19th Century Beam Engine/Winding Engine Diorama

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    • 19th Century Beam Engine/Winding Engine Diorama

      Hello All

      I was asked to show my metalwork that is in progress. This is going to be a 19th century beam engine / winding engine diorama.

      These beam engines were slow speed, high power engines used primarily to power pumps for keeping the mines of Cornwall, U.K. and other areas dry enough for the miners to work. They could also be used to convert vertical movement to rotary movement to power winches to raise and lower cars in a mine shaft, or, like the one I am doing, to pull loaded rail cars from a surface pit to the processing area.

      I will be using parts (or all ... haven't decided) of a Stuart Beam engine, plus the winding mechanism from a Fieldhouse winding engine. I will also be building a building to house all of this. It is in 1/12 scale.

      The Stuart Beam engine is a casting kit where the castings are supplied and I machine them to dimension and make them fit and hopefully work. The winding mechanism is made totally from bar stock, with no castings at all. They are available but I only bought the plan set. The building will be totally scratch built from the plan in my head (a very scary place most of the time).

      This build is already in progress, but not very far along so there is still much to do as you will see.

      This is a link to the Fieldhouse winding engine. I will use only the winding part ... frame, gears, drum etc. I bought the plans from Hemmingways.
    • Thank You John and Adam ... I hope I can live up to the expectations.

      This is where the Beam Engine is at this point ...

      Most of the work I have done so far has been on the cylinder and the column. There is still much more to do on both.

      I am deciding whether I will use the supplied base or not. As just a display for the engine it is fine. In the setting that I want to do, it will just get in the way. Also, the main column may not be used either as in the early days, the building was part of the beam support.

      I need to do a lot more research before I go too far on this part.

    • This is a better picture of the winding mechanism.

      Everything on the right side of the large flywheel is what I am making from plans and bar stock. It is well on it's way and I will have some pics of it tomorrow.

      This is what the beam engine is supposed to look like when it is done. Mine is going to be quite different.


      Happy New Year To All

    • I needed to drill some holes in the winding drum ends and they needed to be in the same place in both pieces.

      I set up the rotary table and centered it all under the drill bit.

      The holes went right through the inner drum end and only 3/8 " (.325) into the outer drum end as it is going to be threaded.

      The three parts will be held together with long bolts that thread into one end and have a nut on the other.

      Still more work to do on this part, and then it will be time to make a couple of gears.


    • The project continues.

      This is as far as I have got to on the winding frame. The two base pieces were machined as one piece, held together with a couple of bolts. Once all the holes were drilled and the profiles all machined (about 5 hours of machining), The pieces were separated and I had an identical pair. I then cut some brass rod to length, threaded the ends, and put all the pieces together.

      Also, I now have all of the pieces of the drum machined, drilled and threaded. I made the nuts and bolts required and assembled it.

      This is where the assembly is at this time.

      The large, round chunk of brass is going to be the main drive gear. Now that all the bits are there, I can take it all apart again, and get ready to make the large, 64 tooth gear that is required.

      I need to add the dividing head to the rotary table and set it up very precisely on the mill. I will likely cut the gear first thing in the morning, when I am in the mood. Making gears is very repetitive and it is very easy to lose concentration. That is how you can end up with gears that have 24 1/2 teeth!

      That's it for now.


    • The first thing I need to do is to line up the rotary table/dividing head absolutely square on the mill table ...

      Then I need to mount the gear cutter in the mill and set it for center ...

      Once that is done, I mounted the gear blank, and set everything and got ready to go. There are no pics of the actual process as I need to concentrate completely so that I don't make a mistake. The process is ... cut one tooth, move back to start, unlock the table, rotate to next cut, lack the table, do the next cut, and repeat 64 times.

      The last cut ...

      and then, all back together ...

      Now I get to do it all again with the smaller gear.

    • There has been some progress. Unfortunately, there was an accident with a memory card so all of my in progress pics are gone. This is how the project stands at the moment.

      The axle bearings have been made and the bearing blocks and caps have been made. The two top cross bars have been fabricated and mostly finished.

      Next is the bar that holds the bearing for the main drive axle coming from the engine itself. The gear that goes on there is already done, but I don't have a picture of that.


    • Thank You for the comments. John, I really enjoy making the gears. It is picky and precise work but I like it.
      I hope to see you soon.

      Next I will tackle what I think is the most complicated part of the winding mechanism ... the crossbar that holds the bearing for the power input shaft. It is in the top right corner of the drawing that is in the previous pictures. If that is not in the right spot, the input shaft and gear won't fit.