"One Perfect Part at a Time"

Live Steam

Is it time to stoke the fire and bring up the pressure again?

I have been retired for two years or so. I do part time consulting that pays well for the hours worked, but it is not a major load on my retirement activities. In other words, not a lot of hours at one time. I still have the problem of too many creative hobbies, with my silver work and 3D printing at the top of the list.

The 3D printing, except for the creative and CAD drawing, is mostly start and forget; letting the printer run for 5, 6 or more hours without attention. That run time is available for anything else I want or need to do. I have to remind myself to stop starring at the CNC action. I’m sure you know what I mean. It’s like the swinging watch… “You are getting sleepy…”

Of the many things I am able to do, one thing I would really like to get back to is the real machining work in building a live steam locomotive. A live steam boiler and a steam engine (motor) would also be a project on which I’d like to be working. I have the necessary machine tools. I feel so guilty not using them now that I have the tools and opportunity. Read the other posts in this category and you see there have been false restarts. Yes Judge, I plead guilty.

I have an excuse. A fairly a valid one. Summers in Texas can be unbearable with the heat and (recently) the humidity here in the Dallas area. It’s always hot in Texas in the summer, but the humidity has been more like Houston than the normal – far northern (away from the coast) – Dallas.

My garage workshop is not air conditioned except for the open door and a high velocity fan. Heating in the late Fall and Winter is not a problem. I like working in a cool shop so If I get it above 60 degrees, I am very comfortable.

The (3) computers I use to run my CNC machines don’t like the 95 to 100-degree plus summer temperatures in the shop. They don’t feel the effect of the breeze from the fan. I have had one machine shut down from high temperature. Once is enough when running a long CNC program.

It’s officially Fall season as I write this but the effect on Texas will not really be felt until November. It is cooler now than the high Summer temps, so it has me yearning to be working back in the shop. The present 85 degrees feels very good but even cooler is better.

My plan is to put my shop back into project metal-working condition. It needs a good cleaning and organization before starting live steam project work. I spent some time out there today. The temperature was only 85 but the humidity was a killer. Not quite ready for prime working time.

Enough of the lame excuses.

I have most of the material for working on the A3 tender. The project is just where I left off. It’s all there waiting on me to pick up and start again. I can make excuses but I need to be making parts. The hiatus is over. This is the time in my life for which I was preparing and building up my workshop. If I don’t start soon, it will never happen. Shame on me.

Look out live steam. The fire in the boiler is coming back stronger than ever. I have added the category Live Steam shortcut to the top menu bar in this blog. Readers can comment here in the blog, if you want. The major construction photos and work will get posted over in the Main web site but I plan incremental progress reports or excuses – I mean stories, here. Keep nagging me on…

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