Author Topic: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.  (Read 1900 times)

Offline Gas_mantle

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Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« on: October 05, 2018, 11:26:03 AM »
I've just received my new toy and thought I'd share a couple of photos.  I bought this little fella on ebay, it's a gamble as it is untested but I didn't pay a lot and as a member of a club I'll be able to get it tested.

First impressions are it looks well made but is very small - it's a cute little thing if nothing else  ;)  Not sure how much it holds but at 3" dia x 3" long with 13 fire tubes it won't take much to fill it.

Once I've had a chance to test it and fire it up I'll update with the results  :whoohoo:









Peter.


Offline Vixen

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2018, 12:11:49 PM »
Cute little thing.

What are you going to do about a firebox ans smoke box?

Mike
It is the journey that matters, not the destination

Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2018, 12:23:18 PM »
Thanks Mike, once I've been able to test it and (hopefully) confirm it is without leaks I thought I'd fabricate a removable smoke box and chimney, with a bit of thought I think that should be straight forward. To fire it I was looking at the smallest of the Bix ceramic burners, my guess it will only need a low gas setting to boil - I've tried filling it and reckon it holds about 150ml.

Once I've had a chat with my club boiler inspector I should have a better idea what to do  :)

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2018, 07:20:46 PM »
Nice Peter! The fittings alone are probably worth the price if nothing else.

Bill

Offline Roger B

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2018, 07:47:01 PM »
It looks to have been carefully made, but I am not a boiler/steam expert.
Best regards

Roger

Offline michaelr

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2018, 07:47:58 PM »
How do the hot gases return through the fire tubes ? there seems to be no dry space for the gases to return, as the water gauge and clacks suggest that the boiler has a wet end, or am I missing something.

Michaelr

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2018, 07:52:45 PM »
I would hope there is a third flanged plate part way along the boiler and the bushes extend through the space created and into the wet side of the boiler. Or some have a "transfer chamber" which is basically a box that connects the large flue to the smaller firetubes and is surrounded by water, though a bit fiddly for such a small boiler.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2018, 07:59:53 PM by Jasonb »

Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2018, 07:53:20 PM »
Cheers Bill  :)

The water gauge, clack valve, blowdown, and safety valve are probably worth close to what I paid and it's quite an attractive little thing so my thinking was if I can get it tested and use it then it's a bonus.

A friend has offered to hydraulically test it and my club boiler inspector ought to be able to further test it and offer advice before I decide quite what to do with it. I did briefly wonder if it is just a demo model to show how horizontal fire tube boilers are made but looking at the build quality and associated fittings I'm more inclined to think that it is a 'real' boiler.

Have any other members come across a similar design in a small scale? I'm not quite sure why someone would build such a small boiler with as many tubes ?

Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2018, 07:57:29 PM »
Michaelr, it is a wetback and the hot gases should return through the fire tubes to a chimney.

Jason, I'm no boiler expert and you've lost me a tad, can you say a bit more  :headscratch:

Offline michaelr

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2018, 08:47:44 PM »
Pictures of my centre flue boiler showing the flue end, and the dry end return hot gas space which has removable end plate.
Michaelr.


Offline Vixen

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2018, 08:59:33 PM »
Thats a neat looking engine and steam plant. Does it drop straight into a steam launch?

Mike
It is the journey that matters, not the destination

Offline michaelr

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2018, 10:16:40 PM »
I made it for a scale model tug boat I was building, but I got side tracked and built a 2" scale traction engine so the steam plant didn't get into a boat.

Michaelr

Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2018, 10:43:20 AM »
Thanks Michaelr, my boiler seems to be different to yours in so much as it has fittings on the back plate - it was advertised as a wetback but if that is the case then the water space at the end is very thin.


Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2018, 08:13:56 PM »
Hope you get it working Peter.

Other than that I have nothing intelligent to add to the discussion, but I look forward to seeing how it works out.

Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2018, 08:23:04 PM »
I'm seeing the club boiler inspector on Wednesday and hopefully after that I'll have a better idea what to do with it. Tomorrow I'll make a few blanking plugs in the hope we can hydraulically test it.  :)

If I know its of sound construction I'll be happy to spend a few quid fitting a pressure gauge and chimney etc.

Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2018, 04:49:52 PM »
Something cropped up yesterday so I didn't take my boiler to be inspected like I had intended but I'll do that hopefully next week, in the meantime anticipating it will be ok for small low pressure use I bought a small ceramic burner.

I thought as this was it's first live steaming I'd make a short video so here we go 'The Tiddler' comes to life  :)


Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2018, 07:35:24 PM »
Great little boiler Peter.

Looking forward to seeing it running an engine  :ThumbsUp:

Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2018, 10:52:14 AM »
Thanks, I've taken the plunge and bought a set of castings to make a 3" Southworth feedpump - I'm told they are fiddly things to make but don't cost a lot and spare castings can be bought so I thought I'd give it a try.

http://www.southworthengines.co.uk/steam-feed-pumps/vertical-steam-pumps/


Offline Stuart

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2018, 12:38:43 PM »
Peter

Now you have set your self a Challenge

If I rate a simple ocilator as a 1 a ME beam as a 6 with a lady Steph as a 7 those come in at a 10

Hope you have a steady hand for the small tapped fixings a optivisor is a great help

Itís a case of think ten times as itís easy to turn a valve over

I have one that I have built it runs but is temperamental

Good luck getting the boiler tested hope itís ok  , the pressure to test it at without the drawings may be a problem
My aim is for a accurate part with a good finish

Offline Jo

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2018, 12:48:58 PM »
I also have Surus has in his collection a set of the 6" castings. I didn't think they looked too bad.

If you want a fiddly one try LBSC's Duplex Donkey feed pump  :paranoia:

Jo
Usus est optimum magister

Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: Just taken a gamble - bought a small boiler on ebay.
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2018, 01:25:05 PM »
Thanks Stuart / Jo  :)

I take the point about it is going to be difficult to have the boiler tested without having the drawings or knowing it's history etc but I'm not too fussed about having a proper certificate as such but I'd like to ensure my own safety at modest pressures.  I'm guessing very simple Mamod / Jensen / Wilesco boilers run at maybe 20PSI so my gut feeling is this will be fine at say 30PSI.

I bought the boiler as a bit of a gamble thinking it could be the basis of a small steam plant but I didn't pay a lot so if the inspector says it's nothing more than scrap I'll just have to take it on the chin.

Assuming it's ok at say 30PSI I thought it would possibly power a Stuart 10V replica I'm building and the 3" Southworth  pump at modest speeds.

As for the pump I did consider an add on set of castings for the Stuart 10v but at £100 against the £40 for a Southworth I chose the latter. I realise it isn't going to be an easy build but they don't cost the earth so I thought I'd give it a try. I'll probably do a build log in the forum so I'm hopeful a few other members will offer a bit of advice  ;)