Control Cab Forward Phaeton
In my efforts to create accurate and detailed ship
models I needed to produce a greater number of wood and metal
parts that were
required to reproduce those on the original vessel. This lead to an
increased interest in machining.
To satisfy this interest I had to acquire
an new lathe, a milling machine and a drill press all of which are designed for
miniature work. The, along with these new "toys" I have a nice set of
drill bits, lathe cutting tools, mill cutters and
accessories for the milling
machine that allow me to hold the piece being machined at any angle or position
The first parts I made with the mill were for the
restoration of my Bluenose model. These included the gears, ratchets
other components of the windless. As well I made 12 side bait buckets and
compasses for the dories.
The common areas focused on by model engineers are
steam engines and internal combustion engines. Larger steam
typically operate on live steam while miniature stationary steam engines of
originals that would have been
used to power factories or ships are mainly
designed to run on compressed air. Internal combustion engine models I
have seen are of those used in aircraft, automobiles or boats and are either
static or operational. In all the detail captured
in many of these engines
is truly amazing.
My interest in this area is with steam engines operated
on compressed air. Being that my knowledge here was negligible
there was a
lot to learn. I first obtained a set of books that discussed steam engine
design and operation which gave me
a basic understanding of how they worked and
the timings involved with allowing live steam (or in the case of a model,
compressed air) into the cylinder to move the piston and to exhaust spent steam.
Next, I purchased a kit of a reversing
engine which allowed me to see all
of the parts required and to understand how they worked together to operate the
Now was the time to start on my own creation. I
chose a simple oscillation engine with few moving parts but did include
the basic components required in all engines. The project was a success
and the engine runs.
What led up to my increased interest in model
engineering were some pictures I saw of a steam driven car, La Marquise,
in 1884. The car still exists and still runs. Exceptional.
This car so intrigued me I decided I wanted to
build it but knew from the outset it would not be a trivial task. There
are numerous pictures of it on the internet so there are images showing almost
all views and components. A gentleman
living in Berlin had created a 3D
drawing of the car based on these images and I am extremely fortunate that he
willing to share his work with me. There is a lot of detailed
information available with the exception of components
that control and time
steam to the cylinders as they are not shown in any of the photos or drawings
because they are
under the car.
My first step is to load the drawing into TurboCad and
separate out the major components (frame, wheels, boiler, seats, etc)
can be viewed, measured and studied separately. Then I will have to
spend some time designing the linkages
between the rear axle, the throttle and
the cylinders to control the steam and allow the car to run.
The model will operate on
compressed air. In the text below any reference to steam is as the
item would have operated
on the original car but is to be taken to mean
compressed air in the model.
This will probably be a two year project but no doubt
an interesting one.
Over the past few months I have
completed some basic components of the La Marquise model.
Boiler/Firebox assembly along with
the inner and outer frames.
Firebox and boiler assembly.
One of the four cylinders and all
of the components required to make it operational. To the left of the
are: the steam valve, gasket, steam chest (with "O" rings and
their retaining plates to seal the shaft which will go through
the steam chest
and control movement of the valve), gasket, chest cover plate, bolts to hold
these items to the cylinder
block, gasket, retaining plate (for the live steam
port) and bolts to hold the plate in place. Below the cylinder block are
the piston, screw to hold the piston to the piston shaft, gasket, cylinder end
plate and bolts to hold it in place. Above the
cylinder block is the "O"
ring and it's retaining plate to seal the piston shaft where it enters the block
and bolts to hold
the plate in place. To the right are the gasket,
retaining plate and bolts for the exhaust port which is located on the top
the cylinder block in the picture. The dime is included to provide a
perspective of the scale.
After assembling the cylinder
components on the car's frame and operating them it became clear that the "O"
rings on the
piston and those used to seal around the shafts were to inflexible
which caused movement of the shafts to be restricted.
To alleviate this
problem the piston was remade using Teflon and the "O" rings around the shafts
were replaced with
packing. Packing is a graphite impregnated cord which,
once in place, reshapes to the exact contour of the shaft and hub
forming a low
resistance seal. Packing is used for the same purpose in live steam
The center hole in the side of the
block leads to the exhaust port. The holes next to it lead to openings in
each end of
the cylinder. To operate the valve will slide over the three
holes. As it moves to the left it will allow exhaust steam to
the left end of the cylinder and then live steam to enter the right end of the
cylinder forcing the piston to the
left. The valve will then move to the
right allowing exhaust steam to exit the right end of the cylinder then live
into the left end of the cylinder forcing the piston to the right.
Another view of the cylinder
October 6, 2013
After months of making parts for La
Marquise there are enough pieces to assemble into the basics of the car.
Here are some pictures as it is now.
Side profile. The copper
tubing is to take the steam exhaust from the cylinders to the firebox exhaust.
The mirror mounted under the car is
to allow the underside to be viewed without turning it over.
From the top. The eccentrics
on the rear axle will drive the valves that let steam into and escape from the
The front axle and steering arms.
Close-up of the cylinders.
Doors into the top of the firebox
and the firebox exhaust. The lid on top of the firebox is where wood and
coal was put in.
The lid on top of the exhaust would be lifted up to allow
draft when starting the fire then pushed down once steam was up
and the engines
were running. With the engines running steam exhaust from them would be
going into the main exhaust
pipe with sufficient velocity to provide draft for
Steering drive. A threaded
shaft will be screwed into the assembly to the right of the gears. When
that shaft as turned
by the driver the assembly attached to the gears would move
up or down and rotate the gears which would then rotate
the shaft going up
to the steering arm causing the tie rods to move and the wheels to turn to the
left or right.
December 10, 2013
Valves and water level gauge on the boiler.
The center valve in the set of three at the bottom of
the boiler is used to drain the boiler. The one the the left is connected
to a manual pump and the one on the right to a powered pump. The are used
to add fresh water to the boiler.
The valves at the top control the live high pressure
steam. The two upright unites are pressure release valves used to
automatically release steam pressure if that pressure gets to high.
The valve on the left allows the operator to release
steam into the exhaust
tube. The one to the right, and half hidden in this photo, feeds steam to
the steam pressure gauge.
The larger valve out on front of the others
feeds live steam to the cylinders. On the model this last valve will be
and will allow compressed air for the cylinders to be turned on and
The clear tube and valves attached to it are a glass
used to determine the level of water in the boiler.
This picture shows the grate in the bottom of the fire
box and below the fire box a pan used to catch embers and ash
falling out of the
fire box. The image of the grill pattern in the pan is from a red light
shining down through the fire box.
The "L" shaped arm extends out to the
front of the car and when moved from side to side would cause spent ash and
embers to fall out into the pan.
The brass fitting is unique to the model.
Compressed air will enter the car here through a clear plastic tube.
After more months of machining parts and assembling
them on the car, the La Marquise is operational. Compressed air
through the brass fitting at the bottom of the boiler shown in the photo above.
From there it flows through the main
shut-off valve on the output side of the
pressure relief valves at the top rear of the boiler then trough a valve
the throttle lever and on to the cylinders.
As can be seen in he following pictures my initial
paint job was less than satisfactory. Valves and pipes will be left with
their brass and copper colours respectively. Other parts will have to be
Here we see the main shut-off valve (with large wood
handle) and the pipe carrying the pressurized air to the throttle
valve. Both of these valves as well as the "D" valves mentioned below are
functional on the model. Other
valves and pipes will installed as they are
on the original car but will not be functional. The throttle lever,
between the rear cylinders, controls the volume of air pressure
available to the cylinders and the travel of the "D" valves
which feed air to
each of the cylinders. The "D" valves are timed with the rear axle so that
air pressure is applied causing
the pistons to move forward or backward at the
appropriate portion of the axle rotation forcing the wheels to rotate.
cylinders on each side of the car are time 90 degrees out from each other so
that when one side is applying minimum
power to the axle, the other side is
applying maximum power.
Looking down at the rear axle you can see the
electrical generator which would power the lights on the original car.
Opposite the generator is an eccentric, driven from a gear on the axle.
This eccentric drives a pump used to feed fresh
water to the boiler when the car
is moving. In addition to this pump there was a hand pump next to the
was used to fill the boiler when it was cold and an injector
that served this purpose when steam pressure was up but
the car was not moving.
The black arms going forward from between the generator
and pump eccentric drive the "D" valves.
Another view of the rear axle and the components on it.
The links below will bring up movies of the car
operating. Depending on your system the movie may play in a separate
window. If you hear it but cannot see it look for another window that has
opened. As well, it will take a few seconds to
download the movie after
click the link.
October 5, 2014
The La Marquise has seen significant progress over the
past few months. The following photos show what has been added.
Here we see the underside of the car with all of the
water and steam lines in place. Some detail on the pipes and fittings:
- The lines going into the inner side of each
cylinder carry steam to the valves which open and close to allow steam
the piston and allow exhaust steam out at the appropriate part of the
- The brass cylinder in front of the rear axle is a
pump driven by a gear on the axle. I would be used to pump water
the reservoir to the boiler when the car was in motion. This pump is
operational on the model.
- The brass cylinder next to the rear drive cylinder
at the upper portion of the picture is an injector. It would use
to force water from the reservoir to the boiler when steam pressure was up.
This picture shows the brakes and steering mounted on
The brake shoes can be seen just in front of each rear
wheel. The black arms between the rear cylinders and extending
the rear axle apply and release the brakes. This linkage is controlled by
turning a handle in front of and
to the left of the driver. This is all
functional on the model.
The steering is seen on the lower portion of the
picture. More detail of drive mechanism is made clearer in a later image.
The brass "U" shaped yoke is moved up or down causing the brass rod going up
toward the front of the car to rotate which
moves the arm connected to the tie
rods causing the wheels to turn to the left or right. This works on the
Here the cylinder exhaust lines are in place.
Steam exhaust from the pistons will move through these pipes and into t
exhaust pipe from the fire box.
Now the main exhaust pipe from the fire box is in
This image shows some of the pipes and operating
components on the top the car. The boiler unit is on the right,
reservoir on the left.
- On the top right are the pressure relief valves
and the main valve to control steam flow to the cylinders.
model this valve can be used to turn on or off the flow of compressed air to
- The coil cools live steam and feeds it to the oil
filled canister in the center of the picture. As the steam passes
through it picks up a film of the oil then is fed back into the main steam
line. This oil film lubricates the pistons
- The pipes going into the front of the reservoir
are overflow lines from the axle pump and injector.
If the pump or
injector are operating but additional water is not required in the boiler
that water would be routed
through these overflow lines back into the
reservoir. The valve between the overflow lines feed the hand pump
which we will see in a later photo.
- The handle coming up between the lines is used to
control the brakes. The handle on the left is the steering control.
- The white lever is the throttle. It controls
the travel of the valves at the cylinders thereby controlling the volume
steam allowed to the pistons and the speed of the car. This is
operational on the model.
Here we have the steering mechanics. Turning the
handle above this unit cause the main body of the unit to move up
or down then
through the rotation of the gears, moves the arm seen next to the front wheel
which moves the tie rods.
The steam pressure gauge is visible behind the
This is a view of the left side of the boiler.
- The brass tube and handle extending up next to the
boiler is a hand pump which would be used to get water to the
boiler when it
- The three valves next to the hand pump control:
1)water from the hand pump into the boiler, 2)would be used to
the boiler and 3)water from the injector into the boiler. The valve at
the same level as these but around the
other side controls water to the
boiler from the axle pump.
- The plaque on the side of the boiler specifies the
maintenance schedule for the boiler.
Here is the car and all of the components completed as
of this date. The platform over the water reservoir is the base for the
The covers over the coal bins surrounding the boiler open and close
on the model
The base the car sits on has a mirror under the car so
that everything on the bottom of the car can be seen.
The car sits on a set of rollers that are connected
below the base. The rear wheels of the car drive the rear rollers which
front rollers to turn the front wheels at the proper sped in relation
to the rotation of the rear wheels.
What Next. The main things yet to come are:
Leather covered seats, fold down platform behind the seats, floor in front of
front fenders and head lights.
December 12, 2014. La
The seats, fenders, head lights and
floor are now on the car which were the final things to complete.
Right profile from above.
Left profile from above.
Underside of car front.
Car front with head lights illuminated.
Etched headlight side panel shown with headlights on
Rear of car.
Rear of car with platform lowered.
Maintenance schedule plaque and valves on rear of
Steering drive mechanism.
Link to a movie of the car running.
Note: This is a large file so may take five minutes
or more to download and start to play.
Building of this car started with eight months of
off-and-on again research and information gathering then twenty five
machining and assembly of parts. My knowledge of machining increased
dramatically through the process.
Overall I am very happy with the result.
Panhard-Levassor Forward Control Cab Phaeton
In June of this year (2016) I had the urge to build
another car and started looking around for one that struck my fancy.
I saw pictures of the Forward Control Cap Phaeton built by Panhar-Levassor in
1901 I knew this was the one.
The style of the car intrigued me. The
plan is to have the engine (internal combustion) running and the car remote
Whether this can be done remains to be seen but one must have
The pictures below are what I have to work with.
Rear quarter of the car.
Serial number plate.
As of this date major components of the engine have
been machined and shown in the photos below.
This image shows the upper and lower housings from the
right side of the engine. The right motor mounts extend out
from the lower housing. The exhaust valve stems and their return springs
extend down from the upper housing.
The round hole in the upper housing is the exhaust port.
This is the underside of the lower housing showing the
crank shaft in place. The lower ends of the connecting rods
and the sleeves in which the pistons run can be seen here.
This is a top view of the top of the engine. The
two round openings at the top of the picture are for the intake valves.
The next two holes are the exhaust openings from the
cylinders. Exhaust will flow from these openings, through the
channels below them in the picture to the exhaust valves.
The curved piece around the housing is the outer
portion of the water jacket. Cooling water will enter the side of this
jacket. flow around the cylinders then up into the channels cut into the top of
the engine and exit from the opening at
the top center of this picture.
This picture shows the components of the engine
machined at this point.
From the top left you see the upper housing, lower
housing and oil pan. These are machined from aluminum.
Down the center is a dime to give perspective of the
scale, the pistons, connecting rods and crank shaft. The pistons
are aluminum, the rings are cast iron. The connecting rods are made from a
ZA12 aluminum alloy which has very
good bearing characteristics which negates the need for bushings in the
connecting rods. The crankshaft is turned
from 1144 steel. It is supported by ball bearings on the outer ends
and a bronze bushing in the center.
On the right side are the valve seats, the valves,
valve return springs and spring keepers. The seats, valves and keepers
are made from drill rod and will be hardened