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Old Jan 22, 2015, 10:48 PM
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Finishing up Condensor

We decided to re design and rebuild the condenser/oil separator. Inlet for exhaust steam comes from two engines via 1/4" I.D. copper tubing and is bolted to the flanges of a machined Tee which in turn is silver soldered at a tangent to the side of the condenser. Exhaust steam exits the condenser through a flanged 90º elbow. From there it travels to the smokestack.

Lagging is now installed and will be held in place by three threaded rods and tightening hardware. Preston is very close to being finished. The new shop is ready with two 8-foot work benches built up and heavy duty shelving hung for displaying my Vosper MTB, River push boat and a pickle fork racing boat with a K&B 7.5 cc outboard.

Snagboat Mike
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Old Feb 01, 2015, 11:28 PM
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Preston Engine/Boiler Room Nearly Finished

The boiler is about ready to put back in the hull. Dave finished installing the tubing, condenser and a new support for the steam throttle valve.

When the tulips come up, Preston comes home. Had a chance to do more organizing in the shop. It's the nuts, bolts, hardware stuff that I need to get a handle on.

Spring will be busy around here. We've decided to replace the back deck with Trex decking. That will be a major undertaking that will look great. The installation may be featured on one of those remodel shows. We'll see. It will be a nice place to stage model boats from. It's a short walk to the dock.

Snagboat Mike
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Old Feb 09, 2015, 01:06 AM
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Preston Steam Plant Progress

Dave is hard at work on the final details of the engine install. In the photos below you'll see the safety valve cap and elbow that routes released steam up the stack. And, no, Dave didn't accidentally make the elbow offset. He had to make the offset so the flange bolts could be reached using an allen wrench. Once in place the 90º elbow will be permanent. Steam is vented up the smoke stack in a 1/4" copper tube that reaches almost to the top. Nearing completion are the steam delivery tubes that Tee just past the throttle valve feeding steam to the engines. Visible in the photos is the engine lubricator. It is a dual piston pump delivering metered steam oil to a special flange at the steam inlets for both engines. the ratchetting arm on the lubricator is connected the the upper horn on the port engine reversing gear bell crank. Next will be machining the exhaust manifold with its two flanges collecting steam and routing it to the oil/water separator and then up the stack.
If the torrential rain doesn't let up, launching Preston will be a piece of cake as the lake level continues to rise. The floating dock section is now above the level of the fixed dock. Several neighbors' docks are under water.

Snagboat Mike
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 10:58 AM
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Those are pretty bends in the copper tubing. No sign of collapse or distortion.

I could not tell if you have drip trays under your engines. They would be useful to corral seepage of oil and condensed steam drops.

I think using a syringe to remove oil&condensate is good, it's what I use; I like to simplify system maintenance by letting manual labor replace automatic :-)
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Old Feb 14, 2015, 03:38 PM
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Engine Drip Pans

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Originally Posted by Brooks View Post
Those are pretty bends in the copper tubing. No sign of collapse or distortion.

I could not tell if you have drip trays under your engines. They would be useful to corral seepage of oil and condensed steam drops.

I think using a syringe to remove oil&condensate is good, it's what I use; I like to simplify system maintenance by letting manual labor replace automatic :-)
The tubing was filled with sand capped off and bent, so no crimping or collapsing. I like the idea of drip pans under the engines. Hadn't thought about that until you mentioned it. there is room to add this. What steam engine doesn't spit, drip and weep condensed steam… Thanks, Brooks.

Mike
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Old Feb 21, 2015, 08:14 PM
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Nearing End of Steam Plant Build for Preston

Dave has machined the exhaust manifolds and as soon as he fabricates a fixture to hold the pieces together for silver soldering, that will end all major engine/boiler work. Last to do will be finishing the cylinder drain valves and overboard piping. Then we start shop trials.

The lake beckons. Temperatures are warming, now in low 60s. Had a custom deck designer over today to investigate installing a new Azek deck. It will include improving the pathway leading down to the dock. After a bad winter for moss and other slippery growth on stairs, I'm back to considering a marine lift or even a set of locks.

Snagboat Mike
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Old Feb 22, 2015, 11:46 AM
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Fly-Fishermen deal with slippery rocks, check out their waders. Or you could buy some of the ice cleats that fit on regular shoes/rubber boots. I like the STABILicers brand:
https://www.32north.com/
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Old Mar 31, 2015, 02:24 AM
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W.T. Preston Cylinder Drains

Machine and soldering work completed on cylinder drain valve and control servo. The design uses a rotary valve to open and close drains at each end of the cylinders. In the closed position the valve must completely seal or steam will be lost past the valve. The valve takes 4 steam lines from the two engines, feeds it into a 4 in X 2 out assembly that routes condensate overboard. (Only to be cycled prior to launch) The rotary valve (shown below) is turned by a mini-servo and controlled by a 3-way switch on the DX10t, OFF, 1/2 OPEN, and FULL OPEN. We may be able to steam up the plant by the end of the week and see the paddle wheel turning under engine power for the first time. The valve is about an inch tall for reference. The bronze disk has 4 arced grooves milled into the mating surface and is held in place by a spring loaded tapered shaft. Pressure between the disk and square valve face can be adjusted by the spring retaining nut on the back side of the valve. All steam lines attach with ferrules and union nuts for easy installation and removal. We'll show the operation of the cylinder drain system in a video.

Snagboat Mike
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