The Essential Beginners Guide to Live Steam Models:
The Refubishment of a Stuart Turner No 4 Steam Engine
Kindly submitted by Dave from Sussex
I thought you might like to read a brief story of the refurbishment and running of my Stuart Turner No 4 steam engine I purchased this engine off of Ebay and basically "It Was a Pup" considering what I paid for it. Old saying "Buyers beware". Initially when I first received it I thought it looked ok and I gave it a quick run on air. It ran reasonably well albeit a bit lumpy. I put that down to probably the timing wanting adjusting.
It was only a few days later when I had more time and I looked at it in more detail I realised what a "pup it was". Having said that I have had a lot of enjoyment refurbishing it as far as I wanted or could be bothered to go. For perfection there are a few other jobs still to do but It now runs very well, giving lots of power on very little pressure.
The cost to put this engine back to how it should be worked out at only a few pounds, so at the end of the day I am happy with what it has cost me. The bottom cylinder cover & steam gland were missing, steam valve altered and piston rod incorrect length, (if you looked underneath the engine you could see the piston going up and down, and the piston came to the very bottom of the cylinder on the downward stroke) plus a large blowhole in the main cylinder casting on the steam chest side. It had been made to run single acting. I remade all the missing bits and corrected the steam valve etc so it worked properly ie: double acting.
I fitted a mechanical lubricator, axle feed pump plus gravity fed "A" frame lubricator. At a later date I am going to also fit a small Stuart centrifugal pump that I have, to give a little working demonstration of it pumping water. The boiler In this video clip (see the link below) the No4 is powered by a 5" coal fired boiler with 53 fire tubes & superheater, running at 75psi. I fitted a base to this boiler when I purchased it so that in an emergency I only have to pull a rod and the fire just drops down. I have used Coal to fire the boiler shown in the video, rather than Anthracite, as I like the smell and look of the real thing. The steam and water pipes shown in video are only odd pieces of pipe that I quickly joined together to give the engine a run.
I hope you have enjoyed this small article.