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Road Loco - 'Blackbeard'

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Post  the coleman on Mon 11 Feb 2013, 5:34 pm

Looking good its a shame about cylinder . Nice to see it steam happy in one and sad in another.
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Post  lynnr on Mon 11 Feb 2013, 6:16 pm

Hi Brian

Just had another look at your video. If your pressure is as I see it 150 psi your safety valves should not be feathering. They should be shut tight until at least 170. I think They need checking also.
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Post  bjwlancashire on Mon 11 Feb 2013, 6:20 pm

Yes I also noticed that too, I will take them back with the block when it comes off and have them recalibrated or exchanged.
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Post  IanL on Mon 11 Feb 2013, 6:51 pm

bjwlancashire wrote: The solution is a short piece of copper pipe threaded to fit the eccentric tapped hole and the oiler, this can then be bent slightly to point the oiler cup vertical and clear the spectacle plate. He did say they had not made any yet as some people had made there own solutions to this problem but he did say they would get it sorted. I would give him a call unless you have something in stock to use.

Yes I had read this on the forum but was concerned that as the eccentric is flying around, the motion would put a strain on the copper pipe resulting in a fracture and the oiler cup ending up in the crank.

I will wait for a reply from Steve to my email.

Ian
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Post  bjwlancashire on Tue 12 Feb 2013, 11:51 am

Ian

The fact that it i geared down by half means it is not moving quite so fast and the strain will be less. Lets see what comes though.

Brian
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Road Loco - 'Blackbeard' - Page 9 Empty HOT STUFF!!!!!!!!!

Post  bjwlancashire on Tue 12 Feb 2013, 11:39 pm

I did say I would post some pictures showing how hot Blackbeard's front end was getting when he was blowing off, ticking over and with the leak through of steam direct into the exhaust passage - check out the colours below and after checking the tempering colours of steel we have definately achieved well over 300 degrees C. This is confirmed by the fact that I only realised tonight I have actually managed to change the colour of the smokebox name ring from red to black too - this is Halfords high temperature engine paint and is supposed to withstand up to 300 degrees C. Incidentaly the door paint itself is Craftmaster smokebox paint, good to 500 degrees C.

I actually like the new name ring colour as I had not thought of doing it black until I had seen other engines with a black ring afterwards, I had not even noticed Tim's "Madeline" had a black door ring until later. I think I will leave it as it is and maybe add some more black if it deteriorate anymore. The door definately has a working look now - not quite uncleaned Steve T. Wink

Additionally, the smokebox door actually stuck shut too, the powdercoat was obviously getting very soft and actually lifted at the back of the chimney on the base ring. I will clean away any remaining powdercoat from the area the door closes on with emery cloth and I will coat it with steam oil whan I next close the door and light up too. I imagine we will have this effect again if we have a decent load behind the engine on a run and we encounter any hills, easily done around here.

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Post  Tim Watson on Wed 13 Feb 2013, 12:49 am

Looks like Blackbeard certainly got hot!

I have painted the name rings on Frederick red, but taken the precaution of lagging the space behind the baffle plate with foil and rock wool: this may stop the blast working around the baffle. However, if it changes colour then black it will be. Incidentally, on Madeline I nickel plated the outer ring (it doesn't tarnish) and kept the centre one plain black: agricultural engines seldom had brass name rings - they are obviously more common on showman's. The slightly longer smokebox may also be a slight advantage on the SRL(S).

The powder coat will soften and stick: it did on Madeline when originally done. Ended up a bit of a mess, so repainted with Hammerite a few years ago. Chimneys do get very hot: Madeline's was blued when on an Old Warden road run, where the Hammerite had previously lifted going up and down the playpen at GDSF. I may fit a liner on Frederick.

Tim

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Post  bjwlancashire on Wed 13 Feb 2013, 10:40 am

Tim

I do not mind so much, after all the big engines end up doing the same thing too although the sticky door was a problem, I think the black ring has quite a nice colour/appearance to it, a blueish black to my eyes, which is probably why I had not noticed it to begin with. The funny thing was it was only when I looked for a "before" photo I actually realised - I must be getting old. Sad

I did notice while searcing 'tinternet last night that you can get high temperature powder coat materials that will go to 1000 degrees and can be used on vehicle exhaust manifolds etc.. I suspect the problem is you have to buy a minimum amount of raw material and so it is not normally stocked by a coater unless they specialise in HT work.

Wih regard to my leaking steam problem, I now need to remove the block and get it back to STW towers for further invetigation, repair or replacement. As steam was leaking into the exhaust passage including going back into the LP steam chest from behind the LP valve via the exhaust port this means Blackbeard was running as a single as it would not run as a compound properly due to the steam leaking through equalising the pressure somewhat. It did exhaust though but a very soft sounding blast, interesting things going on in there. The down side to all this is that there are no cylinders in stock, the new bach is due in a couple of weeks so by the toime the batch is machined it is probably mid-March before a new one is available unless my current one can be repaired. With the HP studs so close to the valve chest and two having pulled out I think a replacement would be preferred as it is better to replace it now than some time in the future.

Brian
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Post  Brian M on Wed 13 Feb 2013, 4:49 pm

Hi Brian,

I must admit, I do not come on to this forum as much as I use to, but to be honest, I wish I never came on it today. My heart goes out to you (it really does). I have my pressure and steam test scheduled in the next few weeks, will be a nerve racking experience pale .

Good luck with the block!

All the best,

Brian M
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Post  bjwlancashire on Wed 13 Feb 2013, 6:14 pm

Thanks Brian

I hope you have already had some test steamings before going formal so to speak.

See you at the Manachester show anyway.

Brian
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Road Loco - 'Blackbeard' - Page 9 Empty HEre is something some of you will not have seen before!!

Post  bjwlancashire on Mon 18 Feb 2013, 2:32 pm

Well, it had to be done so the Blackbeard team got on with stripping the cylinder down and removing everything connected to it, bagged it and labelled each bag. I am glad I kept lots of the sealable bags now. It was a sad day when everything finally came off.

BEFORE & AFTER

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It is interesting to note where all the foliac goes when you pull the cylinder block down with the nuts, I had quite a bit of foliac get in the regulator chamber and into the steam chest areas when I lit up for the first couple of times and seeing the block off just shows you how much is squeezed over the boiler holes from fitting it. So when you are fitting one for the first time, when you apply it liberally (as described) I would suggest leaving around 10-15mm around the edge of the hole in the gasket free of foliac because it will get there eventually. It is sticky and will certainly affect your regulator.

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Even before removing the block it was obvious what was causing steam to leak into the exhaust passages, a hole between the vertical tunnel that goes from the boiler surface to the regulator chamber and the exhaust port exit into the blast pipe.

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Right hand picture here is looking up the steam passage from the boiler mounting face.

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On a positive note the studs came out of the block relatively easily if a little time consuming, I used two 8mm half-nuts and was able to lock them together on all but 4 studs, these I used a pair of pliers to start them off and did not do much damage to the threads at all so all are resusable as they were cut to length already and did not fancy cutting another set down. and there is plenty of oil getting into the cylinder bores so the lubricator is working well.

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Pistons took some getting out though, I could not unscrew the piston rods form the crossheads as the nut holding the piston to the piston rod came undone first. I tried to lightly hold the piston rod to unscrew the crosshead but could not get enough grip. As the piston also seemd to be unscrewing from the piston rod easily I decided to do that but as the end of the thread on the piston rod dissapeared into the piston it went tight so I had to decide if I risk damge to the piston rod or the piston - I choose the piston. Using a flat screwdriver I tried to hold the piston with the tip of the screwdriver after tapping a notch into the piston but it would not have it so I ended up tapping the piston round to unscrew it from the piston rod. It was either damage the piston or the piston rod. I think the pistons will be fine after I take the burrs off.

As a design update I would suggest STW drill two shallow holes or mill two slots in the front face of the pistons to allow a tool to be made with two prongs similar to that which unlocks an angle grinder nut. This would allow easier removal if needed in the future.

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Post  ejparrott on Mon 18 Feb 2013, 6:05 pm

bjwlancashire wrote:
As a design update I would suggest STW drill two shallow holes or mill two slots in the front face of the pistons to allow a tool to be made with two prongs similar to that which unlocks an angle grinder nut. This would allow easier removal if needed in the future.

I always make my pistons like that now. I used to have a lot of problems with my Hunslet shearing taper pins in the crosshead and slowly unscrewing the rod. After a couple of times struggling like you, they got modified!
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Post  highpressure on Mon 18 Feb 2013, 6:47 pm

What a very distressing post to read on one hand but also reassuring to see that even the most horrible of issues can be dealt with relatively quickly although I wouldnt want to have to do this job myself. Of course it goes without saying that I have a concern as to how thin this area is and if there is a possiblilty that it can fail in time??? It would be good for Steve to have a look and post something regarding the cause. Hopefully it will be a reasonably easy replacement and you will be running soon. I look forward to the video.
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Post  Flasback on Mon 18 Feb 2013, 7:27 pm

Brian, I can only concur what Kev and Brian M have said, it is a very sad post and one of great concern. I agree with Kev, if Dean, Steve or anyone from STW looks at this thread I suggest that a response from them on this matter is posted or even a letter issued. I know castings can have large tolerances to take into account the casting process, but I thought an error like this would have come through on the quality inspection prior to being sent. It looks like a casting issue not a blow hole or machining error. It would be interesting also for STW to issue the findings of the investigation on how it ended up with a customer to give us additional reassurance.

Brian don't take this the wrong way but I hope you are the only one out there in STW land with this problem.

Look forward to steaming with you in May (milestone for you to hit i.e. Grey Hounds Gathering alternative venue)

Best regards,

Dwain



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Post  bjwlancashire on Mon 18 Feb 2013, 8:39 pm

Flasback wrote:Look forward to steaming with you in May (milestone for you to hit i.e. Grey Hounds Gathering alternative venue)

Best regards,

Dwain

Dwain

Whatever venue you end up with I WILL be there!!!!!! You should have guessed my frame of mind by now, my glass is alway half full (especially when its my round) Wink

Thanks for the kind thoughts guys, it is worth posting this information even if only for the information regarding how the foliac ends up under the cylinder.

BTW Sonic45 cheered me up no end this morning with some amazing photos of the belly tank paint work, it is like a mirror - a real credit to him and I owe him big time.

Cheers

Brian

PS: I am going to download the AMTEC application form and send it to Clive for approval, I may as well join the crazy gang.

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Post  Flasback on Mon 18 Feb 2013, 8:59 pm

Tank looks good, was thinking how Nick's engine was coming along and then I see his face in a belly tank...

Anyway good news to hear about the application form, this weekend is crazy as we have 3 STW engines at my house going through the professional hydraulic test and then a steam; 1 SL and 2 SM. We discussed Clive and Phil bringing their engines down as well but 5 engines in my driveway was not something my wife was over joyed about for some reason!!!!

I will try and do a few pictures as 3 STW DCC engines is a rare thing at the moment and will be good to see.

As this will be our 1st steam I am sure joy will be had and a few tears as well.

Keep smiling

Dwain


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Post  bjwlancashire on Tue 19 Feb 2013, 10:34 am

Dwain

Good luck to you all at the weekend and as you mentioned, please put some pictures on here. Did you get your roof bits yet? Lynn is already posting pictures of hers.

Brian
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Post  Flasback on Sun 24 Feb 2013, 9:44 pm

Brian,

Quick question did you pressure test your engine at any point before you streamed it?

Also how did the blow down valve operate, did it operate with a continuous flow of water when opened or was it a bit like a air trapped somewhere in the system?

Just looking at your photos and thinking about it

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Post  bjwlancashire on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 12:25 am

Dwain

No pressure test, just boiled water with the first go without the safeties on, second time low pressure, only went up to 80psi, third steaming blowing off. You will find most leaks before you make pressure or with lower pressures. As long as you raise steam slowly you can look around all the places it can leak while you are doing it. I do not have the facility to do a hydraulic test at home. If I can have the engine blowing off without leaks then the likely hood of a leak when we go 50% higher in a hydarauilic test is pretty remote according to my boiler tester.

Your blow down valve should do as it's name suggests, it will blow out steam and water with the lowest of pressures. Your description sound like you opened it without pressure in the boiler, just cold water. In this case, unless you open the injector valve or another valve to allow air into the bolier then it will only drip as air is trying to get in the boliler through the same opening the water is leaving. The same reason the belly tank has breather pipes, to let the air in and out as the water level rises and falls when you fill it or when you use it in the injector or pump. Open your injectore valve, blower valve and water lifter valve and see the difference. It is a good idea to warm your engine this way too as the water expands as it warms up. Leave your injector vlave wide open so that the air is let out of the injector overflow and once the water is about to boil you will get a tell tale sign.

Cheers

Brian


Last edited by bjwlancashire on Thu 31 Oct 2013, 6:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Flasback on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 7:14 am

Cheers Brian,

Yesterday we were going through a pre hydraulic test therefore only cold water in the boiler. A number of issues need to be resolved before the steam ticket can be obtained. A few leaks, I think the whistle needs resitting or is faulty as water came out of the whistle with very little hydraulic pressure being applied. Plus a globe valve is not working (and yes it was fitted the right way Razz ). What does concern me is the priming valve that comes out of the cylinder block. On the RL you are okay, but on the SM there is very little room between the cylinder and the generator bracket. Too little in my option (unless you have the hand size of a five year old), this valve should be the other side of the bracket. I think what we have on the SM is dangerous and will cause a few burnt hands this season. A call to STW I think on this issue as a modification is required. So a number of fires is required over the next few weeks to get ready for the steam ticket and commercial hydraulic day in March.

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Post  lynnr on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 8:47 am

I have steamed my SRL a number of times with the exiter platform attached. I managed the blower valve easily with thick gloves on with no problem. You are not at the valve all the time so I don't see it as a problem.
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Post  Tim Watson on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 9:59 am

I agree with Lynn. The blower valve is always hot because of what it is attached to, so you need to wear gloves anyway. Having said that, I moved mine as part of the new plumbing for the kettle.

Tim
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Post  highpressure on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 3:26 pm

If you open the blower valve instead of the injector when you raise steam not only will you allow the expanding air to exit the boiler you will also hear when you start to boil and assist the fire gradually as the steam begins to build up. You should blow down after each session in the early days to clear all the crap out of the boiler but only when there is less than 20 psi on the clock as it can be a bit of a shock to the boiler if you are high pressure.

Interesting what you (Brian) said about not trying a hydraulic before the steam test and also that your tester says 1.5 times the safety. My test was 2 times for half an hour which I did before I steamed so consequently had I got a weak patch in the exhaust I expect it would have blown through then. I was considering this the other night and put my mind at rest.

I'm actaully going for my second hot steam test in two weeks as I am a member of a club whose membership pays for a ticket each year so it will cover me for the whole season without worry in mid June, plus I will actually get around to sending them off to Walker Midgley to get my NTET disc this year.
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Post  bjwlancashire on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 10:18 pm

Hi Kev

As I said I did not have the facility to do my own hydraulic test and as the boiler is already tested to 1.5 times working pressure, the legal requirement I decided to go ahead as described. There was steam bubbling up the chimney on the first steaming without making pressure but until I sealed all the openings for the second session could not be sure. Also, I had filled the boiler to the top and into the cylinder block to be sure nothing leaked. This I thought had caused water to be in the blastpipe, not a hole.

Interesting that yours was tested to 2x working pressure, I would expect that for a copper boiler but not a steel one and STW only test to 1.5x pressure. The full size engines also only go to 1.5x working pressure. Was yours tested by a Model Engineering society in the Southern Federation?

Brian
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Post  highpressure on Tue 26 Feb 2013, 2:50 pm

Yes it was tested by Chichester and District ME. As I have previously highlighted last year when working up to my initial test there was discussion as to what was required etc and there is a lot of differing opinions not taking into account the personal opinion of the tester himself. I was under the impression from an recognised ME that it was 1.5 times and the first test was valid for four years. This is not the case for my test as it was 2 times and valid for two years. I know that full size independant boiler testers will do a 10 year ticket, which for a brand new engine is a good idea so that's what I will do next year with The Coleman to keep costs down too. After that I would be happier with a two year local test as a lot will happen to the boiler in the second ten year time gap.

The other club I am involved with is put together specifically to get a boiler test each year in March which is who will do the hot test next week but again they only give a two year ticket for the cold. At the end of the day I have a ticket which Walker Midgley were happy with and it wasn't an issue and cost nil so all's good.
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