Author Topic: 3 inch boiler build  (Read 19327 times)

Offline Steam Haulage

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #180 on: November 09, 2018, 09:34:43 AM »
The main component is ethyl alcohol CAS:64-17-5, that's on the label ( Thank goodness for REACH). (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation of CHemicals)

It also says denatured, that might be by Bitrex or might be by addition of Methanol making it methylated spirits. Don't drink it. The methanol, if used, could itself contain water. It's not required to name the denaturant used.

You will also see from the label that it is not sold as a food additive. More likely it is for camping stoves or lumenaires, or even for mosel boiler burners?

In France it should be cheaper than in the UK where tax might be applied. I do not know the detail of French tax laws.
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Offline MJM460

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #181 on: November 09, 2018, 10:07:02 AM »
Methanol would make total sense, I think it might even be considered a denaturing agent in its own right as it is definitely poisonous.

It is definitely flammable, it has a slightly lower heating value than ethanol, but also a bit lower boiling temperature.  This would lower the boiling point of the mixture so it would likely burn at a greater rate, which would tend to reduce any noticable difference for our purposes.

I wish we could find it at that price here as we use a Meths cooking stove when we are sailing, so we burn a fair bit of it.  Interesting that your Meths is coloured, ours is clear, but has a smelly poison added.  Not that my wife or I notice any smell in a well ventilated boat.

It will be interesting to see how it goes.

MJM460
The more I learn, the more I find that I still have to learn!

Offline Zephyrin

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #182 on: November 09, 2018, 11:51:55 AM »
de "l'alcool ethylique dénaturé " is just ethyl alcohol with something added, usually methyl alcohol, to prevent its use as a drink, owing to its awful taste...
and you cannot remove these denaturing compound by distillation as being an azeotropic mix.
don't drink it, it just perfect for steam engine burner...

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #183 on: November 09, 2018, 01:43:29 PM »
Thanks for your comments, guys. I think that to all intents and purposes this is the French equivalent of methylated spirits, with the methanol added to the ethanol to  dissuade persons of thirst from imbibing it.

Just to be clear: when I said


I would tend to trust the French on things cooking-related - they don't take any nonsense when it comes to food !


I meant that French people would be too discerning to use something like smelly old purple UK style meths in a fondue heater. And yes, MJM - it is and always has been purple here to remind us Brits that it's POISON...!

Have no fear, Gentlemen - I have no plans to either drink the alcool a bruler or to use it as a food additive!   :lolb:

Zephyrin  is well qualified on all counts to point the way here:

 

don't drink it, it just perfect for steam engine burner...

Cheers!

gary

Offline zeeprogrammer

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #184 on: November 09, 2018, 01:49:02 PM »
Catching up after a long absence...

Congrats on the boiler!

I'll be interested in seeing the restoration of those two gems you got.
Carl (aka Zee) Will sometimes respond to 'hey' but never 'hey you'.
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Zee-Another Thread Trasher.

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #185 on: November 09, 2018, 03:26:52 PM »
Hi Carl.

Nice to hear from you.

Thanks re the boiler.

I have started on restoring the smaller Mamod already. The larger one appears to be in much better condition but on first try it ran somewhat sluggishly. Further investigation required...

I'll post in this thread when I have made a bit of progress.

Cheers,

gary

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #186 on: November 11, 2018, 04:21:10 PM »
Still somewhat off-topic, but the picture below shows my third Mamod - an SE2a, with whistle and reversing gear.

So far it appears to be the best runner of the three as well as being in the best condition. I ran it last night (we had a friend staying - after dinner entertainment  :) ) and it went like a demon on the French alcool a bruler. No worries on that score...

Our friend is Russian and he brought a litre of Russian Standard vodka with him. It had a similar effect on me to that which the alcool a bruler had on the engine. Doesn't look that different either...



Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #187 on: November 27, 2018, 12:05:58 AM »
Still WAY off topic, and trashing enriching my own thread, this is one of the various reasons why there hasn't been much progress on my boiler recently:


Will post details of another couple of reasons before I get back to the serious business...   :)

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #188 on: December 09, 2018, 11:28:54 PM »
This is what has kept me away from the boiler for the past while:



Two candlesticks as Christmas presents - the one on the left is for my daughter; the right hand one is for my 'other half'. Don't tell them though - it's a surprise...

Materials:

French walnut
Mahogany
Brass
Bronze
Stainless Steel
Aluminium
Copper
and
Reclaimed vintage French plumbing fittings

75 cl bottle of mead for scaling purposes only, you understand.

I got these done sooner than I expected, and am now back working on reconfiguring the firebox for the boiler - will update on that soon...
 

Online Gas_mantle

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #189 on: December 10, 2018, 02:13:57 PM »
Very nice Gary, I didn't realise you did wood turning too  :)

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #190 on: December 10, 2018, 02:17:37 PM »
Thanks Peter.

I'm very much the novice wood turner (as well as novice home engineer) but I really enjoy woodturning and it's a skill I'd like to develop in the future.

 :ThumbsUp:


Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #191 on: December 11, 2018, 12:15:39 AM »
So...

Back on the boiler. Or I should say the firebox as the boiler itself is pretty much finished.

The test firings on gas and methylated spirits went well and raised a good head of steam. However, not so the solid fuel test using small pieces of hardwood in a roughed-out firebox, which failed to produce enough heat. Not to be deterred (not yet, at least), I'm now in the process of modifying the firebox to make it smaller and more compact to keep the heat near the base of the boiler, where it should be. Again, I'll start with a rough trial version in case it doesn't work. No point in wasting time!

However, in such a scenario the top plate of the firebox could be repurposed for use on a meths burner so there's no reason not to make a proper job of that from the outset. That's what I'm doing - or trying to do - now.

First, I cut a small piece off an empty oxygen cylinder from a portable oxy-mapp kit to form a short spigot (it can be seen in rough form in the first picture below). This will be brazed on to the firebox top plate and will fit up inside the bottom collar of the boiler as the conduit of heat from the firebox. A strip of carbon gasket material wrapped around the spigot will form a cushion and seal between it and the boiler.

The top plate is made of 5mm mild steel plate. I used a hole saw to make the initial hole for the spigot then proceeded to bore it to size with a boring head. I plugged the boring head into my new Sieg SX2.7L mill using a 2MT to R8 adaptor, only to realise that the thread on the drawbar of the machine didn't fit the arbour of the boring head. It was Sunday night, and I had neither the wherewithal nor the inclination to make a new drawbar.  Rather optimistically, I gave the setup a go anyway. It worked at first, but as the hole enlarged and the radius of the boring head extended, the lateral forces generated pulled the boring head out of the quill. Not good.

Fortunately, my customized 'drill press milling attachment' (with a drawbar which fits the boring head) saved the day:



This contraption has raised an eyebrow or two in its time, but it has on more than one occasion got me out of a pinch and is actually quite good, especially as the drill press which powers it now has a three phase motor. And there are occasions when a bit of belt slippage is no bad thing...

For details of its workings, see this video:


With the central hole bored to size, I roughly sliced off some of the steel plate with my Evolution Rage mitre saw (wouldn't be without it) to make it manageable, and then back to the Sieg SX2.7L to cut the top plate to just over external diameter using a rotary table and small endmill. I'm finding I really like this mill - for a smallish machine it fairly hogs the metal:





BTW please disregard the eccentric arc which you can see scribed around the centre hole. This was part of a previous rough marking out and bears no relation to the inner and outer diameters of the plate, which are concentric with each other.

Cheers,

gary


 

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #192 on: December 11, 2018, 10:32:20 PM »
The firebox top plate and spigot are now done and are ready to be brazed together and fixed to the main firebox body with M4 screws:


Online crueby

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #193 on: December 11, 2018, 11:30:10 PM »
 :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

Online b.lindsey

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Re: 3 inch boiler build
« Reply #194 on: December 11, 2018, 11:46:11 PM »
Beautiful Gary. I am sure they will love them too. Handmade gifts are the best!! I am referring to the candlesticks though the boiler is coming along well also :)

Bill