old guy in Northern Indiana U.S.A.

Read this first then introduce yourself here.
joe36
Just Starting Out
Just Starting Out
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:57 am
Boat Name: No Boat Yet

old guy in Northern Indiana U.S.A.

Post by joe36 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:25 pm

I am retired and now find I have time to work on things I have always wanted. One of the things I have wanted to build however I have not don is to build a steam engine.
At one time I had a home DIY foundry. It was over 20 years ago and most used for aluminum. I decided to build a new foundry a couple of years ago. If on time I will be pouring metal in the new foundry by early summer. This will be a separate 10'X23' building built from a shed modified with the express purpose of being used as a foundry.
I have what I would call a nice working shop. I know that is subjective. The main building is 25'X50' with large heavy 1980s mill and 1960s lath along with a well equipped general fabrication shop. The shop has an unfinished 25'X18' back room “no climate control”.
At this time I have no boat.

Joe
User avatar
TahoeSteam
Full Steam Ahead
Full Steam Ahead
Posts: 620
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:38 am
Boat Name: Wayward Belle
Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA
Contact:

Re: old guy in Northern Indiana U.S.A.

Post by TahoeSteam » Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:29 am

Welcome to the forum!

It sounds like your shop and facilities are very respectable, more than most of ours. From what you describe, I would say you're very well equipped to build whatever you heart desires.
~Wesley Harcourt~
Check out the steamboat and steamSHIP videos on my YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/c/wesleyharcourtsteamandmore
User avatar
PeteThePen1
Full Steam Ahead
Full Steam Ahead
Posts: 432
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:53 pm
Boat Name: Frances Ann
Location: Cheshire, UK
Contact:

Re: old guy in Northern Indiana U.S.A.

Post by PeteThePen1 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:37 pm

Welcome to the Forum Joe.

Most of us, especially in the UK, would drool with envy at the specification of your shop. I hope you get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

You call yourself 'Old Guy' so we don't know where that puts you on the age scale. However, my tip as a long time Forum Member is to decide what gives you the most joy. Do you want to go boating powered by steam, or do you want to work in that lovely shop? I wanted to go boating, but could not find a boat at that time so allowed myself to be persuaded into building one. The result is that I am now a very much older guy who has done negligible boating but way too much building. OK, there is some pleasure to workshop activities and it sure keeps the brain active. However, I let my original objective get obscured and now I will soon be in a position of having neither a boat nor a history of boating (we are downsizing).

If you fancy having a boat to keep you going while you build your 'dream boat', do have a look at Howard's Walking Belle in the for sale section. Given the exchange rate for the Pound Sterling at present, it is an absolute gift.

Regards

Pete
User avatar
fredrosse
Full Steam Ahead
Full Steam Ahead
Posts: 1723
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:34 am
Boat Name: Margaret S.
Location: Phila PA USA

Re: old guy in Northern Indiana U.S.A.

Post by fredrosse » Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:21 am

Welcome to the forum. Having machine facilities is quite an asset, and directing your efforts to steam power, especially steam boating, is very rewarding. I spent about 5 years building a steam engine for my sidewheeler, very much part time work, at a very moderate cost. However an IC engine conversion to steam can be done in less than a month of part time work. Engine casting kits are also available at reasonable costs to produce excellent traditional steam engines.

Boiler building took about a year for me, also very much part time. I strongly recommend you get guidance in the design and fabrication of the boiler, and there is plenty of help available on this forum. My boiler cost a couple of thousand $US, as I used all the ASME code rules, code materials, and a code compliant boiler fabrication shop to certify the design, weld it together, test it, and provide National Board registration, with an ASME "S" stamping (high pressure power boiler). Ready made, ASME stamped boilers are available for around $10,000 and upwards, but with your facilities you can probably do a large fraction of the work and save thousands of dollars. We all want to have safe boilers, with this component having the largest potential for danger, and this is readily accomplished with proper design and construction.

Then building the boat, taking about 6 weeks (while I still had a full time day job), as wood working is much easier than metal. The materials costs was a few thousand dollars, using all premium marine grade materials and heavy duty construction. I had a couple of part time helpers building the hull, and wanted to get into the water as soon as possible, with 6 years of the ongoing project at that time.

For the hull, one quick alternate is to buy a fiberglass sailboat hull, they go for a "song" on e-bay, if they have a busted mast or bad sails. I bough an O'Day javelin, with trailer (and broken mast) for $107 on e-bay, cut out the centerboard trunk with a skill saw, fiberglassed in a propeller shaft (1-1/2 inch PVC pipe), fitted a 1 inch shaft driving a 14 inch prop, all in a couple of weekends. This hull was electric powered, but could have easily been fitted with a steam plant. This boat worked well for several years, and is now being converted to become a "fast steamer" ("fast" being a relative term), with a 12 horsepower steam plant, which is about 4 times more powerful than the vast majority of steamboats in the USA.

Lots of alternatives available for you, with a rewarding endpoint of cruising about our waterways without all the fuss of IC engines. Build options running from the very economical all the way to having a gleaming masterpiece of a steamboat. Good luck with your projects.
joe36
Just Starting Out
Just Starting Out
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:57 am
Boat Name: No Boat Yet

Re: old guy in Northern Indiana U.S.A.

Post by joe36 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:14 am

Thank yo all for the warm welcome.
I don’t post a lot and fell a bit under the weather so this probably is going to be about it as far as posting for a few days.
I do have some plans for2 engines in the next year I hope. The first will be a 2" bore 2" stroke.
I am in the early stages of mold making on this one. If the first goes well then the second will be more ambitions using a cut and reworked 350 Chevy crank.
That’s it for now back to bed until this Spring Bug passes.
Joe
User avatar
RNoe
Full Steam Ahead
Full Steam Ahead
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 5:29 pm
Boat Name: Cluaran
Location: Northern Oregon

Re: old guy in Northern Indiana U.S.A.

Post by RNoe » Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:28 pm

Let's hope your "spring bug" is only that, given the nasty virus making the rounds world-wide!
Stay healthy.
RussN
SL Ethel
Warming the Engine
Warming the Engine
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:50 am
Boat Name: SL Ethel

Re: old guy in Northern Indiana U.S.A.

Post by SL Ethel » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:05 pm

Hi Joe,

Welcome to the forum! If we can get safely out of house any time soon, feel free to stop by my shop just outside Chicago. I still have a hope of getting my boat (20' steel hull open launch) out on the water this year, and you would be welcome to join. Ron, of the Iron Chief, is probably the other active steamer closest to you. He is over in the Detroit area. If you put a boat together, we might have quorum for a meet on the Great Lakes.

Cheers,
Scott
joe36
Just Starting Out
Just Starting Out
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:57 am
Boat Name: No Boat Yet

Re: old guy in Northern Indiana U.S.A.

Post by joe36 » Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:24 am

I thank you for the very warm welcome and the invitation to see the boat to sea. I would love to take part in the launch. I don’t get out as much as I once did but given half a chance I would surely not miss a chance to inspect a steam vessel and watch the launch.
I would be very interested in seeing the shop and some of the processes used in the building of a boat and steam drive.
While I have plans within the next few months of starting a very small engine and boiler as a working R&D stand I do plan on a much larger engine with multiple cylinders within a couple of years. The dream to build a steam boa will be taking baby steps. While I do have what I consider to be a nice shop. I have a lot to learn. The foundry is very close to ready to pour and the machines are up to the task.
I just hope I am.
Eventually I would like to convert a 25'-35' sail boat and put it on the Wabash.
Somehow it just seems like it is something I must do. Did I mention that if the leaves are not in the way I can see the Wabash river. It is just a few hundred foot through the woods just the other side of the old Erie canal. If that was not bad enough my grandson has 2 middle name, Noah, Huckleberry just a stones through from the old Erie canal and the Wabash river.
Somehow it sounds like karma!
It is fun that here at grandmas house it is really over the river and through the woods.
It will be an interesting journey!
Joe
User avatar
PeteThePen1
Full Steam Ahead
Full Steam Ahead
Posts: 432
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:53 pm
Boat Name: Frances Ann
Location: Cheshire, UK
Contact:

Re: old guy in Northern Indiana U.S.A.

Post by PeteThePen1 » Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:48 pm

Hi Joe

Good to hear that you sound to be back on your feet again. You sound to have, not only the Dream Shop but also an enviable location. Hope you get to go boating on the canal or the river.

Just to get you thinking boats how about this little beauty from Fyne Boats which comes as a kit: [https://www.fyneboatkits.co.uk/kits/ro ... ter-yawl/]. If you double click on the picture it enlarges and they give you more pictures. The beauty of this design, apart from its beauty as a traditional boat, is the fact that they have designed it with absolutely nothing in the main body of the boat. Thus the machinery can go anywhere you like subject to you plans for crew, passengers etc. It is not expensive as hulls go, especially with the Dollar/GBP exchange rate and, amusingly, the origin of the style is the USA. Lots of the smaller engine and boiler combinations would suit this hull.

Regards

Pete
joe36
Just Starting Out
Just Starting Out
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:57 am
Boat Name: No Boat Yet

Re: old guy in Northern Indiana U.S.A.

Post by joe36 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:53 am

As much as I would like to say I had the dream shop and the perfect location. I can not. The old Erie canal is long since filled. It is now Erie avenue. In my parts of the woods the Wabash river is very young and although listed as a navigable stream. At the low water line it is sometimes hard to keep a row boat from scrapping bottom. Around a mile downstream. The Eel joins the Wabash and from that point on if the river is not low a small craft could pass. Possibly with a draft of no more than 24 inches in the rapids.
I hope I did not over represent my shop. It is something I am proud of but by no means a dream shop with all the latest. I have what I need to do just about anything I want but the technology stopped in the 70s. I have been putting the shop together for years but as of now. There is no DRO on anything, no plasma cuter and no CNC equipment. I hope to rectify this by the end of the year if all goes well.
The link to the hull would not open. For now I am much more concerned with the engine than the hull. Beings new to steam. I have a lot to learn. I do not think the building of the engine will be a technical problem. The boiler on the other hand might be a different story.
Eventually when it comes time for a hull. I have been thinking sail boat.

Joe
Post Reply