Building my 1.5" scale Clishay as a beginner

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Fender
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Re: Building my 1.5" scale Clishay as a beginner

Post by Fender » Sun Dec 13, 2015 1:59 pm

littleevan99 wrote:Is there any good way to break up the clinkers while its running without raking the fire like a madman?
This section from the 1944 publication Locomotive Firing may be helpful. One problem is that full-size locomotives burning coal had movable grates, which allowed the fireman to "shake" the grates to various degrees while running. This allowed the fire to be jostled, to encourage the ash to fall through the grates, without mixing the fire top to bottom. That is one of the main causes of clinkers, mixing fresh coal in with the burning coal and ashes.
Clinker Avoidance.jpg
As for live steam locos without movable grates, the main thing to avoid is stirring the fire unnecessarily, especially right after new coal is added. It helps to sprinkle the coal over the entire firebed, rather than piling it in one place and then spreading it out. If you do have to rake the fire to re-level or pull out a clinker, try to not dig down too deep. As opposed to raking, sometimes it's necessary to "punch" through the fire if air is not getting through. When this is needed, punch straight through without "stirring".
Dan Watson

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littleevan99
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Re: Building my 1.5" scale Clishay as a beginner

Post by littleevan99 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:29 am

Tomorrow, I'm going to try and roll out the CliShay and run it on wood pellets with the special grate that I made a while ago for doing that. I also made a shovel for the pellets that holds as much as a real big handful so that keeping the fire stoked should be as easy as using coal. I hope that I can make them my primary fuel source for my engine someday, and that's because they're cheap and easy to find here in California. Plus they smell good, and are not as dirty as the coal I burn! I've ran it once like that before, but it didn't go so well because of my restrictive spark arrestor, and because I was using my coal shovel that can barely hold any pellets. It did make plenty of steam though, and I'm curious to see how it does now.
Attachments
IMG_3460.JPG
Here's the new shovel
IMG_3461.JPG
Here's the grate I made, and it was made out of 1/4" perforated plate with 1/4" holes on a 3/8" stagger. That little pipe in the middle has 6-8(I can't remember) 5/32" air holes in it. Plus that little pipe makes it easier to dump the grate when I need to.
1.5" scale CliShay
2.5" 20 ton Shay under construction
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Re: Building my 1.5" scale Clishay as a beginner

Post by Harold_V » Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:18 am

Should be an interesting experiment. However, my thoughts are not positive in that regard. Wood most likely will yield a huge volume of sparks, plus the smoke tends to be very annoying to the eyes. Should burn nice and clean, though, considering you'll have sufficient draft.

Luck with the try-out!

Harold
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FLSTEAM
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Re: Building my 1.5" scale Clishay as a beginner

Post by FLSTEAM » Sun Dec 27, 2015 7:31 am

I agree with Harold about the sparks and the smoke in the eyes. I fired a 15" ga. Clishay on wood one time and that would be the last time.

John B
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Re: Building my 1.5" scale Clishay as a beginner

Post by Soot n' Cinders » Sun Dec 27, 2015 1:43 pm

Having spent a lot of time running a wood burner, those pellets will produce plenty of heat. With good quality firewood, its all I can do to keep the safeties down on the one I run. The smoke isnt too bad, but do not burn poplar. That smoke is so acrid you wont be able to see or breathe in the smoke. Sparks are also an issue, wood makes a ton of them. If the engine gets to working hard, it can look like a firework display so an arrestor is necessary.
-Tristan

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littleevan99
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Re: Building my 1.5" scale Clishay as a beginner

Post by littleevan99 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:54 am

Things went well today, and the boiler fires really well with the pellets. The pipe in the middle really helps with the combustion of the gasses the pellets give off when heated, and the pipe sort of looks like a Marty burner when the blower is on. The smoke from the pellets wasn't too thick, and it hardly had any smoke at all to deal with. The only time the smoke would poor out was when I would pile on 3-4 scoops of pellets and smother all the other pellets. My favorite thing about them is how clean they are compared to the coal I use. After 2.5 hours of running there was hardly any ash in the ashpan or soot in the flues, and the spark arrestor was just a little black from the smoke. Lastly, the sparks weren't that bad. The sparks I did get were the really small ones that go out pretty quickly after they come out of the stack and right through the spark arrestor. Overall, I think I might be able to make the pellets my primary fuel source when I burn solid fuel. On New Years I should be able to see how they work when I'm out at the track running around, and if all goes well they may end up replacing coal as my fuel.
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IMG_3478.PNG
Burning nice and hot.
IMG_3477.PNG
The spark arrestor is clean, and the smoke isn't blinding.
1.5" scale CliShay
2.5" 20 ton Shay under construction
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/littleevan99

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Re: Building my 1.5" scale Clishay as a beginner

Post by littleevan99 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:09 am

I have a question about my lubricator too, and I'm not sure how much oil is the right amount. For starters, I have a AMES single feed mechanical lubricator that is injecting oil at the compression fitting before the throttle. Before, I had the lubricator setup where it had two clicks of the ratchet for every down stroke of the engine. I would have to fill up the lubricator every half hour or so if it was at the top of the sight glass. Now I have it set for one click of the ratchet for every down stroke, and I'm not sure if that is giving it too little oil. What's a good way to tell on if it's giving too little or too much oil? I looked into the cylinders after I ran it today, and they both looked like they had a clear film of oil on them. I'm not sure if that is too little though.
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IMG_2697.JPG
Here's how the oil feed is setup(also an old pic from before I swapped the throttle to a steam rated ball valve).
1.5" scale CliShay
2.5" 20 ton Shay under construction
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/littleevan99

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Re: Building my 1.5" scale Clishay as a beginner

Post by Harold_V » Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:52 am

Thanks for the report on the pellets. Sounds like it may be a viable solution for the difficulty of using coal. Reminds me a great deal of the Char that was being used for a while. Hot, and clean burning, but I confess, I'd miss the smell of coal.

Harold
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littleevan99
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Re: Building my 1.5" scale Clishay as a beginner

Post by littleevan99 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:16 pm

The plets heat value is similar to that of the Utah coal I have, and I didn't notice much difference in the amount of shoveling I was doing. Plus an added benefit is that if you fall behind on firing the next scoop of pellets lights off right away. Harold, and do you know anything about my oiler problem?
1.5" scale CliShay
2.5" 20 ton Shay under construction
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/littleevan99

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Re: Building my 1.5" scale Clishay as a beginner

Post by kenrinc » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:17 pm

Evan,

I've been there. Don't those AME units have a oil level sight gauge out the side? This makes it easier to get a sense of what is being used. For me personally I can tell too much oil just by looking at my stack. You might want to disconnect the piping from the lubricator and set the output on a rag so you can see the oil. Pump the ratchet manually while watching to get a "sense" of what the output is. From there you should be able to determine a reasonable amount. See what it is at 2 clicks and then compare that with 1 click. Obviously you'll have to approximate based on lever travel. You might need to reduce further.

I have a LocoParts dual feed lubricator on my A3 that I modified for a sight glass. When I began operations, I'd go through a tank of oil every 1/2hr and the residual would be pouring out the stack even with the link connected to the bottom hole of the arm. I did various experiments to try and solve the issue mostly because I hated the residual oil. Of course, having too much oil isn't really a big problem compared with not having enough. In the end I actually had to modify my unit to reduce oil output. I figured that I limited it by about 60% compared to it's output on the bottom hole of the arm.

Ken

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Re: Building my 1.5" scale Clishay as a beginner

Post by Soot n' Cinders » Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:29 pm

Oil is cheaper than an engine. The guys I know keep adjusting the lubricator down till the stack is clean. There's also two guys out here, one of whom is Fred V on here who have drip sightglasses on the outputs of the lubricator to see how much oil is going to the cylinders. This usually works out to a drop of oil per cylinder every couple hundred feet of running, granted that's for a conventional side rod engine.
Without the sight glasses though, there's a symptom of too much and too little oil. If your stack keeps getting grimy and you can see the oil residue around the blast nozzle, adjust the lubricator for less oil. If the engine starts squeaking, you need more oil.
-Tristan

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-2.5" scale Class A 20 Ton Shay

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Benjamin Maggi
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Re: Building my 1.5" scale Clishay as a beginner

Post by Benjamin Maggi » Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:31 pm

From memory of the LS article from the mid-2000s that had an article on wood pellets as fuel, my only warning to you is DON'T GET THEM WET! If you do, they will disintegrate and turn to mush!
"One cannot learn to swim without getting his feet wet." - Benjamin Maggi
- Building: 7.25" gauge "Sweet Pea" named "Catherine"

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