Author Topic: Retlas  (Read 52879 times)

Offline Chipmaster

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Retlas
« on: January 13, 2016, 01:16:02 PM »
I have completed three Alyn Foundry engines, the RLE, Gardner O Type and a CHUK inverted flame gulper. Each engine was a pleasure to build, the RLE and Gardner O type have run well for nearly twenty years thanks to the design of the engines. My build log of the CHUK flame gulper was added to MEM in 2015. Going back in time, on the strength of the Alyn Foundry ‘Retlas’ flyer I had hoped to graduate on to building one but by the time I’d saved enough money the kits were out of production
Quoting the flyer.
“The RETLAS is a 1.3/4" bore 3" stroke gas or petrol engine, using the 4 stroke otto cycle.
Retlas is closely based on the early 1900's GARDNER vertical gas engine, and when built looks most impressive with its double eccentric valve operating mechanism and Holts inertia governing.  Although Retlas looks complicated certain aspects of its machining are quite simple.  All parts except the flywheel and cylinder yoke can be machined on a Myford lathe.”

Last Autumn I was very fortunate to obtain a seasoned set of Retlas castings. The flywheel was given free of charge as it had suffered a mishap during casting, if it couldn’t be saved I knew could have another cast.

I have only seen one Retlas which I photographed at the Harrogate Model Engineering Exhibitions perhaps 10 years ago.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 09:05:27 PM by Chipmaster »

Offline Jo

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Re: Retlas
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2016, 01:31:32 PM »
 :whoohoo:

The Retlas  :Love: I'm looking forward to this.

Don't ask me when I will be building my one of these :lolb: its in the list but will be different :naughty:

Jo
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 01:34:50 PM by Jo »
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Offline Alyn Foundry

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Re: Retlas
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2016, 03:40:44 PM »
Hi Andy.

I'm looking forward to your build log with great interest!!

For the record.

The broadsheet photo was taken by Tony Harcombe who built that engine on a treadle lathe.

Attached is Retlas engine No 103 all cast in the backyard foundry apart from the flywheel. That flywheel turned out to be a little too light and was superseded by the present one, which, in fact is more in keeping with the original Gardner.

The original vertical suffered badly with poor cylinder lubrication and died prematurely, it was thought none had survived..........

I can now say that many years after Dion made a request for someone to build a replica two vertical Gardner engines have surfaced but due to the rarity the owners wish to remain anonymous.

Kind regards, Graham.

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Retlas
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2016, 04:31:39 PM »
Graham any progress on the Retlas models returning to Anson Museum and the odd other engine being cast too ;)

Jo have you got the Gardner works drawings or will you just be going by a photo?

J

Offline Jo

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Re: Retlas
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2016, 05:21:40 PM »
Jo have you got the Gardner works drawings or will you just be going by a photo?

If anyone has acquired the Gardner works drawings I would be very happy to review them  ;)

Jo
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Offline Alyn Foundry

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Re: Retlas
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2016, 05:36:29 PM »
Jo have you got the Gardner works drawings or will you just be going by a photo?

If anyone has acquired the Gardner works drawings I would be very happy to review them  ;)

Jo


Hi Jo.

I'm almost certain that the Anson had everything from Dion, who was Gardner's official archivist, after he passed away a couple of years ago.

I can find out for you, if you wish?

Regards, Graham.

Offline Chipmaster

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Re: Retlas
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2016, 05:49:52 PM »
Hi Graham,
I hope my approach to this build will meet with your approval  :NotWorthy:

My Alyn Foundry Gardner 0 Type can be governed to run slowly and fires pretty regularly, does the Retlas run in a similar fashion?

Does the Retlas cylinder lubrication method provide reasonable longevity?

And finally can anybody add more Retlas pictures and perhaps a video of one running?

Andy

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Retlas
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2016, 06:06:09 PM »
Jo have you got the Gardner works drawings or will you just be going by a photo?

If anyone has acquired the Gardner works drawings I would be very happy to review them  ;)

Jo

When I was given them I was told they were for my eyes only  ;D

Offline Jo

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Re: Retlas
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2016, 06:26:28 PM »
Anything you can find Graham would be useful  :)

When I was given them I was told they were for my eyes only  ;D

 :headscratch: But are you sure they are of the right engine, I really should check for you.

Jo
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Offline Jasonb

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Re: Retlas
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2016, 06:33:31 PM »

 :headscratch: But are you sure they are of the right engine

Oh Yes

Offline Stuart

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Re: Retlas
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2016, 06:41:33 PM »
And when you curl up you toes they will be lost forever LOL


Stuart
My aim is for a accurate part with a good finish

Offline Alyn Foundry

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Re: Retlas
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2016, 07:37:34 PM »
Gardner Vertical gas engine.

I have just finished speaking with Geoff at the Anson who, coincidentally has also been studying Gardner's early hand written day books. It seems they quite often started and  ran the engines in the wee small hours. We wondered if the town gas supply might have been weak and the only time suitable was during the night?   

He's going to look and see what he can find drawing wise he also has many glass plate negatives of the machine shop showing both vertical and horizontal engines under construction.

I have also spoken to Tony Harcombe  with regard to getting a short video of his Retlas running.    It's rather amusing really...... We think nothing of taking photos and videos these days but 20 years back it was quite a chore.   :)

Attached is Tony's fully finished engine.

Regards Graham.

Offline Alyn Foundry

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Re: Retlas
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2016, 07:52:24 PM »
Hi Graham,
I hope my approach to this build will meet with your approval  :NotWorthy:

My Alyn Foundry Gardner 0 Type can be governed to run slowly and fires pretty regularly, does the Retlas run in a similar fashion?

Does the Retlas cylinder lubrication method provide reasonable longevity?

And finally can anybody add more Retlas pictures and perhaps a video of one running?

Andy

Hi Andy.

I'm sure it will !!  :ThumbsUp:

That's a leading question the compression ratio is quite high and Vincent's engine was quite a beast on occasions, but so long as the gas valve is properly seated with no leakage then I'm sure it will run quite slowly.

The lubrication won't be a worry as you're not going to be running 8 hour shifts, we forget that the full size engines had a job to do!!   ;)

Now the record for the slowest running 1/2 scale Gardner engine is 180 RPM currently held by John Murray. 

Can you beat that ?

Regards, Graham.

Offline Chipmaster

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Re: Retlas
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2016, 08:12:03 PM »
Thanks for the response Graham, I'll have a go at the slow running challenge next time I run my 1/2 scale Gardner engine and submit the evidence.

Andy

Offline Jo

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Re: Retlas
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2016, 08:52:16 PM »
And when you curl up you toes they will be lost forever LOL

Stuart

And  :mischief: in years to come they will look at your engine built from the unobtanium drawings and say that's wrong, that's also wrong its not to the original Retlas drawings by Vincent :ShakeHead:

Jo
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