Originally Posted by corgi1
I watched a vid on u-tube awhile back on a steam bike and even a design built a hundred years or so ago they get right on down the road
I've probably seen those, too - part of what got me going on this. That, and the fact that I worked on a steam sawmill for a short time (my sister now owns it) and have ever since been fascinated by steam. I helped an old bugger restore it and he had vast experience with steam engines. Now that I'm beginning to resemble an old bugger myself I thought I'd put together a steam project, on a lot smaller scale of course.
The reason you don't see a lot of steam bikes is because it's darn near impossible to put together something practical enough to make it worth the expense and trouble. Some people are just afraid of it because of the horror stories of exploding boilers. Well, I'm not trying to make something practical and I can't afford to allow it to be terribly expensive, so I'm looking to make something that will belch some steam and maybe putt around a little bit, more of an art project than a practical mode of transportation. I'll also be using a very safe boiler design that actually doesn't have a reservoir of hot water and steam other than a tiny amount in what's called a "monotube". The priciest part will be a proper steam pressure relief valve. The engine will be a converted 2-stroke rather than a purpose-built steam engine. It should end up looking Jules Vernish, brass and copper in a cloud of steam. If it actually moves off the spot, that will be a real plus!
Someone asked about the copper paint I'm using. Here's a pic. I got it from Home Depot. The brown paint is "Espresso Brown".
Below, is the third attempt on the tank. Copper first and then covered with a thin coat of brown. I'll lightly sand/steal wool some of this off to reveal the copper underneath. That's the plan anyway. The previous attempts were thwarted by the speckly surface the brown spray bomb made. If I had the right paint I could have used my airbrush I guess to atomize the spray better, but I think this should work and may end up looking more natural. We'll see.
This pic is the tank after being sprayed with the Espresso Brown. It's supposed to be a bit uneven, hopefully to yield a more natural looking patina in the end. Funny thing is, my flash reflected off the copper underneath so it looks a lot more coppery in the photo than in real life. It actually looks quite brown. But I guess that means the copper is just beneath the surface so should reveal itself nicely when I sand down to it.