< First Steaming Up >
The firebox was painted black with a stove paint spray. With all of fittings, the boiler was tested again with 1.5X pressure of the working pressure.
The electric blower is of the Blackgates Engineering. Old N-gauge power pack is connected between the blower and automobile battery so as to control blowing speed.
Now is the time for the first steaming up without running. The engine will only race between a pair of lifting bricks. For firing I employed cassette torch instead of coal, because it can remove the fire immediately in case of emergency. Also I used industrial pressure gauge to check the model pressure gauge. It took around five minutes till the safety valves blew up at 0.7 MPa. Then I adjusted the pair of safety valves to let it blow at 0.6 MPa and 0.65 MPa. It took long time because the pressure of this little boiler is not so stable.
Next, I opened the drain cock and cracked the regulator, but the wheel didn't rotate soon. Already I have experience in 1-gauge loco, if I fully open the regulator, the wheel will start rotating at incredible high speed and I will fall into panic! Carefully I rotated the driving wheels by hand, then she started smoothly.
After half hour racing, black waste oil was observed under the oil trap. It shows the oil trap works well. Actually there was no oil mist from the chimney.
During the first steam up, I found two problems.
1. The water gauge doesn't indicate proper water level.
2. The lubricator doesn't work well.
The upper fitting of the water gauge was lower than top of the glass pipe. Once the water line reaches to the upper fitting, air in the glass is captured and the water gauge shows no more proper level. Therefore I added a bypass between the water gauge and the steam turret so as to prevent 'air lock'.
The lubricator had problem in the check valve of pump body. I made new pump body with careful seating. New body was made from phosphor bronze instead of brass (right hand in the photo).
Miniature shovel for coaling is batter made according to the fire hole dimension. My shovel was made from a brass pipe of slightly smaller O.D. than the fire hole. A length of the pipe was closed with a disc with silver soldering, divided vertically by fret saw and cut a slant nose. Then a brass bar is silver soldered onto the end.
The photo shows hand brake assembly of the trolley. The system is OS made. For water reservoir, I employed a plastic box attached into the trolley, then connected to the loco with a soft plastic tube.
Running test in the club layout. The boiler was filled with soft water, charcoal soaked in paraffin was thrown into the firebox, then the electric blower started slowly. As soon as I lit a fire with cassette torch, smoke and smell came out from the chimney. The fire door was closed and I waited for minutes. Charcoal has so much power that it could drive a loco, therefore you don't have to pay much care for firing with charcoal. Actually William's small boiler soon started raising its pressure, before I change the fuel to steam coal. During the steam up, all of moving parts was lubricated. When the fuel was fully replaced with the steam coal, the safety valve blew up and William was ready for running.
I cracked the regulator. In this time the loco started very smoothly. The engine has no problem and I drove her for a couple of hours.
The steam coal was purchased from England under the name of 'Welsh steam coal'. I don't know it is true or not, however it has excellent capacity. The loco spent fewer coal than I expected - one inch depth from the grate was enough for continuous running.
Iron track of the club layout is old and rusty, so it provides great adhesion to loco. I connected two more trolleys and tried to haul nine adult passengers. The regulator had to be operated carefully to prevent wheel spinning. The blast played hard pop sound as if the cylinders were going to be broken. It took a minute for her to reach to the cruising speed. In the middle of the circuit, boiler pressure suddenly dropped, and finally she stopped. The layout has 250 meters circuit and she ran 150 meters. If I have good driving skill, she would run 250 meters with ten adult passengers. I want to try in the next time.