Status of project = Topkek
For all those who live on bookface, here is the page where this project can be followed with far more regular updates and photographs than here. Go forth my minions! Support my nefarious plot! [link]
All six of the valve gear dashpot plungers have been removed with a self-made hydraulic jacking apparatus. The most stuck pot required over 50,000 pounds of force to dislodge. We did not crack the cast iron because I suppose we are just that good. That's a milestone.
I have applied for and successfully gained a large grant for the project and we now have money to put directly toward the mechanical refurbishment of the steam engine, without strings attached. Enormous thanks to the Liberty Historic Railway group for said grant.
That said, donations are still welcome. Donations of money or equipment are welcome. We are right now looking for 2" and 3" black iron pipe, can be new or used, any lengths. A 3" NPT check valve for the suction end of the new condenser cooling water pump would also greatly help things. Donations have already been pouring in including this new centrifugal pump and the gigantic 15 Horsepower 3 phase motor to drive it. Thank you to Jim Conte (Creator of LSB boiler treatment!) for donating to us a large amount of lubrication oil, and thank you to Keith Appleton (yes that Keith Appleton!) of Main Steam Models fame for his generous financial donation! PM me for further details on donations.
For those of you who did not already know; got the 1914 250 Volt DC motor up and running for demonstrations.
We are greatly accelerating the valve gear repair by having more complex pieces being made at the machine shop of engine restorationist Bill Hazzard, using grant money to pay his standard rate. This is a fitter who has repaired countless antique engines and understands the nuances, and more importantly can do it far faster than my shop working alone because time is very much of the essence with any and all projects like this one.
Other project status news;
The first few of the 11 valve gear parts have already been finished; the broken HP dashpot plungers have been brazed back together, IP pot plungers now pending for the same operation. LP pots still need to be removed from their perch atop the pot casing, currently confined by the deck above them.
Tons of light fixtures and related electrics fixed up. More to be done.
Condenser access points have been removed. Discovered a few broken cooling tubes, ice damage was the cause, we should have these sorted quickly. All Corliss valves have now been unstuck and are moving by hand as is the vast majority of the valve gear. Works drawings being professionally digitized.
The wet-air pump engine underneath the condenser for the steam turbine has been filled with penetrating oil on both ends to un-stick it.
Cleaning of the four original steam boilers is ongoing.
Thoroughly pressure-wash engine, thoroughly pressure wash boilers externally and internally, after Winter ends.
Get the motor and centrifugal pump onto a sled with eyebolts for lifting hardpoints, couple them together with the already procured lovejoy coupling. Move this pump sled down to the engine pit and place beside condenser; Obtain 2" and 3" NPT pipe pump suction into pit and discharge into condenser cooling water space. Tap top flange for 3" NPT for this purpose.
Drill/tap bottom flange of wet air end head of condenser for 3" NPT.
Remove steam line end flange in engine room and drill/tap for 3" NPT in preparation for steam connection from portable boiler outside.
Construct phase converter using smaller AC motor, and boards to tap the system into the current 208VAC single phase supply. Wire pump motor to the resulting composite 3 phase 208VAC. (Eventually run B phase from the outbuilding back into the engine house with 4 gauge wire to make complete 3 phase again)
Complete refurbishment of board lamp on original DC electric lighting board and install full-bridge rectifier so voltmeter can be used again without damaging its movement on AC current
Remove crosspipe from engine condensate seperator to boiler room and reroute to drain cock and then to drain line into the pit.
Slot the deck over the LP dash pots to get the pistons out of their confined area and down to the floor.
Get finished HP and IP pot plungers to Bill Hazzard.
Procure a steam pump or ejector suitable for use with wet air, fighting the vacuum of a condenser. Possibly retrofit a regular duplex pump for this purpose, which we have two of. Plumb this into the wet air end of the condenser.
Procure at least 50 feet of 3" NPT ended steam hose for connecting the steam line header to the portable boiler.
Repair city water connection with crimped end to a proper spigot fitting to be used as feedwater input to the portable boiler, and find suitable lengths of hose of a better grade than garden hose for connection.
Obtain large Veriac to change 208VAC to 240VAC required by the portable boiler's electrical input for control groups and burner impeller motor.
Retrieve entire repaired engine valve gear from Bill Hazzard once work is complete and begin reinstalling it onto the engine.