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Museum News For 2017

(Updated October 2017)



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The newly painted beam, raised onto a steel platform, together with an array of parallel motion components waiting to be fitted.

April 2017

Clapham Beam Engine - Update

The block paving around the engine has been completed. In order to do this the crank and bedplate belonging to the Holmes triple expansion engine had to be moved out of the way. This is now back in its original position.

The beam has been painted its new colour and has been lifted onto a steel platform so that all the components of the parallel motion linkage and associated bearings can be fitted to the various pins on the beam.

This is proving to be time consuming as some of the brasses are in a poor state. Up to now a cast iron plate, onto which a bearing cotter is located, is broken and beyond repair. A  new one will have to be made. There is also a crack in one of the cast bosses on the end of one of the links. This will  also require some kind of repair.

May 2017

Clapham Beam Engine - Update

Most of the parallel motion linkage has been fitted to the beam. The painting of the beam has been completed by adding the lining detail.

Parallel motion links fitted to the beam

The beam looking very smart with its new lining detail completed.

August 2017

Clapham Beam Engine - Update

In the last few months a lot of “unseen” work has been done in preparation for lifting the beam into place, on top of the columns.

Lifting the beam, and manoeuvring it into position, ready to be lowered onto the entablature.

Once in position, the next tricky task was to align the link at the end of the beam with the Low Pressure piston rod.

Similarly, the other end of the beam had to be aligned with the crankshaft. In both cases a plumb bob and line was used. In this case the correct alignment is shown, with the plumb bob in line with the inner circle on the white card. At the same time the line had to be central with the crank pin (not shown in the photo).

September 2017

Clapham Beam Engine - Update

The HP piston rod has been connected to the appropriate links on the the parallel motion. The barring motor continued to turn the engine over with relative ease. It was then possible to check the clearance distance between the piston top and the cylinder top cover, also the clearance between the bottom of the piston and the bottom cylinder cover. Both are OK.

An attempt to connect the air pump rod resulted in the beam being out of balance.

October 2017

The last of the rods, the large main water pump rod, has finally been attached to the beam (next to the connecting rod). This means that all the various rods are now connected to the beam. The beam is still way out of balance -  heavy at the  cylinders end, which prevents the barring motor from turning the engine a full rev before stalling. It is planned to add weights to the main pump rod to try and overcome the problem.

Any available pieces of scrap metal have been gathered together, to act as weights, and attached to the bottom of the pump rod. The barring motor struggles to turn the engine over from stationary, but once it is in motion it keeps going with relative ease.

The added weights, although they look unsightly, are below floor level and are therefore not in public view.