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Miniature Traction Engine

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Nigel Taylor

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The valve is actually rather large compared to the cylinder and crosshead guide. This is the smallest valve I've found to date:
 

hog&bodge

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How did I miss this build. fantastic workmanship. went through this thred & can't wait to see the end product

I used to work as a boiler man ( stoker ) when I was young and fit, we would go to all the potteries
in stoke on trent when they shut down their boilers for cleaning.
It was a dirty wet job, your lungs got full of soot when you went under the boiler to clean out the flues that lead
up to the tall chimney stacks,I will not go into cleaning the stacks, no health & safty back then..lol
Sometimes the soot and ash was still hot, it was so fine it was like shoveling feathers and the guy in the front had to
keep up with you as you shoveld it forward.
The boilers pipes get all fury and calculus/limescale forming on the tubes so you would have to get in and set to scaling them
with a pneumatic air needle gun, took hours to get done & we would work late in the evening as the companys
only shut down for two weeks.
I went with some guy to change the pipes in a massive boiler at a cole mine it was a nerve racking job knocking out the tubes,
the tool was a steel tube with a locator welded on the end, we all took turns holding it with both hands on the end of the pipe while the other
guy hit it with a sledge hammer to force the tube into the boiler, then we had to do it all over again the other end.
Putting the pipes in is easy, you set them in then you expand the pipe to the boiler plate.
We had just got back to the yard after a job cleaning covered in soot & fred dibnah walks past all he said was "how do, ya been at it then lads".
He wanted a quote for a fire box.. ;)

Sorry to go on but I do not miss old boiler but I like all the models craftsman like you reproduce.
Most of the old boilers had a coat of asbestos as an insulator there was guys who would come in after
us and do repairs to the coating they did not have any protective gear, so you can see where I am coming from
when I say old boilers where dirty polluters...lol
 

Nigel Taylor

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How did I miss this build. fantastic workmanship. went through this thred & can't wait to see the end product

I used to work as a boiler man ( stoker ) when I was young and fit, we would go to all the potteries
in stoke on trent when they shut down their boilers for cleaning.
It was a dirty wet job, your lungs got full of soot when you went under the boiler to clean out the flues that lead
up to the tall chimney stacks,I will not go into cleaning the stacks, no health & safty back then..lol
Sometimes the soot and ash was still hot, it was so fine it was like shoveling feathers and the guy in the front had to
keep up with you as you shoveld it forward.
The boilers pipes get all fury and calculus/limescale forming on the tubes so you would have to get in and set to scaling them
with a pneumatic air needle gun, took hours to get done & we would work late in the evening as the companys
only shut down for two weeks.
I went with some guy to change the pipes in a massive boiler at a cole mine it was a nerve racking job knocking out the tubes,
the tool was a steel tube with a locator welded on the end, we all took turns holding it with both hands on the end of the pipe while the other
guy hit it with a sledge hammer to force the tube into the boiler, then we had to do it all over again the other end.
Putting the pipes in is easy, you set them in then you expand the pipe to the boiler plate.
We had just got back to the yard after a job cleaning covered in soot & fred dibnah walks past all he said was "how do, ya been at it then lads".
He wanted a quote for a fire box.. ;)

Sorry to go on but I do not miss old boiler but I like all the models craftsman like you reproduce.
Most of the old boilers had a coat of asbestos as an insulator there was guys who would come in after
us and do repairs to the coating they did not have any protective gear, so you can see where I am coming from
when I say old boilers where dirty polluters...lol
Thanks for the kind words, sometimes I have to make a part 3 times to get it right. So, lots of patience.

Interesting stories about boilers. My grandfather was a stoker on a large boiler at a factory and his dad was a journeyman on traction engine repair and manufacture. These are all tough dirty jobs. Cheers, Nigel
 

Nigel Taylor

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Sometimes I look at what I'm making and go back and look at some of the models my dad made in the 1980's. The comparison below with the clock and the valve chest plaque was just because I'm struggling to get the detail into the etching.

He etched, painted the numerals, cleaned the top surface and then silvered the dial. This clock is ~39mm high (bottom of feet to top of handle) and it works (it uses a wristwatch movement that he pulled apart and constructed on the back of the face).
 

hog&bodge

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His work & attention to detail is astonishing, did he teach you how to metal work.?
I had a friend he used to make steam powered cars, his work was outstanding in every detail & like you spend
days getting it righ. No way would you disturb him when he was on a build..lol
His last project was a steam wire stretching winding machine but he passed away before he finished it, he sad it
was for the science & industry museum in manchester.

Any way I was given a box of brass nuts, bolts, screws and washers. I was having a rummage through & came across
these think they are some sort of brass rivets. If you have any use for them I will send them to you.
 

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Nigel Taylor

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His work & attention to detail is astonishing, did he teach you how to metal work.?
I had a friend he used to make steam powered cars, his work was outstanding in every detail & like you spend
days getting it righ. No way would you disturb him when he was on a build..lol
His last project was a steam wire stretching winding machine but he passed away before he finished it, he sad it
was for the science & industry museum in manchester.

Any way I was given a box of brass nuts, bolts, screws and washers. I was having a rummage through & came across
these think they are some sort of brass rivets. If you have any use for them I will send them to you.
Hi, yes, he taught me metal and wood working from a young age. We made lots of radio control models as well as tools and some mad stuff. The rivets look interesting. if you email me [email protected] I will send you my address. Very kind, thanks, Nigel
 

Nigel Taylor

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Managed to etch a few nameplates today:



I think the bottom right one is the one to use. To put it into scale the capital letters are 1.4mm high.
 

Nigel Taylor

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Looking in more detail at the steam valve design. The schematic looks reasonably simple. However, I've been looking at a number of references to try and improve my background knowledge of steam valve design. The issue I have so often with this model is the size. The phosphor bronze saddle for the cylinder has all of the ports running through it, so fitting in a valve is going to be tight.

Also, this part has to survive without any distortion being heated to 745-780°C for hard silver soldering. This is because it gets silver soldered in place first and hence needs to be higher temperature so I don't release the joint at stage two fixing.

 

MARK.B.

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Like a good book,once i started reading the post i could not stop(y)like the way you tell the story both good and bad and the pictures help my aged grey matter to make sense of what you are explaining (well most of it anyway:LOL:). Now its time to watch the vid's:)
 

Nigel Taylor

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Good luck @Nigel Where's the compromise?
Not really a compromise, more concerned about the level of detailed machining that has gone into the saddle. Hence always nervous of next steps such as machining a working steam valve face into it. Plus then finally silver soldering it to the boiler shell.
 

Nigel Taylor

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I've been doing a lot more silver soldering and testing before silver soldering the saddle to the boiler.

1. Flow of silver solder through a joint:



Copper sheets (representing the boiler) and a phosphor bronze plate (saddle) and a phosphor bronze bolt. Flux applied to all surfaces prior to assembly. Then looking at difference between silver solder either side of PB plate versus around the PB bolt head.

I then section the parts.


The bottom section is where the silver solder was applied around the bolt head. This appears to have pulled through the threaded joint better.
 

Nigel Taylor

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2. Silver solder masking - looking at options that allow you to mask areas where you don't want the solder to flow


here I used a graphite pencil (one of those solid graphite ones) and it worked quite well on the copper and brass sheet.

Also, any residue just comes away with 20 minutes in the pickling fluid.
 

Wildman

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amazing skill and patience from start to finish. I look forward to seeing it running. Well done it is certainly an heirloom piece.
 

Nigel Taylor

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I've been stuck for a few months, a total roadblock on how to make the steam valve. Especially as I have machine this into the PB saddle that itself has had lots of hours put into it. Hence it has been collecting dust on my desk and staring at me, annoying me. But, after a clean up of the workshop it is back on the bench. I will solve this problem.


There are a few more items on the list of next things to do on the Burrell
 

Nigel Taylor

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I made the decision to make the steam control valve a remote valve.


The best bit is I made a decision and this allowed me to move forwards. So I could then silver solder the saddle to the boiler.

 

Nigel Taylor

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An image of saddle silver soldered to the boiler.



My test coupons and checking out different silver solder masking techniques paid off.

The engine reassembled and I think it's looking good.



The silver solder coming out from the edge is minimal and yet it is complete all the way round. This will be covered by an insulation sheet and a brass sheet wrap anyway.
 

MARK.B.

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Great to see it all coming together so well for you Nigel, my poor attempts at soldering could never compare:sick::sick:but i am a dab hand at push fit plumbing:)
 

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