Author Topic: Quarry Bank Mill Engine  (Read 6864 times)

Offline Captain Jerry

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Quarry Bank Mill Engine
« on: December 16, 2018, 03:42:39 AM »
This is the engine that I will be trying to build here.  This is a "wall engine" or maybe a "ceiling engine" that is displayed in the Quarry Mill Museum.  I have never been there but the picture appearing in John's Textile Mill Diorama provided by member, deltatango, gives enough information to go by.  Stew Hart has also modeled this engine and provided plans that others have used to build from. Julius has also prepared detailed plans based of Stew's plans and they will also be referred to at times but these are all METRIC and that is difficult for me. I need to work in inches and pounds and hours and minutes and degrees so I will make my own set of plans in those terms.  Oh, wait, I guess I will have to use decimal inches rather than fractions but I will work in Imperial Time Units.


i get as much fun from the design process as I do from the build anyway so mostly what I need is a few starting dimension and the rest of the design has to follow.  Tools and available material plays a big part.  For cylinders, I like brass or cast iron and If I use brass, the cylinder will probably be about 1 inch diameter and less than 2 inches long.  I want to use aluminum as much as possible for the stationary parts and if I can't get ahold of a big enough piece of aluminum for the engine block, I will build it up from bar or plate.


I also enjoy trying to get in the head of the original designer as much as possible and try to understand the the conditions and limitations that he had to work with.  For example, this engine needed to be compact due to the limits of space. It was intended to hang on a wall or from overhead beams.  Not only did it not get its own building as did many steam engines, it didn't even get it's own floor space.  i also suspect that the reason for the twin cylinders was to provide smooth, high speed without needing a large flywheel.


The overcrank provides a very compact engine with the crankshaft in the center of the plan and the overall length is mostly within the diameter of the flywheel.  So why the angled mounting of the valve chest on top of the cylinders.  Again, I suspect that the reason is space. The valves are mounted on top of the cylinders to keep the engine as narrow as possible. By placing the valves in the same chest, piping is simplified and so is control. Steam pressure is controlled for both cylinders with a single governor. 


The angle of the valve chest is to keep the valve rods axis in line with crankshaft. Any other arrangement would need some kind of crank lever mechanism to have equal valve motion. But why a 15 degree angle?  Why not 23 degrees or 12 degrees? Again it might be space. A shallower angle like 10 degrees would require that the crankshaft be further from the cylinder block while a steeper angle like 20 degrees would move the crankshaft and the cylinders closer together.  That, however could cause interference between the cranks and the cylinder rod end. And it is easier to manufacture to a common angle than to something like a 23 degree slope, so 15 degrees.


All the rest of it just follows from those basic parameters.  I use Alibre' because it is what I have.  I have used it for so long that I don't have to think about it.  I have a free license that is more than 10 years old and I can't upgrade without buying a new PC so that is what it is.  The only problem is that I have used it for so long that I am about out of disk space.  I'm going to have to find some way to offload a bunch of older design files and photographs of engines, kids, boats, and horses, and dogs.  I also need to relearn all of the procedures for uploading designs, photos, and videos to the forum.  I seem to have forgotten a lot of that.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 03:51:54 AM by Captain Jerry »
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Offline Captain Jerry

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Re: Quarry Bank Mill Engine
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2018, 04:03:07 AM »
And here is where I am in the design process.



« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 04:08:57 AM by Captain Jerry »
There are thing that you can do and some things you can't do.
Don't worry about it. try it anyway.

Offline deltatango

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Re: Quarry Bank Mill Engine
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2018, 05:44:21 AM »
Hi Captain Jerry,
Here is a more detailed picture of the little engine at Quarry Bank Mill that I didn't put in the earlier post:



Hope this helps!

Regards, David

Offline 10KPete

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Re: Quarry Bank Mill Engine
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2018, 05:55:28 AM »
Most interesting! A Fenner Power Twist 'tween the 'gin and shaft! And a Browning pulley on the gin.....

Beautiful machine.. :Love:

Pete
Craftsman, Tinkerer, Curious Person.
Retired, finally!
SB 10K lathe, Benchmaster mill. And stuff.

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Quarry Bank Mill Engine
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2018, 07:26:28 AM »

The angle of the valve chest is to keep the valve rods axis in line with crankshaft. Any other arrangement would need some kind of crank lever mechanism to have equal valve motion. But why a 15 degree angle?  Why not 23 degrees or 12 degrees? Again it might be space. A shallower angle like 10 degrees would require that the crankshaft be further from the cylinder block while a steeper angle like 20 degrees would move the crankshaft and the cylinders closer together.  That, however could cause interference between the cranks and the cylinder rod end. And it is easier to manufacture to a common angle than to something like a 23 degree slope, so 15 degrees.



When I first drew this engine up the 15 degree angle was just a guess as I couldn't get direct access to the original to measure it up despite asking Quarry Bank if I could, I just couldn't get it through to them what I wanted to do  :cussing:  :- 15 degrees looked about right and it fitted in nicely with the rest of the geometry.

Stew
A little bit of clearance never got in the way

Offline Captain Jerry

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Re: Quarry Bank Mill Engine
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2018, 02:18:03 PM »
Thanks to all of my old friends who have welcomed me back to this group. It feels good to do something creative and it is even better to have a group of people like you who are so willing to share your skills and experience. I beginning to get more comfortable in the shop but I still have a few things to remember, like wear overalls in the shop and leave them in the shop, brush your hair and wipe your feet well before coming in the house, find other things to talk about at the dinner table.


David: The better photo that you posted is very helpful. The sharper image makes it easier to work out some of the detail but as usual, more information means more questions which I will ask when I get to them. Thanks. If you have a wider shot that shows home the engine is mounted I would be interested.


Stew:  Thanks for looking in.  I am sure that everyone looks to you as the expert on modeling this engine. I have a hot key on my computer that takes me to your Madmodder build and I go there frequently.  I am going to move as quickly as I can with this project for many reasons and I want to finish it within a year. I will try to post updates as often as I can so if you see me headed down a dead end, I would welcome a "heads up."

There are thing that you can do and some things you can't do.
Don't worry about it. try it anyway.

Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: Quarry Bank Mill Engine
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2018, 05:06:07 PM »
Jerry, I look forward to seeing how your build goes.

I've always liked the unusual style of this engine and did consider making one after I finished Stews' Potty Grasshopper, when I later studied the plans I thought it was a bit beyond my capability but it is still on my to do list.

 :popcorn: :popcorn:

Offline deltatango

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Re: Quarry Bank Mill Engine
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2018, 10:12:38 PM »
Sorry Jerry, I only took the two pictures of the overcrank engine. I may be in the area again Sept/Oct next year and can visit QBM and take lots more but:
a) this isn't certain and
b) you'll have the engine finished by then anyway  :)

David

Offline Captain Jerry

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Re: Quarry Bank Mill Engine
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2018, 04:09:20 AM »
David: Don't make the trip just for me.  But if you find yourself in the area....  I was only curious about the mounting. It won't change how I do anything.  Some of the detail that I have discovered examining your photo are more interesting.  The black paint makes it difficult to pick out but there seems to be some kind of spigot on the top of each cylinder, plugged with a square headed bolt.  Some kind of drain or bleed I guess.  By "top" I mean the side facing us.

I also notice that on top of the inlet valve it looks like some kind of hose barb.  Do you think it might have ever run on air or is that some kind of British steam fitting that I'm not familiar with.

Jerry
There are thing that you can do and some things you can't do.
Don't worry about it. try it anyway.

Online Jasonb

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Re: Quarry Bank Mill Engine
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2018, 08:06:21 AM »
One of Stew's photos shows what looks to be a steel braided hose attached probably with a quick connector, as to whether it has steam or air I can't say. There is a small handwheel on the vertical shaft coming out of the top of the valve presumably to control flow into the valve chest.

Possible air run for demos in the mill as there may no longer be a steam supply plus it saves a lot of red tape.

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Quarry Bank Mill Engine
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2018, 09:04:45 AM »
One of Stew's photos shows what looks to be a steel braided hose attached probably with a quick connector, as to whether it has steam or air I can't say. There is a small handwheel on the vertical shaft coming out of the top of the valve presumably to control flow into the valve chest.

Possible air run for demos in the mill as there may no longer be a steam supply plus it saves a lot of red tape.

We're about 45 minutes from Quarry bank and visit quite regularly for a walk around the woods to the Manchester airport viewing area, my wife loves watching planes taking off and landing. The museum has a good cafe that do excellent cakes and I take the opportunity to view their other engines running on steam, but they run over crank on air probably because the boiler is some distance away from it.  By the way this type of engine is also known as a "Return Crank.

Cheers
Stew
A little bit of clearance never got in the way

Offline Captain Jerry

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Re: Quarry Bank Mill Engine
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2018, 10:26:59 PM »
I thought air for demo display might be the case. I have never seen the inside of a steam driven mill.  In the Carolinas, where I used to live, there were all sorts of mills, sawmills. furniture mills, and textile mills. There are even a few foundries.  I was in most of them but seldom got past the purchasing offices.  Sometimes I got to the tool rooms.  My employer manufactured power tools that were sold to the mills through local mill supply houses so I was there mostly to promote brand recognition.


I am beginning to understand that these small engines were ceiling or wall mounted to be close to the line shaft that they drove.  But what was under them?  Was there a drip pan for oil? Where did the exhaust go?
There are thing that you can do and some things you can't do.
Don't worry about it. try it anyway.

Online Jasonb

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Re: Quarry Bank Mill Engine
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2018, 07:13:32 AM »
It's worth noting that Stew saw this engine in a separate workshop so it may have been a long way from the main boiler that powered the mill engines and their shafting. Quite possibly had a smaller boiler for the workshop which has not been restored if it even exists hence the use of air.

Exhaust may have gone back to a blast pipe to help the chimney draw or could simply have gone out the nearest wall, can't see them using a condenser or oil separator on it.

Offline Captain Jerry

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Re: Quarry Bank Mill Shop Engine
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2018, 02:43:06 PM »
I have just been looking at the engine and not fully understanding it's use.  Of course it is not a "mill" engine as I usually think of mill engines. It doesn't have enough power to drive the textile machinery.  It is used to power the tools in the workshop.   Looking at the pictures, it is clear that Stew's photo is from the opposite side as David's but still the same site. b


Not to be picky but the valve doesn't look right.  It is on top of the engine where it would be difficult to reach.  I think that valve was put on the engine sometime after it's life in the mill shop.  I think Stew's valve is a much better representation of the original arrangement. So why a governor on a small shop engine?  Because any steam engine really needs a governor.  We shouldn't just think of a governor as a speed control when it is really a power control. How does your mill react when you take a big bite with a roughing end mill? It depends on the built in electronic speed controller to goose up the power just as a governor on a shop engine needs to goose up the power when the table saw rips into a 4" beam.


Stew's nice little governor fits the bill nicely.  Nicely designed and positioned so that it is effective whether the engine is wass mounted or displayed flat.  I may not get to the governor but I will put a drive pulley on the shaft, just in case.


In light of all this, I am changing the title of this thread.
There are thing that you can do and some things you can't do.
Don't worry about it. try it anyway.

Offline crueby

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Re: Quarry Bank Mill Engine
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2018, 03:11:53 PM »
For those that have been there - do you know what the big handwheel on top of a (I assume) a valve is down at waist height to the left of the engine? Could that have been the original steam supply valve to the engine, before it was switched to air? Seems quite large...   :shrug: