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Hi, I am venturing into the black art of boiler making I want to make a horizontal 4.5 inch gas fired boiler , my efforts to find any sort of information - drawings etc has been hopeless, can anybody help. Regards Ken.

Hi Ken,

I missed this post when you posted it and only found it yesterday.

Welcome to the forum.  How about introducing yourself on the introductions board so we know a little about you and your interests.

A single dimension is not a very helpful description of a boiler, so it is quite hard to know what sort of help you are seeking.

However a good start, which will hopefully lift you out of the black art feeling, would be to buy and read K. N. Harris' excellent book on model boiler making.  I assume it is available from one of the normal suppliers of modelling books.  I would also recommend Alex Weis' book on miniature boiler making for gas firing, it is sold by Camden in electronic form.  They also have other books you might find interesting.

The cylindrical shell section of a boiler is pretty straightforward.  It is the openings for filling, steam outlet, and safety valves that involve more science, along with the design of staying systems for the ends of the boiler and for any flat firebox surfaces.  And you will need a safety valve and perhaps a level glass.  A pressure gauge is also helpful.

Another important source of information is the inspector at your local club.  Join up, meet like minded friends and check the requirements for design approval, inspections during construction and pressure testing.  This is important even for published designs, especially if they are older than the current series of model boiler codes.  If you don't do this first, you will probably find you can't display your efforts in public.  But more importantly, you won't be sure that you have covered all the necessary issues for a safe boiler, and remember, you will probably be the closest if anything goes wrong.

I mentioned the codes above, they are another resource that will help you, but not easy to read without some prior understanding.

Hope this helps give you a start.


Hi Ken,
Here is a link to,
K.N Harris's book Model Boilers and Boilermaking.
(This one is almost considered the Bible among Boiler Makers)
Found online PDF copy:
This is from a book list I have on RC groups forum.

steam guy willy:
hi, don't forget to make all the bushes from bronze....never use brass....dezincefication  !!!!!!1. also get an original  Harris book rather than a reprint that has photocopied photos rather than original photos !!!

There are some good. Oiler designs posted on this forum that comply with code and check them out first before designing your own


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