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How do you keep going on a long project like Lady Stephanie Beam Engine

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n4zou

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I do that too. I just made a wrench for my Quick Change Tool post. I milled a 1/2 inch 16 degree slot in the top of an old 1" 1/2 drive socket I found at a garage sale for 50 cents. I used 1/2 inch key stock with a 3/8-18 taped hole that holds the key stock in the milled slot. A 1 1/2 inch ball tops it off and it's easy on the hand. I used 16 degrees because the angle of the arm on the tool post is also 16 degrees and I made the length of the 1/2 inch key stock the same length as well so it matches. This tool is way better than the 1" wrench I've been using.


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steamer

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n4zou said:
I do that too. I just made a wrench for my Quick Change Tool post. I milled a 1/2 inch 16 degree slot in the top of an old 1" 1/2 drive socket I found at a garage sale for 50 cents. I used 1/2 inch key stock with a 3/8-18 taped hole that holds the key stock in the milled slot. A 1 1/2 inch ball tops it off and it's easy on the hand. I used 16 degrees because the angle of the arm on the tool post is also 16 degrees and I made the length of the 1/2 inch key stock the same length as well so it matches. This tool is way better than the 1" wrench I've been using.

Feels good don't it! ;D

Dave
 

n4zou

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Especially so when it's as useful as this one has immediately become.
Now I don't need to remove the wrench and lay it aside, just leave my
junk box wrench sitting on the tool post.


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n4zou

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I'm sure this person was overwhelmed when this arrived at his door. So much so he is selling it. I'm so tempted to purchase it myself. I envision this project lasting a couple of yrs of hobby time frame work. Look at the 12"X12" tiles on the floor under the castings for the scale of this engine.

http://www.enginads.com/classifieds/showproduct.php/product/61205/cat/8
Reliable 5 HP compound steam engine

 

90LX_Notch

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Another thing that is helpful is to run one of your complete engines. That gets the desire going again. I just ran my Poppin because I discovered that I incorrectly located the exhaust port on my current project. This was after days of machining the part. I felt so defeated last night when I discovered my error; I actually questioned why do I even bother with this hobby.

I had a few set backs when I was machining the Poppin; but, in the end it became a great little runner. Just now running it, and reflecting back on these setbacks and how I over came them, has motivated me to attack the remake of the bad part and to carry on.

Also, as stated earlier, mocking up completed parts is a great motivator to keeping moving forward.

-Bob
 

Harold Lee

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steamer said:
You need a success , or a series of successes....to stay motivated.

I like making tools and stuff for my shop/lathe. Keeps me motivated and I have something useful in the end to make more parts!

Dave
Dave and others are correct. A lot of the larger projects that I have done have been mixed with a number of small ones to keep me going. As time progresses what was once considered by me to be a huge undertaking is now a lot easier as well. My first project was a Stuart 10V which was started in the late 1970s and completed in 2006. Now I mix in a number of quick "one week of evenings" projects on the larger ones. I am still trying to complete my steam tractor but need a few successful wins to keep me focused. I think that is the way we are all wired. We need to break the war down into a bunch of smaller battles.

Whatever you do though, please post as encouragement and training for the rest of us.

Harold
 

Bill Gruby

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Rule of thumb for me, "Don't think of how far away the end is. If I did that I would surely be in trouble right now. My new project will take in the neighborhood of 2500 hrs. At least that's how long it took the other guy. Now if I start thinking about that guess what, 2080 hrs is 40 hrs/wk for one year. That equates to -- we won't go there. LOL

I try to find the most complicated piece first and get it out of the way. After that one most parts are a walk in the park. I never do the easy parts first, I save them till I get to a point where I am stalled. Do a couple of those and I am usually out of the stall.

When there are more than one of the same part I set in for the long haul, space my time and try to make a game out of it. Machining 14 cylinders plus 2 spare is a boring (pun intended) job but it has to be done.

So that is how I keep going on a long winded project.

"Billy G"
 

Swede

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Make each component in a complex project a miniature project all by itself. For example, you've just made a beautiful IC engine head... clean it up, deburr, enjoy the satisfaction, then oil it, put it in a ziploc bag, and set it with every other part you've machined. When you are done, you will have a "no-machining kit of parts."

By getting satisfaction off of each component, it is a path of small victories enroute to a larger victory.
 

mklotz

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"Schedule" breaks in your long projects. I don't mean cast-in-concrete scheduling but rather something like "every month or so or more often if I feel like it" scheduling. The idea is to acknowledge to yourself before the project begins that break-away periods will be an integral part of the effort needed to get the job done. With that approach you won't feel guilty about these interruptions.

While you're working on the project, keep notes on what homemade tools, jigs, fixtures, etc. would make your work easier or better. Try to think ahead to the remaining tasks of the project and what they will require.

Use the scheduled breaks to make these tools and jigs. Not only will you have a break from the main project, you'll have the satisfaction of finishing something functional and that something will be useful for the next steps in the main project.

Machining is just as much a psychological effort as it is an intellectual and manual effort. You need to watch your mind closely while working in order to deduce how to manipulate it to make yourself as efficient as you want to be.
 

geoff

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Hi
Thanks for all the encouragement it was a great help, I`ve carried on and got almost to the end and it runs very well, so i thought i would add a picture of the progress so far as i added the air vessel and guvnor and finials which all add to the bling effect. It certainly is a fiddly engine to work on all those columns get in the way when you try to add any new parts and like Dr. Jo i found tweezers are needed.
Geoff

Stephanie-4.jpg
 

steamer

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NOW THAT IS A MOTIVATOR!

Well done! :bow:


Dave
 

purpleknif

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Ya know.... Just the other day I saw a doctor on tv saying that if you always finish what you start you'll feel better. So i looked around and decided to take his advice. I found half a bottle of rum so I finished that. Then I found a box of chocolates from Christmas that needed finished. Then I found an unfinished bottle of Valium. The doctor was rite. I feel wunnerful !
 

geoff

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Here it is again, it's not quite complete but i'm finnished with it now i have done the work to make the govnor rotate, do you have that feeling you should make another one now you have learnt so much making this one. if i do it will be larger than the 8" length of this design. now i see why builder's often increase the size of the plans. I posted a video on [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TJPIlu1DnI[/ame] hope you like it.

geoff
 

Catminer

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Very nice work Geoff, see, it's not hard to finish a project like this ::)

Peter
 

lazylathe

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Beautiful work Geoff!!

I love the eccentric arm(?) on the bottom there!
Very nice design!!!

Great runner!!!

If you ever get bored of it i will send you my address and i will look after it for you!!!! ;D

Andrew
 

Ken I

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Well Geoff, there you go, job done. As they say it feels so good when you finally stop banging your head on a wall.

Well done, Lady Sephanie is a really good looker and a good runner to boot.

Job well done.

And for an encore......?

Ken
 

Bob Wild

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I’ve just about finished my Lady Stephanie and it was a real test of my patience and stickability !!!! About 3 years so far. A nightmare, but I stuck with it and made lots of scrap. I’be added a picture which I’ quite pleased about as I’m very much a beginner in this field
 

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Brian Hutchings

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Swede is absolutely correct. Break the project up into several smaller ones and son't worry about how long it's taking.
My first engine, a 2" Clayton Undertype Steam Wagon, took 4 years, the next one, a 3" Marshall 'S' Type steam Roller took 12 years and I then resolved that the next one would not take so long. This was a 3" Fowell-Box Road Locomotive and although I did my own design, pattermaking and machining etc it only took 3 years. My present model. a 1.5" Burrell-Boydel Road Locomotive has so far taken 21years, mind you, I discovered vintage cars soon after starting and they take a lot of looking after. The last one has gone now so it's full time on modelling again.
Already planning the next one even though the Burrell has some way to go.
I need to live another 200 years to get it all done!
Brian
 

Jennifer Edwards

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Thank you for posting the picture. I am just a couple weeks away from finishing my Cotswold “Stothert & Pitt” beam engine. I have been working almost every day since last June. At times the finish line seemed so far away it was hard on some days to want to get myself working.

The funny thing is that last week I purchased a set of the “Lady Stephanie” plans and have been mulling them over. Wondering if I should attempt it.

The drawings look like a copy of a copies copy. And are s bit vague.

Your engine looks absolutely fabulous! Well done, and thank you for the motivation.
 

mohavegun

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The problem I have with large projects is that when I finally get all the parts done and assembled and working, I usually start a new project before I get a truly nice running engine. I will usually go back to a previous project to fine tune and bling up at a latter date. I had better start to clear up these unrefined engines as they are adding up quickly. So far my list includes:

Make a new graphite piston for the poppin
Finish the burner for the Cracker Loco
Make a propane burner for the CopperHead
Continue to refine the AlphaVictory Hot-Air Engine
Make a base for the solenoid motor

Your engine looks great and I am sure you will have a runner soon.


IronHorse
Good Morning….

I am curious about your mention of CopperHead… It this a model of an HK Porter locomotive of about 1888 vintage? If so, what scale is it and who made the drawings, are they available?
 

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