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Author Topic: side lever engine cira 1840s  (Read 1720 times)

daves

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side lever engine cira 1840s
« on: October 02, 2018, 03:19:36 PM »

my plan is to build a working scale model of this engine run on an air pump. The problem is having to back engineer the engine from the following plans which can be seen here

https://www.shipsofscale.com/sosforums/index.php?threads/marine-steam-engines-and-boilers.2272/

The problem is not knowing where all the parts go and exactly what they are. It is like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle with the picture face down.

the plan is to redraw the original plans in CAD then convert those drawings to a 3D print file

the engine was used in the first steam frigate Mississippi built in the US it was the one and only engine of its type used. However this type engine was common in the UK.

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Martin [Admin]

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2018, 03:56:47 PM »


WoW! Interesting project!    :o

What scale / size are you planning?

 Martin

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steamboatmodel

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2018, 03:59:38 PM »


The major problem is that the plans are of a full size engine of 1840's design. I suggest that you find plans for a simple model engine of similar looking design and then fudge to fit and paint to match it similar to the original engine. There was a model of one of the civil war monitor engines that was done, it may give you some ideas.
Gerald. 
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daves

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2018, 04:27:44 PM »


WoW! Interesting project!    :o

What scale / size are you planning?

 Martin



the scale planned is 1:32 scale at this scale I can include detail right down to the nuts and bolts
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daves

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2018, 04:41:15 PM »

The major problem is that the plans are of a full size engine of 1840's design. I suggest that you find plans for a simple model engine of similar looking design and then fudge to fit and paint to match it similar to the original engine. There was a model of one of the civil war monitor engines that was done, it may give you some ideas.
Gerald.

you are correct the plans are actually of the original engine and some of them are 5 feet long.
Here is the issue the complete plan is to build the entire ship which I have about 78 drawings of the ship the engine and boiler. It is a static model about 8 feet long at 1:32 scale. To build the model as historically correct as possible I have to use the original engine drawings. What is missing is all the piping and fittings from the boiler to the engine. That is a total guess.

What is lacking are isometric drawings of the complete engine front, side, top and bottom views so there is no way of knowing what the complete engine looks like.

I am starting with the engine because that is the hardest part of this build, If I can not assemble the engine the rest of the project is a mute point. Making the engine move with an air pump was an added thought and really not part of the original building plan. That is way harder than I imagined.
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daves

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2018, 04:59:04 PM »

I am a model shipwright and have no problem building ships what I am not is a steam engineer
here is the base plate my question is in the center it looks like a well but what is the blue area? is that solid iron?
looking close there is a double dotted line on the top of the bed plate indicating the blue area runs down the center with the square and the circle to the right over the well

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daves

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2018, 05:17:53 PM »

this seems to be what is sitting on that square over the well, I figured that because the square and the box is the same size. What does it do?
the red area in the drawing is the CAD tracing being done.
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tonyH

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2018, 09:50:40 PM »

I don't know whether this gives anymore insight but Robert Napier was the one who started side lever engines for the Royal Navy in the 1830's.
Good Luck
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derekwarner_decoy

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2018, 11:00:22 PM »

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Martin [Admin]

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2018, 11:36:29 PM »


Also this search: 
https://tinyurl.com/yby94yv2
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daves

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2018, 04:05:58 PM »

what struck my interest in this ship model project is the mechanical beauty.

this is an engine I went to visit the lever is at the top rather than the side but the frame work of the engine is the same style.

The most difficult aspect of this build is not finding the original plans or drawing scale modeling plans or even
3D printing the parts it is the research and finding someone who knows how this engine is built, connected to the water intake and boiler system.

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daves

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2018, 04:17:11 PM »

and a few more pictures

what makes a build like this is the fine details of the nuts and bolts and the piping, the valves and the boilers.

another thought on the project is to up the scale and build a cross section of the engine room.

I did Email both the Science museum and the maritime museum in the UK because this is where the marine steam engine was invented. You would think the admiralty collection of plans would have working drawings of the early side lever engines. UNLESS all these engines were privately built and there are no drawings in museum collections. I also tried model engineering groups but it is a rare bird to find anyone who knows how to assemble such and engine circa 1840

in the US steam engine advanced at a super rate around the 1860s it was river boats and the civil war and the iron clad that pushed the technology forward.

this engine was a one off one of a kind the very first steam engine in a war ship and that is what makes it so difficult to track down information. This engine technology is basic of all steam powered engines but it is technology of the 1830s almost 25 to 30 years before the steam revolution of the 1860s

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daves

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2018, 04:40:24 PM »

I don't know whether this gives anymore insight but Robert Napier was the one who started side lever engines for the Royal Navy in the 1830's.
Good Luck



Robert Napier is the man indeed NOW I wonder what happened to all his drawings and records? Are they tucked away in a museum somewhere or in private hands or are they in the admiralty plan collection?

I also wonder if the royal shipyards had a "steam crew" who built and installed the engines OR was that a job that was privately contracted out? Once all the pieces and parts were made where they sent to the shipyard?
I know from research the US Navy had no one employed by the navy to build a steam engine that was contracted out. Later as steam became a standard in ships the navy did establish a steam department.
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tonyH

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2018, 05:47:44 PM »

Hi Daves,
I got the initial info from a web site Graces Guide  https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Main_Page which is a great source for archive copies of various engineering periodicals from the 1850's onwards. It's possible that there is further info in there somewhere. Also, and since they were Scottish, the data could be got through the National Archives for Scotland or Glasgow University, both of whom have lots of stuff!I'm going down to the Greenwich Archives early next month so I'll ask the question if you wish.
Tony
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daves

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2018, 07:44:59 PM »

Hi Daves,
I got the initial info from a web site Graces Guide  https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Main_Page which is a great source for archive copies of various engineering periodicals from the 1850's onwards. It's possible that there is further info in there somewhere. Also, and since they were Scottish, the data could be got through the National Archives for Scotland or Glasgow University, both of whom have lots of stuff!I'm going down to the Greenwich Archives early next month so I'll ask the question if you wish.
Tony

the link to the original plans I posted at the beginning are all public domain so feel free to copy any of them as a reference to show.
if you would inquire as to where one would get information on how these early gothic engines were built and how they operated that is the plumbing to and from a boiler.

I am working on the CAD modeling plans and once I have them all drawn I will be glad to share them.
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daves

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2018, 07:48:14 PM »

in the picture DS4 I wonder if that box the engine is sitting on is a water tank.
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grendel

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2018, 08:29:48 PM »

there must be some similar engines knocking about in some of the steam museums around and about and the valve gear cant be that different, from that valve gear the steam piping should be able to be worked out, like this one at a local steam railway
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grendel

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2018, 08:34:55 PM »

have you thought of searching patents so see if there are any by napier for this engine, or the steam valve gear
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JimG

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2018, 11:39:36 AM »

There is a set of preserved side lever engines, ex tug, at Renfrew, near Glasgow. You could try getting in touch with the Renfrew museum to see if they have any details.Also the National Maritime Museum used to have a side lever paddle engine on display beside the hull of a paddle tug. Unfortunately not there now after 'modernisation''. You could however try getting in touch with them as they should have detail although drawings seem to be rather expensive.
Jim
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grendel

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2018, 01:34:36 PM »

another thought would be to see if they have any plans at the former naval dockyard at Chatham (UK)
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tonyH

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2018, 02:01:28 PM »

This might give impetus to the working side :-))


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-LAOhWedgw
[/size][/color]
[/size]Tony[/color]
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daves

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2018, 03:44:02 PM »

I have 90% of the main gothic style frame drawn in autocad and almost ready for 3D modeling. When I get the model ready of the frame I will post it.

now I am working on the condenser first I need to study it and understand it then from the drawings figure out how to assemble it

that well on the bottom of the bed plate is called the hot well and that is where the condensed water goes and from there pumped back to the boiler.

X sections of the first steam ships is quite fascinating it kind of mashes "steampunk" with model ship building it also takes model ship building to a level of model engineering. love it   %%
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southsteyne2

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2018, 12:28:20 AM »

Quite fascinating just wondering what material will you use ?
CheersJohn
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daves

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Re: side lever engine cira 1840s
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2018, 02:52:19 PM »

Quite fascinating just wondering what material will you use ?
CheersJohn


as I draw the engine I keep jumping from one idea to another for example

if I can get ALL the inner parts correct I thought of a clear resin This would be a larger scale X section of the ship and I could use that fake smoke model railroaders use or a vaper liquid and blow it through the engine to look like steam. quite an ambitious idea.

3D printing offers all kinds of materials even tough enough resins and plastics I could actually make the engine and paddle wheel move
with compressed air

or the easy way and just 3D print a static hollow model just for looks.

there are no models of these gothic style engines because I think years ago there was no way of producing the elaborate columns, arches and moldings without a model, a mold and casting. Today with 3D modeling and printing it is now possible. Now once the parts have been modeled a print can be done and used as a master to make a mold and cast the parts.

it is typical to see the same sailing ships done over and over while the early steam ships were overlooked. My guess is because you had to be a model engineer to machine the parts. Now kits can actually be made for static engines and boilers and a growing interest in this era of ships is coming about.
I have been at this project for a year now and have not made the first part yet.
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