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Hit & Miss Gas Engine Discussion Meet collectors of hit and miss engines, ask questions about collecting, restoring and showing antique flywheel engines.

Hit & Miss Gas Engine Discussion

St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft


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  #1  
Old 03-17-2013, 08:48:02 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

I bought this engine disassembled, Dickie Gibbens got it on Ebay and never had a chance to finish it. He paid top dollar and it turned out to be an "aerosol overhaul". The crank was worn and bent, he sent it out to have it straightened and they weren't too successful with it. I decided to make a new one, not quite finished but it coming along well. Here's a picture of the flame cut plate I started with and one of the original and the new one. I have a lot of picture in between, will post some and explain the procedure.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:55:47 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

I measured the old crank, gave dimensions to my son, he drew it up on his computer, took it to work and sent it to the burn table. Water jet would have been nice but he gets the plate and cutting for $.85 lb, for $23 I couldn't go wrong. The material is 572-50, I think that's right, their better grade of plate. I straightened it by eye before starting, it wasn't critical, roughed out a 1.5", mains finish 1.250", flywheel and coupling are 1.125". I used a 3/4" wrench to scribe the crank and center punched it, this also was not critical , when I put it in the crank grinder I can move it like a 4 jaw chuck to center it, grind it, cut the end off and re center it in the steady rest. Next I chucked one side in the 4 jaw, center drilled the other. I then turned the first main round, it was pretty springy so next I went to the crank grinder and ground the center mains. I could now use the steady rest and turn the last main.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:02:25 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

Below is a pic of turning the last main, the crank was rough turned to 1.400" before twisting.
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2013, 10:28:41 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.B. Castagnos View Post
Below is a pic of turning the last main, the crank was rough turned to 1.400" before twisting.
When I first got into this hobby, I had just finished my boat, we attended the Pierre Part church fair. The church is next to the bay, the old timers talk of going to church in their boats. I had heard of Ulysse Comeaux, he lived down the bay across from the church, made his living repairing these old motors when they were in use. I told my friends about him and we decided to go visit. He was 92 years old at the time and legally blind, but was living by himself and managing well. We talked for a while about the old motors then he took us out to his shop. He pointed to a spot under the workbench and said there should be a rough cut crank down there. On the floor was a crank cut with both throws on one side, these 8hp Lockwood crankshafts should be 180 degree cranks. I asked about it and he said he had them torch cut out of a piece of 2X4" steel, heated them in his forge and twisted them to keep from having to buy 2X6" steel. He told us he started making the cranks and they were breaking in the middle where he twisted them, made a motion like a pepper mint stick with his fingers. He took a broken crank to Mr Nadler at Nadler foundry and told him about the cranks breaking, what was he doing wrong. Mr. Nadler looked at tit and said "you're twisting them while they're square, you're setting up a stress. Turn them round, twist them, finish turning". He said he never had a crank break after this. I asked him how he cut the keyways, a total of at least 6". He said he would scribe them while in the lathe and use a special little chisel, holding his hand up with his fingers bent back to describe it, he would chisel the keyways and file them. At this point I asked him how much he charged for a crank, he said $12. Before leaving I told him we had our boats in the bayou, something that hadn't been around for 30 years or so, he replied "I heard them, y'all have a 4, a 6, and an two 8hp", he was correct.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:53:04 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

I installed the 3 jaw chuck on my big lathe, chucked the main in it, put the steady rest and live center on to the hold crank as sturdy as possible. I used a square to align one throw with a jaw on the chuck, then tacked a plate to the throw to try to keep it from rotating. The crank is to be twisted to align the next throw with the next jaw on the chuck, 120 degrees. Randy Landry helped me with the twisting, he's a quality control manager for a construction company, they never had a project like this, he was enjoying it and was a great help. He talked to the metallurgist they use to find out the best temperature to heat to and any other recommendations. 1700 degrees was what he recommended, don't heat any longer than necessary, don't cool it and don't wrap it, let it air cool. Cooling would make it brittle, wrapping would anneal it, heat treating shouldn't be necessary. In the last picture you can see it's been partially twisted, had to rotate the lathe to get another bite and reheat.
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2013, 11:06:35 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

Randy and I are putting the final twist, then checking with the square. We used the color chart to try to get an idea of the temperature.
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2013, 11:48:55 PM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

J.B.
I have to say that I think this is one of THE BEST POSTS I've ever read on here in the 9 years or so I've been on the 'Stak! It combines fabricating unobtainable parts by machining, blacksmithing, intriguing "tricks" to turn failure into success, and rare knowledge from a visit with a smart old man who is doubtless gone now. A fabulous combination.

I did a double take when you talked about twisting the crank. I was very glad you went on to explain about Mr. Nadler and Mr. Comeaux.
That is really amazing about the "turning when square/round and setting up stresses."

I am staggered by the cumulative experience and skill that is represented on this board.

I'm told that years ago, the late Nebraska collector Gilbert Fox had a crank built for a twin cylinder, 12HP Gade.
It would be a simple one compared to what you just did. My wife is a Michaud from Lake Charles. I'll have to show her what those Louisiana folks can do.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:37:32 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

Here's a picture of 2 Lockwood Ash cranks, the factory crank is forged, the shop made one was cut from plate, likely by Mr Comeaux (Como).
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:52:47 PM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.B. Castagnos View Post
Here's a picture of 2 Lockwood Ash cranks, the factory crank is forged, the shop made one was cut from plate, likely by Mr Comeaux (Como).
I remember the first time I saw my wife's maiden name. A Nebraska boy does NOT know that Michaud sounds like "ME-show"

One other aspect of your post that fascinated me but I forgot to mention was that of Mr Comeaux doing precision machine work in cutting the keyways with a chisel and files.

We can go to an estate auction and buy a mans tools or his engines, but oh the knowledge and skill he takes to the grave and which we cannot buy
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:33:57 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

It took a lot more torque to twist it than I anticipated, the first photo show this. I used a 1/8" plate for a stop, it was giving, I had to allow an extra .050" to compensate. I was glad my camera man Eugene noticed this before I removed the crank. I hoped to keep the crank straight enough to use after twisting, it was .150" over and I had it supported in three places. I was suprised to find out it was only .020" out after checking between centers. I was able to grind without even straightening. Randy dye checked it and no cracks showed.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:01:45 PM
Martin Gaudet Martin Gaudet is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

Mr Castagnos,
"The advantage we have over our ancerstors is the store of things that has accumulated over the years and the desire to pass on our knowlege."
Thank you very much for sharing this with us!

Martin
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:12:00 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

I bought the crank grinder last spring, finally got it set up and this is the sixth crank I've ground, still have a lot to learn about it.This long crank is flexible and takes special care. The grinder came with two steady rest and I plan to use both of them on the final grind, it's still .050" over but I want to fit it to the bearings, leaving it oversize if necessary. When setting up a crank to grind I would normally set the stroke on the dovetail ways, let the rod journal hang down to the center and swing the crank to dial it in at zero. With the square throws this wouldn't have been possible. I made two index plates, tacked them together and bored the center for the crank. I scribed a 4" circle for the stroke and divided it at 120 degrees for teh three crankpins, drilled center holes in both plates, welded on hubs with set screws. While the plates were together I milled a flat on both plates even with one of the center holes. The crank was placed on a flat table, the disc zeroed in with the flat spots and I used a square to align one of the throws. The crank can now be placed in and out of the grinder or lathe on centers without having to set anything and the stroke and 120 degree indexing will be correct.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:15:25 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

Here's the crank in the grinder.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:25:29 AM
73eldo 73eldo is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

Way cool stuff. Thanks for sharing.

I would have never thought you could just twist a crank.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:17:39 AM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

Here's a link to a video of the inside of the throws being machined. This was a slow process, had to make light cuts. A follow rest would have bee a big help.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8GbEMV2xa8

Last edited by J.B. Castagnos; 03-19-2013 at 08:31:57 AM.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:38:57 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

While looking over the old crank I noticed the throws on the center cylinder were bent, I thought it was a strange place to have that happen, tried to imagine if the motor threw a rod or the propeller hit something but that should be the last place to bend. It wasn't until I was twisting the new crank that it hit me, they twisted the throws when they were making the crank. They probably put the whole section of the crank in the forge, the throws were hot too, twisted with the shaft.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:12:57 AM
Martin Gaudet Martin Gaudet is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

It is so neat to look with your mind's eye and see the tool marks of the tradesman 100 years ago. How cool is that!
Years ago I remember seeing the chisel marks in 2000 year old roman column sections taken apart in france and having the same wonder.

Martin
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:20:48 AM
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Wayne Grenning Wayne Grenning is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

A most excellent post ! Thank you for sharing this with us. I never dreamed you could twist a crankshaft in the manufacturing process. - Wayne
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:14:58 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

Thanks Wayne, I've followed your post, I take that as quite a compliment.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:29:23 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: St Lawrence 3cyl, new crankshaft

Just when you think you're getting good at twisting cranks this shows up. Actually I asked my friend Richard to bring a picture of this, he showed up with the 1880's diving compressor.
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