Light up technique

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Light up technique

Post  MrStationHouse on Mon 20 Jul 2015, 11:52 am

I think my technique is lacking- think the process I use for bigger engines doesn't work for models.

Am interested in

A. How long to get to say 100psi
B. How much blower is needed
C. What combination of wood/house/steam coal etc

Thanks
Simon

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Re: Light up technique

Post  hartshaulage on Mon 20 Jul 2015, 12:31 pm

On a 4 Burrell i help with to light up we put an extension chimney on to help with the draw, light up on wood and keep on wood until 40/50 psi on the gauge, then we run on to what ever coal we have at the time, we can normally get to 100 psi which is blowing off pressure for us in about one hour forty five minutes on a good day

Russ

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Re: Light up technique

Post  MrStationHouse on Mon 20 Jul 2015, 12:41 pm

Interesting, about 1hr 45 is how long it takes me as well, I will try keeping it on wood for longer I think though

With best wishes
Simon

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Re: Light up technique

Post  lynnr on Mon 20 Jul 2015, 12:46 pm

Crystals steam up times.

5ft gas flue chimney extension on.
Damper open.
6 or 8 lengths of kindling on the grate.
Old rag. Rolled up tight and soaked in paraffin.
Light and insert.
Big handful of kindling on top.
Keep feeding wood until 15/20 psi
Blower on. Start adding small coal SPARINGLY along with more wood.
Aim for coal only by 40/45psi with blower open full.
Start backing off the blower after 75/80psi.
Aim for 150psi in 80 to 90 minutes to reduce stress on the boiler

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Re: Light up technique

Post  LiveSteam on Mon 20 Jul 2015, 12:52 pm

Well I'm fairly new at all this so heres my answers, right or wrong but it seems to work for my 4" Agri.

A. How long to get to say 100psi

Generally dont go near 100psi, normally get about 50psi on the clock just over an 1hr and dont go much further than 90, its pretty drivable with 50psi on the clock and for normal running 75-90 seems ample for most opperations, at Wiston last weekend even managed to trundle up the fairly steep hill with me on the engine, the trailer with 25kg of coal and 40ltrs of water and the Mrs, all that with just 60psi. I try to lift the safeties (120psi) once a steaming just to make sure they are working but otherwise with careful firing and watering I rarely go near 120.

B. How much blower is needed

Depends if you mean mechanical or steam, dont have a mechanical at all, just about 5' chimney extension which stays on until theres about 30 on the clock which is about 45mins and then normally theres plenty of head to get her turning over slowly which is enough to draw her up to 50. Tend to only use the steam blower if things arent playing ball or I've lobbed a bit too much coal on  Embarassed otherwise just idleing is enough to keep the fire drawing.

C. What combination of wood/house/steam coal etc

I have a tub with about a couple of litres of old red deisel, then leave some chopped up logs in it which gets carried about soaking the deisel up during the weeks, I use then one or two bits each time of this soaked wood, lob them in the fire box, find the rag I used to run the engine with last time (normally left in the bunker) which is of course soaked in oil from wiping it down etc during the last running, I light the corner and poke it in the fire box, then grab my other box of dry wood logs and just keep poking the wood in until I cant get anymore in. Close the fire doors and grab a coffee and start oiling, over the next 15mins try and poke a few more bits of wood and and start adding regular steam coal just a couple of small lumps and maybe a bit more wood, after about 25mins start adding more small coal after giving it a bit of a poke, if at any stage its looking a tadge iffy then another lump of wood goes on, after about 45mins its totally on steam coal (or what ever we have at the rallies)

Well thats what I do and in the last 18mths its never failed  Cool

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Re: Light up technique

Post  Mark the spark on Mon 20 Jul 2015, 1:01 pm

For many years now I have used paraffin or diesel soaked charcoal to light my locos
Its clean burning and easy . Start with a good layer of soaked charcoal then put a layer of coal on top then another layer of soaked charcoal then light . Use a blower till you get to about 25psi then your steam blower and add coal as required
It works EVERY time and I always keep some soaked charcoal in a airtight container ready to use (I also use it to light the coal fire in the house)
Remember its not good for your boiler to raise steam to quickly using this method it takes time for the fire to burn down the way giving you time to oil up and give it a clean
mark

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Re: Light up technique

Post  MrStationHouse on Tue 21 Jul 2015, 1:56 am

Thankyou all, it sounds like I am not too far off the money - it has been taking me about 1 hr 45. I think though I will keep on wood for longer though and be a bit more sparing with the coal.

Happy Steaming
Simon

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Re: Light up technique

Post  LiveSteam on Tue 21 Jul 2015, 10:06 am

Good bed of wood does seem to be key, hence why I stuff as much in as poss at the begining.
I will say I'm on copper tubes (Early MW Agri) so that could be why mine steams a little free'er, although that also has its downside as I suspect it would be all to easy to over stress the expansion rates between the steel boiler and the copper tubes and hence why I rarely use the blower or need to.

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Re: Light up technique

Post  Tim Watson on Wed 22 Jul 2015, 1:38 am

Agree with most of what has been said.  The fastest I have ever got Frederick going to a working pressure was 55 minutes.  If the boiler is over half full it will take a lot longer.  

I use firefighters to start the fire. The RLs need quite big wood to get them going and I usually keep a bag of house coal to transiition from wood.  Welsh steam coal is quite difficult to get going.  I only use the blower when I'm in a hurry or the fire is lazy at starting: it's useful to have the time to clean the engine, get a coffee, prepare the potatoes for lunch etc..

On a damp cold day, there is a lot to be gained from placing a firefighter in the smokebox to warm up the front end and help get the fire drawing: it removes that plug of cold air in the chimney/extension chimney.

Tim

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Re: Light up technique

Post  mikero on Wed 22 Jul 2015, 3:14 pm

My Foden fires up in about 1.5 hours. I start with 2" cubes of wood which I start with a blow torch, once it is blazing more cubes and small coal to be followed by larger coal. The steam blower can go on at 15 psi and works very well. Depending on the wind conditions I may use an electric fan pointed at the grate to improve the draw to start with. My previous engine had a venturi pipe built into the firing chimney with a hose to a 12v blower. I have picked up a Land Rover heater unit to make one for this engine.

Mike

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Re: Light up technique

Post  highpressure on Thu 23 Jul 2015, 10:28 am

I use wood kept in airtight container soaked in parafin, put in quite a lot to start with but add lumps of coal straight off as it will begin to light straight away. I always use WDS and dont have any real issues. I continue to feed in parafin kindling as it will catch easily and will pull the fire through the coal and help keep it going. Blower is always cracked open so will lift as soon as poss, shut it off about 75 and then allow it to turn over and remove extension chimney. Generally running at 120 - 150 by about an hour. Livesteam being compound we need to be at least 120 to run.

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Re: Light up technique

Post  LiveSteam on Thu 23 Jul 2015, 10:49 am

highpressure wrote: Livesteam being compound we need to be at least 120 to run.

Ah didnt realise that, learn something new every day, why is that though, does it make that much difference having the steam going from hp to lp cylinders then ?

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Re: Light up technique

Post  Brian M on Wed 12 Aug 2015, 10:40 am

Typically engines can tick over at 40 - 50 psi. The DCC engine compounds at 120 - 150.

The rule of thumb i use to light a fire is:

not over fill the boiler
damper open
couple of lumps of coal to fill the bars
couple of sticks over the coal
few sticks soaked in a fire accelerant
few soaked sticks on the shovel
light fire
sit back.

I have never used a blower

I do the same on the full size engine and it still works Smile

Regards,

Brian

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Re: Light up technique

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