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Steam Engine Number One

A Build Log (hopefully)

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Iain Downs29/05/2019 17:36:35
492 forum posts
391 photos

Being as my cross head / con rod progress is stalled pending parts for the little mill, I thought I'd crack on with the piston (whilst the lathe still works...).

Here we have the chunk of cast iron from which the piston and it's rings will be carver. I used a centre as much as possible throughout this process as the grip from the 3 jaw isn't great and the chunk quite long.

piston starting.jpg

Having trimmed a bit down to a little over 50mm, I then made a grooving tool exactly (for me) 3mm wide.

piston groover.jpg

Then the grooving.

A bit of chatter on this - no idea why and not going to affect the performance.

piston groovy baby.jpg

Then. Oh. My. God.

The parting off. For this I took some half inch x 3/16ths HSS (yes I know. Everything else is metric, but this is how I bought it) and added a bit of top rake and some side clearance. I added a bit more later (part way through) and this should have worked.

I was very nervous about the parting off. It's not an area I've had huge success with, though the QCTP made of steel rather than the rubber one (well Ally really) that I had before makes it closer to possible.

I tried to make sure the parting tool was dead on right angles to the work.

piston aligning parting tool.jpg

Not my best photo.

piston parting 1.jpg

you can see some chatter in the groove here. This was a serious issue all the way through. What would happen is that as you fed the tool in it would not do a lot and then start to grab. Sometimes (not too often)this caused a jam which in turn would dislodge the piece from the jaws so I had to loosen push back and re-tighten. After a while I got used to the feeling for this and could pull back (mainly) before anything untoward happened..

Curiously, the cutting got easier the further in to the material I went.

I started off with the tool perfectly (for me) centre aligned, but after a little while dropped it by maybe half a mm which may have helped.

This was a very very cautious parting off. In fact it took the best part of an hour, feeding in a fraction at a time.

Phew!

piston parted.jpg

Sadly, my lathe is not equipped with the means for a back parting tool.

IN the end this was reasonably successful. I've found that the parted end isn't exactly straight. It domes towards the centre. Also my adding up must be wrong, It's about 0.25mm too long. I'm thinking that I'll put it on a stub mandrill and shrink it back to the right size.

Next, the piston rings. I wasn't sure to be scared of these or not. My greatest concern was that I had to finish these to spot on the diameter of the bore. I actually seemed to have got pretty close to that so I'm quite pleased.

However, we start with yet more discarding of perfectly good metal.

piston rings boring.jpg

LIke this

piston rings bored.jpg

2.5 wall thickness with 3mm width rings. I started off with a reasonably chunky indexed carbide bar but finished of with an hss tool.

And finally, here we have a piston and three matching piston rings.piston done.jpg

If anyone things my maths is a bit dodgy, the word on You Tube is that these get broken easily when tempering or fitting, so I need a spare. In fact I probably need two or 3, but I didn't leave enough metal for this.

I'm really hoping I get my spares tomorrow and can get on with the con rod bits.

Iain

Samsaranda29/05/2019 17:40:15
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785 forum posts
5 photos

I have a variant of the CMD 10 and it does have its limitations, I would think that a 50 mm facemill is probably at the limit or just beyond its capabilities, hence the damage to drive gears. Fortunately I now have a Champion V20 mill for the heavier cuts.

Dave W

Iain Downs29/05/2019 20:04:01
492 forum posts
391 photos

No, No, No, No, Dave!

JasonB has a 50mm face mill on his X3 or something.

I have a 17mm facemill!

I don't aspire to anything that big!

Iain

Iain Downs01/06/2019 17:50:32
492 forum posts
391 photos

Multi-tasking again!

Whilst my armchair engineering has been contemplating budgets and how to cut metal, my active alter-ego has been working on a couple of components.

The cross-head paused whilst the parts to fix the mill turned up. In the meantime I wondered what I could make next. I'd originally bought a piece of 50mm piece of 90mm cast iron bar for the cap. This was as small as I could buy it from Metals4U (I was buying a batch of bits). I was somewhat naive in retrospect for thinking there was any way I could cut a piece of round metal this size in half!

What I realised was that I had a bit of 100mm x 25 cast which I'd bought for some scraping practice - but how much happier it will be to be part of a motor, eh?

topcapraw.jpg

Here it is in my lathe.

I found this difficult to machine and I don't know why. So far cast Iron and I have been quite good friends, but this one didn't like me at all.

I did most of the cutting with an indexed carbide insert and found that I couldn't take more than about 0.25mm off or the lathe would stall. This is not a good thing.

I also had a lot of chatter / squealing so the surface was rougher than I'd like. It was also easy to have a jam and in fact I appear to have chipped (and discarded) at least one of the inserts.

I tried this at speeds from about 300 up to 600 and it didn't make much difference to the chatter.

Still, got there in the end.

topcap side one.jpg

I actually started this because I was trying to be careful (!!!!) with one of my home made tools.

The mill was back in excellent working order so I continued to thin it down to 30mm.

crosshead thinning.jpg

next was to take a corner out - and to clarify this, here is a drawing of the cross head

crossheaddrawing.jpg

I thought about setting to with the mill, but it really deserves a break and I thought - Ah- I can saw the bulk of it off and just mill clean!

Prior to purchasing my melted chop saw, I'd just finished making a home made version of it. It kind of worked, but not terribly well and I thought my 50 quid was well spent.

So I pulled it out and cut down the excess.

crosshead removing excess steel.jpg

Having (maybe?) learned something about overloading DIY tools with work that's too big, I did this in careful stages, letting the angle grinder cool between cuts. In the meantime I got on with the top cap.

In the end (and with a bit of final help from a human powered hacksaw) I completed the cut and my mill was very pleased indeed!

crosshead steel removed.jpg

I shall probably finish this off before getting back to the top cap.

Oh, by the way - Jason you agreed that threading the bottom end of the piston rod was a reasonable approach, but suggested a finer thread. As it happens I have a 10mm 0.5 pitch tap and die set. If I reduce the end to 10mm do you think that would weaken it too much?

Iain

JasonB01/06/2019 18:21:35
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Moderator
16274 forum posts
1722 photos
1 articles

0.5mm pitch is probably a bit finer than I would have gone, 1.0mm or 0.75mm on a 10 or 12mm dia would be about right. Reducing to M10 on the end of the 12mm rod will be OK strength wise.

I'd also drill and tap a bit deeper than you have it shown on the drawing above, say 18mm which will just miss thecrosshead pin hole.

Iain Downs03/06/2019 08:25:38
492 forum posts
391 photos

Paul - I forgot to mention that I took your advice on the key. I found a piece of 4mm square in my bits box - actually part of a hook of some kind and I have no idea where it came from. I cleaned it up and lapped it (300 grit paper on a surface table) and fitted it to size. It's working so far.

Hi, Jason - the drawing is of a soldered assembly - I've not updated it, but will do so before completing.

Iain

Iain Downs08/06/2019 08:41:22
492 forum posts
391 photos

I've been Multi-tasking again, but to save confusion I shall separate the work as if I did it in a linear fashion! The reason for multi-tasking was that I ordered some specific drills for the crosshead bearing hole and taps for the piston rod. I only had millimeter drills above 6mm and I didn't want to try reaming a 10mm hole on a 9mm drilled hole!

So the side work was to continue the top cylinder cap.

I found this strangely difficult most of the way through. For the main part I was using a carbide tool which has served me well, but I felt it wasn't cutting right. I swapped ends and tips a couple of times but nothing seemed to make it go nicely. I tried speeds from 300 to 600. What I was seeing varied, so I was probably doing a lot of different things wrong!

Sometimes I got a kind of ripple effect on the iron. I suspect some kind of vibration was causing this and I think I was hearing a whine whilst this was going on.

When cutting along the face, there was an area around 25-35 mm from the centre where the lathe struggled and I saw a different texture to the machined part. It was also in the area that the lathe was most likely to stall. Incidentally for the main part I was only able to take 0.25mm cuts and that fairly gingerly until nearer the centre.

Towards the end of the job, I thought I'd try out an HSS tool. This really didn't work. In fact the only effect was to wear down the face and polish the iron! I don't think the geometry of the tool was right for the face. However, when I put the carbide tool back on, suddenly everything was working nicely! I could even take 0.5mm cuts (albeit with some care).

I have two theories. One is that the ripple of the previous cut caused the tool to vibrate which added ripple in this one. By polishing the surface with the HSS tool, the ripple was removed.

The second is that I'd (by chance) got the alignment of the indexed tool just right at the end for it to cut cleanly.

Ah, the mysteries of engineering!

However, that's the end of the dull stuff. Here are some pictures.

When I turned the piece round to hold the stub in the 3 jaws, I wanted to make sure that it was secure, so I set a centre against it.

topcapsidetwostart.jpg

Then turned the part down to 80mm and made sure it matched the cylinder (it turns out that one end external diameter is about 0.1mm smaller so I've engraved T on the side of the cylinder to make sure I get it right.

Following that took the thickness down to 7mm, and removed the centre and turned down the nun.

topcapsidetwostubremoval.jpg

I then took 2mm of the face up to 50mm leaving a 2mm raised locating area. This was taken down to a measure 50 point something and then I used try and fit to get a perfect registration with the cylinder.

topcapsidetwodrilling.jpg

You can also see here the drilling out of the centre to allow the nut securing the cylinder to have some space.

And then trimmed to size.

topcapboring.jpg

And here we have the result.

topcapdonesidetwo.jpg

topcaponcylinder.jpg

Now it's time for more excitement; recycling to the tip and an Aldi shop. Perhaps they'll have some nice tools today ....

Iain

Iain Downs17/06/2019 20:58:36
492 forum posts
391 photos

Back to the Well, I've had a bit of a run at work on the con rod assembly - which is nice, but it's going to make this post a bit of an Epic...

And it will be subtitled, 'Measure Twice, cut ... Oh Bugger!'.

You see, the cross head is basically L shaped. So I marked out where the L should be and then in a stupor of insanity decided I'd got the wrong end and marked again. Fool! It turns out I was right the first time. I started cutting and then had a moment. So I measured for a third time and compared to the drawing, said some bad words and took stock.

It turns out (fortunately) that I'd not gone to far with the cutting and was able to re-mark and carry on. In the drawing below you can see one of the false lines near the top of the G Cramp.

crosshead trimming.jpg

Although I took the bulk off with the face mill, I finished up to the edge with an end mill and trimmed the bottom at the same time.

crosshead trimming2.jpg

Next was to make the radius for the bottom of the cross head. What I do here (are reported earlier) is to centre the rotary table on the mill and then centre the work item for clamping with a centre in the mill spindle.

Here I centre drill the part

crosshead centredrill bearing hole.jpg

And the centre

crosshead centring.jpg

And then on with the milling

crosshead turning radius.jpg

In this operation, the part moved (clamping not tight enough), but I spotted it before it was unrecoverable. Sadly in the process I grabbed an Y which I should have grabbed a turn and took a bit out of the side.

crosshead radius done.jpg

Next was to take 5mm of either side of the cross head proper

crosshead reducing the head 01.jpg

As follows

crosshead reduced.jpg

The shot above is also the set up for drilling the hole for a 10mm x 1mm threaded hole (threading not yet done, but tap has arrived!).

crosshead drill for 10mm tap.jpg

I drew up a design for the oiler hole, but when I looked at the part I found an easier way of getting something good enough (I hope).

crosshead marking oil hole.jpg

As you can see just resting the part on the surface table leaves a perfectly good oil route as a vertical. So I marked that out, clamped the piece and milled a small hollow. Not shown here is that I ground a small groove in the clamping plate to keep it in place.

crosshead mill oil hole.jpg

The drill through

crosshead drill oil hole.jpg

It turns out that I'm being too loquacious and so need to stop here or the system tells me off.

More in a moment!

Iain

Iain Downs17/06/2019 21:02:16
492 forum posts
391 photos

And to carry on ...

The next operation on this part was to be to mill a slot for the guide. However, before I got to that I wanted to clean up the rod I'd got for the guide. It turns out (I seem to be saying that a lot in this post!) that the 15mm square bar I bought at the show is a tad under 16mm. Rather than attempting to mill it down to what I'd drawn, I thought I'd just make the slot a little bigger.

However, the first step was to final and emery it reasonably square, straight and smooth.

crosshead guide cleaning.jpg

Back to the Mill and cutting the slot. As I got close to 15.8 mm I took very fine cuts and started to try the guide.

crosshead mill guide way.jpg

crosshead try fit guide.jpg

I still need to cut the bronze for the cross head guide bearings, but I'd had enough of this piece. It's probably the most complex piece of machining I've ever done and surprised I got (nearly) to the end with out breaking it!

So I took a nice refreshing rest on the lathe.

This was to machine the bronze pin which would act as an axle / bearing for the cross head.

As usual, I had a bit of metal too big and needed to lose most of it .

crosshead turing pin 1.jpg

a 25mm piece of bronze which needs to be turned down to 10mm, Mind you with a 20 mm head on .

And here I part it off. Parting of bronze after cast iron is such a pleasure!

crosshead pin parting off.jpg

You may notice by the way the profligate use of marking blue in this post. The marking blue was a purchase at the show and a welcome one. I've been using a sharpie (per advice in this forum) which is all very well when you don't want to do much. But a few wipes with cutting oil and it disappears leaving you none the wiser where to cut. This stuff stays on very nicely, but still can be cleaned off with a but of meths.

And here is the finished product after cutting a thread for the bolt.

crosshead pin done.jpg

I was originally going to file a head on this, but it seems a shame to take away the purity, so I may get my slitting saw out instead.

Never fear! The end is near! Only a little bit to go and this is the bit that goes below the cross head. I've no idea what people who have a clue call it so I've called it the cross head con rod. The bit tha the pin above connects to the cross head and which then goes down to the crank.

The main lesson from this is to clamp better.

Here was my first clamping arrangement.

crosshead conrod bad clamping.jpg

It survived about 5mm of cuts and then the cutter caught, then clamps went sideways and the motor quite. Just the overload light and a pretty common affair with this build.

A bit more thought and care ended up with this.

crosshead conrod better clamping.jpg

You can see on the left of the piece where the cutter went mad on it.

crosshead conrod trim.jpg

And as you can see above this arrangement meant I got to the end with no blow ups. Also I could position the piece back accurately when I took it out to measure the base thickness.

The observent will notice little squares at the base of the cut. My intent was to finish the cut with a ball nose cutter to provide relief. Sadly, I'd not taken into account the length the bit would have to stick out and the (carbide) tool went was part way through one side.

This left me to finish it off with files with the result below.

crosshead conrod milled.jpg

It still needs a bit of cleaning up, but it's getting there!

Iain

JasonB18/06/2019 06:58:34
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Moderator
16274 forum posts
1722 photos
1 articles

Progressing well, keep up with the posts.

Will have to see how well that bronze pin holds up when you start running.

For the future a part like the conrod end two holes can be drilled first to get the corner radius, you can even stitch drill along the bottom and then saw down the sides to get most of the waste out before milling.

Iain Downs24/06/2019 20:52:58
492 forum posts
391 photos

Hi, Jason (and others, of course).

Today I had a bit more soldering practice and that turned out well. What I'm struggling with now is how to hold the parts of the con rod (big end connector, rod and cross head connector) in such a way that they end up at right angles.

I've thought of pinning them (or the second one to solder) or trying to make some sort of rig. I'm not convinced that just standing them up and hoping they don't move is the right approach!

I did think of drilling the corners as a starter but rejected the idea for no good reason I can now bring to mind...

Next time...

Iain

Iain Downs10/07/2019 19:57:55
492 forum posts
391 photos

This last week or so has been about the flywheel.

As usual, I wouldn't have done it this way if I'd thought about it....

I'd bought a 1 inch thick piece of 6 inch diameter cast iron at the doncaster show for the flywheel, think that this was about as big a piece as my 7x14 would cope with.

Needless to say, this isn't going to fit in a chuck (not on my kit anyway). After pondering for a bit, I decided that the thing to do was to screw it to my faceplate, face one side and hollow it out leaving a hub. I'd then hold the hub in a chuck face the other side and add a hub, then turn round and finish off.

flywheel counterbore.jpg

I marked the centre of the M6 threaded holes in the faceplate on the flywheel metal, drilled to 6mm (a bit more as I was a touch out) and counterbored to get some bolts in. The screwed it to the faceplate with some washers to stand off and mounted the faceplate on the lathe.

flywheel mounted.jpg

What I SHOULD have done (I think) is to glue it to a sacrificial plate of some kind and bolt that to the faceplate.

This way I had the issue of the interrupted cut on top of the hollowing (trepanning operation).

Anyway. I tidied up the edge with a indexed cutter.

flywheel edge.jpg

One 'interesting' aspect of this sort of job is that the cross-slide has less movement than the radius of the work (even with a Wyatt modification), so you have to work on the outside and the inside of the toolpost. In this case I don't need a smooth face, so it's not actually an issue.

Then came the 'interesting' part. Digging into the face (trepanning) in order to get the middle out.

flywheel trepanning.jpg

voracious readers of the forum will know that I had to seek advice on this from the beginners section. The resolution for me was to take the top rake of the trepanning tool, which reduced the chance of it digging in.

Nonetheless, this was a delicate and time-consuming operation. Having got a channel in which I widened with the tool, I could then get something more meaty in an carve out more of a hollow to leave me a hub to hang on to.

flywheel hub cut.jpg

There! with some imagination you can see a flywheel starting to form.

And with the next step (boring the centre hole, first (image) with a carbide bar and then with a HSS tool for the final approach..

flywheel boring.jpg

And I seem to have got this reasonably accurate. A silver steel offcut fits in rather nicely (same diameter as the crank)

flywheel crank fit.jpg

However, i've changed my mind about holding it in a chuck. What I think I'm going to do is to make up a stub mandrel, face the what is currently the back part and then turn it round and finish off the hollowing out.

In fact, there's an argument for saying that I should have started off with the hole and done the rest on a mandrel. I'm not quite sure how I'd have made an accurate hole without the lathe. My mill isn't up to the job, I think.

Iain

Iain Downs15/07/2019 21:29:55
492 forum posts
391 photos

Back to finish the job.

Having got the front side of the flywheel I set about carving out the back side. After some dithering and advice, I ended up by holding it on the inside of the flywheel shoulder with my 3 jaw.

This worked quite well though the piece was a bout 0.1 mm off-centre taking the outside of the rim as true. I had some thoughts on that - later.

Rather pleasingly, the trepanning on this side went really quite well. By now I'd ground the very hell out of the treppaning tool and obviously the million monkeys approach has finally worked. I think that a bit more relief on the sides of the tool helped.

Here we are a 5mm deep groove with a 3mm wide tool.

flywheel back side groove.jpg

I took a few more cuts beside it - these being considerably easier than the groove itself - until the groove was side enough to get a 'normal' tool in.

flywheel back side opening out.jpg

Once this was done, I turned the flywheel round to dig out the rest of the front side. This time, gripping the centre of the front side in the chuck, but bolting it through the spindle to give it a bit more strength.

This was gouged out with a combination of a pointed tool (hss on the right) to dig out the bulk and then carbide left and right knife tools to come up cleanly to the rim and centre hub (well, cleanly for me!).

I'd decided, though that 0.1mm of centre wasn't good enough and made a stub mandrel to mount it on and tidy up the back side.

I'd learned some tricks for this from Harold Hall, who said that you should put the topslide to a few tenths of a degree to put the taper on. When I came to measure this up, I found it was already about 0.6 degrees out (in the right direction)! I must go back and set it up correctly now I've finished!

flywheel stub mandrel.jpg

And here is the flywheel on the mandrel being tidied up.

flywheel on mandrel.jpg

I still need to cut a keyway, to do which I need to make a broach, but that can wait until nearer the end of the process.

Here's the flywheel on the Crank.

flywheel on crank.jpg

Next I'll be assembling the con rod, cross head and so on. I've all the parts just need to turn the rods to the correct length and connect..

Iain

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