Tag Archives: Steam Boat Association

Turning it over!!!!!

Well, yesterday was a momentous day! As noted in the previous post, I was totally ready to move on and stop filling/preparing the hull and see the inside!

More assistance from Nigel Thomson from the SBA produced an excellent result.

We propped the workshop roof with some Acroprops, fitted up a selection of chain hoists (thank you Graham for loaning yours) and supported the boat in slings. We then got inside and removed a remarkable quantity of ironmongery and stripped out all the molds…. Thank you Nigel for doing the majority of this work! Continue reading

A hull with no holes in – oh wait!

Well this months thanks go to Nigel Thompson from the SBA who noticed signs of wavering and  procrastination in my questioning about the sequence of build operations, and stepped in to put me back on the right track….

To go back a bit; you might recall that the game plan is to clad the hull outside and in with epoxy/cloth skins. Also we need to add the “keel” (aka “deadwood”) to the bottom of the boat after cladding, and the question was do we clad the out side, then fit the keel/propshaft/rudder etc.  then turn her over and clad the inside? or do we clad the outside, turn her over and clad the inside then turn her over and fit the keel and then turn her a third time or some other combination of things…. In the middle of this agonising it was suggested by others that the internal and external cladding need to be done in one season to stop the timber “shrinking away from the cladding” due to changes of humidity in the (half-clad) timber…. and then there is a land-rover chassis sitting waiting to be mated to my winter transport and then there are holidays and bike tours in France and then…… At this point the aforementioned Nigel stepped in and said “common lets get moving I’ll come next week and help with the cladding”. and so it was to be….. Continue reading

Planking the hull (not the fad)…

I see that we have written nothing since June to indicate progress… Well that’s partly holidays, partly a dose of shingles, and partly because I have been more focussed on building than writing (no bad thing I guess).

Planking at last

Continue reading

Spring Progress & A Find

The clocks moved today, and the weather is amazing – must be close to 20c.

Last weekend Louise and I went to the AGM of the SteamBoat Association in Cleavdon (near Bristol) and had a really nice weekend – a very friendly and informed group of people. Also there was an auction (dangerous things auctions), but fortunately we forgot a cheque book, so I was unable to take advantage of many of the incredible bargains… 😉

However I did purchase the core of a condenser, which while quite large might make the basis of the one I need to build – 30lbs of Brass, and about 100 tubes for £10!!!

(pictures to follow!)

Sawing Straight (not)

Having clamped a pair of mould-half panels together, I figured I could just cut them out with a jig saw….

The "Offending" Saw - as always it's the bad workman who blames his tools!

The "Offending" Saw - as always it's the bad workman who blames his tools!

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….

The first three moulds - halves bolted together, showing the marking out

The first three mould-halves bolted together, showing the marking out (Nos 1,12 and 16)

I leave the workshop with three assembled and very “boat shaped” moulds – life is good again!

 

Where it all began

Being a youth in the ’70s I got swept up in the emergence of the industrial archeology “movement”. Building on basic motorcycle/petrol-head beginnings I became significantly infused with serious doses of Steam and Engineering. This included working on Brindley’s Water Mill at Leek, helping the Northern Mill Engine Society dismantle a cotton mill in Shaw in Lancashire, and going sidecar racing.

Probably the key moment was meeting a retired engineer, who was helping with the sidecar project, and  whose house was full of 5-inch-gauge model Steam Locomotives, and I thought “wow that would be a good thing to do when I retire” and then realising that if I waited till then I would not have time to learn the craft – so I bought a Lathe…

About 25 years later (after 2 daughters (Becca and Kathy), a wife (Louise) and building a model of one of Nigel Gresley’s first designs (the O1 for the GNR) (see below) and a lot of swarf and scrap)  I ran into the Steam Boat association of the UK at an exhibition in Taunton in 2010. They had a steam boat on the stand… and a couple of blokes who made it sound interesting!

I felt the “obsessive gene” kick in…..

Here is the loco – showing that I can finish something, even if it takes over 25 years!

…and here’s a video of Dave driving…