Saturday, January 15, 2011

Testing the steam engine

Finally decided it was time to test the steam engine, see if it had the power to run all the devices on the ship.  I set it up temporarily on a piece of plywood, but with the same configuration it will have on the ship.   I was pleased, it was only running at half power and with that could have run several more things.  Running the generator later will be no problem as well as a complex set of machinery that will be in the front section, if I ever get to it.  The engine turns a main drive shaft with an extra flywheel that then goes to the back driveshaft and to the rear drive of the ship.  That shaft then reconnects to a gearbox that turns the chain to the Gatling gun.  This little gearbox with a screwdrive was essential because I had to change the direction of the drive pulleys as the gun faces the rear.  This piece came out of an old betamax video machine.  Sony built good stuff back then.

Heres the firebox of the engine, uses a minature camp stove running on butane.

 The sony gearbox, will be painting and cleaning it up later, giving it some patina.

Picture of the whole setup

And a video of it running and at the end the laser firing

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cowcatcher steam harpoon

Decided the cowcatcher on the main ship looked too plain.  Had wanted to mount a harpoon somewhere that could be used to snag an enemy you were chasing.  When it is mounted on the ship, there will be a cable that will be attached to the harpoon with a reel mechanism.  The rangefinder lense is from an 8 mm camera and is still operational, diaphragm will open and close.  Steam tubes to fire it will be added when it is mounted on the ship.

Added a control mechanism on the right.  Part from an 8 mm camera.   Built a canister in the rear as a steam pressure chamber.  Turning the cogged wheel on the right turns the wheel which allows more pressure to the cannon.  The gauge is set according to the distance found by the rangefinder which allocates the correct amount of steam to not overfire or underfire the cannon.  Pressing a button on the back of the mechanism sets it back to S or 0, it is fully functional

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lasers, pulleys, metal shielding and redos

Just a short post to update what I have been up to.  Wasn't satisfied with the way the main drive wheel was looking and at the suggestion of my nephew Mendel, redid the whole thing.  Took the leather off and covered it in metal and antiqued the brass using a technique shared with me by Steamworkshop, dont know his name but you can see his work here.   Heres how it turned out.

Also built two axle supports that will hold the pulleys to drive the various mechanisms on the ship.  The were made from candle holders that were cut to size and soldered bearings for the axles.  Will be testing them soon to make sure the steam engine can power everything without adding a third flywheel.  Will post a video of that if it runs well.

Also made a picture of the laser in full firing mode, not the best pic, but it gives you an idea of what it looks like.