Bolton 9 Triple Expansion Steam Engine
My next steam engine project will be to make from iron and gunmetal castings and bar stock, a steam engine which will have similarities to the engines of the Titanic. It will have 3 cylinders, increasing in size, so that steam passes from the smallest to the intermediate to the biggest, thus being used 3 times before being exhausted. It will be much more complex than the other engines pictured to date on the blog. My other engines have taken about a year each to build, so I predict that this one will take a similar time. We will see. There will be no rush. My aim is to enjoy the build and end up with a working engine. It might even end up in a boat.
I have the plans, and the castings are on order. The supplier (Kelly Mayberry at E&J Winter, Sydney) had to order new castings, so they are currently being cast and collected. My next post will be when the castings arrive. If you are interested, go to the E&J Winter web site and browse the catalogue. I am not exactly sure about the final cost of the castings but it will be approx $A1500. Not cheap, but SWMBO says that it keeps me off the streets, and is probably less than belonging to a golf club.
May 16. Still waiting waiting.
Oct 2014. It turned out to be a 9+ month wait for the castings. Much longer than anticipated, due to delays by the foundry, and the distributor. Apparently very few sets of these style of castings are being sold these days, so there is no economy of scale by the foundry, each set needing to be cast singly, as ordered.
I waited patiently, contacting the distributor occasionally to remind him that I was still waiting. Eventually I became more insistent, with the option of cancelling the order a possibility.
Now that the castings have arrived, and I am into the machining, the waiting seems worthwhile.
“it keeps me off the streets” – that’s what mine says about my Land Rover project!
I found a few relevant photos which are in an album on another forum –
The Kuttabul is the ferry that has the engine that OBB (did you know that he was a medico too?) used as the prototype. The japs torpedoed it in Sydney Harbour.
The engineer is on a manly ferry -Note that all the controls are on the top of the engine. The wheel of the steam valve pointing upwards to his right. The levers operate valves to send steam to a servo that moves the reversing gear. The Kuttabul would have been similarly set up.
The Greycliffe is another ferry (sunk by misadventure too) and the engine was salvaged and is in a NZ museum having been used in a factory prior.
Thanks for your tips on the timing I have managed to get my triple working on air at last. I followed the Bertinat write up with regard to setting the eccentrics initially and that did not work as it gave me air in at 20 after TDC. Once I removed the locking pins I could set each eccentric like you normally would on a steam loco. I just have to make the Edwards pump now and find a decent boiler to run it. Regards. Ian Smits
Well done Ian. The middle cylinder is a mongrel Hey. Make sure to keep a record of the protrusion distance of the indicator so you can repeat the setting after the next teardown. (there will be more teardowns, believe me.). John
Thanks for the tips.
Mongrel isn’t the word John Bas#@$ more like. The whole project is not for the faint hearted is it. Thank god for Johns Machines. The EJ Winter main cyl casting had a blow hole in it right next to the inlet and exhaust inlet slots. I also found that you had to balance out the detail from the main Bolton drawing and Bertinat notes as some casting are different to his drawings.
If I had my time again I would look at the Reeves castings as they seem to be better although that’s not taking anything away from Ben at EJ Winter as he couldn’t have done more to try and get them right with the foundry.
What’s your recommendations for a boiler. I have Bolton B6 but doubt if it would drive the engine.
Boiler. I made a vertical boiler, 150 diameter. Covered in posts from 2-3 years ago. Steam usage for the triple is just what the HP cylinder uses because the IP and LP’s just use the HP exhaust. But, it does need to be 100 psi to get all 3 cylinders working properly. It will appear to work at lower pressures, but will probably only be working on the HP and a bit of IP. The vertical boiler is a good project. Leads onto a Southworth steam pump. John
Thanks John, very helpful
By the way I bought six blower valves from Polly Eng UK for the drain cocks and shortened the valve spindle stems and re cut the threads. ~Ian