The first phase of my steam engine project is already under way, with me having cut and reamed the power cylinder (pictures to come), and cut and turned the power piston. They fit nice, though I intend to polish the piston with some emery cloth when I get the chance.
The first stage will cover the power cylinder, piston, connection rod & cylinder head, as well as the valve cylinder & piston, and will conclude with having soft soldered the cylinders together.
My design is based quite closely to one I've found in an old 1947 issue engineering book, but which has been changed to account for modern day materials along with modern day tools.
The design for the cylinders are relatively straight forward, and consist of two tubes: 1/2" OD (3/8" ID) copper tube for the power cylinder, 1/4" OD (1/8" ID) copper tube for the valve cylinder. The cylinder head will be cut from some 1.5mm thick copper plate, and will be soldered onto one side of the 1/2" tube. It will have a 1/2" diameter, being a perfect fit. There will be a No.45 steam hole drilled in the centre. No.45 is 2.1mm for those without access to ancient tools. The valve cylinder will have a No.45 steam hole drilled in it, and though my designs don't show the distance, I can tell you it's 3/8" from the end. This will then be soldered onto the cylinder head once it has been soldered onto the power cylinder. To align the hole right, I'll make a wooden pin to stick through both holes.
Click the link to view my brief design below (plus the measure I'm using as it's not to scale):
In the next post I will discuss the connection rod and how it pivots on the piston.
Software engineering is great, but there are some things in life that just can't be properly replicated digitally, and seeing a steam engine turn fire and water into a kinetic energy is one of them things.
Over the last month I have been venturing into model engineering, mainly steam engine based. Over the coming months I will be updating this blog with photos, designs, plans and ideas on my steam engine ventures.