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Author Topic: Requesting Guidance Regarding the Construction of a Large Steam Engine  (Read 1780 times)
dantes_torment
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« on: January 28, 2009, 02:30:49 am »

After quite a bit of time spent trying various linkages, I have finally finished the design for my mechanical spider. Obviously, the only acceptable means of powering such a device is a steam engine, large relative to most of the models discussed here(somewhere between propelling a motorcycle and a small car). Despite my lighthearted tone, I am rather serious about building this engine, and would appreciate any and all assistance in doing so. I am willing to take any and all words of warning as well. I acknowledge that I can get seriously hurt if I do steam wrong, but believe I have the sense of caution required to make a safe attempt.
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HAC
Steam Theologian
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2009, 03:05:32 am »

Easy way - purchase plans and castings from a steam engine supplier, hire a boilermaker and machinist.. (I'm not being silly or condescending, you really need a large lathe (usually in the 16-24" swing range to work the castings for a serious steam engine)  a milling machine and a drill press, at a minimum. You will  need to be able to work to really close tolerances, as well). As for the boilermaker, even if you can weld , you should use the services of a professional boilermaker, as well as the testing (both ultrasonic on the welds, and static hydro testing on the finished boiler) as any flaw in a steam pressure vessel is the same as a bomb in your backseat.

Ideally the first question you need to answer is what kind of HP do you need - everything else follows from that..

In all seriousness, at least have a look at the ASME pressure vessel  designs,standards and codes..

Happy to answer questions but be aware that steam is not always a straightforward thing ...

Cheers
Harold
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You never know what lonesome is , 'til you get to herdin' cows.
dantes_torment
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2009, 03:57:08 am »

I figured you'd be the first to reply. How would suggest finding a willing boilermaker, especially one who might be interested in taking on an apprentice? I have decided to become a mechanical engineer, and boilermaking would be an excellent skill to learn.
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HAC
Steam Theologian
Zeppelin Overlord
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Canada Canada


HAC_N800
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2009, 04:08:00 am »

ME is a worthwhile endeavour, for sure.. PM me with your location and I'll see what I can find..

Cheers
Harold
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akumabito
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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2009, 07:03:11 pm »

You've probably already seen this site, but engine plans/castings can be found on this website: http://www.pioneertelephonecoop.com/~carlich/RSE/RSEengines.html

You could also email them for a quote on finished and tested boilers.
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Workshopshed
Deck Hand
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2009, 07:16:53 pm »

There are plenty of websites and Magazines in the UK that discuss traction engines of various types here's the only ones I found in the USA.

http://www.steamtraction.com/
http://www.smokstak.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?s=cfb3baaeee65052c4f2c3a96c3791dc6&f=7

You also may find that your boiler will need to be pressure tested by some officials, that's the way it is here in the UK.

I expect balance will be an issue with putting a steam engine onto a spider so you need to think about that.

One thing that might help is a book I got a many years ago from Boston Computer Museum called "A walking robot" which had a hydraulic recovery system which although increased the complexity of the hydraulics reduced the power needed to make it walk. The idea is that as one leg moves down the energy is recovered from that to move another leg up.




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Adan Shepard
Deck Hand
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United States United States


« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2009, 04:28:35 pm »

Hi there,

The engine's for your project are going to be the easy part. It's the boiler that is going to be a challenge here are some factors you are going to want to consider; budget, horse power, weight for boiler and engine, steam consumption of engine and generation of boiler, type of engine, style of boiler,kind of fuel (solid, fluid, gaseous),etc... 

That being said, here are some links that might help these are mostly larger than model sized engines primarily being used for steam launches; http://www.cyclonepower.com/index.html (a little modern but worth a look), http://members.pioneer.net/~carlich/RSE/RSEhome.html (4hp-20 + boilers), http://www.tinypower.com/index.htm (low tech solutions for developing nations), http://www.living-off-grid.com/lifestyle/steam-engine-steam-power, http://hasbrouck.8m.com/ (plans for building engines with out buying casting sets), http://www.steamlaunch.com/index.html, http://www.angelfire.com/mo/allsteamedup/ (good links page), http://www.northweststeamsociety.org/Pages/NWSSclassified.htm (resource with classified section), http://www.steamautomobile.com/ForuM/read.php?1,10199 (steam car resource), http://www.mosquitoenterprises.com/, http://home.earthlink.net/~dlaw70/12stmng.htm, http://www.prestonservices.co.uk/stationary.htm ( mostly original and stationary engines)

Hope this helps, Adan
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 09:28:09 am by Adan Shepard » Logged
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