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New flash! Richard Carlstedt is the 2009 Metalworking Craftsman of the Year winner

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  • Orrin
    Congratulations, Rich, for this well-deserved rceognition! I've saved every word and every picture you've posted about your masterpiece. Every now and then I'll go back and re-read, re-look and re-admire.

    Best regards,


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  • Rich Carlstedt
    I am a volunteer resource now for the Mariners Museum in Newport News Virgina.
    I gave a lecture to the Staff and Curators there last May on the construction and operation of the engine, using both my model and photos of some parts.
    Some of my research has already helped them with some instruments recovered from the wreck, and the manner in which the engine is fastened to the bedplate, and "what all those tubes /valves are "
    My original reason for writting a book was to help the museum "dissect" the engine down the road.
    Then NOAA requested a dulpicate one, and I thought maybe I should do more books because of the interest in this unusual engine. I have met John Broadwater, NOAA's man who was on all the dives and history channel programs . Right now I am putting together some data for NOAA about "erronious" information that has been published about the engine. For instance, the bore is 40", yet some important Historical books report it as 32" or 36 "
    I can validate the Bore based on close study of the engine timing drawing and material from the National Archives. One side note, They thought that the cylinder heads had 20 studs, yet my work showed 22. And I couldn't work anything but 22 into my drawings
    As a machinist I thought that 20 is a nice round number for a dividing head and 22 was really weird....but they didn't use dividing heads back then, and Engine designers used surface area to determine number of studs.( simple !)
    Since I have never touched or seen the engine out of the water, I requested a (grave stone) rubbing of the 3 missing studs barely visible on one end of the cylinder (the entire rest of the engine and heads is thickly covered with barnicals) from the museum. They did it and when I chorded it, it showed 22.
    Hot Dog!
    Back then, machinists used dividers and would step off the spacing around the bolt circle. If the divisions were off, they reset the calipers/dividers and did it again until they hit the target. They did not use angles,rotabs, or fancy layouts.
    Part of the detective work is understanding the methods used back then.
    That is a story unto itself.
    thanks for listening, and the question lazlo
    Last edited by Rich Carlstedt; 01-07-2009, 12:32 AM.

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  • lazlo
    Rich, have you considered offering your services to one of the National Maritime Museums, or NOAA?

    With all the interest raising pieces of the Monitor generated, I'd imagine there's at least a couple of dozen more maritime mysteries for you to practice forensic model engineering

    Where's the Merrimack? The CSS Virginia for you Southerners

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  • Rich Carlstedt
    Hey Dennis
    Let me congratulate You !

    You are the first one to comment on the lack of a flywheel or propeller.
    And you are correct, getting a steam engine to run without a flywheel gets pretty tricky.
    Having a Propeller would help a great deal to smooth the engine, although it does run pretty well now.
    Timing is not adjustable on this engine. All eccentrics were keyed as was the real engine at the factory settings.
    It made me nervious as hxxx to know that if it didn't run, I was in big trouble.
    but it ran out of the box as they say.

    A couple of comments. This engine is the only 2 cylinder engine I have seen with unbalanced events.
    Because of the nature of the crank centerline being above the rocking lever shaft centerlines,
    you get into some wierd mechanics.
    In the case of the Monitor, the events are 80 degrees and 100 degrees ( instead of 90,90 )
    This also makes the sound different put,put..put,put..put,put and forces the main crank to lope a little
    as the pistons reach the end of their stroke in uneven stride.

    The bearings are bronze caps held together by whats called a "Gib and Cotter". both the gib and cotter are match tapered which means as the gib (long taper pin ) is forced down, the cotter which grips the bearing, moves out, tightening the bearing. As the bearing wears, the caps are removed and filed by hand -back to running clearance- and then reassembled and the gib is then driven down further .
    The long gibs on the model are scale and thats the way the real engine is, and was standard construction for that day. Having a very long gib, meant many bearing rebuilds before replacement .

    And thanks fellas for the kind words !

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  • Alguy
    Those of us that attended NAMES last year could see it in person, and looks
    in my opinion, flawless . While looking at it Rich was there and would answer questions , so i asked one, the next thing i knew he was taking something off to show me, I tried to stop him, his reply was "this comes off easily and you can see it better" he was correct in a few seconds, part in hand he was explaining to me how the throttle vanes worked. Congrats Rich on a job well done.

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  • torker
    I've seen your amazing work before Rich...I'm very happy that you have such great recognition for it now!
    When I see work like that I just shake my head. This kind of craftsmanship is just way over the top! Thanks again Rich, for sharing!

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  • Fasttrack
    Very neat! That is a well deserved award. Well done and congratulations! That takes more skill than I have.

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  • dp
    One thing that struck me about that engine is the lack of a flywheel, and while the propeller could be thought of as a flywheel, it has other forces it is dealing with besides inertia, and it is coupled by linear to articulating to rotational translators. A very complex power train. This lack of a fly wheel can be seen in the operation of your model as the pistons move to and fro. The speed of the connecting rods is continually changing. So my wonderment is how much of that is damped out by the wetted propeller?

    And you did an amazing job recreating that engine!

    Can you identify the purpose of the wedges in the connecting and articulating rod ends? They look like they were probably done for maintenance.

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  • Rich Carlstedt
    Wow, thanks fellas !
    It is sort of mind numbing (have that anyway !)
    Your reactions are very kind .Thank you !

    It didn't start out to be what it turned out to be ..If thats understandable?
    Took one step at a time. I have to say, and that a lot of folks have helped me on this journey. My friend Ray Hasbrouch helped point my nose in the starting direction around 1995. Encouraging comments by the likes of Glen and Jim H sure helped keep me focused along the way
    As RPM said, the few drawings available were a disaster for both accuracy and they had no dimensions. So the detective work was more demanding almost than the machining in may cases.
    I guess I was either nuts or in love with the engine.
    I actually hesitated starting it, because of the challenge, but had a picture of Cal Ripken on my dresser at that time , (the famous pitcher who played in over 2600 games) and it had his motto....." Just Do It "
    My two year probable time stretched to 6 because of health issues (PC) and the more I found out about the engine, the more determined I was to show its unique qualities and function. None of these type engines (20 ~) exist today, except for the very first one, which was recently pulled off the ocean floor, and that I think made it all the more important to display, and to run.

    My current project is to get all the drawings in order for publication and to write a book about the engine. No data has ever been printed about it and I figure the many pictures I have of parts will come in handy when shown next to the prints in the book

    I have had a few unusual setups and hope to get them written up for George Buliss and HSM to consider.
    I also thank Sherline and Joe Martin for the recognition and appreciation of work done by home shop machinists like myself. It is truly noteworthy that someone cares about our projects and encourages the improvement of our skills, and does so honorably without strings being attached. It sincerely reflects the character of the many fine people in our hobby and on this board, where help and committment to improved skills occur everyday

    Thanks to all for the comments !
    I will be at the Cabin Fever on January 16 and 17 th in York PA with the engine. Please stop by and say hello, or catch me at NAMES in Toledo in April

    Thanks to All

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  • wierdscience
    Congrats on a job well done Rich!

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  • J Tiers
    Saying it is more than well-deserved seems to me to not indicate enough enthusiasm.... but I can't find better words so they will have to do.....

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  • Liger Zero
    Yikes! Here I am congratulating myself over fixing the mailbox with a home-made nylon bolt. Time to come back to reality.

    Congrats Richard!

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  • RPM

    Many huge Congratulations Rich!!!

    One thing that came to me, as I watched the video of the engine running, was another whole level of genius that Rich has achieved, which takes his accomplishment to a whole unique level, way above any previous winners of this award...

    Comparing the engine running in the video with the pictures Rich posted of the original engine underwater, it's obvious that he's had to re-create the design of the engine almost from scratch, with virtually no original plans to work from. If you look at the artists rendering, you can see several points where the artist got it wrong, yet for years this was the only print to be found. It's almost inconceivable that anybody could produce such a beautiful and accurate piece of work based on that barnacle covered chunk of metal.

    So hat's off to you Rich, for not only being a brilliant inventive machinist, but also for your superb meticulous research that made this all possible.

    Richard in Los Angeles

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  • Bruce Griffing
    Congratulations on a well deserved award!!! And thanks for sharing it (your work that is) with us.

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  • Willy
    Thanks to the internet I've been fortunate enough to see Rich's craftsmanship before.
    Definitely a well deserved recognition of extraordinary skill as a master craftsman.
    Here's a couple of "Atta Boys" Rich, well done!
    Hopefully I'll be lucky enough to see his work in person one day.

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