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Author Topic: Boiler making  (Read 1111 times)

3838Derrick

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Boiler making
« on: December 28, 2016, 12:27:53 PM »


I'm having a go at making my own boiler. Can anyone tell me where I can source 3" dia copper tube?
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Jerry C

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2016, 12:32:27 PM »

3838Derrick

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2016, 10:05:23 AM »


I'm after a set of taps & dies. I don't want to buy a huge set with loads of bits that I'll never use, so what would you recommend for building work on steam engines and boilers.
Thanks, Derrick.
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aeronut

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2016, 11:12:16 AM »

Any set that you buy is going to have some sizes you don't need and will never use, so just buy them as you need them.  I get a lot of my tooling from here - http://www.tracytools.com/  Good quality, reasonable prices and good service.  Another place I use is http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/default.aspx  prices are good and the service really is above and beyond.  Sizes you'll need are mostly ME sizes, so study carefully exactly what you need and buy HSS (High Speed Steel) types if you can.


Gordon
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ballastanksian

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2016, 03:25:57 PM »

Sorry if I am teaching an old dog new tricks, but a company like Black gates is definitly the sort of company to go for for boiler making materials as they wil have certified metals that allow you to demonstrate that your boiler was made out of metal that can take the required pressures. Keeping any receipts etc with your green book and test certificates will make selling the boiler (if and when) easier as well.

Silver solder the joints and remember, cleanliness is next to godliness when preparig joints is concerned. Soft soldered joins are not as strong and may not be accepted at the point of test and might make the boiler unsalable as a working boiler. Also a join once soft coldered cannot be subsequently silver soldered, its something about the two alloys not liking each other.

Have a read of Richard Simpson's 'Boiler Room' articles in Model Boats as they are very helpful and do not fanny about. Do pop some pictures up of your build as a copper boiler with all its fittings and gubbins can be a delight to see.
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mrsgoggins

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2016, 03:32:56 PM »


Good luck, boilermaking can be most satisfying. I guess you understand the importance of involving your boiler inspector at an early stage of the project to establish the information he may need if the boiler is to be certified.


Keith
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3838Derrick

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2017, 09:15:14 PM »


If space is no problem, what are the advantages/disadvantages of a vertical boiler over a horizontal one?  Is one more efficient than the other, easier to build, etc, etc.  I'm thinking of a gas fired boiler here.
Thanks,
Derrick.
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Kevgarth

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2017, 09:46:25 PM »

Only an idea Derrick why don't you visit the Model Engineering exhibition at Alexandra Palace 20-22 January all the companies mentioned in the posts will be there save on postage and firms like Blackgates have boilers on there display for you to look at and ask questions and Steamboat Phil will be on the Blackheath stand you can ask him and he'll be able point you in the right direction.
Also its a great day out.



Regards
Kevin
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3838Derrick

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2017, 10:53:21 AM »

Only an idea Derrick why don't you visit the Model Engineering exhibition at Alexandra Palace 20-22 January all the companies mentioned in the posts will be there save on postage and firms like Blackgates have boilers on there display for you to look at and ask questions and Steamboat Phil will be on the Blackheath stand you can ask him and he'll be able point you in the right direction.
Also its a great day out.


Thanks Kevin
Already booked!!

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Kevgarth

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2017, 11:53:12 AM »

I hope you get all your questions answered Derrick if you also know the size of the tube ie length x  diameter your after if you phone Blackgates / Polly engineering up first they'll have it already for you to collect on the day you go. Cup Alloys are also a good company to deal with in regarding advice on silver solder / fluxs etc.


I'm going up on the Sunday


Regards
Kevin
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3838Derrick

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2017, 02:52:52 PM »


Thanks again Kevin,
I'm going on the Friday.
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3838Derrick

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2017, 09:59:13 PM »


OK  I'm getting the engine and boiler sorted. What comes next? 
What's a water pump all about??
Condenser?? 
What sort of gas cylinder would you use?? 
All this is going into the River Queen hull (Models By Design).
As you may have gathered, your dealing with a complete novice here :((
Thanks in advance for any help
Derrick
(One small thing........I must have a steam whistle) !!
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frazer heslop

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2017, 11:16:57 PM »

when I made my Vic Smeeds River Queen I made a simple V twin oscillator and at that time Malcolm Beak was building his River Queen with I think the MB22 engine and there was a write up in the Model Boats? that he kindly sent me a copy of his gas regulators drawings as they had mucked up the pics.This was before the www thingy ma bob
The gas tank on my boat was housed under the fore deck and ran on propane butane mix
She had a hand pump and an engine driven pump with a bypass valve originally I fitted Malcolms electronic boiler control but it was never reliable for me so returned to a bypass valve
Stan Brays marine steam book maybe worth a look at to get some idea as to the individual parts but be careful about building from it as I think theres some errors
cheers
frazer
 
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3838Derrick

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2017, 10:12:19 AM »


Thanks Frazer
I have Stan Bray's book.
I'm waiting delivery of a Graham Ind. TVR1ABB engine kit. It's sitting in customs in Coventry >:-o >:-o   Can't really do much 'til it arrives.
Is the gas cylinder just an ordinary camping gaz one? 
Derrick
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SailorGreg

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2017, 10:37:01 AM »

Hi Derrick,
I, like you, started building a steam plant from a position of zero experience. My build is on here (click on the TVR1A link under this message). My gas tank and condenser as well as my boiler came from Mike at Maccsteam but he has now hung up his gas torch. There are other sources available (Cheddar Valley Steam for one) but you will need others to pass comment on them as I have no dealings with them. That said, when I was building mine, I received good support from the companies I used as well, of course, from the collective that is Mayhem. Do ask any question here. It will not be silly even if you think it is  - or PM me if you want to see how I got over any particular wrinkle.
Good luck.  :-)) :-)) :-)) :-))
Greg

frazer heslop

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2017, 09:31:06 PM »

Hi Derrick, I made the gas tank to Mr Peter Arnots design that has two valves one feeds gas the other feeds gas in liquid form to the pre heater on the burner
On my other boats I use a small camping gas cylinder the back pack type although my ongoing build of Basil Harleys Victoria is meths fired. She again has a simple oscillator and a simple pot boiler and gives about 25 mins run time thats enough for me.
There simply wasnt enough room on my River Queen to use a disposable gas cylinder. I prefer to use the disposable type as its just one less thing to have tested
Good luck
cheers
frazer
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Kevgarth

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2017, 10:36:43 PM »

Hi Derrick
Again if your heading to Alexandra palace this weekend there's loads of guys there that be able to help you with advice. A water pump is either two methods of getting water into a boiler.
1. Hand pump taking water from a tank in the boat or water from the lake forced into the boiler because if your operating/running your boat and the water in the boilers going down its a way of maintaining a water level and will prolong your time on the water as you'll be surprised how quick the water goes down.
2. Mechanical feed pump is a pump that works off the engine when the engines running in either forward or reverse and if you have a pump like this and its pretty well balanced what I mean by this is if the pump maintains a good water level in the boiler you only have to perhaps add a little bit more via the hand pump. A bypass which is also mentioned in steam is a valve between the pump and the boiler which you can alter and is like a controlled leak and it reduces the amount of water going into the boiler, you won't have boiler pressure here as there's clack valve (one way valve) on the boiler letting water in but stopping pressure getting out.
A bypass would not be used with a hand pump as you need as much water going into a boiler when using this pump.


I hope I've helped or put a little light on the subject for you Derrick, if you go to the Blackheath stand at Alley Pally you'll meet Steamboat Phil and he'll show you some steam plants on his display that might help you with advice or info your after.
Regards
Kevin
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Seacommander

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2017, 10:24:10 PM »


I do agree with comments in relation to having an internal water feed system. I have a Hemmen's v twin on a Macc 31/2 vertical boiler. That engine will drink the boiler in 10 minutes flat, a Pump is very good idea.
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ballastanksian

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2017, 10:31:30 PM »

I've read that your fuel suply should ideally run out before your boiler boils dry. This is a safety measure to prevent the boiler burning out or possibly exploding. I thought of it just in case you rely on a pump to provide water and allow a larger quantity of fuel to make the most of the water supply. If your pump fails and you cannot see that the boiler is running low, you might suffer boiler damage.

Obviously you will be adding a safety valve to prevent too much pressure build up. Go careful:O)
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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2017, 10:44:45 PM »


Derrick,

Once you get the skills to make a boiler (I haven't built up my courage yet), building a feedwater tank and a condenser is straight forward.  If you're going to tuck them into the hull spaces, just make sure you can clamp it together. 


My feedtank caused lots of swearing as I tried to solder the last seams without the adjacent seam coming apart (see my Sabino thread in steam R&D for some my other hard learned piping lesson with respect to the bypass valve and using pre-heat).


Good luck!


Landlocked/Ken



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3838Derrick

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2017, 07:42:52 PM »


Hi Derrick, I made the gas tank to Mr Peter Arnots design that has two valves one feeds gas the other feeds gas in liquid form to the pre heater on the burner
On my other boats I use a small camping gas cylinder the back pack type although my ongoing build of Basil Harleys Victoria is meths fired. She again has a simple oscillator and a simple pot boiler and gives about 25 mins run time thats enough for me.
There simply wasnt enough room on my River Queen to use a disposable gas cylinder. I prefer to use the disposable type as its just one less thing to have tested
Good luck
cheers
frazer
I want to use a disposable gas cylinder. What sort of connection and (flexible) pipe would I use and what sort of burner?
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Geoff

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Re: Boiler making
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2017, 01:56:39 PM »

I am also into steam to a degree and have a Cheddar Puffin unit and boiler powering my 53" model of Canopus 1899. Whilst the engine is a simple in line twin double acting oscillating unit I consistently get 30 mins sailing as a maximum, not 31 mins so I bring her in at about 25 mins duration which is fine.


On Canopus its a blow lamp type burner so I have installed a wind screen washer pump to squirt water onto the burner to put it out if I ever get a fouled prop or run out of water. This works very visibly as a puff of steam comes out the aft funnel.


On one occasion I did run out of water and the burner still had plenty of fuel in it. The model just stopped (which was a problem at that time) and I only knew there was a problem when black smoke came out the funnels. It did get very hot as the cladding was "char coaled" but provided you just let things cool down naturally then there is no great harm done.


I called Cheddar models and they said " one gas burner can't un-silver solder one of our boilers" so you should be okay and I was. The boiler lasted for another 10 years.


Model boilers (of this size) can't really explode if they run  out of water (they may be damaged) but if you then add water then an explosion is theoretically possible as the water will flash into super-heated steam and the safety valve may not be large enough to reduce the pressure sufficiently.


Its all great fun especially the burnt fingers!


Cheers


Geoff
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