Author Topic: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration  (Read 12179 times)

Offline Rivergypsy

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Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« on: August 21, 2014, 01:29:31 PM »
That well know auction site has done it again; I'm now the proud owner (to be) of a Plenty & Son marine engine.It's not strictly a model with it being nearly 4' tall, but it's not that big in full size terms, so I thought I'd drop a post on here for a couple of reasons.

Firstly I was hoping that someone here might have some more information on the company and their engines. and secondly would anyone like me to document the rebuild here? The aim is to measure it all up, model it in SW, and then work out what's missing and both model and machine the parts...















And a restored one - fingers crossed this one turns out as well!





Online b.lindsey

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2014, 01:45:02 PM »
Aside from a little rust here and there, it looks to be in good shape overall. That should make for a fine restoration and I would be interested to see the progress.

Bill

Offline sshire

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2014, 02:10:25 PM »
I'd love to see the restoration. The challenge seems to be that you have no (at this point) drawings. The process should be fascinating.
Best,
Stan

Offline ShopShoe

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2014, 02:16:37 PM »
I would also like to see the progress documented and posted. I am especially interested in how you draw what you have and engineer the missing parts.

Sometimes it's fun to see larger projects.

--ShopShoe

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2014, 02:31:03 PM »
I'd like to follow progress too.

Grace's has some info on the company

http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Plenty_and_Son

Online Dave Otto

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2014, 02:42:46 PM »
I would also love to see it!

Dave

Offline philjoe5

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2014, 02:49:59 PM »
I'm interested as well.  I'll be looking in from time to time  :popcorn:

Cheers,
Phil
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Offline tvoght

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2014, 02:53:54 PM »
It would be interesting to see the restore.

--Tim

Offline Rivergypsy

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2014, 03:41:23 PM »
Hi,

Many thanks for the replies, and so I'll post updates as I go. It's not going to be a fast job as there's models going on as well, but it'll get there  :naughty:

I should be collecting it next week, so first job is an initial measure before the spanner twirling commences. Now, time to invest in an engine hoist, or risk becoming a regular at the hernia clinic??  :ROFL:

Cheers
Dave

Offline smfr

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2014, 04:32:21 PM »
Me too! It's always interesting to see the "full size" versions of things we do on models, and generally how similar they are!

Simon

Offline tangler

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2014, 06:30:48 PM »
Dave,

Plenty still exist as part of the SPX operation.  They continue to have a presence in Newbury, though into waterworks and oil field type pumps and mixers now.  My brother in law worked for them a for a bit about 25 years ago.

I'd also like to see the restoration - don't forget to draw it up for a 1/3 scale model  8)

Cheers,

Rod

Offline Jonfb64

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2014, 07:29:20 PM »
Go for it :popcorn:

Don't forget lots of pics

Jon

Offline kev

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2014, 07:33:17 PM »
oh yes please this looks mega interesting

Offline EASy

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2014, 07:45:56 PM »
She's a beauty. I too would absolutely love to see the restoration.... please!

Andrew

Offline Maryak

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2014, 10:07:17 PM »
Dave,

Please do share the restoration with us.  :ThumbsUp: :popcorn:

Best Regards
Bob
Если вы у Тетушки были яйца, она была бы Дядюшкой

Offline zeeprogrammer

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2014, 10:29:44 PM »
I'm in too. Very interested.  :popcorn:
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Online steamer

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2014, 11:24:22 PM »
OH yea!    did restoration on a 750 HP version...though Not Plenty & Sons!...


This one makes me think of the "Ena" Bob! :ThumbsUp:


Dave
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Offline Rivergypsy

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2014, 09:07:29 AM »
LOL, I'll be posting updates for sure then, and many thanks for all the interest ;D

Rod - many thanks for the SPX link! I'd been searching for what felt like an eternity and hadn't come across that one, so I'll be getting in touch shortly to see what their archives hold - fingers crossed for some hidden gems...

Third scale plans? Well once it's modelled in SW there's a nice little button on the mold tools drop-down with 'scale' on it, so I'm sure something can be arranged  :naughty:

Offline Rivergypsy

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2014, 09:08:56 AM »
Steamer - which 750hp did you get to play with? It's making mine feel like a learning toy...  :'(

Offline Rivergypsy

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2014, 09:37:06 AM »
Wooohooo! We may be getting a good result here - SPX think they may be able to help! Thanks again Rod  :whoohoo:

Offline Maryak

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2014, 10:05:59 AM »
OH yea!    did restoration on a 750 HP version...though Not Plenty & Sons!...


This one makes me think of the "Ena" Bob! :ThumbsUp:


Dave

Yes similar except for the straight columns on Dave's engine.

We had/have the engine and dynamo engines from the steam dredge South Australian which were kept when she was converted to diesel. This engine also has angled round columns but is a triple, I'm guessing somewhere around 500 IHP.

Best Regards
Если вы у Тетушки были яйца, она была бы Дядюшкой

Online steamer

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2014, 10:08:23 AM »
Steamer - which 750hp did you get to play with? It's making mine feel like a learning toy...  :'(

Came out of the Tug "Pegasus"...also known as the Saucony #5

It was built in New York....can't remember the Yard...they built the engine too.

3 years that took!....with 15 people...including my then girlfriend now Wife Anna

Dave

That's me...second from the left....needed one guy on the throttle as it had been modified and was no longer balanced...and at 20 psi would pick you up off the ground!...

19.5 x 39.5 x 30 If I recall correctly....no piston rings on the HP piston or piston valve!...9" diameter journals on the crank.

A 100 HP Seabury Triple that we restored also....closer in size to yours.




« Last Edit: August 22, 2014, 10:46:32 AM by steamer »
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Offline tangler

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2014, 10:55:08 AM »
Wooohooo! We may be getting a good result here - SPX think they may be able to help! Thanks again Rod  :whoohoo:

 :ThumbsUp:

Rod

Offline Rivergypsy

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2014, 02:30:01 PM »
Well that SPX link has done the trick! The guys there sent through photos of one of their engines that sits in the yard, plus put me onto the Berkshire records office who held the company records. The office have just replied with the Plenty info, and searching based on bore & stroke gives a choice of six engines, so now to cross reference those to the document list :):)

Beautiful engines, Steamer - thanks for the photos! Where are they now?

Offline Rivergypsy

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2014, 02:30:54 PM »
Btw, these are the choices:-

655    [La Mode]    [Passenger launch]   12/1883 03/1884 [A]    Bona, Reading, [Berks]          6 + 6 x 6   195
673    Shuttlecock   [Passenger ferry]    07/1884 10/1884    Waterman Bros, Devonport, [Devon]    6 + 6 x 6    242
681                   04/1885 08/1885    Spencer Addison, [Maldon, Essex]    6 + 6 x 6    220
1700 Marian       [Pleasure launch]   12/1900 04/1901    Hobbs & Son, Henley, [Oxon]       6 + 6 x 6    292
1713 [Windsor Belle]    [Pleasure steamer]   04/1901 07/1901    W Jacobs, Windsor, [Berks]       6 + 6 x 6    265
1934                   10/1905 12/1905    G Rennie & Co, Greenwich, [London]    6 + 6 x 6    287


Online steamer

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2014, 04:07:42 PM »
Well that SPX link has done the trick! The guys there sent through photos of one of their engines that sits in the yard, plus put me onto the Berkshire records office who held the company records. The office have just replied with the Plenty info, and searching based on bore & stroke gives a choice of six engines, so now to cross reference those to the document list :):)

Beautiful engines, Steamer - thanks for the photos! Where are they now?

Mystic Seaport Museum....at least they were!.....Never know with museums lately.

Dave
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Damned ijjit!

Offline geoff_p

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2014, 04:30:17 PM »
For what it's worth: there was always a great competition in Newbury to get an apprenticeship with Plenty. One of my school-chums was lucky enough to get a place.  At the end of it he received his First Class Machinist papers and his cards,  The manager told him to go away and get some experience with other companies after which Plenty & Son would welcome him back.  He always said that after Plenty, the other companies tolerances seemed wide-open and sloppy - he being used to tenths of thous.

When I used to cycle past, their yard was full of rusting casting.  Duncan later told me they would rough-machine each piece, then set the castings outside to "weather" (stress-relief the natural way) for two to three years before performing the finish machining.

Geoff
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Offline mikemill

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2014, 09:30:33 AM »
There is a three cylinder version for sale on ebay, could be good for referance on the restoration, or purchace only 7000!!!

Mike

Offline Rivergypsy

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2014, 09:57:43 AM »
Hi Mike,

Yes I saw that one, and whilst there was no way I could swing that sort of money on the domestic front, it did help to justify the purchase price of this one - 'It's an investment, hon; have a look at this one...'  :Lol:

Geoff - many thanks for that, and good to know how they company were regarded. From personal experience I always found that apprentices would leave after they'd qualified as they were often regarded as the junior for a long time if not, but its a good recommendation on Plenty that they should go back later. I really should have the patience for this sort of ageing too, but the lure of getting a cutter onto the casting is normally too hard to ignore!

Offline Rivergypsy

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2014, 01:25:32 PM »
OK, it's brain picking time here. The engine's finally home and whilst i need to invest in a crane for the cylinder block, the rest is all manageable. Domestically it caused a few 'interesting' chats, but it's lovely to have.

Before I blow the bottom end of the end apart completely I'm just picking over a few details, and one of these is the aft main bearing, which I think is a thrust bearing too. The centre and forward mains have a small, single wick oil pot:-


Whereas the aft has a larger two wick pot with two additional bores:-


And when it's opened up shows a pair of rings on the crank and matching grooves in the bedplate:-


And there are also a pair of steel shims under the cap which i think are later additions:-


So what I'm thinking is that there would be a white metal lining poured into the bedplate & cap to mates with the rings on the crank so that the engine didn't require a separate thrust box. The two wicks in the oil box would lubricate the sides of the bearing, but as to what the two other holes in the oil box are for? Also, if this is a thrust box, then how would it have been cooled?

Any thoughts gratefully received, please!  :headscratch:

Oh, and a couple of gratuitous Plenty photos that I found ;D





Online steamer

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2014, 03:01:31 PM »
4 holes for the 4 bearing surfaces
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Offline Rivergypsy

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2014, 04:28:38 PM »
DOH! :facepalm: Thanks for that!

What do you think about the white metal lining, Steamer?

Online steamer

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2014, 04:42:43 PM »
Babbit is the way to go with these bearings...   It's old, but it works!...

These engines were designed to be worked hard all day, you can count on it.   It's finding someone who can do it is the challenge.  Those are poured bearings...not machined.    You may be able to use the crank as the core.  Keep the shims, you will need them for the pour, and to take up wear later.

Dave
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Damned ijjit!

Offline Maryak

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #33 on: September 04, 2014, 03:43:56 AM »
Hi Guys,

Babbit............. now there's some good old fashioned technology......love it. OK not trying to teach you to suck eggs but there are quite a range of babbit metals and a lot of the formulae used in the good old days are no longer made today and the cost of making a batch for such a small one off is absolutely prohibitive. Maybe you can find the  formula but without the drawings, almost impossible.

Probably the cheapest option would be to buy a bar, (ingot), of say ASTM No.5 Babbit and pour with that. I would recommend that you make up dummy cores etc. because for a successful pour the elements involved need to be preheated so that the Babbit does not contract too rapidly and lose its properties and integrity. Lastly cleanliness is next to godliness where the Babbit meets the backing material and tinning the backing material with plumbers solder is very helpful in getting good integration.

HTH

Best Regards
Bob

Edit: I've been thinking, (always dangerous), but where to go to get help? Looks to me like you are in UK so I would suggest your nearest, (not that anywhere is that far away!), vintage car club,your local crane maintenance depot or your local underground mining location. Why the last 2? Because the ends of the wireropes are normally fitted into a knuckle which is in turn held to the wire by whitemetal poured into the knuckle amongst the evenly spread out strands of the wirerope. Lastly there may still be some expertise around from those involved with aircraft carrier arrester gear or working steam engine museums.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 05:54:38 AM by Maryak »
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Offline Jasonb

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2014, 07:54:08 AM »
I wonder if the two holes in teh bearing cap were to pour the white metal as it would be a job to try and stand the engine on end or dam it up so you could pour from the side. Once cooled the cap could be lifted and the while metal drilled out to take two more wick tubes. As it is now if you filled it with oil it would all want to flow down the two lower holes leaving little for the wicks to draw down the tubes.

Alec Tiranti do bars of white metal, also ask around teh stationary engine (hit & miss type ) guys as quite a few of those are white metalled.


http://www.tiranti.co.uk/EdgeImpactShop/subcatdivision.php?Division=524&Content=Bearing+Metal+
J

Offline Rivergypsy

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2014, 08:03:25 AM »
Dave, Bob - many thanks on the advice. I've never poured bearings before, so I'll have to have a good bit of research and some practise runs before I go for the main job.

Jason - many thanks for the advice and link too. I did a double check of those holes last night, and they are both larger than the tube/wick holes, and also burred inside the oil cup as if they've been drilled from the underside, so perhaps they were added for pouring the bearing.

Offline Rivergypsy

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2014, 01:18:22 PM »
Well whilst I still haven't obtained lifting gear, I have been busy with the tape measure, verniers and SW on the cylinder block and valve gear, so here's where I'm at so far. There's still a hell of a lot to add to the block, including ports, lagging lugs, etc, but the basics are taking shape. According to SW we've got around 135kg here so far...what have i started??  :facepalm:



Offline doubletop

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #37 on: September 21, 2014, 10:39:12 AM »
For what it's worth: there was always a great competition in Newbury to get an apprenticeship with Plenty. One of my school-chums was lucky enough to get a place.  At the end of it he received his First Class Machinist papers and his cards,  The manager told him to go away and get some experience with other companies after which Plenty & Son would welcome him back.  He always said that after Plenty, the other companies tolerances seemed wide-open and sloppy - he being used to tenths of thous.

When I used to cycle past, their yard was full of rusting casting.  Duncan later told me they would rough-machine each piece, then set the castings outside to "weather" (stress-relief the natural way) for two to three years before performing the finish machining.

Geoff
Old Newburian
Thailand

When I saw the thread header it got my interest as Plenty's were on the list of apprenticeships to go for when leaving school. In the end I joined the RAF and electronics engineering. 'O' level metalwork 'failed' wouldn't have helped my chances with Plenty's.

Now following progress on this restoration

Pete
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Online b.lindsey

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #38 on: September 21, 2014, 01:20:49 PM »
Still following along Dave ...what a nice project too. Can't help with the babbit but interested to see how that goes.

Bill

Offline Myrickman

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Re: Plenty & Son marine engine restoration
« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2016, 12:08:17 AM »
Just saw this topic...neat piece. If the fit between the shims and the crank is very close, then the shims could be aids for pouring the bearings. The hole in the center could be a pour hole. Of course side dams would be needed with damming compound. After pouring and trimming, a simple shim keeps the bearing halves separate and provides a bit of additional shim clearance. When you pull the crank out there should be a rough surface or divots in the casting to anchor the Babbitt to it. You'll spend several hours prepping the pour and minute pouring them . My preference is for no. 2 or 3 high tin alloy. I show some model bearing pour setups in my posts. On this one I, if you use the crank as a mandrel, final fit should be a snap.