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Author Topic: Solent steam launch build log  (Read 33185 times)

SailorGreg

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2013, 06:06:30 pm »

Looking good Greg, must be getting near time for sea trials....

Well, they're closer now than they were a month ago....   :embarrassed:

And a little more progress is made - I've fitted the prop shaft as I planned, with the angle set by connecting it to the engine then stuffing thickened epoxy around the tube.  I made sure I filled the cavity in the keel under the shaft to prevent an inaccessible little cavity where all the grot and muck could gather.  Of course, I'm not actually planning to have any grot and muck in my nice shiny boat, but I rather suspect some will creep in!  O0



The connection between the prop shaft and the engine is made with a stub of brass rod that is fixed in the flywheel and engages with the universal joint.  I shortened the crankshaft by about 6mm to make room for the rod.  I am sure all the engineers out there will be tutting away as this is clearly not a well thought-out solution and is due to my lack of detailed planning.  Sorry guys, and if it fails on the first outing you can all say I told you so!

I have also fitted the margin plank around the outside of the deck.  This is 2mm thick sapele and is fitted in sections with simple butt joints.  I did briefly contemplate attempting scarph joints but having done some of these at full size I know how difficult it is to get a neat looking join line - mine all ended up wavy or curved to some degree.  So butt joints it is.



Sometimes getting small clamps in place is tricky, so I improvised -



I hope you are all impressed that I tidy my bench before taking photos!   :embarrassed:   I also fitted the boiler supports to the baseplate so I can now reassemble the steam plant - you can see the boiler and engine in situ in the last but one picture.



Once I have put the steam plant back together I can get a better idea of the size and shape of the internal "furniture" - floors, benches and so on.  I am rather designing this on the fly, because although I drew out what I wanted I find it difficult to envisage how much space I'm going to need to get my fingers in to fiddle.  So until the plant is in the boat I won't go final on any internals.  That's next week's job, assuming the grass doesn't grow too quickly  <*<

Happy steaming

Greg

SailorGreg

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2013, 05:22:29 pm »

Well, tempus doesn't half fugit when you're having fun!  Can't believe it's over two weeks since my last post, but I have been getting some stuff done.

First off, I have added the plumbing for the pump.  Without the steam plant in place it looks like this.  The black silicon tubing is the feed to the pump and the brass tube is the return from the bypass valve.  The tubing is just pushed over a standard nipple silver soldered to the pipe.  There is also a nut behind it just in case I ever feel the need to replace the silicon with solidly connected brass tube.



Here is the bypass valve in place and everything connected - apart from the actual feed to the boiler which at the moment is the sealed pipe at the top of the picture.  The feed to the boiler will run up to a loop inside the chimney to heat the water, then back down to the valve in the boiler you see at the bottom of the picture.



I then ran the engine on air to check the pump was working and that I had no leaks.  Everything worked just fine!  This is the first test of George's pump which I have had for some months now, and it ran sweet as anything first time.   :-)) :-)) :-))



The picture shows the return feed operating at full chat.  I should point out that the pipe you see running through the top of the water tank has no function other than ventilation.  The compartment forward of the water tank will be completely sealed once the deck is laid and I have this dislike of completely sealed compartments, so I have put this in to allow a liitle bit of fresh air in.

The next thing I did was to fit the forward floor which will support the gas tank, and veneer the forward bulkhead.  There is a removable panel in the floor that gives access to the joint between the water tank feed pipe and the silicon tube just in case some maintenance is required.  Having allowed for that, it probably won't, but if I sealed it under the floor it undoubtedly would!  O0



I have progressed a little more already, but have no photos as yet.  I'll post a further update in less than 3 weeks - I promise! :embarrassed: :embarrassed: :embarrassed: :embarrassed:

Greg

andywright

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2013, 09:10:24 pm »

Hi Greg, thankyou for your kind comments regarding my launch build, I see you hare getting on well and can see a lot of forward planning and good ideas, look forward to seeing the finished launch.
Regards Andy
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SailorGreg

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2013, 06:16:16 pm »

Hi Andy, thanks for visiting.  As I said right at the beginning, your build helped me a lot to decide what hull to buy, and your finished product looks great.  If you have any tips for decking or finishing, I would love to hear them.

Just a few progress pictures now.  The good(ish) weather has taken me full size sailing so the last few days have been spent getting cold, wet and thoroughly exhilarated!  But the internals are starting to take shape.  This is the rear seat structure and where I plan to locate the batteries -



and here's the card template for the rear seat with the parts cut for it -



The seat and what I will call the port side walkway are in place here.  The servo on this side controls the throttle, while the servo on the unfinished starboard side controls forward/reverse.



I haven't fixed the starboard servo in yet as I need to work out exactly how it will operate the forward/reverse lever.  I know there are ways described in threads elsewhere, and I recall someone using a pin from an electrical plug as a lever, so I'll have to do some digging to find that and any other suggestions.  If someone has a simple, reliable mechanism for converting the servo rotary motion into the TVR1A up/down forward /reverse change, please feel free to leave a detailed drawing here!

I guess there is still a way to go before I actually finish, but I am seeing a faint glimmer at the end of the tunnel.  My only problem is having too many other toys (I know, you can't have too many, and he who dies with the most toys, wins!  :} :} ) plus one or two minor obligations like a marriage, a house, a garden, a car, ..... %% %% %% .

More work planned later next week, so hopefully launch date continues to move closer  :-)) :-))

Greg

Jerry C

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2013, 08:17:22 pm »

Hi Greg. It was me who used the 13amp plug pin. Thread "Jerrys Steam Launch Wear".  Page 5, post #91 including pictures. Still working ok.
Jerry.

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2013, 08:20:35 pm »


Hi Greg, have sent pm, but the following should help.


I fitted a new lever to my TRV bent 90 degrees up on the side of the brass block holding the astern and ahead control arm, the servo was a standard one laid on its side and hidden under a 'storage box', the photos hopefully will be self explanatory .








And yes sailing, caravanning and fishing get in the way of modelling!!!!

 Andy
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pettyofficernick

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2013, 10:09:03 pm »

Jerry's earth pin from 13amp plug works a treat. I am using it on the African Queen......
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SailorGreg

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2013, 08:30:57 am »

Thanks guys - the pictures are great and make it very clear.  (Strangely, I see Jerry's post 91 on page 3 of his log, not page 5 - do different browsers create different page breaks?)

Now to find an unused plug.  I can see many that I have no use for but that opinion might not be shared by the boss!   %)

Greg

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2013, 08:35:51 am »

Curling tongs, hairdryers and hair straighteners are a good source of earth pins......
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Jerry C

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2013, 08:53:37 am »

And she can't punish you with them after. Possible reason for page change is that I have newest post on top?  Still, you found it. Looking good anyway.
Jerry.

SailorGreg

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2013, 09:23:28 am »

Ah yes - I have the posts in chronological order.  That would explain it.

Greg

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #36 on: May 28, 2013, 10:05:03 am »

Hi Greg

I have just found your build log and have enjoyed the lot - nice job.
I am becoming more and more steam curious every year.

Dave
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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #37 on: May 28, 2013, 10:58:58 am »

I am becoming more and more steam curious every year.

Ha, ha!  "Steam curious."  Nice way to put it and I understand the feeling completely  :embarrassed:

Good build log too! :-))
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Jerry C

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2013, 10:59:59 am »

Aye, yeh canna wack it!
Jerry.

SailorGreg

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2013, 11:07:30 pm »

I have a small confession to make.  I am one of those who keeps almost anything because the day might come when it will come in useful.  That is why I have a garage and workshop full of pieces of wood, jars of nuts, bolts, screws and various odd thingummies, various pieces of pipe, plastic and metal - well, you get the picture.   ;)

Well, I was idly sorting through one of my boxes of bits when I found this -



which after a few minutes with hacksaw and files became this -



See!  Told you it would come in useful!   {-) {-) {-)   For those who are puzzled by this, it will become the lever that operates the forward/reverse linkage as fitted by Jerry to his engine and referred to a few posts back.  Haven't fitted it to the engine yet, but now I know how I'm going to work that particular function and I have fixed the servo mount in place to do that.  I have also finished the basic structure of the port side walkway and the hump that hides the throttle servo. 





I have started the structure on the starboard side which will hold the forward/reverse servo now that I have fixed its position.



All this internal structure is just a matter of deciding what I want, cutting card templates to fit, making the pieces and gluing them together and finding a way to hold them in place (since I will need to remove them to get to the servos).

And I am still "steam curious" since I have never run a steam boat in my life!  But the day will come...... :-)

Greg

SailorGreg

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #40 on: May 30, 2013, 11:19:16 pm »

Well, that's odd.  When I tried to post the reply above, there was a worryingly long pause followed by a message telling me there was a connection error, couldn't contact the database, blah blah blah.  >>:-( I've had a few of these when just visiting the site, but this is the first time when posting a reply.

So I swore a little, thinking I'd lost the message and decided to go to bed.  But when I went back to the forum - there was my post!  So the system lied to me.  Grrr!  <*< I think I will copy and save future posts before trying to send them especially if they are quite long.  That way if the system does do the dirty on me I can recover both my composure and composition quite quickly.

Happy sailing!

Greg

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #41 on: May 30, 2013, 11:32:20 pm »

You are making a first class job of her Greg;  :-))  never thought of saving pins from old plugs; think of all that usable brass I have binned. {-)

derekwarner

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #42 on: May 31, 2013, 01:03:48 am »

& Sailorgreg says......... "I have a small confession to make.  I am one of those who keeps almost anything because the day might come when it will come in useful"
I don't think your JC on the cross there Greg...... {-) ...your timber work is looking good too  :-)) ........Derek
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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2013, 09:17:38 am »

I do that too, then when you want it, it will be buried under everything else you have kept in case they become useful, I know I have a chop saw -- somewhere.
Grendel
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SailorGreg

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #44 on: June 10, 2013, 11:20:14 am »

Thanks to everyone for the interest and comments.  It's encouraging to know that you are following this.  :-))

Progress continues.  I made some floorboards for the areas that might be walked on in a full size boat.  I admit that I did this because it was an easier option than doing a proper decking job for the floor.  I had some holly from a neighbour's tree I took down a little while ago, and made the floorboards out of this.  The construction is pretty obvious from the picture - a simple jig with a couple of cross pieces held in place with double sided tape and the other pieces glued across them, spaced with a spare length.



Here is the section for the seating area in place -



Holly is a lovely smooth white wood and I am tempted to leave them with a clear finish.  However, operating a steam plant next to them will probably mean they get a bit mucky, so I'll grit my teeth and paint them shortly.  Here is a general shot of the boat with the floorboards in place.



Next I completed the box that hides the forward/reverse servo -



Obviously I still need to cut a slot in this so the connection to the engine can be made.  I am holding most of my removable sections in place with small magnets glued in strategic positions -



with a washer or similar spare piece of steel glued to the removable bit in the appropriate place.  I found that if I let the magnet actually contact the steel, it held on very tight and removal was sometimes a struggle.  I positioned the magnets so there was a small air gap (about 1mm or a bit less) between the magnet and the piece when it was in position.  This seems to work well to keep everything in place but allows fairly easy removal.

The next bit was to start thinking about the deck.  I put a thin piece of the holly along the centre of the foredeck (and intend to put some along the gunwhales as well when I get there) and fixed the first planks each side of this.  I then began cutting the other planks to fit.



As the decking will form the top of my water tank, I had been pondering how I could seal the underside of the deck planks.  Obviously once the deck is laid there is no way I can get inside the tank to seal them.  Instead I superglued the planks to each other but not the deck beams so I ended up with a removable section.



I can now coat the underside of the deck sections and then glue them in place.

Well, that's it for the moment.  Next on my list is some more decking, making the control connections between the servos and the engine and fitting my oil trap/condenser to the steam plant.  I keep thinking I'm getting there, then look at the list of things still to do!  I am coming round to the idea that I will finish the boat functionally, put some minimum protection on the wood then try running it.  I want to do a nice paint job on the hull of course, and add some tiddly brass bits here and there, but my impatience to actually see the boat operating is growing.  A few corners might be cut, at least in the short term!   :} :}

Greg

Jerry C

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2013, 09:03:48 am »

Reference the finish, I used gloss varnish with 2 or 3 coats of sanding sealer ( shellac) first. In use I've found very little mess from the motor and any I do get just wipes off with kitchen roll and brings back the shine. If you're going the satin finish route the same applies. Every few weeks I remove the plant and just give her a wash inside and out with flash and a paintbrush. Just go easy near the servos and Rx. She's looking great by the way. Wet your finger and wipe it on the wood will tell you what colour she'll be.
Jerry.

SailorGreg

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #46 on: June 11, 2013, 11:17:08 am »

Thanks for that Jerry.  I'll certainly try that.  I don't know why I keep thinking there will be mess everywhere - there hasn't been when I have run the engine so far, so why should there be in the boat?  If it works for you I am sure it will work for me!

Greg

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #47 on: June 17, 2013, 06:58:23 pm »

I've been pressing on with the decking.  Now that we are seeing the odd sunny day, I took the opportunity a few days ago to bring the boat outside.  This was the state of play at that time.



The decks are just about finished, with the exception of the two fiddly shaped pieces where the foredeck and side decks meet.  As I put the deck in place, I knew I would end up with these odd-shaped gaps and I had been wondering how I was going to get a piece to fit precisely.  This is how I did it (the pictures show a similar piece towards the stern).  First, I placed a thin piece of paper over the space and ran the side of a pencil lead along the edges of the planks already in place.





I stuck this tracing to some stout card and cut out the shape.  Once the card piece was trimmed to an acceptable fit I stuck that to a piece of planking and cut that out.  I always erred on the large side, then gradually "crept up" on the final fit by sanding and checking, sanding and checking.



That bit fits OK, although there is an annoying gap at the left of the picture, and it's not the only one - I guess some filling will be required.

Once the deck was complete I used a Stanley knife blade to scrape the planks to produce a nice smooth, even surface.  Scraping is way better than sanding as it removes material more quickly, doesn't produce nearly as much fine dust, and is also (for me at least) a more satisfying process than rubbing a piece of paper over the wood. 



I put a wood plug in the water tank filler - the last thing I want is sawdust being fed into my boiler!

I have also fitted the oil trap to the steam plant, which was just a matter of drilling a couple of holes and making up the pipework.  I still need to clad that to match the boiler.  I know there are some who say you shouldn't clad it because you actually want to lose heat there to encourage some steam to condense, but I am going to because I want it to look the part.   O0

Well, that's it for the moment.  The nice thing about getting the decks on is that it now looks like a finished boat.  I know it's not, but I feel I have passed a milestone.   :-) :-)

Greg

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #48 on: June 18, 2013, 01:18:44 am »

Looking good  :-))

SailorGreg

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Re: Solent steam launch build log
« Reply #49 on: June 26, 2013, 01:20:02 pm »

The next bit that I had been puzzling about was fitting the coaming around the deck.  I had assumed all along that I would need to steam some wood to get the fairly tight bends at the forward end -



so I dug out an old deep fat fryer I had been saving for just such an eventuality, made a lid from marine ply and fitted a piece of plastic drainpipe to it.  With the water boiling away and a good supply of steam coming out, I dropped a piece of wood into the pipe and put an old pudding basin over it to keep the steam in.  I didn't try and seal anything, as I wasn't keen on getting up too much pressure  ;) .



I seemed to remember a rule of thumb for steaming of one hour for each inch of thickness.  My wood was about 1/16" thick, so I reckoned ten minutes should do it.  I had already prepared a mould shaped like the front end of the cockpit so I popped the wood into it and started to push it into shape.  Little splintering sounds gave me a clue that all was not well.



So I tried again and gave it a bit over 20 minutes this time.



Success!  I know mahogany-type timbers aren't ideal for steam bending, but this went into shape with a little bit of persuasion  <*< <*< .  I should say that the plastic pipe got very soft and I had to support it for a while to prevent it leaning over too far.  Next time (if there is a next time) I will provide some sort of support structure for it - or perhaps make a steam box out of wood.

I have also made up the rear hatch.  Having done it, I feel it is too big for the boat and looks clumsy, but I made it that size so I could get my fingers inside to the rudder workings.  Oh well, next time.....!  :embarrassed: :embarrassed:



And now a question for the steam engineers out there.  When I tried to silver solder a nipple to the inlet of my oil trap, I couldn't get the pipe/nipple hot enough, however long I held the torch on it - the silver solder never ran into the joint.  I put a connector on the outlet with no trouble, but despite several attempts I could not get the solder to flow at the inlet.  The best I got was a lump of solder attached to the nipple.  I am confident the joint was clean and fluxed properly (at least, I did it the same way I have done all the others), so I guess the rest of the metal was acting as a heat sink - but in that case, why did the outlet one go fine?



You can see the outlet at the top that appears to have soldered fine, but the inlet just has an ugly lump of solder that won't flow.  The nipple is still loose on the pipe.  Any ideas?  I might just revert to a piece of silicon tubing for this bit if I can't figure it out.

Apart from that little wrinkle, slow but steady progress.  Once the coaming is fitted I need to put some gunwhales round the hull, then that is just about it for the woodwork.  You never, know, I might just get steaming before Christmas!

Greg

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