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  • Topic: Dexter-Turbine Windmill Project

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    • November 29, 2019 4:50 PM EST
      • People's Republic Of Maryland, USA
         
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      Dexter-Turbine Windmill Project

      Howdy friends,

       

      After many months of research and design (and wanting to spill the beans, but had to wait), I'm glad to say I'm embarking on a new build project. The subject matter came up some time ago when I noticed an odd tower / tank arrangement in a couple V&T RR photos taken at Mound House, NV. 

       

       

      BTW, the full images can be seen at WNHPC.com, here and here.

       

      At the time I first saw these, I thought that was just a RR water tank of some sort. But thanks to the V&TRR historical society's newsletter, I learned (maybe a year ago) that this structure was actually a vertical windmill which pumped well water up into a tank just beneath its rotor. Here's a few advertisement snippets of the day.

       

       

      Last summer I did a swan dive into the history of this mill, its inventor (Albert Southwick), and related stuff. Let me know if you care... 

       

      This all relates to my RR hobby in several ways, with the first aspect being the fun of researching something deeply, which has led to some interaction with folks rebuilding the only remaining example of this -- in Australia. And, believe it or not, there is a working replica right near me -- in southern PA! V&T history-wise, I'm signed up to do a talk on this topic at next year's conference. 

       

      But the main thing, I need to get cracking on the (hopefully working) model.  It will be non-compressed 1:24 scale, which means it will be (to the top of the flag pole) about 45" tall. 

       

       Since the thing has to fit in my checked baggage, the base will be snap-together (and packed in a flat pile) acrylic. I'll put it together in the hotel next year, along with its brass bits which include the (thin) shutter pull-rods, up and down water pipes, and the pump drive shaft (rear right).

       

       

      The business end of the windmill consists of (from top to bottom) the tank, turbine & shutters, linkage (under the roof), and roof / flagpole.

       

       

       Here's the linkage, with the drive arm being moved by the vertical pull rods (by way of cables, only partially modeled). 

       

       

       The linkage in-between the shutters:

       

       

       Here's the turbine itself, which caught the wind from any direction, both when it entered is blades and exited from them.

       

       

      Below the turbine is the water tank. The main turbine bearing, with its pulleys and belt, are just above it.

       

       

      Like I said, I'm hoping to make this a more-or-less working model. I say that because the variable are legion, such as having to guess at all the details, and needing to make the thing buildable as a model (and luggageable on the plane). So, lots of compromises, as usual; that's just part of the game.

       

      Schedule-wise, I have a ton of other stuff to do this year on the layout (which I've promised my lovely wife I'd get to, and that this windmill thing wouldn't interfere with). So I'm putting this into (for me) comparative overdrive. I'm thrilled to report that as of today, all the following are complete:

       

      • Acrylic material order and laser patterns
      • 3D printing models and orders
      • Wood part drawings (stock already on hand)
      • Brass part drawings & stock orders
      • Commercial part orders 

       

      I've been wanting to post on this since last spring! So I'm happy that time has come. Thanks for your interest, and please feel free to make my day and ask questions!

       

      ===>Cliffy

       

      This post was edited by Cliff Jennings at December 27, 2019 11:47 PM EST
    • November 29, 2019 5:13 PM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Well I care, this stuff is right up my quirkiness! 

      I imagine the higher the turbine, the better the wind in town and fruit trees out in the country...

      Should have saved for the contest!

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • November 29, 2019 5:23 PM EST
      • Pleasanton, CA
         
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      So cool! You ordered a bunch of stuff, I am ordering popcorn. And making it work? [squeal!]

       

    • November 29, 2019 5:24 PM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      John Caughey said:

      Well I care,

      Yea, same here...............

      Whereabouts is one of them there things in southern PA?

      This post was edited by Ken Brunt at November 29, 2019 5:33 PM EST
      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • November 29, 2019 5:29 PM EST
      • Not one of the WannaBe's,
         
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      Another seat riveter. I too will be watching the progress Cliff. Ah, the historical correctness of your builds

    • November 29, 2019 5:33 PM EST
      • People's Republic Of Maryland, USA
         
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      John Caughey said:

      Well I care, this stuff is right up my quirkiness! 

      I imagine the higher the turbine, the better the wind in town and fruit trees out in the country...

      Should have saved for the contest!

       

      Thanks John! Well, the contest is price-limited, and this will cost a bit... But I appreciate the sentiment!

       

      Regarding your height conjecture, you bet:

       

    • November 29, 2019 5:36 PM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Wow, that is cool.  I'll be watching

      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • November 29, 2019 5:40 PM EST

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      Cliffy;

       

      That is so unusual, but also practical.  I really wish you great success with the project.  Had to read the information a bit before I realized that the outside vanes were really shutters, and not the turbine vanes, themselves.  Makes good sense.  If you have more wind energy than you need, the shutters help regulate the flow for the pumping.

       

      Way back when I was a technical writer for Mack Trucks, truck radiators had shutters to help regulate the coolant temperature.  The shutters lost out to federal cab interior noise level regulations (closed shutters really drove up the cab interior noise level).  The Fed even created a noise level test called the Stationary High Idle Test.  They were going to turn that test name into an acronym until somebody figured out what the initials spelled!

       

      Best wishes for your project, David Meashey

    • November 29, 2019 7:07 PM EST
      • Rooster Works "Area 69" ,
         
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       Cliff .....you make me look at stuff ...never mind ...not going there

       

      PUT THE CRACK PIPE DOWN NOW !

    • November 29, 2019 7:23 PM EST
      • Waverly, Alabama
         
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      Cliff, looks like a very interesting build. I need to make another popcorn order before you get started   Look forward to watching the master at work. 

      ____________________________________

       

    • November 30, 2019 6:54 AM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Dave, I wondered what happened to the radiator shutters. I thought it was a good idea.

       

      Cliff, thanks for enlightening us on another interesting piece of history. I had never heard of those things.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • November 30, 2019 7:22 AM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      If you need any pictures of it, Cliff, let me know. I wouldn't mind an excuse to take a run out there and check it out. 

      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • November 30, 2019 8:38 AM EST
      • People's Republic Of Maryland, USA
         
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      Thanks for all the great reactions and  kind comments guys! 

       

      David, you got it, the shutters could be closed to protect the thing from too much wind force. I've modeled the thing after the inventor's patent, where he hints that the system could be self regulating if a weight is suspended from the "open" pull-rod, this making the shutters want to be open with no wind. The shape of the shutters (with their leading bent edge) is supposed to make the shutters close with higher wind. However, since I have no real drawings (just the patent illustrations), my shutters won't work as well as the real thing (if they work at all). We'll see.

       

      Thanks Ken, and you bet, if you head that way feel free to post some pics here. They have that enormous 1888 Aermotor too. BTW, the builder of this replica didn't have original plans either, but did a heck of a job designing his own linkages (including motorized open/close). 

       

      I've been wanting to take my wife up there, she wants to see it. Haven't had the right weekend to do it yet though. After that, I've also been wanting to suggest a little get together, it's only a half hour from Hollywood I think, in between York and Timonium... a little over an hour from our place: 

       

      New Park Wind Engines
      290 Woolen Mill Road
      New Park, Pennsylvania 17352

       

       

       

       

    • November 30, 2019 8:47 AM EST
      • Not one of the WannaBe's,
         
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      With that info I'd enjoy getting over to see  it with ya Ken. good excuse for breakfast, maybe get Rooster to meet with us though you can't get him to leave his coop. Holler if you'd like. Maybe Cliff can drive there too. 

    • November 30, 2019 8:49 AM EST
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      I mentioned earlier that I thought this thing was just a water tower, and that's it. Apparently I wasn't the only one, because a drawing of this is was in the Nov 2013 NG&SLG. The drawing, by Gary Caviglia, shows the shutters closed, just like the first photo I posted. It sure looks like an upper tank that way. So Caviglia titled his drawing "Mound House Water Tower," with no mention at all of the turbine windmill inside!

       

       Point being, some of you may have seen this turbine windmill already; but thanks to the incomplete title, weren't informed on what it really was.  

    • November 30, 2019 9:01 AM EST
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      Here's the Southwick patent I'm basing the design on. His first patent was similar, and from it came the "Dexter" windmill. Long story, but this second patent had a number of improvements, and was called the "Turbine Windmill" (vs. the Dexter -- the two were intentionally differentiated). 

       

    • November 30, 2019 9:04 AM EST
      • Missouri, It's like Floodsburg, man
         
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      Cliff Jennings said:

      BTW, the full images can be seen at WNHPC.org, here and here.



       

      Hey Cliff, if I might go off on a V&T tangent momentarily;

      the right side of those images brings up V&T question which I've not yet found the answer to. Knowing that B&W photography records reflectance of surfaces as much as, and sometimes more than, the tones of hues, can it be inferred that the roofs of those 2 passenger cars are a lighter hue than black?


      I have books which document the various reds, greens, yellows, passenger cars wore through the years but they do not address roof hues.

      Note the just barely visible 3 passenger car roofs behind the timber train, to left of passenger cars which are on train, and how dark they appear compared to the 2 passenger cars on the train.

      Is that a difference in reflectance or a difference in hue?

       

      And again, do these passenger car roofs appear light because of reflectance or because of hue?

       

      So, here's what I did about 7 years ago with my slooooooooooooooowly progressing repaint of Bachmann's V&T Silverado set.


      Yeah, I know, V&T 26 was not of the bright and shiny locomotive era, but that's how Bachmann decorated it, so, after repainting the boiler jacketing from sky blue to a 'more realistic' hue I'm taking that and running with it.

      Roofs are tan - and back to that reflectance thing, they appear a slightly lighter tan in image than they do to the eye.

      Locomotive cab roof is light grey, which I've seen used some.

      This post was edited by Forrest Scott Wood at November 30, 2019 9:12 AM EST
    • November 30, 2019 9:28 AM EST
      • People's Republic Of Maryland, USA
         
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      Forest, those are great questions. I don't know if reflectance can infer anything other than just that; maybe someone here might know? 

       

      All I can suggest is to pin down the material composition. For example, tar paper (with occasionally re-applied tar) vs. painted (e.g., fireproof asbestos roofing paint). I'll ask the V&T group and let you know their responses.  

      This post was edited by Cliff Jennings at November 30, 2019 9:45 AM EST
    • November 30, 2019 9:40 AM EST
      • Rooster Works "Area 69" ,
         
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      This post was edited by Rooster ' at November 30, 2019 9:43 AM EST
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