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Run an .049 on steam?

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Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Nevadablue on Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:51 pm

I searched the forum and found one thread on this, but it was never completed it seems.

So, what I want to do is convert an .049 to run on steam. This will be for a tiny locomotive. I will need a flywheel with pulley and visualize an eccentric on the flywheel that drives a simple slide valve to feed the steam into the glow head at the right time. Of course the head will need to be modified. I want to make the engine as small as possible, with the valve standing in front of the cylinder.
I wonder if I should use the fuel tank as-is for a good mounting?
Has anyone here seen such a conversion that was completed and works? If I can make this one work, I have several old, larger engines that could become power plants for equipment on my layout.
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Surfer_kris on Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:10 am

I don't really know anything a bout steam engines, but I imagine that one could run one with a similar construction as in a regular CO2 engine?

There were commercial conversion kits for that (made by Davis Diesel Development) and those might still pop up on ebay...

The valve is then in the head (opened by the piston) and it is usually made adjustable. The dedicated CO2 engines are usually quite low in cylinder volume but that could be a starting point perhaps.
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Oldenginerod on Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:47 am

Here is a link that shows a very simplified image of how a Co2 engine works.  
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_-nQfPsfB_KE/SYAfU_KEX9I/AAAAAAAABxw/HCTrxPmIoT8/s1600-h/co2.gif
I see no reason to believe the same design won't work with steam.
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  rsv1cox on Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:15 am

Ah, a rail fan combining hobbies.  Ambitious project.  HO gauge I assume, but probably something larger if your including all the other equipment necessary for real steam.  

I modified this old Rivirossi HO 4-4-0 Genoa years ago by placing a pea lamp inside the headlight.  Not so ambitious.  

A .010 cylinder and glow head would look interesting in place of the smoke stack. Smile





Good luck with your project.  

Bob
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Surfer_kris on Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:46 am

For train lowers there is the "Toys story" train episode with James May (from top gear).
The germans use sour craut to make ethanol/methanol and then feed that to a Norvel engine (!) to drive a generator that powers electric motors, just like a real train...  lol!

Take a look here for instance (about 9 minutes in); https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xja5i0_james-may-s-great-train-race-2011-toy-stories-revisited_shortfilms
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Nevadablue on Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:35 pm

Thanks for the replies and ideas. Nice little Loco there!

My loco is 1" gauge, 1/24 scale. It is pretty ugly, supposed to be a logging locomotive made by a local shop in the woods. It will be wooden covered when it runs.
So, the CO2 engines are interesting, but I want to make a real steam valve, driven by the crank. After looking inside and outside of the .049, it appears that the flywheel mounted eccentric will be best. I will try to post some pics of the loco and the design I want to copy for the valving.

It appears that I can post images, so here is one. This is the status of the loco at the moment. I have a small steam engine out of a boat that I want to test the drive train with. If it can move itself, I can proceed with the .049 modification and testing. Once all that works, the boiler needs to be made functional. Right now it is just copper tubing with no fittings, not soldered yet.



The engine will sit in front of the boiler, just in front of where the driver is standing.
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Nevadablue on Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:49 pm

This drawing is from a plan I found on the 'net. It shows a slide valve driven by a crank mounted eccentric. The red bar is a bit of brass, turned to make a valve. I visualize the steam coming out the top of the valve assembly, through a u-shaped tube and into the top of the cylinder head. I hope...



I found this site while trying to learn how to remove the crankshaft just in case I need to. I found not only that, but a ton of interesting info. Thanks for letting me blabber about trains. Very Happy
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Nevadablue on Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:14 pm

I just ordered a bunch of brass stock. Now I need to get my Unimat moved back into the house. Space, even for that little machine is an issue, but I need it to progress this.

Here is a mockup of what I have in mind. Legos to the rescue, a Lego wheel is mounted on the crank. I think I need a brass flywheel. It would have the eccentric on the inboard side and a pulley on the outboard side. Brass or aluminum standoffs would mount in the cylinder fins to hold the slide valve.

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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Oldenginerod on Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:02 pm

Trying to get my head around this, but I wonder if the original by-pass ports in the bottom of the cylinder may create some isses. Also, the cooling fins would hinder keeping the cylinder hot, bring on condensation earlier than you might want. I would suggest a solid brass cylinder in place of the original, to hold the heat as well as allow whatever porting configuration you may need.
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Nevadablue on Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:05 pm

I think the bypass ports won't be an issue, the steam should exhaust through the exhaust ports I think. I have been trying to work out how to insulate the cylinder. My hope is to make this with standard parts, adding only the valve and flywheel. If it works, it should be a nice little engine, readily available.
Hmmm... thinking about the cylinder, are they steel? I wonder if the fins could be removed in the lathe, leaving a nice shell. That could be used as-is or as a sleeve in a brass tube.
You have given me more to think about.
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Oldenginerod on Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:14 am

Maybe the finned area of the cylinder could be tightly wrapped with some insulating thread (In the old days we would've used asbestos). Maybe thick cotton yarn wrapped around each gap between the fins.
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Surfer_kris on Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:35 am

The cylinder and head fins can easily be machined down in lathe, but perhaps there should also be additional insulation, I have no idea.

The valve construction in the drawing is for a closed cylinder though. With the exhaust ports you would not need that elaborate valve as you will only need it for the intake.
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  OVERLORD on Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:28 am

Surfer_kris wrote:The cylinder and head fins can easily be machined down in lathe, but perhaps there should also be additional insulation, I have no idea.

The valve construction in the drawing is for a closed cylinder though. With the exhaust ports you would not need that elaborate valve as you will only need it for the intake.

That's a set up that could work. Only blowing steam into the plug hole:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGW3Y8fByVU



As a Cox engine is over square, you will need a flywheel with some weight to dampen the reciprocating movement and to get the piston to TDC again.

Good luck with the project!! I'm looking forward to seeing the final setup.

Lieven
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Surfer_kris on Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:59 am

That seems to be done with the same principle as in a CO2 engine?
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  getback on Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:02 am

This is a cool project , do you know how you are going to keep the boiler hot ? and is it going to go like the train on a track? Good luck with it Popcorn
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  fredvon4 on Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:37 am

Ambitious project that I will follow

Some engineering design problems to be overcome in my mind

1. IMO there is no need for the weighty and added length of the tank and mount
2. I think the bypass ports could be beneficial for some of the steam to blow into the crankcase but I wonder what the boiler temp needs to be to steam off water mixed with Castor oil... the crankshaft must be lubed somehow
3. If the bypass passages open too soon and kill power they could be filled with J&B weld
4. If bypass is filled and the exhaust outlet is the only escape for the steam... need to vent the crankcase

OK just random thoughts but I think the use of the Cox Bee CC and piston cylinder can be used as the basis for steam power

After testing observed RPM will provide the needed data for final gearing

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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Nevadablue on Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:09 pm

Thanks for all the ideas. Wrapping with string is a good idea, IMO. This will run on tracks and the boiler will be fired with (I hope) solid fuel tabs in a firebox below the boiler. There will be a 'fire jacket' around the boiler and a stack, hopefully that will concentrate the heat enough to make steam. This will never run for long periods, so I plan to oil the engine before a run. I may make some sort of in-line oiler if the thing proves to work at all.
My backup plan is to build an engine from scratch, but the challenge of this is what I want to try for now.
Oh, I think I can take the tank completely off and build a stand using the venturi plate as a mount. It is fairly thin and has the proper mounting holes already there.
And, yes, the valve needs to be simplified.


Last edited by Nevadablue on Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Nevadablue on Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:23 pm

OVERLORD wrote:

That's a set up that could work. Only blowing steam into the plug hole:

As a Cox engine is over square, you will need a flywheel with some weight to dampen the reciprocating movement and to get the piston to TDC again.

Good luck with the project!! I'm looking forward to seeing the final setup.

Lieven

It is a shame that he never updated the video. He says he used a tire valve in the head. So, yes, it is like the 'normal' CO2 engine. Thanks for the link.
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  getback on Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:04 pm

Good questions Fred ... Ken sounds like a plan with the fired system . // Just wondering ?!?!?? they had the engine running without a tank on steam in the Vid. (( if you put the tank on and had the right Weight oil in it to supply the needed lube through the reed )) would that work?? or is it just not going to have vacuum in the CC were you could adjust the needle valve / I don't know S about steam engine tech.s Beers Happy New Year


Last edited by getback on Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:12 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : ??)
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Oldenginerod on Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:30 pm

Surfer_kris wrote:That seems to be done with the same principle as in a CO2 engine?

Somewhere or other I have seen a video of a Cox running on compressed air with absolutely no valving, just by feeding the air in through the top of the head. The large flywheel is enough to "compress" the air on the upstroke and carry it over TDC. It would be inefficient, with much of the energy wasted on the upstroke. It would be a fine balance between flywheel size and air pressure to allow it over TDC. Still, it's probably a simple place to start, just to see what it will do.
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Nevadablue on Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:03 pm

I too wondered about the oil in the tank thing. I believe that issue as well as 'compressing air' will be a killer. The steam guys have already told me that my boiler won't cut it. We will see. The whole thing will be marginal, but a fun exercise anyway.

Does a Cox flywheel replace the prop driving part (with the splines in it) or what? That is called a 'drive plate' right?
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Mark Boesen on Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:47 pm

thats how i tried to build a steam powered babe bee in jr. high, drilled out stem of glowhead same OD as copper fuel line and flared the inside in. perfect brand wedge tank for boiler, but never use a fly wheel, didn't know about that stuff...might of worked?
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Mark Boesen on Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:48 pm

it would be easier/simpler to bolt the flywheel to backplate.
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Nevadablue on Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:41 pm

Mark, I am not sure what you mean about the flywheel.

Do you still have the engine you modified?
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Re: Run an .049 on steam?

Post  Mark Boesen on Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:26 pm

Nevadablue wrote:Mark, I am not sure what you mean about the flywheel.

Do you still have the engine you modified?


sorry you had said: Does a Cox flywheel replace the prop driving part (with the splines in it) or what? That is called a 'drive plate' right?

and i miss read it and said: it would be easier/simpler to bolt the flywheel to backplate.

As far as the flywheel goes, i've seen both, most are attached with screw.

lol, no thats long gone...
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