-by-blow account of putting the engine together - I am simply following the instructions, and you can see the comprehensive illustrated instruction booklet here http://www.grahamind.com/downloads.html.  I plan to describe any changes I make and the lessons I learn along the way - and probably ask quite a few questions as well!

Having spent an inordinate amount of time browsing TVR builds on this and other forums, I knew there were a few mods I wanted to make.  I wanted to paint some parts of the engine, and I also wanted to cut down the cylinder mounting plate as others have done for a sleeker appearance.  But first off I had to make sure I didn't lose all those tiny screws (although having ordered the hex head set as well, at least I had a reserve in case of emergency).  I found ice cube trays to be ideal when sorting the screws and gathering the parts for each section of the build.



I also worried a lot about what paint to use, and in the end I bought some high temperature spray paint from e-bay (this - http://tinyurl.com/8zfpgx3) and below are the painted parts.  I decided I would leave most of the brass bits alone and polish those, and painting the cylinder mount, which I considered, seemed tricky as you have to lap the surface of this to seat the cylinders.  So the bits in the picture are all I painted on the engine.



Not too sure about this - I expected a gloss finish but it is thoroughly matt and rather rough.  Do I need to bake it to turn it into a glossy finish, or am I stuck with this?  Anyway, I have carried on with the build, but am not so far advanced that I can't go back, take off the paint and do it again.  Acetone is my friend!

I mentioned the cylinder mount mod.  I don't have any real metalworking kit, although I do have a pillar drill.  The picture below shows the finished mounting plate.  (For those unfamiliar with this, it is provided as a simple rectangle - I have removed the pieces between the mounting holes.)  I drilled each corner with a 4mm drill then chain drilled along the line between them.  I used the aluminium strip screwed to a piece of wood to ensure all the holes were aligned, and I bought a centre drill specially to make sure the drill didn't wander.  Then I filed the edges flat and used fine wet-and-dry to put a good finish on the edges.



A comment that crops up a fair bit in other builds is the issue of filing the small bushes in the reversing linkage flat with the component they are installed in.  I guess that if you file the bush completely flush then there can be some binding between the head of the fixing screw and the moving piece.  I didn't actually use a file, rather I used a piece of 800 wet and dry and stopped rubbing as soon as there was any sign of abrasion on the component itself.  I am happy to say all my bushed pieces move smoothly without any slop.  And as others have mentioned as well, the parts all fit so well that actually building the engine seems to take no time at all.



Well, so far so good.  I'm happy to hear any views on the paint - even if it means taking the thing apart and doing it all over again  {:-{

Greg

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2012, 04:25:02 PM »

Just re-read my post and realised I lied to you all - as well as the bits shown, I painted the crankshaft as well, as you can see from the last picture posted above.  I'll try and do better in future!  :embarrassed:

Actually, masking off the bearing surfaces on the crankshaft for the connecting rods was about the fiddliest thing I've had to do so far.

Greg

Jerry C

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2012, 05:12:17 PM »

For painting the engine I used two thin coats of etch primer and a radiator type paint. Before painting I assembled the engine without crankshaft, bearings, valve and reversing gear. I used the supplied screws. Any where I didn't want paint I painted with Vaseline and scraped it off after. I baked the whole lot in the oven at 150C for twenty minutes. I did it when the wife was out cos it don't half pong. Ends up silk finish and rock hard. I can't tell you the brands cos I bought the paint in bunnings in oz.  whatever, it's still looking good after a full season. If you haven't seen it already have a look at my thread in steam called Steam Launch Wear. The plant in it is more or less the same as yours. Finally I stripped it down again using a scalpel at any joins then built the engine as new but using the hex brass screws unpainted.
When you search for my thread it says it was started by gregk9 but that's a mistake brought on by the great meltdown.
Jerry.
ps. If you put the screws in ice cube maker make sure you stick it down first! Or you lose the lot. I put a large white sheet on the floor under and around me and the table cos I just knew I'd drop a few. I did and it worked but at the end I found a load unused. He sends you more than you need.

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2012, 06:19:19 PM »

Thanks Jerry.  Yes, I have followed your S/L Wear thread for some time (under all your pseudonyms!).  A great inspiration to me.  I did wonder what paint you used as that light colour looked like it might show heat damage quite easily - but obviously it worked fine.  I'll have to think about what I do next.  (Our oven is gas - I think that might not mix too well with paint solvent?  Could be a recipe for a new oven not to mention a severe ear bending  >>:-()
I take great care with my ice cube tray.  We have two cats, so it lives on top of a cupboard when I'm not actually taking something from it - haven't lost anything - yet!

Thanks again for the advice.

Greg

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2012, 06:27:14 PM »

Hi Greg, being a lazy type of person, I emptied the bag of bolts into a backky tin and picked them out with a pair of tweezers, and surprisingly enough, did not loose one. I did, however loose the tiny allen key used for the eccentrics, searched for hours and finally found it in one of my slippers. as for painting, 2 coats of etch primer followed by 3 coats of Humbrol enamel. Only time will tell if I made the right decision.
Regards,
Nick. :-)) :-)) :-))
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essex2visuvesi

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2012, 07:07:19 AM »

Most of the High temp paints are matt finish.  I have been having the same issue trying to find a good high temp gloss paint for the boiler of My traction engine
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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2012, 08:42:11 PM »

Nice, I like the blue parts and the fact that you modded the cylinder base.
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SailorGreg

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2012, 08:45:45 PM »

Thanks for the comments and advice.  I really wasn't happy with that paint, so it was out with the acetone and off it came.  It said on the can that no primer was needed, but even after drying for a few days, the paint rubbed off in many places.  I'm now going to use etch primer and a gloss high temp paint (still going for blue). We'll see how that goes.  I  looked for radiator paint but it only comes in white, white or off-white.  I am using that for the chimney though.
Anyway, the build has stalled a little as the repaint is done.  Back soon.

Greg

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2012, 11:49:02 PM »

Hi Greg, If you are thinking of fitting a boiler feed pump to your engine, here's one I fitted earlier....
http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=39299.msg401610#new
Regards,
Nick.
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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2012, 05:52:33 AM »

essex2visuvesi   says......

"Most of the High temp paints are matt finish.  I have been having the same issue trying to find a good high temp gloss paint for the boiler of My traction engine""

VHT market a range of high temperature gloss enamels......marketed world wide.....

Similar to as previously mentioned.....bake @ 200 degrees F to improve hardness & chemical resistance......Derek
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essex2visuvesi

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2012, 09:00:07 AM »

essex2visuvesi   says......

"Most of the High temp paints are matt finish.  I have been having the same issue trying to find a good high temp gloss paint for the boiler of My traction engine""

VHT market a range of high temperature gloss enamels......marketed world wide.....

Similar to as previously mentioned.....bake @ 200 degrees F to improve hardness & chemical resistance......Derek

You star!

Thanks for that.... will get some ordered... they do metallics too :)
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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2012, 09:50:36 AM »


This is the primer I used on my engine and boiler. I got it from Bunnings in Wodonga. I'm sorry but I didn't get a pic of the topcoat but it was from the same place if not the same brand. I recall that I had problems getting what I wanted. I found almost that we were speaking a different language when it came to paint. Same went for white spirit. It's called something else down under but a quick look on tinterweb proved it to be the same as ours. I recall also that the topcoat was good for 150C. I tested on a piece of metal and it dried soft so baked it as previously stated and it did the job. The finish was silk. It is now nicely stained and streaked by the rust coming out of the inside of the outer funnel and dye from the mahogany lagging. That won't come off either!!I have also just realised that I painted the engine in Oz but painted the boiler in the UK. How did I get the paint home %)
Jerry.

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2012, 10:31:02 PM »

 ;D ....& Jerry says ''I found almost that we were speaking a different language when it came to paint. Same went for white spirit. It's called something else down under"
Could I offer that the language spoken in OZ is the same...its just that the words are upside down........could the spirit have been termed as methylated?....
Derek
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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2012, 11:15:24 PM »

Without hijacking the thread, I can't remember exactly Derek,
but it was confusion over white spirit, turpentine substitute and turpentine. There is incidentally also confusion over methylated spirit (meths) which also has different names in different places. Bunnings also sold a varnishing system where the stain and the varnish were not compatible as I found to my cost.
Jerry.

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Re: Oh no, not another TVR1A!
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2012, 01:59:25 PM »

Well hopefully I've navigated through the various shoals of the new format forum (which is great by the way) and can now post the following (from Photobucket as advised by various helpful members).  It shows my repainted bits and pieces (including my boiler, oil trap and gas tank).  The blue is a bit darker than before and it's glossy!  The paint I used is this - http://tinyurl.com/9c6p6kv - and I just have to find a method of baking it on that doesn't result in irreparable marital strife  >>:-( <*<
I'm sure I'll come up with something!  %)



Now I'm back to where I was a few days ago.  Next is putting the engine back together, shouldn't take too long, then on to the boiler and pipework.

Thanks to all for the comments and advice.  Nick, I have a boiler feed pump already, albeit handraulically driven.  I did contemplate an engine-driven one, but as this is my first real foray into steam I thought I'd keep it fairly simple to begin with.  And I have no metal working facilities so reproducing George's fine piece of work is a bit beyond me at the moment.  I do plan to try and leave space in my final layout for including an engine-driven pump and water tank, so that could be a future upgrade.

Right, where's those tiny brass screws?

Greg
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