Author Topic: newnes - a triple expansion engine  (Read 11199 times)

Offline peatoluser

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newnes - a triple expansion engine
« on: August 28, 2012, 07:30:31 PM »
this engine is based on the triple originally designed by O. B. Bolton, although Ive modified it so i can build it without using castings as well as altering things to suit my own tastes. Some of you may recognize it from the HMEM site, although it's been a while since I did anything to it. some DIY, holidays, changes at work etc. the usual stuff.  here it is at the present state of play.

I had run into a couple of head scratchers that I needed to resolve.
the first was how to build the  L.P. cylinder. It was difficult enough turning down the O.D. to 2 1/2" , that's the most I can swing over the saddle - i should point out  that I only have a peatol lathe, a small bench drill and a dremel.
the real problem was how to cut a 2 1/2" radius on the block that will have the steam passages in.
I tried making a boring head to give a big enough swing, but the lathe isn't rigid enough to allow the use of a  dovetail cutter and I couldn't find a commercial one that would fit the spindle.
So I think I did what a lot of people do, and started planning my next engine, and making a few parts to see if it is feasible.
then I realised that the solution was staring me in the face! - well it would have been if I had looked at the back of the lathe were all my home made fixtures are!
I had made a faceplate fixture to allow me to bore out eccentric sheaves. all I needed to do was to weld up another slide to accept some boring bars I had already bought.
here it is - I really need to get me some 6mm grub screws.
 
the set up really stretches the peatol - the boring bar clears the saddle by 0.002".

and a couple of hours later of careful feeding in the block

rough as hell finish

but what the hell - i need a capillary gap for the solder!


thanks for looking

peter
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 04:14:02 PM by peatoluser »

Offline Dean W

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2012, 07:34:39 PM »
Nice to see you here, Peter.  I've seen some things you've done with your Taig.  You're really good at working solutions!
Dean
In beautiful N. Idaho, U.S.A.

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Offline Dan Rowe

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2012, 08:17:50 PM »
Peter,
Yes nice to see you back at this engine. It is always amazing to see how you tackle problems and solve them with micro equipment only.

Dan
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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2012, 01:45:56 AM »
That's really coming along Pete! :ThumbsUp:

Dave
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Damned ijjit!

Offline FLG

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 05:19:28 AM »
whoaa!! your work is really amazing!, as I started this hobby my goal was to build a triple expansion engine just like the one you are building, full of detail and realistic proportions/style!  :NotWorthy:

great work!

Saludos

Offline Jo

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 07:19:07 AM »
Hi Peter,

Wow I am amazed that you are building such a large engine on what is a relatively small lathe.

I like your faceplate fixture :LickLips:, I will adding one to my list of things I need to make for my Cowells Lathe ;D.

Jo
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Offline peatoluser

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2012, 05:44:26 PM »
Thank you all for your kind comments.
Jo , concerning the fixture, I tried to get the vee centrally  located as possible , and with a 1" bar clamped in it , I turned the outside of the slide to match the O.D. of the faceplate. That way , it's quite easy to set up, turn an eccentric, then use a vernier to dial in the offset.

back to the engine. I bought some sheet solder to braze the block to the cylinder, so as to save feeding a rod in. I was unsure about heating the job up to temp. but needn't have worried. everything flowed fine.
 
I scratched my head for a while as to making an expanding sleeve to hold the cylinder, but in the end I drilled and threaded an offcut of plastic (nylon, I think) 3/4 unf purely because it was  easy to use hand taps on it. I turned it down to be a wring fit on the bore.

I could then face the end of the block flush with the cylinder.


the next step was to make the cylinder covers (I still had the I.P. cover to do)
unfortunately , I managed to break a 7 B.A. tap when tapping the holes, so it's off to hunt down some alum (that is the right product isn't it?)  and hopefully I can dissolve it out.

thank you for looking

peter
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 04:16:15 PM by peatoluser »

Offline peatoluser

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2013, 08:36:37 PM »
Hadn't realized how long it had been since I posted on this engine, DIY and an unheated shed being the main reasons.

with dissolving the tap, the alum powder worked spot on.

so lesson 1 :- when a tap starts feeling blunt  ,don't push it buy a new one. far less hassle than removing a broken one.
next up was the steam ports. just a case of the right size packing on the cross slide.


it was then I ran into another problem. I've based this on a published design that uses castings. as they are too big for me to machine ( and I'm too tight to part with 900 quid) so I'm quite freely making changes to it. one of them was to turn the LP cylinder round (valve linkage is then on the inside) and extend the gap between the LP & IP cylinders. unfortunately I make these changes on the hoof as it were, and didn't leave a big enough gap.
you can see the distance between the cylinders is not that great.


so lesson 2 :- when making modifications don't sketch them out on the back of a fag packet, at least use the back of a decent sized envelope.

it was a bit of a head-scratcher as to what to do. remaking bases and crank was not something I really wanted to do, but then machining the port face was going to be difficult on a peatol. I eventually came up with the idea of bolting the cylinder between two plates bolted to a shop made faceplate. if one plate is tightend to the face plate first. then the cylinder and second plate are snugly fitted to the first. then bolt second plate to face plate, clock in port face and tighten all bolts, I may stand a chance of reducing the depth of the port face. perhaps the photo explains it better.
 

Well, I was able to reduce the face. I now just need to re machine the inlet ports a bit deeper and drill the steam passages.


thanks for looking

peter

Offline Jo

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2013, 08:59:44 PM »
Peter,

Nice to see some progress  :ThumbsUp:


so lesson 1 :- when a tap starts feeling blunt  ,don't push it buy a new one. far less hassle than removing a broken one.

....( and I'm too tight to part with 900 quid)  ;D


If you have a tap going blunt if you have a fine rat tail diamond needle file you can sharpen the tap by rubbing it down the slots. A friend does similar with dies using his dremel.

Jo
Enjoyment is more important than achievement.

Offline peatoluser

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2013, 09:13:46 PM »
Thanks for the tip Jo. I think my budget should run to a diamond file, especially if it saves me scrapping taps and dies

yours

peter

Offline Johnb

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2013, 10:26:13 PM »
Big job, little lathe. I like it.
John Browning. Member of Ickenham and District SME

Offline peatoluser

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2013, 04:33:07 PM »
milling the steam ports deeper was straight forward. next problem was drilling at an angle from the end faces to meet the ports.
with the HP & IP cylinders I had milled a flat on the cylinder, and then milled the ports on the valve part before soldering together.
as here

but with the HP this was not an option ( the flat on the cylinder would have cut into the bore)
to help drill at an angle, I cobbled together a crude sine table from 5/16 by 4 flat bar and used  3" flat bar  to set the distance between some turned 1/2" rollers



worked out the angle, cobbled together some packing for the height and gave it a go. that's when the limitations of my cheap bench drill really come to light. there must be at least 2mm play in the spindle. I think mine must have been the first one off monday mornings production line after the mother of all chinese new years eve benders. i hope the sod had a hangover for a week.
I tried to use a slot drill (is that a 2 flute end mill on the other side of the pond?) to gently give me a flat on the edge before drilling the ports, but the machine was having none of it. it tried flipping the sine table , trying to push and pull the job this and that way. I eventually resorted to using my proxxon to grind a flat , then started gently with my largest center drill before drilling. eventually got it done. here's the set up.
   
the table is only locked by that 6mm nut you can see on the front hinge, so i do need to rethink this, but I'm definitely going to look round for a better drill.
the next step was to mill a groove by the holes for the steam. cobbled together a poormans angle plate and hacksawed a bit off the nylon mandrel I'd used to face the ends of the cylinder

then it was a case of bolting on the cylinder , feeding into an end mill, loosen, rotate a bit, feed in again etc. until it was done


did somebody post that all roads lead to Rome? well, I think I've found the one with all the  :censored: potholes!

thanks for looking

peter

Offline Dan Rowe

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2013, 05:36:02 PM »
Peter,
Pot holes or not you are finding ways to get the job done.  :ThumbsUp: I always enjoy seeing your methods and set ups.

Dan
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Offline peatoluser

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2013, 12:29:08 PM »
Some of you may remember my attempts at making a reversing screw from that other site, but to recap for those who do not, here's the saga so far-
the drawings show a worm and wheel, but I think these are beyond my maching level, so I decided to use a simple scew reversing mechanism. now I could have just cut the thread with a die, but drawings of engines often show a coarse thread for fast movement, so I decided to have a go at screw cutting and make a coarse thread.
with no leadscrew or change gears, the only option was to use a follower system. first hurdle then was getting a follower. coarse threads mean large bolts and unable to get any I decided to make my own.
making my own meant I could decide on the pitch and - probably somewhat foolishly - decided on 8TPI twin start.
my first attempt then
I first marked of a length of bar with horizontal and vertical lines to give me 1/4 pitch

then tried to follow the marks with a triangular file and a crude cross bar was made


these were fitted to the spindle...

...and an attempt was made to cut a thread


note the toolmakers clamp holding the tool in place. i had placed a piece of 1/8 plate behind it. the theory being removing it would give me the correct ofset to cut the second thread.
the results weren't exactly brilliant. everything that could go wrong did. the bar twisted in the chuck, thereby loosing the mesh with the thread, the tool broke, the bar was being deflected, the 1/8 packing ,well, the less said the better. the result was a very drunken thread, but I was reasonably encouraged to rethink it and try and refine it.

 the problem was cutting the master thread. for the mark 2 version, I decided to make a guide and use a hacksaw to cut a spiral in some 5/8 bar.
I cut and rolled a piece of 20g plate that was a tight fit on 5/8 bar and gave me one turn of 4TPI . I case hardend the ends and used this as a guide for the hacksaw, cutting 3/4's of the way round, moving the guide, cutting etc. to produce a helix on 5/8 bar. I hacksawed a corresponding angle on a new connecting block and cut some stainless plate to use as a guide


and here it is all set up

I also made a sliding toolholder to help with the offset, and a quick and dirty travelling steady

here it is set up

and cutting the first thread by turning everything from the headstock hex. i had also decided to reduce the dia. of the screw from 3/8 to 7/32

I used a dti to offset the toolblock

and cut the second thread

a big improvement, the first one looks like me coming home from the pub, wereas the second at least resembles me going to it!

although something seems wrong with the offset - one thread is thicker than the other.
now I just need to grind a tool for cutting the nut and turn a blank and plan how i'm going to attach it to the columns - not out of the woods just jet

thanks for looking

peter

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2013, 12:37:30 PM »
WOW!

 :praise2: :praise2: :praise2:

Well done!   

Dave
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Damned ijjit!

Offline swilliams

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2013, 12:47:24 PM »
Quote
a big improvement, the first one looks like me coming home from the pub, wereas the second at least resembles me going to it!

 :lolb:

Love the ingenuity you bring to this Peter. Really great!

Steve

Offline peatoluser

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2013, 10:03:32 PM »
I now need to make the nut. but first , I need to grind an internal threading tool. given the size free hand was out , so I made a holder for the proxxon multi tool. then it was a case of mounting the small grinding wheels and thining down somw 3/16 tool steel. I used a cut-off wheel to get a sharp corner as the pink wheels are quit soft and left a radius

the rest of the tool was finished free hand - not the best preparation for cutting an internal square thread
 I faced of a square blank, drilled a tapping hole, set up the thread follower and began cutting the nut


it did cut , but I could visibly see the tool flexing, and i realised i would need better tool grinding facilities or come up with a different method

so i tried making a tap from silver steel ( drill rod) using the proxxon free hand to cut the flutes.

no way was it going to finish the threads and broke quite easily the first try.

having cut the male thread , I didn't want to give up just yet, so tried to think of another method.
having had some success removing taps I wondered if it would be possible to reverse the process as it were, and form the nut round a sacrifial stud, then disolve it out leaving the nut.
so I drilled out the blank clearance size, set up the thread follower and made a small stud.

I then dropped it into the nut blank and heated it up to a good red heat and then proceeded to knock the hell out of it with a 2lb hammer. As an anvil I just put a block of steel on the garage floor - there's no way my wooden bench would be up to it. sorry no photos - with hammer in one hand, pliers in other and torch in vice not possible.
I soon stopped as A) It wasn't doing the floor much good, and B) It looked like the bronze was splitting by the hole.

I tried drilling out the centre of the stud to give me less steel to disolve, but this was a mistake as it was difficult to hold the now mis-shappen nut square in the vice an the drill looked like it had wandered.

I then started to disolve out the mandrel using alum powder. It took the best part of a day . I ended up using about 2/3rds of a 100g bag, but i have no idea how to make up the solution - I just kept topping up the water and spooning the powder in whenever the stream of bubbles looked like it was tailing off.

I would take it out every now and then to check progress and see if I could loosen the bolt. eventualy I was able to get a punch behind it and twist the las bit out
here you can see the remains of the stud next to the nut.


the nut was a bit dissapointing. the drill hadn't wandered too much , but I hadn't been able to hammer enough bronze into the threads.

The nut tried to go on the threaded bar but was very tight - i had foolishly made the sacrificial mandrel the same size as the original bar, so there was vertualy no clearance on the o.d.
Eventualy, with the help of some timesaver lapping powder, I got it started and then merrily would wind it on a bit , back it off , on a bit etc. etc. and I began to make progress. Unfortunately I got carried away , wound it on too far and it locked up - not to worry - i'll just back it off. and then 40 odd years of using right hand fasteners kicked in , and instead of backing it off ( it's a left hand thread) I turned it the way you would to loosen a right hand thread , screwed it on even more, and sheared the bar. No point in stopping, so clamped the stud in the vice and carried on. I eventualy got the nut to run on what is left of the bar - in fact it runs quite freely .
hopefully I've posted the link to the video O.K.
http://s1184.photobucket.com/user/PEATOLUSER/media/NEWNES/DSCF0464_zps373bdcc7.mp4.html
7/32 O.D.  8TPI Lefthand twin start thread


all is not lost . the stud is repairable and I think there is enough depth in the nut to be usable. But I may remake them anyway.
For the nut, I'm thinking of casting it around another stud, and the maching / dissolving away  the excess as before.
And I would like to remake the stud and get the threads equal length.
I may be back in the middle of the woods, but this time I think I have found a path out!
 any way i have a couple of weeks to think it over as we are of to sunny Spain on sunday for two weeks!

thanks for looking

peter

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2013, 10:07:49 PM »
Holy crap Pete!.....NICE!

I'd consider casting it too...but

You could make a series of tapered taps...if your a masochist....I figure you would need 3 to get to full depth


 :NotWorthy: :NotWorthy: :NotWorthy: :NotWorthy: :NotWorthy: :NotWorthy:
Dave
"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Offline peatoluser

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2013, 10:17:13 PM »
Thanks for the comment Dave.
 in fact I did try making the taps undersize with a good taper - they were going into a partly threaded hole- but I think a combination of trying to put the flutes on free hand plus a square thread form and a steep helix angle, well it was always going to be difficult. I might have stood a better chance if I had rigged up some sort of milling fixture to cut the flutes. certainly an idea, even if only to clean up the cast threads.

peter

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2013, 11:30:42 PM »
Pete
come to my shop snd use the Southbend
Anytime!

Dave
"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Offline peatoluser

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2013, 06:24:44 AM »
The one you've been so diligently restoring!? Now THAT  is an honour!
Looking forward to it's completion. It looks like a true labour of love.

peter

Offline Bearcar1

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2013, 10:35:14 AM »
Very ingenious and way cool. What a thread to attempt replicating, but your perseverance paid off.  :ThumbsUp:


BC1
Jim

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2013, 10:59:02 AM »
Very ingenious and way cool. What a thread to attempt replicating, but your perseverance paid off.  :ThumbsUp:


BC1
Jim


Didnt tho!
Dave
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Damned ijjit!

Offline ths

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newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2013, 11:50:35 AM »
Hi Peter,

I enjoy watching this thread, seeing how you do a such remarkable job on that lathe of yours. It really is in the head.

I'm wondering where you got the name Newnes from, as it is a fascinating old mining ghost town to the north west of Sydney, and I am aware that the plans originate in Australia.

Cheers, Hugh.

Offline peatoluser

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2013, 12:23:52 PM »
Hugh,
I got the name from a set of books i was given 'Newnes Marine Engineering' . the first volume dealt with steam engines and there was a drawing of a general style of bed plate used for steam engines. As I couldn't afford or indeed machine the castings, I changed the design of the bed plate to resemble the sketch - that way I could fabricate from 1/8 plate -  hence the name.

yours

peter

Offline NickG

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newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2013, 12:52:00 PM »
Peter, I can't believe I've missed this but will be following from now on. Great advert for the peatol lathe, I recently nearly bought one - wish I had but instead took a punt on something else on eBay and ended up losing 100! Great work, set-ups and write ups.

Offline Don1966

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2013, 01:04:55 AM »
Hi Peter, I to have just finished reading you thread. The wonders you have been doing with a small lathe is fascinating. I will be following along with you.

Don

Offline peatoluser

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2014, 05:38:22 PM »
Well, with procrastinating  about how to cast a nut, and allowing myself to be side tracked by other projects , I thought it was time that I faced this up to this and get it out of the way. (hadn't realised its been over 6 months!)
 I know nothing about casting and was always dithering between building a proper furnace or just try and make something basic and hope it works.
the argument against a something to substantial was the fact that I don't really have the facility to machine castings so might be a bit of a wasted investment (although looking at PatJ's posts it looks like it can be done for not much investment , so may still have ago in the future - it looks like a lot of fun- with the correct safety procedures of course).

I briefly had access to an oxy- acetylene set to do some soldering  when a friend  suggested that why not use the cutting nozzle to melt the bronze. after all it is only a small part. (part of the reason as to why I was reluctant to invest in casting equipment for a one off)

well, I remade the screw and also a small stud to cast the bronze around


I then welded a small open cube with the stud in the middle as well as a small cupola(?) to melt some scrap bronze in.
suitably attired it was a case of heating the cube to cherry red then the cupola with the bronze in until it melted then poured it into the hot mold
well, that was the theory. the problem was as I heated the cube the bronze would begin to solidify and when I heated the bronze the cube would quickly lose heat.
 I was worried that the bronze would solidify as soon as I poured it and would not flow round the thread
it looked like this did happen so I ended up playing the flame over everything untill the tip of the stud melted (I had left a centre in this hoping to drill out most of the stud)

this is the result

I ground off the outside with an angle grinder, then spent about 3 weeks dissolving the stud.
i done it out side on my camping stove when ever the weather let me while I got on with other stuff in the shed.

eventually no more bubbles!
I used the old scew to lap in the nut and it actually went on first time on the new screw!!



the depth of thread is so much deeper than the first try and it also seems to have flowed round the sacrificial thread OK with no cavities, blow holes etc near it!


now to push on with the rest of it (hopefuly!)

thanks for looking

peter

Offline rhankey

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2014, 08:04:24 PM »
I am in awe with your ingenuity to achieve such a small acme thread.  I thought I achieved quite an accomplishment sticking with the 2 start threads as spec'd on the Stuart plans.  I was sweating buckets cutting the threads in the nut, as it required such a small delicate cutting tool - which broke as I was cutting the last spring cut.  Fortunately, it only took a few minutes of turning the thread back and forth on the threaded rod to get it turning freely.

Offline ths

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2014, 09:26:37 PM »
That's fantastic, specially when it worked first time on the acme screw. I know I love it when I surprise myself.

Cheers, Hugh.

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2014, 11:17:23 PM »
Peter...You're a braver man than I! :praise2: :praise2:

Glad that worked out for ya!

Dave
"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Offline arnoldb

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Re: newnes - a triple expansion engine
« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2014, 04:08:55 PM »
That came out great Peter  :ThumbsUp:

Kind regards, Arnold
Building an engine takes Patience, Planning, Preparation and Machining.
Procrastination is nearly the same, but it precludes machining.
Thus, an engine will only be built once the procrastination stops and the machining begins!