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1st Class Pirate
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Hello everybody,
Thanks for the comments!
Took a little time today and worked on the pirate's railtruck. Since the throttle valve is finished I decided it was time to put he boiler together and test it. The first picture is of the the sight glass mounted to the boiler.

I did not use any sealer on the threaded fittings yet since I am not sure that this is the final configuration of things. Next I soldered up a siphon for the gauge.

Then I installed the "Jim Sanders" safety valve and goodall valve. Now it was time to see how the burner would work. The hole in the bed under the burner did not supply enough air for the burner so I decided to add a series of vents around the shroud under the boiler. Since I was sort of in the dark about what this burner would need, I started with seven 1/16th inch holes then increased them to 1/8 then 3/16 and finally 1/4 inch. At this point the burner seemed to be burning very clean and hot.

So I filled the boiler and lit her up. Steam came up in about 3 minutes and climbed to 35lbs and the safety released and kept her at 35lbs. A little seep on several of the threaded fittings, but the boiler was keeping up enough to regularly blow the safety.So I cracked the throttle valve and bled steam off into the air(no running gear assembled yet). And the boiler kept the pressure up with no problem. How nice it is when your first boiler makes steam!
Time to assemble the cylinders and valves, build some linkage and a lubricator and see if the boiler will keep up with two stock Ruby cylinders. Much more to come!
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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1st Class Pirate
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Well I got some time to work on the truck. I assembled the cylinders and valves and started working on the reverse linkage and the shifter. (I figure that "trucks" don't have Johnson bars, so I built a shifter.) Since I want to try and have some cargo space in the bed of the truck, I wanted the shifter to be mounted on the side of the bed. First I built the linkage to connect to the reverser valve.

I know this is hard to see, but the next time I take the bed off the chassis I will post a picture with no cylinders and drivers in the way.
Next I built the shifter into the side of the bed.

Then to make sure everything was working properly I ran an air line to the reverser and tested the running gear.

My next project will be modifying the leftover Ruby lubricator and plumbing the steam line. Then I can test the boiler with the cylinders and see if it is big enough. If that goes well, I will build a fair size fuel tank to fit under the back edge of the bed.
More to come!
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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1st Class Pirate
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Hello all!
Worked over the original Ruby lubricator today. The first thing I did was to unsolder the old steam tube and cut a length of 1/8 inch copper long enough to go from boiler to reverser. I drilled a new smaller hole for the steam/oil transfer. The old tube had a .023 inch hole, the smallest drill I had is .019 so that's what I used. Here is a picture of the old lubricator body with the tube removed, and the cut out cleaned up for the new tube.

Next I turned a small shut-off valve to make a lower drain on the lubricator. In the picture from top to bottom; The old body with a hole to mount the valve at the bottom. The body of the valve. (drilled for drain tube) A short length of copper for the drain. The valve needle. (threaded 8-32) The longer piece of 1/8 inch copper (steam line) is not picture here.

Next I soldered all the connections and cleaned everything up.

Next I fitted the inlet tube to the boiler throttle valve and soldered on a 1/4-40 connector, and installed the lubricator.

That's it for tonight, my only niece is getting married tomorrow and I need to get a few hours sleep for the week. Next task will be to route the outlet tube to the reverser valve and solder on a connector. Then I will jury rig the stock Ruby fuel tank to test everything. Lots more to come!

redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Hi Howard,
I don't plan things at all so I made this drawing "after the fact". I hope this is enough to work from. I used 3/16 inch round for the needle, and 5/16 inch hex stock for the body. Size of components was chosen for practical reasons. I figured that 8-32 was about as small as would be strong enough in brass. So the 2.8MM end of the needle was as large as would clear the 8-32 die. Since I am a jeweler my only accurate caliper is metric, and I used it to lay out the lengths while I was turning the needle. So there are mixed measurements galore. When I made this I did not think I would be trying to duplicate it or I may have drawn a plan first, but probably not. If you need more info let me know. The "point on the needle was left fairly blunt to be more durable as this is a shut-off only valve.
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956

 

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1st Class Pirate
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Hi Howard,
No sweat, I am sure I will be glad to have the drawing later as well. And THIS is what these forums are about - sharing and helping each other.
Larry

Well!

Got several loose ends tied up and ran a steam test on everything this weekend. Lots of small problems that were worked out, and a successful BUT disappointing first steam. Everything worked as it should, but the boiler does seem to be too small or not efficient enough to maintain pressure with the two Ruby cylinders. This was somewhat expected from several long "chats" with Larry Herget about his experiences with similar boilers. I decided early in the process that I would proceed as if I knew it would work because the entire truck project is an education for me. Larry suggested a couple of "remedies" that might help, and I will probably try them. This may slow progress down a bit but THAT'S LIFE ! So my next post may be slow in appearing. But the truck will be made functional one way or another, and WILL be at Diamondhead 09 !
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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Larry,
I am not sure with the ruby, But if you do not need full power can't you just adjust the valve cutoff to save steam? That is if you will not be pulling much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Hey Bill,
If you are talking about cutting back on the steam valve, it is still not enough to overcome the bad match-up of boiler and cylinders. I am REAL new to this hobby and while I am enjoying it , I am doing a lot of learning by making mistakes. Where I erred was that assuming that the volume of different types of boilers made them comparable in output. This boiler size was based on the volume of water in the Ruby's original boiler. But it turns out that a single flue vertical boiler is not nearly as efficient as a single flue horizontal boiler. So what I am looking at now is an engine combo that can't hold a head of steam at the slowest speed I can make it run. I am going to try a couple of things before I make major changes, but I am afraid that the combination is just too far off to work well.
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
As Dwight would say;
HEHEHE What a difference a day can make!
Did not do any finish work or even smoothing of corners, but today I "temped" up an "outside flue" on the boiler. This was from a suggestion from Larry Herget about improving efficiency of vertical boilers. Still needs work but I needed to know if it would make a difference. Here is a picture of the top of the boiler. Basically it's a wrapper that is spaced out from the boiler to let the burner heat the outside of the boiler as well as the flue.

Then I rigged a Ruby fuel tank to the truck bed with some clamps.

And took her outside and fired her off. Ran a whole tank of fuel through while she ran around in little circles. I added water through the goodall once. Kept a fair head of steam (20-25 lbs) without any problem. Maybe, just maybe this will work out!

redbeard AKA Larry Newman
 

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Posted By redbeard on 09/02/2008 8:53 PM
As Dwight would say;
Basically it's a wrapper that is spaced out from the boiler to let the burner heat the outside of the boiler as well as the flue.

redbeard AKA Larry Newman




Well, just think what will happen if you insulate that outside wrapper and even keep more heat surrounding your boiler. Nice job, Larry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Hey Howard,
Yes that is part of the finishing plan for the wrapper/flue. Also will add a spiral flue retarder to "grab" a little more heat from the fire. Then maybe I can get her to steam well enough to move on to the rest of construction. I have a few "pain" problems to deal with as well. Both of the brass linkages that thread into the valve pistons are undersized on the threads, so I think I have to make new ones. This means getting tap and die for whatever metric size they are. The Ruby book just calls them "M2", I don't know if there is only one 2mm metric thread. Any help out there?
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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Larry,

Common M2 thread size on our engines is 2mm x 0.4

There are three or four 2mm thread sizes but our size is as stated above.

Keep up the good work, always enjoy your solutions to a problem and creativity. Brilliant work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Hey Ryan,
Thanks! I knew one of you guys would know the answer to my question. And thanks for the comments, I try to be as self sufficient as I can but this is all so new to me I ask a lot of questions. So some of my "solutions" were suggestions from more experienced steamers. THAT is why this is so much fun, everybody helping each other.
Thanks again!
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA 31956
 

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Good going Larry!!! That is a brilliant solution! I kind of know what you are going through although my problem was more of steam leaks and not so much lack of boiler output. Keep up the good work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Hey Gerald,
Thanks for the suggestion. During the first testing with steam I did try insulating the boiler without the outside flue. There was a slight improvement but not enough to run the truck without waiting for steam to "catch-up". This was a sort of bad and hectic test period and I neglected to list all the things I tried while testing.(bit of a panic time!) The difference with the "outside flue" wrapper is night and day. Hopefully it will be enough to squeak by with enough capacity for steam.
Thanks Larry Herget for the advice, I listen even if I am bull-headed!
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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Posted By redbeard on 09/03/2008 5:47 AM
Hey Howard,
Also will add a spiral flue retarder to "grab" a little more heat from the fire. Then maybe I can get her to steam well enough to move on to the rest of construction.
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956




The "retarder" in the flue is a good idea. Here's something I remember reading about in one of the old Boiler Construction books from England, which I have now misplaced.

To add some more efficiency to the capture of heat, try adding up/down tubes to the exterior of your boiler & then cladding it all with your insulated outer brass shell. It will add some water volume and will put more copper surface in contact with water in the heated exhaust stream.

Here's a rough sketch:


Just a thought!!
 

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1st Class Pirate
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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Hey Howard,
Thanks for the suggestion. I am hoping that I don't need to go that far. That is a little more than I want to deal with on THIS truck. Too many other projects in the queue right now. Next time I will be better prepared for what I need to plan for!
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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1st Class Pirate
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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Hello everybody,
Well here we sit, pondering the route of an unwanted visitor named Ike. Feels alot like another unwanted guest a few years back named Ivan. We have not really recovered from that visit. Such is coastal living......

Worked on the truck a little today. Built a flame restrictor for the flue.

Built a 90 degree steam exhaust diverter.

Ran an exhaust pipe up to the boiler flue area, insulated and lagged the boiler with cork and then 1/4 x 1/16 wood strips.

And finally late evening put it all back together for a test.

She did run better than previous test, but not well enough to be satisfied with the system. So now that all of this is done and looking pretty good, its time to go back to the basic chassis and make some BIG changes. I am thinking that I will do away with the forward driver and one cylinder. In place of the driver I'll put in a jack-shaft with a flywheel and a sprocket for a chain to the rear drive axle. This way I can keep the frame basically as is and be a little ahead of the curve. Seems like a lot of work when I was fairly sure it would not work well, but I needed to make all of these components. I'll also end up with another Ruby cylinder to make something else out of !
Should have listened to you Larry!
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 
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