Biscuit Tin Steam Engine . Part 11.

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Tony Bird

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2011
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Cardiff, South Wales, UK

If the engine is ever to be run on steam it will need a lubricator, I am not very keen on displacement lubricators that have a drain cock as they can be a bit messy when being drained. I prefer to empty the water from the lubricator with a syringe; as well as being cleaner, it has the advantage of being able to remove the water only, leaving the unused oil in place. It was decided to accommodate the lubricator body below the engine base plate, and to achieve this, a 16mm hole was drilled in the engine base plate. (P.101).

101 BTE Hole for lumbricator..JPG

There was a bit of a problem as part of the wooden base needed to be filed away as it fouled the 15mm copper tube that was to be the body of the lubricator. Maybe more drawings would have been a good idea? (P.102).

102 BTE Making space..JPG

Also when the cylinder stand was fitted to the engine base plate more attention with a file was needed. (P.103).

103 BTE Clearance..JPG

The body of the lubricator was made from 15mm copper pipe, the bottom of it having a hard soldered brass plug fitted with a threaded rod. (P.104).

104 BTE Lubricator  bottom.JPG

The threaded rod at the base of the lubricator held it to a bracket which was screwed to the underside of the engine base plate. (P.105).

105 BTE Lubricator bracket..JPG

To allow the lubricator to be emptied using a syringe the steam pipe going through body needed to be off-set. This was done by plugging the copper tube with a piece of wood. The desired position and direction of the hole to be drilled was marked on the end of the plug. First an undersized drill was used to drill a hole squarely in the tube. (P.106).

106 BTE Dilling for steam pipe 1..JPG

The tube was then turned to the desired position to finish the drilling. (P.107).

107 BTE Drilling for steam pipe 2..JPG

The wooden plug was removed by setting fire to it using a blowtorch. (P.108).

108 BTE Removing wooden plug..JPG

A broach was used to make the hole to size. The lubricator is of a dead leg design and the hole in the steam pipe was created by filling across it and using a sharp point, in this care an old gramophone needle, to pierce the thinned section. (P.109).

109 BTE Hole in steam pipe..JPG

The Steam pipe was hard soldered into the lubricator body. (P.110).

110 BTE Soldered together..JPG

The attachment allocation has been used up for this posting, so
Tony, this is just to say that I follow your postings with great interest.
You have such a fertile mind dreaming up these interesting engines.


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