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Old Nov 05, 2013, 07:29 AM
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Bozeman, Montana, United States
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The solution to the need for close tolerances is to make the parts adjustable. A strap that is adjustable need not be machined to fit, initially, but can be made to fit by closing or opening the eye, for example. Adjustable timing eccentrics are also possible; one might say that the slip eccentric is infinitely adjustable, though usually one only makes use of 2 positions :-). As Duncan said, the better the fit, the better the operation. If you can't machine it to fit precisely, then design it to be fit in place.
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Old Nov 05, 2013, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by dunc2504 View Post
Good luck with trying to fabricate eccentric straps and sheaves out of darstock and strip soldered together.
They run quite close tolerances and the linkages need to be accurately machined to work correctly.
I would think that carefull needle file work may make most of the parts for the reverse linkage set , but not the eccentrics.
Larry,

Duncan has hit it right on the nail, all of the parts for the reverse gear needs to be very accurately made and I don't see you having any success in trying to make by hand or to fabricate the parts.
The steel eccentrics need to be machined as do the eccentric sheaves which are machined 3/32" off center to give a 3/16" lift and in my opinion without a lathe they cannot be made otherwise,it would be shame to purchase the casting set and then having to scrap it.

BROOKS,
Slip eccentric reversing on the D10 & 10V are not infinitely variable but need to be carefully set at 120 deg to get slip eccentric to work if not you can get the steam admission at T.D.C. way out and at B.D.C. the inlet is completely blocked and vice -verse.

I think that it would very unlikely to be able to fabricate the eccentric sheaves and make them work by opening or closing the gap as this will take out the eccentricity of the bore and I doubt if you could get any accuracy by hand filing or fabricating.
The slot in the sheaves is only to take up any ware after many years of running and of course when adjusted the bore is not true but we are only talking a few thou.

Larry I think that you are being too ambitious on your first steam project and would agree with BROOKS, why not start on an engine that can be made by hand without machinery.
My comments are only based on the 3- D10's that I have built and numerous 10V's .
I hope my comments are taken as constructive and I include some pics from the reverse gear drawing showing some of the parts required.

George.
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Old Nov 05, 2013, 07:51 PM
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I yield to the experience of you guys :-)

I have seen articles where guys in the olden days made stuff with just hand tools. But I certainly agree that precision work is easier on precision machines. Any old time apprentices will probably remember that their first task was to make a precision part, eg a cube, using only a file. It can be done, but precise filing takes practice, and perhaps a mentor to help you learn the tricks. I'm not that good, so I use machines :-) An electric drill has been used as a lathe, btw. Again, out of my league, but something to consider if you don't have the $ or the space for machine tools.

In the US, the earliest steam locos were made mostly with hand tools. Even threads were cut by hand, talk about precise work! Every loco sold was accompanied by a "screw plate"; nothing was standardized, and the screw plate was the template (or go/no go gauge) for the buyer when he had to make replacement threaded parts. If you have more time than $, as was the case for early loco manufacturers over here, hand labor was substituted for machine labor. A lathe was probably the first machine tool purchased...but that was only possible after the company had sold a few locos and raised some cash.
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Old Nov 06, 2013, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Brooks View Post
I yield to the experience of you guys :-)

I have seen articles where guys in the olden days made stuff with just hand tools. But I certainly agree that precision work is easier on precision machines. Any old time apprentices will probably remember that their first task was to make a precision part, eg a cube, using only a file. It can be done, but precise filing takes practice, and perhaps a mentor to help you learn the tricks. I'm not that good, so I use machines :-) An electric drill has been used as a lathe, btw. Again, out of my league, but something to consider if you don't have the $ or the space for machine tools.

In the US, the earliest steam locos were made mostly with hand tools. Even threads were cut by hand, talk about precise work! Every loco sold was accompanied by a "screw plate"; nothing was standardized, and the screw plate was the template (or go/no go gauge) for the buyer when he had to make replacement threaded parts. If you have more time than $, as was the case for early loco manufacturers over here, hand labor was substituted for machine labor. A lathe was probably the first machine tool purchased...but that was only possible after the company had sold a few locos and raised some cash.
Hi BROOKS.

I fall into the old time apprentice category, we were given 2- pieces of metal 1- 6"x 4"x1/2" thk and another piece 3"x3"x1/2" thk, we then had to cut a square hole in the first piece and make a square with the other which had to fit into the square hole with only .0005" > .001 feeler gauge able to fit all 4 - sides, that included turning the center piece on all 4- sides, the only tools to be used was a bench drill and files, if it didn't pass the test you started again, 3- shots and then you had your butt kicked.

The heavy engineering in the early days as you say all threads were hand cut but woe betide a loco or a marine steam engine at sea if it broke down miles from home that is why Mr Whitworth was able to standardise threads on nuts and bolts to be able to send spares to any part of the world.
You must remember that in those big locos and marine engines tolerances were a bit more lenient than in model engines which are akin to sewing machines.
We had a saying on CLYDESIDE that if a tolerance was excessive it was ( a skip of the bunnet ( cap) fit ).

I am not saying that it can't be done to make the D10 reverse gear by hand filing but I sure wouldn't like to try it.

George.
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Old Nov 06, 2013, 09:25 AM
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Mainsteam Gearboxes

I have a couple gearboxes from Mainsteam, which I bought to use on a large sidewheeler project powered by a Stuart Victoria. I wanted to just start the Vickie and keep it running in one direction while using the gearboxes to shift the wheels through forward / neutral / reverse. An added benefit is that steering will be greatly improved since the rudder is tiny. People will no doubt wonder how the boat can do 360 degree turns in its own length!

Have I tried out the gearboxes? Not yet. One seems to work fine but the other is a little finicky.
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Old Nov 06, 2013, 02:46 PM
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Ooyah,
I agree with you about it being too ambitious a first project so I ordered a Graham TVR1A-BB to build and learn a little on before I start on the D10. By the way with great faith I went ahead and ordered the reverse gear castings set for the D10 - I think that probably is the way to go.
Thanks,
Larry
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Old Nov 07, 2013, 08:03 AM
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Glenn, over on Paddleducks, some of the sidewheeler captains reported that running paddles in opposite directions for a tight turn led to capsize of the boat. This may be boat-size dependent. At any rate, perhaps a cautious approach to testing might be a good idea.

As for the physics: if the underwater body is not symmetrical about the axis of rotation, there will be an uneven torque generated as the hull tries to spin. The torque would lead to heeling. If the boat is top-heavy, the heeling may lead to possible capsize.
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Old Nov 07, 2013, 09:13 AM
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Hand work

I agree with everything you said, George.
--------------
Off topic somewhat, but offered as an example of what can be made by hand alone. Most US loco makers initially started as blacksmiths, I’ve read.

Last week, my friend John and I were privileged to watch a talented blacksmith forge a bottle opener from a 6” rod of ˝” dia. mild steel. Eric Dewey, of Desperado Forge, Bozeman, Montana, had given a blacksmithing demonstration at the Museum of the Rockies last month. He made a small hoe to an African design. His ability to effortlessly shift between explanation, and pounding hot metal, was fun to see. As a follow-up to his demonstration, I asked him if he would allow John and me to visit his forge and watch him make a "wizard" bottle opener, as shown on Eric's website. He kindly agreed, and we got a fascinating personal lesson in the working of hot metal.

The bottle opener is from an old Welsh design taught to Eric by one of his Masters. It works very well, and I find myself cruising the aisles of the supermarket, picking up bottles to try it on :-).

The most fascinating part for me was watching Eric make the eye at the business end of the opener. The eye of the opener was forged, not drilled: A) an elliptical punch is used to start the eye; the punch is applied to both sides of the bar, forming an elliptical hole that meets in the middle; a small piece of steel is knocked out and discarded at the breakthrough. B)a tapered drift (looks like a fid to this sailor) is used to open out the ellipse to form a circle C) the circle is then flattened and worked to form the shape you see in the finished wizard. Eric pointed out that a blacksmith can put a 3/4“ hole in a 1/2" bar, something impossible if you use a drill :-) The forged metal flows out and around the hole, retaining the strength of the original bar, too.

Normally, Eric can turn out one of these wizards in about ˝ hour. For us, with Eric’s explanations of each step, and his answering of our questions, it took 3 hours….a very generous man, with both his time and his advice. I’d asked him if he wished to conceal any of his blacksmithing tricks. He said “No, the only trick is that it takes a lot of hard work to get to this stage.”

Eric was invited to show his work at the art gallery at Montana State University. John and I visited the exhibition. My favorite piece was a Bison he had made out of a lump of wrought iron. The texture of the wrought iron billet (an old nut & bolt cut from a dismantled bridge), combined with the profile Eric forged, made a neat looking animal. I didn’t have my camera, so no photo, sorry.
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Old Nov 08, 2013, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Brooks View Post
Glenn, over on Paddleducks, some of the sidewheeler captains reported that running paddles in opposite directions for a tight turn led to capsize of the boat. This may be boat-size dependent. At any rate, perhaps a cautious approach to testing might be a good idea.

As for the physics: if the underwater body is not symmetrical about the axis of rotation, there will be an uneven torque generated as the hull tries to spin. The torque would lead to heeling. If the boat is top-heavy, the heeling may lead to possible capsize.
Thanks for the warning Brooks, I will heed it! This is for a double-ender gunboat in 1/32 so the hull is symmetrical and there is no topside structure to speak of. Also no rudders to speak of, which is why counter-rotating wheels is a good idea. Actual top speed was about 5 knots, so it's not a planing hull
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Old Nov 08, 2013, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooks View Post
I agree with everything you said, George.
--------------
Off topic somewhat, but offered as an example of what can be made by hand alone. Most US loco makers initially started as blacksmiths, I’ve read.

Last week, my friend John and I were privileged to watch a talented blacksmith forge a bottle opener from a 6” rod of ˝” dia. mild steel. Eric Dewey, of Desperado Forge, Bozeman, Montana, had given a blacksmithing demonstration at the Museum of the Rockies last month. He made a small hoe to an African design. His ability to effortlessly shift between explanation, and pounding hot metal, was fun to see. As a follow-up to his demonstration, I asked him if he would allow John and me to visit his forge and watch him make a "wizard" bottle opener, as shown on Eric's website. He kindly agreed, and we got a fascinating personal lesson in the working of hot metal.

The bottle opener is from an old Welsh design taught to Eric by one of his Masters. It works very well, and I find myself cruising the aisles of the supermarket, picking up bottles to try it on :-).

The most fascinating part for me was watching Eric make the eye at the business end of the opener. The eye of the opener was forged, not drilled: A) an elliptical punch is used to start the eye; the punch is applied to both sides of the bar, forming an elliptical hole that meets in the middle; a small piece of steel is knocked out and discarded at the breakthrough. B)a tapered drift (looks like a fid to this sailor) is used to open out the ellipse to form a circle C) the circle is then flattened and worked to form the shape you see in the finished wizard. Eric pointed out that a blacksmith can put a 3/4“ hole in a 1/2" bar, something impossible if you use a drill :-) The forged metal flows out and around the hole, retaining the strength of the original bar, too.

Normally, Eric can turn out one of these wizards in about ˝ hour. For us, with Eric’s explanations of each step, and his answering of our questions, it took 3 hours….a very generous man, with both his time and his advice. I’d asked him if he wished to conceal any of his blacksmithing tricks. He said “No, the only trick is that it takes a lot of hard work to get to this stage.”

Eric was invited to show his work at the art gallery at Montana State University. John and I visited the exhibition. My favorite piece was a Bison he had made out of a lump of wrought iron. The texture of the wrought iron billet (an old nut & bolt cut from a dismantled bridge), combined with the profile Eric forged, made a neat looking animal. I didn’t have my camera, so no photo, sorry.
Hi BROOKS,
Thanks for the info and pics of the Blacksmith's art work, it's having a bit of a revival in the U.K. with some of the artist' work displayed.

I served my apprentice ship as a Millwright on the banks of the river Clyde in the largest flour and cattle food mill in Scotland at the time, we had a very small forge mainly for bending iron bars and general repairs, I loved working in it and made all the Forge tools required and many Rams Horn tapered wedges ( we called them drifts ) from large disused files for removing large keys in pulley's on the line shafts in the mill but nothing of the quality of your Blacksmiths work but you have stirred up memories.

All Blacksmiths anvils have a square hole on the tail of the anvil for holding all sorts of tools to enable the Smith to cut red hot metal, bore holes and all sorts of bending applications.
The old village Blacksmiths are a thing of the past although they still do farm machinery repairs, all welding now, and farriers do all the horse shoeing.

I have come up thro' an era of engineering now fading fast with all the C.N.C and computer imaging taking over and I wonder when us old steam model enthusiast pass on who will take up the tools and continue with the hobby.

George
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Old Nov 08, 2013, 08:29 PM
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Eric gets many of his old tools from England. A blacksmith friend travels to England once or twice a year. He buys up old discarded/junk/scrap items from auctions, barns, etc. He fills a shipping container, and ships it to the US. Then he sells it to other blacksmiths. Lots of neat stuff is not made anymore, but is still available from Great Britain, Eric says. Some stuff is still made, of course; blacksmithing never died out completely. Almost all forged parts in American products are now made in China. They have lots of apprentices, who will work for less than apprentices in Western countries. Industrial forging is alive and well, at least over there.

Eric like old tools - he has a 50 lb. drop hammer comprised of a 1940's drop hammer frame and parts (US manufacture), run by a 1910 electric motor. Originally it ran off a 10" leather belt, probably from an overhead line; Eric uses several fan belts to connect it to the electric motor :-). It works well - the dies on the face of the hammer, and on the anvil sitting below, don't quite touch, to preserve their shape as long as possible before they have to be dressed. The hammer is not even loud - since it hits hot metal, there is no giant Clang! when the dies squish the softened steel. We got to see him operate the hammer on an order for forged keys (a thousand of them!). They are not used for actual locks, but are to be given to clients as gifts in a promotion scheme by a property manager. Thus skills are preserved, even if far from their original intent :-)
-----
I think there will always be people interested in machining or forging for a hobby. They will enter as hobbyists, not as retired professionals, though. John had already bought parts to build a forge before we went to watch Eric. John's a professional pilot, not a professional metal worker, for example. His 11yr old son loves to build things - he's doing well in school, but....his teachers complain that, once Bob finishes an assignment, he then starts making things at his desk....and the other students find his activities more interesting than their lessons :-)
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Old Nov 09, 2013, 01:48 AM
I SEE NO SHIPS
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Somerset England
Joined Feb 2007
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Hi .
I came into this hobby from the other end . I started out on ABB 6 axis robots , used for water jet cutting and mixing head manipulation on car seating foam plants. I had been into models for ever and had done basic metal bashing at school , but had to learn how to use a lathe and milling machine from books and hard won experience (OH So Many busted cutters and graunched lathe tools !)
And those funny imperial fractions ! (thank goodness for the conversion charts ).
But now I am addicted and do not know how I lived without machine tools.
We have a couple of huge lathes at work and a milling machine , and I appear to be the only guy who uses them (apart from my mad Scottish colleague who was trained to build pumps ) The young guys appear to have no metalworking skills at all ( Obviously health and safety dictates that metalwork is too dangerous in schools now ). We have to train all our young guys how to do simple drilling and thread tapping prior to sending them on jobs , I bet there would be more young engineers if someone came up with lathe and milling vidio games !
Dunc2504
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