OLD STEAM POWERED MACHINE SHOP 12 Building a steam engine

by: David Richards

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hi welcome back to the old shop and another edition of the whole steam-powered machine shop this is number 12 and if you haven't seen the first video I'd like to just briefly explain what or about here I'm trying to emulate a 1925 job shop a small job chap under steam power and what I wanted to do was see what it would be like to actually do it to depend on steam entirely to run all your machines and have to deal with feed water freezing up in the winter and trying to fire the shop in the summertime when it's really hot and keep the belt system lined up and running properly and you know try to try to make money with it as a machine shop so we've done pretty good with this so far I got a few things I want to tell you about the latest project that we're going to undertake is totally rebuilding on resurrecting a vertical steam engine it's a six by six cylinder engine it was found they've been disassembled for 30 years in the woods and I'm going to show you the parts of pieces the way they came into the shop and then after I cleaned things up and expected things a little bit I'm going to show you a little bit about each part and what we're going to do to either read machine it and and make it work again or we're going to use what's left of it as some as a pattern to make the new parts we already made a few parts my trusty apprentice tom has been in a couple times a week and has made a key for the small end of the connecting rod just from what was left to the old one and also made a new pivot shouldered bolt for the for the valve rod and these were some pretty simple parts we thought we'd start with the simple stuff first before we get to rebar in the cylinder and all that kind of stuff so that's about all I have to tell you news wise and we'll get right to it thanks a lot

I wanted you to see this before I got too carried away with cleaning up the parts but this is just the way it came out of the woods it was sitting in the woods for probably 30 40 years disassembled and these are some of the parts this is the piston with rings the eccentric strap the connecting rod with the two brasses this is like Swiss cheese cross at valve rod a lot of these small parts were laying a fiberglass tub that filled up with rainwater so all you really have is just an idea of what the new parts going to have to look like the crankshaft supposedly Albert said was bent sprung so I'm going to press the gear up press the flywheel off put it between centers and see how bad it is the cylinder actually wasn't in too bad of shape I'll bring the camera over here so you can see

see the ports and other than being very rusty I could see no cracks it just happened to be laying in the woods with the cylinder the open cylinder pointed down so the rainwater didn't collect in it kind of an unusual design frame and because it didn't have a real base on it I think it was unbolted from a component part that it was built into something I don't know what and I don't know what this big gear on the the end of the crankshaft could have been driving possibly a bigger gear on a water pump or some type of machinery and I juked out a feeling that this engine was actually built by the manufacturer of the machinery that it was driving as I have never seen one I mean it's not revolutionary unusual but I've just never seen one with the parts shaped like this and over here is a governor that was with it and I don't think it was actually on I don't think it was part of the deal but Albert threw it in it's a one inch pipe size Pickering and although it's pretty rusty its complete and can be rebuilt is the one of the main bearing caps the Babbitt actually doesn't look too bad I don't think it's been run that much you can see the bearings here this is the next another governor valve body these are a little scarce because you can find governors that people stolen off engine just by unbolting the top of the governor and taking them off but you really got nothing unless you have this valve to that with the spool and everything in it so this could probably be adapted to some other governor top and a spool made for it that's what we got for a project

I've done a little research on this and I'm pretty sure that this engine was part of a hoist a single-cylinder hoist setup I'll show you a still picture of one similar to it it was made by OH&S but that's what this big gear is for on the end of the crane there was a about a maybe a 4 3 foot or four foot diameter gear that dis mess with on the drum and this is the frame after I cleaned up right through the shop plaster and part of the frame and the bottom part that has the main bearings is not made tall enough for the crank to clear the center crank to clear the ground so it has no base to it so I'm sure it was bolted to a frame of a piece of equipment so it would make sense okay Tom's working on a part here I think this is the valve eccentric rod pivot then right tom yeah I believe so so what's happening here Oh try to take that and make a new one from that essentially it's going to go and there

and the other end threads into that I've had a chance to inspect some of these parts and I'll show you a little bit about each one of them and what the plan is this is the cylinder head and steel shop lasted just to knock the rust off it and shows no cracks or any problems there this side eye bead blasted because I wanted to get something to indicate on here I'm going to face off this surface and cut an equal amount off of here off of here chamber line these reliefs are cast in here and they go on the cylinders side where the steam ports are so that it doesn't restrict the flow of the steam into the cylinder when the piston is up close to top dead center I haven't seen that on any of the other engines that I've had apart and we'll go through the parts one by one and show you a little bit about each one the eccentric strap has got a Babbitt of lining in here which is pretty neat when they did that and like the main bearings it shows no grooves or bad wear or anything in there and I think we'll be able to clean this thing up and use it as it is

this is the governor I don't know that this is the governor that was on the engine but it is a Pickering governor one inch size and it's all complete so I'm going to use it these are hard to come by complete this is very similar to the one on my shop engine except this one has the ball Ranger feature on it and what this little knob here does and it has it has a lock lock not here when you screw this in it makes the engine run slower when you screw it out it makes it run faster within a certain range as long as you're running it at the at the proper rpm for the governor based on what Springs they supplied with it when they build it for a particular application but it's very easy to adjust the speed on this one you don't have to take the top off and shim it and play around with it like I did the shop engine so I think it will be a good a good governor it's going to have to be completely disassembled then and checked out and restored a lower main frame in the engine as the two main bearings here which are babbitt bearings these are the caps well this is where you put the waste material in there and oil them and the Babbitt hook surprisingly what's really nice why I don't think this engine has been really run that much and it's working life there's no grooves in here or anything problem only problem is we've got to cut the crankshaft probably undersized maybe twenty forty thousand syn order to clean up the rust on it so it's going to make these bearings too small now we might be able to machine a little off the parting the mating edges here and then put it back together again and line line bore the whole the whole thing or we may have to we have to move a bit figure that out after the crank gets done and see how much to small it's going to be for the bearings

the cylinder is 6x6 6 inch diameter 6 inch stroke and I got it cleaned up shop blasted magnaflux and it looks pretty good I mean that the wear surface in here is pitted and will have to be reboard might be able to hone it but I think we'll probably be bored because it's down the very bottom there's a few pretty deep pits and will we face this off for the gasket to seal nice this is a blind cylinder which is a little bit unusual with steam engines there is no bottom head it's made with the cylinder so when you boiler this cylinder you're boring down to the end and the complicates things a little bit this is the packing gland that pushes the packing material a graphite packing material down against the rod seals it this is these are the ports steam steam ports on the outside and the exhaust port in the center one big problem is I could not find the slide valve for this it's lost I'm going to go down to Albert's and look one more time you may have got thrown in another box of parts or something but I'm looking at the possibility of having to design and make a slide valve for this and that's going to be quite an adventure and if we do do it I'll show you how if you figure it out using a bill groom diagram for getting the dimensions of the slide valve so that the timing of the port's works out right

that's the exhaust port here and the intake port is here so this would be a little different as far as piping up the governor I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to do that but we'll do that when we get to it

this is the cross head assembly for it runs back and forth with us on these slides actually goes being a vertical engine it goes up and down rather than back and forth and I beat blast out uh yeah beep blasted it to get the rust off it in it it looks pretty good I don't think I'll have to really do that much to that the main problem is the wrist Bend here it is really pitted so we're going to make a new one of these and we'll probably make it out of something a little better than wrought iron maybe we'll get some tool steel or something it has a on up to adjust this one it has a bronze plate on the bottom that that's a wedge it's tapered wedge so it's not here so to tighten it up in the groove you force the wedge back with the nut and it makes this wider and it's a that's a good design this is the packing gland that goes in the end of the end of the cylinder with the packing material pushes the packing material into a angled chamber and forces it down tight against the the piston rod and there was nothing there I just or Tom put it in the legs and just smoothed it up and faced a little off of here this is the steam chest cover I was hoping that I'd find something cast in it there was a clue to the make of the engine but there is nothing this is the connecting rod which is pretty sad thirty years laying in the woods and I think what I'll do is grind some of this out and try welding it up and we'll machine twat it cuz the rod itself is pretty good and it's pretty complicated machining project it has these are slots with an angled bottom that work against a tapered pen Tom made these pins a pin here the other day based on this we measured it up made the pin and the idea there is it will goes in here when the brass is on the wrist and are forced together by this key tapered key and then you tighten the set screw to hold it there and that's where the the terminology keying up your bearings comes from on us on a steam locomotive if they get a little loose and make make a noise you'd loosen up the whatever the setup was and hammer the keys in a little further and tighten them up and then at the next stop you'd feel them and see if they were running hot that's how they took could tell if their bearings were at the proper clearance they would be just a certain temperature when you put your hands on them and the same thing with the bottom end only bigger it's got a key that'll be have to be made and the brasses i think are okay there's no bruise in them I mean from where this is the piston and rod got a busted ring that could have happened while it was running as an engine or it could have happened from rust but as you can see it's got two rings they're right next to each other with no land in between my shop engine has a land in it's got three of them one in the middle this puts the two rings right next to each other and the ends of them are sought at an angle and this is also a very convenient thing here the end of the piston on bolts and comes off so you can put the rings on there and then put the end back on the piston rather and have the stretch those cast iron ring way out to drop them over the piston so that's I like that design the rod is really pitted and this will have to be made and this is the base it fits like this and the cylinder goes on top of it and when I got it cleaned up I found some cracks in it there's one right there I don't know if you can see it it's cracked all the way around from the hole to the other side and there's one started over here so you want to repair that and vie them way out and wall them up with with nickel rod this little pivot pin it fits in here part of the eccentric setup was lying in a pail full rain water and tom was able to ascertain the dimensions of it and made up a new one the other day so that's that's a part all finished

well Tom has got this pretty nicely blanked out here this is the shouldered bolt for the valve rod pivot on the vertical engine project engine and according to is drawing this part here will be threaded three-quarter 10 and I want to really want to get this little South Bend lathe set up so that we can do threading on it it's called a it's a 1925 lathe it's called a South Bend 9 inch junior which was kind of a stripped-down version it has no quick change gear in here it just has a pile of years and it's not a complete set I missing quite a few gears and I haven't been able to find the ones I need like on eBay or something because this older nine inch lays has heavier gearing on it than the later lays like these are these gears are wider it's a 16 pitch gear they're wider so anyway uh I looked through here and I found two gears that I can use to cut these threads and I'll show you how I determine that on it anyways see this doesn't have a any any power feeds other than this and on the lead screw so it uses the lead screw for a power feed when you just turning something so it has to be geared down really slow so they've got their thread gearing back here compounded with an extra gear set here to slow it way down so when you're threading you got to take that out show you all about that but basically on any lathe and I know this has been explained on a lot of other channels but you guys are my viewers so I'm explaining it here but basically what you do is you find the pitch of the lead screw so that's in one inch this one has one two three four five six seven eight full full threads and then then the next thread comes on the next number you don't count that so this has got it this is an eight pitch lead screw and that's the constant that you have to work off of when you're threading something so if you are going to cut an eight pitch thread you would run one to one with the with the spindle in other words this would turn the same speed as this and you would always cut whatever pitch is on your it would just duplicate this pitch so you can cut an 88 thread with a one to one gearing and I'll show you I'll move the camera around to the back of the lay so you can see the gear setup

okay this is the reverse tumbler oh it's almost the same on always and all it is is a couple of inter of idler gears here and to go forward you've got this gear between here and here so this gear runs the same direction as that and when you shift it down here now it runs from here to here to here so you got this extra gear in there so reverses the direction which is pretty clever when you got it in the middle it's in neutral and it doesn't drive at all so this gear is the same number of teeth as this gear so basically the stud down here is the same as the lead scoop I mean the spindle so all this is just neck neglected when you're talking about thread gearing you're just considering this shaft here to be the same as your spindle okay so this has got this extra this extra gear set in here that we're going to take out and we're going to run from this directly to the lead screw this is the lead school gear and in order to do that you have a little formula so any thread that you want to cut is going to be some ratio of the eighth thread on the lead screw versus the thread that you want so here's the little chart so if you got the lead screw number of threads per inch on top of your equation and then the thread that you want on the bottom that equals the number of teeth on the spindle which is the same as this stud here all over the number of teeth on the lead screw here so if you drop down here we know our lead screw is eight and we want a ten thread so that gives a fraction and it to make it easier if you can reduce it to its lowest common denominator so it can either you can call it eight eight tenths or four-fifths is the same thing and I look through all my gears and you have to find a pair of gears with this same ratio and I had a 32 and a forty so if you multiply this by five I see you get 32 and you multiply the bottom of the fraction by the same number you get 40 so 32 and 40 or work and I have 32 and 40 and if you look at the little the little chart on the side here it actually says the number 10 is a 32 by 40 but there might have been other gear teeth in there other gears with a combination that would have given you the same ratio and that's all there is the threading and so there's a few different gears that I need and we're going to make them so

these old lathes are pretty cool everything's adjustable you just loosen up stuff and everything moves around we're going to take this off

take that off and put the 40 on and there's a little key in here don't want to lose that but before we do that take this off this is just going away

okay see it's uh you've got to write 140 oh I may have to take the spacer out turn it around

just leave it and the 32 32 is going to go on here

something up walk the spindle with

32 yeah this has got a in order to get in wine this little spacer comes off of course

forty-hour here put that on the outside take up the space okay now the only problem is we got all this space in here so if you put an idol or gear in between here it won't affect the rotation or the speed of this one it's just an idler gear that goes along for the ride so we'll put this back in here like that

he's got a a bushing with a collar on the backside of it

and then this bracket is adjustable here so we can bring that up set some gear lashing it

so that should give us the right right combination but we'll put a lathe tool in there and just make a very light cut just to verify it

okay this is a hand-ground thread cutting tool exactly 60 degrees you can check it with your little thread gauge here and you just make sure that the tool was lined up in the tool holder so that it fits right in there I put a piece of white paper down here underneath it so you can look down through and see a little better and then one just double-check and make sure that I'm right on center because that'll change if you're not on the center it'll change the profile of the thread just a little bit okay so we need to take a little trial cut I'm running this lathe on my standby electric motor because the firemen already went home and we don't have any steam okay I'll just just going to touch it all by the way I've got the compound set at 30 degrees

let's check this to see if I don't know if you can see that or not but that's that's a ten thread no problem now another thing about this lathe is and I'll move back here where you can see it has no thread dial or any provision for a thread dial this hole here is for a saddle lock which was it's been missing for 50 years and I'm gonna have Tom make one up for that but the way we're going to do this is ah see now it's such a short thread here we're going to back the lathe up by hand on each pass and when we get it down pretty close I'll probably just run a die on it to size it to final final size all right this is it this is a momentous occasion we have a guest in the shop who is a fellow YouTube creator mr. Mike Waller now she tells Britannic motorcycles that's the name of this channel and happened by this morning and Tom is doing a little work on the pivot the valve pivot for the steam engine and this is what it's come down to we're running the lathe by hand because to do this threading job because we don't have a thread dial and I don't want to disengage it and we're running it up against the shoulder so we're just turning it by hand to cut the threads I mean it's a it's a small thread and it's a short thread so damn and real big deal but this is a lot as primitive this thread cutting gets this is well it's got to go into


More from this creator:
Number 12 in a series of videos I created to show what a small 1926 steam powered "job" machine shop would have been like. Calvin Coolidge was president, most non-city folks had no electricity, Air mail routes were being set up and flown with open cockpit bi-planes, and Ford had introduced it's improved Model "T". Discussion about steam power, vintage machine shop, and line shaft systems always welcome here. Please check my "g+" page from the channel header, to see what's going on in the shop. Pioneers by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Artist: http://audionautix.com/

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