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Author Topic: Bringing a steam engine back from the dead  (Read 10059 times)


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Re: Bringing a steam engine back from the dead
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2009, 02:19:09 AM »

It is now time to fit everything together that had been modified or remade.

So I worked out a good position for the new holes to go into the cylinders for holding the new brass covers, and they were duly drilled and tapped.
The covers were then marked up for drilling, and I shortened some small headed 8BA bolts to hold them together.

Luckily, all the holes lined up, so they were bolted together.
Unfortunately at times like this, something comes over me, and I just couldn't resist a bit of bling.

The original inlet and exhaust pipes just didn't look right on this newly rebuilt engine, so I made a new pair. It just so happened, they brushed against the buffing wheel by themselves.
BTW, you can use either tube for air in on oscillators like this, and also piston valve engines, but not slide valves. All that happens is the engine runs in the opposite direction.

I also discovered that the control valve casting got smoothed off and gained a shine, all by itself. I must do a good search in the shop, and get rid of all these bling fairies.

Time to make some cylinder gaskets.
A few years ago, I discovered PTFE sheet material in the US, I tried everywhere to find the same thing here in the thicknesses I wanted, to no avail. It is now available here, but in limited thicknesses.
This stuff is perfect for what I want to do. I have even used the thicker sheet as head gasket material on IC engines, and never had a failure. It is also completely reuseable. It will seal time after time.

So using 0.005" thickness PTFE, and a few basic tools and jigs, I soon had some made up.

The customer also wanted to know if I could make him an oil and water trap. This is getting it ready to have the base silver soldered on, from the inside.
I always try to solder from the inside, even the exhaust pipe above was done that way. It saves hours of clean up time. By the time I had finished this, there wasn't anything on the outside other than perfectly formed fillets, that needed no cleaning off at all. Straight onto the buffer for a polish.

So the engine is now rebuilt, cleaned up, and ready for trying out and adjusting.

Back of the assembled engine.

And now the front.

I finished off the oil and water trap as well.

And just to prove that a scrapper can be brought back to life.

As I have shown, there is usually a way where almost anything can be rescued. This time it was mainly silver solder that was the cure, to get the castings back to almost original, so that they could be remachined. All it takes is a little experience, and taking a gamble with what you are doing.

Most rescues are like this, but sometimes you have to admit defeat because of materials they are made from, or they have just gone too far. All you can do is hope the next one goes a little better.

A quickie clean up in the shop, and I am ready for my next project.

I have five radial engines to make for a display I am doing, plus rebuild and repair one of my own for the same show. I have six weeks in which to do it.

These are the radials I will be making, but starting with a single cylinder one, then 2, 3, 4 and 5 cylinders.

So rather busy for the next few weeks.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of what some of us get up to in our own workshops.



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Re: Bringing a steam engine back from the dead
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2009, 09:25:28 AM »


Thanks for doing this thread, its really good to see what can be done.

The rubbing face you refer to may be known as a thrust face, or thrust bearing as it takes up any axial forces that would otherwise cause the shaft to move along its axis. The inner big end also has a thrust bearing function, as it absorbs any axial forces that would drive the shaft in that direction.

Hope this is clear?

if at first you dont succeed.....have a beer.....


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Re: Bringing a steam engine back from the dead
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2009, 09:33:46 AM »

Excellent thread. Thanks again for putting it up.



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Re: Bringing a steam engine back from the dead
« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2009, 09:40:03 AM »

Bogstandard a superb and incredibly interesting thread.  Not only does it demonstrate your amazing machining skills but it also provides inspiration and ideas for the rest of us to aspire to.

Very many thanks for taking the considerable amount of time required to put this together and sharing it with us.
"Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack, Butting through the Channel in the mad March days"


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Re: Bringing a steam engine back from the dead
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2009, 07:12:54 PM »

Hi Bogs, a brilliant thread & an inspiration to us all. model engineering at its very best!! Thank you for taking the time to explain & illustrate it so well.  Even i understood it
Many thanks Glenn


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Re: Bringing a steam engine back from the dead
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2009, 09:42:30 PM »

Many thanks for the good comments gents.

I would just like to add, even though this engine is rather poor in the casting and plans department, if a little care and thought is used, it can be made into a very useful engine.

For under 80 squid, with very little machining time, you could end up with an engine that would most probably be in the 250 to 300 squid range.

IMHO it would have about the same power and operating range of a Puffin engine.

So really, even though I shouted it down, it does fit in very well with the normal sorts of steam boats that people make.

If someone were to follow my methods of machining after all the silver soldering, and made the modified parts that needed it, I don't think you would have any problems in getting it to run very well.

I should buy a few of the kits, and bang them out, once you are set up for one, it is easy to make half a dozen. A weeks spare time work and they would be finished.

Maybe a good little earner for someone.

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