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Old Feb 05, 2013, 10:42 AM
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Preston Spud Lifting Gear

I think I have it worked out. A 10 rpm, 12V gear motor is being used to raise and lower the spuds. The motor has been mounted in the hull. I turned a two-pulley sheave that the lifting cable will spool on. They are wrapped so that when the motor runs, the two cables either pay out together or reel in together. The aft cable runs 3 feet through a plastic airplane push-pull tube from the gear motor back over a 10mm brass sheave and down the box that the aft spud rides in. The cable is attached to the foot of the spud. When the gear motor is switched on, it pulls up the spud. A microswitch limits the travel. At the same time, back at the gear motor, the second sheave has the forward spud's lifting cable wrapped the opposite direction as the aft. Doing this moves the two spuds simultaneously up and down together. From the gear motor second sheave, the cable runs forward, under another 10mm brass sheave and up to the top of the A-frame,over a 12mm brass sheave, down to the top of the spud, through a tiny 6mm brass sheave and back up to the top of the A-frame where it is anchored. Pictures to follow.

Snagboat Mike
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Old Feb 05, 2013, 03:03 PM
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Germany, BB, Großräschen
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That is a great looking vessel. I am working on a Towboat from 1944 - named "Mateur". The Army Corps of Engineers crest is really nice. I will try it by using my CNC Mill. Looking forward for new photos. Cheers.
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Old Feb 08, 2013, 11:54 PM
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Steam line size?

I just received fittings and tubing for the Preston's steam engine and having second thoughts on tubing size. At this point I'm thinking of usingd 5/32" OD copper tubing for steam lines from boiler through a throttle valve and Tee fitting to the two cylinders and then opening this up to 3/16" OD for the exhaust portion. Any input from forum members on this would be greatly appreciated. The boiler used is a Maccsteam 3 1/2" dia. marine horizontal boiler. The engine is a 2 cylinder long throw with a 5/8" bore and 2 1/4" stroke. It will be operating in the 25 to 80 rpm range. Any suggestions or comments on the sizes I've chosen? I have receive some feedback that the exhaust lines need to be bigger. I'd like to stick with what I've got on hand, but will buy new lines and fittings if needed. Thanks all.

Snagboat Mike
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 12:11 AM
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More Steam Plant Work

I had a chance to work on the steamboat today and got the boiler and gas tank mounted to the drip pan. I had to position the boiler carefully so the boiler portion of the smokestack aligns with the superstructure smokestack also ran the first copper tubing from the gas tank to the burner. I used a strip of solder to make the run between the burner and gas tank. Once all the bends were made, I straightened to solder and used it to cut the 1/8" OD copper tubing. I then straightened to tubing by rolling it between two smooth pieces of plywood. Once straight, I bent the tubing to fit the run.

The spud lifting gear is nearing completion. A 10rpm gear motor will operate the two spuds via cable, one running aft through plastic tubing, and over a sheave. The gear motor turns two drums, one wound clockwise to raise and lower the aft spud, and the other wound counter-clockwise to raise and lower the bow spud. Both will operate in unison. A microswitch limits travel distance

I still need some words of wisdom on steam line diameters. 5/32" seems too small for the delivery side. Is 3/16" OD big enough for exhaust lines?

Snagboat Mike
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 12:57 AM
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One Step Back

After building the spud lifting system, I fired it up and discovered it didn't work! It seems that running the line from the gear motor aft to the spud didn't work because of excessive drag in the conduit I used. Plan B now nearly done. I ripped out the flex cable and mounting brackets for the aft spud. I decided to go with a gearmotor located right at the aft spud (See photos) and use the existing gear motor up forward to raise and lower the forward spud. I'll be building a new motor mount similar to the one I made tonight. MY X/Y table came in handy in precisely drilling the 2mm mounting holes in the brass L plate and the 1/4" hole for the motor shaft. I'll still be using microswitches to limit spud travel at both gear motor locations. A little techi, but I also had to consider that the old plan had another flaw: the aft spud was going to be lifted directly by the gear motor, while the same motor would be lifting the forward spud through a pulley located on the top of the spud, thus creating a speed difference with the bow spud moving half as fast as the stern spud. Now this has been rectified by adding a sheave in the base of the aft spud and running the cable from the gear motor spool, down the hole in the hull, through the sheave in the bottom of the spud and back up the other side of the spud where the cable is anchored to the lip of the spud hole. Whew! Now both spuds work up and down through a single purchase sheave. I'm pretty sure this will work. I was able to use a second aft spud I made that is much heavier than the first one.

I'm also having a problem with getting the steam engine build moving along. But, that's another story.
Snagboat Mike
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:14 AM
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Today's work on Preston Spuds and Railing

The forward spud lifting gear motor mount is now done and ready to screw down. Both gear motors are matched and should work off the same Castle switch controlled by the DX10t's receiver. I also finished sealing and painting the aft spud. It is ready to install. The lower 1 1/2" inches of the spuds will be submerged during normal operation, in the full up position. When fully lowered they will extend 6" below the hull representing 16 feet on the full-size boat.

I built a jig to properly drill all the stanchion holes in the decks. I'm trying a jig with three brass tubes that will precisely position the tubes over the toerail for drilling. Since there is a slight camber in the deck, I had to shave the proper angle on the bottom of the jig to make the brass tubes vertical. I plan to build the railing in place.

Snagboat Mike
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:36 AM
Taking care of the pond.
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USA, CA, Fresno
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Nice work, I like the railing jig.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 04:58 AM
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France, Bretagne, Dinan
Joined Jan 2012
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Hello!
Neat, clear, mint, and other words coming to my mind!
I like the details of the pilot house. We want some more!
Congratulations!
Cheers!
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 12:49 AM
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First operational test of Aft Spud

Success! I got enough of the aft spud lifting gear installed tonight to make a test run to check speed and smooth operation. The video shows how the system works. I have not installed the limit switch, but you get the idea of what the spud looks like being operated.

Snagboat Mike

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Old Feb 19, 2013, 11:28 PM
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Forward Spud First Test Run

The forward spud lift gear motor is now installed allowing me to do a first run tonight. The final cable routing can only be done when the steam donkey is mounted in place, but the test showed that everything works and the spud slides up and down without binding and the speed is about right. The brass spud is filled with solder to weight it down to keep good tension on the cable




Snagboat Mike
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 12:26 AM
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Preston Progress!

With wind storms howling (45mph, gusts to 65mph) I hunkered down in my cinderblock shop and tackled a bunch of small touches that really gave Preston a great appearance. I finished off all the rigging, guy wires, blocks and turnbuckles on the superstructure masts. The overall effect was very nice, better than I anticipated.

Also an update on the warning I received about using the Spektrum A7000 Landing Gear Retract servo for a throttle control- Guess what- It works like a normal servo and does NOT simply go full travel in either direction. I increased the throw percentages to 150% both directions and it works great. I'm easily getting 180 degrees of proportional rotation! I'll adjust throws once I hook it up to the steam throttle valve. I'm a happy camper tonight. Funny that a call to Horizon Hobby's expert told me yesterday that this servo would not work for a throttle control. See the video of my test below



Snagboat Mike
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 05:43 AM
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GLASGOW
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45 M.P.H. winds.

Mike,
An old friend of mine who lived on the island of ISLAY on the West Cost of Scotland on the edge of the Atlantic ( next stop America ) used to say " 45 mph, that's no a wund, there's mair wund frae the back end o'a coo "
So strap on your kilt, get the pipes over your shoulder face the wind and give a blaw "O" Scotland the brave and "DEFY" wind.
Just had to get that out and now feel much better ( translations via Google on old Scots words )

On a more serious note ,I am quite amazed at your attention to detail especially the paddle wheel, you should be very proud of your build so far.
One word "FANTASTIC" , next stop the engine.

George.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 04:01 PM
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Building Preston's Paddlewheel

This is going to be a lot of photos, but it details the construction of the W.T. Preston's 6.33" diameter x 7.5" wide paddle wheel. I view the paddlewheel as the crowning jewel of any sternwheeler build. So my attempt at making this a worthy representation of Preston's beautiful and detailed paddlewheel was a major undertaking comprising several months of work and 815 individual parts, much like the full size paddlewheel. This was an exercise in watchmaking, but well worth the effort. It really sets off the build in an eye-catching way. I've included a photo of the actual paddlewheel for comparison. I'll do this in several posts to break up the 43 photos of the construction. Here we go...

Snagboat Mike
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Last edited by hookpilot; Feb 26, 2013 at 10:24 PM.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 04:34 PM
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Preston's Paddle Wheel Build- Part 2

I can't stress enough the importance of taking the time to build accurate jigs and fixtures when doing something like this. Small errors become major mis-alignment issues as the paddlewheel comes together. Just as important is ensuring you've allowed proper clearances for the crank arms and eccentrics so they fit in the paddlewheel deck holes. Since this is going to be steam driven through pitman arms, everything MUST be square, parallel and true or else the engine will bind.

At the point I had the brasswork finished, I was presented with a bit of a dilemma- do I leave it in it's beautiful brass finish, or do I paint it to match the real boat??? I hated to cover up all my bright brass work, but in the end, keeping to scale appearance won out. The finished paddle wheel is heavy and that is good. It acts like a flywheel, smoothing out the power strokes of the steam engine. It must also live in the real world of plastic bags, sticks and duck feathers at the pond. The finished paddlwheel is very rigid and solid, just like the real thing. The steam engine will be able to exert 15 pounds of pressure per cylinder at the king pins, so anything getting stuck in the paddlewheel will either snap or break a paddle blade. Easy to replace.

Snagboat Mike
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Last edited by hookpilot; Feb 26, 2013 at 10:29 PM.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 06:05 PM
Oscar
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Canada, NB
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Well done!
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Last edited by Oscarfish48; Feb 27, 2013 at 05:28 PM.
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