Author Topic: Steam engine from under the steps...resurrection.  (Read 4672 times)

Offline Myrickman

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Steam engine from under the steps...resurrection.
« on: August 14, 2016, 09:04:49 PM »
I thought this was appropriate for this board. A good friend gave this steam engine to me  several years ago before he passed. The story is it came from under the stairs of a Philadlelphia row home before it was to be demolished back in the 70's. He was a lifelong collector of many things mechanical starting after his stint in North Africa in WWII. The old girl is in sad shape and missing the reversing valve links. Over the past few years I've messed with it off and on and figured it was time to get it going. It is very crude and has a lot of odd threads. The screws which hold the stuffing gland on the D valve  appear to be 6-40 and several others are 12-24 . Most of the large bolts are square head which has me thinking it is very early...possibly pre-1900. I'll let you be the judge. The top plate for the steam cylinder was split in two so I had it recast. Same for the front bearing cap. I re-poured the front bearing cap Babbitt about 5 years ago and it has sat on the shelf. It still has some nice original paint and fancy work on the sides which I cleaned and preserved.  I have the con rod and one of the eccentric links.  I'm looking for advice on fabricating the linkage in a manner which both works and looks "correct".

Offline Myrickman

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Re: Steam engine from under the steps...resurrection.
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2016, 09:14:04 PM »
On the top plate front edge there should be 2 holes for a guide for the D valve rod. They were on the broken top. The next two pix show my early attempt at the reversing sector. On the right side upright about half way up is a hole which I am assuming is a pivot point for the reverse handle. My guess is there should be a link between these to allow the sector to move the D valve. Mind you, this is my first reversing steam engine so I'm figuring this out as I go. BTW the bore is in good shape...stroke is about 3-1/2 inches near as I can recall.  I'll post more progress as I go....

Offline Bertie_Bassett

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Re: Steam engine from under the steps...resurrection.
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2016, 09:16:27 AM »
looks an interesting little engine, someone must have seen something similar?
one day ill finish a project before starting another!
suffolk - uk

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Steam engine from under the steps...resurrection.
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2016, 02:15:57 PM »
I am surprised no one has seen one similar, maybe we just need to keep it up in the recent posts in case someone missed it back in August. Any progress since then myrickman ?

Bill

Offline Myrickman

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Re: Steam engine from under the steps...resurrection.
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2016, 03:03:19 AM »
Back on the little steam engine. I looked over the D valve and body and after much cogitation, decided to remake it. The original was just to darn crappy and mis-shaped to continue with. Here I made the valve body over, opting to use the original cover plate. The D valve has since been completed as are the 12-24 bolts to hold the valve to the cylinder. I made the valve from bronze...should be fine. As it was, I have to go back and file the sides of some of the screw holes on the frame to get it to fit just right. Still, it will make the links the the reversing mechanism easier. I should get this one done soon as I have some vacation time to work on it.

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Steam engine from under the steps...resurrection.
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2016, 01:14:13 AM »
Good to see some progress on this one. Thanks for the update.

Bill

Offline PJPickard

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Re: Steam engine from under the steps...resurrection.
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2016, 03:50:23 AM »
I have a TON of 6-40 bolts...most round head brass, a few steel. If you need anything let me know I can send them to you, maybe good for studs or???

Offline Myrickman

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Re: Steam engine from under the steps...resurrection.
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2016, 01:29:58 AM »
Thanks for the kind offer PJ. Since making the steam chest over, I don't need any now. Made more progress today getting the guide for valve made and fitted. I'm sort of stumped on the reversing link actuator. The valve slides easily...so far so good. If you look on the right leg is a hole where I think a lever for the linkage went. On the left side the leg comes to a point.  A little further down is a screw sticking out to the right which may have been for the mechanism....scratching my head. As you can see, the top plate was also recast and machined as the original was broken in half. I'll have to do some inter web searching for pix of reversing engine gear. Also spent a bit of time replacing the way wipers on my lathe...she  was due. Paul

Offline Myrickman

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Re: Steam engine from under the steps...resurrection.
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2016, 08:50:11 PM »
Well all, here is what I came up with on the reversing gear for this one. I put air to it but my little shop compressor just barely moved it. Will have to wait until I can drag it out to the bigger shop with bigger compressor. This is my first reversing steam engine so I've been looking at a lot of pictures and scratching my head....still, it may show up at CF next month where there is lots of air.  Any comments on improvements in the linkages are welcome. Here are my money shots....

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Steam engine from under the steps...resurrection.
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2016, 09:20:33 PM »
When you feel it trying to tick over does it "feel" like the timing is right in both forward and reverse. Little shop compressors don't put out much volume but there should be enough pressure to run it for short periods at least. My thinking is that the timing may need some tweaking, but that's just my 2 cents and may not be worth that :)

Bill

Offline Myrickman

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Re: Steam engine from under the steps...resurrection.
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2016, 01:50:49 AM »
Yup Bill, I think the timing needs tweaking still. Something is not quite right...I agree with you. Time for some inter web reading on timing steamers. I'll put it down for a few days while I have some warmer weather to get some welding on another project done.  Should have something in a few days. Thanks, Paul

Offline steamer

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Re: Steam engine from under the steps...resurrection.
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2016, 11:22:27 AM »
step one....center the travel over the intake ports.


step two, With the engine at TDC, rotate the eccentric on the crank in the direction of desired rotation until you JUST crack open the steam port to the top of cylinder, and lock the eccentric.

It should run now...

Dave

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

Offline steam guy willy

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Re: Steam engine from under the steps...resurrection.
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2016, 05:25:06 PM »
Interesting project.......I love these old finds that people tend to throw out in skips and things..keep up the good work....
Wilbert.

Offline Myrickman

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Re: Steam engine from under the steps...resurrection.
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 01:19:58 AM »
Well...the update on getting this old girl going.. Tomorrow is cabin fever and I wanted to take her out. Turns out there was some schmoo blocking the exhaust port...duhhhh....works now, albeit thirsty on compressed air. I'll sort out the fine tuning at the show...