Thetford Works (Cornwall)

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  SSGR on Sat 14 Mar 2015, 2:14 pm

Looks stunning Steve,

Well done,

John

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First steaming

Post  Steve Traill on Sun 15 Mar 2015, 3:34 am

Thanks everyone for the kind words.

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Road trailer

Post  Steve Traill on Thu 19 Mar 2015, 1:10 pm

This is the new trailer I have purchased for 'Hercules'.  I didn't want another big box in the garden that is a pain to move around.  This one is just big enough for the RL and easily covers the weight (carries 1200kg) but only weighs 270kg when empty.   It's 1200mm wide & 1850mm long, I reckon with the engine in backwards it should be ok (haven't picked it up yet, it's in Wales!)  At rallies I'll still have 'Trelawney' & the box trailer as the workshop/rain shelter and I'll get a nice cover made to go over 'Hercules' when it's wet etc.


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Easter Steam up

Post  Steve Traill on Tue 07 Apr 2015, 2:52 pm

Here's a few pics of our Club Easter Steam-up, great day, weather was perfect.  Just noticed that it looks a bit quiet!  what with keeping two engines running I was a bit slow on taking pictures & most of the members had left!


Tony's little 2" Burrell worked perfectly all day & was belted up to a cracking threshing machine he'd picked up recently.


Frostie brought his 4" Burrell and the organ for some nice fairground music, kept the dogs from barking too!


Hercules was in steam for 6 hours and apart from a feathering safety valve was pretty happy.  Few little tweaks to do as it's still running in.
Next step is to drive it around, the lawn is still too soft at the moment.

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Extra tool box

Post  Steve Traill on Thu 07 May 2015, 3:05 pm

I was looking at where I could keep a bit of extra steam oil, rags etc.  Looked at the wasted space in the seat frame & made a little box to drop into the space.  it's approx. 6" square & 8" deep with a lid.  Until I build the traction wagon I think it could be quite useful.  It just lifts out if it's not needed.



The oil can is just there for perspective!  The lid is made from an off cut of Respertex used for lining showers.  It's marine ply with formica one side & resin the other, so pretty durable.



I was pondering how to keep the wood slats on top of the belly tank, I was loathe to drill holes for a fixing, in the end I had some miniature permanent magnets, about 6mm round & 3mm deep.  recessed into the wood, one in each corner, it holds the wood nicely in place, is easy to remove to keep clean.



The other tinkering I have done is try & get the flywheel to run true(er), It seems that the shaft is true and the hole in the flywheel is true (a fraction large to be honest). When the key is put in it knocks it out of true, mine was 25 thou out. I have drilled & tapped holes in the boss of the flywheel for some grub screws to see if I can align it better. I have managed to get it within 7 thou now which is liveable with. At 25 it was irritating to watch when ticking over. I used M5 grub screws & filled the holes with grease to hide them (a bit). Waiting for Terry Baxter to return my injector as it didn't want to play at any pressure, should get it this weekend hopefully.
The other thing I've noticed is my alteration of the water pump is ok but slow. Because I've done away with the reduction gear I reduced the stroke on the eccentric by 50%. It could do with a bit more throw, I might make another one this winter, see how it goes. Very Happy

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First Rally

Post  Steve Traill on Mon 25 May 2015, 2:57 pm

Hercules was off to it's first (grass) rally this weekend, here's a few pics.


Tailer made cover, snug fit.

Steamed the engine over the three days, still having problems with the injector not wanting to play, high gear & low gear good but middle gear very noisy, sort of teeth crashing noise, don't understand that one.  Lot of slack in the valve link blocks which clicks away, quite low on power, had to trundle around in low wheel as any other gear it would stall on the uphill sections.  I hope this is just 'running in' and when eased up will have more power.


The roof takes some getting used to and today I removed it & drove around without it,  much better!  think I'll make it quick release somehow.
Overall a good rally at Launceston, wish the 'B' injector would work, everything else I can fix myself just about.  The little brass blocks  that are slack were slack when fitted it's just more noticeable now.  I think that STW measured the size from the laser cut steel sections however when these are smoothed up it makes the gap bigger.  Left as they were they would have worn the blocks away in 10 minutes.  My aggi is still on it's original blocks after 10 years and has nowhere near the slack in them.

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Tim Watson on Wed 27 May 2015, 1:46 pm

Impressive cover Steve! It kind of reminds me of the Toucan from an old Guiness advert.

It takes a little while for these engines to reach their full running potential: Frederick was quite slow to pick up and doesn't do much below 100psi (as with all compounds). Hercules is probably just confused by wearing a Stephenson's Rocket extension chimney. My gears are noisiest in high wheel - but might have quietened down by June 14th.

Tim

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Stephensons Rocket

Post  Steve Traill on Wed 27 May 2015, 2:40 pm

The top of the chimney extension has been scientifically designed to feather the wind blowing across the top of it to create maximum suction and minimum blow back .......................................................that's my story & I'm sticking to it!!

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Steering mods

Post  Steve Traill on Thu 25 Jun 2015, 11:59 am

Following our epic journey on Tim's Showmans "Frederick" to Brighton from St Albans I have been looking at improving the steering.  We did think that if there was to be a problem it might be in that area, although I thought the 'C' links were a bit minimal and that they might not last.  As it turned out they were fine but the turnbuckle links stretched & the threads became unusable.  This was mainly due to the severe jolting from the many potholes in our modern 21st century road system that we hardly pay anything for!!!  With a view to take some of the jolt out I have devised a way of incorporating a reasonably strong spring into the system.  This will also mean that a bit less slack will be left in the chains for the straight ahead position, rather useful when belting down a dual carriageway doing 17mph at one in the morning.

It is a standard 8mm turnbuckle with loops at each end (a lot have a loop & hook set up)  The thread is filed off one end, all but enough to hold one nut.  The spring is 1.8mm stainless steel, the closest I could find to fit from ebay and bought by the yard/inch.  This enables the spring end to stretch approx. 10mm.  I intend putting a split pin through the nut to stop it undoing.

To link this in I will use split links, used to join anchors to chain, so pretty strong.
You put them together and rivet over the 'stalks' sticking through the holes in the other side.  They can only be used once!
The other area that I have beefed up is the C link attaching the chain to the axle.  I have had some parts laser cut locally to replace the existing ones.  These are cut from 6mm plate and as there are no joins there shouldn't be any weak points.  They are 8mm across the flats so should be about 33% stronger and not look out of place.  They need to be rounded off yet & made to look pretty but you get the idea.  There's four as one pair is for 'Frederick'

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  graemejudge on Sat 25 Jul 2015, 2:02 pm

any more news on your updates or rallys you been to please steve

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Boconnoc Rally

Post  Steve Traill on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 1:46 pm

Here's a few pics of Boconnoc, good show of STW engines, there were two Showmans, two Road Locos (inc. my crane engine), a Foden lorry, three Agriculturals & Tony's 2" Agri.  Not all made it into the ring as a few were playing in the sun!  Friday was a wash out but the ground recovered really well to make Saturday a great day for steaming around.  The rain came in again in the evening & stayed wet for most of Sunday.  We ended up packing up early to go home as the ground was soaked.  Shame really as so much work goes into making a Rally happen & then we get (probably) the two wettest days of the year out of three.






We had to see if the crane worked & Tony allowed us to use his engine for the first test, it was in steam as well!  It lifted it without really noticing it was there so looking to lift a 3" next!

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Latest tinkering

Post  Steve Traill on Sun 30 Aug 2015, 12:50 pm

I've been pondering the best way to make an ashpan rake, a fairly essential bit of kit if you are to steam the engine for more than 3 hours.  With the crane engine and no trailer carrying kit is limited to my little box fitted to the centre of the seat.  Because you don't use it that often having it hanging from the side will just be a nuisance.  I did think of a two piece rake that would fit in the box & then realised that the poker is basically 90% of an ashpan rake.  All I've done is make an end that slides on the rake, the very shape of it holds it in place & it works a treat raking the ash either out the front or down the hole in the centre (see previous post on making hole in ashpan).





The other bit I've acquired is a log holder, I can't claim to have made it as it is a 'Stihl' item with the handle chopped off & a bit welded in with a chain link.    It is harden steel though so should be quite effective for lifting logs.



Took the engine up to the WESES rally a couple of weeks ago, had three days of driving it around and it behaved very well.  Still have a slight grinding noise on middle gear for about 2/3rds rotation, will see if shimming up the main bearing helps as I think the gears might be engaging just a tadge to much.  Overall it's settling down nicely & I'm getting more comfortable driving it.  At the first rally this year it came very close to having a 'For Sale' sign put on it!!  It's not for sale now though.

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  graemejudge on Mon 31 Aug 2015, 2:09 pm

"For Sale"  affraid Steve how dare you but if it ever pops in your head again i want first dibs bounce Very Happy  bounce  Very Happy bounce  Very Happy bounce  Very Happy bounce Very Happy such an amazing machine it is, sorry people i had to get in there first lol!

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  LiveSteam on Mon 31 Aug 2015, 2:16 pm

Cash waiting here too...... lol!

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Noise cured

Post  Steve Traill on Sun 20 Sep 2015, 3:24 pm

Ever since I started driving the engine, middle wheel has been noisy, part of this was due to the position of the gear locking pin which I moved half a hole to one side. The small middle gear wheel were rubbing the large low wheel gear, this cured most of the noise however there was still a noise that shouldn't have been there. As it was only on about two third rotation I figured that maybe the gear wheels were too close. I decided to pack up the main bearing on that side to see if it made a difference. It did! no more noise. I had put 4 shims under the bearing cap & these are now under the main bearing with no shims on top. All is still running sweetly with no nashing of teeth, I know a few others have had either one or two gears a bit noisy so that is the cure.

Rather than undo all the motion work & take the flywheel off I opted for removing the gears and the sliding sleeve that high wheel slides on. This is locktited in place so trying to remove it posed a problem. I couldn't get a bearing puller on it, a slide hammer didn't work, swearing didn't help much either so in the end I drilled & tapped three M10 holes in it, inserted some M10 threaded bar & pulled it off with that. It cracked off with quite a bang which had me worried for a second but all was well it was just the Locktite letting go. After that the shims were repositioned & all was put back.

We had a nice run around Illogan on Saturday using all the gears, in high wheel the slack in the steering chains at full tilt focusses the mind. I haven't fitted the sprung chain adjusters yet, a winter job now I know everything else is good. Also looking to polybush the front axle pin to build a bit of give into the front end. Very Happy

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Tinkering in the toolshed

Post  Steve Traill on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 3:01 am

Whilst up at Dorset I noticed that quite a few of the showman's & Road Locos carry some extra oil around on a small tray either on the horn plate or belly tank.  Also the oil containers have an angled cone on the top with a stopper.  Unable to find a third scale container like that I thought I would have a go at making something similar.  So with a small sheet of brass and a bit of scaffold pole to bend it round here's my efforts.  I was going to paint the cans but it would probably chip off & look scruffy so they will be left brass, the holder will be painted crimson lake to match the horn plates with just the top lip left in brass.

The first pic is a rather grainy image taken on the Saturday night at Dorset



This is my interpretation of that, each can holds exactly 1/2 pint (just coincidence!)



Regarding the steering mods that is still in development as I was not convinced that what I had was strong enough, a mark II version is on the bench.

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POR15 verses Isoflex?

Post  Steve Traill on Fri 02 Oct 2015, 6:02 am

Having been a fan of Isoflex for many years in the building trade I was more than happy to use it on the tender of my agricultural engine 10 years ago.  Every year I drain everything down for it's winter inspection, this year the aggie tender was drained down and still perfect, no rust all clean & sound.  Went to do the same on 'Hurcules' and the tender I painted in Isoflex and all looks good.  However just after I'd done this it was recommended to use POR15 the petrol tank sealer.  I tried putting two tins of the stuff in and blocking all the holes and rolling it around, after getting lagged in the stuff myself & out of breath I decided there had to be a better way!  When I removed the tape from the holes, quite a bit of the inside still didn't have any paint on so I then applied it with a brush.  After that I used a brush for all the others giving them three coats and an extra one on the rivet nuts to be sure.  I admit the finish looks better than Isoflex but when I checked it out after 6 months of use I found lots of rust on the rivet nuts & bolts.  Pretty disappointed with the performance of the stuff to be honest, having dried it all out now I would say 40% of the inside edges are rusty.



Because the POR15 is quite glassy in it's finish I have been pondering what to put on top to stop the rust, my plan is to put a rust killer on first leave, that a day or so and then brush on a grey polyester resin top coat used in glass fibre roofing.  It's pretty durable & sticks to anything, I've gone over the rust with a wire brush to remove as much as possible first so hopefully that will do it.  Not impressed with POR15 though, wish I'd never used it, comes in stupid tins that you almost have to destroy to open as well!  I would use the isoflex again but just worried that it won't stick to the POR15 & it's a b**ger to get at everywhere in the bellytank.

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Adam Brown on Fri 02 Oct 2015, 6:09 am

We've used Isoflex on the 6" Foden. Can't say I'm a fan as its already coming off in sheets (and yes we used the Iso Primer whatever it was)

Going to try Apexior this winter and see how it goes

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Isoflex

Post  Steve Traill on Fri 02 Oct 2015, 6:17 am

The primer is a waste of money, in fact every time I've used it and others it almost guarantees failure! did you wash out the inside with gun wash cellulose thinners first? I find that is a good degreaser.

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Vapor on Fri 02 Oct 2015, 6:33 am

Hi Steve, well I'm glad that I wasn't the only one that had had very poor results with POR 15 with my 4.5" Foden SWB water tank I had large amounts come off in sheets and parts that look ok by sight have the tell tail brown rust stains.

Not sure what to do now as I feel the only option is either paint stripper or shot blasting the inside back to bare metal and as you know its not the most assessable place in the world.

So at the moment im holding fire until I make my mind up what to re do it with one things for sure it wont be POR15.

Ian

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  TonyT on Fri 02 Oct 2015, 9:37 am

I used POR15 on the tender of my 2" engine, rubbish, I have the same issues as everyone else. I shall watch this space for a answer.

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  lynnr on Fri 02 Oct 2015, 9:49 am

I used isoflex without primer. Tried to remove some from round the balance pipe fitting and took over two hours chiselling away at it to get enough for a spanner.

Looked in during Aprils inspection with the boroscope. No rust. Same with the tender.

Metal prep was industrial automotive pre wipe to degrease.

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Mark the spark on Fri 02 Oct 2015, 2:16 pm

I have always used old fashioned red lead in the tenders of my locos but it is now getting hard to get

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Steering update

Post  Steve Traill on Tue 24 Nov 2015, 12:14 pm

Finally finished the mods to the steering and also found a way to stop the steering chain rubbing the paint off the inside edge of the wheel on full lock.  To try and stop the steering from wandering on tarmac when going in a straight line I have built some springs into the turnbuckles so there is always some tension on the chains.  There needs to be a certain amount of slack in the system as on full lock the axle needs a bit more chain than in the straight ahead position.  The problem with the Road Loco/ Showmans is that it can go a lot faster than the Agricultural engine and if you get a wobble on at speed, due to bump steer,  it's a bit scary!  The springs are under tension in the straight ahead position by about a third of their travel.  There is 10mm of travel in total on each one.  Tensioned up it leaves about 6mm each side which is enough to use full lock without something snapping.

The other problem was I had lost all the paint on the inside face of the front wheels, at first I thought some rough gravel had done it but then I noticed the scratch marks went around the rim.  The chain would rub on the wheel rim on full lock.  To overcome this I have added a link chain between the other two stop chains. (just like on the agricultural)  This works a treat and you can see on the last pic that it just pulls the chain in a bit to give clearance for the wheel.






The sharp eyed among you will also notice that the axle links are the new laser cut ones I had made out of one piece of steel.  I have just rounded them off to take away the shark edges.  You may also notice the old carpet covered in oil stains and metal splinters has been binned and a new 'off cut' of carpet laid down.  It's not for the engine you understand rather than for my knees!!

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Time to start building again

Post  Steve Traill on Mon 21 Dec 2015, 3:10 pm

The weather is dire, the TV full of repeats or reality stuff so time to start tinkering in the shed again.  Hercules is all fettled for next season so time to start the traction wagon that's been sitting in boxes for too long.  I've had Leakes put some tyres on the rims for me to start with and have just cleaned them up & fitted the dummy rivets.  So far so good.

I've used Gripfill for the radius on the rims, same as Pinkgrip only it just keeps coming out the tube.  Last time I bought Pinkgrip it was all hard in the tube so that put me off a bit.  When you smooth it out I use a finger dipped in white spirit, it skins up in seconds & then drags without it, you can use spit but it tastes horrible & the spit rusts the rims!


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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

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