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Rum Runner – a build log
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P750


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Joined: 26 Apr 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:11 pm    Post subject: Rum Runner – a build log Reply with quote

Hello everyone. Thought I would use this posting as a running log of my Steam Launch build – named ‘Rum Runner’. It is a scratch build (been working on it since January 2017).

A little bit of background: I am new to steam and expect to learn from the collective experiences of forum members here especially when it comes to things like ‘silver solder’. I do like to experiment with my builds (so, don’t be surprised to see some crazy ideas – hope they all ‘float’). I do have experience with modeling – RC, Static and Scale (comfortable in this area). Not much into writing, so will keep everything to point.

Rum Runner – Primary design considerations:

1) Steam engine stall in the middle of the pond. As I am not into wading into water, it will be a steam/electric hybrid. Engineering problems to solve:
a) Drag from electric propulsion.
b) Run on electric only – when I get tired of steaming.
c) Be able to show the workings of a steam engine when not steaming.

2) Run the steam engine in an efficient way – longevity of each run between refueling stops.

3) Boat speed control given a constant RPM steam engine (run for efficiency).

4) Maneuverable boat – with regards to stops and turns.

5) Since the steam engine is the center of this build – mount and display the unit at deck level. High CG could become an issue with turns. There are also electrical components like ESCs and LiPo batteries which need to be hidden and could contribute to adverse CG issues.

6) Monitor Steam Boiler parameters from shore. Electrical parameters are easily monitored.

I have made progress on some of these issues and will post my thinking along with build photos in subsequent postings. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

V.P
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P750


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:26 pm    Post subject: Propulsion scheme. Reply with quote

So, lets get crazy …….. Propulsion scheme.





a) Brushless electric motor.
- Needs ESC to power it.
- ESC gets power from LiPo batteries (4cell)
- ESC also has a BEC that provides power to all electronics and servos (will have many).
- RPM control is from transmitter via the receiver.
- All this needs to be hidden from view.

b) Reduction gear box (design and build)
- Bring the electric motor’s RPM down to main drive shaft speed.
- Provide greater torque to turn the steam engine - when not steaming.
- Needs to be visible.

c) Clutch / One way bearing.
- Decouples the electric motor and gearbox automatically based on relative RPMs.

d) Steam engine will be directly connected to main drive shaft (can be uncoupled manually).

Normal steam operation:

If the steam engine’s RPM is greater than that of the electric motor/gear box, then propulsion power will be from steam. The electric motor and gear box will not be turning over – to reduce drag.

If electric motor/gear box RPM is greater than that of the steam engine, then the electric motor will turn both the main propulsion shaft and steam engine. Good for ‘show and tell’.

Now, all we need …….. is a boat.  
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P750


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:38 pm    Post subject: the Hull Reply with quote

Building the boat …...

Decided to start with a ‘Borkum Krick’ hull since it had a wide beam (width = 13inch, length = 36inch).





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Roly Williams


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good on paper

Why does the gearbox need to be visible?
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P750


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was always fascinated with seeing gears turn – especially the big once. However, it does pose a challenge – the visual part. Show the part connected to the steam engine but not the electrical motor connected to it.
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P750


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:10 pm    Post subject: Problem with ABS Reply with quote

The problem is that it is made of ABS plastic and just not rigid enough for steaming.

Solution: Build a solid wood frame inside the hull that will be the main weight bearing chassis that everything gets mounded on. The hull will become just an outer skin.




The adhesive I went with is ‘Devcon Plastic Welder’ to mount wood onto the ABS hull. You have to master mixing methods and application methods as this compound paste is very unforgiving. Cannot over apply as it will stain and mark anything it comes into contact with. Once mastered, it is a great adhesive paste for most anything.




30min epoxy is used for anything wood on wood. This is much easier to work with on wood especially when you have to use epoxy resin for finishing and water proofing as a final step.




Base frame wood is plywood which has been stained and waterproofed.


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MICE


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that a plastic hull?
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P750


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it is.
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jkbixby


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your wood frames and bracing look fantastic - how did you get the complex shapes to fit that well? The Devon Plastic Welder is nasty stuff and the smell is something else - said I'd never get another ABS hull again after using it! If you didn't want the complexity of steam/electric
you could go with a "rescue tug" with a fishing line and bobber trailing out back to snag the errant model - mine is a Vac-U-Tug named Jim Dandy ("Jim Dandy to the rescue.....") that works well for very little. Will be watching the rest of your build as it looks very interesting!
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belugawhaleman


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks interesting  Will be watching.
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P750


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:20 am    Post subject: frame reconstruction Reply with quote

Thanks Larry.

I did think of your idea of using a ‘Rescue Tug’. Then I heard the words of a great man (JFK) who once said ‘……do what is hard, not what is easy …….’ or something to that effect. Oh well …..

Let me try and explain how I arrived at the individual frame design. This particular hull did not come with plans. So, I had to recreate each frame.

First, I marked the hull into equal distances (every 3inches) as you can see in this photo – along the inside bottom keel and the inside top edge or lip.



This would enable me to generate slices as I went from bow to stern. Now, I placed a straight stick also marked with equal spacing (1 inch) – at the mark on the hull at the bottom and the outer edge. I then measured the perpendicular distance from each mark on the stick to the place where it touched the hull.

Now, I placed this stick on cardboard and marked the previously measured perpendicular distance at each stick mark. Interpolating between each mark on the cardboard, recreated half the frame.

Cutting two of these on the cardboard gave both sides. I now placed these two cardboard frame sections inside the boat hull at the same slice position measured before. A cardboard bar was glued across at the bottom and top of the two frame sections. This now was my frame slice which I used as a templet to cut the complete frame on plywood.

Some photos may help too:







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P750


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree on the Devcon too. It is nasty stuff. The only reason I went with this ABS hull was because it is what I could find with a wide beam. However, I must say that once I figured it out (Devcon), it does do the job well. Mixing temp was important and helps with 'work time'. More on this in a bit.

Last edited by P750 on Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Les


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting bracing indeed, I am following this build with great interest.  
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P750


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Les. Will strive to not disappoint you.

V.P
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P750


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:44 pm    Post subject: Very first firing and Steam Engine Reply with quote

My very first firing of anything to do with Steam – a thrill for sure. The fact that the house is still standing …… a definite bonus.



This is the engine I am going to be using. It’s a ‘Microcosm’. Decided on a vertical engine so that it would have visual appeal while running. The goal is to have this mounted such that the crank shaft is visible at deck level (maybe a little below).





This is the Firebox/Fuel in its operational configuration with a ‘heat bridge’. Reached this point after running live steam on the bench. Will probably change the Cu tube routing scheme once installed aboard. The Boiler had some pressure leaks which needed fixing too. Overall, live steam on the bench was a blast (with the exception of some burned finger tips).

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