As April begins the weather returns to snow and cold, so it seems a good time to provide a progress report.
We are working towards getting Befur into the water for 2019 – I was hoping for April 1st, but (as always) I am behind plan. However, it really is too cold to be on the water, so we will remained chilled about our position.
So, here is a list of the main activity of the last few weeks:
As Lou explained (as I sat in the land-rover feeling quite defeated) “It’s like when you built the racing bikes/cars – you can’t expect to show up at the circuit and have it all work perfectly the first time you race it. There is always going to be development work.”
…and I guess she is right!
This post firstly relates the trips we have made so far, and secondly attempts to provide a balanced view of the successes and failures to date – to help other builders.
Just a note to commemorate another milestone. Yesterday we (neighbour Mike and I) lifted the engine into the boat! Hurrah!
We had spent a deal of time debating how best to do this, with the hydraulic bucket on the tractor being the initial option – but in the end we both felt a bit “windy” about working under the engine held up by an ageing tractor, and instead opted for the “trusty” Chinese chain-hoist strapped to an RSJ in the roof of Mike’s barn. We then picked the engine up, and manoeuvred the boat under the engine. To make it more interesting, we really don’t know how heavy it is – but the two of us could not lift it by hand to get it to the engine crane to put on a trailer for the trip to the barn (200yd push in light snow!)
The decision as to installation was to epoxy four M10 studs into the engine bearers and then use nuts on the studs to secure the engine bed down. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →