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aostling
03-24-2007, 12:31 AM
In the summer of 1960 I attended summer school in Oslo. I crossed the Atlantic on the S/S Stavangerfjord, a 13,000 ton ocean liner. The crossing took ten days from New York, and I explored the ship from top to bottom. At various times I hung out in the engine room. I had just completed my Freshman year of mechanical engineering studies, and I was fascinated by the primary propulsion steam engines. The engine room gang never seemed to mind my presence.

My memory was they were triple-expansion, but http://www.norwayheritage.com/p_ship.asp?sh=stafj indicates otherwise. They were quadruple expansion engines. Watching these reciprocating behemoth's was mesmerizing.

The ship went to the scrap heap more than forty years ago. But what about the lathe that made those engines -- might it still exist, in some Glasgow factory? I really have no such plans, but if one were to make a faithful scale model of one of these engines, what kind of steel and cast iron would be closest to what they had to work with, in 1917 when the ship was built?

dicks42000
03-24-2007, 07:00 AM
Aostling;
Lucky you to have been able to experience a piece of machinery like that. 1960 would have been the tail end of an eara for recip steam....Funny how, despite their size, recip. engines, steam loco's etc. seem more "human-scale" than a diesel loco or engine room, or a steam turbine....Fire, water, motion....
Too bad I was too young to experience that era. I sorta feel the same way about slow-speed marine diesels. A quadruple-exp. engine was probably the most efficient, most fuel flexible & durable, low maint. marine prime mover built.
As for the machine tools that made an engine that big....probably all gone from Glasgow now. Replaced by a shopping mall or apartments ? Capitalism marches on. Although there are a few misguided Scotsmen & Englishmen that have preserved a few huge heritage machine tools. Near Sheffield in Yorkshire, there is an "industrial enclave" that has some great museums & machines of the steam era. Rick Rowlands & some others over on the Practical Machinist board rescue/ restore huge machines like you are looking for. Lots of pics in their antuque machine forum. "Asquith" posts on here sometimes too. Worth checking out.
As for the engines themselves, search for a kit. Even a triple-exp. that is faithful to the engineering aspects would be worthwhile. Try to find a copy of JW Southern's "Verbal Notes & Sketches for Marine Engineers" from the 1940's if you want to learn about the engineering that went into these beasts. It's unlike what you get in a Stuart-Turner kit (I built a mod. 5A once) or most models. Believe me, after travelling millions of miles for 60 or more years, those Victorian English & Scottish engine builders did what they did for a reason.....There are/ were several serious marine modellers showing off their stuff. Google comes up with links to some kits & plans....
As a last thought, this sites own Charlie Coghill is an active steam boater here on the Pacific Coast. Ask him about marine steam, he even has his own ship.....
Have fun.
Rick

John Stevenson
03-24-2007, 07:21 AM
In one of the popular UK drawing books for apprentices there are the complete plans for a 3 cylinder compound launch engine.
One of the set examination pieces was to make a complete GA drawing in full size [ this engine is about 42" tall ]from the detail drawings.
Presumably this was to be done in the set 2 to 3 hours for a set exam.:eek:

I won't mention the book by name as there is currently only one copy on abebooks.com for $7.00 and I don't want to start a fist fight :D

I do have a couple of copies of this book, at one time you could pick this up for just a couple of pounds in any secondhand book shop.

.

Mcgyver
03-24-2007, 04:14 PM
how does a three cylinder compound work?, one independent and 2 connected?

the Reeves engine with its box like angled columns looks to me more like what the giant engines looked like, the Stuart (which I'm building) a representation of a smaller, round column triple expansion that would have been in a launch. just based on every pic of a smaller expansion looks like mine and the large one usually have boxy columns

the other 4 cylinder for is a double compound, there's one in the Segwun, a historic operating steam ship that operates near me. One day I'd love to measure that up and make a copy

aostling
03-24-2007, 04:15 PM
Aostling;
Lucky you to have been able to experience a piece of machinery like that. 1960 would have been the tail end of an eara for recip steam.

As for the engines themselves, search for a kit. Even a triple-exp. that is faithful to the engineering aspects would be worthwhile. Try to find a copy of JW Southern's "Verbal Notes & Sketches for Marine Engineers" from the 1940's if you want to learn about the engineering that went into these beasts. It's unlike what you get in a Stuart-Turner kit (I built a mod. 5A once) or most models.
Rick

Rick, and Sir John,

I think I will look for a steam engine kit. Something small enough so that I can bore the castings on my 6" Atlas (which also has milling attachment).

I will be travelling in Scotland and Ulster for three weeks in May. Glasgow and Belfast have a lot of shipbuilding history, which I hope to find traces of. I will haunt any antiquarian bookshops I can find, too.

My last ocean voyage was on the P&O liner Iberia, when I emigrated to New Zealand in 1971. That too was a ten-day voyage, Honolulu to Auckland. The ship had steam turbines, which lacked "soul." After the oil embargo of 1974 there were no more ocean liners on regular passenger service. I wish that era would return.

Timleech
03-24-2007, 05:08 PM
how does a three cylinder compound work?, one independent and 2 connected?


By some definitions, anything more than single (simple) expansion is regarded as compound, so triple & quadruple expansion would be forms of compounding.

Tim

('engineer' aka 'Macphail' for 4 years, nearly 30 years ago, on the VIC 32, see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clyde_puffer)

John R
03-24-2007, 05:23 PM
When I was a kid I would go with my father who was a Ch Engineer in the Merchant Marine to tune up the tripple expansion engines they were using at the time. I knew how to take indicator cards and even how to read them. Then I would ride the ship to the sea bouy and come in with the pilot, What a thrill !!! Modern gas turbine engines are great in their own way but not beautiful like an up and down steam engine.
John R

x39
03-24-2007, 07:23 PM
aostling, very interesting link, thank you.

Peter S
03-24-2007, 08:13 PM
how does a three cylinder compound work?, one independent and 2 connected?

McGyver,
The ones I have information on have one HP cylinder and two equal-size LP cylinders. This was pretty common in large engines before the coming of the triple expansion, say from the 1850's to the 1880's. Single LP cylinders were becoming too large and unbalanced, hence splitting the LP into two cylinders either side of the HP.

There were so many different variations though, for example there were three crank, three cylinder compounds as above (two LPs), but also one, two or three crank tandem compound engines, the latter having six cylinders, but still only a compound system (e.g."City of Rome").
There were other less common types as well, e.g. horizontal compounds driving screws, one example being the annular type, another type used horizontal and vertical cylinders (e.g. the Guion liners "Montana" and Dakota").

Two and three crank diagonal compounds were commonly used with paddle engines, I have a photo of an impressive 10,000 ihp three cylinder diagonal engine built by Fairfields in 1897 for "Empress Queen", a paddle steamer for the Isle of Man service (one central HP cylinder of 68in diameter exhausting to two 92in LP cylinders either side).

However the two crank, two cylinder compound is I guess the simple, reliable type commonly seen nowadays.

I am very interested in the Double Compound ("Segwun") you mention, I have only recently discovered this type of engine and I'm trying to figure out the reason behind them. It seems they were an early idea that came back into vogue in the latter years of steam. I first saw them mentioned as used on ferries on the East Coast of the US, but also came across a reference to them being built in Australia after WW2, these being described as "Lentz-type" with poppet valves. I think the double compound were of the Woolf type, not requiring a reciever between HP and LP, but requiring cranks at 180 degrees. I guess this is one reason why they needed to be double compound, i.e. for starting. Ajax may have been another builder of these. I have also read of single and double compounds exhausting into steam turbines, all coupled to drive a single screw, this being in the 1930's.

Any more info on these engines welcome! :)

aostling
03-24-2007, 10:42 PM
Aostling;

As for the engines themselves, search for a kit. Even a triple-exp. that is faithful to the engineering aspects would be worthwhile. Try to find a copy of JW Southern's "Verbal Notes & Sketches for Marine Engineers" from the 1940's if you want to learn about the engineering that went into these beasts. It's unlike what you get in a Stuart-Turner kit (I built a mod. 5A once) or most models. Believe me, after travelling millions of miles for 60 or more years, those Victorian English & Scottish engine builders did what they did for a reason.....There are/ were several serious marine modellers showing off their stuff. Google comes up with links to some kits & plans....
As a last thought, this sites own Charlie Coghill is an active steam boater here on the Pacific Coast. Ask him about marine steam, he even has his own ship.....
Have fun.
Rick

Rick,

The Stuart 5A which you built looks like a beaut http://www.stuartmodels.com/inprod_det.cfm/section/casting/mod_id/56 . Apparently it is big enough to do some useful work. Have you harnessed its power?

I wonder if these models have a US distributor.

JCHannum
03-24-2007, 11:54 PM
Stuart has a triple expansion engine available also. It is an ambitious project, but a beautuful engine when completerd

http://www.stuartmodels.com/inprod_det.cfm/section/casting/mod_id/70

Stuart Models are available from Morrison Miniature Machines.

www.enginemodels.com

Have a firm grip on your wallet before opening the link.

thistle
03-25-2007, 06:02 AM
I have to confess , that I have bought the book john mentioned .

Do i see a steam engine in my future ? ..........

John Stevenson
03-25-2007, 06:16 AM
Actually I made a mistake in searching and there are more that one, probably about 50 odd but some are too expensive, many are around $10 and some are in the US.
Thistle bought one in the US, probably the best value one :D and a guy in OZ has bought an OZ copy.

I'm still no naming it as Abebooks can't remove a copy if bought and their may be duplicate sales.
PM me if you want the list and I'll tell you what numbers are spoken for and then tell me if you have ordered it.

thistle
03-25-2007, 08:23 AM
YEP, lots more up there ,at $10 to $20 so dont any one get jealous, and by the looks of things there should be one near you where ever you are.
now to wait and see if it arrives .

Timleech
03-25-2007, 08:36 AM
I'm still no naming it as Abebooks can't remove a copy if bought and their may be duplicate sales.


I think that must depend on whether their bookseller is awake/open on Sunday/logged on etc.

I ordered a copy an hour ago, it's disappeared from the abe site now.
Curious thing, I ordered another book on Friday through them, if I log on now both come up as 'sold, search for another', no suggestion they're sold to me.
I've been asked for extra postage for the one I ordered on Fri., so I guess they're sold to me & it's a bit of a glitch with the site but I'm not going to stake my life on it.


Thanks John

Not many cheap copies showing up now, I wonder why ;)

Tim

John Stevenson
03-25-2007, 08:50 AM
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stevenson.engineers/lsteve/files/triple.jpg

GA drawing taken from the book.
There seem to be two issues, one at 200 pages and one at 400 pages.
The one at 400 pages has nearly all the drawing for a Claud Hamilton class loco of the Great Eastern Railway, can't remember seeing that in the thinner copy but can't put my hands on it at the moment only the 400 page version.
Loads of stuff on line shafting.
Far better than these modern book where you draw a machine vise.................

thistle
03-25-2007, 09:00 AM
now if you hit steam engine plans into fleabay-

http://cgi.ebay.com/PLANS-for-1943-TRIPLE-Expansion-Marine-STEAM-Engine_W0QQitemZ260099769619QQcategoryZ14019QQrdZ1 QQcmdZViewItem

Timleech
03-25-2007, 01:31 PM
The bookseller took my money & then sent it back, found they had sold the book already :(

Have to try again.

dicks42000
03-25-2007, 04:55 PM
Aostling;
Yes, the 5A is capable of some useful work. I've only had mine operating with air, never under steam since I never got around to finding or building a boiler big enough to operate it. (Yet another round tuit.)
Iirc, the 5A is descened from (copy of ?) a common design of small engine used as auxiliary power in houses, buildings & aboard ship. These were to drive generators for lighting, pumps, fans etc. back when electric motors & wiring systems weren't that common. My dad used to say it was a copy of auxiliary engines used on WW 1 steam mine sweepers....It seems to have many imitators on some of the other model/ small engine sites. (Tiny Power, Semple etc.) But how many ways are there to build a single cylinder, double acting vertical engine....?
I don't know if Stuart Models still sell the 5A kit, I haven't seen it listed on any sites recently. I bought this casting kit when I was still in school (25 + yrs. ago) and my father & I built it. Yes, someone else already pointed out that kits are expensive....Also the 5A would be a bit much to accomplish on a 618 Atlas. (I have one of them too.) We did the 5A on my 13 in. SouthBend & the milling & surface grinding at my dad's shop.
I would suggest you check out some of the triple expansion kits as mentioned, if you are looking for a faithful reproduction of a marine engine.
Yes, the old book shops are interesting to. Collecting old books is a whole other hobby.
I have had the pleasure of being on the old wooden steam tug, SS Master that lives here in Vancouver. The "Thomas Beardmore" triple expansion engine on that ship was build in or near London, and many were used in minesweepers for the Royal Navy circa. WW1. (My old man was one of the machinists who volunteered to keep it going in the '70's.) Now I do the occasional oil burner repairs for the society.....(2 x oil fired Scotch marine boilers....)
Have fun with your search for an engine & it's building. Crank turning can get interesting....Maybe start with a simple kit/ scratch built desighn to build your skill level and your tooling coolection.
Enjoy.
Rick

charlie coghill
03-25-2007, 07:11 PM
Hi Folks Since you are talking about steam engines here are a couple of pictures of an engine that I built from some castings. I put this engine in a WWII lifeboat hull that came from a liberty ship.

The person that made the castings probably is no longer a live, so they will not be avalible now. I did find another set of casting for the same engine and I am working on that engine now.

This engine is a 3X5X4 inch stroke and it is capable of doing some real work. Is swings a 24 inch propeller with 100 # of steam. It does not go fast, this summer I hope to put a tach on it and really see how fast it is turnning.

The boat is 22 ft long with a 7 ft. beam.

The other two links are to my photobucket site where you might find something of interest and a site for the boat.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/kcprecision/2005_0726Image0005.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/kcprecision/2005_0726Image0004.jpg

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/0903/kcprecision/?
http://home.earthlink.net/~kcprecision/

aostling
03-25-2007, 07:38 PM
Hi Folks Since you are talking about steam engines here are a couple of pictures of an engine that I built from some castings. I put this engine in a WWII lifeboat hull that came from a liberty ship.

The person that made the castings probably is no longer a live, so they will not be avalible now. I did find another set of casting for the same engine and I am working on that engine now.

This engine is a 3X5X4 inch stroke and it is capable of doing some real work. Is swings a 24 inch propeller with 100 # of steam. It does not go fast, this summer I hope to put a tach on it and really see how fast it is turnning.

The boat is 22 ft long with a 7 ft. beam.




This is a nice looking engine and boiler. It looks suited to the size of your lifeboat. A smaller craft, I'm thinking, might require an engine with a lower center of gravity than this vertical configuration provides.

I must be nice to know that all that Oregon beach driftwood is just waiting to fuel your boat.

If those are oilers, why does the engine need five?

charlie coghill
03-25-2007, 08:46 PM
The two oilers with the lines curving in under the engine oils the crosshead pins. The other oilers oil the main bearings.