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Richard Simpson04/08/2021 12:08:34
766 forum posts
371 photos

I thought rather than take over Colins 2021 Lockdown thread with what was basically becoming a built blog it made more sense to put a dedicated build blog here where it is supposed to be. So apologies for starting again but I'll get on with some new stuff as soon as I progress.

Richard Simpson04/08/2021 12:10:43
766 forum posts
371 photos

After finishing the German steam launch I decided to move onto another project that has been sat on a shelf for well over ten years and that is the Wide-A-Wake steam launch.

I had the hull built for me by a retired real size boat builder in Southampton and, when I tested it in the bath I discovered a leak. Since then I have bought a plant and a few bits and pieces but got no further. So time to put some effort into it.

First job was to precisely identify the leak and mark it. Then I filled the gap between the planks that were slightly open with some wood filler, followed by a couple of coats of Captain Tolley's before going over the area with some West system resin. When I was happy that the leak was dealt with I decided that I wanted the below waterline painting to contrast with the polished wooden upper surfaces. I sat the hull in its stand, adjusted it to be perfectly level, found the water line from the plan and drew around the hull with a fine lining pen. Not easy over clinker construction around the stern. Anyway I then masked it off to the line and painted all the below waterline surfaces with a Crimson Lake paint. Crimson Lake is actually a railway colour from the 'Big Four' days.






Edited By Richard Simpson on 04/08/2021 12:11:47

Richard Simpson04/08/2021 12:14:35
766 forum posts
371 photos

Internally bearers for the steam plant were added then a lower decking was built in place using doll's house flooring as a planking material. A base for an oil drum was built into the bow area and a scale 1/6th oil drum was converted to become a water tank for boiler feed. This required a valve and a sight glass to be fitted so boiler bushes were soft soldered onto the tank front.

Finally for now a second oil drum is going to be used as a cover for the disposable gas tank so the base has been removed and I am in the process of making a scratch built barrel pump for it.







Edited By Richard Simpson on 04/08/2021 12:15:18

Richard Simpson04/08/2021 12:17:41
766 forum posts
371 photos

I continued having a play with the water tank today and cleaned out the threads with a tap before screwing in the valve and the sight glass with some liquid thread sealant. I then placed it into its cradle and assembled the boiler banding holding it in place. I will leave the lower decking as a removable piece as it sits on the keel and the hull and is completely located by the ribs.

I then finished the scratch built barrel pump made from a slice of a model railway tank with plasticard covers and ribbing, plastic nuts and bits of pipework, a bamboo skewer handle and some brass steam fittings for the pipe connections.






Richard Simpson05/08/2021 19:18:36
766 forum posts
371 photos

I had a bit of a play around today with the steering set up. I wanted the linkages to be as high as possible, preferably above the deck rather than through a hull penetration so a bit of jiggling led to the cutting of an opening, the fitting of two beams and the installation of a high torque servo. Model aircraft servo horns were installed on either side of the ruder and 2mm linkages with threaded clevises were fitted to swivel connection on the rods. I'm quite happy with the arrangement and get good rudder movement from the servo. I just need to make a hatch now to go over the servo.


I then had a play with getting the water tank progressed, which was just a little bit more weathering, drilling the top fitting to take the filling line and careful marking out of the fore deck to find the exact spot to drill a hole. I have toyed with the idea of many different types of hatches but come to the conclusion that it really needs to be a fairly flush type to allow free movement of ropes across the deck.


Finally I wanted to get the steering deck to the point whereby it can be finally put in place in the boat. When I was very young my father bought me a very simple kit of a ship's binnacle. It has sat on a shelf alongside a similar sized ship's telegraph for around 40 to 50 years now but the more I looked at it the more I thought it would suit this model perfectly. I also found a ship's wheel in a marine type gifts and fancy goods shop, which again was around the right scale so the wheel was fitted to the front of the binacle and the binacle was fitted to the deck with four machine screws epoxied into the feet. The deck was drilled and the binacle was held down with nuts and washers below the deck. Finally I had a play with making some appropriate loose cushions to detail the benches a little so covered some closed foam sticky backed tape with some fine cotton cloth and stuck them in place. I'm not sure if I like them yet, I might try again and change the shape and size a little.


Richard Simpson07/08/2021 18:57:19
766 forum posts
371 photos

There is something about pipe work that I find very relaxing. Today has been a day of pipe work. Having a controllable water valve for level and a controllable gas valve for pressure control means there is a good deal more pipe work than in many steam powered models. Today I have been working on the water pipes as they are the easy ones to start with. Easy as they are all soft soldered. I have used the existing supplied connections at the engine pump and piped in the control valve for the boiler feed. The only remaining line now is from the valve back to the feed tank.

The valve has been built with the idea of making it look like a piece of suitable related equipment. The servo was mounted along with the valve on a piece of wood, which had an angle iron frame attached as a base with bolts in the corners. The whole lot was then painted green enamel and will be weathered with washes and dry brushing to blend it in with the rest of the equipment. One I am happy with the set up the wooden block will be glued to the decking.

I also started to make a frame to hold the gas tank but I'll show that tomorrow.





Richard Simpson10/08/2021 17:31:01
766 forum posts
371 photos

Over the last day or so while I have been waiting for some pipe fittings to arrive I have gone back to progressing the woodwork. First of all was a wooden stand for the gas tank to sit on as well as providing a platform for the oil drum cover. This also keeps the cold gas tank off the wooden decking and prevents any condensation forming underneath it. This was nothing more than a pine frame constructed to enable the tank to sit a little higher and therefore further out from the boiler. The frame was glued in place when completed and stained with a dark brown wash.

Next the first of the two side boxes was started. The port one is to hold the electronics for the boiler control system so has been designed to be close to the two control valves and the two sensors on the boiler. One thing I discovered about the boiler was that the threads are very unusually 48 tpi, so fitting the boiler pressure sensor was not so straightforward. Oddly the filling plug is 40 tpi so I had a blanking plug to fit that. The blanking plug had a union nut silver soldered to the top with a correct thread for the sensor and they were then drilled through and dressed up in the lathe.

The side box was made by creating another pine frame in place, held by Blu Tac during construction and planking for the sides were cut out using cardboard templates cut to the hull shape. The frame was then removed and the planking glued to the sides.





Ray Wood 210/08/2021 19:48:07
2546 forum posts
877 photos

Hi Richard,

Nice bit of pipework, I also enjoy the unions and olives

Do you you normally mount your boiler feed check valves horizontally ? we loco builders have them vertically so that gravity seats the ball until working steam pressure is achieved, this I imagine stops the expanding warm water flowing back past the ball to the storage tank or tender ?

Regards Ray

Richard Simpson10/08/2021 22:42:08
766 forum posts
371 photos

Hi Ray, I didn't have enough room to get the pipework in if I mounted it vertically so I thought I'd give it a go and see if it works OK. As pressure is building up the feed control valve will be closed and it shouldn't be able to pass back through the pump so I'm hoping that will prevent loosing water until pressure closes the check valve. I've also seen marine check valves with a spring behind the ball so it will be interesting to see what the arrangement is in this one. It will have to come apart fro a clean before I bench test it as the pump was completely seized up with hardened deposits from being on the shelf for many years. I felt quite pleased with myself at getting it working again!

We shall see!

gecon11/08/2021 07:17:51
527 forum posts
449 photos

Beautiful workmanship Richard. Facinated by the detail photos.

Do I detect a doll's house in the background? I have installed 3 pairs of d-h hinges in the CA and that will do. I will not hinge all the lockers and doors or I'll become 'unhinged' due to fiddly-work stress.crying 2


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