Just like I explained to the Governor, the base unit of the steam engine was the only part that was complicated to make, yet that didn't mean that it would operate without all the other required parts!
First, came the boiler. I had to pick one that could produce enough steam to power up the engine and allow it to reach its full efficiency, yet keep it small enough to not make its walls rupture under the pressure. While for now, I had no other way to connect the two halves of the casing together than covering them with a thick layer of cast iron, it left a rather fragile scar on the inner structure of this machine, forcing me to be really careful while using it.
Then came the pipes that would connect everything together. Just like the steam engine itself, they had to be capable of sustaining the huge pressure of the condensed water vapour, while remaining big enough on the inside to allow for its free flow inside the engine itself.
Lastly, I still have yet to find the proper way to connect the work pipe and the control pipe to make it fully and properly automated!
Yet no matter how many problems would arise from now on, it wouldn't change the fact that the hardest step to overcome was already behind me!
Considering how important this engine was to the development of my lands, rather than putting enough of my focus into other projects to make sure they would grow properly, I moved all my attention to this steam horse mark two. In the end, if any problem arisen with the carpentry plant, I could take care of them after dealing with the pressure steam engine!
At first, I decided to tackle the problem of connecting the two rods and automating their movements. If I were to start with anything else, the only access to the insides of the engines through its three upper holes would be gone, forcing me to take this approach.
Yet this task, while seemingly hard with how the entire inner workings of the steam engine would rely on how close to perfection it would be, wasn't that hard at all! With the distance that both the control piston and the cylinder plate both measured, all I had to do was to find the ratio between the two, and apply it while mounting the two cranks on top of the flywheel!
As the blast furnace was working ceaselessly since quite a long time already, I didn't need to bother with lack of any of the tools or parts, with even a relatively small flywheel already waiting for me to make the best use out of it.
After applying the rations and calculating the exact placement of the two cranks depending on the required distance from the centre of the wheel, I finally placed the nails and smashed their protruding ends to make sure they wouldn't fall off under the stress that constant movement would subject them to.
When this step was done, I could finally move to the remaining tasks. With how the size of the holes in the control chamber was defined long before I actually managed to make the power unit itself, all the pipes were just waiting for me to mount them and…
Come back to this damned furnace and wait for a new batch of iron to connect the two of them together!
While I could use nails or even rope to mount it, that would only decrease the maximum durability of the entire machine, throwing all my efforts to make it as perfect as I could out of the window for the sake of saving me just a bit of effort.
This time though, I didn't need to wait at all for the iron to start flowing, as when I finally managed to haul the power unit already connected to the flywheel towards the smelter area, it so happened that the process of filling the form was currently taking place.
After raising the entire machine on top of a simple set of planks nailed together and placed on top of the wooded logs, I allowed the workers at the smelter to the rest of the job. As the ropes that held the two parts together could finally be loosened, I couldn't help but admire how beautiful this thing was!
While for now it still consisted of nothing else but the power unit, flywheel and 'U' shaped pipe protruding from its top. Yet the actually worst part has yet to come!
Despite what I claimed when Governor came up with the idea of reusing the steam, it wasn't as simple as one could think it would be. Not only it would require me to instal a cooling tank where the steam would gather and drip on its bottom only to flow down into the boiler tank later on when it came to moving this entire thing around, the more weight I added to the entire thing, the harder it would get to push it even while using this ancient method of moving heavy objects from place to place!
Yet if I wanted to create a properly working engine, I had no other way than make it into a fully closed machine! If there was even a single opening in the entire machine that would allow the workers to pour the water in, then it would also be the easiest way for the steam to escape the system, never building up any proper pressure to move the cylinder plate around!
After lamenting on this matter for quite a while, I ended up pulling out quite a crowd of workers only to work as pulling force for the object that was turning stranger and stranger with every minute.
With two more pipes added to the exhaust holes and reaching all the way to where the cooling tank would be later mounted, I finally moved on to figuring out the proper sizes of the boiler…
Only to give up on the idea soon after.
With how bad my mathematical and physical calculus was back in the high school, there was no way I could come up with the proper equations that would allow me to calculate through the entire process just like that!
Forced by the sad reality, I had to pick the boiler based on my gut feeling alone, slowly turning what was supposed to be a mobile engine into a monstrosity slowly approaching the weight of the entire atmospheric steam horse! But even before the boiler could be added in the exact same method of pouring liquid iron on the place where it would connect with the rest of the machinery, we ended up adding the cooling tank only for the sake of actually checking where would its outgoing pipe reach, forcing us to pick even bigger boiler than initially intended!
That's why, when all the steps were finally done, and as I watched the liquid iron pour on the connection between the steam intake pipe, I couldn't help but feel fulfilled.
What I thought that would take a few hours at most, turned into a task that by its finish, engaged almost half of the entire workforce in the entire area!
Yet with the step of connecting the boiler to all the other parts, with only a small valve located in the middle of the water return pipe, the entire steam horse was finally done!