Stanley Style Steamer

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STANLEY STEAMER STYLE BUGGY



Hi Team, I was inspired some time ago by a Richard Smith designed and built “Educator” Buggy. The idea was to have education students produce a very low cost buggy to acquire mechanical skills, so the “Educator” was born. There was minimal instruction in providing a steam driven motor, but the monotube flash steam was produced by many windings of mostly ¼ inch OD copper tubing, over 200 feet in length, fired by petrol burner.

I have welded a 6 feet x 3 foot 6in box steel 1 inch framing, clad by 5/8 inch plywood, with a molded bonnet and boot lids, running on 20 inch BMX wheels, and fits nicely on a standard 6 x4 trailer It is running with mobility scooter electric motor and controller, with tiller steering, but performance is pathetic, so I aspire to have it running on steam. To that end I have fabricated a 2 cylinder steam engine, double acting 2 inch bore, 3 inch stroke, with Stephenson valve gear, similar to the small Stanley steam engine. Although I have a plan for the Smith style monotube steam generator, I have a quantity of copper tube available of varying profiles, and hope that one of you will be able to provide a design sufficient to propel the buggy at say 20 miles per hour. The firing will be by propane burner. The copper tube profiles I have on hand are approximately as follows.

100 feet of 3/8 inch OD
33 feet of 5/16 inch OD
Owen Buggy 2.jpg
IMG_1861.JPG
IMG_1862.JPG

13 feet of 1/4 inch OD
13 feet of 3/16 inch OD

I will be eternally grateful if you can ply me with helpful instructions with this task, hopefully with suggestions on water pressure, and controls to regulate the propane use etc as I have no knowledge of such things. I will try and include pictures of the buggy and motor. Thanks, Owen.
 

taterfarmer

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that motor you made turned out fantastic , very well done.
regarding the monotube boiler, i don't have much advice yet. I'm in the process of experimenting with different designs myself. I've made a hodgepodge copy of a 69 steam chevelle and E 20 doble steam flash boiler.
I can say that gravity feed water introduction into the boilers definitely didn't work ,but once i pressurized the water got very satisfactory results. My next step is looking for some kind of machanicle water pump to feed the boiler as needed
btw you can look up videos and cross section photos of the 2 boilers i named on youtube and Google
 
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Hi taterfarmer, thanks for your input. You mention 2 boilers you made, how do I find them? Are they monotube? I'd be keen to see them. Thanks, Owen.
 

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Aha! - a new thread! Hello Taterfarmer. I belong to the "City of Sunderland Model Engineering society" - (They wanted a short name - and the committee came up with this!).
There was a guy about 5 or 10 years ago made a steam car - a lot like Stanleyhopeful's car - and decided on steam to avoid a lot of Regulations about infernal combustion engined cars....
He used a central heating system fuel oil burner - driven by a fuel pump and 12V electrics - with central heating controls coupled to the boiler - which was a multi-tube boiler same as a half-sized Stanley Steam car: The Stanley boiler is about 120 vertical flue tubes in a simple drum of a boiler. His burner went beneath - with a flue out of the top. Above the boiler was a feedwater heater, and (possibly beneath? - in the fire?) he also had a superheater. Water-pump was a central heating pump for 12V. The steam engine had a donkey engine to drive a car alternator - to re-charge the 12V battery. He used central heating controls to automatically re-light the burner as required and it used proprietary pressure sensors to trigger when to fire the boiler and when the steam pressure was near NWP - when the burner was turned off. (maybe a pilot setting?) So when he drove around - his car was a small 2 seater about the size of Stanleyhopeful's - the burner seemed to cut-in and off at random. But obviously in demand for steam.
While the Stanley boiler was a lot of work to make, they are reputed to be long lasting and trouble free... so long as normal "locomotive" boiler maintenance is conducted.
A monotube boiler is much simpler... but not sure of designs...
K2
 

xtal_01

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WOW ... looks awesome!

I an very interested in the idea of a flash boiler. A few years ago I "rescued" a 7 hp vertical steam engine (it came from Louisiana where it once powered a sugar cane mill). I got the engine to turn freely and have rebuilt the governor ... now I need steam. The cost of a new certified boiler is out of my budget. I have been contemplating a flash boiler. When the new shop is finished and it is time to build one, I will have to pick the brains for everyone here.

I would like to hook it up to a piece of line shaft (I have a few pieces here) and maybe power a small lathe, drill or something.

steam5.jpg
 

Steamchick

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Not sure if this image will attach?
1608631525692.png
- This is the steam car with twin cylinder engine, (reversible) and the Stanley water-tube design of boiler I described above. Road registered, (MOT tested) and good for about 20mph I think?
 

rmd55

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Jay Leno when he restored his Doble flash boiler he had to use some rather exotic materials to insulate the fire box. the Doble uses gas, petrol, for fuel. The same insulation is used on jet engine burner cans. I usta make the raw material for it. It's a plasma sprayed coating of ZrO/CaO Calcium Oxide stabilized Zirconia.
Richard
 

xtal_01

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Jay Leno when he restored his Doble flash boiler he had to use some rather exotic materials to insulate the fire box. the Doble uses gas, petrol, for fuel. The same insulation is used on jet engine burner cans. I usta make the raw material for it. It's a plasma sprayed coating of ZrO/CaO Calcium Oxide stabilized Zirconia.
Richard
I watched that episode ... could not wonder how much money that coating cost. Also, although I am sure is is 10 times better than what was there originally, do you really need to go that exotic? How did the original vehicle work without it?

Mike
 

rmd55

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I watched that episode ... could not wonder how much money that coating cost. Also, although I am sure is is 10 times better than what was there originally, do you really need to go that exotic? How did the original vehicle work without it?

Mike
The powder we sold went for about $12.50/lb back in the late 80's early 90's some companies sold it for twice that. It's a multi layer processes. A metallic bond coat has to be applied first then sometimes an intermediate layer of of the bond coat material blended with the ceramic and finally a pure coat of ceramic. I would be surprised if it cost $100/sqin.
Richard
 

xtal_01

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$100 per sq inch !!!!!!!!!!!!! OUCH!

The one thing I have going for me is that I plan to use the flash boiler in a stationary setting ... weight is no problem. I can make this as heavy as I want.

Thanks .... Mike
 

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Xtal, If in a stationary application, is space a problem? On my model boilers (typically 3" diameter) I build up a composite insulation about a half inch thick (so overall diameter is about 4") and can hold the assembled boiler in bare hands when at steam pressure! It is warm, maybe 40 or 50 deg.C - but not too hot to touch. This avoids "cooking" the fibreglass hulls of boats, etc. My insulation strategy is simply the following: Wrap the boiler in Aluminium foil so the shiny side is facing out: Wrap this in insulation (I use corrugated cardboard) that will take the heat but is 97% air... then wrap in a sheet of paper followed by aluminium foil with shiny side facing inwards. Then a Balsa wood exterior cladding. The foil to foil layer reduces the Radiant losses to around 10%, and the balsa reduces the conductive losses to 20% of what is left after the radiant losses have been reduced. And the Balsa makes a wood surface I can dye and varnish so it looks good. Scale that up to say 3" overall thickness, maybe using an inch of loft insulation glass fibre wool between the foil layers, and you should reduce losses to just a few percent overall? If you don't stop the Radiant energy, you'll still be losing LOTS of heat that is simply shining through the other insulation. Whatever you do, please put a "thermos" barrier of 2 or 3 separated shiny layers (starting at the boiler surface - the hottest point) to stop the radiant before you stop the conducted heat. It is simple science that works.
K2
 

xtal_01

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Xtal, If in a stationary application, is space a problem? On my model boilers (typically 3" diameter) I build up a composite insulation about a half inch thick (so overall diameter is about 4") and can hold the assembled boiler in bare hands when at steam pressure! It is warm, maybe 40 or 50 deg.C - but not too hot to touch. This avoids "cooking" the fibreglass hulls of boats, etc. My insulation strategy is simply the following: Wrap the boiler in Aluminium foil so the shiny side is facing out: Wrap this in insulation (I use corrugated cardboard) that will take the heat but is 97% air... then wrap in a sheet of paper followed by aluminium foil with shiny side facing inwards. Then a Balsa wood exterior cladding. The foil to foil layer reduces the Radiant losses to around 10%, and the balsa reduces the conductive losses to 20% of what is left after the radiant losses have been reduced. And the Balsa makes a wood surface I can dye and varnish so it looks good. Scale that up to say 3" overall thickness, maybe using an inch of loft insulation glass fibre wool between the foil layers, and you should reduce losses to just a few percent overall? If you don't stop the Radiant energy, you'll still be losing LOTS of heat that is simply shining through the other insulation. Whatever you do, please put a "thermos" barrier of 2 or 3 separated shiny layers (starting at the boiler surface - the hottest point) to stop the radiant before you stop the conducted heat. It is simple science that works.
K2
WOW ... awesome! No, space is not problem. I just could not afford a "standard" boiler that is why I was looking at a flash boiler. You insulation procedure seems fantastic ... looks like you put a lot of great thinking into it.

Thanks!
 

bmac2

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For insolating the boiler I’d use refractory ceramic wool. I used it in my latest aluminum furnace build and the insulating capability is unbelievable. I have two layers of 1” between the hot face and the body of the furnace and at melting temperatures the outside gets hot, but you won’t burn your hand on it. The local ceramic shop (they use it in kilns) sells the 1”think, 24” wide, 2600F (1425c) blanket at $15.00 a foot. You can also find it at fireplace/wood stove shops.
 

HMEL

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One of the issues not discussed is the quality of water or the solids it contains. A flash boiler is very sensitive to the water quality because it has no way to blow down. In a fire tube boiler or a watertube with drum provisions are made to blow down the concentrate water with blowdown drains. Flash boilers will scale unless very soft water is used. This can be costly if not inconvenient. It is true they can be made lighter but the construction requires considerable thought to the feedpump design and water resivoir and fuel management. They are also prone to localized overheating. Most look at flash boilers as safer because they dont carry the energy in a contained drum. I look at them as a potential steam generator ready to scald you if a tube breaks open. They wont naturally shut down cause they have a leak. Not really a fan of flash boilers unless they are kept relatively small. But steam cleanners or steam jennies are built upon the same principle and I would look closely at their design for examples of how its done.
 

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Back to insulation. The physics says that at higher temperatures the radiant losses will exceed the conductive losses. Many don't understand the physics and can waste heat despite excellent conductive insulation -like the ceramic wool mentioned. But when people have a shiny steel casing, they are half-way to a "thermos" insulation. Add a "Thermos barrier", and you may be able to touch the outside easier than your coffee cup! It will save you kilowatts of heat! Just think how the sun heats us, and how effective is a sun shade? That is radiant heat in action.
K2
 

goldstar31

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Thanks Ken. I recall a demonstration of boiling water with a reflector in the French Alps.
Mind you it was at 1800 metres( Les Arcs 1800)-- which was never mentioned;).
So WE wet back and did the potatoes in one of these little Prestige Alpine pressure cookers which were expressly desiged for the first successful Everest. Expedition in 1953.
How time flies!
Today, one of my friends is still charging her hybrid car down in the wilds of almost frozen Kent, England. Or so she says.
 

Steamchick

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Hi Norman. My Grandmother had a Prestige pressure cooker I thought dated from the 1930s... and square saucepans in cast aluminium that I thought dated much earlier, when Aluminium was the "New" metal for cooking and a real luxury item!
But that is family folklaw so I may be wrong?
Thee were battery electric lorry's in London long before infernal combustion engines. The clean solution compared to the tons of horse dung polluting the streets, from the 1 horsepower Hackneys, up to 8 horsepower heavy duty carters.
So is there a problem with charging a hybrid? Wet road fuel commands a high tax, but electricity is low taxed. Makes it cheaper for the consumer, at the expense of all us "regular" tax payers who can't afford a new motor carraige. But the government will soon tax "Road-use electricity" when they choose....
Oh, and there was snow on the ground in Sunderland overnight with sub-zero temps. Now thawed. What is special in Kent? The French traffic jam? We have blackberry jam. Much nicer!
K2
 

Steamchick

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Hi again Norman. Just remembered - I think you use a battery electric vehicle? So already converted to the Victorian clean transport I think?
But don't deride boilermakers, as without them we would be short of amps... to charge the battery vehicles.
MERRY CHRISTMAS! May your volts always give you the Amps you want!
Power to the button!

K2
 

goldstar31

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Hi Ken
There was +2 and frost at 9.30 or so when I sort of emerged! I've cystitis- the broken glass disease and was craving for warmth!!!!! So I have no idea but according to the weather wonders, tomorrow is a time for Santa to wear croutons- sorry typo-- crampons:)

Aluminium utensils- pre-war? No idea save to recalling somewhere from a dusty corner that whatever they were were BIG. Of course, they disappeared in a re-cycling scheme to making them in Spitfires.
I do recall the iron railings being cut off to go into the Consett blast furnaces alog with a WW1 tank from Consett's Civic Park.
The only aluminium came from a HE111K with a load of incendiaries and 7 HE's and one which created much childish comment by killing an inquisitive cow.
So put me in the 'vague' recollection category. I do recall aluminium hot water bottle which leaked and were filled with sand and heated in the coal fired oven .
From all of this, I guess that factual evidence is as scarce as rocking horse manure and hen's teeth.
As for my reference to a certain lady Bromley in Kent, might I reply in the words of the great American Humorist, O Henry, and give you an evasive answer?
mr Henry said his contiuallystressed secretary "what is an evasive answer?' '

Oh tell him to **** off

Oh and

Merry Christmas!
 

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