Biscuit Tin Steam Engine. Part 14. The last!!!

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Tony Bird

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Hi,

At last, to the great relief of all, not least the author, we are at the finishing post, and the last posting on the construction of the Biscuit Tin Steam Engine.

With the exception of the ‘T’ pipe connector, all the original parts were used. The original and new components were assembled; all that was needed to finish the model was to connect the various parts together with silicon tubing. The finished result looks a bit like ‘Spaghetti Junction’ (the joining of several motorways in Birmingham UK). (P. 126 & 127).

126 BTE Pipe work 1.JPG


127 BTE Pipe work 2.JPG


The pipe work in the base of the engine needed to be covered and it seemed appropriate that a part of the biscuit tin was used (P.128).

128 BTE Cover.JPG


The Biscuit Tin Steam Engine was now complete. Starting in October 2022 it consisted of these parts of a steam engine (P.129).

129 BTE Engine parts..JPG


After six months of on and off work, the following photograph shows how the model looks now. As a finishing touch, a cast resin figure ‘Owen the Oil’ was fitted onto a rod screwed into the engine base plate. (P.130).

130 BTE Finished.JPG


There might have been other parts made for the model that weren’t found, even if there were, I don’t think the model was ever completed. With the error in the design of the piston clearance in the cylinders; and the misalignment of the steam ports in the one cylinder, the engine couldn’t have worked. Also, there was no evidence of any wear on any of the moving parts. In general the parts of the model were well made, though there were some issues, like the trunnion being a push fit in its cylinder and what remained of the water pump was also pressed together, in both cases, in use, especially under steam, these joints could easily fail. However, the construction of the axle and the type of pump fitted was a bit different.

There must be thousands of part finished models in the world; well, at least one of them got to be finished, and it probably ended up looking nothing like what the original builder intended. I have previously worked on models that other people have made; which either weren’t finished or didn’t work but none have had so few original bits to play with.

The inevitable short video:




The result looks a bit rustic, but I feel its appearance is quite pleasing, and the model runs quite well. Come, the 12th of October of this year there is another ‘Bring and Buy’ sale at the Cardiff Model Engineering Society, is it too much to hope something similar will be available again?

I quite enjoyed the challenge of improvising, and it certainly didn’t cost a lot in materials. As mentioned before having no drawings means that you tend to use the materials that you have to hand rather than ordering new.

Take care. Tony.
 
That's really nice. The engine with it's visible working parts is quite attractive and looks quite industrial.

I can add my name to the list of others who like your projects. I think the use of pieces from the biscuit tin is wonderful.

I am glad to see another project posted from you and I wish you good luck at the next sale.

Thank You

--ShopShoe
 
Good stuff! I am fascinated by the idea of making it a reversing engine (air-valve) when it is pumping water via a cam.... (I won't ask "why" - it's obvious. Something to play with!).
Have you determined if it runs better one way than the other? Often oscillators do... due to the inevitable very slight variation of ports, alignment, friction, piston fit, etc...? One way to check is: Run it "clockwise" down to "minimum air before stalling, count the revs per minute... Then simply reverse the air direction valve, without adjusting the air supply regulator, and check the rpm again. You may be surprised or delighted!
And yes, I did it on my first oscillator, a Vee-twin, and it was faster one way.... This became "forward" when installed in a boat. I never figured what difference caused this, but it was measurable, by 1 or 3 rpm idling on the bench with fixed air supply, and consistent. - Probably the valve porting?
Have you tried a bit of soapy water on the oscillating face to see how well it seals? - proof of a number of things.
WELL DONE!
K2
 
Hi,

Have you determined if it runs better one way than the other? Often oscillators do... due to the inevitable very slight variation of ports, alignment, friction, piston fit, etc...? One way to check is: Run it "clockwise" down to "minimum air before stalling, count the revs per minute... Then simply reverse the air direction valve, without adjusting the air supply regulator, and check the rpm again. You may be surprised or delighted!

The engine is very free running and starts easily from any position, and will run on very low pressure in either direction, seemingly at the same speed . The ports were jig drilled using the crank pin, so there should be little error in the position of the ports. I was expecting the engine to be a bit lumpy due to the off set piston but it doesn't seem to have any detrimental effect on how well the engine performs.

Take care. Tony.
 
Lovely creation Tony, i like it a lot, to me it has character. How, where do you get your operator figure from?
Hi Johan, 'Owen the Oil' as we call him was bought a garden railway exhibition many years ago, supplier not known. My main engineering hobby is making locomotives and rolling stock for my garden railway. The scale is 16 mm to the foot or 7/8" scale about 22 mm to the foot, resin figures are available for both scales. You might try Googling: Model Town Models and Model Earth Designs, both of whom make model figures. Maybe just Resin model Figures might work.
Take care Tony.
 
Just watched the video - again. A pleasure to see. Maybe do with a drop of oil, though? On the inlet, you can fit a "regular" steam displacement oiler, but when used with compressed air, mount it vertically, inverted, and use a lighter engine oil (7W.._). It will then work with compressed air and give you that tiny bit of lubrication.
Now you need to make the crane, as these make ideal winch engines. And Boiler, water-feed pump (manual), etc...
and carriage so it sits on your model railway..
K2
 

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