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    11

















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    Steam tug Lyttelton
    by Nonsuch πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    9 Posts 39 Comments 0 Photos 61 Likes
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    πŸ“ Wheelhouse, anchor winch and boats
    4 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    The wheelhouse was fabricated around a wooden block. Top and bottom formers were attached with pins before wrapping with 0.8mm ply to give both sides and the front. Windows were pre-cut with the exception of the front corner ones. These were left to stop the walls gaping on the corners. Once the glue had dried the pins were removed and the wooden block pulled out via the "back wall". The back wall was then added. A sunroof was cut to allow further work to be done on the front corner windows. Top and bottom shelves were added for the window opening before cutting out the openings and adding the frames. Panels and frames were added to the wheelhouse sides using strips of veneer. Internal window frames were added with 4x1mm walnut. Window panes were cut from overhead projector film and locked in from the front with 1x1mm walnut beading.
    Telegraphs and binnacle were fabricated from turned brass and brass strip. The white metal wheel (supplied with the kit) was used, but not before much filing and fettling. The brass rims were painted on whilst mounted in the lathe and turning at very low speed. The wheel column and steam slave cylinders were made from walnut and piping made from small diameter multicore solder, then painted with acrylics. Doors were fashioned to match the paneling and fitted on brass wire "rails".
    I realised that I had made an error on my drawings and the steps were too far astern, leaving a very short life boat deck, but I was going to have to live with it. The original kit built life boats were far too long, so a plug was carved and two smaller boats clinker built round it. Davits are from brass tube and wire with turned brass pulleys, winch drums and footings.
    I had intended fabricating the anchor winch, but found a slightly different model of Thomas Reid winch was available 3d printed so got one made at 1/48 scale to get the correct width across the drums. Hand controls were fabricated from plasticard and brass wire. Anti-kink chain was sourced to replace the plain links supplied with the kit. This fitted the chain pulleys perfectly.
    Next step is to refit the steam plant and completely repipe it.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Wheelhouse, anchor winch and boats
    4 months ago by Newby7 ( Vice Admiral)
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    Nicely done on the small bits Good luck with the piping. I enjoy piping the steam plant as its the finish of the build that makes it run.
    Rick
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Wheelhouse, anchor winch and boats
    4 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    I'm realising that the detail is what I really like doing best. I was obviously always suited to static sail and am now itching to finish the tug so that I can start my next frigate build.
    'Glad you appreciate my OCD!
    Mike
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Wheelhouse, anchor winch and boats
    4 months ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Excellent work.
    Amazing detail.
    Well done.

    Martin555.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Wheelhouse, anchor winch and boats
    4 months ago by Colin H ( Vice Admiral)
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    Your detail work is absolutely fabulous, and the finish is sure to be admired by everyone who sees it.
    Soon be on the water, so looking forward to seeing her in action.
    Cheers Colin.
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    πŸ“ Long time, no blog!
    4 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    I haven't posted for some time as I went through a phase of making more U-turns than fittings!
    I realised that my chosen model was too small for the motor I was wanting to fit in it, so sourced a much smaller double acting V-twin unit. The motor now fits under the engine room skylights/vents.
    I needed eight skylights for my conversion and only six were in the kit. The white metal items also weighed in at over 15grams each, so I fabricated eight new ones from ply and delrin at 3grams each. Captains cabin skylights were made from card frames with PVA rivets and the window guards from 1mm ply and brass wire.
    The main superstructure is 3mm ply formers wrapped in 1mm ply to get the curved front corners. I realised at this stage that I had made a mistake in my drawings. The wheelhouse was too long and thus the stairs placed too far astern, leaving virtually no room for the boat deck. I had already built the two lifeboats, but decided they were too large and made a wooden plug to plank slightly smaller boats round.
    The boat deck still looks tight, but it will do.
    The funnel was also causing grief at this point. Occre supply a card tube which is probably fine for electric powered models, but despite priming with several coats of thinned enamel, the tube turned to papiermache on seeing steam! I looked aroung the shed and spotted my beloved tin tube that my piercing saw blades live in......spot on. This had contained two miniatures of Rajpur gin, but was perfect. It had rolled top and bottom rims and a lovely seam running along its full lengh. A row of small drops of epoxy was added alongside the seam to simulate rivets and wire step rungs were soldered into two rows of holes, drilled on the milling machine for accuracy.
    The ventilators on Lyttelton are very tall and proportioned like lollipops. As I couldn't find anything ready made, I would have to fabricate some. I found a likely mould in the kitchen, in the form of a metal hemispherical measuring spoon, but following Cambrian Ninja death glances from my financial manager, I thought again. The hardware shop in the village saved the day with two sets of plastic measuring spoons for just over Β£3. A suitable sized pair was selected, their handles removed, holes drilled with an end mill and then glued onto plastic tubes. Filler, splash of paint and they look great.
    Tow rope fender bars were cut from 4mm marine ply and strips of 1mm ply added as cappings to form H-sections.
    That's long enough for now. I'll come back in a couple of days with details on the wheelhouse fittings and furniture.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Long time, no blog!
    4 months ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    I see Mickey is ready to take her out on her sea trials.
    Great work.

    Martin555.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Long time, no blog!
    4 months ago by Newby7 ( Vice Admiral)
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    Great job with the build.
    Rick
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Long time, no blog!
    4 months ago by Robertcooper ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    I do like that ship a boiler you are building it looks a fantastic job

    Robert πŸ‘
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Long time, no blog!
    4 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    The motor and boiler are out of the boat at the moment. I have been bench running and checking working pressure. It runs at 25-30psi and max's at about 42psi with the regulator turned off. In my mind test certificate exempt.
    I have just bought a roll of copper pipe and a mini pipe bender, so will take photos of the reinstallation and post here once working again.
    I'm experimenting with a second superheater set up to replace the condenser. Condensers keep a lot of heat inside the model and unless you have a boiler feed pump are simply emptied out periodically. Their purpose is basically to prevent hot water squirting up the chimney. I am trying a second superheater coil for the motor exhaust. As long as the coil is hot before the steam regulator is turned on, no hot water is blown out. No problems there then? What I do have is a fabulous amount of steam from the chimney. It looks great, but the jury is still out on that one!
    Mike
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Long time, no blog!
    4 months ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Hi Nonsuch,

    I would be nice to see how your steam setup is installed in the fantastic Tug.

    Martin555.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Long time, no blog!
    4 months ago by jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
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    That's looking fantastic so far Mike, looking forward to the finished model. Like the idea of the spoons, they come in handy for lots of things, - air scoops in particular.

    JB
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Long time, no blog!
    4 months ago by Newby7 ( Vice Admiral)
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    Thanks Mike will look for him.
    Rick
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Long time, no blog!
    4 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    The new motor came from the guy who supplied the original vertical twin and boiler unit. They're branded as "Microcosm" but the only outlet that I know of is on Ebay. His seller name is Galgig. He lists a few items under "steam" which annoyingly is found under "toys and games". Once you find one of his items visit his shop, as he by no means shows everything in the listings.
    He's in China and although his English is far better than my Mandarin, communication is basic. I have dealt with him three times now and consider him an OK guy.
    Mike
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Long time, no blog!
    4 months ago by Newby7 ( Vice Admiral)
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    The boat looks great. Love the steam plant. If you would who makes the plant and were did you purchase.
    Rick
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    πŸ“ Tow hook
    8 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    I just spent a couple of days making the tow hook.
    In my photographs, taken twenty years ago, Lyttelton was very much stripped for restoration and I can't see any details of the hook. I was given a photocopy of a photo taken on one of her trips to the Antarctic. Given her role the shot had been thought fully taken looking down the tow rope, showing some very blurred "detail" of the hook. So my creation is almost a total guess, but I think this it looks the part.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Tow hook
    7 months ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Coming along nicely Nonsuch,
    Keep up the good work.

    Martin555.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Tow hook
    8 months ago by Newby7 ( Vice Admiral)
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    I do believe you've done it. Looks fantastic to me. Only some know the hook would tell if it were not right.
    Rick
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Tow hook
    8 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Thanks for the info.
    As you say, "who's going to know?"
    I'm finding it difficult to not follow the plans and use a reference photo. I got carried away and added all the bollards round the bow and stern hawse eyes but they're Ulises not Lyttelton!
    As they won't come off without leaving scars, they can stay.
    At the end of the day, all I really want is a live steam tug boat that looks pretty. (Purists accept my apologies now!)
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Tow hook
    8 months ago by jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Nice job on the tow hook NS, who is going to know anyhow

    Some more info on the Lyttelton (last link has a few good vids) Pic of Lyttelton with warship- HMS Renown in Lyttelton harbour. Info also on her bigger sister Lyttelton II

    https://sites.google.com/site/lytteltonnz/thesteamtuglyttelt...

    https://tuglyttelton.co.nz/history/


    https://www.facebook.com/tuglyttelton/videos/ever-asked-what-a-105-year-old-steam-engine-looks-and-sounds-like-this-is-one-of/328085123921635/?__so__=permalink&__rv__=related_videos

    JB
    https://sites.google.com/site/lytteltonnz/thesteamtuglytteltoniiof1939
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    https://tuglyttelton.co.nz/history/
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    https://www.facebook.com/tuglyttelton/videos/ever-asked-what-a-105-year-old-steam-engine-looks-and-sounds-like-this-is-one-of/328085123921635/?__so__=permalink&__rv__=related_videos
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    πŸ“ Fittings details
    8 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Having been asked for more info on my homemade fittings:-
    The photo against the engineers square shows that the original double bit was out of square. Stuck to the square are four single bit tops. These are supposed to be glued to the top of pieces of dowel. You can actually see that some aren't round and that their "diameter" varies.
    My single bits are made up of a turned delrin post and ring, which is tapped in place using a hole in some 1mm ply as a depth guage to get them all the same. This is secured with CA adhesive. The post is then placed in the milling vice (on parallels) using the ring as a position guide and the cross hole made using an end mill.
    The kit supplied double bit weighs in at 14 grams. My delrin item (in black) is 4.1grams. It's fabricated just like the singles.
    Some of the supplied fittings are really nice, like the engine room skylights, but are heavy. The one shown being 13.1 grams. Six are supplied, but I will need eight, so I'll make a whole new set. I'll be using 1.5 mm ply lids, 0.8 mm frames and delrin "pot holes". If I can get mine at about 4 grams each, that will be a total of 32 grams for eight compared to 80 grams for the six supplied. Another 50 grams shed from above the waterline.
    What Occre were thinking of when they selected the rudder and prop, I do not know. They'd be OK on a Vosper, but a tug boat, really?
    The rudder spindle is brass rod with a 2mm groove milled 3mm deep to accept the brass blade. Once the blade was soldered in place 1.25 mm flats were milled from each side of the rudder spindle, below the waterline, to reduce drag.
    Brass prop is courtesy of Cornwall Model Boats.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Fittings details
    8 months ago by stevedownunder ( Lieutenant)
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    Hi Nonsuch,

    Lovely fitting it is a big improvement over the original cast one.
    Clearly Occre didn't put much effort into the kit, grabbing a prop and rudder out of their parts bin and throwing it into the kit, saying that will do.

    Cheers,
    Stephen.
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    πŸ“ Steam tug Lyttelton
    8 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    The build just had a week off whilst I fixed my lathe.
    Parting off almost needed ear plugs. Using a dial indicator, I narrowed this down to play in the lead screw nut. It was obviously time to make a new one, which of course I did......right?
    No, I compromised and tightened up the jib strip to stop it chattering. This has the effect of stiffening the whole cross slide action, further stressing the worn out threads. The next day, the whole tool post jumped back about 1mm......a whole thread pitch.
    I now had to make a new lead screw nut without a functioning cross slide! I managed to make up a mini screw jack which could advance the tool post by a few thou', then lock the cross slide with the jib locking lever. What should have taken two hours to make, took all week.
    What's that old adage? A stitch in time, saves.....trauma?

    Anyway, we're up and running again.
    The hull is now painted and lacquered. The name lettering is laser cut vinyl lettering, courtesy of the Leeds Model Shop, whose mail order service is a life line at the moment.
    The reason that I needed the lathe running again, is that I am remaking most of the kit fittings. Where a part should be round in section, they are flattened so badly that the mould lines are like knife edges. If you file them back to shape, they are about half the diameter they should be. I am machining them from Delrin, so my fittings weigh approximately 25% of the white metal originals. As all the fittings are above the deck, I should be reducing the rolling moment of the finished model considerably.
    Next step is to redaw the super structure and deck houses to look more like Lyttelton. Again, as I'm not using the kit components, I'm going light and using 0.8mm and 1.5mm ply.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton
    8 months ago by stevedownunder ( Lieutenant)
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    Hi Nonsuch,
    I hope your lathe is now running well after all that work.
    Any chance of some photos of the new fittings?
    Cheers,
    Stephen.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton
    8 months ago by jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Looking great so far!

    JB
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    πŸ“ Time to get her bottom wet.
    8 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Picking Ulises to house my steam plant was after seeing a live steam version on YouTube. I later realised that his engine was a twin, single acting, oscillating unit. Probably half the weight of my engine. Needless to say I have had my worries since.
    As the priming was done I decided that the time had come to get her bottom wet. She floats well above the waterline, so I may sleep tonight.
    The photo of the prop and rudder is my solution at getting a scale appearance but still being able to remove the rudder. More importantly I will be able to pull the propshaft out from the outside. No doubt someone will tell me that there is a much easier way, but it's done now.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Time to get her bottom wet.
    8 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    No changes needed for that idea! I could try that for starters and see how it goes.
    Thanks.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Time to get her bottom wet.
    8 months ago by GaryLC ( Midshipman)
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    I would say the nearer to the engine the better with regard to the lubricator, and the simplest quick fix would be to empty it using a syringe, replace the needle with flexible tubing.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Time to get her bottom wet.
    8 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Thanks for the comments. I share your concern over the lubricator and am considering moving it. Currently it feeds back into the regulator valve and then into the inlet T piece (manifold)
    I am thinking of putting a T piece into the main inlet pipe, just ahead of the regulator. This would place the lubricator running transversely, just infront of the engine. Much better access, although it would mean locating the lubricator on the boiler side of the regulator.
    Is there a reason that the lubricator should be on the engine side of the regulator?
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Time to get her bottom wet.
    8 months ago by GaryLC ( Midshipman)
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    Very nice to see yet another convert to Steam, and that has to be the bargain of the year your boiler and a very nice steam engine for less than half price. I also managed a bargain out of Mr. Galgig an automatic gas control valve as the only bidder. I am wondering about your engine access especially with regard to the bottom drain valve on the lubricator? Mind a really nice hull you have there, and wishing you every success with your build. Regards, Gary. Attached is a photo of a Cheddar steam plant to go into a Mountfleet Clyde puffer hull.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Time to get her bottom wet.
    8 months ago by Newby7 ( Vice Admiral)
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    Doesn't matter if it isn't what others do. Making it easy to work on or repair is the bottom line. I think you did a nice job and it looks good to boot.
    Rick
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Time to get her bottom wet.
    8 months ago by Ron ( Commodore)
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    I mount my rudder this way too. It makes sense to be able to remove the rudder easily, then work on the wheel and shaft.
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    πŸ“ Steam tug Lyttelton (steam plant enquiries)
    8 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    She is to be live steam. Atached photo is her propane fired boiler. Safety certificates are dependent on pressure and boiler volume. This boiler is well below requiring a certificate.
    Although I have built two Stuart Turner engines in the past, I only have a micro lathe these days and it isn't up to turning cylinder blocks or crankshafts. This engine is a commercially available unit,
    or was until recently.
    The make is Microcosm, which come from China. Just after China's first lockdown, this complete steam plant came up on Ebay for bidding, starting at Β£400. The units usually retail at Β£950 in this spec'. I assume he was offering this one reserved at cost price, just to get some cashflow. I was the only bidder and got it for Β£438 including postage. Customs charged me VAT plus their handling charge.
    The sellername was "galgig" but although I have him saved as a seller, he is listing no items. I think he manufactured them, so have no idea from where (or if) they are available.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton (steam plant enquiries)
    8 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Just spotted that Ebay seller "Galgig" has items listed again. He seems to have changed to model vintage four stroke stationary engines. If you "visit sellers shop" he has a twin cylinder marine steam plant advertised. Consists of engine with reverse, boiler, burner, gas tank and condenser.
    Says it's the last one and is at Β£900 including free postage.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton (steam plant enquiries)
    8 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Thanks for raising a doubt. It appears that the "under 3 bar litres" is no longer an exemption. It was dropped in the 2013 UK rule ammendment.
    The rule now only stipulates the working pressure of 3 bar. As the boiler volume is only 0.42 litres it would have been well under the previous regs.
    It's probably best to send it for testing and let the examiner decide whether it needs a certificate, but with the rule change I suspect it does.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton (steam plant enquiries)
    8 months ago by Ianh ( Commander)
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    Funnily enough model loco cylinders are either PB or cast iron! Brass was good enough ough for Mamod
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton (steam plant enquiries)
    8 months ago by Ianh ( Commander)
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    Your comments on boiler certification are correct as a general assumption but be aware that different countries have different specifications for model boilers Australia being one of them
    Normally 4 inch diameter copper drawn pipe with a suitable wall thickness works around the certification
    Good Luck and enjoy the build
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton (steam plant enquiries)
    8 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Keith Appleton is a YouTuber whose channel deals with model steam engine troubleshooting and repair. He does a review of this exact Microcosm engine and gives it the thumbs up. His only reservation is the brass cylinder block rather than cast iron. But as he points out, a few minutes running round the pond isn't like a 5" loco hauling a carriage full of young children for several hours at a gala.
    Plus if it wears, you just swap out the silicon piston ring.
    They should be quite good enough for the likes of us.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton (steam plant enquiries)
    8 months ago by Newby7 ( Vice Admiral)
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    Thank you for your reply.Great find and price for the plant. Steam engines and boilers are very expensive and hard to find on line. Any thing I've bid on most times gets out bid.I do keep looking.
    Rick
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    πŸ“ The Microcosm twin cylinder
    8 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    By popular request, here is that pretty little engine.
    This is what started the build. I originally wanted to put this engine in a Henley Regatta referee launch, to show off this little gem. On drawing up plans I realised that to get enough displacement for the steam plant, the model would be too long for my car boot!
    I've run her on compressed air so far and performance is excellent.
    She happliy ticks over at about 100 rpm. I think she must be well engineered to do that.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: The Microcosm twin cylinder
    8 months ago by stevedownunder ( Lieutenant)
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    Lovely engine NS,

    Looking forward to seeing some running on steam shots at some point.

    Cheers,
    Stephen.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: The Microcosm twin cylinder
    8 months ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Very nice, I wish i could make engines like that.

    Martin555.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: The Microcosm twin cylinder
    8 months ago by Newby7 ( Vice Admiral)
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    Good looking engine.Sounds as if the engine will have good power to run the boat. Do you know the make of the engine.Will you be putting in a boiler or will you run the engine with a motor.You probably know this all ready but if it is steam for the boat.You will need full access to all fittings and will need a condenser for contaminated steam from the engine. Good luck with the build.
    Rick
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    πŸ“ Steam tug Lyttelton
    8 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Here is my latest build. She's based on the Occre Ulises kit. She'll be powered by a Microcosm twin cylinder steam plant with reversing valve gear.
    Since being shown round the original ship in NZ, I always fancied making a model of her. She'll never be true scale as the original had twin engines and twin screws, but I can't get that into a 30" model.
    Now the hull is built, it's over to photographs that I took in 2000 while she was being restored.
    The planking is not as supplied as this was in 400mm strips. Unfortunately this would have meant each adjacent plank having a joint on adjacent bulkheads. To avoid this, three strips would be needed for every alternate plank. As I'm not one for butt joints, that meant 120 scarfe joints. Needless to say I bought 1metre lengths of 7x2mm lime from Cornwall Model Boats.
    The deck is not Occre wood either. That's 4mm Sapele veneer that I keep in stock for my static builds.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton
    8 months ago by jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Hi NS, Guess you've seen these sites?

    https://tuglyttelton.co.nz/gallery/

    http://www.nzmaritime.co.nz/tug.htm

    https://www.odt.co.nz/star-news/star-christchurch/historic-lyttelton-tug-gets-thrown-funding-lifeline

    JB
    https://tuglyttelton.co.nz/gallery/
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    http://www.nzmaritime.co.nz/tug.htm
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    https://www.odt.co.nz/star-news/star-christchurch/historic-lyttelton-tug-gets-thrown-funding-lifeline
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton
    8 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    That's her, looking smarter than she did in 2000!
    Fortunately the Lyttelton Preservation Society is very active and there are many photographs available from them.
    One of your photos shows some great detail of the anchor winch which will be very useful. Winches are almost like a fingerprint for these old tugs, seldom seeing two alike. Occre's offering is fairly poor, so I'll happily bin it and make a Lyttelton replica.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton
    8 months ago by philcaretaker ( Lieutenant Commander)
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    Is this the one ? - Taken 8th Feb 2008 - Happy days !
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton
    8 months ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Hi Nonsuch,
    The hull has came out really well.
    Keep up the good work.
    It would be nice to see some more photos of your steam plant.

    Martin555.
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