Sunday, May 4, 2014

Putting on the Squeeze

I thought the day would never get here.  I am referring of course to the hydrostatic test of Iona's boiler.  A boiler needs to hold pressure and do so without leaking.  Steam leaks are pesky, debilitating things.  Plus on Inspection Day, the Authorized Inspector wants to see a vessel quietly sitting there holding 150 percent of working pressure, without fuss.

The boiler was set up on pipe horses and the various fittings and hydrostatic pump applied.  The furnace received heat for the first time in the form of an oxy-acetylene torch in order to bring vessel and water temperature up to 70 F.

Here's the boiler front with a vent fitting on the starboard lower 1.5" washout plug hole.  The port lower handhole fitting is seen to the right.  The boiler is sitting here with 300 psi on it.  I am pleased ...  The boiler is in the august company of a main driving wheelset for a ten-wheeler, for those who must know.

The combustion chamber end had three weepers, hence the puddle.  They quickly took up with a few turns of the tube roller.

Meanwhile, as the vessel was sitting there, I assisted colleague Mr. Anderson with his new launch ...

This is a Baird hull that Mr. Anderson acquired.  We were finding its center of gravity for a trailer he wants built for it.  The plan is then, that the trailer it is sitting on will become Iona's trailer.  Our shop's overhead cranes and giant scale were employed in this exercise.  We look forward to see Mr. Anderson's meticulous transformation of this launch.

Of course, I couldn't resist weighing Iona's boiler while full of water.  It came in at an even 1,000 lbs.  This is good; we feared that we would have to ballast Iona's box keel with some lead pigs.  This weight takes care of that.

Here's a last shot of the test gauge - sort of a blurry camera phone image - sitting just below 300 psi.