Tag Archives: leak compound steam

Getting to the end of the worklist

I’m falling behind! No progress update since January – sorry.

We have been working hard to get her ready for re-entering the water… This winter’s workslist has turned into quite a major refit.

The list below shows the work we are undertaking, and all is completed except installing the engine and the work on mast and rigging.

Maintenance

  • Varnish anchor chocks
  • Varnish side decks and tiller
  • Fill & re-paint the various dings & dents in paint work
  • Check / remake lower rudder pintle
  • Re-coat antifoul
  • Adjust masthead block locations
  • Inspect/fix paint bubbles at waterline
  • Complete inspection and maintenance of engine

Improvements

Engine & Boiler

  • Remove Worthing Simpson duplex circulating pump.
  • Fit new Jabsco circulating  pump.
  • Fit Alfa-Laval plate condenser.
  • Calibrate Vac gauge.
  • Make new LP Valve to fix timing.
  • Remake HP valve to fix timing and cure leaks.
  • Reset eccentrics, to fix timing.
  • Cross-head re-fit to correct clearances.
  • Re-furbish feed-pump seals & slow gearing.
  • Replace & improve scotch-crank pump drive.
  • Improve & tidy feed-pump plumbing.
  • Replace boiler clacks. (inspect and paint boiler drum internals).
  • Inspect and refit Air Pump piston & seal.
  • Install ancillary steam lines & valves for ejector, whistle, re-heater & kettle
  • Make improved oil filters for hotwell.

Electrical Systems

  • Add secondary battery and split charge relay
  • Install wiring for the circulating pump with fuse and switching from driving position.
  • Add electrical noise filter for NASA depth sounder.

Hull & Sail

Picture of new plate condenser & circulating pump

New bulkhead, plate condenser and circulating pump.

 

  • Install a new bulkhead on starboard side.
  • Make & fit Windermere Kettle to condenser brackets.
  • Add a Tack Line and cabin rood fixing.
  • Tidy Tack Parrel.
  • Fit Windex to masthead.
  • Adjust ballast towards the stern.
  • Fit guard around compass.
  • Fit Cam Cleat for sheets.
  • Improve sheetlet attachment to battens.

Comparing old and new valve timing

As a last post on the subject of correcting the valve timing on the Leak  Compound in Befur (prior to “sea trials” later in the year), here we will look at the results from the static (blowing) valve timing tests, and compare to the results prior to rebuild. But first a video of it running on air with the new timing…

I just updated this post to improve the pictures and ordering to allow simpler comparisons between old and new timing data.

Continue reading

Valve Setting on a Leak Compound

This time we are looking at how to fix the problems with the Leak’s valve gear design. This is now part of our Leak Hints and Tips section on the known errors or problems with Leak design……

As we get to the end of January 2022, the tuning/rebuild/shopping of Befur’s engine continues, once this is complete we can get on with the list of hull and fittings-related work. But it seems we should at least explain what work the last few months have contained…

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Progress – a new scotch crank pump drive

A last quick post for the day, then it’s back to the cold workshop….

The pump drive on Befur has been an on-going source of angst and failure… So we redesigned and rebuilt it!

This appears to be much better, and pending final cleaning, plating etc. here is a video of it in action on the bench!

A Digital Engine Indicator

The Digital Engine Indicator

The Digital Engine Indicator

As my first job was working as an Instrument Technician for Shell Research in the Applied Physics department, I became interested in the measurement of physical systems… thus I was interested in Engine Indicators as a tool for evaluating engine performance, and measuring valve events and gas-flow in steam and very large marine diesels.

 

An Engine Indicator – Wikipedia Commons Image

Given my later life in computing I concluded that a digital version of one of these instruments could be made to evaluate the performance of Befur’s engine.

I penned an article for The SBA’s Funnel magazine, but the publication of this has been delayed, so I am publishing it here for those interested.

It’s still a prototype, and in need of further development, but it has provided some interesting data – which at least prompted further analysis and investigations into what happens inside Befur’e engine…

I have attached to this post a PDF describing the Digital Engine Indicator, which you can read and download here

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Engine Rebuild – Valve timing analysis

As you may have seen from earlier posts, and here we are embarking on a major winter “shopping” of Befur, to address a number of problems.

Measuring the valve timing on the bench

One of these tasks is to analyse and reset the valve timing of the engine to improve efficiency and performance. Continue reading

Winter Work (some progress)

 

 

Well, we have been working on the list we made in the last post, and have some positive news, and some better understanding of the problems…

Wear

I spent a couple of days with the engine on the bench and a dial indicator attempting to find and measure the wear or absence of same…. We have a page or two of measurements…

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HP valve to Cylinder Joint & Lubrication

From Experience two other issues to consider

While these are not drawing errors, they have emerged over the first 3 seasons with the engine, and should be considered by builders.

HP Valve Chest to Cylinder Joint

In the BOOK the designer suggests using Araldite? as a jointing/sealing material… its not a solution, particularly for this joint.

The joint between the HP Valve Chest and the HP cylinder is problematic, as the sealing faces are very thin, and the two components are only secured by 4 bolts, which are hard to tighten and not well positioned to ensure a steam tight joint.

My first attempt was using “SteamSeal” jointing compound  – this failed quite quickly.

The second attempt was using “Heldite” jointing compound – this failed within a few hours.

My last attempt was using “Oakenstrong” gasket paper, I had resisted this, not wanting to affect the overall block dimensions. However, rebuilding with gasket paper and jointing compound (Heldite) does seem to have cured this problem.

Lubrication of “small ends”

I spent a long time chasing a knock that appeared to come from the LP small end. Rebushing the piston rod and a new pin did not cure this, and it was clear that the pin was suffering.

This was finally cured by increasing the size of the Lubtech pump units feeding these bearings and slide ways. A “black” one (0.1cc/stroke) silenced the knock instantly.

I am sure that a better builder than me might make the sideway fits better, but the lubrication points at the bottom of the piston rods have to lubricate the “small end” and the slide-ways, and so need a heavy oil flow to ensure that both bearings are supplied on each cylinder, as I think the oil preferentially flows to the slide-ways, starving the bush at the lower end of the piston rod.

Is this the end? Probably not!

Timeframe missed a bit

Well, looking back the first post here was on 8th June 2011, and we aimed to finish and launch by 26th June 2015 – planning was never my hot spot! We did change the goal posts in mid-flight (adding a sail, loo, etc, and stretching her from  a planned 16ft to almost 27ft to get everything in, but hey we did get there!), and on the 20th July 2020 we took her for a steam and sail on Windermere with a cameraman (Roger Heise from the SBA) on hand to record her 2nd trip under sail (thank you Roger).

Notes on the Steam Bit

Before I inflict an album of sailing photos on you, a couple of notes on the steam side, especially for Leak Compound builders…. Continue reading