Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

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Harlock
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Harlock » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:20 pm

thanks. I just made those galleries on Tuesday for the MEG and Chloe, which contain both construction photos and all meet photos of each engine to date.

It's a cab ball valve throttle and it could have a quadrant added to it but I like it the way it is at the moment. It's an old file handle and it's easy to grab and move.

Right now we're starting in on a new piece of rolling stock, details of which will be on the riding scale railroads forum when it is under way.

Cheers,

--Mike
San Lorezo Flume & Lumber Co. #2 - "Felton"
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DJSteamer3017
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby DJSteamer3017 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:45 pm

Mike
Hey where are the boiler check valves on the MEG when the Saddle Tank is covering the boiler?

David
The 1" Scale Junkie ... But steam of all sizes is cool with me!!
"If you can dream it, you can do it" - Walt Disney

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Harlock
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Harlock » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:12 am

on the MEG marine boilers, they're on the backhead, down low below the circular firebox.
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Harlock
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Harlock » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:18 am

I haven't updated on the MEG situation in a while.

She's been running very well and I'm slowly going through and fixing the little things and making ergonomic improvements.

Since Train Mountain I've been firing it on Australian Char to very good effect. It easily makes more steam than you need, and I can pull heavy consists up the mountain division at bitter creek with no problem, lifting the safety when I close the throttle at the top unless I run the injector right away. That's a good indicator that we set up the front end really well. We used the general blast pipe expansion ratios recommended by Dave Sclavi. If I fire with soft coal, I just need a thicker fire to get the same effect. The grand 'poo pooing' of marine boilers by Cal Tinkham in the last issue of Live Steam magazine just does not jive with my real world experience. The damn thing steams like a witch and pulls anything you want it to. At Bitter Creek I pulled some of my cars plus a bunch of 3 3/4" scale mine cars with 60lb bags of cement in them for weight plus riders, no problems. The mainline grade at bitter creek approaching the final climb is about 3%.

I decided to ditch the whistle ball valve as it did not give a good sound even though it was more controllable. Part of this is the valve and part is the whistle. I am currently going through whistle options and I may build one to my liking using the parameters set out in the two whistle articles in a recent issue of live steam. My goal is to have good control and good quilling effects. I may have to regulate the flow of steam to the valve to bring it down to a manageable level. Currently I have gone to smaller whistles and am using a Little Engines / Mike Venezia valve.

The most recent modifications were a major re-work of the sight glass top assembly, replacement of the blower valve and raising the injector water valve handles from the floor of the cab up to the level of the rest of the controls.

The sight glass previously had an input at the top of the rear sheet of the boiler, not the boiler shell itself. With the full scale essex brass gauge I am using, this put the input of the glass lower than the top of the glass itself, which causes all kinds of problems with siphoning effects and false indications. It also shared a small manifold that supplied the steam pressure gauge which is a no-no and also contributed to the problems.

To correct all this, I determined that there was sufficient room to locate a hole on the top of the boiler between the rear of the boiler and the saddle tank. The saddle tank is ensconced in place due to the main manifold supply line running through the tank via a pass through without a convenient union to disconnect it. leaving the tank in place, it was necessary to obtain an extended length drill bit and extended shank 1/8 NPT tap to make the hole. After using an abrasive hole saw to cut a larger hole in the jacketing, I drilled and tapped the 1/8 NPT hole in the 3/8 plate. Since the boiler shell is so thick it was unnecessary to add a boss. After re-hydroing the boiler, I am happy to report the new setup works perfectly and has cured all my level indication problems.

I also replaced the the blower valve with a more standard item, the old one was a piece of lab equipment and had some sort of seal that was not steam compatible, this one is plain metal on metal from A&K. I machined a male-female handle extension to bring it out a little more, and powder coated the handle black, the original red paint was rubbing off. I am now considering a slightly longer extension to bring it out past the throttle return loop for even easier access.

To extend the injector water valve handles up from the floor, it became necessary to re-locate the dog leg in the johnson bar reach rod to avoid an interference with the right injector water valve stem. I'd seen John Heald make seamless welds on drive rods and such so I thought I'd try it on the reach rod. I cut off the hole at the dog leg end, added 3" of rod, and shortened the other end, and re-bored the holes after carefully measuring the original. The result is seamless especially after paint being added.
Attachments
glass-plumbing_resize.jpg
Proper top glass plumbing! Before re-installation of boiler jacket rear strap.
13-08-05_MEG-plumbing-0353.jpg
new blower valve with handle extension.
reach-rod-4.jpg
Getting ready to weld on new extension to reach rod.
reach-rod-3.jpg
boring new holes (note old hole has not yet been cut off on the left)
reach-rod-2.jpg
Finished rod painted.
Last edited by Harlock on Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:54 am, edited 3 times in total.
San Lorezo Flume & Lumber Co. #2 - "Felton"
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Harlock
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Harlock » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:19 am

(cont) first picture shows newly remade reach rod installed around water valve stem extension.

Second pic shows the whole valve handle but before the reach rod installation.
Attachments
reach-rod.jpg
13-08-05_MEG-plumbing-0368.jpg
Handle extension with brace tab (before reach rod reinstallation)
Last edited by Harlock on Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
San Lorezo Flume & Lumber Co. #2 - "Felton"
Live Steam Photography and more - www.mikemassee.com
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Harlock
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Harlock » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:23 am

She also got the latest fashionable accessory for Narrow Gauge engines, the pencil sharpener lantern. Available from finer railroad museum gift shops near you.

Here are some general pics out and about in July and Aug at Bitter Creek. The rolling stock is continuing to grow and we look forward to the addition of the caboose next year. (see the caboose thread:
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=95269 )
Attachments
13-08-05_MEG-plumbing-0362.jpg
13-07-04_bitter-creek-1748.jpg
13-07-04_bitter-creek-1762.jpg
13-07-04_bitter-creek-1785.jpg
Two MEGs.
13-07-04_bitter-creek-1990.jpg
Another day at the office.
Last edited by Harlock on Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
San Lorezo Flume & Lumber Co. #2 - "Felton"
Live Steam Photography and more - www.mikemassee.com
Contributing Editor, Live Steam Magazine
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Harlock
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Harlock » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:30 am

Here is the train I was pulling at the Narrow Gauge Meet. Previous owner Roger Frymire is running it in these photos so I could jump off and get pictures. The front half of the train is mine, the mine cars are Steve Easlons, and the caboose belongs to Karl Hovanitz.

The next step is to dig into the left side motion setup and find the source of a loud clunk when under heavy load. I believe it is a loose axle box in the pedestal. Concurrently, I'm in the early stages of re-making the uglier cars in the consist - the riding tender is going away and being replaced with a gondola to make it a true tank engine in aesthetics, and the bench riding car may also get a gondola treatment as well, removable sides to facilitate public riding when sides are not desirable.

A third log car is in the works and the logs have already been obtained.

Thanks for looking!

-Mike
Attachments
13-08-09_BCWRR_NG-0787.jpg
13-08-09_BCWRR_NG-0770.jpg
What 'rods down' on a hackworth valve gear looks like. More like 'scissors out'!
San Lorezo Flume & Lumber Co. #2 - "Felton"
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Benjamin Maggi
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:42 am

Harlock wrote: The grand 'poo pooing' of marine boilers by Cal Tinkham in the last issue of Live Steam magazine just does not jive with my real world experience. The damn thing steams like a witch and pulls anything you want it to.


I agree completely. While I suppose the "marine boiler" design is less efficient than other designs, at least as applied to Sweet William/Sweet Pea/Meg engines they rarely have any trouble producing steam. Just ask any Sweet Pea builder/owner what he thinks about the steaming capabilities of marine boilers!
"One cannot learn to swim without getting his feet wet." - Benjamin Maggi
- Building: 7.25" gauge "Sweet Pea" named "Catherine"

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Harlock
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Harlock » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:31 pm

Benjamin Maggi wrote:
Harlock wrote: The grand 'poo pooing' of marine boilers by Cal Tinkham in the last issue of Live Steam magazine just does not jive with my real world experience. The damn thing steams like a witch and pulls anything you want it to.


I agree completely. While I suppose the "marine boiler" design is less efficient than other designs, at least as applied to Sweet William/Sweet Pea/Meg engines they rarely have any trouble producing steam. Just ask any Sweet Pea builder/owner what he thinks about the steaming capabilities of marine boilers!


I think the main issue is the confusion of prototype success with scale practice. The disadvantages are much less present in scale than in full size operation, to the point where it is negligible. This theme is repeated throughout his article. It's too bad because the information about prototype practice is otherwise very good as he has a lot of first hand experience with prototype operation, which is becoming increasingly rare. Also, according to him my locomotive is 'crippled' because it has no lead or trailing trucks. I wrote a tasteful letter to the editor which was published in the current issue.

I've set up the engine so that steaming and traction are generally not the short pole in the tent. With 110lbs of water in the saddle and more in the boiler, it rarely slips. If you load it down with a huge string of cars and take the mountain division with the super sharp curve at the bottom adding to the total gradient (4+ %) you run into flange and axle binding on the curve and the locomotive simply stops, with full boiler pressure. At that point the power of a 2 1/2" bore has been overcome. That's the only way I've been able to bog it down to that point. The boiler was never at issue for me. This engine is similar to the Darjeeling B-Class locomotive, it is made to be a mountain goat. :)

-M
San Lorezo Flume & Lumber Co. #2 - "Felton"
Live Steam Photography and more - www.mikemassee.com
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kenrinc
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby kenrinc » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:06 pm

Mike,

I had already drafted a message to LS when the latest issue arrived and I read your very well written post to the editor. I couldn't have set it any better. I have the utmost respect for Cal and his knowledge. The article was well written, informative and highly educational yet, not entirely relevant to model practice.

ken-

DJSteamer3017
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby DJSteamer3017 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:30 pm

Mike,

Here are pics of another MEG at GGLS. You can see the Allen Cylinders and the Tender Dolley, just like the ones you have. The MEG is seen here at GGLS during the Fall and Spring Meets of 1999. Keep on Steamin' my Friend!!

David
Attachments
image.jpg
image.jpg
Last edited by DJSteamer3017 on Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The 1" Scale Junkie ... But steam of all sizes is cool with me!!
"If you can dream it, you can do it" - Walt Disney

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Harlock
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Harlock » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:05 am

I ran out of Australian Char so the MEG is going back to propane for a bit. Also for the marathon continuous night running at the Sage Brush Short Line Christmas runs, it's much handier to run on propane.

The old propane valve was a temporary affair, and tonight I machined a proper nice handle for it with a stem extension so I can reach it without straining my back. It's up by the brake valve with all the other fireman stuff. I patterned it after the brake valve handle to match. It feels really nice to machine pretty brass stuff in the lathe after not doing it for a while. I had been doing various mild steel bits for the MEG's roller stand for the past few weeks and it's nice to get back to something soft and easy to polish. Also nice to have a break from the drawings for the caboose (see the riding scale railroading forum.)

My old propane setup was a weed burner from the hardware store, which turned out to be too noisy for my tastes. Instead I am switching to a set of 14 locoparts / solar-flo burners like the ones that have worked so well in the Chloe.

To get going in time, I have borrowed Jim Sabin's burner set to evaluate in my engine. If the steaming is good I will copy it. I have placed my fire door / back plate on his burner set. The nice thing about the marine boiler is you can change out from grates to burners in about 10 minutes. Just undo two nuts, slide the grates out and slide the burners in, then connect the gas line.

Jim has had great luck with this burner set, hauling large amounts of people on the grades at Bitter Creek so I don't expect any issues. If you use enough burners, then they don't work too hard and they're extremely quiet. Each one puts out 5,000 BTUs. Only need a couple of PSI line pressure.
Attachments
13-11-25_firing-valve-6292_resize.jpg
13-11-25_firing-valve-6297_resize.jpg
13-11-25_firing-valve-6315_resize.jpg
IMG_20131124_142600_resize.jpg
San Lorezo Flume & Lumber Co. #2 - "Felton"
Live Steam Photography and more - www.mikemassee.com
Contributing Editor, Live Steam Magazine
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