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Juliet build diary

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Dan Jones22/04/2014 13:55:49
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81 forum posts
316 photos

Hi guys,

Due to the 4" Foster project being held up for a number of reasons, I have decided to embark on a small project to last me the year.

So, yesterday I bought an LBSC 3.5" gauge JULIET 0-4-0T loco with slip eccentric valve gear. The lot comprises of a running chassis, all the materials to fabricate a boiler including templates and formers, the ME magazines describing the build, a set of drawings, the outer dome casting and the safety valve housing casting.

I intend to log the story of the build here but whether I manage to update consistently, only time will tell.

Currently, i'm not very keen on the slip eccentric valve gear as my local club's track is raised, making things that little bit more tricky. Plus I like the look of the pole reverser in the cab. The absence of one I feel makes the footplate seem a little bare.

I know that Baker valve gear and Stephenson valve gear is commonly adopted for these engine's but is there a valve gear out there that would be less time consuming and simpler to produce than the Baker and Stephenson arrangements?

I thought I saw an image online of a Juliet with an ideal solution but I can't remember anything about it or where I found it.

The chassis can be seen running on air here: **LINK**

Pictures can be found here: **LINK**

Regards,

Dan.

Neil Wyatt23/04/2014 17:06:46
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Moderator
19076 forum posts
736 photos
80 articles

You won't get much simpler than Stephenson gear - only one link for each cylinder, and making four eccentrics instead of two is just extra work, not technically difficult.

Neil

Dan Jones27/05/2014 11:26:33
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81 forum posts
316 photos

Been a while but here's my next posting...

The valve gear is staying as slip eccentric, I don't have any excuse to change it so it's remaining in place.

I've started several other small easy parts of the loco such as the hand pump, inner dome etc. but i'm now at the stage where I need a boiler so I can start building and assembling as I go.

I've looked over the drawings and read through the ME articles, now I want to know if there are any flaws in the LBSCs build description or the drawing.

If anyone who has made a JULIET boiler before could inform me of what they've done and how then that would be very helpful.

Thanks,

Dan.

Bob Youldon27/05/2014 12:36:52
183 forum posts
20 photos

Good morning Dan,

I have in the past built three Juliet boilers. Old LBSC's design is still fairly sound but I'd advise you to change the fire box stays to rivets; take a look at Julian Atkins photographs of his Terrier boiler on this site and it'll give you the heads up on the modern method of staying a boiler. If you are a member of your local model engineering society have a natter with their boiler inspectors, generally you'll get some very good advice on the whole process of boiler construction in the smaller scales and the requirements needed to meet present regulations.

It's good to see someone taking up a Juliet; that design and the little Rob Roy all seem to get set aside in favour of the large 5" gauge types, how many unfinished locomotives if that type are there lurking in those dark areas under the bench? Those smaller designs can give just as much fun, probably more so, they're easily transported, cost little to build and are often the way of introducing the youngsters into the hobby.

Keep up the good work.

Regards,

Bob Youldon

Bob Perkins27/05/2014 13:17:52
249 forum posts
60 photos

Hi Dan

I cut the first piece of metal for my Juliet yesterday. There are some helpful photos there, please keek them coming.

Bob..

Dan Jones03/06/2014 23:00:39
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81 forum posts
316 photos

Bob Youldon,

In your case I'm sure your more than valid to comment on the making of Juliet boilers after building three. Indeed I am aiming for the size of boiler as specified by LBSC and his accompanying articles and drawings. I've been looking over the plates I have and they do seem a bit rough, they've been flanged and had no extra cleaning up or fitting work done to them. So any queries I have (which will be many), I'm hoping you'll be able to answer!

I was looking through the articles yesterday and this morning which specify about the boiler and I don't remember reading anything about stays. I may be mistaken, so your help with that has already enlightened me and given me a hint of encouragement into getting the task done.

I have read about people's opinions about Juliet, Tich and also Railmotor. Juliet seems to be, overall, the better option being practical, cost effective, simple to build and run and fun to do so. And these aspects are what appealed me to the project. When I bought my project as a set of bits, the owner told me he bought sometime in the 90s with full intent in finishing it, which evidently he didn't. A decent 20 years later he has passed it on to me for a reasonable sum.

Being a mere 16 year old and with a 3" Burrell already to my grandfather's and to my own credit, I felt it was time to start something different and a loco seemed to be the answer. Being a man for road steam instead of rail, it is a bit of a learning curve but it isn't too different. The basic principles are the same.

Bob Perkins,

Glad to hear that progress is happening with your project, I hope you're enjoying the build as much as I am.

I've just updated my photo's so you can have a look at what I have been up to in the workshop over the past 4 days.

Photo's here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thesweatyhotdogco/

Many thanks,

Dan

Dan Jones03/06/2014 23:07:29
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81 forum posts
316 photos

Another quick note about boilers...

Are there any stays in the throat plate or back head? In the cross-sectional diagram of the rear of the boiler shown on the drawings, there are two holes drilled in the firebox tube plate in the area between the bottom row of tubes and the foundation ring.

Are these holes provision for stays or are they of some other purpose?

Thanks,

Dan

julian atkins03/06/2014 23:18:58
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1256 forum posts
353 photos

hi Dan,

you really must get the copies of ME for the construction series as it is very detailed and will supply all the answers you need!

the stephensons valve gear version is an excellent loco for pulling owner plus a passenger, and far better than Tich so far as manageability is concerned when running.

cheers,

julian

Edited By julian atkins on 03/06/2014 23:19:23

Dan Jones04/06/2014 08:58:38
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81 forum posts
316 photos

Hi Julian,

I already have a few of the original copies of ME that came with the engine, but these weren't a complete set. I managed to find a PDF online with all of the articles specific for Juliet and with some relevant pages on Lassie too, so I have printed these off and made them into a booklet.

I've decided against installing the stephenson valve gear. The wheels had already been pressed onto the axles when I bought the chassis so it's all a bit of a fiddle to make the gear and install it for my liking.

Thanks,

Dan

fizzy15/06/2014 19:39:07
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1848 forum posts
121 photos

I started my juliet boiler friday night after work and it was finished by sunday lunch - (I did have the luxury of TIG'ing everything except the tubes and inner stays) but it is a doddle to make.

Dan Jones01/07/2014 20:29:47
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81 forum posts
316 photos

Boiler Making- Part 1:

I've decided enough is enough, it's time to stop worrying and preparing to extremes and finally make a start on the thing.

So I got to it and made the first cuts in the boiler shell/tube, ready for opening out. I ended up making the split line about an 1/8th off-center, parallel to the center line. This means that one side of the outer-firebox is the right length and the other side is slightly shorter, something I will cater for later on. If I had split the tube down the center line, the two side of the firebox would be equal lengths but would overall be shorter than the dimension specified by the drawing.

Next thing I did was make a wooden former to fit inside the boiler and give me something to shape the firebox with. To do this, I got a length of hard oak timber and cut it in half. I then glued and screwed the two halves together to give me a cuboid of suitable length and width for me to turn round. I then chiseled off the corners along their length to make turning the wood a little easier on the tools, the lathe and on my arms. After cutting grooves in the end faces of the block to locate the lathe steadies, I set the block up in the lathe. I then turned the block to a fitting diameter of the I/D of the boiler shell. I further turned a taper on one end of the block to make it easier to fit the block into the boiler shell. When this was done, I put the wood in the mill and machined a flat on the curved surface to take another block of wood the same size as the inside of the firebox. I found a suitable block and screwed it to the flat. This gave me a complete former.

After annealing the shell and pickling, I bent out the firebox sides so that I could fit the wooden former in the correct place. I then squeezed the firebox sides to the former as close as I could with my hands before squeezing it in the soft jaws of the vice. This gave a good shape and finish to the boiler shell.

 

Mechanical lubricator:

I've also bought and fitted a 1" square mechanical lubricator. I fitted it inside the chassis on the front buffer beam, inline with the gap between the steam chests. The lubricator is held up to the buffer beam by the stud on the towing hook. I've heard that the lubricator should be put on the running boards or in the cab instead of at the front because soot from the smoke box can fall in the oil tank when refilling or cleaning the smoke box. I decided against this purely because I don't want to see it and its easier to hook up to a moving part.

I bought the mechanical lubricator from a website called Steam Fittings. They have a good and extensive selection of relatively cheap yet high quality fittings.

I've compared a few websites for fittings and I've found a good list of sites. Below is my list and the best prices for certain fittings.

GLR Kennions- Pressure gauges and safety valves

Macc Model Engineers Supplies- Plain water gauges and blow down valves

Dave Noble- 3 cock water gauges (threaded to order)

Steam Fittings- Mechanical lubricator and clack valves

 

 

Dan.

Edited By Dan Jones on 01/07/2014 20:30:19

Bob Perkins01/07/2014 21:50:43
249 forum posts
60 photos

Hi Dan

I have the same plan with the lubricator, and have bought the same size lubricator and plan to mount. With the coupling stud and another couple of screws. I've finished the buffer beams and have fitted the brackets and fitted the frames. I spent some time at the weekend and made and fitted the weigh bar bearings. I'm working on the horn blocks next. I'll try to post some photos tomorrow. Keep the updates going. I'm interested in you boiler comments as I plan to build my own.

bob..

julian atkins01/07/2014 23:44:08
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1256 forum posts
353 photos

hi Dan, apart from the pressure gauge, making all your own boiler fittings for TICH will be a doddle after making the boiler! plus save you quite a bit.

in the UK for new builds captive valves are required for all fittings and i am not aware of any commercial suppliers who supply such fittings so 'home made' required.

making boiler fittings is the bit i enjoy the most in loco building.

cheers,

julian

fizzy01/07/2014 23:52:46
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1848 forum posts
121 photos

Hi Julian. I thought the requirement for captive valves had been rescended? (cant spell!). Sure it says that a boiler shouldnt be failed on these? But its late now....

julian atkins02/07/2014 00:18:51
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1256 forum posts
353 photos

hi nigel,

it is now 'recommended' in the green book compared with the previous book, but i think most club boiler inspectors will expect a new build to have captive valves. my own club and other local clubs certainly do!

cheers,

julian

Dan Jones02/07/2014 15:02:26
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81 forum posts
316 photos

Bob,

If you're going to make your boiler, when it comes to splitting the tube (if you use a tube that is), make sure you make the split along the center line or 3/16" offset. I made my cut 1/8" offset from the center line which wasn't quite far enough so now the long side of the outer firebox is a little short, which further means that the overall length of my firebox is now going to be shorter. I would almost definitely advise you to make a former for the inside of the boiler. During the annealing process, I managed to misshape the smoke box end of the boiler. Having the former allowed me to return the barrel to its original shape with ease. I also rounded off the end of a small section of pine plank. This was so that after I had squeezed the firebox sides in the vice, I could use the round end of the plank to give a clean and rounded curve with a few blows of the hammer along the line where the firebox joins the radius of the boiler shell. Consequently, you avoid a lot of unnecessary, "tin bashing" which gives a rough and uneven finish to the curve and the firebox sides.

Julian,

Captive valves are a new term to me. What are they for? Do they need to be bought or can they be made? I'll have a chat at my club and with the boiler inspector and see what they say.

Looking at the ME build articles, the next stage of boiler making is making and brazing in (I intend to fully silver solder my boiler) the throat plate. When I bought my engine, the lot consisted of a chassis, a couple of original ME magazines that specified the build, drawings and all the materials needed to make the boiler.

This boiler kit included the outer shell and outer firebox (copper tube), all the fire tubes of the required length and diameter, foundation ring material, long stays (hollow and solid), formed and drilled smoke box tube plate, formed and drilled firebox tube plate, formed firebox wrapper, formed firebox door plate, formed and spot drilled back head, fire hole ring, steel formers for the firebox and the back head, girder stay material and some extra copper sheet to lengthen the short side of the outer firebox.

I've been looking through the drawings and comparing my plates and other materials to the dimensions. Everything I have is within a workable tolerance. However, the throat plate is an unusual size and isn't to the drawing. I don't know if the builder who originally formed the plate has made a development or whether the drawing is wrong. By the looks of the plate, it has been made using the back head former because the flanges follow the same contour as the back head and the lower parallel sections of both of the plates are the same length (which are longer than they should be). Pictures should follow shortly and you will be able to see what I mean.

Dan.

julian atkins02/07/2014 20:54:37
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1256 forum posts
353 photos

hi dan,

captive valves cant have the spindle totally unscrewed - which is a fault of the original LBSC design, though only a recent consideration in the UK. on TICH the blowdown valve and blower valve would be candidates. check with your club boiler inspector what might be required in your club for a new build of TICH size. the commercial suppliers havent caught up yet but they arent difficult to make yourself.

cheers,

julian

Dan Jones02/07/2014 23:52:18
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81 forum posts
316 photos

Julian,

I'm aware of these types of valve and I agree with the new terms that they should be installed on all new builds. If you unscrew the blow down tap from the water gauge when in steam, then you're going to find it quite a task to screw the valve back in and stop the steam.

I've just uploaded an album to my profile with all my current pictures of the Juliet. For anyone interested, I would note the safety valve and if you have been reading through the thread, you will see pictures of the discussed throat plate. One picture is of the throat plate next to the drawing so you can see the difference between the two. You will also be able to see in a couple of the pictures that I have drawn a line in black marker on the front of the throat plate, along the edge when it faces up to the boiler barrel. Do you think this line is in the right place?

Dan.

julian atkins03/07/2014 10:09:13
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1256 forum posts
353 photos

hi dan,

im not particularly keen on the butt joint type single flanged throatplate as used a lot by LBSC and martin evans, preferring instead a double flanged throatplate.

what you have discovered is what is never mentioned in the construction series ie the problem of fitting the throatplate to a barrel which does not have a separate outer firebox wrapper. your throatplate is to the correct shape and can be trimmed to just over full depth before fitting. also cut away most of the circular part. now its a case of taking a bit off here and there and tapering the sides of the flanges at the top till all fits. note, a bit of a joggle on the outer wrapper where it meets the top of the throatplate flange is an advantage. it will make no difference to the boiler and will give a much better fit. otherwise you risk having a gap whatever way you otherwise try to do it. this is due to the curve of the flange.

ideally the butt type of joint between throatplate and bottom of the boiler barrel should have the throatplate 'curve' matching the underside of the barrel and against it - not on the cut end of the barrel. hope this makes sense.

do a bit at a time. check that the tapered ears of the top of the thraotplate flange dont get pushed in. belt them back to correct shape or to match the inside of the firebox outer wrapper.

that's what i would do though there are lots of ways of doing the above.

cheers,

julian

Dan Jones03/07/2014 11:38:23
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81 forum posts
316 photos

Julian,

That's really useful information, thanks. Did you see the black line I drew on the front of the throat plate? If so, do you think it's about right to cut just above that line? As I said above, the line is traced onto the throat plate as I drew along the bottom of the boiler barrel at the point where it opens out into the firebox.

I'll keep adding more pictures to the album as I progress with the build and I'll start annotating the images.

Dan.

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