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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  29/07/2011  :  06:27
New start as old topic was getting too big. Here's the LINK for the original topic.

Sheds are centres of honest endeavour and sanity, rare things these days. Please join in and tell us what you are doing in your shed. All are welcome!

[By the way, if I occasionally seem to be stating the  bleeding obvious, it's because I'm aware of the fact that not everybody has the same experience so please forgive me.]


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 08/10/2011 : 04:55


Here is the boxed set. I think it was sold by Brown Brothers at Manchester. I can remember that huge building stretching down the road near where the science museum is now. I once had a Brown Brothers  catalogue for about 1930. A massive volume full of all sorts of tackle and garage and workshop equipment. I wonder where that went while I was in the army!  Always buy old tool catalogues and the wonderful Machinery Handbooks if you see them, solid gold and you can learn a lot from them.

What sort of bloke is it that can get enjoyment from leafing through an old tool catalogue? I think I'd better get on with something useful!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 09/10/2011 : 05:27


On with the business in hand. I transferred the stud positions to the lid and used it as a template for drilling pop marks in the block with a long series drill to clear the clamps.

 

After drilling the block tapping size for 3BA I tapped two opposing holes, fitted studs and then spent an hour scratching round looking for two 3BA nuts! It took a while for sanity to dawn and I chucked a handy piece of hexagon rod in the lathe and made two nuts, quick, ugly and filled the bill. The idea was to tap the remaining holes with the chest in place to ensure a clear path for the studs. I broke my first tap in over five years in the first hole because of a slight misalignment in the holes. After a suitable period of mourning and a quick flogging all round I poked a clearance drill though to the tappings and moved on.

 

I abandoned the idea of tapping through the bore, found a new tap and I'm ready to tap the rest of the holes today and move on to the LP chest. Then I'll stud two opposing holes on each face, temporarily mount the lids and steam chests and see if the block still fits the standards. If everything is OK, on with No 2 Block. If not, Deep Gloom and a rethink.......


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 09/10/2011 : 14:12
Thats a nice tap and die set Stanley,  Your project is coming along nicely too. Is there any chance you can make me two of them for my boat?
LOL.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 09/10/2011 : 17:40
Well, when I finish these I'll need another project! Nice old set isn't it, you never know I might need a LH  Cycle Thread tap one of these days!



Today started well enough, cracking on with studding the LP steam chest. By the way, I'm drilling the holes 3/16" to get that bit extra clearance.

 

Usual set up for popping the stud hole positions with a long series drill. The only thing that's different is that I dropped the tapping drill inside the bed of the VM. The little gizmo with the red handle is a powerful little magnet on a telescopic stem, just the thing you need when you've been careless!

 

Nice! The block fits the standards with the lids temporarily bolted down with two opposing set screws. Only one problam....  You know I'm always honest and admit my mistakes. Well, when I came to try the LP stud holes out they were wrong! Somehow, despite all my checking I'd reversed the position of the chest when boring the lid. The lid matches the valve face stud holes but the steam chest drillings were wrong, four of them out of position when mounted in the correc t orientation. Several swear words.....

 

I marked the holes that needed adjusting, chucked a 3/16" slot drill in the mill and elongated the holes. Untidy but there is one consolation, nobody will ever see them and they are no detriment to the fit. It did the job, all the studs pass through to the lid.



That was a good place to stop but one more thing had been nattering me. The fact that I had to put a .040 shim in to fit the block to the standards. I did a bit of measuring and found that I had been adjusting the wrong standard so I bit the bullet, put the bed and the standards under the mill and took a very careful cut across the face of bothe standards. Dodgier than it looked, remember that the guides are tough stuff, gauge steel. Very slow and careful!

 

No point spoiling the ship etc so I went the extra yard and milled the pads on the bottom lids while they are in place on the block. One pass right through. While I was doing this I did the pads for the front supports as well. Take note that this cut couldn't have been done dead accurately until the bottom lid could be studded on the block.

 

Chucked it all together and well worth the effort. Block perfectly level and a perfect fit between the pads and the standards, much better! I'm satisfied now.

This is a good place to leave the No 1 engine, ready for valves, motion and shaft. All we need to do now is do the same to No. 2! But that's another day. It looks like an engine now and I'm satisfied with the fitting. Onward and upward!

 


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 10/10/2011 : 05:16
Robert, nine days ago you paid me a compliment: "You seem to have worked without drawings, using only, the idea in your head to interpret what you required. That is engineering." I'm still glowing!

I thought about it this morning as I was looking at the partially completed engine and mulling over the tricky little job of making the fit between the front supports and the lugs on the bottom lids, the bed end is easy, mill the pads to the correct angle and something like a quarter Whit stud machined on the bottom of the standard with a wedge washer under the bed to get the pull square.

The connection to the lug is different. I think it would look better if the 1/4" bolt went through vertically. Ideally it needs to be integral with the support but I think that you can see that that is a tricky little problem. Just wanted to flag up the thought process, I shall let it fester for a while as I do the other jobs and see what pops out of my head.....  (Must measure the angle......)


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 11/10/2011 : 01:06
Credit where its due Stanley. You just demonstrate and present the skills so well, in a  down to earth and understandable manner. Your presentation of the skills is an assett for future generations logging in to OGFB.

The sad thing about the demise of the Engineering apprenticeship is that It was a system where it picked up the academic failures, the kids that had intrinsic logical skills, and developed them by a mixture of academia and practical skills, to become worthwhile and respected artisans.
Maybe the powers that be need to think about that.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 11/10/2011 : 06:38
Agreed Robert, I was just posting on another thread that perhaps part of the solution to our present economic troubles is embedded in something Newton said to me twenty years ago. We were motoring along going somewhere when, apropos of nothing at all, he said "The trouble these days Stanley is that there aren't enough people making things". He was no economist, just a practical man and he knew in the core of his being that the source of true wealth is taking a lump of raw material and making something out of it. Shuffling paper about and setting policies just doesn't hack it!

No pics for yesterday's work, repetition of what I did on the first block. 44 tapping holes drilled and 26 of them tapped 2BA. Same process today. 

I realised I had run out of 2BA bright hexagon 1/2" set screws so I ordered a box of 100. It was only when I printed the invoice that I realised with a shock that I had paid over 4/- each for them! Don't times change......


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 11/10/2011 : 15:49
Reeves stuff came including the expensive set screws, very quick service. Started the day by finishing the tapping of the lid stud holes and then popped the milling cutter into the VM.



I'd already skimmed the pads on the bottom lid when I was set up for drilling stud holes. Did the same on the standards as I did to the other. Very small cuts, very careful!

 

I was close to a straight edge and so went back in the shed for ten minutes after Letcliffe walk. Here's close of play, both steam chests and lids drilled (correctly this time!) and ready for marking valve faces and drilling and tapping them tomorrow.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 12/10/2011 : 01:45
Nice work Stanley.

Newton was right. Successive governments have sold off, by one means or another the UKs manufacturing base, and replaced it with service industries.
I understand the argument that competition and pricing policies cost the uk its manufactiring base, Where the problem lies now is that  if the uk wanted to re-introduce and support a strong manufacturing base there are not enough people in the uk who have the skills required to support a manufactiring base. They have mostly been lost. Yes one could argue that there are companies still manufactiring like BMW etc, but the reality is that there is very little skill required to put kit cars etc together,
Just watching your progress is a good indicator of this fact.
I do hope this does not sound political, it is not meant to be. I just see it as a statement of fact.


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 12/10/2011 : 01:52
Stanley,
             I well remember Ronnie saying to me just before leaving school. Get a trade behind you and you will have a job at the end of your fingertips for life. To some extent he was right, I get offered positions etc because the skills I have are in short supply. Unfortunately there are not many people coming through who have the required skills. When this occurrs most companies de-skill so that they can recruit assemblers, or whatever. Saves them a lot of money not paying tradesmens rates. Makes my blood boil so it does.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 12/10/2011 : 06:13
It's a big and complicated problem Robert and I agree with you. All right, I'm an Old Fart but I can't help thinking back to the old days when people like Les Say at Rolls and Johnny Pickles at Brown and Pickles could make a sketch on a fag packet and know that the men had all the information they needed to turn out what was required. In JP's case this could be items as big as a new flyshaft or air pump for the biggest engines in the district. I have no doubt that remnants of these skills survive somewhere but there is another problem. In order to make modern manufacturing competetive, jobs are split down into specialities and versatility suffers. In the old Gardner Factory at Manchester the engines were built by a skilled fitter in his own cubicle. He was given a crankshaft casing with a shaft already installed and a box full of parts. When he had completed the engine he took it down to the test beds and ran the curves on it himself. If anything went wrong with that engine or you wanted the recommended 100,000 mile complete service and you went back to Patricroft that fitter was the man who sorted it out. I know this because I did just that with an engine in 1973. I was dealing with the Works Manager (I think he was called Johnson) and the fitter. They produced a complete answer which enabled my employer to refuse to pay the service firm who had made the mistake which caused the problem. All this in the space of a week!

Today in the shed is steam chest fitting and temporary re-erection. I've decided that the next jobs are valve and valve rod making and fitting, piston and piston rod fitting, crosshead fitting and then crankshaft making. One the shaft is made and in place I have the correct dimensions for the motion work. For light entertainment I shall at some point install the front supports, I'm still working on them in my head! One thing that struck me was that in full size practice it should be possible to remove the supports without lifting the cylinder block. Interesting problem......

One more thing, no flywheel! I shall leave a 3" diameter coupling on the back end of the shaft where the prop shaft and thrust bearing were installed....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 13/10/2011 : 06:49


I started the day by addressing the grinding of the valve surfaces perfectly flat and with a frosted finish that will hold oil to make the seal. I know of only one way of doing this, use an abrasive paste and grind on a flat CI plate. There are special grinding plates for this purpose which have diagonal grooves on the face to hold the paste and they come in threes so that each time you use one you grind the plates to each other after use which guarantees that they keep their perfectly plane surfaces. I don't have such plates! 

However, what I do have is the old slide valve cover that Newton used to use as a surface plate until I gave him one of the ones I rescued from Tommy Robinson's in Rochdale. (The one I gave Newton came home again with the 1927 lathe so I could have used that, but....) Nobody in their right mind would use their surface plate for grinding so I got the pillar tool out I made years ago and have never used which is mounted on the slide valve cover. The pillar tool is a nice idea but I have never found a use for it so it was taken off and stowed away in the old oak chest. Once I had the plate clear I got on with grinding the valve faces. I did both blocks, good to get this out of the way ready for valve fitting.

 

Just to prove the point, here's the back face of the plate. It's a slide valve cover for one of the donkey engines that Brown and Pickles used to make for tape rooms in mills.

 

Thgis is the finish you are looking for, grey, frosted CI perfectly flat. The black mark is a cavity in the casting caused by an inclusion, no problem, it doesn't go anywhere. All four faces done like this. Very quick using the coarsest grinding paste you have. A good source is automotive valve grinding paste in double ended tins of coarse and fine. We used it a lot in the olden days and I presume that it's still available.

 

This is close of play, all faces ground and fitting of steam chests checked and starter pops in the valve faces for drilling and tapping for the studs, both HP and LP done and ready for operations on Friday after I have got Masson out of the way today. Nice....  but hang on a mo!

 I seriously considered keeping quiet but it's no good, I have to tell you the truth. After checking and double-checking I made the same mistake with the HP steam chest and got it completely wrong!

I have known two things for a long time, I am mildly dyslexic and I have problems with the three dimensinal relationship between a pattern and a casting. I think I must also have a sort of engineer's dyslexias as well! How could I make the same mistake again? Luckily I realised what was happening and rectified things before marking the valve face but it involved enlarged holes in the steam chest to get the alignment right when turned over. No problem there as the mistake is hidden and the elongated holes will cause no problem. However, all very salutory and it reinforces what I keep telling you, nowt but a bum fitter! Notice that the cover is upright against the wall behind the VM. I have gained a square foot of space on the bencg!

Right, confession is good for the soul, all is correct now and ready for drilling, tapping and fitting the steam chests. One job I have to remember is to make sure the lower faces of the top pad on the standard are perfectly flat ready for the studs. They fit all right but the faces could be improved on.

 Right, get ready for Terry at 08:30 and off to a proper engine. I shall do a pic for you. Nice to still be regarded as useful. Actually there is a legal reason for me to be there. When Scheduled Monument Consent was given by English Heritage for the removal and re-erection of the engine there was an unusual clause in the Consent. I was named as the authorised person to supervise all stages of the move. This was almost thirty years ago but still stands. Later this year I shall take great pleasure writing a final report on the engine for EH. It's been a long hard road but the engine is as safe as is humanly possible. Good result and a big loose end tied up!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 14/10/2011 : 06:54


Good day yesterday and progress agreed on finalising the installation of the Jubilee Engine, here it is as it stands at the moment. Full and thorough refurb including new flywheel bearing shells, ready for commissioning in steam but in the present economic climate this would mean another enormous expense on the existing boilers. For the present it will be finished to visitor standard including cleaning and painting and demonstrated by turning it slowly be an electric motor and gearbox. Even this is a biggy, we are dealing with a lot of weight. Very satisfying and all the criteria of the Scheduled Monument Consent are already  fulfilled. The engine is in perfect condition, safe and protected. Looking forward to the opening ceremony! All credit to my mate Robert who has financed the lot out of his own pocket. A proper conservationist who puts money where his mouth is, very thin on the ground!

Today we get the shopping done and then into the shed. Terry had a look at progress and was guarded in his comments but I think he was quietly impressed. His bag is restoring old motor vehicles...... I have some interesting mates!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 15/10/2011 : 06:12


Close of play yesterday, a nice straight edge (I do like tidy edges!). Both engines have blocks drilled and tapped ready for studding and the mounting has been adjusted to be perfectly parallel with the shaft. Ready for valve-making and fitting complete with valve rods, completely different work thank god, I was fed-up of drilling and tapping! 

Just one strange thing. Last job was to fit the top lids with a couple of set screws. Shock and horror when the HP lid on No. 2 engine was out of register! Impossible! What the hell had gone wrong! My first thought was that after all this working the body of the casting had distorted as metal was removed and stresses were released, this happens all the time with castings but is usually so slight that it can be disregarded. I knew this was not the answer and started digging. It took about half an hour to realise that what had happened was that I was so cock-sure of my accracy I had used the top lid off No 1 engine to mark both blocks. The flaw in this was that when I transferred the drillings from No 1 lid to No 2 I assumed my register was accurate but it was slightly out so the register in the bore was throwing No 2 lid out of flunter. Popped it in Johnny's lathe and turned some off the very close-fitting register. Problem solved! No detriment of course, I could turn all the registers off now because they have served their purpose. It all reminds me of the old Labour politician who was asked if he had learned anything when he left the Communist Party and joined Labour. He said "Beware of certitude!" This applies to fitting as well as politics, always question yourself when you are absolutely sure you are right!

Looking forward to today, nice lumps of cast bronze to measure, cut up and sculpt into strange shapes..... Then a bit of fine turning.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 15/10/2011 : 07:44


A good start. Some measurements and a bar of cast bronze that Dick Bonser poured for me many years ago. God knows what this would cost now! Only slight question is that it might be aluminium bronze, the hardest bronze of the lot and as tough as old boots. There again, I could be mistaken. It will certainly do the job! A bit of sawing on the Harrison HM will be a good start I think...  I wouldn't like to have to saw this by hand!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
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