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Steam Crane to LBSC design

date c1930s?

This crane was scratch built (by an unknown individual) to a design published by Curly Lawrence (AKA LBSC) in Model Engineer magazine Oct. 1953.

The boiler is a vertical type, 3" diameter x approx 3 1/4" high. The burner is a 3 wick meths type. Boiler fittings consist of a safety valve and pressure gauge on the top plate and a try-cock on the side. It has a single flue tube leading to a chimney, which also carries the steam exhaust. There is a superheater coil inside the firebox.

Steam exits from the superheater, via a needle valve regulator and a lubricator, to the side of the cylinder port face.

The cylinder is a double acting oscillating cylinder, approx 1/2" bore x 11/16" stroke. There is a reversing lever that is connected to a rotating reversing valve which swaps the inlet and exhaust ports. Exhaust steam is fed to the base of the chimney.

The crank shaft has a small disk crank at one end and a 2" diameter steel flywheel at the other. Also at the flywheel end is a small pinion gear, which forms the 1st gear of a 2 stage gear train driving the winding drum. The total gear ratio is 9:1. The winding drum is 1/2" diameter. String from the drum passes over a pulley at the top of the jib to a hook. The jib is an aluminium U section, supported by a bracket on the base and by two wires at the top attached to the top of the engine / winding drum frame.

The whole crane is mounted on a wooden base which has a hole approximately at the centre of gravity. Wear marks on the under side suggest that it was originally mounted on a turntable, and one is described in the magazine article.

As-acquired, it was badly in need of restoration. The turn table was missing, the jib was buckled and it's support wires needed replacing. The pulley at the top was not really adequate for the job and needed to be replaced with a better one. The hook was missing. Otherwise, most of the important parts were present.

Restoration consisted mainly of rectifying the above problems, making a turn table, cleaning, de-rusting, repainting and re-stringing.

In order to reduce the raising and lowering speed to a more convenient level, I added a pulley block to the hook.

Make Unknown (LBSC design)
Model ?
Made c 1930s?
Description Steam crane
Cylinders 1
Cylinder Type double acting reversible
Piston Diam mm 13
Stroke mm 18
Valve Type Oscillating cylinder
Boiler Type Vertical with single flue tube
Boiler Diam mm 76
Boiler length/height mm 83
Fuel Meths
Mechanical Condition Good
Cosmetic Condition Restored
Paintwork Restored
Purchased 26/8/2017
Purchase cost 127.66
Additional spend 10