Author Topic: 3 inch boiler build  (Read 24781 times)

Offline steamboatmodel

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #285 on: May 17, 2019, 11:58:29 PM »
Gary the fuel bottle has to be horizontal for it to work best. You want it so it is picking up the fuel as a liquid.
Gerald.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors--and miss. Lazarus Long

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #286 on: May 18, 2019, 08:13:32 AM »
Ah - ok. Thanks for the tip Gerald. I had the idea that it would be ok either way but I'll certainly try it on its side.

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Offline steamboatmodel

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #287 on: May 20, 2019, 12:11:03 AM »
Gary,
Make sure you get it on the side where the tube inside the tank is down in the fuel, if you get it wrong it draws vapor and may go out.
Gerald.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors--and miss. Lazarus Long

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #288 on: May 20, 2019, 06:15:14 PM »
Yeah, I will Gerald. I think there's a kind of stand thing that ensures it's the right way up.

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Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #289 on: June 18, 2019, 11:12:53 PM »
Sorry that there has been very little development here recently. I am slowly working on a stand for the boiler (which will hopefully be quite nice when it's done) but progress is slow as I have resigned from my workplace and am busy setting up a new business venture which is taking up most of my time. Needs must. That said, I did take some time out to visit my daughter recently, and we went to see the Kempton Park Steam Engines - two massive triple expansion engines that used to pump water from the Thames into London:



I arranged the trip months ago, not realising that it coincided with Father's Day  :)

Pleased to report that she enjoyed it much more than she expected to, even if not quite as much as I did. This youtube video (not shot by me) gives a better impression of just how formidable these engines are:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhlJp1VZMB8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhlJp1VZMB8</a>

Well worth a visit if and when you are anywhere near London.

Back to the boiler soon I hope...

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #290 on: July 21, 2019, 10:25:48 PM »
Finally got a few days of shop time, during which I built a stand for the boiler.

It looks like a tiny Greek temple:



Setup for fluting the columns:



Family shot of all of the parts:



The finished stand:



The boiler on the stand:



Progress to date (more or less):



The next job will be lagging the boiler, but not for a while as I'm going on holiday for three weeks...

:-)

Offline Ye-Ole Steam Dude

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #291 on: July 21, 2019, 11:50:01 PM »
Hello Gary,

Beautiful job :ThumbsUp:

Have a great day,
Thomas

Online crueby

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #292 on: July 22, 2019, 12:14:31 AM »
Excellent proportions, the fluted columns are great!

Offline Kim

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #293 on: July 22, 2019, 05:39:28 AM »
Gary, that's a nice boiler, with a very fancy boiler stand!
Can't wait to see it all make steam. :)
Kim

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #294 on: July 22, 2019, 09:42:38 AM »
Many thanks, Gentlemen!

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Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #295 on: July 22, 2019, 12:58:11 PM »
Looks great Gary :-)

Bet it will be an eyecatcher once it is fired up  :pinkelephant:

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #296 on: July 22, 2019, 02:12:12 PM »
Thanks Peter.

On to the insulation next...

 :)

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #297 on: August 18, 2019, 04:16:31 PM »
I have been incommunicado recently as I have been away in Hawai'i for three weeks. Oahu and Kaua'i.

Before I went, I made some efforts to find out if there were any stationary steam engines I could see while I was there. A search on youtube led me to understand that there is a mill engine on Maui (which island I did not visit)  in working order but currently dismantled for moving. However, on Oahu I did stumble on this:



It's at Kahuku Sugar Mill, an ex-industrial site where some of the machinery (including some big old lathes) is on display for viewing. This flywheel must be between 10 and 15 feet in diameter, so quite a large engine it must have been.

Now I'm back home, somewhat jetlagged, so what more fitting than to lag the boiler? I removed all of the fittings apart from the water gauge, which I left rather than disturb the somewhat vulnerable threads on its top bushing, preferring to work around it:

.

A piece of thin card was taped to the boiler and a template marked out from it to get the overall size and the hole positions for the ceramic fibre insulation. The material was then cut to the template and secured to the boiler barrel with thin copper wire:



The outer shell will be made from thin (and hopefully shiny) aluminium sheet, which I shall buy tomorrow. A second card template has been cut for marking out the aluminium.


Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #298 on: August 21, 2019, 10:45:16 PM »
The second card template was made by wrapping a piece of card around the lagged boiler and marking the holes and slots in situ. The layout was transferred on to a piece of 1mm thickness aluminium which I had cut to size at a local sheet metal workshop. The holes were drilled with a step drill in the mill, taking into account the two different sizes of bushings. The slots were cut with a junior hacksaw and tidied up with files. The metal was then rolled in my 3-in-1 bending, shearing and rolling machine to a bit larger than the diameter of the boiler:





I don't use the 3-in-1 machine all that often but it's a very handy bit of kit when it is needed. Here you see the outer shell loosely wrapped around the boiler:



On an initial rough offering up I was quite pleased with the hole positions when I squeezed the shell together by hand. However, it will become apparent how accurate I have been when the shell is tight to the boiler. Any required adjustments to the holes can be made with files but the less of that I have to do the happier I'll be. The shell will be held in situ with three circular brass bands and all will be polished up to make it nice and shiny.

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #299 on: August 25, 2019, 10:01:50 PM »
Well, unsurprisingly, when I refitted the shell to the boiler and tightened it up using old shoelaces, the holes did not align perfectly with the boiler bushings. This was due partly - though not entirely - to the fact that the aluminium sheet at 1mm was much thicker than the card template. The problem is very visible on the bottom hole in this picture:



So, to rectify, I sketched a circle around each hole concentric with the bushes:



The shell was then removed and I had at the holes with a round file, after which I gave it a bit of a polish:



Now, clearly I had to enlarge the holes to make them concentric with the bushes, and were I to leave it at that there would be an unsightly area of visible insulation material around each bush. To avoid this I intend to cut pieces of much thinner aluminium, each of which will have a hole drilled in it to fit neatly over the bushes. These pieces, which I shall refer to as backing plates ( because it sounds better than 'patches') will be slipped over each bush, stuck in place with silicone and trapped behind the shell.

In order to source the metal for the backing plates I was obliged to open some cider. It was very hot yesterday, and there is nothing worse in this world than having to drink cider on a hot day. Especially when that cider is ice cold and bursting with sharp, tingly bubbles. And even worse again when one is forced to sit and idly watch the barbecue charcoal slowly ignite while forcing oneself to drink three cans of it to make sure that enough metal is obtained to make the backing plates.

Such are the sacrifices one makes for one's art...