Author Topic: Second largest to date.  (Read 841 times)

Online Alyn Foundry

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Second largest to date.
« on: April 15, 2020, 06:34:38 PM »
It was some 25 years ago that I received a phone call from a fellow engine man and modeller Geoff Moore. Whilst driving he spotted violent smoke issuing from the ground, fearing the worst he drove towards it only to find a large bonfire. Sadly the fuel for this bonfire was, in fact, many Victorian wooden patterns that were being removed from the basement of the Uppingham school engineering workshops.

Geoff offered to put what was left in the back of his pickup truck and gave the guys a few quid for the scrap Iron that was littered everywhere.

This scrap turned out to be several casting sets from the firm of A and S Barker, Leyton East London. The story goes that pupils could purchase a set and build an engine over the period of schooling. It would also appear that there were many spare forgings for both valves and conrod's unused.

A deal was struck and I acquired the whole lot. Both Vincent and I built an engine, mine being a 1 HP Vincent's being a 3/4 HP some 20 years back, leaving a rather sorry looking 3/4 HP set for the future. The future is " now " as I have two strapping lads available to help with the heavy bits.

PS, the second photo is just for Jo.. ;)

Online crueby

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Re: Second largest to date.
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2020, 06:47:11 PM »
Thats definitely a big-un! I could almost use it as a bench for my lathe. Looking forward to seeing it built!

Online Jasonb

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Re: Second largest to date.
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2020, 06:52:49 PM »
What sort of period do you think it dates from, can't see any school projects like that having been done in the last 50yrs. Though I doubt the ash tray that we all made in our first year of metal work is very popular now either!

Have you got a set of drawings or just making it up from experience as a 1/2 size one would not be too big for most of us.

Online Alyn Foundry

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Re: Second largest to date.
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2020, 07:16:28 PM »
Hi Jason.

We're a little uncertain but definitely late Victorian early Edwardian. The bases for our engines are all a Square arch but adverts that appeared in the earliest of Model Engineer magazine show round arch versions.

Thing is at that time the Uppingham school was very mechanical engineering orientated. I have shelves full of patterns for steam engines of quite large proportions. And a pattern for an even larger gas engine than my 1HP!

Upon researching lately it would seem they were even involved in munitions during the Great War
( 14/18 )

There were drawings Jason but I fear they got dumped by Vincent's sister when they cleared his home. We were only allowed to clear his workshop. Luckily these types of engine don't need much thought to build you just make one part fit to the next.

Cheers Graham.

Online Jasonb

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Re: Second largest to date.
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2020, 08:29:40 PM »
Thanks Graham, just found this image of the arch type dated 1899 on Grace's


Online Alyn Foundry

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Re: Second largest to date.
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2020, 12:01:34 PM »
Good morning Jason.

They used exceptionally detailed " Lithographs " for their advertisements, you can almost make out the horizontal flyball governor.

Judging from the size of the flyballs I'd suggest that it's at least a 1 1/2 HP engine. There aren't many Barkers left in preservation and I, personally haven't seen anything bigger than the 1 HP. What is worthy of note is that they seemed to use different flywheel spoke patterns for the sizes. The 1/2-3/4 have 5 curved spokes. The one horse have 5 straight spoke and your picture shows 6 straight spokes. Obviously, different diameters and weight too.

The engines are of a very simple but effective design, the air and gaseous fuel are drawn through an atmospherically operated, horizontally orientated inlet valve. The exhaust is mechanically operated by an
" L " shaped lever driven via a roller/cam arrangement from the sideshaft. The governor, hit and miss style acts upon the exhaust lever roller and " props " it open on overspeeding.

The ignition is of the " Hot tube " variety which was a very cheap option at that time when compared to the very expensive and new fangled  " Electric " systems.

Water cooling is, quite simply effected by the use of a cavity around the cylinder and thermosyphon to a large capacity water tank. As with most of the smaller engines of the day, the cylinder head is cooled by conduction into the cylinder jacket.

Well, that concludes the introduction, I just need that sleeve for my Clarkson " Autolock " chuck and we can begin....

Cheers Graham.

Online Alyn Foundry

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Re: Second largest to date.
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2020, 12:06:11 PM »
Good morning to All.

With a fair bit of time on their hands I've been " mentoring " my two youngest son's out in the workshop.

Mathew decided to start on a Gardner from some exceptionally poor quality castings that failed to leave and Alan picked up on the Robinson. ( from rejects thread )

As we needed to line bore various beds for main bearings the Denbigh universal mill was brought back into working order. After they had done their jobs we put the vertical head on and mounted the Barker base on the table. The 8" cutter made short work of the cylinder mounting face it was then replaced by the Clarkson ( newly refurbished ) to mill the tops and recesses for the caps.

Part way through this operation the cutter stopped turning, we'd lost drive. Upon closer examination a taper pin that held one of the bevel wheels to the vertical spindle had worked loose and neatly turned it into a circlip. :) Needless to say the Anson came to the rescue with a replacement, sent in the post.

A few pictures of my progress....

Cheers Graham.

« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 12:12:21 PM by Alyn Foundry »

Online Alyn Foundry

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Re: Second largest to date.
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2020, 05:53:07 PM »
Some " heavy metal " arrived in the post a couple of days ago....

My favourite Brass foundry reopened mid May and they've been busy getting all the Brasses sorted from my original wooden patterns that were recovered from the Uppingham school.

I've had to make a new pattern for the skew gears which will be 6 & 12 tooth wheels on a 6 DP format.

Cheers Graham.

Online Jasonb

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Re: Second largest to date.
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2020, 06:17:12 PM »
That lot should keep you busy for a while