Stuart triple - types of metals to get

Discussion in 'Engines From Castings' started by rhankey, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Feb 21, 2011 #1

    rhankey

    rhankey

    rhankey

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    29
    Hi,

    I need some help in choosing the right types of metals to obtain for a Stuart Triple Expansion engine that I am just about to start making.

    First some background on me as I am new here.

    I am just getting my home hobby metal shop going. I have done some metal working 30 years ago, but worked more in wood since then, so I have much to relearn. After searching for roughly 6 months, I was able to get my hands on a nice used Hardinge HLV lathe and building up the tooling for it. I am still on the lookout for a vertical mill.

    My first real project will be a Stuart Triple Expansion for which I have the castings, but I am currently making a couple very simple Stuart Oscillators to make sure I am familiar with the new to me lathe, reacquaint myself with machining metal, and to make sure I can achieve the high quality and precision I wish to achieve when I dig into the triple. The HLV is a way nicer and more sophisticated lathe than the tired South Bend’s and larger tool room lathes I’ve previously used, and I am very impressed with how easily the HLV is allowing me to achieve very nice cut quality and equally good precision. I don't care how long it takes me to make the triple, but the goal is to do a very good job of it. The triple is being built as a high quality and attractive show piece which I intend to run, but realistically it will probably not see a whole lot of use.

    Enough with the quick background.

    I need help/suggestions on what types of “mild steel”, “stainless steel”, and “silver steel” I should be getting.

    The mild steel parts include the crank shaft, vertical columns, reversing gear. Most of these pars require a fair bit of machining. It kind of looks like 1018 would be a good pick for most parts, and perhaps 1144 for the crankshaft. Is this reasonable, or should I be using very different alloys?

    The stainless steel is for the valve and piston rods, for which little machining appears to be required. I don’t have a lubrication system and have not machined stainless before, so I’m a little afraid of the unknown. What types should I be looking at?

    The “silver steel” is for the reverse shaft and taper pins. I am not sure what the North American equivalent is for silver steel. The silver steel parts don’t seem to require much machining.

    I think I am ok in picking out the required brass and phosphor bronze, and have had experience cutting bronze.

    I welcome any suggestions you can provide, and I promise to provide some pictures along the way, though it might be spread out over a bunch of time.

    Thank you

     
  2. Feb 21, 2011 #2

    GWRdriver

    GWRdriver

    GWRdriver

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    715
    Likes Received:
    85
    Hello hankey,
    The Triple is an ambitious first project, good luck with it. The first thing to say is if you are in the USA, our equivalent of "silver steel" is drill rod. Simply substitute drill rod wherever silver steel is called for. The water, air, or oil hardening variety all machine about the same.

    For built-up crankshafts my preference is for drill rod or ground stainless steel for the main shaft and throw journals, and whatever steel I have scraps of for the throws. As for mild steel, 12L14 is a leaded free-machining alloy and gives a batter finish than 1018 and is popular for that reason. The general preference is for either 303 or 304 stainless, I can't remember which, 304 I think and if I want steel parts to stay bright without oiling them I substitute SS for mild steel. SS, especially a leaded free-cutting SS, can be machined just like mild steel, with or without cutting lubicants, your choice. Hope this helps.
     
  3. Feb 22, 2011 #3

    rhankey

    rhankey

    rhankey

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    29
    Thank you Harry for you suggestions. I am in North America. And yes, I appreciate I am taking on a very ambitious first project, especially given that I want to build the engine to a high standard.

    What would your recommendation be for a crankshaft made in one piece? I would prefer to avoid the built-up method. I will most likely add the counter weights as separate pieces, per the plans, but am still tossing around thoughts of machining the counter weights as part of the crankshaft, and probably won't make a final call until I see how it is working out. I appreciate a built-up crankshaft might be easier for a shaft that is roughly 9" long by 3/8" diameter and with 3 throws.

    I will investigate a lead free SS and 303 & 304 SS, for if SS is as easy to machine as mild steel without lubricants, then that is an easy decision to make given I want the piece to have a bright finish and not be a rust magnet.
     
  4. Feb 22, 2011 #4

    GWRdriver

    GWRdriver

    GWRdriver

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    715
    Likes Received:
    85
    hankey,
    I don't know the latest and greatest of steels metalurgy but for what it is (a model, not intended for hard work) you could actually use just about anything. But one important factor will be to select something which will have minimal distortion when it's machined - and that would NOT be a cold rolled. Although I'm not an automotive guy years ago (and maybe still) competition crankshafts were turned from 4140, and no doubt there was a good reason for that, so that might be one suggestion. I'll bet someone on the board is far more up to date on this than I am and will have a suggestion.
     
  5. Feb 22, 2011 #5

    kvom

    kvom

    kvom

    Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,083
    Likes Received:
    583
    For turning 303 and 304L are both fine, but 304 can be quite difficult to mill. 303 would be the best choice all around. 304 is also very hard on bandsaw blades.
     
  6. Feb 22, 2011 #6

    steamer

    steamer

    steamer

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    5,406
    Likes Received:
    26
    What KVOM said! 304 is UGLY......303 is fun....
    I think it's the nickel content, but I'm not sure.
    Dave
     
  7. Feb 22, 2011 #7

    steamer

    steamer

    steamer

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    5,406
    Likes Received:
    26
    If it were me, and I wanted a strong crank, I might go for 1144SP. If your concerned about rust though, 303 would be just fine.

    I think 1144sp machines better and has fabulous properties....like nearly 100000 psi tensile,but is free machining.

    Dave

    PS the crank on my 12" to the foot boat engine is 303 SS.
     
  8. Feb 22, 2011 #8

    rhankey

    rhankey

    rhankey

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    29
    Thanks to all. It sounds like I should use 303 SS for all the mild steel and SS needs, including the one piece crank shaft. Most of these parts will need as much milling as turning, whihc on that count would seem to rule out 304 based on what you guys describe. I will stck with the drill rod for the reversing shaft and taper pins, as I presume they specd that to avoid it twisting at all. I figure I will turn the crank down in stages over a span of a month in the event the material I use has any unequal stresses.

    Once again thank you all, and I'll try to provide some progress pictures along the way but I will be taking this project slowly.
     
  9. Feb 22, 2011 #9

    Bill Gruby

    Bill Gruby

    Bill Gruby

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    2
    What everyone else has said especially on the 304 Stainless. Give it a wide berth. It is nasty stuff.

    "Bill Gruby"
     
  10. Feb 22, 2011 #10

    GWRdriver

    GWRdriver

    GWRdriver

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    715
    Likes Received:
    85
    hankey,
    IMHO specifying hardened (or hardenable) pins is more a tip of the hat to tradiiton than actual need. The shear forces present in the engine certainly wouldn't be great enough to require that. I like pinned and cottered and keyed connections, these were the oldest traditional way of making connections, and something you might look into is that the clockmaking world uses pinned connections so small tapered pins and reamers will be available from clockmakers suppliers.
     
  11. Feb 22, 2011 #11

    mklotz

    mklotz

    mklotz

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,039
    Likes Received:
    17
    As I remember, the mnemonic goes like this...

    304, she's a whore,
    303, she's for me.
     
  12. Feb 22, 2011 #12

    rhankey

    rhankey

    rhankey

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    29
    Funny you mention the pinned, cottered and keyed connections.

    Stuart's plans show using grub screws to lock the eccentrics and the flywheel to the crank. I have already decided to deviate from the plan in this regard and use a keyway for the flywheel, as that would seem a much more appropriate interface for the little extra effort. I will likely use a keyway for two of the two eccentrics that can be slid on, and tossing around a couple thoughts for the third eccentric that fits between crank throws. I will just need to be very sure I have the valve timing nailed down before I broach the eccentrics. I hadn’t considered the clock making world as a possible source of smaller sized broaches or tapered reams. Makes great sense. I'm actually somewhat surprised they would specify grub screws on a kit that is clearly aimed at a more advanced machinist.

     
  13. Feb 22, 2011 #13

    GWRdriver

    GWRdriver

    GWRdriver

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    715
    Likes Received:
    85
    Not to detract from their worth as model projects, most of the Stuart engines aren't scale models of anything in particular and poetic license has been taken for utility and simplicity's sake but that doesn't prevent us embellishing and complicating as we see fit. There was a very interesting set of articles published some years ago in Model Engineer magazine on modifying the bones and details of model engines so to make them more faithful to prototypical practice. I'll see if I can find the reference. Then there is the "discussion", running some 40 years now, on which goes on first, the main nut of the jamb nut. Most people don't really care, and I probably count myself in that group.
    I visited a clock restorer's shop many years ago and noted that most of the components including wheels, shafts, pinions, stanchions, etc, on an ancient Seth Thomas grandfather clock works were pinned or cottered rather than screwed and that stuck with me. Later in life when I began studying the details of older engines, beam engines in particular, I recognized immediately that they too were usually held together by pins and cotters and wedges rather than nuts and bolts.
     
  14. Feb 22, 2011 #14

    GWRdriver

    GWRdriver

    GWRdriver

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    715
    Likes Received:
    85
    And with that The Discussion rages on . . . . . ;D
     
  15. Feb 25, 2011 #15

    ZAPJACK

    ZAPJACK

    ZAPJACK

    Member Project of the Month Winner

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    359
    Congratulations, great project. :bow: :bow: :bow:
    to inform you, I build it a couple of year ago. 315 hours of works, but nice engine and run well!!

    Image_HSM [800x600].jpg
     
  16. Sep 12, 2011 #16

    rhankey

    rhankey

    rhankey

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    29
    Hi All,

    I just wanted to post a follow up now that I've made some progress with the Stuart Triple Expansion. As I mentioned previously, this is my first metal working project – a rather ambitious one at that. I wish to thank all for the recommendation to use 303 SS.

    I have completed the 8 vertical columns (started with easy parts to get used to the metal), then moved directly onto probably one of the most difficult parts; the crank shaft which I completed yesterday. The finished crankshaft is 11" long shaft (for grins I made mine about 2" longer than specified) x 3/8" diameter with three throws which I chose to make from a single piece of 1.5” diameter bar stock (rather than trying to make a built up shaft). The crankshaft came out perfectly, is dead straight and looks wonderful with a mirror like finish. I couldn't imagine having tried to make this crankshaft if I was also dealing with a more challenging metal. Once I've made and mounted the counter weights, which I'm going to make out of SS too (rather than using the supplied cast iron blanks), I feel like I'll have the courage/confidence to take on the sole plate and cylinder heads for which there are also an abundance of critical measurements that I need to nail in order for everything to align properly. This has been a lot of fun so far.

    Again, thanks for the metal recommendations.

    I know I’ll have more questions in the coming many months as I carry on with the build.

     
  17. Sep 14, 2011 #17

    Swede

    Swede

    Swede

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    9
    I think you are telling tall tales... post a picture to PROVE that you have produced this wonderful crank from 1.5" solid. ;D
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    (Of course we believe you, we are just picture and video junkies!) :p Seriously, if you have a cheap digital camera that you can knock about the shop, you will be glad in the future that you took some images along the way.
     
  18. Sep 16, 2011 #18

    rhankey

    rhankey

    rhankey

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    29
    I understand - pictures, or it didn't happen...

    I've not dealt with uploading pictures before to this site, and my camera lens lacks a macro setting, so what is in focus appears to have blemishes that aren't in the real crankshaft.

    IMG_8890 - small.jpg
     
  19. Sep 16, 2011 #19

    Groomengineering

    Groomengineering

    Groomengineering

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    3
    Nice looking parts, and the pic is fine. Thm:

    Cheers

    jeff
     
  20. Sep 16, 2011 #20

    dalem9

    dalem9

    dalem9

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    138
    HI great looking crank .Kozo tells how to do this too . I've been going to try it. Agian great job! Dale
     

Share This Page