Thetford Works (Cornwall)

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Steve Traill on Tue 29 Aug 2017, 3:17 pm

It also has a little known anti-theft device, if someone tried lifting the trailer into a van/pickup the wheels & axle drop away making it immobile!
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Great Dorset

Post  Steve Traill on Fri 01 Sep 2017, 8:51 pm

Really was great this year, perfect weather and the engine ran faultlessly throughout.  Shown here on the Saturday evening in amongst the crowds by the line up of Showmans engines.  We ticked over until just gone 11pm then trundled back to base.  The lights worked well!





At the top of the play pen watching the big engines.

Had problems with the traction wagon again when loading it back into the van, the back axle dropped away when lifting it up.  The clamps I put around the leaf springs to stiffen them up had worked on the front axle (it's lighter) but the back axle fell away as the clamps just opened up.  Properly sorted now though, I've welded a loop on the end of the spring so it can't drop past the pin and fitted much heavy gauge straps to hold the leaves together.  

I'm working on building a heavy gauge tow bar for it as the  original although nicely made is a bit short and lightweight.  I find at rallies that when you have a trailer attached there's always someone wants a short cut across between the engine & trailer and they always stand on the tow bar.  I'm making one out of 1/2" solid bar and welding it to the original fittings apart from the towing pintle which I've cobbled together from my box of bits!  It has a large eye, rawl bolt with a bit of pipe, a spring from brake spares to give a soft start when pulling away.  It has springs built into the back of the dolly but they are pretty strong.  Pics when the paints' dry.
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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  poachermas on Sun 03 Sep 2017, 10:56 pm

Hi Steve,Great looking engine,I tried to have a word with you at Dorset,when you were on show next to the big and min showmans engines,but you was busy,so I left you in peace,Great engineering on the crane jib by the way.

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Steve Traill on Mon 04 Sep 2017, 12:05 am

Thanks for that, shame we didn't meet, next time just butt in!!

Here's a couple of pics of the traction wagon mods.



The draw bar is much heavier now so won't get bent like the old one.  The old draw bar and the new one were cut at a shallow angle and welded each side.  The tow pintle is an M10 rawl bolt eye, a bit of pipe a washer and a spring that holds brake shoes to the back plate.  You can just about squeeze it between finger & thumb.  The springs on the turntable are valve springs and basically don't move, the spring at the front now might give passengers a smoother start (maybe!)
The detailing on this trailer is very nice.

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New grate

Post  Steve Traill on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 8:48 pm

I've noticed over the last few rallies where I've seen a couple of Road Loco's running about that they usually have quite a red fire in the ashpan burning away.  Also after Tim's work on building a Rosebud grate where there is hardly any ash left after a days steaming my crane engine has about two pan fulls.  Looking at the standard grate the bar spacing seems quite wide.
Also some of the bars were buckling a bit making some of the spaces even wider.  I decided to make a grate with a few more bars in (14 instead of 10).  Below is the old & the new, the new bars are 6mm longer at each end, there's still plenty of clearance for expansion and the same width.  The gap is 6.5mm with a 6.5mm slot for each 6mm bar so everything can expand & contract.  Hopefully I'll see a bit less ash as the coal is more thoroughly burnt before it drops away.  Time will tell!

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  LiveSteam on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 9:21 pm

Steve Traill wrote:I've noticed over the last few rallies where I've seen a couple of Road Loco's running about that they usually have quite a red fire in the ashpan burning away.

Really shouldnt have fire both sides of the grate, apparently a sure fire (excuse the pun) way of killing a grate.

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Steve Traill on Mon 02 Oct 2017, 8:35 pm

Another addition to the crane engine, most of the Road locos seem to have a small tool box attached to the side of the bunker extension, it'll be handy for the ignition system!



The 'H' Holmans badge is a small tribute to the company that fed & clothed most (over 2,000 employees) of the population of Camborne & Redruth for over a 100 years (including my family & I) and of which Tesco have removed virtually all trace.  I'm not sure if Holmans ever had traction engines, quite probably as they had their own railway and produced everything needed for hard rock mining from basic raw materials.  They were a one stop shop for any mine captain and had depots all over the world.  It's very sad that parts of our history seem to have no value.
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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  sonick45 on Mon 02 Oct 2017, 9:04 pm

and there was me thinking they just made mayonnaise !
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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  mikero on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 9:44 am

A couple of tripod rock drills would make a great wagon load Steve.

mike
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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Steve Traill on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 11:15 pm

That's true! BTW it's Holmans not Helmans, good one though!! I just googled Holmans Camborne & they employed 3,500 people in it's heyday and had been going for 200 years. When the population of Camborne is/was about 6,000 you can see they were pretty important around here.
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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Steve Traill on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 5:32 pm

Here's a pic of the right angle washing machine valve attached to the drain plug on the tender.  This is used to fill the tender from a remote tank in the trailer.  It had a horrible blue plastic head on the valve so I made one out of brass to replace it.  To attach it to the drain plug I put the bolt in the lathe and turned the head down to the size of an olive, drilled a hole up the centre of it and used the standard nut to attach it.



The next project was to make a 'breakfast' shovel, slightly fed up with bacon slipping off the standard shovel into the fire I decided to make one just for bacon & eggs.  The lump of brass on the end is there as a counter weight and the handle was one of the rear roof supports that I replaced for thicker ones.  It's designed to be exactly level when resting over the fire and the little cross brace stops it wobbling.

I don't waste my evenings!!

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Mark the spark on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 5:47 pm

very nice idea

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Jim the Shovel on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 5:47 pm

Ha Ha. Nice one. That's next on the list.
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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  He Who Must Not Be Blamed on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 8:48 pm

Steve Traill wrote:
I don't waste my evenings!!

Few of us do.

Eric
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New Season

Post  Steve Traill on Thu 15 Feb 2018, 11:04 pm

Looking forward to steaming 'Hurcules' in a couple of weeks for it's annual boiler test, want to see if the new grate makes a difference and the other little things I did before winterising the engine. It's been a long long long wet winter in Cornwall, not cold but wet wet wet & long! Hopefully we will have a good summer as we've had 12 months rain in the last 3 months! Now everything is running nicely I want to stretch 'Hercules' legs a bit with a few longer runs. Nothing as long as 'Frederick the Great' runs though, that was good fun on the 10 bridges last year, Tims got his motion work running so sweetly, great engines.
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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  mikero on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 12:24 pm

Are you doing Bocconoc this year Steve?

Mike
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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Steve Traill on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 1:28 pm

Definitely, always do Boconnoc, lets hope the weather is better this year for all the Rallies!

Fired up Hercules a couple of days ago, running sweet! the modification to the valve blocks on the high & low pressure has really made a difference, so much more power now and a sharper bark up the chimney. There's a steep hill behind me that is part of my local run and in the past I've had to go in low wheel for it, shot up in high wheel now and I slowed right down at the bottom to get rid of any momentum. The new grate worked well with a 50:50 split between air & steel bars, not so much ash in the pan.
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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  mikero on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 7:46 pm

Save me a space when you set up please, I will get the forms in the post. I have drilled about half of the holes in my rosebud grate, but after 200 my shoulder packed up. I will get it done before St Albans . Been welding up the dropside posts for the trailer as well as turning 15x75 plate into hinges.

Mike
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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Mark the spark on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 9:08 pm

Hi Steve
What did you do to the valves?
Mark

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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Steve Traill on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 10:28 pm

Hi Mike
Sure, will save you a space at Boconnoc, be good to see your engine again.

The mod I carried out on the valve blocks was to file a chamfer on the leading edge of each side 2-3mm as I noticed that it was not fully opening on the face of the block. There's two things important to get maximum power from a steam engine, timing which with the eccentrics on a keyway we know are spot on and the other is for the engine to breath easily. Tim & I have for some time felt that we were not getting everything we should from our engines. Although we did 80 odd miles to Brighton on Tim's 'Frederick' and also the 10 bridges run it went well but we always thought there could be a bit more. With my engine also I felt there should be more power (compared to the agricultural) and looking at what a full size can do proportionally I felt that Hercules should have more grunt. Since I've put that chamfer on the valve blocks it's made such a difference and it sounds better also. With the new open blocks it may be different, compared to the blind bore blocks, it's worth having a look and checking though.
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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  mikero on Tue 27 Feb 2018, 11:29 am

I remember from my motorcycling days, not over yet by the way, scraping and polishing ports and manifolds to smooth the flows. Would it not be better to grind a chamfer on the ports as well? Certainly the sharp corners leading into the ports.

Mike
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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Steve Traill on Tue 27 Feb 2018, 1:48 pm

It's the exhaust ports that were being restricted by the valve block so the sharp edge on the block as the steam is exiting the block won't make any difference however the corner of the valve block does restrict the clean flow of steam. The chamfer allows minimal restriction of the steam as it exits the cylinder. It's a pity we can't 'gas flow' the whole process and see the turbulence inside the cylinder block and maybe reduce it more. I think with pressure involved as long as everything is reasonably smooth with no restrictions that's the best we can hope for.
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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  LiveSteam on Tue 27 Feb 2018, 9:29 pm

mikero wrote:I remember from my motorcycling days, not over yet by the way, scraping and polishing ports and manifolds to smooth the flows. Would it not be better to grind a chamfer on the ports as well? Certainly the sharp corners leading into the ports.

Mike

Steve Traill wrote:It's the exhaust ports that were being restricted by the valve block so the sharp edge on the block as the steam is exiting the block won't make any difference however the corner of the valve block does restrict the clean flow of steam.  The chamfer allows minimal restriction of the steam as it exits the cylinder.  It's a pity  we can't 'gas flow' the whole process and see the turbulence inside the cylinder block and maybe reduce it more.  I think with pressure involved as long as everything is reasonably smooth with no restrictions that's the best we can hope for.  

Crumbs are we now "hot rodding" our Burrells Laughing Laughing Laughing what next boring out the cylinder and fitting over sized pistons and rings, a performance chimney (not sure what that would look like but would of course involve stainless), what about say a race set of eccentrics Laughing not quite sure who can supply a remap for the Burrell mind Laughing



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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  mikero on Tue 27 Feb 2018, 9:57 pm

A 'performance chimney' has a Lempor ejector in it.

Mikero
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Re: Thetford Works (Cornwall)

Post  Steve Traill on Tue 27 Feb 2018, 10:23 pm

Hot rodding could have been written for steam engines as they are hot and use rods to function! Seriously, I just want my engine to run as good as it possibly can and up to now I felt it wasn't, if I wanted more power then increasing the pressure would do that.
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