Penbwl a Welsh tadpole

Discussion in 'Finished Projects' started by Tony Bird, Sep 2, 2012.

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  1. Sep 2, 2012 #1

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

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    Hi,

    It is some time since I posted anything in HMEM, for the last couple of months I have been making a copy of a model steam powered boat described in the August 1933 edition of Popular Mechanics. I have to say that it isn't the prettiest boat that I have built but it does have a certain ugly charm. Known as Polly Wog which I believe is American slang for tadpole the designer isn't credited in PM. On the net I found a 1939 catalogue of a company name Boucher that was marketing both a finished boat and a kit to build a Polly Wog. I wonder if they got the design from PM? It would be interesting to know.

    The build started because a member of the Mamod Forum to which I belong to, posted the plans and text for Polly Wog which he had found re-published in a Live Steam magazine.

    I was looking for something different to make and Polly Wog is different! A steam outboard motor, a boiler consisting of three tubes joined at each of their ends and a twin rudder in front of the propeller.

    Some of the materials suggested were a little bit of a problem to obtain in South Wales: Orange boxes for the hull bottom, aluminium stovepipe for the deck, bevelled gears from a radio tuning condencer for the right angle drive of the engine and a slip tee for the gear box housing being particulary difficult to sourse.

    The boiler is heated using Sterno and produces enough heat to power the engine easily. It has been tested in a tank and seems to work well. A safety valve has been fitted instead of just a filling plug as suggested. Rudder only R/C is fitted. Unfortunately our local lake is weed bound until the winter kicks in when it dies back, so it will be some time before it can be tested.

    A direct translation of Penbwl, pronounced Pen as in ink and Bull as in cow, is flat head and is used in Welsh for Tadpole. Why Tadpole as well? If you have visited Wales virtually everything is in both English and Welsh. It seemed a shame not to do the same also there were enough letters on the sheet of transfers to do it. The other side has Polly Wog on it just in case she goes to the States, I would hate a language problem.

    I did take some photographs of the construct techniques if anyone is interested, which I could post retrospectively.

    Regards Tony.

    011 PW Finished Penbwl Tadpole LR.jpg

    010 PW Finished Penbwl Tadpole LR.jpg
     
  2. Sep 2, 2012 #2

    compspecial

    compspecial

    compspecial

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    Very interesting, Tony..please tell us more!
    Stew
     
  3. Sep 2, 2012 #3

    Brian Rupnow

    Brian Rupnow

    Brian Rupnow

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    Very nice!!! I see you are using twin wobblers for a motor drive. a lot of folks on here would appreciate plans for that engine.--Very nice and unique project.---Brian
     
  4. Sep 2, 2012 #4

    dsquire

    dsquire

    dsquire

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    Tony

    I don't care if it is a Penbwl or a Tadpole, it still is a very nice boat. I can well imagine that you would have had a hard time finding Orange crates to use. My sister still has 2 of them from when we were kids. We used them as bedside tables when we were kids. I think that I would have a hard time if I were to try and use one to build a Tadpole.

    We definitely would like to see some more photos and details on how you built the boat as well as the engine details. Perhaps you could re post the plans if it doesn't violate copy-rite or post a link to them.

    Thanks for showing this to us.

    Cheers :)

    Don
     
  5. Sep 2, 2012 #5

    Brian Rupnow

    Brian Rupnow

    Brian Rupnow

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    DSquire--It must have been a Canadian thing. All the beds in the house I grew up in had orange crates stood on end as night tables beside the bed. My mother had sewn fancy slipcovers for them. they even came with a built in divider that acted as a shelf.---Brian
     
  6. Sep 2, 2012 #6
  7. Sep 2, 2012 #7

    dsquire

    dsquire

    dsquire

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    Brian

    It was the same in our house. Mother or Grandmother had made nice slip-covers for them. If I remember correctly mine had Cowboys and Indians on them.

    Cheers :)

    Don
     
  8. Sep 2, 2012 #8

    dsquire

    dsquire

    dsquire

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  9. Sep 3, 2012 #9

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

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    [​IMG]
    Hi,

    http://books.google.com/books?id=7OEDAAAAMBAJ&q=todpole#v=onepage&q=Polly% 20wog&f=false

    Yes that is the original article from Popular Mechanics. My copy came from the October 1981 edition of Live Steam which is identical to the original article.

    If anyone is thinking of making the boiler or engine it will need drawing out as there are anomalies in the dimentions. I will see if I can make sense of the sketches that I did and post them along with some constructional photograghs.

    Regards Tony.
     
  10. Sep 3, 2012 #10

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

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    Hi,

    Some photographs of the construction of Polly Wog's Hull. Steaming hull sides, bending hull bottom and finished hull.

    Regards Tony.

    012 PW Construction steaming hull LR.jpg

    020 PW Construction Mk2 bending  hull base LR.jpg

    018 PW Construction hull assembled LR.jpg
     
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  11. Sep 3, 2012 #11

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

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    Hi,

    Some photographs of deck, air intakes and rudder

    Regards Tony.

    044 PW Construction Ali cover fitted LR.jpg

    045 PW Construction air intake LR.jpg

    048 PW Construction air intake LR.jpg

    053 PW Construction deck fitted.jpg

    066 PW Construction rudder LR.jpg
     
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  12. Sep 4, 2012 #12

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

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    Hi,

    A start was made on the engine. First a drawing was made based on information from the Polly Wog article. The engine was made using the suggested materials including copper cylinders!

    Regards Tony.

    Polly Wog Drawing 001 LR.jpg

    001 Polly Wog cylinder LR.jpg

    004 Polly Wog cylinder soldering finished LR.jpg

    010 Polly Wog driilling ports in base plate LR.jpg

    013 Polly Wog base plate finished  LR.jpg

    015 Polly Wog to date LR.jpg

    019 Polly Wog big end LR.jpg

    026 Polly Wog big end LR.jpg

    030 Polly Wog piston finished LR.jpg

    032 Polly Wog pistons fitted LR.jpg

    036 Polly Wog in steam LR.jpg
     
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  13. Sep 4, 2012 #13

    dsquire

    dsquire

    dsquire

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    Tony

    Very nice work there. I'm keeping an eye on it.

    Cheers :)

    Don
     
  14. Sep 4, 2012 #14

    ProdEng

    ProdEng

    ProdEng

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    An unusual and attractive project, thanks for sharing.
     
  15. Sep 4, 2012 #15

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

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    Hello again,

    Still sorting photographs must use a better system! Propeller gear box assembly.

    Propeller next if I can sort the photographs out.

    Regards Tony.

    011 PW Gear box to date LR.jpg

    022 PW gear box cover fitted LR.jpg

    025 PW Gear box gears fitted LR.jpg

    027 PW Gear box so far LR.jpg
     
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  16. Sep 4, 2012 #16

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

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    Hi,

    Sorted the propeller photographs out.

    Regards Tony.

    006 PW Propeller cutting boss 1 LR.jpg

    007 PW Propeller boss cut LR.jpg

    010 PW Propeller marking out blades LR.jpg

    011 PW Propeller cutting blades LR.jpg

    013 PW Propeller blades cut LR.jpg

    015 PW Propeller soldered LR.jpg

    017 PW Propeller fitted to gear box LR.jpg
     
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  17. Sep 5, 2012 #17

    nemoc

    nemoc

    nemoc

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    Tony, It looks pretty to me. Outstanding workmanship! You did a great job with the sheet metal. Thanks for the photos.

    Craig
     
  18. Sep 5, 2012 #18

    larry1

    larry1

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    Great work,I think that the boat looks great. larry
     
  19. Sep 5, 2012 #19

    robcas631

    robcas631

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    That's cool!
     
  20. Sep 5, 2012 #20

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

    Tony Bird

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    Hi,

    Next the boiler and flame guard where made.

    Regards Tony.

    007 PW Boiler flattening tube LR.jpg

    009 PW Boiler 2nd anealing LR.jpg

    010 PW Boiler marking out LR.jpg

    014 PW Boiler boring  LR.jpg

    017 PW boiler tube fitted  LR.jpg

    020 PW Boiler raising tube LR.jpg

    021 PW Boiler dry assembly LR.jpg

    024 PW Boiler end soldered LR.jpg

    031 PW Boiler testing LR.jpg

    033 PW Boiler out of pickle LR.jpg

    037 PW Boiler bending guard LR.jpg

    042 PW Boiler in guard LR.jpg

    043 PW Boiler in hull LR.jpg

    048 PW Boiler first use LR.jpg
     
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