johnsmachines

machines which I have made, am making, or intend to make, and some other stuff. If you find this site interesting, please leave a comment.

Antarctic Sphinx

When scanning Antarctica with Google Earth Pro today, which I do from time to time, I came across this flattish circular shape on top of a mountain…

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Zooming in….

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The Disk pin locates a tiny dot of interest…. 6 Nov 2012.  Moving the Timeline date does not change the image.

It is 10km diameter, and fairly flat and smooth.  The above photo was taken from 10.5km altitude.

You will note my marker labelled “Disk”.  It marks a black dot, which I zoomed into….

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Well, that looked a bit odd…  quite circular, intense white and black areas.  31 meters diameter.   The co-ordinates are on the screen if you want to check this yourself.  Note the shadow to the west.  It indicates that the central round lump with the “face” is actually a substantial pillar, with straight sides.  There is nothing anything like it that I have seen, anywhere else in Antarctica.

So what is it?  Zooming in closer (in 2012) does not improve the clarity.  ?an odd heat vent causing local melting?

A bit of further checking reveals that the area is an 11352′ (3460m) volcano, which protrudes 2100m above the surrounding ice sheet.  Mount Takahe.  76.28S,  112.08W, in West Antarctica.  It is a large  “shield volcano” which last erupted in 5550BCE.  It erupted massively 17,700 years ago, and is thought to have accelerated the end of the last ice age.  The smooth flat area in photos 1 and 2  is the caldera of the volcano.

That is very interesting, but does not answer the question… what is the strange “sphinx” like protrusion in the 3rd  photo.

The above images were made in 2012.  I cannot find any other zoomable satellite images of this area, despite other areas of Antarctica being photographed at least annually, and in some areas, several times per year.

Also, satellite images of  most of the world’s volcanoes are available at http://www.volcanodiscovery.com , but Mt Takahe’s images are blacked out!

Please excuse my paranoia.   And the clickbait heading.

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The flat top is the ice filled caldera.

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Almost worth travelling to inland Antarctica, and climbing an 11,000′ volcano to find out.  Almost.

Oh, and by the way, there is a pyramid, or a mountain which looks distinctly pyramidal, in Antarctica…  Look it up.

PS.  2 days later.  Doing some more checking on Mt Tahake, I came across this YouTube video.  I was not the first to think that there is some strange stuff there.

 

11:00 11-11 Remembrance Day

On the Remembrance Day theme, this one was sent by reader Jennifer Edwards, UK.  It is from WW2.

Hi John,

As long as we are thinking of Remembrance Day, this is a photo taken by one of those front line battle photographers of my father who was a medic being awarded the silver star.

His company being led by a green lieutenant (90 day wonder) into an ambush was caught in a murderous crossfire of machine guns and mortar.

The lieutenant was screaming for a medic from a crater up in front. My father felt compelled to run under this indiscriminate fire to help him because he sounded so desperate.

When dad made it to him he saw that all he had was a broken ankle. Angry that he just risked his life for a non-life threatening injury grabbed the Lt. and broke his nose!

A bird colonel watching from the safety of a nearby hill saw my dad’s act of bravery and said “give that man a medal”. The lieutenant pressed charges for striking an officer.

So dad was busted to buck sergeant and awarded the silver star on the same day!

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Thanks Jennifer!  What a great family story!

101 years ago, today.

At 11am, on November 11, 1918, World War 1 ended.  Or as many historians claim,  phase 1 of WW1 ended.  Phase 2 became known as WW2.

The following text and photos are about one of the allies main artillery weapons, and the modelling of it by reader Robert Irving, of NSW.

 

The 1916 Vickers 8” Howitzer.

The United Kingdom entered WWI with its traditional lack of preparedness. Defence funds had been lavished on the Royal Navy to maintain the ‘Two Fleet’ policy, whereby Britain could deter attack by having a fleet more effective than the combined force of the world’s next two largest navies. The Kaiser wanted a fleet to rival his cousin Edward’s and later cousin Georges. The ensuing arms race drained the tax revenue leaving little in the budget for the army. The army was still equipping itself for mobile warfare after the needs of the Boar War and had a good supply of very mobile light field artillery, very few machine guns and an inadequate inventory of mobile heavy guns.

The failure of the Schlieffen plan to take Paris and the channel ports, against stubborn resistance, resulted in the continuous trenches from the channel to Switzerland. German policy was to build a strong defensible line and hold their gains. To this end they employed their normal thorough approach and by 1916 had fortified their numerous layers of trenches with deep concrete dugouts to give protection and a modicum of comfort to their frontline forces. They had also retreated to gain the tactical advantage of high ground where applicable. France and Britain, understandably had an offensive policy and didn’t build strong or comfortable trenches. Break through, then attack with cavalry thinking dominated strategy and tactics . Germany began attacking the Verdun Forts in late February 1916. General Falkenhayns stated objective being to “Bleed France Dry”and this they were close to achieving. The British were rushed into the long planned attack between Serre and Montauban, nine miles of front, to relieve pressure on the French. The French were to attack on the British right flank, though this was scaled down due to the huge losses at Verdun. The British attack  plus the diversionary attack at Gommecourt were together, known as the Big Push. This being the first major attack by Field Marshal Kitchener’s Volunteer Army, morale was at peak, despite the average three months the new battalions had spent rotating through front line duty; the sector was a quiet one.

In August 1915 the Vickers 8” Howitzer was approved however an order for 50 was not placed until March 1916 and delivery began in July 1916. The Howitzer fired a 91kg, 8” diameter shell a maximum distance of 11,000 yards, it’s trajectory was high and therefore it gave plunging fire, ideal, with appropriate fusing, to penetrate deep dugouts. There were a few makeshift large calibre pieces in operation in June 1916 but these were thinly spread along the nine mile front, they were mainly stopgap weapons made by modifying old naval guns. The Royal Field Artillery staple weapon was the quick firing 18 pounder, firing a projectile weighing 8kg with a range of 6500 yards.

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1918  Vickers 8″ Howitzer.

 

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Australian 8″ Howitzer battery

The attack was scheduled for the morning of July 1st  and preliminary bombardment began one week earlier. Huge stocks of shrapnel and high explosive shell for the 18 pounders were in place, far fewer heavy shells were available. The plan was that the new spigot mortar, firing a basketball sized high explosive projectile, together with the 18 pounders would break up the fields of barbed wire and kill sufficient front line defenders to make the 100yard to one mile crossing of no-mans-land, without cover, survivable. Results on the wire were patchy and on the dugouts feeble at best. Only British forces adjacent to the French sector, with a high density of artillery, had a real chance success, near the villages of Fricourt and Montauban

The Attack began at 7.20am on that clearing misty July morning, with the explosion of a large mine under the German front line at Hawthorn ridge near Beaumont Hamel, followed by a series of similar mines at 7.30am. Orders to the first waves of infantrymen were to advance at walking pace with rifles at high port and occupy the German frontline. Later waves were to attack the second and third lines to facilitate a cavalry breakthrough. These orders ignored reports all week, from trench raiders, saying that the dugouts and occupants were intact and only the odd lookouts were killed by the bombardment. Also that the majority of the wire was undamaged.

In the first two hours of the attack, most of the 19,000 attackers who died on the first day were dead, or lying mortally wounded, without reaching the German lines. Likewise a further 40,000 casualties had occurred and the trenches were blocked by walking wounded and dead men. The storm of machine gunfire and precisely zeroed German shell fire, cut down attacking companies and battalions in rows that represented the waves leaving the trenches. The Battle of the Somme, as it was later known was doomed on the first day, the squadrons of lancers and hussars remained behind the British trenches unable to take part in the planned big break through. 1st July 1916 had the highest number of casualties for any attack by British forces.  By comparison on the first day of the landings in Normandy in 1944, there were 4,500 total allied forces killed.

The failure of this attack is attributed by most historians to the lack of sufficient heavy artillery in the preliminary bombardment like the Vickers 8 inch howitzer,. Had the 50 guns been ordered three months earlier, who knows what lives would have been saved on both sides by shortening the war.

1i Near complete Test Assembly
The almost complete model.   OAL 450mm

THE MODEL

The model was built to a firm budget for an individual in the U.K. The agreement was to build a fair representation of the Vickers 1916 8” Howitzer with no more than 250 rivets. The final number of rivets was over 500. Construction took just under 900 hours and only the nuts, bolts, two hand wheels and main gears were purchased. The model was not capable of firing having a rifled liner in the barrel (like the original) that did not extend to the breech. The breech was a four segment rotating thread type operated by moving a lever through an arc of 45 degrees. The upper chassis had elevation and traverse mechanisms and the barrel had a spring loaded recoil ability. Rifling the barrel liner was a problem. Testing the single cutter broach showed location and spacing problems. Multi cutter broaching exceeded the pushing power available, even on aluminium. These techniques work well on large production machinery cutting four or five groove barrels. This barrel needed thirty plus grooves. Having seen a toolmaker friends EDM set up I had the idea of making a copper male button to be passed spirally down a steel liner cutting electrically in the electrolyte. It worked splendidly first go and took about 20minutes. (editor’s note… “wow”)

The wheels were approximately 7” in diameter, classic traction engine types, with the rims machined from thick walled steel pipe and the spokes laser cut. The chassis, upper and lower, were cut from solid plate rather than fabricated, this was due to budget constraints.  The scale of the model was 11:1 and resulted in dimensions of : bore 19mm, overall length 450mm.

There were no engineering drawings used for the build only the line drawing shown and lots of web photographs, all of these were of later marks of the 8 inch and some were complicated by being shown in reverse from glass plates. The gun was still in service in 1939 though by then it had pneumatic tyres and lots of refinements.

Robert Irving 2019.

1a Best Drwg

The drawing which was used to make the model..

1 Boring The Barrel

Boring the barrel

1 Front

Note the rifling.

1 Gearbox

Wide track

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1f Hub Drill Jig.JPG

Wheel hub drilling jig

1g Laser cut Spokes

The spokes were laser cut

1h Rim Bolts 10BA.JPG

 

 

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Turning the barrel

7 In recoil

In recoil

8inch Breech

Breech

Early Assembly

Early assembly

1j Later Assembly

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Completed model

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Hand for scale

Rims 2

The rims

 

So, again, thanks to Robert for the photos and historical context of this superb model.

 

Zhiyun Crane M2 improvement.

This post will be of no interest unless you have one of these camera gimbals.  I found, like other reviewers of the gimbal, that the 1/4″w thumbscrew which secures the gimbal to the camera is not trapped.  I have lost it once already when I wished to use it.

There are two possible slots where the thumbscrew can be positioned, depending on the size of the camera, and I suppose that is the reason the thumbscrew was not trapped by the manufacturer.

The fix was not difficult for a machinist with a lathe and a 1/4″w tap.

I made a 1mm thick brass disk, 10mm diameter, and tapped a 1/4″w hole.  Then milled a 1mm deep circular matching recess in the joining plate after carefully determining the correct position. Put the disk onto the thumbscrew thread after checking the position, then glued the disk to the thumbscrew.

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Thumbscrew now trapped in position on the gimbal-camera joining plate.  The brass round nut is glued to the thumbscrew and sitting in a carefully positioned, machined recess in the joining plate.

Of course, the positioning is for one camera only.  But because the position is fixed, it makes joining the gimbal and the camera faster.  If the gimbal was to be used for more than one camera, a slot should be machined rather than a circular recess.  When I want to change cameras one day, I can easily melt the Super Glue, and machine an extra round recess or a slot in the plate.

 

CNC Lathe Toolpost Mill

Just a quickie to show you a progress photo of my current project.

It is a very small milling motor with a small ER collet, mounted onto the toolpost of my Boxford CNC lathe, which will convert the lathe from 2 to 3 axes.

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At this early stage the toolpost holder and cylindrical motor have been mounted to the water jet cut bracket on the right side.  Pulleys and drive belt yet to be fitted and I will trim the shaft at the left hand end of the motor.  Then the motor wires are connected to a speed and direction and on-off controller.

The usefulness of this tool is apparent in the following video of a completed unit in use.  The main spindle motor of the lathe is now a 750w AC servo motor, which can be controlled from Mach 3, to go to programmed positions and hold the position while a milling procedure takes place.  Of course the milling procedure will be with small cutters or drills, perhaps up to 3-4mm diameter.

The idea, plans, and some of the parts are courtesy of Stuart Tankard, my very clever friend, whose completed machine is the subject of the following video.

Stuart’s video is republished here with permission.  The original, with comments, is visible on YouTube.  If you have technical questions about the setup, I suggest that you contact Stuart via his YouTube post.

CONFESSION

When I was making the triple expansion steam engine I turned the crankshaft from a piece of 50mm diameter stainless steel rod.   One centre for the main bearings, and 3 other eccentric centres for the big ends.  I spent a long time marking out the centres, then turned the bearings, gluing in a packing piece after turning each one, so that pressure on the ends of the crankshaft would not distort it.

After a whole day on the job, I was pretty pleased with the progress, and I lined up the almost finished crankshaft with the bearings on the bed, to see how it would look.

#%&*##

I had made a 3mm mistake with the position of one of the big ends.  It was a fatal mistake.

So I made another crankshaft the next day, and that one worked out fine, and is on the triple to this day.

The ruined crankshaft sits prominently on a shelf in my workshop, as a reminder.

Today I am making another confession, of another stupid mistake.

This was a beautifully smooth, accurate, keyless Rohm chuck which I used often in my mill, mounted on a quick release quality JT6 Japanese fitting.  I used it successfully on drills down to 1mm size for several years.

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But lately it seemed to have a bit of runout.  Inspection appeared to show that the JT6 taper part of the chuck had dislodged a bit.  Not the taper itself, but the sleeve that the taper was machined into.

So, I put it in the press to snug it back home.

No movement, so I pushed a bit harder.  (stupid stupid stupid!)

BANG!

I don’t know what let go, but I think that I cracked the tapered sleeve.  The chuck was seized solid.  Would not move despite heavy persuasion.  I had really buggered it.

O well, you live and learn.  I figured that I would remove the chuck, buy a new one, and install it on the expensive Japanese JT6 spindle.

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So I applied a gear remover, one of those double C shaped ones, with the hardened steel jaws, and tightened the bolts.  But it would not move.  Tightened the bolts further, and further, until I was not game to apply more pressure for fear of breaking the gear remover or the Sidchrome spanner.   Considered applying heat with oxyacetylene, but I really did not want to wreck the Japanese fitting as well, so I put the question to a colleague at the model engineering club today.  As a result of that conversation, this is what I did…..with an angle grinder.

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As you can see.

I considered putting it on the shelf next to the crankshaft, but you know what…. I don’t think that I can bear to look at it, so it is going out with the rubbish to be forgotten as quickly as possible.  (ps.  now sitting next to the crankshaft)

The JT6 spindle seems to survived unscathed.

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The other side of the chuck and the spindle, after separation.

In retrospect, I wonder if I should have tried some heat, but the chuck was busted, so it would not have made much difference.

End of confession.  But I dont feel any better.

Model Krupp Gun from Emden

These photos and description were sent in by reader Robert, from NSW, Australia

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Robert’s model Emden gun

Emden Gun by Robert.
The cruiser HMAS Sydney forced surrender of the SMS light cruiser Emden in
November 1914, after a sea battle that reduced Emden to a non firing hulk;
a scene of carnage.
Sydney’s 6 inch guns outranged Emden’s 10.5cm Krupp’s. The surviving crew on
board Emden dutifully tossed overboard all the breech blocks, so the ten
captured guns brought to Australia are sans breech mechanism and none are
without significant shell damage. Two of the best preserved examples are
main deck guns, one in the Australian War Memorial and one at the Navy
Museum in Sydney Harbour. Both of these have gun shields, the third example
located at the corner of Hyde Park and Oxford St. Sydney, is a mid-deck gun
that fired from an armoured sponson and this was not fitted with a
gunshield.
The shore party sent to destroy the islands radio station escaped in a leaky
schooner and their story is real boys own stuff.
The sleek  lines and proportions of the Hyde Park example attracted me to
make a model of it. In research on the history of Emden and its crew
(captured survivors spent the war in Berrima, another interesting tale) I
came across the story of SMS Konigsberg, sister ship of Emden, scuttled in
the Rufiji river delta, East Africa, harassed by a British battle fleet.
These guns were salvaged by the crew and using huge numbers of native
conscripts, were dragged through the bush to the German railway workshops to
be fitted with carriages and wheels, others kept as fortress guns. The range
of these pieces dominated fighting in East Africa until the Brits. could
ship out long range artillery. One gun was fitted to the German steamer SS
von Goetzen based on Lake Tanganyika and was the inspiration for the great
(fictional) movie African Queen. The defeat of the Konigsberg used aircraft
for spotting fall of shot and was the inspiration for another forgettable
movie starring Roger Moore.
Model details are: Length 356mm, height 140mm. Materials: Stainless Steel
base, the rest mild steel or brass. Traverse gear cut, elevation gear
segments purchased . Scratch built from photographs about 600 hours. Breech
chambers but does not eject round, recoil spring based, traverse and
elevation work as original.

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Original Emden gun sans breech

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Krupp gun on the SS Graf von Goetzen, Lake Tanganyika

 

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Close ups of the model

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Thanks to Robert for sending these great photographs and commentary.   I have seen photos of some other of Robert’s superb model engineering, and look forward to publishing them on this blog.

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SMS Emden 1914

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HMAS Sydney

 

6″ Vertical Boiler, Triple Expansion Steam Engine and Southworth Pump, all working together. Fairly well.

2 videos of the triple and the vertical boiler and the Southworth boiler feed pump working together for the first time.  Not perfectly yet, but working.

 

A VIDEO GIMBAL

A gimbal is a device which keeps an object on a steady horizontal level, even as its support moves and tilts.   Such as a ship’s compass.

Hand held videos often show unwanted evidence of movements due to shaking, walking or distractions.

Expensive gimbals have been available to professionals for a long time.  Recently gimbals have become much less expensive, and available to people shooting videos on smart phones, mirrorless cameras, and DSLR’s.

The following video was shot on my iphone, without a gimbal, but about a gimbal, which I recently purchased.  The video is brief, and not intended to be anything but a glimpse.  To be honest, there is a bit of a learning curve with the gimbal, and I am just beginning.

I hope that it will help to improve my video shoots.

ZHIYUN CRANE M2

34 degrees. Is it summer already?

A beautiful spring morning became blustery, windy, hot yesterday.  But I hardly noticed.  I was in the workshop making these small steam pipe connectors.

Normally I would buy these fittings, because they are fiddly to make and not very expensive, but I have fitted new rings to the triple expansion engine, and I want to try it out on the vertical boiler.  (see the previous post)

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one of the tails was not drilled deep enough.

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I needed only 2 of these nipple-tail-nut assemblies, but having made a jig to fit the collet chuck it was just as easy to make some extras for future use.

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The jig is required because having made one end of the nipple, it must be turned around to make the other end and there is not enough material to hold in the 3 jaw chuck.  So the jig holds the workpiece by the first made thread, and the piece is finished by holding it in the collet chuck.   The jig will be saved for future use.  It has external threads for  5/16″x32 and 3/8″x32, and internal threads for 1/4″x40 and 5/16″x32.

The tiny tails were drilled in 2 stages because there is an internal step, and the outer shape was CNC’d.

 

 

Thinking about future exhibitions….

Still recovering from The Royal Geelong Show, where my beam engine and the Trevithick      dredger engine ran for ~8 hours per day for 4 days, and required almost constant supervision. I was very pleased that they did so without a problem.

For future exhibitions I would like to also run the triple expansion steam engine using the vertical boiler, for which I recently made the Southworth boiler feed pump.  And there are occasions where I might run the triple and the beam engine together from the vertical boiler.  That arrangement will occupy a fair bit of bench space, and in this post I am considering options for the arrangement.

But first, I needed a steam outlet manifold to handle multiple engines, simultaneously, and hopefully to avoid a big tangle of pipes.  Here is the manifold.

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The manifold has 6 x ¼” outlets and one 3/8″  outlet.    

Option one lines up the boiler and engine like this….

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Option two is more compact, but ?less appealing.  Pics following..

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The lump of wood under the engine is temporary,  just to give an idea of the heights.

OK, this post is just an excuse to show some pics.  I have decided to go with option one.  It is closer to the appearance if the boiler and engine were actually in a boat, and also will make it easier to add the beam engine to the right of the boiler if/when I run the two engines simultaneously.

And I doubt that I will be able to avoid a jumble of pipework.  The triple has 6 pipes attached, the boiler has more, then there is the beam engine.  And, I will need a water container from which to feed the boiler.  That will be located behind the boiler.  Still considering whether it should be a squarish box on a stand like the railway water towers, or a cylinder on a low stand.   Any thoughts?

 

 

 

Royal Geelong Show 2019

The “Show” was held over the last 4 days.  I will not bang on again about my republican leanings.  See posts from previous years if that persuasion is of any interest.  The weather was ordinary.  Quite a few showers and blustery wind.  But we were mostly warm in the Vintage Machinery shed where our Model Machinery cage is located.  Fairly good visitor numbers, but not much real interest in our model engine offerings.

I exhibited my beam engine and Trevithick dredger engines, both running on piped steam.  The vertical boiler and feed pump was on static display, of no interest to anyone.  My Stirling engine got the most attention from kids, who are attracted by the swirling spiral colours, and not much interest in the intriguing method of running.  I am convinced that models must be moving, colourful, and have some relation to what people and kids see on television if they are to have any traction with the public.

But, the model and full size engine exhibitors enjoyed the displays, and an occasional visitor engaged in conversation.  Here are some pics and videos of some of the shed displays.  There dog shows, bird breeding, monster trucks,  horse riding events, cattle and sheep judging, and side show rides but these were not recorded by me.   I did visit the Amateur Astronomy display, and will visit the workshop of one of the exhibitors soon.

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I had applied wooden lagging to the beam engine cylinder

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Steam for the engines is provided from this Package Boiler at 25psi.   Enough to turn them over.  Capable of much higher pressures.

Package boiler diag

cage bench north

Cage Bench North includes the Trevithick dredger model, the beam engine and the Stirling engine.

Cage bench south

Cage Bench South.  Swen Pettig’s prize winning flame gulper, and 1″ Minnie under construction.

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Stuart and Swen ?discussing engine repairs.

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Model Engineering first prize!

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And the full size triple expansion engine.  The Vintage Machinery boiler is being upgraded, so there was insufficient steam to run the triple.

 

 

Boiler Feed Pump Pumping

Yesterday I reseated the pump valves, reassembled the pump, then tested it on steam.

Most of the following video has the boiler at only 25psi, but I did run it off camera at up to 75psi.

After making the video I redirected the exhaust steam from the pump into the firebox.  It actually seemed to improve the gas flame, maybe by acting as a blower.  Not so sure about this being permanent though, because the exhaust steam contains oil from the displacement oiler, and I dont want that oil to be deposited in the firetubes.

I will make a water tank to supply boiler water.  Maybe the exhaust steam could be passed through a heat exchanger in the tank, so the boiler feed water is preheated.

(if the video is not showing, click on the https link below)

 

First Steam for Boiler Feed Pump

 

 

 

Workshop with security

Every time that I open my workshop I wonder if it will have been robbed.  So far, I have had unsecured implements which are stored outside, stolen, and an attempt at stealing my Landcruiser ute, but no breaking and entering of the workshop itself.  Mind you, any thief would have a tough time working out what to take…   everything is scattered around, sitting where I last used it.  And then there are the tiger snakes….

Reader Brendan has a couple of guard dogs for his workshop when he is not present.

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They might not look too scary, but they do make a hell of a racket when a stranger approaches.

And Brendan’s workshop is not all in one location.  I counted 5 separate locations….

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The computer room and security monitor.  Mostly CAD and G codes here.

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The laser cutter occupies the entry porch.   See the backing board pattern?  That is from the gasket for my Trevithick engine.

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Then the main workshop.  Hmm… what is that red thing?

Brendan bearing press

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2 lathes in the garage.  Hafco with DRO, and CNC with Siemens controller.

Meanwhile, in my workshop…

I am taking some of my stuff to an exhibition at the Royal Geelong Show in a week.  The beam engine working on steam always gets some interest.   And the Trevithick dredger engine has not featured at this event before, so that can go.   I am currently working on the vertical boiler.   The Southworth Duplex pump which is attached to the boiler, was working on air, but it refused on steam, so another tear down is due.  If I can get it going that will be the third entry.  If not, well, there is always next year.   Fortunately Keith Appleton recently produced some videos on the Southworths, one of which had a similar problem, so I think that I know where my problem is.

Incidentally,  I showed the beam engine, the Trevithick, and the boiler at an exhibition in Melbourne last weekend.   Mostly well received.  But I had a succession of people who said of the beam engine “very nice.  Except for the cap screws.”  When it reached 6 separate commenters on the same theme I was starting to suspect a conspiracy from these rivet counters.   Yes it does have cap screws as the main fasteners.  And no, they are not true to the period (late 19th century).  But I quite liked the look of them.  But, one does prefer approval in preference to criticism, and after this concerted barrage of criticism, I relented, and spent a couple of workshop sessions swapping out the cap screws for studs with hex nuts.

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The before.  With cap screws.

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After the upgrade with studs and hex nuts.  Was it worth the 2 workshop sessions?

Sometime soon I will paint parts of this engine, and apply wooden lagging to the cylinder.

 

 

A Workshop as Dark, Messy, and Dirty as Mine! Well, almost.

These shots were sent in by reader Russ, from Tasmania.  He reckons that he will tidy up the shop after retirement…. Ha!   Little does he know, that there is less spare time after stopping work…  there is so much other fun stuff to do.

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Is that a Porsche 924 or 928?

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No!  Much better! It is a Jensen Interceptor Mk 1. Love that aesthetic rear window.   Beautiful Tasmanian landscape.  Number plate ablated by me.

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Now that is a real man-cave!

I think that I still win the prize for the messiest, dirtiest, darkest workshop, but Russ comes in a close second.  Note that Russ is a busy surgeon.  Hmmm.

 

 

Mounting the Boiler Feed Pump

Today I mounted the Southworth boiler feed pump on the boiler base, then started on the pipework.  Nothing is tested yet, but it is looking interesting IMO.

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The Southworth pump, located behind the hand pump.

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The steam supply pipe on the left, and the water delivery pipe on the right.  The hand pump and the Southworth pump deliver water to separate clack valves on the boiler.  There is yet another clack valve in case I ever add an injector.  The water supply tank and connections are yet to be added.   I am not planning to install a bypass.  Note the displacement oiler for the valve chest.

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I tried a new trick to bend the pipes for this installation.  I read about this somewhere.  Bent a piece of wire to use as a pattern when bending and cutting the copper pipe.   Worked a treat!

Looking forward to firing up the boiler and testing the boiler feed pump on steam.  If it works OK there will be a video.

 

Boiler Feed Pump -Working

I could not induce my Southworth steam powered boiler feed pump to work.

Initially I thought that it was a bit tight, and spent time easing the glands, and slightly deepening the O ring grooves.  That took a couple of days.  But no luck.

So today I took it to our model engineering meeting, with some tools to perform a tear down, and 2 of our senior members took a close look.  After some to-ing and fro-ing, the verdict was that I had reversed one of the steam passage blocks, and machined it back to front.  I had mis-interpreted the plans.  It was due to not really knowing the rules for rotating a part in 3rd angle plans.  Pretty annoying.  A 3d view of the part would have removed any confusion.  Fortunately the fix was not too complicated.  2 threaded holes to fill, and 2 new holes to drill and thread on the other side.

That done, I re-assembled the steam engine side of the duplex.  Hooked up a compressed air hose, and see the result….

This is on approx 10psi air.  There is no load, so it is running faster than it would if actually pumping water under pressure.

Next I will mount it to the boiler base, and hook up the pipes.  Then there will probably be another video.

Workshop in the Deep North of Oz. North Queensland.

This one is interesting.  It is located in the basement of a multi storey apartment building,  in the centre of a major city, and occupies a car parking space.  It is screened off from the other car parking spaces, with security mesh and visual blocking.

In the photos you will see some of Peter’s projects.  Woodworking, kids toys, and metalworking.  Peter also is involved in model railways.

Nice to see some mess.  Must be genetic.

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Nice bandsaw!  I wonder what the bell is used for.  Maybe to warn the other apartment occupants that Peter is about to fire up some machinery.

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Heavy duty lathe.

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It is obviously used!

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A grand daughter will be very happy with that!

Thanks for those photos Peter.  It is interesting to see another workshop in confined space.  I do wonder how the other apartment occupants respond to woodworking thicknesser noise.

Next Tool Project…A CNC Laser Cutter

The Southworth steam powered boiler feed pump has many gaskets.  I have not counted them, but there must be 15-20.  All with many 2mm and 4mm  holes.

And in the process of making the machine, I have broken quite a few of them with the multiple assemblies and tear downs.

But, fortunately, 2 of the members of my model engineering club have laser CNC cutters, so extra sets of gaskets has not been an impossible ask.  (Thank you Brendan and Stuart!)

So, some time ago I asked Stuart, if it would be possible to attach a laser cutter to the CNC mill.  His initial answer was NO.  But recently, he changed his tune.   He attached a laser head to his 3D printed CNC mill and started producing gaskets on request!   So, as is a recent pattern, I am walking in Stuart’s footsteps, and I have purchased a 15 watt laser head on Ebay.   Chinese of course.

Laser kit 15w

This is the kit.   Cost $AuD146.

Laser head

And this is the 15w laser head.  Now I have to work out how to attach it to my mill.  Shouldn’t be too difficult, as long as I don’t turn on the spindle while it is attached.

 

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My CNC mill, during the electronics upgrade.  Most recent photo.   Soon to have a laser head.

Stuart assures me that Mach3 can be configured to operate the laser….   turn it on and off, move the axes at an appropriate speed, etc.  I think that some trickery is involved.

And future gaskets will be as simple as ….

So watch this space .

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