Author Archives: sybefur

About sybefur

retired engineer (computer, steam, racing etc.)

A little lubrication

While we wait for the plasma cut boiler plates and housing to arrive I went back to a job that’s needed doing for a while on the engine; the Lubricator.

Approaches to lubrication

There are several approaches to lubricating a steam engine, from a hand-held oil can (tends to be a bit erratic, and you chop the end of the spout off in moving parts) thru oil wicks, to pumped lubrication. I felt that a pumped system was the way to go.

There are 11 bearings that need lubrication in the engine (3 main bearings, 2 big ends, 2 little ends/crossheads, and 4 eccentrics). Actually, there is cylinder lubrication as well, but we are going to deal with that via a separate displacement lubricator which injects oil into the incoming steam (a sort of 19-century “posi-lub”!

There seems to be two approaches to pumped lubrication, either a single pump producing a pressurised rail, and then a set of individual needle-valves or calibrated jets. Or individual pumps for each bearing. Memories of failed cam-shafts on Ford Pinto engines in the 70’s steered me towards the latter approach, so that is what we decided upon.

A V11 pump

jim ewing-style lubricator

A Jim Ewing-style Lubricator

So, the conclusion is a 11-pump lubricator. These are normally arranged as a “V” to reduce the overall length. I have previously built one to Jim Ewing’s design (see pic) which worked very well on the loco. My first plan was therefore to build a set of these and then drive them from a set of cams.

However. for reasons I can’t remember I thought I only needed 10 pumps so, when I drew these up in ViaCAD I drew them with 5 cams driving these in pairs.

FIrst plan - a V10 lubricator - in solid modler

FIrst plan – a V10 lubricator – in solid modler

First plan - a V10 lubricator

First plan – a V10 lubricator

Sprag Clutches

The cams are driven by a pair of “sprag clutches“, which are small needle roller bearings which only allow the shaft to turn in one direction. So, by holding one still in the oil tank and putting the drive arm on the other, one gets effectively a fine ratchet mechanism that will convert any to-and-fro motion into a rotating motion to drive the cams.

Pump Units

However, I concluded two things 1) making 10 (actually 11) of these pumps would take a while and 2) you could buy similar pump assemblies from Lubetec (these are Interlube AC pump units) ready made… So that was what I did – here are some pictures of the final lubricator with 11 of the LubTec pumps fitted – smaller capacity (red) ones for the eccentrics and larger (yellow) ones for the mains, big & little ends….

Onwards….

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What a lot of holes…

We are progressing with the building of the boiler. The first job is drilling all the holes in the steam and mud drums.

We have 1,236 to do, and so far we have finished 824 of them – it’s boring!

The first 823 were the worst!

The first 823 were the worst!

The next job is to use a countersink bit on a air ratchet (hopefully) to de-burr the inside of all the holes.

Then we will mount the drums into the casing end-plates. and start fitting the tubes… We are using Ashby Welding in Church Crookham to plasma-cut the casing bits from 3mm plate, and they are also cutting the blanks for the drum end covers and the economiser and super-heater headers from 20mm plate.

Here is a picture of the CAD drawings I created to drive the plasma machine…

lifu-housing-componentsv2

lifu-housing-componentsv2

Boiler Begins!

Sorry for the long silence, we have been working hard to relocate to Cumbria and convert the garage into a workshop – with that approximately complete it allows me to get started on the boiler for Befur. So this post concerns itself with this topic. Continue reading

Heggerscales Steam Yacht Club Opens!

Well we made it! Befur is delivered to our New home in Heggerscales in Cumbria – a long slow 10hour overnight tow on Sunday got us here intact….

So the next job is to fit out the workshop, and then build some boilers!

Here is Befur ready for her journey – the Landy performed perfectly…..

Befur ready to head North

(ps – the unfinished looking paintwork is ready for its antifouling, which can only be applied 2-weeks before launch)

The Final Push to the North

Well, as I may have mentioned we have decided to relocate to Cumbria (330miles north of current location) – this of course means moving house and more significantly relocating the workshop and boat! This decision has resulted in the gap in posts and also a final push to get Befur in a state ready to hit the road.

Continue reading

Paint!

A day we thought we might be never reach, has arrived ☺.

Today we put the first paint on Befur,it’s only primer but it is a milestone.

We have decided to use Epifanes 2-pack polyurethane for the hull cockpit, decks and topsides (and something cheaper for inside)! So £480 later we have the necessary under and top coats.

Onwards! (You can tell we are excited by all the exclamation marks!!!)

Collecting the trailer tomorrow and the mast on Tuesday – real progress.

 

Fitting Out

Louise (having retired) has joined as a full-time worker now, and progress is much improved… She has become an expert epoxy filleter, and having two people to hold a job, or get the pencil you left on the bench when you’re up-side-down in the cabin saves a huge amount of time.

We have fitted the cabin roof, and almost completed the initial fit-out of the cabin and started on the seating (which also provides a deal of strength to the hull in the cockpit), so feel like we are moving quicker.

We compiled a (slightly daunting) list of outstanding jobs, ~80 of them, and are actually ticking some of them off!!! Cumbria is feeling closer!

A selection of recent pics:

A Chart Table!

A Chart Table!

Cabin Roof - well screwed!

Cabin Roof – well screwed!

Cockpit combing in place

Cockpit combing in place