Monday, March 22, 2010

Raising steam

Steam EngineLike an excited child at Christmas, one of my fellow boat club members has been asking to see my steam boat. He fancies something similar ans since this is pretty much the cheapest model you can buy it would make a good starter kit.

All of which means in time for Sunday's official first sail of the season, I had to make sure the model worked.

First surprise was that I'd forgotten to take the receiver batteries out. Even more of a shock - they had enough juice still in them after several months out of use, to move the steering servo. I've often found ni-cads not to hold a charge for long periods, even though they don't leak like normal batteries, but these were fine. OK, they have been recharged to be on the safe side but that was good news.

The same couldn't be said for the glue holding the servo down. This had completely failed and the thing flapped around in the bottom of the hull. Superglue to the rescue and we had steering again.

Finally, it was down to the sink to steam up on the draining board. There was enough fuel tablet in the burner for a test so I filled up with luke warm filtered water and lit up. While steam pressure was raised some 3 in 1 on all the moving parts made sure they worked freely and sealed the face between cylinder and block (I know I should use steam oil but I've run out).

After a few minutes pressure was up and the engine turned over nice and freely. There's not a lot of power as I discovered wiping the rotating flywheel with some kitchen towel - this pretty quickly stopped things again - but hopefully with two fresh fuel tablets I'll raise this a bit too.

The very last job is the best of all - clean the brasswork making the model nice and shiny to show off.

No comments: