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    Nonsuch
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    Member No.#5226
    RegisteredπŸ“…11th Oct 2018
    Last OnlineπŸ“…26th Jul 2021
    CityπŸ“Formby
    CountryπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§United Kingdom
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    PostsπŸ’¬63
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    Steam tug Lyttelton
    Details of this boat have been moved to a Build Blog.
    Next on the building board.
    I started Fly two years ago. My hobby was (and is) a godsend during lockdown. There was nothing above deck level until the first lockdown. My daily routine was basically looking at the plans to find what bit to do "today". One day last December, I couldn't find a daily task. I made another coffee and checked the drawings again. When I still couldn't find a bit to do, I realised that it was finished! Just a tad over two years.
    HMS Peregrine
    I hadn't built a boat for some years, having been distracted by aerobatic fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. Static sailing ship models keep you busy for years for comparatively small outlay, so ideal retirement projects. HMS Peregrine was my re-intro model.
    Recent Posts
    πŸ’¬ Re: Wheelhouse, anchor winch and boats
    1 month 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“ Wheelhouse, anchor winch and boats
    1 month 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: Long time, no blog!
    1 month 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“ Lost Website
    1 month ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    I recently bought an anchor winch from Battlecrafts. Your description of their stock certainly sounds like their website.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Long time, no blog!
    1 month 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“ Long time, no blog!
    1 month 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: Masts and Spars
    1 month ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Welcome to the perverse world of static sail!
    Have you noticed how kit manufacturers think that you can sand a 6mm round dowel into a 6x6mm square?
    I cheat and make masts from square stock in the first place. The topmast is obviously the most critical as it has square sections top and bottom. These must be parrallel otherwise the mast will have a twist in it. Starting with square allows top and bottom square sections to be easily alligned before rounding the middle part. I am fortunate to have a milling machine with spindexer, plus a lathe with a four jaw chuck. Without machinery, the simplest way us to make a tapered square mast (like a long skinny obelisk) then taping off the square sections to protect them from the sandpaper as you create the round section. Try and concentrate on getting crisp square to round transisions, over as short a distance as possible.
    Yards are attached by trusses which may be a plain rope sling or have parrels (a type of wooden bearing made of parrel ribs and wooden beads called trucks). See attached photos.
    Good luck, Mike
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Deck Fittings
    3 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Remember mistakes are not mistakes unless you do the same thing again. Make them only once and they're the learning curve.
    You're doing fine.
    The scalpel issue isn't you. They're designed for surgery, not whittling wood. X-acto are much thicker blades in a solid clamp handle - no comparison. Having said this I sand my gratings on the famous Aldi mini bench disc sander. As standard the platform to disc gap is far too high and it breaks things, so I clamp a piece of 5mm ply to the platform so it nearly touches the sanding disc.
    The channels should not be taking much tension, other than compressive against the ships side. I do however use edge pins. Drilling the edge is easy if you make a simple jig. See photos. The jig is square brass tube with three equally spaced holes. Straddle the edge of the channel so the pins are against opposite sides and the "drilling hole" is exactly central every time.
    Chain plate anchors need to be more solid, but not much. Rigging tension needs to be surprisingly low. You're not holding up a mast and fighting a sail in a storm, merely making the cord taught, as in not sagging. Over tight rigging will give problems as you add further cordage. The mast or yard should be straight without correcting it with rigging tension.
    Wire components for chainstays are "difficult" in several ways, specially for getting visually matching results. Some kit manufacturers offer an etched brass upgrade option. This usually includes chainplates, which are far easier to work with.
    Gun colour, I've tried most things and they nearly all have problems. If you add etched brass gun detail, like flintlock triggers and royal crests, the problem gets worse! My solution is light airbrushing with Mr Color black primer. It looks like the barrel has been very thinnly plastic dipped with a satin sheen.
    Hope this helps. Keep up your good work.
    MikeπŸ‘
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Hull Complete
    3 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Once I have the approximate position marked, I drill a small centre hole. I choose the centre, rather than a corner because unless I make a total horlicks of it, the hole will always be within the cut out area. I then place the metal strip (whose width is equal to the height of the gun port over the deck) an hold it inside the bulwark with a couple of clips. Then from the outside, using an X-Acto number 11, I cut a triangle from the pilot hole down to the baseline, but not quite the full width so I have some safety margin. The brass template then goes on and the port is "shaved" out with the X-Acto.
    The X-Acto number 11 is a long wedge shaped blade and basically the only one I use. Being a straight cutting edge, if you know where the tip is then you know just where the rest of the blade is, unlike curved blades that can be causing damage whilst you are watching the tip. Never use a curved blade to cut off excess rigging.....you will regret it!

    MikeπŸ‘
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Hull Complete
    3 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Well done. A splendid result for a first static.
    I know it's a bit late now, but.....
    I have an old treasured brass strip which has various sizes of square cut outs along it's length. Once gun port positions are marked out, I cut the bottom edge of the port using a metal strip placed on the deck (inside the bulwark) as a spacer and cutting guide. Once the bottom edge is established, I line up an appropriately sized square cut out in the brass strip (on the outside) and clamp it to the bulwark. The port can then be cut to the brass template. The process is simply repeated for each port.
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    πŸ“ Sail Making
    4 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    For Dacron you can simply cut it with a sharpened soldering iron bit. Do a few temperarure tests first and cut along a curved wooden strip.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: And Even More Planking
    4 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    For your first "static" she's looking good.
    I agree on doing the deck first. I even take it a stage further and paint the inside of the bulwark planks before fitting them. Any chips and scratches can easily be touched up later. No masking required.
    I'm very bad at buying a kit and then not using over half of it! I usually use sapele veneer for decks. One edge of the strip is wiped with an artists charcoal block before glueing in place. When "sanded" it gives the finest black caulking line imaginable. Note I say "sanded" as I finish decks with a small cabinet scraper, after first locking the grain down with thinned polyurethane varnish. Don't start scraping until the coats of varnish stop soaking in. Then just go with the grain, adding more coats and scraping each until perfectly smooth.
    If your gun ports are too big, consider lining them with veneer strips.
    ....but well done!
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    πŸ“ Spray Paining problem....
    4 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    I suspect a combination of too much paint and too cold. The lower temperature fails to evaporate the solvent as quickly as it should. A thick coat applied at low temperature will result in the lower coats being exposed to fresh solvent. If these first coats were allowed to dry at this low temperature they could still be soft.
    I spray in the shed, allow the paint to dry briefly to pass the dust attracting stage but then move the items into the warmth of the house to properly dry. Solvent smell is minimal this way.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Tow hook
    5 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: Second Planking
    5 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Perfect. You don't need the precision of Moore and Wright to hold a plank on.
    Be warned though, you'll soon be using them for everything!
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Second Planking
    5 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    The tool makers clamp also works while trial fitting a plank. It effectively gives you an extra hand so you can lock a plank in place and still have two hands for manipulating the rest of the plank while adjusting the fit. You can't use CA to test fit.
    Tool makers clamps can be adjusted so the jaws are parallel to the wood, avoiding unsightly compression marks. I have about ten of them in various sizes.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Second Planking
    5 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    I'm not a fan of superglue for planking, prefering more "wet" working time.
    One method of holding planks in place, that I find useful sometimes, is masking tape. Simply place masking tape along the plank being fitted. Press the tape to the adjacent plank and at the other edge, which steps down to the first layer of planking, use your finger nail to make the tape contact as close to the new plank edge as possible. This is OK for planks requiring little force to hold them down, but often not up to holding them at the bow where the curves are tighter. The problem here is keeping the very tip of the new plank from lifting away from the stem. On the full size, there would be a groove in the stem to accept the tip of the new plank. You can add a temporary edge to hold the tip of the plank by fitting a toolmakers clamp onto the stem. Place the end of the clamp parallel to the planking line, leaving a gap equal to the plank thickness. The new plank then "slots" into your temporary planking groove. This method is far more solid than pins and does not inflict any damage to the plank. A pin can be inserted next to the new plank, to hold it against your previous plank.
    I don't have anything at this building stage to photograph for you. If it doesn't make sense, let me know and I'll try and make some illustrations.
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    πŸ“ Tow hook
    5 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“ Fittings details
    5 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“ Steam tug Lyttelton
    5 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“ Dremel Tools
    5 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    I do like my Dremel tools. The new "click fit" system is fabulous for their grinding discs.
    I find the drum sander arbor disappointing. As soon as you generate any heat, it goes soft and the drums fly off.
    I am often tempted by the "flap wheel" type sander, made up of grit coated strings. They look as though they should be useful, but I can't see them lasting long. They're very expensive and in my mind too dear to try for what could be 2 minutes of amazement, followed by utter disappointment. Has anybody tried them?
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    πŸ“ Ten Years on !
    5 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Quite.
    Sadly many of my happy memories of Christchurch must remain only memories. A tragic loss, both material and in lives.
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    πŸ“ boat roll
    5 months ago by Nonsuch ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Maybe we worry too much these days. I was brought up with single channel R/C. To get right rudder, you had to go full left first. ( could be full right then full left depending on tiller fitting)
    Now that did upset a boats dignity!
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Time to get her bottom wet.
    5 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.
    5 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: Steam tug Lyttelton (steam plant enquiries)
    5 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“ Time to get her bottom wet.
    5 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: Steam tug Lyttelton (steam plant enquiries)
    5 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)
    5 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“ Steam tug Lyttelton (steam plant enquiries)
    5 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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