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bencsly
Aug 17, 2017

Vertical boiler project

25 comments

Edited: Aug 17, 2017

Hi Keith,

What a great idea for you and your daughter to start a forum. I thought I'd share a little about the boiler I have been working on if you don't mind. I have been asking you all sorts of questions via YouTube about dementions and fitting sizes etc. etc. I have also been using a book written by K.N. Harris called "Model Boilers and Boiler Making. Anyway, I started off with my boiler by spending a small fortune on copper pipe and sheeting and began forming the boiler ends. The drawing below is the basic design I am going with although I have made several dimensional changes. I only have a couple photos to share, but I'll add some more later on. Thanks again for all of the help you have given me.

 

 

 

 

bencsly
Aug 17, 2017Edited: Aug 17, 2017

I have added a couple more pictures of my progress. It's coming right along. Keith, I know you don't build boilers but perhaps you can answer one question. I have read where people use silver with different melting temperatures, starting with the highest temperature first and using lower melting temperatures as they progress. Is this absolutely necessary, or can I use one type of silver? I know the reasoning is so you don't melt the section you brazed during a previous operation but.......

 

 

Gerald Gardiner
Aug 18, 2017

Silver Solder usually requires a higher heat to remelt a joint then the initial melt, so you might get away with one type. If I was doing your boiler I would use two different melting temperature solders.

bencsly
Aug 18, 2017

Thanks for the reply Gerald!

 

bencsly
Aug 19, 2017Edited: Aug 19, 2017

As per the recommendation of Gerald, I have decided to use silver with different melting temperatures for my boiler. I used "Silvaloy 450" which has a melting point of 665c for the first brazing operation and I will have to pick up something else for the second brazing operation. I'm considering "Safety-Silv 15" which is "Silfos" for the second brazing operation and it melts at 643c. Any comments on this?

Having 61 fire tubes made keeping everything lined up quite the chore. I hope it all comes out ok. Anyway, I posted a couple more pictures....

 

P.S. Don't worry about the missing fingers. I didn't need them anyway ;)

 

 

Gerald Gardiner
Aug 19, 2017

It looks like you have good joints there, as for the Sil-Fos 15 I would check with whoever is going to issue you a boiler certificate. It is now a good time to have them take a look at the joints before they are sealed in. Personally I would stick with one of the Silvaloy types possibly the Easy Flow 45 or the 560.

bencsly
Aug 19, 2017

Thanks Gerald. I did have one tube that I missed but was able to re-flux the entire surface and hit that tube without any harm to the other joints. I just finished flipping it over and brazed up the other side. Next step is to square up my boiler shell and fire box, but before I continue I will look into having the completed work inspected. I live in the states so I'm not sure about the laws concerning boilers here but I better check.

I'm waiting for a reply back from Blackgates Engineering concerning a chunk of cast iron round I need for the ash pan. I guess they had to special order it for me. I'm jealous that Keith is close enough to drive over there. There is no good sources of model engineering supplies in the states (at least none I am aware of) so I order most everything from the UK.

bencsly
Aug 20, 2017Edited: Aug 20, 2017

Just a quick update......

I checked around and found a local model engineer and live steam enthusiast, and as it turns out, there is no requirement to have my boiler certified in the state I live in. he's been running model steam trains since he was a kid and is now in his late 60s. After a short phone conversation with him, he agreed to inspect my work for safe measure and invited me over to show off his steam locomotives. Just because there is no certification process in my location, doesnt mean I shouldnt build my boiler to a safe standard.

 

benpadgett78
Aug 20, 2017

you might want to check out mcmaster-carr they have cast iron listed under materials section also check out hobby metal kits they have cast iron as well as other metals in hobby lengths to keep shipping costs down. i have not ordered from them yet but have heard good things so am planning to try them out soon.

bencsly
Aug 20, 2017

Hi benpadgett,

 

Yes, McMaster-Carr has been around for a million years, perhaps longer. I wasn't aware they had metals available. Thanks for the tip.

benpadgett78
Aug 20, 2017

no problem

Gerald Gardiner
Aug 21, 2017

There are few rules here in Ontario, but I always build mine to the highest standards.

If you are building an ash pan you are probably going coal fire it ?

bencsly
Aug 21, 2017

Hi Gerald,

Yes I do plan to coal fire my boiler. Something about shoveling the coal and the smell of it burning.

Gerald Gardiner
Aug 21, 2017

As my interest in steam leans to the model boat side I have stayed with gas firing and have had very little experience with coal, but I am tempted by some of the small trains.

bencsly
Aug 27, 2017

Well, I had a minor set back while brazing my fire box to the lower tube sheet. just as the silver started to flow, the fire box moved out of position. After pulling it back off and cleaning it up, I decided to order some copper rivets to hold the fire box in place during the brazing process. Live and learn. Anyway, I've posted a few more pictures.

 

 

 

jordanpedersen
Sep 7, 2017

Looking great is there not too many tubes though?

bencsly
Sep 7, 2017

Thanks Jordan! 61 tubes was plenty LOL.

I have made some more progress with the boiler as you can see with the pictures I posted below. I bought a length of copper rod that was 1/4 inch by 3/8 inch rectangle. After annealing the bar, I shaped it around the firebox to form a ring between the firebox and boiler shell.

 

 

 

Pugsy
Sep 7, 2017

What will this beast be powering? She looks a sturdy peice of gear, very well made

bencsly
Sep 7, 2017

Hi Pugsy,

 

Thanks for the kind words about my boiler. I've asked my wife for a Stuart 9 casting kit for my birthday, so hopefully that's what I'll be running with this boiler. I'll also be adding a small Southworth duplex steam pump to this plant. Just playing really. We'll see where it goes in time.

bencsly
Sep 10, 2017

I've been working on the ash pan for the last few days. I havn't been working from drawings, just kind of making it up as I go, so naturally I have thought a bunch of better ways I should have gone about building this peice. For instance, I could have made the ash pan out of two pieces of cast iron instead of carving it from a giant chunk. Anyway, I posted a few very short videos showing my progress.

 

 

 

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