Sunday, 6 January 2013

Back to the grind...

Only a few days since we were in steam we are back to our winter jobs! Today saw a range of tasks carried out with unfortunately most of them failing!

First order of the day was to attempt to use our road compressor to start the 33 litre single cylinder crossley Diesel engine. For a bit of background history the engine was used for mixing chlorine with reservoir water before shooting off down the mains pipe. The engine is designed to be started on compressed air at a pressure of 250psi. This was achievable until last year when our air receiver which has to be tested along with our steam boiler was condemned due to high levels of rusting in its base. A new cylinder would be costly plus the compressor used to reach 250psi (100psi higher than your average garage/workshop compressor) was on its last legs.

The answer was believed to run the 150psi road compressor into the engine. Although it is of lower pressure the road compressor can keep up a higher volume than the old air receiver. Initial experiments found that with one pipe connected it wouldn't work, so today an additional connection was made so that from the compressor manifold two large bore flexible pipes fed in to the crossley engine. Unfortunately this didn't prove to make it any better and efforts were quickly abandoned.

With that excitement over, we turned our attention to the wood burning stove. As you may know from previous posts this has given us trouble. The chimney doesn't draw enough to stop a rather leaky tortoise stove from filling the tea room with smoke. So a blast pipe was put up the chimney and driven from an electric blower. Fire was lit, and although an improvement was seen it really wasn't worth the effort... Take 2...

Forget the whole lot and start again! A quick wander around the site made us realise we had a better fire. An old vertical boiler has stood outside for years and really could do with being put to use. The inspector had condemned it as not fit for restoration so work will now begin on installing it in the tea room with a vertical flue through the roof with no bends all in time for next winter! To add to the effect in the tea room the boiler will be cosmetically restored with glass water sight gauges, blow down valve, pressure gauge and for the amusement of the visiting public a temperature gauge as well!

We did at least get some gardening done, an old elder tree was cut back to shoot again in the spring, everyone should have a narrow gauge railway to help clear up, makes it much more fun! See pics below.

Next week will see another series of one step forward two steps back!

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