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Triple Orphans

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A tale of three two or maybe only one engine  :-\

Engine number One:

In 1992 we were exhibiting at the Brighton model world exhibition. I had recently acquired a set of Stuart No 10 castings with a broken stand (£5 :naughty: ) and had laid it out on a board so people could see the sort of thing we make our engines out of. As one does  ::) I felt the need to go and look for the bargains. All the club/trade stands were upstairs but down stairs were a couple of traders who hardly anyone had noticed… On this stand selling paint (so it could have been Precision Paints) there was this cardboard box with £20 written on it with some Iron castings in it. I had a look  :whoohoo: it was a part set of Stuart castings for their triple. Ok no drawings and no bronze bits  :-\

Castings in hand they were taken up stairs and added to our display table  when Lady luck walked by again and a very nice gentleman saw the broken stand on my 10V and we got chatting. The long and short was he had a spare stand for the 10V and the drawings for the triple which he would lend me :pinkelephant:

On closer inspection the Iron Castings were short of the two valve chests and covers  :( There they sat in the back of the casting cupboards for many a year, every now and then coming out for a fondle  :)


Engine number two:

Some of you will remember me from my days on the MECH. In Jan 2011 one of the members Adrian Parker had been asked to sell a gentleman’s casting collection to fund his medical care  :'( In amongst many nice stationary engines and a set of Superba castings  ;) was a part set of triple castings.

Adrian and I exchanged a couple of Emails and we agreed on £1 per casting including delivery from Italy. In May the courier (Adrian and his brother Dave  :mischief:) dropped off these:

So two orphans together could make one whole engine :whoohoo:


Number three

I wonder what story these engine parts would tell if they could speak, I suspect it would go something along the lines of :-

“Many years ago someone was inspired to build a steam engine, not any old steam engine but something really special a triple expansion engine. So he brought an expensive set of castings from a company called Stuarts.  Sadly no one warned him that it is not a beginner’s engine. So he started making bits on his lathe and using his hand files (as he did not own a milling machine they were luxury items back in those days). There were so many pieces that had to be the same but that wasn’t easy… one thing led to another and in the end he lost heart and put them away in the box on the shelf in the workshop.

When the family was being helped by Dad’s friend to clear his workshop the box was lifted down and the parts of the engine found again. They told the friend tales of how this was Dad’s pride and joy they can remember him showing them each piece when he made it but then it went quiet and they had not seen anything of it for years.  Remembering his friend’s passion for the engine so he offered to take it on and finish it.

Getting it home he realised that it would have to wait in line, behind that locomotive and all the other things he was building.  So again the box was sat on a shelf, the drawings were lost, until it was in turn passed on a few more times. Along the way each new owner had a little play, a little fiddle adding more unique features until in the end it remained sat in the box in the drawer for over a decade.”

That was until its last owner asked for an opinion: We agreed that it was not good enough to be sold on, at best it is has the potential for salvage. As I already have one to make I will be making up all the jigs, setting up the machines maybe I could save it….  And you all know I am a sucker for Orphans  :shrug:  :toilet_claw:


I shall look forward to following the development of your Triplets Jo even though one does seem to have quite a handicap.


PS I wonder what happened to those Superba castings :)


--- Quote from: Jasonb on September 25, 2015, 06:28:50 PM --- even though one does seem to have quite a handicap.

--- End quote ---

 :-[ Yes lucky 3 is riddled with challenges a few examples I have found so far:

The base was machined without trying to centre things so the column holes are not equally spaced, neither are the bearing stud holes, if you look at where the clamp goes on top of the bearing you can see that the surface is flat on one side and profiled on the other. The holes have been made oval to match the oval holes in the cylinder mounts  :facepalm2:

The columns are each a different length.

The eccentrics and rods  :Doh: I had never seen eccentric straps cut on the slant before. The holes for the pins are not central and the forks  :( Not sure about the sheaves until they come apart.

The connecting rods are a little rough (I have been told Stuarts are stingy with their material  :ShakeHead:) The bearings where the bolts go through are a bit thin.

The flanges on either sides of the cross heads are not even  :headscratch: Which could imply all sorts of problems.

And to think this was once someone's bundle of joy  :paranoia:



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