For those of you who've not heard the Tale of Tillie, the full story is on the Gas Engine Magazine website.

To celebrate Jim's 50th birthday, we'd like to take her to the
Nuenen show in Holland this year, so, in order to perfect her running for a discerning audience, Jim decided to re-babbitt the crosshead.

However, once it was all stripped down, he found a hairline crack in the bearing journal - see pictures below. The linked pictures have been left quite large for detail.

At the moment, the two options would seem to be to have a new crosshead manufactured - but how would you machine the bearing face? How would it have been done over 100 years ago when it was new?? The alternative is to grind out the crack and have it repaired by a coded TIG welder.

Advice, suggestions and thoughts on the matter are welcome.



24 February 2011: Jim took the part for mag testing. The crack goes about a third of the way round the journal, and the tester said it does not appear to be under stress or movement. Now we have detailed photographs for comparison in the future.


25 February 2011: Jim has removed areas of loose babbitt which had oil underneath, left all the good babbitt and made two slots on each side for the babbitt to key into, and machined the surface for better adhesion. At the bottom of the slots, you can see that there is a hole through the cast iron so the top and bottom babbitt are keyed together.


26 February 2011: Jim and Andy pouring the new babbitt. On both sides, they achieved a clean pour, with only a small dribble of babbit escaping. Lots of temperature readings were taken with the heat gun to ensure the heating was even ... talk about high-tech and low-tech!





Engines restored by Jim

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