Author Topic: The Dickson!  (Read 10976 times)

Offline maury

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 409
    • Lone Star Engine Works
The Dickson!
« on: August 22, 2017, 03:50:27 PM »
Well folks, with the home improvements mostly behind me now it's time to get back into the shop. On my
trip to NAMES this spring I had the opportunity to pay a visit to Dennis Howe of former Historic Model
Design. He is and had been for about a year working on a new scale model. The Dickson! It's a triple
expansion marine engine fitted for stationary use with 2 large dynamos.During our visit it we decided
I would join the project as well, I will be bringing design and casting experience to the project.A
third guy, John Ugo is also in the group, he is designing the electrics for the dynamos.

This is a really magnificent engine, It uses Joys valve gear, has steam valving to allow the engine
to operate as a triple expansion, or 1,2,or 3 cylinder mode and also some combinations of cylinders.
The engine was used in the Henry Ford Plant to operate electric motors for the assembly lines. As I
understand there were 7 of these engines in the plant. The one in the includes pics is located in the
Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. Fortunately, Dennis has been able to dig up some of the original drawings.

That id Dennis standing by the Dickson.

maury
"The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."... Margaret Thatcher

Online b.lindsey

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12367
  • Dallas, NC, USA
    • Workbench-Miniatures
Re: The Dickson!
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2017, 04:41:29 PM »
What a fabulous project Maury. I am sure your expertise will be most helpful to the group as well.

Bill

Offline jeff l

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 179
Re: The Dickson!
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2017, 04:50:32 PM »
Nice project for sure , but the engine was never in a Ford plant . It was owned buy the Edison Illuminating Company and was in service at the Duane Street station in New York it was in service from 1891-1928 after which it was donated to the Edison Institute which is now the Henry Ford . Jeff
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 10:37:32 PM by jeff l »

Offline Ye-Ole Steam Dude

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 958
  • Deep East Texas on Sam Rayburn Lake
    • Ye Ole Steam Dude
Re: The Dickson!
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2017, 05:08:19 PM »

This is going to be a wonderful project to follow. Thanks for sharing.

Thomas

Offline maury

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 409
    • Lone Star Engine Works
Re: The Dickson!
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2017, 10:25:22 PM »
Thanks for the encouraging words guys, and JeffI, thanks for the historical correction. Guess I misunderstood or was mis-informed. There is a lot of history associated with this engine, for example, it was during that time that the AC/DC wars were going on. Seems AC won out, obsoleting this electrical design.

A few more pics, the piping is what I'm currently working on.
maury
"The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."... Margaret Thatcher

Online Johnmcc69

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 350
  • Erie Pa., USA
Re: The Dickson!
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2017, 01:14:53 AM »
Now that is cool! Looking forward to seeing it come to life!

 John

Offline Dave Otto

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3373
  • Boise, Idaho USA
    • Photo Bucket
Re: The Dickson!
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2017, 02:04:00 AM »
Fun project Maury!
And right up your ally; looking forward to seeing the updates on this project.


Dave

Online steamer

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9354
  • Central Massachusetts, USA
Re: The Dickson!
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2017, 03:40:17 AM »
Oh that's nice!!!

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

Offline Jasonb

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6012
  • Surrey, UK
Re: The Dickson!
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2017, 09:48:57 AM »
That should keep you quiet this winter and maybe a few more too.

What sort of scale are you going for? It's a big engine so you will have to strike a good balance between a practical size to machine but one that does not make the smaller details a watch makers project or simplify things by leaving some items out.

Offline Roger B

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3523
  • Switzerland
Re: The Dickson!
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2017, 08:24:34 PM »
That is a magnificent machine  :ThumbsUp:  :ThumbsUp: I look forward to the model  :wine1:
Best regards

Roger

Offline maury

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 409
    • Lone Star Engine Works
Re: The Dickson!
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2017, 02:11:06 PM »
Guys, thanks again for the kind words.

Dennis has chosen a scale of 1/20. This will make some of the detail difficult. but at that scale the model will end up being close to 100#. That's big enough. There is no problem with out machines, we have machine capacity for large models.

The piping and valve models are coming along, the precarious thing is getting them to fit with the cylinders. Dennis is doing the cylinders. Also, there is no give in the piping, as it's all flanged together.


maury
"The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."... Margaret Thatcher

Offline Jasonb

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6012
  • Surrey, UK
Re: The Dickson!
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2017, 02:53:01 PM »
Would you not make the pihework up working out from the cylinder soldering the flanges, pipe and bends as you go in much the same way the original pipework was welded up. You could have a dummy tooling plate to represent the cylinders and a dummy valve body.

Is that just the chosen colour on the model or are you casting/machining the lagging integral to the pipework and just painting it white?

Offline Dennis

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 29
Re: The Dickson!
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2017, 03:45:43 PM »
Hi Maury,  Thank you for starting this thread. This is my first experience in a group build with everyone building the same engine and I am finding it quite enjoyable.

Here is some more history on the Dickson:

This engine was the first time a triple expansion engine was direct connected to two dynamos and represents a big step forward in mass producing electricity for commercial and home use.  The engine was built by the Dickson Manufacturing co. in Scranton PA and the two DC dynamos were built by the Edison Electro co. in Schenectady NY.  The engine and dynamos were installed in Edison's Duane Street generating station Dec 15, 1891.

The three cylinder bores are 18, 27 and 40 inch with a 30 inch stroke developing 650 HP.  the dynamo output is 120 V DC from each dynamo.  Power was delivered by way of a three wire system with each dynamo feeding one of the wires and a neutral wire to tie the two dynamos together.

The Dickson Manufacturing company has some interesting history also.  Started in 1856 by Thomas Dickson in Scranton PA, the company produced stationary engine, blowing engines and steam powered mine cable hoists.  There was also a Locomotive division which Dickson is best know for.  In 1901, the locomotive division was merged with seven other companies to form the American Locomotive Company and the remaining steam engine operations became Allis-Chalmers.

The model is 1:20 scale which makes a lot of small parts, especially in the dynamos, but that was a trade off between making small parts and still having a manageable model.  Even at 1;20 scale, this model is going to be quite a lump with finished.  In hind site, I think 1:16 scale would have been easier to work with but we have too many patterns made now and parts cast to start over.

I will post some machining photos as soon as I learn how to work the posting process. 

Dennis

Offline maury

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 409
    • Lone Star Engine Works
Re: The Dickson!
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2017, 03:54:27 PM »
Jason, we are modeling the entire engine in Solidworks. The models are combined in an assembly drawing and tested for fit. We will also be making precise shop drawings for each part. The precarious part is if there is a mis-communication between Dennis and myself.

Actually, I am using a dummy tooling plate, that part in the Picture is a representation of the flanges, size, and placement.

The parts will have to be machined precisely per the drawing, but that is standard practice in all model building. That being the case, everything should fit properly.

The lagging is going to be cast into the pipe members. This simplifies the work during finishing the model. Guess we could have wrapped the pipes with paper covered with plaster, but that's messy.

It's way too early to think about paint, but the lagging will probably get paint.

maury
"The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."... Margaret Thatcher

Online sco

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1519
  • Location: Northants UK
Re: The Dickson!
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2017, 04:13:18 PM »
Dennis, Maury,

This looks like it will be a fantastic project to follow - thanks for posting the history and the modelling work done.

Best wishes,

Simon.
Ars longa, vita brevis.