Author Topic: A portable steam engine  (Read 69261 times)

Offline Firebird

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A portable steam engine
« on: July 23, 2012, 09:46:02 PM »
Hi

I started on this project a while ago and progress is being made although its fairly slow. I get side tracked easily and drift off in all sorts of strange directions, mix that with the usual domestic duties and you can see that this will take some time.

The model I am building is based (very loosely) on the Sissons portable engine. A series of articles in the Model engineer magazine in 1999 covered the building of such a model. I believe that only recently a set of castings has become available. I will not be using any castings but intend to fabricate everything myself. I will be building around available materials and I will be including designs from various engines as takes my fancy.

I must give thanks and praise to a man who has given me considerable help and guidance and I think will have to lend a hand many more times before this is finished.

Many thanks Sandy  :cheers:

The Sissons portable engine is a rare beast, not many photos exist of it. The company of Sissons was taken over by another company, J J Seekings. The following photo is of a J J seekings version.



The following video contains a short piece of a J J Seekings portable running, I believe in Australia. I'm sure Tel will correct me if I'm wrong.


What drew me to this model was the boiler design which I felt would be within my curent skill level. I own the magazines that the article was published in so I can show you just a small part of the plans, the boiler. I don't think that showing just a small section of something I own will infringe any copyright but moderators please feel free to remove the image if you see fit.



I originally started this topic on another forum so what follows is just a brief glimpse to bring us back up to date. If anyone needs anything more detailed about any particular section please shout up and I'll do my best to oblige.

My intention is to run this model coal.

The copper tube I am using for the boiler is a piece 4 1/4" diameter x 12" long. This is considerably longer and slightly fatter than the plans called for but I decided there was little point in chopping off a short section which would be a waste. The longer boiler would make for a more substantial model.

I started out by making a few jigs to hold the boiler. A cradle from MDF and some soft wood turned in the lathe.







Here the boiler is having its ends trimmed in the bandsaw, held in the jig.





The 2 boiler end plates were pressed in a punch and die made from some scrap oak.



Annealing the 2 end plates.



In the press



The finished end plates



After a light trim in the lathe they fit perfectly



One hase a hole machined for the firebox tube.



The other has 9 3/8 firetube holes drilled



The firebox is a piece of 2 1/4 " copper tube with 1/8 walls. I made a punch and die to press the firebox tube plate from 1/8 copper plate. It then has 9 corresponding firetube holes drilled



Loosely assembled to check for fit



The cylinder block is being fabricated from a car brake cylinder with a .7" bore. It machines beautifully. A block of steel and a curved section of steel are screwed onto a machined flat with 3 4mm stainless steel countersunk socket head screws



The valve chest is machined from a piece of 1/2" brass bar.



The valve chest cover is made from 1/8" brass and has a steam inlet silver soldered on. I have made a displacement lubricator which screws straight into the steam inlet in the valve chest cover.



I have a small steam valve that I picked up at a steam fair that I will use. It will screw into a bush in the boiler and have a short pipe to connect it to the displacement lubricator.



Well thats pretty much where I am to date. Like I said before if anyone wants more detail about any particular section please shout up.

Cheers

Rich

Offline Dean W

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Re: A portable steam engine
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 10:01:17 PM »
Great looking project, Rich!  I like what I'm seeing here, a lot.
What is the tonnage on your press, and how easy were the end caps to form?  Were you able to form them with just
one annealing step?
I usually make end caps either by using a hammer to beat them over a form, or by roll forming them on the lathe. 
Your pressing method looks like it would be quite a bit quicker than either of those methods. 
Dean
In beautiful N. Idaho, U.S.A.

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Offline Firebird

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Re: A portable steam engine
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 10:21:54 PM »
Hi Dean

Thanks

The press is home made and uses a 6 ton bottle jack. I have used this method of forming end plates before, in fact if you go over to the showcase section and look at my beam engine the boiler iend plates are made the same way. They were formed with one annealing. It doesn't take long to make up the punch and die and the hard wood stands up to it quite well and could be used again. The punch and die were given a liberal coating of a copper based grease which helps greatly.

Cheers

Rich

chuck foster

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Re: A portable steam engine
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2012, 04:22:41 AM »
hi rich

as allways your workmanship is amazing and writups you do are very very informative  :ThumbsUp:

i look forward to the next write up on this build.....................thanks rich  :jumpingsmileys:

chuck



Offline SandCam

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Re: A portable steam engine
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2012, 01:34:32 PM »
 :whoohoo:

Hi Rich,

Thanks for your kind words...  my input to your project is small compared to actually building it but I am always ready to help out in any way I can.

Looking good so far. :cheers:

Best Regards.

Sandy.

Offline Firebird

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Re: A portable steam engine
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2012, 10:12:01 PM »
Hi

Thanks Chuck

Thanks Sandy.

Dean, afew photos of the press







Cheers

Rich

Offline Firebird

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Re: A portable steam engine
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2012, 10:31:15 PM »
Hi

I thought a few photos of the cylinder construction might be useful.

Its a car rear brake cylinder of cast iron with a very good 0.7" bore.

First job is to cut off the unwanted bit



Hold in the 4 jaw and machine the slide valve face



Make up a mandrel that is a good close fit in the bore. Drill and tap 6mm. Part off a bit from the end to make a thick washer then turna shoulder on the mandrel for an O ring to sit on.





Tightening the bolt expands the O ring and grips the cylinder.

Face the two ends



There are 4 unwanted holes, 2 bolt fixing holes and the bleed nipple and brake pipe holes. Drill out and press in some steel.



Re mount in the 4 jaw and face again



Flycut a face on one side



Prepare a bit of 1/2" steel



Hold in the mill vise and cut a radius with a boring bar





I had a bit of steel tube which I machined to match the radius of the boiler. Drill the stud holes on a radius and 3 cntral holes



Cut the piece out of the steel tube and silver solder to the steel block and clean up.



Drill the 3 central holes through the steel block and countersink. Drill and tap 3 corresponding holes in the cylinder and screw it together with stainless steel countersunk cap heads



It fits.



I will use some more from the steel tube to make axle mounts and the like.

Cheers

Rich

Offline zeeprogrammer

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Re: A portable steam engine
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2012, 11:50:15 PM »
Rich!

It's good to see you.

One of the first threads I came across when I started this hobby was your build of a little water pump. I still think about that on occasion and have it in my 'someday do this' project folder.

I also remember the thread where you made the bands that went around an engine to hold the 'wood thingie strips'. (Just for you Marv.)

Sure would like to see a pic again through your windows.

Carl (aka Zee) Will sometimes respond to 'hey' but never 'hey you'.
"To work. To work."
Zee-Another Thread Trasher.

Offline Dean W

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Re: A portable steam engine
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2012, 12:22:17 AM »
Looking good, Rich, and things are fitting up nicely!
Dean
In beautiful N. Idaho, U.S.A.

Shop Projects:
http://www.deansphotographica.com/machining/projects/projects.html

chuck foster

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Re: A portable steam engine
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2012, 01:49:32 AM »
thanks rich for showing the expanding mandrel, i never would have though of making one that way.

chuck

Offline doubletop

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Re: A portable steam engine
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2012, 10:51:58 AM »
The forum is becoming a bit of a reunion. It was Rich's thread that got me onto making my first boiler, and Sandy providing advice and input. It was one of Sandy's boilers I was making. Around the same time we were all enthralled by Zee's entertaining toy loco thread. Then Sandy disappeared, or at least your feedback did, so its good to see you back.

Its getting like a homecoming.

Pete 
?To achieve anything in this game, you must be prepared to dabble on the boundary of disaster.? - Stirling Moss

Offline NickG

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Re: A portable steam engine
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2012, 07:16:34 PM »
This looks a really interesting project Rich, I'll definitely be following, nice work so far!  :ThumbsUp:

Offline Firebird

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Re: A portable steam engine
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2012, 07:45:30 PM »
Hi Thanks gents

Carl, I will have to use the pump to hydraulic test this boiler when the time comes so I'll see if I can dig out some photos.

Cheers

Rich

Offline Firebird

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Re: A portable steam engine
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2012, 08:06:56 PM »
Hi

Heres a photo of the pump I built to hydraulic test my small boiler. I will use it to test this boiler. I have posted some plans and a few more photos over in the engine ancillaries section.



Cheers

Rich

Offline zeeprogrammer

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Re: A portable steam engine
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2012, 11:18:28 AM »
That's the one.

Great photo too. A glimpse through your shop window.  :D
Carl (aka Zee) Will sometimes respond to 'hey' but never 'hey you'.
"To work. To work."
Zee-Another Thread Trasher.