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Author Topic: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine  (Read 1390 times)

Stoker

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Re: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine
« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2023, 05:01:45 pm »
A harrowing tale of adventures in steam refurbishment.

The suspense, awaiting the next episode, is palpable!!!    ;c)
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
Wisdom is the domain of the Wis (which is extinct). Beauty is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..."
F. Zappa ... by way of Mary, the girl from the bus.

RichSteamTx

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Re: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2023, 05:57:31 pm »
I am with @Stoker!

I feel your pain on dealing with sight glasses and getting the seals (and spraying out hot water when you think they are okay)!
Richard

parallelmotion

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Re: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine
« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2023, 08:50:36 am »
Great fix! The only alternative would have been to open up the boiler and solder in a new slug from the inside--a lot more work with the loss of much of the boiler's finish.

Paula

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Re: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine
« Reply #33 on: October 17, 2023, 03:06:36 pm »
I'm not sure exactly how the original sight glass was sealed to the boiler. There is a 2-bolt clamp at each end of the U-shaped sight glass, retained with tapped holes in the boiler. A shallow counterbore surrounds each sight glass hole. How this was all sealed up originally, I don't know. Upon disassembly, there was evidence of repair attempts in the past.

Because of their flexibility, and wide range of sizes, I prefer o-rings for sealing jobs like this. I made a CAD drawing which shows a section through the boiler and sight glass, on the centerline of one of the fittings. It shows the original hole enlarged with an 82 degree countersink, with a silicone rubber o-ring and brass washer. The 2-bolt clamp will compress the o-ring, and wedge it between the sight glass and the 82 degree countersunk hole. The brass washer was needed because the hole in the clamp was to large to properly compress the o-ring.

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I had some concerns about cracking the sight glass with this setup if the countersunk holes were off center, or misaligned in some way relative to the holes in the boiler. To assure proper alignment, I decided to make a pair of brackets to precisely align the boiler in the mill. These would consist of some 1/2 x 4" aluminum plates, 4-1/4" long, with a 2-3/4" hole in each. They would be saw-cut thru the center, and drilled & tapped for some clamp screws. I used a 2-1/2" dia. hole saw to rough out the holes:

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A boring head was used to enlarge the holes to the full 2.750" diameter:

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The top of each bracket was center-drilled on the exact centerline of of the 2.750" hole. This would enable the mill spindle to be easily aligned with the hole in the bracket, and could thus be used to align the holes in the boiler at "top dead center" in the brackets. Here is a shot of the engine mounted in the mill vise with the with the boiler brackets. A 60-degree center in the spindle is used to establish alignment:

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With the boiler retained and aligned in this way, it's an easy task to drill the countersunk holes in precise alignment with the boiler, and at the exact spacing of the sight glass ends. Also, the depth of the countersunk holes can be precisely set. Here's a view of the boiler with the finished holes:

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Preparing to assemble the sight glass, o-rings, brass washers, and seal clamps to the boiler:

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Sight glass, o-rings, and brass washers installed in the countersunk holes:

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Seal clamps installed. Note that the clamp screws will need to be removed when the sight glass guard is installed, as it uses the same screws as the seal clamps:

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Hopefully this installation will prove satisfactory. The o-rings are rated up to 450F degrees, so there should be no problem on that score. The screws will need to be sealed at final assembly, as they thread right thru the boiler shell. There are a total of twelve(!) threaded holes in the boiler that need to be sealed in some way.
Paula

RichSteamTx

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Re: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine
« Reply #34 on: October 17, 2023, 03:14:08 pm »
Man, don't ever brake that glass tube!  And I thought the sight glass' on Empires were a pain...

Superb job @Paula and so much fun reading and looking at you diagram!
Richard

Paula

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Re: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2023, 03:29:54 pm »
No kidding! If you notice, in one of the pictures of the sight glass, you can see what looks like a crack in the inside of one of the bends.  :o   I was worried about this at first, but it seems it is just a shallow groove used to mark the location of the bend. I would hate to have to make a new one.
Paula

Stoker

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Re: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine
« Reply #36 on: October 17, 2023, 03:37:36 pm »
Actually, bending glass tubing is not really that difficult, though getting the bends in just the right place to hit the key dimension can be a bit of a challenge. Fixtures and jigs can help, but actually hitting the sweet spot can be a bit of trial and error I find.
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
Wisdom is the domain of the Wis (which is extinct). Beauty is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..."
F. Zappa ... by way of Mary, the girl from the bus.

Paula

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Re: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine
« Reply #37 on: October 17, 2023, 03:53:03 pm »
How much heat is required? Can a propane torch be used, or something hotter? [ Guests cannot view attachments ]
Paula

Stoker

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Re: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine
« Reply #38 on: October 17, 2023, 04:37:30 pm »
Propane works but one of the fine tipped butane torches like a Bernzomatic is likely a better choice. Back in the day I did most of my lab glass blowing and bending just using an alcohol lamp and a blow pipe, but I think for most folks a small torch is a better way to go! One thing about glass, that is much like iron, is that it doesn't transfer heat well along its length, so you'll be surprised at how close to the part that is glowing orange that you can still grip the tube ..... but don't get too close or you'll know all about it in a real hurry!!!
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
Wisdom is the domain of the Wis (which is extinct). Beauty is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..."
F. Zappa ... by way of Mary, the girl from the bus.

Paula

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Re: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine
« Reply #39 on: October 17, 2023, 04:47:01 pm »
Thanks, Stoker. Hopefully I won't have to bend one for this engine, but it's good to know that making a new one isn't too difficult.
Paula

Paula

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Re: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine
« Reply #40 on: December 05, 2023, 04:37:12 pm »
Well, we just passed the 6-month mark on this restoration thread, and I'm happy to report that the job is finally finished! One thing that delayed the process was that I wanted to get a better video camera. I would up getting a Canon Vixia HFG50. It is a HUGE improvement over my old camera! Check out the smooth zooms and close-ups in the finished video. Resolution is much better as well. I'm also debuting my new motorized, remote-control turntable!

There is still one small leak at the steam chest fitting. But I'll probably just let it go. By the way, the whistle does work... it just tends to shower your hand with boiling water, so I dispensed with it for the video. This has been a fun project, and I hope you enjoy the finished result!

https://youtu.be/keMbX3qh71k

Paula
Paula

RichSteamTx

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Re: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine
« Reply #41 on: December 05, 2023, 04:47:09 pm »
100% Awesome!  Well done... you can now send it to me to keep it safe ;-)
Richard

Stoker

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Re: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine
« Reply #42 on: December 05, 2023, 05:29:58 pm »
That's just lovely ................ exceedingly so!!!
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
Wisdom is the domain of the Wis (which is extinct). Beauty is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..."
F. Zappa ... by way of Mary, the girl from the bus.

RedRyder

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Re: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine
« Reply #43 on: December 05, 2023, 05:50:14 pm »
Paula, your work is superb!

Nick

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Re: Restoring a Doll Vertical Steam Engine
« Reply #44 on: December 05, 2023, 05:58:13 pm »
I missed your October post, AWESOME work with the sight glass! Iím really glad you kept this one as original looking as possible, you do nice work!! 👍
Nick

 

Todd Kahill and Three of His Great Models 2017