Penbwl a Welsh tadpole

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Tony Bird

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Hi,

A water line has been added and the transfers varnished over so Polly Wog, Penbwl or Tadpole call her what you wish is now completely finished and ready to go! Well when the weed dies back in the local lake it can be tried out.

It has been an interesting build, I think it is heavier than the Boucher commercial version with its brass cylinders, flywheel, gear box and R/C equipement against the Bouchers aluminuim bits and no R/C. The article in Popular Mechanics promised 6mph for nearly a mile which means that it should only run for 9/10 minutes, we shall see, in the Boucher catalogue a run of 20 minutes (nearly 2 miles?) is claimed for their product. A new deeper tray for the Sterno has been made, if it doesn't run long enough I might fit a ceramic burner. If I do get it to the lake I will try and post a video of her performance.

Regards Tony.

Polly Wog ready to go LR.jpg
 

Tony Bird

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Hi,

Polly Wog’s first Sailing.
Thursday 4th.October 2012.

We enjoyed the two weeks holiday meeting friends andplaying trains on the flat lands of the Netherlands but it is nice to get backto the hills and mountains of Wales.

Polly Wog was taken away with us in the trailer along with the railway layout, the intention being to give her her first sailwhile in the Netherlands. Alas thoughthere was certainly enough water and the weather was fine the high winds precluded any chance any of Polly Wog taking to the water. We left the Netherlands and spent the last few days away travelling through Belgium to the ferry that would take us home from France. So it was getting to look if Polly Wog wasn’t going to get her first sailing in mainland Europe just a1000-mile trip in a trailer! We arrived with our camper van along with its trailer and camped on the dockside in Calais ready for an early morning crossing to Dover in the next day.

While playing trains in the Netherlands our friends Elinor and Nick who after a holiday of some weeks in the Hartz Mountains of Germany came to help run our railway on their way home joined us. They were with us camping on the dockside before returning home to the UK via the tunnel. While walking on the front in Calais Nick and I passed a children’samusement park at the top of the beach. The park looked closed for the winter but a large portable pool was still full of water!

So Polly Wog was removed from the trailer R/Cbatteries fitted, her engine oiler up, fuel tray filled with Sterno and with water in her boiler she was taken to the pool. The pool was ideal its high sides protecting the water from very highwinds. First a bit of a problem the gas lighterwas empty! So a Tabac to get some form of ignition had to be found.

Having fired up the Sterno dispite cold high winds Polly Wog was soon making steam and was placed in the water.

How did she perform? Well she is quite fast giving her shape and weight. Alas the R/C rudder has very little control. The first very short video shows her first run in open water. The large propeller torque and a flat bottom turned her with the rudder in line with the hull, so some time was spent off setting the rudder to compensate for this. With the rudder off set she travelled in a straight line but with still not a lot of control. The second short video shows the tuning process, retrospectively it might be better to off set the propeller rather than the rudder to compensate for the torque of the propeller. The third video shows Nick in control? By now the Sterno is getting low and speed much reduced. It was getting cold and twilight was setting in and a meal and drink was needed so Polly Wog will have to wait for a larger rudder to be fitted before her next try in water. All in all I’m quite happy with Polly Wog's performance possibly not as fast as the 6mph claimed but fast enough.

Regards Tony

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The_Paso_Kid

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Good Job on the boat Tony. My grandfather came across that same article many years ago and made a few efforts at building that outboard steam engine, with modifications, of course. Instead of building the lower unit he intended on using the lower unit from a small gas model outboard engine. Unfortunately the first engine he made he used the same bore size as the plans and the engine could not generate the power necessary to overcome the friction on the cable drive in that lower unit. So he built another with a larger bore size. We eventually built a third outboard engine using a single cylinder and piston type valve. See photos.

IMG_1893.jpg


IMG_1894.jpg


IMG_1898.jpg
 

Tony Bird

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Hi,

Good Job on the boat Tony. My grandfather came across that same article many years ago and made a few efforts at building that outboard steam engine, with modifications, of course. Instead of building the lower unit he intended on using the lower unit from a small gas model outboard engine. Unfortunately the first engine he made he used the same bore size as the plans and the engine could not generate the power necessary to overcome the friction on the cable drive in that lower unit. So he built another with a larger bore size. We eventually built a third outboard engine using a single cylinder and piston type valve. See photos.

Interesting ideas. I particularly like the piston valve one.

Regards Tony.
 

Tony Bird

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Hi,

Today I ran Polly Wog to see how long and fast she who go the results were 1.125 mph for twenty five minutes.

A video at:


Regards Tony.
 

bazmak

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Metal workmanship is top class as usual Tony and it seems so is your woodworking skills
Photographic details and descriptive thread are also excerlent as usual.Love following your threads
Please keep it up.As a matter of interest what is the overall length of Tadpole
 

Cymro77

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Tony,
Pretty darned cool. You are quite the craftsman, your horologic skills are showing. You have such great fun with your skills! Glad to see you on HMEM again.
 

Tony Bird

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Hi George,

I like your engine, a much better finish than mine. The propeller looks smaller than the 2" fitted to mine does it perform well in water?

Regards Tony.
 

gmaf

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Thanks,Tony
Haven't run mine in water yet. I need to build a boat! It runs fine except for some vibration. Haven't figured out how to balance the flywheel yet.
Does yours vibrate much?
George
 

Rocket

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Hi Tony, Love the Tadpole. Great work on the engine. Thank you for showing us your work. Rocket
 

Tony Bird

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Thanks,Tony
Haven't run mine in water yet. I need to build a boat! It runs fine except for some vibration. Haven't figured out how to balance the flywheel yet.
Does yours vibrate much?

Hi George,
No real vibration as you can see in the video when running free. You will probably find that when it is in water and running a lot slower the vibration will disappear. It might be that your cylinders and piston are heavier than mine maybe a hollow piston and aluminium big ends make a difference?
Regards Tony
George
 

werowance

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very very nice. it looks like the engine/drive could be adapted to a servo to be steering mechanisim eliminating the need for a rudder? would that be possible
 

Tony Bird

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Hi,

Very very nice. it looks like the engine/drive could be adapted to a servo to be steering mechanism eliminating the need for a rudder? Would that be possible?

Yes but only before the engine was built. It would be too difficult to modify the existing engine.

Regards Tony.
 

Ed

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Good Job on the boat Tony. My grandfather came across that same article many years ago and made a few efforts at building that outboard steam engine, with modifications, of course. Instead of building the lower unit he intended on using the lower unit from a small gas model outboard engine. Unfortunately the first engine he made he used the same bore size as the plans and the engine could not generate the power necessary to overcome the friction on the cable drive in that lower unit. So he built another with a larger bore size. We eventually built a third outboard engine using a single cylinder and piston type valve. See photos.

View attachment 85504

View attachment 85505

View attachment 85506
Where did you get the gears? I'm at the point where I need the gears to go no with my build. Thank you Ed
 

Ed

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I'm still looking for gears. I started to make them.Whats the number of teeth are on the gears?
 

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