Well, a good day! Befur went back on the water yesterday, and it would appear that the work over the winter worked well.
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
“The Day” arrived!
There was no more putting off to be done – we had to launch her. We had agreed the rental of a swinging mooring on Ullswater with Ullswater Marine. So on the 27th June (just over 7 years and 2 weeks since the first post here) we hitched the Landy to the trailer, and with our hearts in our mouth we set off. Actually, as neither of us slept much, and recognising it was “bin day” and aside from the normal, farm/post/school traffic down the 2 miles of single track lane, we also needed to dodge the refuse truck so we decided to set off at 7:30am. 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).
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
Each year the SBA (Steam Boat Association) has a week long rally at Windemere in the English Lake District.
This year Louise and I arranged to be there at the same time and joined them for a couple of days. This gave us a chance to take a trip on three boats; Arminta (built by Len Williamson), and powered by a Leak compound of the type I am building; Grayling, built by John Maltby – a tribute to his fine engineering; and Imp owned and built by Chris Davis – a lovely traditional river launch, with a Stuart 6A built by himself.
We also visited the Steam Boat Museum, soon to be reopened following a change of management and major refurbishment.
Some pictures below:
Louise and I had a fun weekend with the Steam Boat association, at the Rally they organised with the French Steam Boat Association at St. Ives on the Great Ouse.
We were fortunate enough to blag trips on Lady Selsey (owned by Richard Mitchell) and Theodore (owned by Pieter Brittijn) – with brilliant sunshine, and good company we had a great time.
It also helped confirm Louise’s and my view of the style of boat we wanted to build, we are very taken with the more open “working” boat typified by the yacht tender from the turn of the century (1900!), as opposed to the Edwardian river launch style. (as Louise commented these could be characterized as the difference between Ikea and the Antiques Road Show.
There is still a long way from here to having to implement our decisions, but my current favorite design is typified by Lady May build by John King.
Having clamped a pair of mould-half panels together, I figured I could just cut them out with a jig saw….
So off I set, slowly and carefully sawing along the line – 2 inches in I encounter the first problem – there is so much dust I can’t see the line… At this point I engage “smug-mode” and pick up the shop airline, and with the spare hand blow the dust clear as I saw…
… I reach the end and discover (horror) that the b*&^&^y saw has cut at an angle to the vertical – and (double horror) this mis-cut has resulted in the lower panel being significantly undersize (we are talking about a ~5mm undercut!) grrrrrr….
I check the saw and the blade is square to the foot, so I am mystified…
A number of posts to the Selway Fisher Builders Yahoo group follow… (this really is a great group of people) and a deal of suggestions emerge within a few hours. These range from observations that cutting 1.5inches of chipboard in one go is too ambitious, thru to real Zen-like encouragement to chill more, take up a pipe and cut them with a Japanese hand saw – excellent!
So, I take some of my scrap chipboard (I just made a nice new bit of this) and draw curved lines and practice my sawing (by hand and other approaches) – including sawing it an inch oversize and improving my planing and surforming technique.
In the end two key factors emerge 1 – you cannot saw two at a time (you were right Graham) and 2 – I was going too slow! By setting the variable speed JigSaw to “flat out” and keeping my feed rate slow the desired results emerge….
I leave the workshop with three assembled and very “boat shaped” moulds – life is good again!