Making a Model Train - Steam Engine

Discussion in 'General Engine Discussion' started by princegift, Nov 28, 2013.

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  1. Nov 28, 2013 #1

    princegift

    princegift

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    Hi all!
    I am a mechanical engineering student. I plan on making a small model train for this project using scrap or easily available materials(as this is a college project I can't just buy any parts).
    I am planning to use either a stirling engine or a steam engine for the locomotive.
    Could anyone please tell me which engine would be the best for this process?
    I prefer steam engine though. An info that could help me get started in a right way would be greatly appreciated.
    And any additional details would be greatly helpful!

    Thank You.
     
  2. Nov 28, 2013 #2

    Jyman

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    Hi,

    It sounds like this would be your first engine your building, so I would say to build a steam engine. It would be a little more forgiving on the measurements. Just be careful playing with the boiler if you make one, they can get really dangerous really fast.

    Jon
    4th class Power Engineer
     
  3. Nov 28, 2013 #3

    stevehuckss396

    stevehuckss396

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    I would agree with the steam being your first. They can be run on compressed air safely. If you plan on running on track for any distance you will need the boiler.
     
  4. Nov 28, 2013 #4

    princegift

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    Greetings sir Mr. Jon!
    Thank you for your quickest reply. Yes I do understand that a boiler can be very dangerous. But a small boiler used to produce steam for the toy train can be fatally dangerous too?
     
  5. Nov 28, 2013 #5

    kvom

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    Stirling engines are quite low power generally, and harder to make for a beginner.

    Yes, small boilers can be dangerous.
     
  6. Nov 28, 2013 #6

    princegift

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    Greetings Mr. Steve!
    Yes I plan on running it on tracks that I will be constructing later and the loco will have to pull some around 3 or 4 light weight coaches.
    Any ideas on how shall I choose materials and begin?

    Thanks.
     
  7. Nov 28, 2013 #7

    princegift

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    Hello and greetings Mr Moderator!
    Okay now I understand that I small boilers can be dangerous too.
    So could you suggest me some tips or ideas on how to choose the materials and get started? This is a college project so they require me to use easily available materials like scrap and others to make the train.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Nov 28, 2013 #8

    Tin Falcon

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    First of all what you are proposing will be a little bit of a challenge for a first build but doable with perseverance and support.

    I am thinking something that looks like this.
    [​IMG]


    You can purchase this as a kit with 120 page build book for $150.

    http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=3137&category=386435363

    The above kit is a materials kit and plans you will still have to machine all the parts yourself.

    Cracker is a similar design and you can find the plans here.

    http://www.john-tom.com/MyPlans/SteamPlans2/Cracker/CrackerSteamEngine.pdf


    Some history of this type of engine.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham_Dribbler
    This should get you in the right direction.

    And since you are an engineering student you may want to use this as a jumping off point redraw tweak edit add etc.
    Tin
     
  9. Nov 28, 2013 #9

    princegift

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    Greetings sir :)
    Thank You for all the valuable info!
    But as I mentioned earlier this is a college project. No 'buying ready-made things' allowed.
    But as I was thinking, I came up with a simple idea that I put it on 'PAINT' instead of some CAD or Solidedges as this is s beginning point.
    Kindly have a look at this drawing and let me know if this design would work and what all errors I have made.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    Steam engine.jpg
     
    larry1 likes this.
  10. Nov 28, 2013 #10

    Tin Falcon

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    PG If your requirement is to scrounge materials. the kit Idea may not work but not to worry the cracker plans are there.

    I would att you get a hold of a copy of this book as it will give a lot of helpfull advise.


    http://www.amazon.com/Making-Simple-Model-Steam-Engines/dp/1861267738

    As far as materials read here
    http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/f27/selecting-first-engine-build-15183/

    Copper for the boiler is best. bronze bushings in the boiler.

    As for the rest of it it is a matter of choice. Brass everything is beautiful but may be expensiveness . Cast iron wheels are nice but need paint. Aluminum is fine for most parts as well.

    So find a piece of copper pipe the right diameter and and old brass kick plate off a door and you are off and running.

    Also be careful of scrap. there are many grades alloys of steel aluminum brass etc. Mystery metal can be very frustrating to work so try to find cutoff surplus of know material.

    And what is your location.
    Tin
     
  11. Nov 28, 2013 #11

    Tin Falcon

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    I think our posts are crossing.
    Your design well you have a lot to learn.
    like I said use the cracker plans as a jumping off place.
    Tin
     
  12. Nov 28, 2013 #12

    princegift

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    I live in Hubli, Karnataka, India sir.
    And I went through the awesomely written post by you on how to choose and start for the first engine. I have few questions
    What material is best suited for a boiler needed to produce steam to run the toy train pulling the coaches?
    How to easily or perfectly make the safety pressure relief valve for the boiler?
     
  13. Nov 28, 2013 #13

    Tin Falcon

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    Heavy wall copper pipe. get a piece long enough to form the end caps out of the same material.

    Kudos for thinking of this but not a real worry IF you use an oscillator design for the engines. oscillators typically have a spring that holds the cylinder tight against the port block if the pressure get to high the steam blows out the steam port.
    Other valve systems do require a pressure relieve there are a few designs . a spring and ss ball will do the job I am sure we can come up with a design if you need one.
    Tin
     
  14. Nov 28, 2013 #14

    Tin Falcon

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    And a better visual of what a completed cracker looks like.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Nov 28, 2013 #15

    stevehuckss396

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    Tin, I think his concern with it being a collage project is that he has to come up with his own design. If I read it right, he has to design his own loco and then build it. I believe pre-existing designs are off limits.

    I could be wrong.
     
  16. Nov 28, 2013 #16

    Tin Falcon

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    Steve :
    Original design not mentioned. he does say he needs to make his own parts and assemble them.
    He seems to need some help knowing where to start. so gave a couple proven designs for inspiration.

    I am all for out the box thinking but one must have an understanding of what a box looks like and what it contains before out of the box occurs.
    Tin
     
  17. Nov 28, 2013 #17

    princegift

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    Greetings again Mr Tin!
    So, using a spring system for a safety valve would require accurate design calculations or trial and error method right?
    Also I am very very confused about the dimensions sir. I need a basic set of dimensions for the startup parts such a way that I am able to get them easily from scrap or household items(as my project requires me to).

    Thanks.!
     
  18. Nov 28, 2013 #18

    princegift

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    Steve sir you are little bit right about that. My project requires me to make the engine using scrap or household materials. Efficiency has been removed from consideration.

    So all I need is to make the engine just efficient to pull atleast 3 wagons(light weight) on the tracks.
     
  19. Nov 28, 2013 #19

    Wizard69

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    Seriously if this is a project for college I'd skip both the Sterling and the steam engine if you have that option. Instead put an electric motor in the unit and go on to the next college project.

    WHY?

    Simple really, in one word "TIME". If you try the approach of a hobbiest you risk spending to much time on this at the expense of other classes. I wouldn't go too far beyond meeting the requirements set out in the assignment. It is good to do a little extra and be creative, just don't get consumed by the project.
     
  20. Nov 28, 2013 #20

    princegift

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    Greetings Wizard!

    I absolutely agree with you in all aspects. But the theme itself is 'STEAM' !!!!
    There were few topics that were brainstormed by everyone and then chits were picked. We have to do the 'Steam Engine driven Greentrain'

    :) :)
     

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