by John

Today I hooked the beam engine up to compressed air to give it a first run.

I expected to spend some time getting the valve timing adjusted.

And the engine did make some spasmodic movements, but not the lovely smooth slow sensual movements expected.

Then it stopped altogether.

No fuss, no big bang, just compressed air hissing out the exhaust port.

I was always a bit suspicious about the integrity of the piston to piston rod join.  It was a tight machined fit secured (I thought) with Loctite.  However, a quick analysis of the problem revealed that the piston had detached from the piston rod.

If this had been an internal combustion engine (petrol or diesel) this detachment would have destroyed the engine.

Being low speed steam, it just stopped.   No fuss, No noise, just stopped.

A couple of hours later, I had made a decent job of the join, again using Loctite (high strength, high temperature resistant) but with the belt and braces approach of securing the join with a 4mm high tensile threaded pin.  It will not separate again, ever.

So back to the compressed air test run.

And still no joy.  just jerky, unimpressive back and forth movements.  No real rotation of the flywheel.

So, back to the plans.   There was some ambiguity about the position of the cam which drives the steam valve.  I will have to experiment.  Involves disassembly of the main shaft, and trial and error about the new position.  Frustrating.  But I guess that if it was easy, every one would be doing it!

Watch this space….   there will be a video when it is going.