Author Topic: An antique steel boiler  (Read 1613 times)

Offline Jasonb

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Re: An antique steel boiler
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2017, 10:21:37 AM »
I can't see it being used ontop of a stove, it has a firebox for one and there would be very little heat transfer from the stove with the bottom plate set up into the barrel, you would want a flush bottom to make contact with the stove.

Are you just flaring the ends of your copper tubes? They would be better off being expanded but you ideally need a good finish eg reamed hole and the plate needs to be of adequate thickness for the tube to make a good seal. How thick is the barrel and what thickness are the top and bottom plates?

J

Offline Zephyrin

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Re: An antique steel boiler
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2017, 10:49:37 AM »
The camping burner is small enough to enter into the firebox, similar to a saucepan ! 
No, the tubes are not just flared, I reamed the redrilled holes, I did different coned plugs, first with a very small cone to press fully the annealed tubes in the hole, a second plug, with a more steep cone, (pretty hard to remove from the tubes !) the flaring of the ends was done to finish.
the thickness of the plate is about 3 to 4 mm, the same for the barrel tube, but at the top plate junction, thickness appears twice that.
Zephyrin
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Online paul gough

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Re: An antique steel boiler
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2017, 12:18:19 PM »
It seems from what you have said it is a steam boiler.  If this little boiler is not a model and clearly it was not meant to create a lot of steam at a high pressure, what sort of uses could it be put to??? Apart from something similar to the one said to be used by a butcher, the only practical use that I can think of would be for a small scale apiarist or beekeeper/farmer to use with a steam heated de-capping knife/iron prior to putting the frames in a separator for honey extraction, and  perhaps some other modest steam heated appliance. All speculation of course, but maybe it will give you an idea. Paul.

Offline Zephyrin

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Re: An antique steel boiler
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2017, 08:54:53 AM »

As boiler inspector was not looking, I did a test with my engine, I was too anxious to know the results...
I put a piece of tubing between boiler and engine and have a go.

My engine is pretty large, double acting, with 40 mm bore and 70 mm stroke, i.e. 176 cm3, with 70% cut-off, it uses 123 cm3 of steam per revolution, which at 2 bar represents 0.24 g of water;  at a minimum speed, say 120-150 rpm, this is more than 0.5 g of water vaporized per second.

After waiting ages to get steam, plus some heating of the engine with a soldering torch to reduce condensation, then the engine eventually started to run, slowly of course and continue to run for half an hour...
It’s a pity that the ball regulator slipped and was going wrong, keeping the valve closed, I had to keep it open by hand !

Clearly, the heating was too short, pressure hardly reached 1 bar on the gauge, I have to replace butane with the butane/propane mix, and a good thermal insulation is necessary.
 
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zevNXHKSkP4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zevNXHKSkP4</a>

This first run is a little pushy but for a first try...I’m happy !

For the next test, I have to make a burner and the boiler fittings, much larger than those I use on my little locos; I’m searching for good looking models to copy for a water gauge and a safety valve. 

The weight of the engine is about 15 kg, and as the boiler reaches 10kg, I need a small trolley if I want to keep them assembled together, that was not planed at first, wow!
Zephyrin
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Online paul gough

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Re: An antique steel boiler
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2017, 10:00:37 AM »
Here is small boiler that might be contemporary with yours, Paul.

Offline Zephyrin

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Re: An antique steel boiler
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2017, 10:30:00 AM »
Wow! pretty good finding, Paul, it looks very similar !
I don't know its use, I see a leather belt around and straps too, some sort of portable device ?
I agree that applications of steam must be numerous in the rural life at large. A boiler to melt beewax ; looking at it on the internet, you're getting closer...
 
Zephyrin
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Online paul gough

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Re: An antique steel boiler
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2017, 11:21:08 AM »
I cannot help with any details about the little boiler, the straps appear to be associated with it, maybe a tiny portable, but the whistle makes it seem like a model. Maybe it was fitted later, I have no idea. The gauge glass arrangement looks attractive to me. Below is a youtube clip demonstrating a steam uncapping knife, a more modern one than I used at my friends farm helping him extract honey. Slow hard work when you have to turn the handle of the extractor as well as do all the uncapping manually. The hunt for historical information can be very rewarding. Second link is to Ebay where there is a model which has boiler fittings which might appeal to you. Regards,  paul.

<


<http://www.ebay.com/itm/Superior-antique-French-live-steam-engine-dated-1889-15403-/201910353803>
« Last Edit: May 05, 2017, 11:47:56 AM by paul gough »

Offline Zephyrin

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Re: An antique steel boiler
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2017, 02:18:37 PM »
Well spotted  again, Paul !
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Superior-antique-French-live-steam-engine-dated-1889-15403-/201910353803
 this a fine steam engine by Radiguet, the most famous french builder of model steam engine, toys, scientific apparatus etc in the 1900s…1889 for this one, (although this commemorative date does not refer necessarily to the date of fabrication)
The same model was made by Radiguet in several size (and prize !).
I did my engine more than 10 years ago from an incomplete but so appealing set of large iron castings that I have found in a flea market, which were most likely castings (or copies castings) for the larger size of this Radiguet engine !
I have some pictures of the build in my google albums
 
I hope I could transform my boiler in such a so elegant piece of collection.
Zephyrin
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Online paul gough

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Re: An antique steel boiler
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2017, 02:57:17 PM »
Good luck with your restoration and please post some photos when you get it finished. Regards, Paul.

Offline Zephyrin

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Re: An antique steel boiler
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2017, 11:41:13 AM »
HI,

I turned all the necessary accessories for the boiler ...
 Basically, they are the same as usual, but 2 to 3 times larger ! I have never done boiler that large in fact !
My stocks of brass and bronze reduced at an alarming rate, I had to resort to brazed assemblies by recycling old plumbing fittings for largest parts. A scrap metal recycler lies in every model engine builder...

I added an insulating layer with a 6mm thick sheet of cork, and covered with a recycled tin plate. I have found that lagging is essential with my small loco boilers, and must be required with this poorly designed boiler.
The water gauge has a 8mm glass tube.
A large blow-down tap is also fitted, as I plan to dry the boiler completely between steaming again to avoid rusting.

There is also a safety valve with an arm and weight, of my own, with 2 positions for the weight calculated to blow at 2.5 and 3.2 bar…I could evaluate soon my maths level…

I turned a large bronze steam valve, with my favourite method with form tool, always a delight for me.



As my engine already has a feed pump, a check valve was obviously fitted, and should be required owing to the large steam intake, 125 cm3 of steam for 1 rotation of the crankshaft, i.e. 25 litre/min at 200 rpm, or about 40 cm3 of water/ minute at 2 bar.


Zephyrin
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Offline Zephyrin

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Re: An antique steel boiler
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2017, 11:53:15 AM »

Unfortunately, but not unexpected, the power of the burner is limited by the small section of the fire tubes ; I installed a camping butane burner in the fireplace, rated 3000W, much stronger than the smaller type I used for the trial test.
 Of course, he does not want to work at maximum power, the hot gases blow back and the burner goes off, I had to lower the power up to get a stable flame. Anyway, the burner still heats enough, and produces steam continuously and maintains the pressure. Once the boiler is hot, it is much better, I can increase the heating a little, and the blower seems very efficient to improve hot gases release.

I did a first heating with all the accessories, and I have of course leaks everywhere, especially at the filler cap; because of its large diameter, a part of it is in the curvature of the boiler‘s top, the seal bears badly; I have to fix that, otherwise the over tightening of the cap will rapidly screw up the thread.



The boiler is near from a final assembly with the engine, and as a water feed pump is already present on my engine, I have to make a water tank and a bypass valve, and finally joining together boiler and engine with all the piping for steam and water.

I do not see where to hide this ugly tank of butane...

Zephyrin
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Offline Zephyrin

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Re: An antique steel boiler
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2017, 11:21:59 AM »
Hi,
The renovation of my old steel boiler is now complete, including a whistle !
With the butane burner, the steam production allows the operation of my large vertical engine at a good pace, the engine runs easily from 60 rpm up to almost 300 rpm, with the pressure gauge between 0.75-1.5 bar.
The burner requires a blower to improve draught through the narrow smoke tubes, and as soon as the engine is running, the exhaust replaces it. At the lower speeds however, a lot of condensation occurs in the exhaust pipe, hence the gurgling noise.
I have to put some insulating stuff around the tubes. 
The cylinder capacity of the engine is large, as is the water consumption, and the water pump capacity is large enough to restore the water level in a few strokes, the increased level being visible shortly through the water gauge, but also cools the boiler and slows the engine ! Clearly the pump is overrated. The reduction of the pump capacity by 5 would allow a steady water level, I guess.
With the engine supplied with steam, the safety valve never blows, the pressure of 2.5 bar is reached only if the steam valve is closed.
The main problem is the weight of this steam plan, about 25 kg, not that easy to put away somewhere !
And what to drive with this engine, this hobby never stops...

Zephyrin
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Offline Ye-Ole Steam Dude

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Re: An antique steel boiler
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2017, 12:47:21 PM »
Great video, thanks for sharing.

Two really beautiful pieces of machinery, well done.

Online paul gough

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Re: An antique steel boiler
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2017, 11:40:39 PM »
Hi Zephyrin, You have done a very good job with the restoration and matching the boiler with an engine that runs well even despite its limited capacity. If you think their is enough power to run a water pump this might provide something of interest. Perhaps something with a mechanical motion might add even more visual pleasure to your plant. As an example a double ended ram pump pushing water up to a header tank might be do-able. Mechanical pumps such as Weirs and Worthington types are always fascinating to watch, especially the latter busily doing their job. Have you come to any conclusion about the boilers original use. Regards Paul Gough