After carefully examining the base casting, and scrutinising the plans to discover all of the dimensions of the base, I commenced machining on my King Rich mill (Bridgeport clone, NT40 with DRO, an excellent machine). Since the base dimensions are scattered over 3 pages of very complex plans, and I am still relatively unfamiliar with them, I am approaching the machining with great caution. At this stage I am aiming to create some flat and coplanar surfaces, with a margin of material remaining, so I can hold the base flat, without rocking, roughing out the shape, and leaving finishing to dimensions at a later date. I intend to attach the base to a rectangular piece of aluminium, so the aluminium can be clamped or held in a vice, rather than risking damaging the brass casting.
Today I received a 16.6kg package by courier. It was too heavy for the regular post. It contained the castings for the model triple expansion steam engine, which I am hoping to build in the next year or so. I am told that on average this model takes 3000 hours to complete. That is a scary thought. Almost unbelievable. But when I calculate how many hours went into the much simpler single cylinder beam engine (maybe 600-800), I guess that it is not an unrealistic estimate. Just as well that I am close to retirement age.
The castings were made in NSW Australia, and supplied by Kelly Mayberry at EJ Winter.
The annual “Royal Geelong Show” was held last weekend. It has been held for the past 159 years. Farmers exhibit their best cattle, pigs, sheep, alpacas etc and produce, there are various equestrian events, tractor pulls, Lanz bulldog races, dog breed competitions, and all of the side shows, show bags, and amusement park rides which accompany most agricultural-regional shows.
At the show grounds, Geelong is fortunate to have a well established antique engine display, featuring many steam powered stationary engines, traction engines, steam trucks, tractors, etc etc., many which live there permanently, such as a ships triple expansion steam engine, and many which are brought in just for the show.
There is also a model engineering display, of dozens of working, steam powered small engines. It is always a source of fascination to the many visitors.
A competition is held for recently constructed models, and I was very lucky and thrilled to receive the first prize for the Bolton 12 beam engine. Second prize was for a rebuilt antique pressure gauge, and third for a Stuart twin cylinder “Victoria” stationary engine.
Today I attended this steam rally near Ballarat Victoria Australia.
The weather was cold and wet, and accompanied by my brother Peter and friend Stuart S, we drove the 2 hours from home.
I had only a vague idea about what to expect, but it was so fantastic that I will be definitely going to future events there.
To explain, Lake Goldsmith is farm land, in pretty undulating countryside. 38 acres have been set aside for steam enthusiasts, and dozens of sheds of various sizes have been put up and filled with workshops and machines. Many of the steam engines were outside, so we were grateful for the shed displays whenever the rain set in.
There were hundreds and hundreds of steam engines, boilers, traction engines, early kerosine farm engines, vintage tractors, model engines.
There was a working timber mill, cutting huge pine slabs, powered by a superb steam engine. See the videos.
The star of the displays, is a working 90 ton steam shovel
Just a bit more finishing on this boiler.
At the chimney end there is now a removable cover to provide access to the smoke box (the round aluminium cover with the brass lever nut), and a sliding door to provide access to the firebox.
You can just see the Bolton 7 engine behind the boiler. They are both sitting on a marble shelf above the fireplace in our living room. I was amazed when SWMBO said that it could live there.
My 18 month old grandson loves to be lifted up to the “teamengine” so he can turn the flywheel.
This is the first run of this engine using steam. I have previously had it going on compressed air, but there is nothing like real, live, hot steam!!
It did show up a few problems which I will have to fix. A few minor leaks, need for a displacement oiler, and need to adjust the length of the piston rod. You will hear a knocking sound in the video. I think that is due to the piston just touching the cylinder cap at the end of each stroke. Not difficult to fix, but will require a complete teardown of the cylinder=piston.
to see it click on the link below.