Building the Engine and Boiler
Below are posts related to the building of Arthur Leak’s marine compound steam engine as originally described in Model Engineer magazine and more recently provided via Camden Books (drawings, manual and castings). It will also include the construction of a oil-fired Yarrow watertube boiler, to designs from John King from the SBA (see links on right of home page)
This is the engine that will power SY-Befur, it is expected to produce 10-14HP. These post cover all the construction from Camden’s castings and the addition of pump and alternator assemblies for our particular installation.
Following on from the Boiler test, and a quick trial we identified just over 20 items that needed some attention. So a week later, with all these items fixed (from leaking valves to painting and plating valve gear components), we are ready to try again. Continue reading →
You will have realised that I am a bit of a sucker for ageing lumps of cast iron in need of restoration. So I could not resist a circa 1940 Worthington Simpson Steam Pump that Mark Rudell offered to me. It seemed it would serve well as a boiler feed pump or circulating pump for the condenser. (providing I could ignore the fact that it’s about 5 times the size we need – but hey the designer said I needed 500KG of ballast in the bottom of the boat, and given I can barely lift this beauty it’s all grist to that mill!) Continue reading →
Well the 10th November 2017 marks a major milestone – the boiler passed its initial inspection and steam test, and is now certified for use. (big smiles all round).
Sadly, everything was too frenetic to take pictures during the steam test – but here it is just before we pressed go!
John, our inspector from SBAS Ltd (the SBA’s Boiler Inspecting Company) had been booked to arrive at 3:00pm – at 9:00am I set about final sealing of the try-cocks on the sight gauge – at 1:30pm I nearly called to cancel the appointment as no amount of fiddling and fitting would make them seal, with a constant drip from each of them at anything above 50psi 😦 Continue reading →
Over the last few days we have encountered the two items mentioned in the title in real life, in a slightly stressful way.
The Real McCoy
One of Elijah McCoy’s displacement lubricators – actually this one was made by the Detroit Lubricator Company.
While Wikipedia suggests two origins for the phrase “The Real McCoy”, the most well documented version relates to one of the brass beauties shown here.
It is a displacement lubricator patented by one of Elijah McCoy’ in the 1870s in America. These devices perform a simple, but vital, role of providing internal lubrication for steam engine cylinders and valve gear, but they do it using an apparently impossible process. Continue reading →
We decided to make the sight glass for the boiler following John King’s design, with slight modifications. Ian Cross of the SBA was very helpful and modified some existing patterns he had for “normal” reflex gauge glasses to suite rear-entry installations, and had 3 sets of these cast for our “boiler making syndicate”.
As it happened he made the castings with larger/longer mounting “lugs” so I decided to try to make the gauge with the cocks integrated into the body (as opposed to separate valves as drawn by John). This was a quite stressful decision as the cocks are not easy to make, and any errors result in a scrapped casting, but none-the-less I am quite pleased with the result. Continue reading →
Well a definite milestone was reached today; the boiler passed its official initial hydraulic test at 500psi conducted by our Boiler Inspector.
It will never need to be pressed that hard again, next we have a 375psi test with all the ancillaries fitted (gauges, valves, plumbing etc.) then we put some fire in its belly and prove that the safety valves will stop the pressure going more than 10% higher than its 250psi operating pressure – then we will be allowed to insure it and use it in anger!!!
This might seem like a bit of a palaver, but a boiler failure will typically kill everyone within many feet – so it pays to take care. Continue reading →
Just a quick note on recent days’ work. We have been insulating the inner boiler casing and installing the funnel (at a jaunty angle)!
The boiler has two casings- one surrounding the burner, tubes etc. (the hot stuff) and an outer one of wood, with an air-gap in-between to keep passengers safe. This also includes a double skinned chimney (also to keep people safe – Lou has quite a scar from another steamboat where the funnel was not lagged or double skinned). Continue reading →