Author Topic: Arnold building the "Little Blazer"  (Read 31636 times)

Offline arnoldb

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Re: Arnold building the "Little Blazer"
« Reply #50 on: December 13, 2010, 03:22:53 PM »
Thanks everyone  :beer: :beer:

Wood may not have been a good choice for the base.  It's gotten all stained with graphite powder, so when it starts to look really bad I'll make a new base for it from metal.

I had a lot of fun running it so far; took it to work for show and tell; it must have gotten at least 1 hour total run-time on it from that, as everybody heard the commotion and then wanted to see it run.  Even the MD popped in,sat down and watched it go for a full tank-full.  He seems to like the engines I build; after running it his comment was "Well, at least you didn't have to blow it like the others"  :lol:

At one point it got so hot that I actually burnt my finger on the flywheel when starting after a re-fill; soon after this it jammed up solid; with the piston wedged in the bore from heat expansion; once I let it cool down completely it was fine again.

And yes, I agree fully with John as well  :thumbup:, and have the highest regard for people who share their builds and their experience.   
A "Thank You" for that is sort of hollow; so I'm trying to return the favour by posting my own progress as I go along on my own personal machining journey.

Personally, posting up a build like this one on the Blazer is a bit of a hit-and-miss thing (even though it is a flame licker in this case ::)); I'm never sure if there's too little or too much detail, and it takes quite a bit of effort to post up as well - besides the time taken to type up things I have to be pretty careful while typing it up, as English is not my native language. And yes, I do attempt some bad puns on the side...
I try to tell a story while posting, with some "diversions" in between; these are usually just for my own benefit while thinking things through, but they end up as part of the posts.  The posts in this build log were all quite long - the result of simply getting more done in shop sessions than I used to in the past. 
A while ago I wondered whether it was worth the effort of posting in any kind of detail, and then I received a nice surprise over on HMEM; I received a PM from a complete stranger who had never posted (I really don't like to use the word "lurker") who, it turned out, had been quietly following along on quite a few of my projects. 
He was inspired by, and inquired about some of the "simple" bits 'n bobs I made "in between" on a build.  Receiving public acknowledgment for a build is very nice indeed and very much appreciated,  but that PM is what's made me decide to carry on posting in detail; just maybe someone else will be inspired by my little posts; just like I have been inspired by posts from others.  I'm open to criticism in my write-ups; if anybody thinks there is a way to make my posts more readable or usable, then please do pipe up or send me a PM.

Quote
I don't think I've seen anyone's build go as smooth and without hitches as yours has unless you kept all the frustrations bottled up inside, and didn't share them with the rest of us
Mad Jack - I forgot to respond to that; this build went exceptionally well - I shared all the frustrations and hitches along the way - even to the point of modifying a mill handle totally off-topic to stop a squeak,  sleeping over a troubling valve spring plate, and for the first time ever running my mill's collet chuck into the workpiece.  I've found that by building a model,  or any other workpiece,  over-and-over-and-over in my head before actually machining it helps a lot to prevent frustration.  I know my lathe fairly well by now, and can compensate for it's limits.  The mill is another matter, and I'm still pushing it gradually to get to its limits.  And I spare myself some headaches by just doing things the manual way; it can be really hard to try and figure out a way to clamp and position a workpiece to mill a curve and so on - a lot of the time it's quicker to just grab a file and do it manually!


Kind regards, Arnold

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Arnold building the "Little Blazer"
« Reply #51 on: December 14, 2010, 03:07:01 AM »
Well done Arnold a real fine engine that runs beautifully and a great write up to boot.

 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Thanks for sharing with us

Stew
A little bit of clearance never got in the road
 :wave:

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline madjackghengis

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Re: Arnold building the "Little Blazer"
« Reply #52 on: December 14, 2010, 08:10:08 AM »
By the way, Arnold, I quickly discovered the staining of the walnut base I put mine on, and in keeping with the heat aspect you mention in your latest post, got inspired, took the head off a five horse dead briggs and stratton lawnmower engine, faced the head surface dead flat, flipped it, faced the surface of the fins flat, so they sit without rocking, and drilled the base of my engine to take two allen screws, and screwed it solid to the head, and when I had it with bronze piston and aluminum cylinder, it would spin up about like yours sounds, which checked with a digital tach was some 2500 rpm, and would run two "burners" of alki out before the piston would stick.  Unfortunately, unlike the cast iron, I had to "hone" out the cylinder with some 400 grit paper, and take off the burrs of the piston before I could run it again each time it stuck.  Added up to five cylinders and six pistons before graphite.
     I finally took a new generator brush, machined a piston out of it, got it all back together, and it barely runs, only runs for a minute or two while cold, and won't run more than ten of fifteen seconds when hot now, so I think I've got too much clearance with the non-expanding graphite piston.  Time to make an iron cylinder and go back to a bronze piston I think.  The cylinder head from the lawnmower engine is a fine heat sink though, and makes a big difference in running time when the rest is right.  I'm still kind of jazzed over the great running of your engine, really enjoy listening to it. mad jack

Offline arnoldb

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Re: Arnold building the "Little Blazer"
« Reply #53 on: December 14, 2010, 10:27:20 AM »
Thanks Stew  :beer:  - I'm fighting with myself over what to build next  :lol:

Cheers Mad Jack; I'll leave mine as is for now.  A cast iron piston should do well too; in fact it might be better than bronze.  I'm just a bit stingy with my cast iron as it's horribly expensive and hard to obtain here in Windhoek; I usually end up wasting quite a bit of it because I can't get close sizes.  Bronze works out cheaper for me, as its fairly obtainable in closer matching stock sizes, so not as much ends up as chips for me.

Kind regards, Arnold

Offline cfellows

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Re: Arnold building the "Little Blazer"
« Reply #54 on: December 14, 2010, 11:12:58 AM »
Great job, Arnold.  Hope mine takes off as well as yours did!  One queston... I don't recall any mention in the oiginal built article about soldering the valve pieces together.  I thought the thin metal piece was held in the valve slit by spring pressure alone?

Chuck

Offline arnoldb

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Re: Arnold building the "Little Blazer"
« Reply #55 on: December 14, 2010, 02:48:22 PM »
Thanks Chuck.   :beer:

I just went through Phil's build article again, and you're right! 

I don't know where I got the idea from it had to be soldered  :doh: - and that was the trickiest bit of the build for me - that was a bugger to silver braze  ::)
Setting the valve flat on the face would be a LOT easier if its not soldered - it would basically just be a simple job of adjusting the plate pressure - as long as the curve on the spring plate closely matches the slit on the valve plate and it fits fairly square in the slot - no need to faff around bending the spring plate to keep the valve flat to the face like I had to do!

 :lol: :lol: :lol: And I even wondered about what kind of "solder" to use for this part  :lol: :lol: :lol: - better go and edit the posts!

I hope to see your one running soon  :thumbup: ; making the engine base really took the most time and you're past that already.  Phil's instructions are excellent; the only bit I had a problem with was - and I quote:
"Finally, the last item in the valve push rod assembly to make (Photo 44) is the flat steel valve spring - no problem!"
 :doh: - That's all he mentioned about it and caused me the most grief!

Kind regards, Arnold

Offline cfellows

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Re: Arnold building the "Little Blazer"
« Reply #56 on: December 14, 2010, 09:42:00 PM »
All's well that ends well!  I haven't worked on mine for a while.  I've been bouncing around between projects.  Been doing some airgun work, building a new telescope, making some changes to my plumbing parts engine, and my opposed 4 cylinder air engine, which is now done. 

Chuck

Offline cidrontmg

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Re: Arnold building the "Little Blazer"
« Reply #57 on: December 15, 2010, 05:10:40 PM »
Hi Arnold, Iīm a bit late with my congrats, due to circumstances out of my control (a lightning bolt hit the house). An excellent build, and and excellent runner. Iīll just finish another Stirling, and then Iīll try my hands on a(nother) flame licker too. Your build will be closely watched over and over again, although Iīll probably make it somewhat different (donīt have the Duclos book). I very much like a build thread that goes into detail, why and how, as all of yours (and many othersī, Bogs gets a cookie/M&M...) do. Thereīs nothing like following behind a masterīs shoulder, when trying to learn how things work. Please, keep up the good work.
 :nrocks:
 :wave:
Olli
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Offline arnoldb

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Re: Arnold building the "Little Blazer"
« Reply #58 on: December 16, 2010, 12:26:18 PM »
Chuck, I know the feeling of bouncing around...  I've found if I don't settle on a single project and get it done, I never get anything done.  Have a lot of stuff on the back-burner myself, and I'm going to start attacking them one-by-one... - though another more pressing project came up that I'll start and finish first.

Thanks very much Olli; much appreciated  :beer: I'm by no means a master of any sort; in fact I'm pretty much a raw beginner, so don't take what I do or show as the best way to do things.  In fact, I'm pretty much in awe of your work on Stirlings; that's something I'd really like to get my teeth into, so I'm learning from you as well.  I've found a supplier of laboratory equipment locally, and can finally get my hands on some test tubes, so it won't be too long now before I try one :-)

 :beer:, Arnold

Offline madjackghengis

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Re: Arnold building the "Little Blazer"
« Reply #59 on: December 17, 2010, 11:42:24 AM »
Hi Arnold, having watched your build from start to finish, I wanted to say first off, every detail you showed, everything you spoke about was taken in and well appreciated, much of it "old hat", but of good value even to one with experience.  In my own never too humble opinion, there was no excess, and those of a different opinion could skip over what was such in their minds.  I learn as much from people doing things for the first time, and starting from a different point of view, as I do generally, from the experts who show their mettle here, as we all bring different backgrounds to the forum.  Because of your build, I took a piece of salvage cast iron to turn a cylinder, and found it was too poor quality and porous to be used, but that induced me to use the other generator brush, after measuring my bore, and finding two thousandths clearance, and turning a new piston out of it, and taking great care to ease up to size, something I've got to learn patience on, as I'm accustomed to much larger parts and less need for the absolutes of accuracy, but now my engine will run until it is too hot, and will start again as soon as it is cool, where by leaving it alone for a while, or using my hands to cool it quickly, but I still need to fit a graphite valve as the bronze one is still scoring the side of the cylinder.
   Your first choice of cast iron for the cylinder never entered my mind, until I saw you take that turn, and that was a lesson for me, as I knew aluminum was a poor choice, yet used it anyway.  I am about to re-embark on the radial engine, now that I have most of the cleanup after the flood done, and the first inspection from the insurance company behind me, and I've got my cylinders back from honing, leaving me no excuses.
   Your build was very well documented, illustrated, and your immediate success was inspirational for all those who are beginners, you showed there is no good reason a beginner can't do an engine right the first time, it's just a matter of taking care, and taking the time to do it right.  All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and got some inspiration of my own from it, even if it meant some of the other dozen or so projects got back burner for a bit.   :beer: here's to engines, and those who build them :bugeye: mad jack

Offline arnoldb

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Re: Arnold building the "Little Blazer"
« Reply #60 on: December 19, 2010, 01:43:41 AM »
Thanks Mad Jack.  Good to hear your engine is running better now as well  :thumbup:
As to your valve scoring the cylinder, that might indicate too much spring pressure...  I may have gotten lucky by brazing mine's valve plate to the spring; it means I can adjust it so that the valve is barely touching the port face, which helped a lot with friction reduction.

Kind regards, Arnold