Worthington Compressor Reconstruction IV


Now that all of the large pieces were assembled and grouted to the foundation, work turned to the many small pieces and other tasks.  All of the various valve bonnets and valve gear pieces were disassembled, cleaned, repaired as necessary, and finally reassembled and painted.  In addition to this, there were two large tasks that needed to be tackled - fabricating and installing the steam pipe that connects the high and low pressure cylinders, and reinstalling the dogbones in the flywheel.  These large and small tasks pretty much dominated 2008 and 2009 as shown below.


This is a closeup detail of the Laidlaw-Dunn-Gordon releasing gear, from the reassembled low pressure cylinder.  Farthest out from the cylinder is the cam mechanism, which is controlled by the governor to set the proper releasing point.  The latch mechanism that lifts the vale open prior to being released is located toward the middle of the bonnet.  The small cylinder below the bonnet is the mid-level mounted dashpot.
This view shows the complete reassembled low pressure cylinder, as well as the main governor shaft and gearbox mounted just to the left.
At this point, the high pressure cylinder was only partially reassembled.  Completing this cylinder had to wait until the steam pipe connecting the high and low pressure cylinders was completed and installed, which in turn would allow the insulation and jacket to be installed, and then finally the completed valve gear.
At roughly this same time, final adjustments were made in fitting the air cylinder pistons to the rods, allowing the air cylinder heads to be installed.  This was only after many checks and adjustments to verify the proper clearance between the pistons and both ends of the cylinders.
Here you can see the two pieces of the steam pipe that will connect the high and low pressure cylinders - the result of several test fitting sessions.  The reason for making the pipe in two pieces was to facilitate it's installation.  As one piece, it would not have been possible to get the pipe into the passage beneath the cylinders.  By making two separate pieces, each could be rocked into place alone, and then joined in the middle.
Here the cross pipe section that connects to the bottom of the low pressure cylinder is being lowered into the passage first.
This view is looking down in the steam pipe passage from between the steam cylinders with the pipe in place.  The low pressure cylinder is at the top of the photo, with the high pressure cylinder at the left.
Seen here is the result of the pipe installation, looking from beneath the high pressure cylinder toward the low pressure cylinder.  Note that the cylinders are not actually directly aligned, causing the pipe to run at a slight angle.  This helped to make fitting and fabricating this pipe that much more challenging, and that much more of a relief after the installation was finished.


For more of the reconstruction series of the Worthington click here

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