EASTON & ANDERSON

GRASSHOPPER ENGINE BUILD

Part nine by Jason Ballamy

As the flange on the valve chest is angled the cover is not the usual flat plate so has to be angled to match the chest. There is also quite a radius to the top so I started out with a strip of brass and held this against a 1/2" rod in the mill vice. The rod was set level on a pair of 123 blocks so the brass could be checked for true with a square against the top of the vice jaw.

It was then just a case of holding a block of wood against the brass and gently bending it over, the block of wood helps keep the bend where you want it and the rest of the strip stays straight.
I was a bit short of 1/8" brass sheet so silver soldered the flange from 4 bits of 5/8x1/8 flat which I had an excess of, two oversize triangles for the sides also came out of this flat.
The bent strip and sides were then silver soldered together, cleaned up and the 1/8" edges rounded over
This assemble was then silver soldered to ther flange, I used an old toolmakers clamp to make sure things stayed together
And after a quick scrub under the tap we can see a nice small fillet of solder.
The mounting holes were then drilled and a small bezel for the maker’s plate soft soldered on.

You may remember that when I was cutting the brass strips for the chequer plate that I said the method may work for cutting planking to go around cylinders. Time to try it out.


I had some old mahogany that I ripped out of a house that was built about 1908-1909, it was the tops of some shelves in the alcoves either side of a fireplace that I replaced with this. It was machined down to 3/8" thick which was the width of plank that I wanted and then cut to the correct length to fit between the cylinder end covers.

I then held it in the mill vice and used a slitting saw to slice of 1/16" strips which will need little if any further work.
And here they are tried up against the cylinder, there are a couple of brass bands to add and some small screws that will go into the MDF rings below.