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Location: Sugar Tit South Carolina
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Steam Power

05/31/2007 9:07 PM

Can anyone please tell me where to learn how to make a steam engine. I need to know it all, I mean I understand how one works, but I do not understand how to design one to move a 250 lb. man and about 200 lbs. of framework in a town parade! See I own a machine shop and most of you I'm sure know that when your friends know this they think you can build anything,,,,,,,LOL,,,,,,I tell them all the time, "I only walk on water when it rains" but still when they come up with an idea guess who they know that can make it,,,,,,lol,,,,,,,,lol,,,,,I'm just an average machinist at best, I do have CNC Mills but all the rest of my stuff is manual. So knowing what I have to work with, can some of you folks direct me in the right direction.

PS,,,,if they keep messing with me, I'm gonna give them one like I made in science class in High School using a candle and tell them,,,"oh, is this not big enough?",,,,,,,,lol

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#1

Re: Steam Power

06/01/2007 3:54 AM

Well, there are plenty of hobby engineering magazines available that are worthy of further study. Is there a model engineering club in town?

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#2

Re: Steam Power

06/01/2007 8:12 AM
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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Steam Power

06/01/2007 3:40 PM

thanks, I'll go look, and to answer the other reply no there are not any clubs that I've been able to find anyway around here.

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#19
In reply to #2

Re: Steam Power

06/04/2007 5:57 AM

Hi, ozzb.

If only you know how much this site you suggested has pricked my interest on Steam Engines again! Good stuff indeed.

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#4

Re: Steam Power

06/01/2007 8:04 PM

Hi sc6chuck9,

Be sure to check this site : http://www.greensteamengine.com/

In addition to plans, he has photos of working practical steam engines as well as animation.

Cheers,

John

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Steam Power

06/01/2007 9:20 PM

HEY thanks very much for the link John, I really do like the design and it also solves my problem of how big to make it for the HP needed to move the weight we will be moving. The only thing I didn't see at the site that I'm thinking I will still need help with just so I don't blow myself or anyone else up is the boiler. See I'm lost there also. I mean I do know how to boil water but I don't know how to design a boiling water system we will need to power this engine that I hope to build from plans to make at least 10 hp.. Thanks again,,,,Chuck

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Steam Power

06/01/2007 9:44 PM

I've no personal experience with steam engines but I'm sure some of these guys on CR4 can get you on the right track.

Also if you contact Robert Green he may consult with you as to what you need in terms of a boiler:

Robert Green

2337 B Avenida Sevilla

Laguna Woods, CA 92637

Email: rgreen999@comline.com

PH. 949 581 2529

Regards,

John

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#7

Re: Steam Power

06/02/2007 8:08 AM

I am surprised that anyone would admit being from Sugar Tit, SC. I lived in Greer for a number of years. It sounds like you have taken on a big project. In the past there has been a lot written about steam projects. I wish you good luck. If I come across anything I will contact you. Bill Pierce

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#11
In reply to #7

Re: Steam Power

06/03/2007 7:04 PM

All I can say to you Bill about SUGAR TIT is , LOL, I think that says it all,,,,,,,,,lol,,,,,,,the good thing is 99.9% of the world has no idea of what we are chatting about,,,,,,,lol,,,,ya'll just don't know what kinda good place to live your missing out on !

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Steam Power

06/03/2007 7:24 PM

Delorme mapping dose not show a Sugar Tit anywhere in SC. There is a Sugar Tit junction in Kentucky. Give me a clue.

Have you been to Blue Balls Pa or Neversex Pa. They are in the area of Puxatrawny Pa Were "Phil" the famous ground hog lives.

There is a Middlesex in NY state, Finger lakes region.

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Steam Power

06/03/2007 7:58 PM

Well first of all, Thanks for looking ,,,,it is just a community between Greenville and Spartanburg SC that has been called that sense back in the horse and buggy times. It has been on some maps though but I'm told that back around 1965 when everyone was wanting to be politically correct that it was taken off the maps. If your sitting in the new BMW factory parking lot with the factory to your back, Sugar Tit is across I-85 and straight through the woods about 4 miles the way a bird flies anyway. I have heard of all those other towns you made note of though.

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#17
In reply to #13

Re: Steam Power

06/04/2007 4:36 AM

Try googling "Six Mile Bottom" and "Nempnett Thrubwell" in the UK...

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#8

Re: Steam Power

06/02/2007 2:44 PM

If this is a just town parade does this really need to be a functional steam engine? It seems to be a pretty dangerous thing putting an uncertified pressure vessel in public.

Although it really would be great fun the actually build a real one large enough to be in a parade, and have it work properly and safely.

Suggestion -- I have built sets for community theater and we had a similar need. I had to build a steam engine (Railroad Locomotive) for the stage. I constructed a replica of the engine using thin plywood for the shape of the locomotive cab and other parts and cardboard bent to a cylinder for the steam tank, used a battery powered go cart for mobility, and a smoke generator to resemble the smoke and steam. It looked just like a real one and was well accepted. Yours will probably be pretty large so you may need to use a small pickup to move it around. Hope this is helpful, I know it is relatively safe.

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#12
In reply to #8

Re: Steam Power

06/03/2007 7:20 PM

Whats the fun in that,,,,you must have bypassed being a kid, hell if it can't possibility hurt you what fun is it,,,,,lol,,,,I'm just messing with you,,,,of course we will make sure it is very safe before we get out in public anyway,,,,,,,lol,,,,

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#9

Re: Steam Power

06/02/2007 9:05 PM

A good place to start is the live steam and "outdoor railroading magazine" at

http://www.livesteam.net

The have all kinds of articles and drawings for steam engine and boiler construction.

I have built several engines from kits supplied by

www.colespowermodels.com These kits contain drawings castings and all parts for the engine. Most boiler kits come from different sources. These people have a kit for the size engine you mentioned. I suggest you start with a smaller one first.

Little Engines is also another good source..

Locoworks@aol.com or highiron@aol.com

Also Stewart Models

www.stuartmodels.com

I have also built several engines from Tiny Power ( who also has larger engines)

WWW.tiny power.com

Build the engine first and run it on compressed air, Then build a boiler to fit it. You need the construction experience before you tackle the boiler.

You can get experience in boiler firing a the local model railroad group meetings and run dates posted in the live steam magazine.

There are also many live steam railroad clubs all over the world. Live steam on the internet is a good place tostart.. Happy building

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#14
In reply to #9

Re: Steam Power

06/03/2007 7:47 PM

Thanks so much for the sites Snakers as there are several there that I have not found or been too yet. As far as me building a small one first goes, it probably won't happen as I'm 49 years old and built my first gas power engine when I was 71/2 years old for my go-cart because my dad was in Germany for the USAF and mom had no idea of how to do it,,,,,lol,,,it ran, maybe a little too fast as I didn't take time to learn about governors and all that so it only made it around two blocks before it put a hole in the top of the piston. I have sense this time learned a lot.. In 1973 it took me 5 sets of 3 pistons for a KAW 500 triple two stroke to finally get it to run on 190 proof octane ava.gas at the locale drag strip. But when I did get it right, the thing done the 1/4 with me on it in 9secs. flat and was street legal as long as they didn't check too far. See Snakers I have lived right on the edge most of my life and I think that is way I have no idea what it is to be bored!!!! I feel very sorry for the kids out here today as compared to folks my age as we had a blast growing up compared to what they have today. When my youngest brings a friend home with him from college to study or whatever, after talking to me a few mins. always say "Jared what a neet Mom and Dad you have" and Jared will reply "yeah mom's ok, dad's just crazy",,,,,,,lol,,,,,seems funny to me that 'crazy' Dad is the one he always ask for help from,,,,,

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#24
In reply to #9

Re: Steam Power

06/04/2007 9:50 PM

Hey Snakers, am I doing something wrong or is there trouble with some of those sites you listed ??? Please let me know as I do want to try and look at everything anyone offers, who knows I may find the answer to this God Awful gas and energy prices we have at the present. Hell I know I'm trazy enough to find it,,,,,,,,,,lol

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#26
In reply to #24

Re: Steam Power

06/04/2007 10:57 PM

OK...

This one works OK http://www.livesteam.net

So does this one www.colespowermodels.com

Sorry, these are E-mail address (not web sites) and are no good/ Locoworks@aol.com or highiron@aol.com No web page was listed.

This is OK www.stuartmodels.com

And this one had an error in it, try it now (note the boiler plans)

www.tinypower.com I have built two tiny power units.

I hope you realize that this small steam engine building is an extremely contagious hobby especially to people with machine shop access.

There are not many known cures except for money diets and death. Lack of time does not count but sometimes naggingf wives can alter production schedules. If you catch the bug, sorry I cannot help you…

Snakers

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#29
In reply to #26

Re: Steam Power

06/05/2007 5:16 PM

LOL,,,,thanks very much for the site fixes and the advice about and the wife and my playthings but this whole thing is starting to look like anything big enough to move a large go-cart type thing may very well be way to expensive.

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#10

Re: Steam Power

06/03/2007 2:56 AM

If you do go the "real" steam way, I am sure that you will need to make a boiler, certified to be safe at double the working pressure.....or buy in a certified boiler from an outside source!

The certification procedure is to fill the boiler right to the top with water and then add a few more drops from a strong pump, which shoots the pressure way up. (The pressure safety valve has to be screwed shut for this test of course!).You need an accurate gauge too of course as well as a powerful pump!

If anything breaks all leaks, there is only a quick spurt of water, not a cataclysmic explosion!!

Naturally this has to be done under the watchful eye of the person who issues such certificates.....but you can do it yourself first to make sure that everything is OK....

Do not consider even starting your project without knowing (and of course following) all the safety requirements and procedures.....

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#16
In reply to #10

Re: Steam Power

06/03/2007 8:07 PM

Andy, I know all you said is true but I may test it buy getting on to see if it will pull my weight and if it does, I'll say it's a go cause if I go doing all that I'll have mega bucks in it and I just can't afford it,,,,,,unless I get China interested in it then maybe they will test it for pennies,,,,,,,nawwwww they'd use labor working at slave wages so that's out.

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#18

Re: Steam Power

06/04/2007 4:43 AM
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#25
In reply to #18

Re: Steam Power

06/04/2007 10:03 PM

Thanks a bunch PWSlack for the great sites, made me do a lot more thinking about safety and also got a few new thoughts from some of the pics of other steams,,,,

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#20

Re: Steam Power

06/04/2007 3:02 PM

Find an old lawnmower engine. A 1.5 HP Briggs and Stratton will do nicely. Disassemble the thing and set up the camshaft to turn at crankshaft speed either by chain drive or an idler gear arrangement. Put in a heavy intake valve spring, preferably an inner valve spring from an early V8 so you'll have about 120 pounds of valve spring pressure on the valve seat. Discard the carburator and pipe the steam (under 120 psig) into the intake port. Use a ball valve in the steam supply to vary the power output. Don't worry about oil supply or sealing the crankcase if you have to use an external drive to spin the camshaft. The rod and cam can be lubricated with grease, the same as used in wheel bearings. Have fun, it's about a whole day's project. As long as you keep the steam pressure below the intake valve spring's ability to keep the valve on the seat until the cam forces it open, the engine will operate just fine. Expect about 800 rpm max but with gobs of torque to compensate. As far as boilers go, you're on your own but I suggest you get some help from a licensed steam plant operator.

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Steam Power

06/04/2007 3:43 PM

What a fantastic, brilliant idea.......

Have you actually done it? If yes, do you have video?

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#22
In reply to #20

Re: Steam Power

06/04/2007 5:45 PM

The concept is unique and with enough steam, it will definitely run however..

Keep in mind that the displacement of that engine is going to take an awful lot of steam and BTU's to heat in order to keep the cylinder temperature above 212 degrees or the steam is going to condense in the cylinder. A single cylinder is NOT a self starting engine.

Steam engines are designed with long connecting rods to reduce the heat loss in the lower area of the engine.

All the heat loss in the bottom or the engine is going to raise your boiler requirements tremendously and remember that it takes at least 20 times the heat energy to vaporize the water into steam. This engine would work great on compressed air but be terribly inefficient on steam.

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#23
In reply to #20

Re: Steam Power

06/04/2007 9:42 PM

I love it taejonkwando:, I'll need to think about it a lot but I may try it as it does seem fast and pretty easy to do,,,,I'll let you know what I do,,,,thanks,,,,,

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#27

Re: Steam Power

06/05/2007 10:25 AM

Try this place for steam books.

http://www.lindsaybks.com/

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Steam Power

06/05/2007 5:14 PM

Hey MechTech Gid, Thanks for the suggestion but after doing the reading I have just done at www.tinypower.com on what they tell you the cost can run into just to make electricity I may have to give up on this whole idea of making something that has enough power to move this vehicle,,,,,,Chuck

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Andy Germany (2); jacky (1); Johnjohn (2); MechTech Gid (1); ozzb (1); PWSlack (3); sc6chuck9 (12); Snakers (4); taejonkwando (1); travelerengineer (1); user-deleted-5 (1)

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