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I am thinking of building a beam engine designed by Patrick J Verner. He uses brass a lot and I was wondering if I can substitute steel or aluminium for the brass as I have easy access to that but not brass. Living outside of Adelaide makes it hard to get stuff as I mostly purchase online (only real option).Can I use aluminium for a cylinder and brass or steel for the piston?
Also has anyone have this plans as well as I seem to be missing a couple pages and the size they should be printed at? The website is no longer around so that avenue is out plus I downloaded it several computer upgrades ago so the downloaded plans I can't find though I have a couple HDDs to put in a caddy and check out.
thanks in advance
Pete (not not so ...hopeless  ;D)

Hi Pete

If you look at the beam engine I built (In the showcase section) you will see I used an aluminium brake cylinder for the cylinder with a brass piston. I don't know what bore size you need but the cylinder I used is about 0.7". The bore is nicely machined and honed to a better finish than I could get. The engine runs well on steam and air. If it will help I could dig out some photos of the cylinder construction.



Hi Pete

There shouldn't be any problem whatsoever substituting steel or ali for the brass components.
An aluminium cylinder with brass piston will work a treat; I have a handful of engines  working that way.

Unfortunately I can't help with the plans mate.

Kind regards, Arnold

thanks for the replies guys I was hoping I could  ;D. Its bore is .750 and I will probably run it on air to begin with as I've not build a boiler yet and not sure if I want to for now

Dave G:
I see no reason why you couldn't substitute materials. Be aware of the wear points in the design, maybe a bronze bushing in al. instead of all  brass construction. Also a good source of cylinder material is compressed air cylinders. They are normally polished in the bore and can be found in scrap yards. Be careful when cutting to length, don't distort the roundness. Looking forward to your build, Dave


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