Another snowy day in Heggerscales
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:
This post continues/concludes the story of manufacturing a new crank for Befur from the last post.
Here we can see the re-assembled engine with new crank. We are still to install all the ancillaries (reversing gear, lubrication, condenser and feed/air pump & alternator drive.)
It took 6-man days from receiving the crank back from the grinders to reach this stage.
Once we have tested it on air, we will reinstall it on the boat and undertake this year’s boiler test and check all is as it should be.
Machining Crank Pins
Those of you who have been following Befur’s progress will know that our first year in the water was marred by the failure of the crankshaft in the Leak Compound engine I built.
This post deals with the manufacture of a replacement, and the results of my research/experience into the approaches to building cranks for “small” (<20HP) marine steam plants.
Methods of Manufacture
Well we got Befur’s engine back into the workshop, and stripped it down to see if we could locate the source of the knocking we have been suffering all season.
Befur’s Engine ready to be stripped.
On lifting the crank out it looked perfect, and did not have any obvious loose or moving joints My heart sank, as this was really my only theory on what was wrong. Continue reading
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.
Trials (and tribulations)
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
We are feeling like the end (of the first phase) of “project Befur” is in sight – we have set a goal of having her on the water in April – the remaining 90 days appear to be passing at some speed.
This time I wanted to document the final work to get the engine and boiler ready for installation in the boat, the electrical system and Louise’s work on fitting out. Continue reading