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Feb 10, 2016, 06:27 PM
Mmm, tugs...
patmat2350's Avatar
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Discussion

Hicks Engine Project


Everyone loves Monterey Clippers, with their semi-open wheel houses and those dag-nabbed complicated and exposed Hicks engines. You just can't model the boat without the engine, capiche?

I've always loved the animated engines made by Bob Herrera in 1:8 scale, and Leon Embry in 1:6. But they're not doing that anymore. What to do, what to do?

Do it yourself is what to do.

So I went to the San Francisco Maritime Museum and photographed well over a hundred original Hicks drawings... had to sort through well over a thousand drawings to find most of what I need to make an original San Francisco (not Yuba) 8 HP Hicks.

Not sure exactly where this is going, but it begins with 3D CAD modeling of the parts from the 90 year old drawings. And so it begins.
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Feb 10, 2016, 06:36 PM
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Tim B.'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by patmat2350
Everyone loves Monterey Clippers, with their semi-open wheel houses and those dag-nabbed complicated and exposed Hicks engines. You just can't model the boat without the engine, capiche?Not sure exactly where this is going
Going toward affordable laser printed parts in three scales sounds like good sense to me ...

Feb 10, 2016, 07:43 PM
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Ed Crowell's Avatar
Pat,

Very nice. The Hicks engine should come out perfect with Cad and 3D printing. I plan on building the Yuba Hicks with the square cylinder.

Ed
Feb 10, 2016, 08:42 PM
Lot of water; some gets thin
chum444's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by patmat2350
Everyone loves Monterey Clippers, with their semi-open wheel houses and those dag-nabbed complicated and exposed Hicks engines. You just can't model the boat without the engine, capiche?

I've always loved the animated engines made by Bob Herrera in 1:8 scale, and Leon Embry in 1:6. But they're not doing that anymore. What to do, what to do?

Do it yourself is what to do.

So I went to the San Francisco Maritime Museum and photographed well over a hundred original Hicks drawings... had to sort through well over a thousand drawings to find most of what I need to make an original San Francisco (not Yuba) 8 HP Hicks.

Not sure exactly where this is going, but it begins with 3D CAD modeling of the parts from the 90 year old drawings. And so it begins.
Feb 10, 2016, 09:13 PM
Registered User
CaptCB's Avatar

chum 444


And your request would be, 1/12 scale, please?
I do not know, IF, I am going to have a visible motor, but, if I do, I would need 1/12 scale also.
Feb 11, 2016, 07:50 AM
Registered User
Jerome Morris's Avatar
I would buy a kit if your so inclined to make a bit of cash to cover some of the time required to produce this engine.
Feb 11, 2016, 11:17 AM
"day ain't over yet-"
der kapitan's Avatar
I haven't heard frm Bob Herrera in a number of years, but his input on this would contribute a lot to the project.

He IS still with us, isn't he---?
Feb 11, 2016, 11:56 AM
boat butcher
the goon's Avatar
Bob is still with us, he's 84 now. Talked to him on Monday. Not doing any modeling anymore though.

Mark
Feb 11, 2016, 12:22 PM
Mmm, tugs...
patmat2350's Avatar
Thread OP
Input from either Bob or Leon would be welcome and has been sought. Having as much original historical info as I do now will allow me to plow forward even without it.

I wish I could have spent more time at the museum, to look for some additional drawings. As it is, I grabbed examples of most everything, but sometimes it's similar design parts from different years and powers.
Remember the Johnny Cash song, where he took home a part every now and then from his job at the Cadillac factory? Built a car at home with '57 fenders, '54 engine, '59 bumpers, etc. Yeah, it's kind of like that.
But as I know how the parts work, I can fill in the gaps to make a complete engine...
Feb 11, 2016, 12:48 PM
Mmm, tugs...
patmat2350's Avatar
Thread OP
My foot and the original early Hicks Model H in the 1915 boat "Scampo", which Bob H. surveyed, modeled, and almost bought (first image).

This engine was running as recently as a few years ago, but has been sitting and moldering since. It MIGHT become available soon...

This engine was built in San Francisco by Hicks, and is not a later Yuba version. Not only does it have the cam behind cylinder with the crossed helical gear drive, but it also has the telltale narrow mounting at the aft bearing, and an original Hicks (SF) nameplate.
Feb 11, 2016, 01:39 PM
Mmm, tugs...
patmat2350's Avatar
Thread OP
These engines wouldn’t spoil you like modern-day stuff.
Not only do you get to start it by spinning the flywheel by hand, but all the controls are manual too.

Throttle? Well, the Schebler carb does have a choke plate, but no throttle. Need to adjust speed a bit? Take a look at the brass handles on top of the head. Both exhaust and intake rocker arms are mounted on independent eccentric shafts. Cranking those brass handles is used to adjust valve tappet clearance, from a little to a lot. So, adjust the intake valve clearance to adjust air charge and thus speed/load.
Use the exhaust handle only to release compression, sometimes helpful when getting the flywheel in the right place for starting.

Spark timing? These engines use a spark tripper rod driven off the camshaft to open and close points. You can watch the rod popping up and down while running. It runs through its own little eccentric gizmo, also adjusted by a brass handle. No idea how much timing adjustment it actually gives you.

There’s a reciprocating plunger water pump, it strokes once per crank revolution. Raw sea water cooling is used, gushing through the engine like the pulses from a well’s hand pump back on the farm. You’ll be smart to buy a thermometer that can screw into one of the core plug holes in the head to keep an eye on coolant temp… a plug of seaweed in your intake screen will burn that motor right up!

A number of points are automatically oiled by the Manzel mechanical lubricator. But not everything. You best keep a couple oil cans handy to hit those points every hour or so. All the excess oil spills out… so the entire engine bedplate is one big sump, with a drain plug aft. Empty it when you feel like, or just let it spill into the bilges-- the bilge pump will take care of it…
Feb 11, 2016, 02:09 PM
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CaptCB's Avatar

Pat,


Sounds about like the 1904 Cadillac, we rebuilt for a client. As it "oiled itself", it also, oiled the road, and, to start it, meant hand turning a similar sized flywheel. You hope it started, on the first or second try!!!
Feb 12, 2016, 10:30 AM
Registered User
CaptCB's Avatar

Pat,


I forgot to comment, that for a 1/12 motor not to cost a fortune, AND, be light enough for the smaller hull, maybe just the flywheel turns? CB
Feb 12, 2016, 10:51 AM
Mmm, tugs...
patmat2350's Avatar
Thread OP
The first task is draw the engine full size, to ensure that all the parts make sense.
I’ll then work on scaling to 1:12, 1:8, & 1:6. I expect that 1:12 will be completely un-animated.
For any animated model, the engine should run independently from the prop shaft—it should keep running when the boat is idling, and it needs to run much slower than the model boat’s prop shaft speed.

Model space will likely require coaxial shafts, with the working prop shaft going through the center of the engine's shaft... and the engine shaft somehow driven with a hidden mechanism. This also means no crank throw/con rod/piston in the animated engine model.

Don’t hold your breath though, all this will take time, on top of my current commitments!
Last edited by patmat2350; Feb 12, 2016 at 11:01 AM.
Feb 12, 2016, 10:56 AM
Mmm, tugs...
patmat2350's Avatar
Thread OP
Drawings:
The museum’s drawings are lucky to have survived. The original Hicks engineering drawings (which would be ink on drafting-linen master copies) are long gone. What we have are blue print and diazo copies made for a contract shop, Bay Specialties. Bay Specialties worked with Hicks to add capacity, and existed for years after Hicks was gone, continuing to make and supply spare parts.

Many of the surviving prints have water smearing, oil stains, tears, and general degradation and fading… these copies were never intended for archival use. But the museum is trying... a very few have been professionally scanned, and all are stored in acid-free archival folders.

But when the owner of Bay Specialties passed a few years ago, his son had the insight to save these drawings and donate them to the museum. Thank you sir!
Last edited by patmat2350; Feb 12, 2016 at 11:08 AM.


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