Starlight Express

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Fri 01 Aug 2014, 10:44 pm

Hi comrade builders and others interested. Showman Shane very excited today as Starlight Express ran on air for first time. The occasion was witnessed by a number of my mates at Tauranga Model Engineering club including Phil who is building a STW DCC road loco. After over two years of building nice to see an inanimate object come to life. Very happy . A big thankyou to Dean and Steve at STW as without their vision and expertise I would never have been able to build a Showmans engine in this scale. Will try and post a video early next week. Shane.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  Kiwiconnection on Sat 02 Aug 2014, 3:43 am

Well done Shane, you have put a great deal of effort and time into Starlight Express, and it was good to see the engine beginning to be born. The next hurdle of lighting a fire and getting everything hot will be a momentous occasion that will not be to long in coming I guess?

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  mikero on Sat 02 Aug 2014, 2:32 pm

Unlike your party Shane I air-ran my Foden for the first time the other week all on my own, if you don't count next doors dog that is. Not for very long either A: because my compressor is puny and B: the many leaks, only held at 40 psi. Spent the time since trying to make clacks and globe valves stay shut, but heh it works.

Mikero

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Sat 02 Aug 2014, 10:49 pm

Thanks Phil and Mike. Congratulations Mike on your achievement. Can't wait to check your project out at GDSF.I have a similar problem with my globe valve and will try to fix the problem. If not hopefully STW will provide a replacement. We are quite fortunate in our club as our members have various interests(ie rail ,traction engine and small steam engines) . Everyone is keen to hear what others are up to with their various projects and offer positive and constructive advice. Not sure if you are a member of a model engineering club but I certainly have no regrets in having joined my Tauranga Club. Cheers Shane.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Sun 03 Aug 2014, 7:51 pm

Hi

As promised a video below of my Showmans Engine running on compressed air. First time I have used a video camera so please excuse the unusual sideways shots. Upon viewing the clip I will definitely stick to my day job. Hope you enjoy.

For those viewers thinking about building one of Steam Traction World's engines, don't hold back. Definitely worth all the time and effort, particularly when the motion gear starts moving under its own "steam" .



Cheers
Shane

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  Tony King on Mon 04 Aug 2014, 1:46 am

Fantastic Shane, so nice to see all that motion work doing its thing, brilliant video without question!! Very HappyVery Happy

Regards,
Tony

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  IanL on Mon 04 Aug 2014, 7:49 am

Fantastic looking engine, and great to see it run. One query the flywheel is turning forwards but the reversing lever is in the reverse setting. My engine reversing lever forwards equals forwards on the flywheel and drive to the wheels forwards.

Ian

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  hartshaulage on Mon 04 Aug 2014, 10:34 am

Cracking video shane looks really nice and sounds lovely to

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  highpressure on Mon 04 Aug 2014, 12:44 pm

Excellent work to see another come to life, if only running on coal was as quick and clean!! Sounds very smooth too. You have the eccentric straps the wrong way round, reverse in the lever should be reverse on the fly wheel. Just swap the rods over on the straps, there was a misprint in the first instructions which did show the set up as you have it, it took a bit of convincing Steve that it was wrong!!!

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Mon 04 Aug 2014, 1:37 pm

Hi fellow builders.
Top marks to Ian.Read his post before I left for work and checked my engine. Sure enough I installed the wrong way around. Driving to work tried to think of excuses such as:
-We do things back to front down under or
-installed right way round and viewers just seeing the wagon wheel visual effect on my flywheel or
-installed the wrong way on purpose to see if anyone was awake

Had not thought about the excuse of the instructions being wrong . Can't use this excuse as my latter set show the correct orientation.

So none of the above. My only excuse and week at that was in to much of a hurry to have my engine running on air and didn't check STW instructions properly.

I will personally deliver a 6 pack of iconic New Zealand beer for Ian to collect at the STW stand at GDSF or if you are not attending collect from STW's premises if Dean and Steve have not drunk it .

Cheers Shane.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  IanL on Mon 04 Aug 2014, 2:32 pm

Hi Shane,

It was only a week ago that I ran my engine on air and still have not had time to try setting a fire in it. Still got to check some of the leaks. Clack valves are the main problem.

My appologies for spotting the linkage issue I had spent ages studying the diagrams and comparing how I had built the linkage to be sure it was correct.

I notice your starter valve is working well. I have an issue with the LP valve not being held closed by the spring so will have to ask Steve for his advice, needs a stronger one I assume. Not going to GDSF this year but will attend for a day at Lincoln which has over 100 miniatures and being next door to the Red Arrows base you often get a free show of them practicing.

Keep posting the pictures I really like you bold colour scheme.

Best wishes

Ian

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Mon 04 Aug 2014, 3:10 pm

Hi Ian,My clack valves were a real pain. I had to reseat them on my lathe because of some slight imperfections in the castings near the edge of the hole. I also gave the ball bearing a reasonable whack (and replaced the ball bearing cos it was dented) with the hammer . Seem to hold pressure now but true test will be when my engine is in steam. Yes will keep the photos coming. Would be nice to see some new builders build threads starting up. Good luck with getting your engine in steam. I'm sure Dean and Steve will sort if you can't.Shane

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  IanL on Tue 05 Aug 2014, 2:01 am

Hi Shane

I will have a closer look at the seats in my clacks to see if there are any issues with the seats. Already got new balls as the originals now have a dent on them.

Ian

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  highpressure on Tue 05 Aug 2014, 6:05 am

There are certain things that are a real pain to sort out completely, clack valves being one of them, mine still arent 100% and I am starting my third season steaming. However it doesnt create a major problem and doesnt stop the engine from running, I have had them apart a few times but dont have access to machinery to reseat but as I say it doesnt have any significant impact. Andy ( The Coleman ) very kindly gave me a very strong spring for the valve and it has had a remarkable effect on the exhaust note, a very deep throbbing beat when just ticking over gently or decelerating. He didnt have two for the HP side, I would be interested to see what if any difference it might make but since the reg mod I can now tick over very gently and have very little pressurisation in the HP side apart from a very small let by in the start valve which forces its way across the transfer port into the valve chest and will eventually cause a build up. Another little job I will get round to eventually but like the clack valves is a real pain to seat completely, ideally it needs a rig to test on before it gets refitted.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Sun 21 Dec 2014, 1:21 pm

Hi fellow builders and others interested.Apologies for not posting updates for some months. I have managed to complete the assembly of gears, compensating differential and drive train which has been abit of a fiddle.Patience tested but happy with result. Heaps of work putting the bling into the gears and re-meshing after sent to the chrome platers.

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I then focused on the winch drive and associated bits. Have followed Steve's advice and pinned the drive tenon to avoid it accidentally engaging the drum with disastrous consequences. Purchased 20m of flexible 4mm stainless wire to look the part. Not sure that the winch will ever be used but just in case the safe operating loading for the wire is around 400kgs.I am told it will break at 3x that.

I also completed the final drive gear guard which you can also see in the photos below.

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Made some new stainless tow pins to hold the seat. My mate Mike assisted with applying the oxy- acetylene heat so each handle was bent at the same angle.

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I will try and post a video of my engine running shortly.

Merry Christmas and have a safe festive season.

Cheers Shane.


Last edited by showman shane on Sun 21 Dec 2014, 6:15 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  IanL on Sun 21 Dec 2014, 1:43 pm

Hi Shane,

Bling incredible looking finish. I like the stainless tow pins. One thing I found was that the seat needs to be held down with nts and bolts on the tow bar. As the seat frame lifts up if you put weight on one end of the foot rest, this happend to me and managed to strip quite a bit of paint off the tender when a friend put their foot on one end of the foot rest. It would be a real shame if this happened on your paint finish.

Keep the picture coming

Ian

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Sun 21 Dec 2014, 5:22 pm

Copy of very amateur video as promised. Hope you enjoy.




Thankyou Ian for your advice. I definitely would not want to scratch the paint work so will make a couple of stainless collars to fit between the top of the seat lug and the underside of the tow bar. Kind regards, Shane

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  lynnr on Sun 21 Dec 2014, 8:44 pm

Well Shane!

She does look wonderful. I am also getting very worried about the shiny obsession. It is getting way out of hand. Only joking. Fabulous.

I was about to comment on the seat but then read further and found it to have been addressed. On my winch I have tied the loose end of the wire round the drum and my latch has a bevel in it to stop it dropping into place. But in the three years of running on Scottish roads it has never moved.

Interesting clunk on each revolution of the wheels? Any ideas what it is?
You may also want to drill for R clips on your tow pins to stop any possible drop out.

So it it another Tony King? Will she get dirty? We wait with bated breath for the first firing video.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  bjwlancashire on Mon 22 Dec 2014, 3:04 am

Bloody hell Shane, I am now blind Cool

Nice to see it running but get some oil on your gears, you will have to eventually.

Regarding the seat, I also saw the potential for movement and sourced two extra lugs off STW, then with a bit of square tube made the modification show below. This really does help. You could always stick some felt or something onto the top an bottom so nothing gets scratched. I do bolt mine on so nothing moves. Additionally I reinforced the top of the seat frame so that it hangs all the way across to the sides of the tender. I did not fancy all the weight hanging off the centre panel and those small rivet bolts - especially with the double seat on and the bumpy English roads.

The up stand I added in readiness for a regulator extension but I have never needed one yet.




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Re: Starlight Express

Post  mikero on Mon 22 Dec 2014, 4:16 am

Great Shane, you can see the flywheel brake block just dying to have a go at the chrome on the flywheel.

Mike Very Happy

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Mon 22 Dec 2014, 12:19 pm

Thanks Brian for the suggestion re seat modification. It would certainly concentrate the forces on the tow bar and not the top of the tender.My holes for the tow pins line up beautifully and the tow pins are a snug fit so I might start with a collar to bridge the gap so to speak .This will eliminate upwards movement. There is no movement between the seat frame and tender and I can't see any movement at the top of the tender when all 80 kgs of yours truly sits on the seat. Maybe a different story when 10 ton tony deposits himself there.

Lynne, Not sure what the clunk is. Will have to investigate. Probably a part I missed polishing! Hope it is just the brake blocks as I have not set the springs up. Will put out an SOS if I can't eliminate. With regard to steaming I am hopeful of getting the rest of my shipment from STW shortly and will try steaming my engine in march/april (don't ask which year!).

Mike, I hope the fly wheel brake will not need to be applied for the type of running I will be doing down under. When I attach the drive belt will need to duct tape the rim to avoid damage. Well that's the plan anyway.

With kindest regards to all,Shane

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  Tim Watson on Mon 22 Dec 2014, 2:55 pm

Great to see her going Shane.
I'd lay good money on the clunk being from the brakes catching a wheel nut: mine does that if the brakes are not wound right off.One of my next jobs is to make a bit more clearance in this region.

Tim

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  IanL on Tue 23 Dec 2014, 9:05 am

Hi Shane,

I agree with Tim it sounds like the brake block catching on a rivet head. Several on mine were doing it. So I removed the brake block and planed it down a bit to make it slightly thinner, this worked well and stoped the clunk.

Ian

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Tue 23 Dec 2014, 5:32 pm

Hi Tim and Ian,Yes you were both right on the money! What a relief -the clunk sounded like it could have been quite expensive. Easy to fix. Hope Santa treats you both well tomorrow. Cheers Shane

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Steam

Post  Kiwiconnection on Tue 23 Dec 2014, 6:58 pm

Its about time you threw some coal in the hole followed by a lighted match..... bounce Then we can see how good she looks in her proper element, all hot and ready to go! Shocked Smile

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Re: Starlight Express

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