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Thread: Whisperings

  1. #61
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    One of the first jobs I had when I started working at the'Hill' was to screwcut some mounting studs for a steam engine installation. This consisted of screwcutting both ends of twelve pieces shaft (approx one metre long) inch and a half Whitworth. The only lathe they had (and still have) is an old...old Nuttal lathe that had been relegated to turning brass bits and (dare I say it) wood. first check was to make sure the half nuts would stay engaged under load. No they dont! I had enough shafting to make absolutely no mistakes. Suffice it to say it all went well.
    After that the restoration began.
    First pic is the studs set up ready for the concrete.
    Second pic is the engine being lifted into position.
    Third is the flywheel and crank being lifted in.
    Fourth is the cleaning of the engine to assess any repairs.
    Fifth and sixth is a big jump to the completed engine up and running.

  2. #62
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    Sunday is preferred at my end - given a choice...

    Joe

  3. #63
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    Here are the boilers that power the engines
    The one on the left is a Thompsons of Castlemaine built in 1909 and the one on the right is a Roberts and sons of Bendigo built in 1911.
    Second pic is the Roberts boiler
    Third is the Thompson
    Fourth is the Welch Perrin feedwater pumps
    Fifth is the Thompson boiler about to be reassembled after its annual clean out. This is my job at the moment.

  4. #64
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    Nice pictures Phil, keep them coming. I certainly remember the boilers.

    I cant make this Saturday or Dec 11th

    Stuart

  5. #65
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    Hi Phil,

    How do you cut a thread, when the half nuts don't stay engaged under load? Sounds like a delicate job..

    I don't have any plans, (that I know of) for Monday the 12th ...

    Regards
    Ray

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayG View Post
    Hi Phil,

    How do you cut a thread, when the half nuts don't stay engaged under load? Sounds like a delicate job..

    I don't have any plans, (that I know of) for Monday the 12th ...

    Regards
    Ray
    Hi Ray,
    Apologies.
    I only half explained that. The half nuts would engage and then as soon as any load is put on them they disengage. Fantastic to have that happen on the final cut as you could imagine. I have a habit of holding the engagement lever down with my left hand whenever I am screwcutting on an old lathe as a matter of course now. It saves a lot of grief, especially when the boss gets enough material for no mistakes. But then restoring steam engines is all about not making mistakes as quite often you are repairing original parts as opposed to making new ones Popping down to the store to buy new parts is not an option anymore lol

    Phil

  7. #67
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    With the Walker engine it was directed that the installation be done the traditional way.The Datum supplied was the centerline of the winches to meet up with the centerline of the engines crankshaft. This involved running a thin wire from the winch centrline to the opposing wallTraditionally piano wire is used and as hard as i searched I could not find anyone who sells piano wire. Next best(sort of) was MIG wire. Another wire was then run at right angles from the wall behind the engine through the cylinder bores and attached to the centre of a plate bolted where the cylinder cover attaches. Wedges were then placed under the engine to facilitate small adjustments for alignment. These were made from 2 inch square bar cut diagonally and numbered to remain as matched setsCalipers are then used from the wire to the cylinder walls for proper alignment while tapping the wedges. If anyone has done machining with calipers then you will know you can achieve less than 0.001" accuracy just by feel. the gap under the engine is then grouted after the hold down bolts are tightened. The engine runs as smooth as silk and has done for nearly three years.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamwhisperer View Post
    With the Walker engine it was directed that the installation be done the traditional way.The Datum supplied was the centerline of the winches to meet up with the centerline of the engines crankshaft. This involved running a thin wire from the winch centrline to the opposing wallTraditionally piano wire is used and as hard as i searched I could not find anyone who sells piano wire. Next best(sort of) was MIG wire. Another wire was then run at right angles from the wall behind the engine through the cylinder bores and attached to the centre of a plate bolted where the cylinder cover attaches. Wedges were then placed under the engine to facilitate small adjustments for alignment. These were made from 2 inch square bar cut diagonally and numbered to remain as matched setsCalipers are then used from the wire to the cylinder walls for proper alignment while tapping the wedges. If anyone has done machining with calipers then you will know you can achieve less than 0.001" accuracy just by feel. the gap under the engine is then grouted after the hold down bolts are tightened. The engine runs as smooth as silk and has done for nearly three years.
    Using a tight wire is a good trick for all sorts of things.

    When I was setting up the keel plate for my boat (it's 7.6m of 200x40 flat bar tapered in at both ends) I stretched a tight wire the length of the barn and dropped plumb bobs to the keel centre line. As I erected each frame I could use the wire & plumb bob to ensure they were vertical and on their marks. You have to be fussy as you're ultimately dealing with thin plate so a 3mm error might mean 2 sheets won't meet nicely.

    PDW

  9. #69
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    Just a quick note. This weekend’s visit is off, Sat or Sun. I think I was the only one available.

    So, Sunday 11th or Mon 12th Dec. Perhaps if you guys can email me, I’ll keep the tally, to save diluting Phil’s thread anymore. I’ve been in touch with the Horsham crew. Some potential that they will be available also.

    Phil

    machtool at bigpond dot net dot au

    P.S
    Quote Originally Posted by Steamwhisperer View Post
    and as hard as I searched I could not find anyone who sells piano wire.
    If you ever need any, I have a collection.

  10. #70
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    [QUOTE=Machtool;1406281][FONT=Verdana]Just a quick note. This weekend

  11. #71
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    What the hell is wrong with this phone!!!!
    I will re-do that post when I get home

    Phil

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamwhisperer View Post
    What the hell is wrong with this phone!!!!

    Iím not sure what the time span here is, but you can always, click the edit button, and delete or edit a message with in the edit time allowed. I have no experience with a phone, I have enough trouble at my desk.

    Regards Phil.

  13. #73
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    Phil I'm really enjoying the pics. I've been doing a bit of introductory reading about steam engines. It's astonishing how many different designs there were. Though I guess not all were successful. I would love to learn a bit more about some of the engines you have - just in broad terms what types they are, maybe their nominal ratings and what they are powering. For instance, what's the big cable winch for?

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machtool View Post
    Just a quick note. This weekendís visit is off, Sat or Sun. I think I was the only one available.

    So, Sunday 11th or Mon 12th Dec. Perhaps if you guys can email me, Iíll keep the tally, to save diluting Philís thread anymore. Iíve been in touch with the Horsham crew. Some potential that they will be available also.

    Phil

    machtool at bigpond dot net dot au

    P.S
    If you ever need any, I have a collection.
    Hi Phil
    what I was trying to say was thanks for doing all this for me. If it helps, I am available on the 11th and 12th to show everyone around so that if some can only make it on the Sunday and the rest on the Monday, that is still ok.

    Phil

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
    Phil I'm really enjoying the pics. I've been doing a bit of introductory reading about steam engines. It's astonishing how many different designs there were. Though I guess not all were successful. I would love to learn a bit more about some of the engines you have - just in broad terms what types they are, maybe their nominal ratings and what they are powering. For instance, what's the big cable winch for?
    Hi Bryan
    I think we will stick to just the engines we have otherwise if I was to give you a brief rundown on all the diffeent types of engines we would be here forever (which is not a bad thing).
    I guess the first one to be regarded as an engine would be Hero's engine which is not strictly an engine but is an Aeliophile. Kinda like a reaction turbine. Turbines are steam engines as well. These go back to 400 AD. We use ours to teach kids about steam on the goldfields during the school holidays. Dont laugh too much at the photo, it was taken by someone else which is sadly why I am in it. (that wont happen again lol)
    Next one is is the Winder Engine with the cable drum. This was made by John Donald Ltd in Glasgow and is two simple engines side by side not to be confused with a twin steam engine(too long to explain the different configurations). A simple engine has one cylinder. (again too long to explain) The winder was used to take the men down the mine to work and also bring the mullock and quartz back to the surface.
    You do realise that at the speed I type it would be quicker to drive to your house, bring you here, show you all of the engines then drive you back home lol
    Briefer descriptions coming so any questions just ask.

    Phil

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