Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Steamcarbob
Date: May 27, 2017 07:15AM
Well done Rolly, I am glad that at least one reads my ramblings,it makes it all worthwhile and perhaps may help someone along the line!
Earlier this week Nigel Tamblin, assisted by me, took apart my Bridgeport 2J2 milling machine head to see why it had developed the “hammers of Hell” in its head and why one section of the head had its very smart paint peeling off. Nigel is a very good steam engineer and has maintained a small railway open to tourists but is easing off as he nears retirement age.
This machine head comes apart in sections: first the motor, then the motor mounting followed by the brake, then the gears section with clutch and back-gear getting down to the spindle section. Luckily there are good videos of how to do it on You-Tube.
We found lots of black powdery muck in the top sections and the grease, packed thickly, was full of it. As we got down to the level of the paint injured section, a block of rubber dropped out about 1 ˝ inches long and pyramidal in section. Everything else was in excellent condition and the gears were not damaged. Most of the bearings were smooth and silent but a couple was getting noisy so we ordered new ones of these.
It then dawned on me what the rubber was. It was the remains of an old main drive belt that must have disintegrated and had been replaced before I got the machine. The inside of the head had not been cleaned at the time which would have involved taking apart the next two sections. This bit of rubber must have been stuck in the grease for many years and then come free. It had slipped down into the next section and ridden around a wheel being thrown off at the side and the constant bashing has loosened the paint on the outside of the aluminium casing. Being rubber, it was not a noise to say “stop now, things are disintegrating inside”. I thought that it was a bearing going and the gears getting noisy.
We ordered new bolts and bearings. We could not get the main drive belt here so I am having one sent over from the USA, with the postage costing a lot more than the belt! This one seems to be a Bridgeport special and runs the variable speed part. The back gear belt came off the shelf.
Yes, I should have stopped using the machine and sorted it when the noise started last year but the machine rests and then has an urgent job to get on with and I knew that I would need help with taking it apart. Anyway I believe all will be well. Really I think that I have got away with this quite lightly. This machine came to me cheaply at auction and has done sterling service over the 25 years that I have had it. It compliments my Smart and Brown lathe well as both machines can work to 1/1000 inch, or 1/100 mm in the case of the Bridgeport, so I have to work out things for that metrically. We await the mainbelt before reassembly although most parts are cleaned and some refitted already.
Yesterday, by way of diversion, I got back to some steam car work.
In the Isle of Man I noticed that I had lost a tap with its fitting from the right side of the condenser on my 1902 White. I had used a cork to temporally stem the steam flow. This was a good morning’s work to take off the condenser, then it’s right side with about 30 brass nuts and bolts to fit a new tap with its fitting. Luckily I had a near matching tap to the other side in my spares box and a fitting to adapt which will not come out again. Once done and much grotty old oil removed from the bottom tubes, it was just a case of reassembly and sealing the gasket. It is always difficult to get this totally sealed and the brass is really too thin and bends. Cork seemed too soft and cardboard did not seal. I am using a hardboard gasket now which seems the best so far. The gasket is about 18 inches long but not very wide.
Most of the Whites run at a vacuum in the condenser with a low pressure valve at about 5 psi going to the outside, all assisted by a 3hp four-bladed fan.
The steam on this 6hp White, with two high pressure 3 inch cylinders running simpled, can go through the condenser and any still remaining goes up the chimney. When working, one almost never sees any steam except on starting on a cold day even though it does not have a fan. This little White was the first with a factory built condenser and the White Sewing Machine Company had not sorted all the technology!
Bridgeport apart.jpg (196kB)
Damage to paintwork.jpg (164kB)
1902 White condenser.jpg (205kB)