Author Topic: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive  (Read 98236 times)

Offline andyf

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2010, 03:07:10 AM »

We're going over to Buxton today with a diversion to maccmodels https://www.maccmodels.co.uk/ so that I can pic up some copper sheet, my Boss doesn't know it yet  :D


Stew, you may already know that MaccModels opening hours can be a bit erratic, and that it's a good idea to call first to make sure they are going to be open.

Andy
Sale, Cheshire
I've cut the end off it twice, but it's still too short

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2010, 03:12:12 AM »

We're going over to Buxton today with a diversion to maccmodels https://www.maccmodels.co.uk/ so that I can pic up some copper sheet, my Boss doesn't know it yet  :D


Stew, you may already know that MaccModels opening hours can be a bit erratic, and that it's a good idea to call first to make sure they are going to be open.

Andy

Your quite right there Andy I've had a couple of wasted journeys they seem to have lunch hours that last all day, great little shop though its like an Aladins cave.

Stew
A little bit of clearance never got in the road
 :wave:

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline shoey51

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2010, 03:21:16 AM »
while your at Maccmodles Stew check if my order has left mate  :)

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2010, 02:15:41 PM »
while your at Maccmodles Stew check if my order has left mate  :)

I'm sorry but I didn't get the post until after I left, if you PM me I'll give them a bell and chase them up for you.

If it was a leg pull :- Nice one  :thumbup:

Any way picked up a nice bit of 2.5mm thick copper the drawing spec is for 13g 2.33mm so its on the safe side, while I was their they cut me a 2" lump of 15/8 phos bronze for the steam dome bush, and I also picked up a length of 1/8 phos bronze to make some closing screws, and a rod of Easy Flo No1 silver solder this has a slightly higher  melting point than Easy Flo No2 that I'm going to use on the bulk of the boiler, but their are a couple of places that I want to use this higher melting point solder, as the joint will be subject to quite bit of high temperatures when I'm soldering additional joints close by.

Work on the new fire box tube plate first job mark out a circle 3 7/8 dia (3 3/8 + 2 * 1/4) the 1/4 is so that the flange can be formed.



Then mark a 3 3/8 dia circle so the former can be centred, then anneal the plate, clamp the disc in the vice with the former and start to fold the flanges over with hammer blows, the copper starts to work harden quite quickly you can feel the material stiffen under the hammer don't try and force it or the copper will split, anneal the plate again.

This is it after the second anneal.



In total I annealed it 7 times before the flange had formed over onto the former.

This is it complete after an hour in the pickle bath.



Well that me back where I started before I try drilling the plate again I'm going to have a bit of an experiment and make some kit that should make the job easyer.

This is going to be a bit  :offtopic: I want to grind a drill up specifically for sheet metal whilst searching my drill stash for a spare 3/8 and 3/4 drills I came across this sorry site:-



I must have picked it up out of the scrap where I use to work.

So I decided to give it some TLC, my Dad taught me how to grind drills up by hand when I was an apprentice many years ago, and like riding a bike its just something I can do, if you asked me to explain it I couldn't, I could show you but explain it no.

Any way this is the result.





And the proof of the pudding.



Still got the touch  :D

Stew

A little bit of clearance never got in the road
 :wave:

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline Stilldrillin

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2010, 03:58:37 PM »
I`m sitting here smiling Stew.......

You`re right. Just like riding a bike.  :thumbup:

I couldn`t explain how to do it though.......  :scratch:

Very nice work!  :clap: :clap:

David D
David.

Still drilling holes... Sometimes, in the right place!

Still modifying bits of metal... Occasionally, making an improvement!

Offline shoey51

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #30 on: April 29, 2010, 05:45:32 PM »
Sorry bout the leg pull mate ::)
your doing some realy great work there :D :thumbup:

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2010, 06:45:47 AM »
No Problem shoey you can't beat a bit of leg pull    :)

Quick up date.

John has kindly given me a loan of some imperial step drills:- Thanks John

But I found a problem in using them three of the holes are right up against the flange and the drill will catch it.



So I ground a 3/8 drill up as suggested by Rob  :thumbup: but it cut too 0.020" over size but I found a 23/64 drill among my stash, most of these drill I inherited from my Dad and its a weard and wonderful collection, but don't knock it you can't beat weard .  :nrocks: . So I ground that up and it gave a hole that cleaned up nicely with a 3/8 hand reamer.



Hand a practice with the scrap tube plate, I used a drop of milk as a cutting fluid as suggested by John:- Semi skimmed worked ok

And this is the result.



The bit of sheet is 0.5 mm thick

Top Job

I then drilled 3mm pilot holes in the former using the mill DRO this is the set up.



And made a stubby centre pop out of a bit of 3mm silver steel (drill rod)

And marked the position of the holes in the new boiler tube.





I decided not to drill the tubes just yet as I wont to ask the boiler inspector a couple of questions, I'm a bit concerned with the closeness of some of the tubes to the flange, the drill will just kiss the flange, and I was wondering if a should slightly reposition these holes.

So I'll get on with something else.

Stew
A little bit of clearance never got in the road
 :wave:

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline madjackghengis

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2010, 08:20:14 AM »

Stew

Who knows that "drilling soft copper can me tricky"  :bang:


Not sure it's possible given the shape of the plate you'r drilling... But you can try
clamping the copper plate between two thicker pieces (1/4") of aluminium and drilling through all 3.
This usualy results in a perfectly round hole with nice crisp edges when working with soft or thin materials.. allthough marking out and making sure the hole ends up where it's ment can be a bit of a pain..

Maybe it's possible to turn a 1/4 plate with an OD fitting the ID of the copper cap, mark out on the alu plate and clamp the whole contraption to a second alu plate, drill the holes and Bobs your uncle? :)

Keep up the good work  :clap:

/PJ
Stew, if you've got a bunch of holes to drill in copper, such as a tube plate or the like, you can take a drill bit, and use a stone to make the cutting lips of the bit parallel with the centerline of the bit, essentially giving it zero or negative rake, and it will drill far better.  Milk is a good cutting solution especially with modified drill bits, for copper.  The same is true about bits drilling into any copper alloy, doing this will keep the bit from jumping in full depth, and half way off the mark when you just "touch off", especially good for aluminum bronze which has broken my heart many times, as I sat there and stared at the remnants of the drill bit remaining in the hole, and the shank still in the chuck.  mad jack

Offline shoey51

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2010, 08:24:22 AM »
Jack I have heard of that solution myself but have never tried it.
keep up the great work  Stew :thumbup:

Offline madjackghengis

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2010, 08:37:50 AM »
Stew, I use copper plate to back up steel which needs welding together, but has a large gap between pieces, the weld doesn't stick to the copper, it sinks the heat too fast, and it allows a second pass, will full power, from the second side, knowing your first weld has full integrity.  Getting the blocks and pieces of copper to fit where they need to go usually means cutting and drilling.  I used to have a set of drills just for copper and such alloys, but I don't do as much of that work any more, so I experience the joys of breakage more often.
    You can take an actual dull drill bit, lay the cutting edge on a stone with the bit parallel to the table, and just cut about thirty thousandths of a flat, and then flip the drill, and match the flat, keeping the point centered, and it will cut well.  Urine is supposed to work well as a cutting fluid too, but I haven't ever considered trying it, my machines might think bad thoughts of me.  I will repeat, I have seldom seen such fine hammer work, few people have the patience to take the time and do it right and try to muscle it to the end, that last piece you show looks almost like it went through a die, just that little wiggle in the edge gives away the hand work.  I'm really looking forward to see this build run, you are a smith, by any good judge. :jaw: :jaw: :clap: mad jack

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2010, 12:58:33 PM »
Thanks for the good information Guys its information like this that can pull a job out of the mire.

At the club night on Tuesday I took my scrap tube plate along more to get the Chaps talking and it really paid off, some of the old guys are have lots of experience building boilers, along with offers of help if I got stuck I got lots of advice and tips to get the job going.

Any way on with the tube plates:-

I clamped a chunk of wood and drilled a hole though it to clear the drill and another for a clamp bolt.

This is the set up.



To drill the holes I started them with a centre drill then for the 3/8 a 8mm cone drill and then a letter U drill the guys at the club recommend not reaming to size but to leave it slightly under size and turn a small step on the boiler tube, this way it will have something to sit against and not fall through when you start to solder.

I used the cone drill for the 3/4 as this was giving a hole that was under size on the tube again I'll take a fine skim off the tube.

Here they are finished.



Next job skim the boiler tube square and too length.

So that the chuck won't damage the tube I turned up a wood plug a nice tight fit in the tube.





With one plug in the chuck end I couldn't get the tube running true at the steady end as the tube was oval so I turned a second plug up for that end as well this pulled the ovality out of the tube.

This is the set up





I just could,t have done this with the 3 point steady as it was.

Cheers

Stew



A little bit of clearance never got in the road
 :wave:

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline shoey51

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2010, 02:34:28 PM »
Lobley jubley looking good Stew.

by the way mate the part I ordered from maccmodles did turn up yesterday
it was a small steam pump for my 7.25 gauge loco

cheers Graham

Offline Stilldrillin

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #37 on: May 06, 2010, 03:42:07 PM »
Very nice work there Stew!  :clap:

The only time I`ve needed my steady, was to support a 7" length of 1" dia alloy tube.... The brass pads scored the soft alloy!  :bang:

The next time, I will have fitted ball bearings, probably!  :thumbup:

David D
David.

Still drilling holes... Sometimes, in the right place!

Still modifying bits of metal... Occasionally, making an improvement!

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2010, 02:35:44 AM »
Graham

Pleased you got your bit from maccmodles, there a bit of a two man show, Grandfather and Grandson they work out of a little terraced house that seems to be full of model stuff a real Alladins cave, always nice to chat with them, the Grandson runs the internet side of things, this seem to keep them in business, When you say steam pump do you mean injector, I know some of the larger Locos have steam driven pumps to feed the boiler with water is this the case with your loco.

Thanks Dave

The brass pads on the steady did scratch the tube but nothing to worry about the scratches had no depth and they won't be seen under the boiler cladding, I  lubricated them with just a drop of oil.

See you at Harrogate tomorrow.

Stew
A little bit of clearance never got in the road
 :wave:

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline shoey51

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #39 on: May 07, 2010, 03:02:35 AM »
Stew this is the pump i bought

If I had had plans I might have had a go at making one myself but couldnt find any so bought this off them :D
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 03:04:14 AM by shoey51 »

Offline Divided he ad

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2010, 11:46:28 AM »
Looks like your having fun Stew  :thumbup:


I can see this is going to be a good long thread with lots of useful info in it   :smart:





Have fun at Harrogate :thumbup: 

I'll have to rely on others pic's this year.... Just can't justify the costs at the mo'  :(





Ralph.
I know what I know and need to know more!!!

Offline madjackghengis

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2010, 12:07:19 PM »
Stew, you have a master's hand with copper, it is a joy to see such beautiful work, I expect I will have to copy that boiler one of these days, when I get around to finishing the steam engine I started before the radial, but has been shelved for a couple years.  I have often considered using various odds and ends, such as cappuchino makers and the like, for a boiler for a steam engine, but watching this build makes that feel like cheating to an extreme.  Thanks for all the great pictures and for the fine narrative to go with them and explain them. :jaw: :jaw: mad jack

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #42 on: May 12, 2010, 06:27:25 AM »
Ralph/Jack/Graham

Thanks for your comments chaps

Graham there's a guy building a steam pump in Model Engineer at the moment.

Things have slowed down a bit on the boiler build I've got a paying job that will take up some of my time for the next couple of week.

Got a bit done drilled the holes in the Backhead sorry no pics and made a start on the boiler tube.

Marking it out used the mill table as a flat face.



In order to hold the tube steady for cutting I used this clamp I made it a few years back for another job:- can't remember what  :scratch:
Just two pieces of wood with a coach bolt.



This is it in use



I used a junior hacksaw to do the business, this one has a sentimental attachment for me my father made it many years ago, I didn't want to use a 12" saw as the tooth space would be too wide for the tube and tend to rip also I wanted to take it steady so I got a nice clean straight cut. As the saw was cutting at an angle I didn't take it past the line I left a bit of metal holding the tube together whilst I did the next cut.

This is the next cut, the tool makers clamp is to to stop the cut ends from vibrating and making a farting noise.



The with a junior blade held in a bit of brass chim complete the cuts square.



This is the cut tube.



The cut will be bent out to form the wings of the firebox, I tried to bend them out as cut but the copper is quite hard so I'll anneal it as I didn't want to force it. As the annealed tube will need pickling I,m at a bit of a stop until I get my pickle bathe made.

I've collected one a two things together for the boiler build.



The black box is a case from an industrial battery fork lift truck or something like that, and will be part of the pickle bath, the bits of ally behind it will form part of my brazing hearth. At the Harrogate show I picked up some of these blankets, for the hearth.



I also have a collection of fire bricks.



Getting there slowly

Stew


A little bit of clearance never got in the road
 :wave:

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline Stilldrillin

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #43 on: May 12, 2010, 08:04:40 AM »
Stew,

I thought Kaolin wool was a natural product, when you showed it to me at Harrogate......   :thumbup:

"Will withstand 1000 deg C"  :bugeye:


So, what kind of an animal is a kaolin?  :scratch:

 Do they live near volcanos?  :lol:

David D
David.

Still drilling holes... Sometimes, in the right place!

Still modifying bits of metal... Occasionally, making an improvement!

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #44 on: May 12, 2010, 09:14:59 AM »
Its a sort of goat and yes they live on the slopes of volcanoes in Iceland, thats why their legs are shorter on one side than the other so that they don't lean, the males have short legs on the right and go clockwise around the volcano, the females have short legs on the left and go anti-clockwise that way they can meet up in the breading season which is from April to May, with a hunting season in the autumn  October to November, hunters put down bait of good quality coal which apparently they can't resist. 

 :D :D :D :D :D

Nice one Dave
 
::)

Stew


A little bit of clearance never got in the road
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Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline madjackghengis

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #45 on: May 12, 2010, 09:27:58 AM »
Hi Stew, I really like your clamp you made with coach bolts and some wood to hold that boiler tube, it's something I'm going to be making soon, to hold some things I hadn't a good idea on how without marring them.  Watching the sawing with that clamp in place looks like the tube is solidly held and with care, won't move and get grrrrd up.  I noticed in your pictures of using the step drill for some of the holes, the "forward cutting angle" on that type of drill is essentially zero, which was what I was trying to describe in stoning off the leading edge of a regular drill bit, for copper and all its alloys.  I really like that bit about drilling undersize, and turning a lip on the tube to hold it in place, that idea beats all the others I've ever tried, glad to hear a testimonial during a build!!  Don't let paying work interfere too long, this build is far too interesting, so stay in the shop late, work hard, and get back to the project, you got that?  This is your audience speaking :hammer: all kidding aside, great looking job, and fine craftsmanship, I'd like to see the whole of it when you've got it done.   :jaw: :bow: mad jack

Offline Stilldrillin

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #46 on: May 12, 2010, 12:23:40 PM »
Its a sort of goat and yes they live on the slopes of volcanoes in Iceland, thats why their legs are shorter on one side than the other so that they don't lean, the males have short legs on the right and go clockwise around the volcano, the females have short legs on the left and go anti-clockwise that way they can meet up in the breading season which is from April to May, with a hunting season in the autumn  October to November, hunters put down bait of good quality coal which apparently they can't resist. 

 :D :D :D :D :D

Nice one Dave
 
::)

Stew


Ah! Yes........

Northern cousins to the noble, Scottish  Haggis.......  :lol:


David.
David.

Still drilling holes... Sometimes, in the right place!

Still modifying bits of metal... Occasionally, making an improvement!

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #47 on: May 12, 2010, 03:10:41 PM »
Thanks Jack

I'm pleased the wood clamp will help, its amazing what you can pick up on forums like this you're drill edge stoning for copper is filed away for further use, some times all it takes is a picture for bells to start ringing and ideas to start to form.  :proj:

Dave:- I thinks its called a Greater Gullable Goat  :)

OK went on the hunt to B&Q (great big hardware store) for some  Thermalite/Celcon blocks (Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC)) picked up four half price 50p each as they were damaged, but for my use as a hearth that won't matter.



This afternoon I've made a lid for the tank



Still got to put a lock on it just to keep the contents safe away from animals and children

I spotted a oblong bucket at B&Q for keeping paint in for roller application  looked just the right size to fit in the tank and take the boiler.



The acid will be in the bucket and the tank will act as a second skin containing  accidental leaks and splashes.

Stew
A little bit of clearance never got in the road
 :wave:

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline shoey51

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #48 on: May 12, 2010, 03:32:17 PM »
all great ideas there stew. :thumbup: :clap: :clap:

Offline Dean W

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Re: Building a Boiler for a 3 1/2" Gauge Locomotive
« Reply #49 on: May 13, 2010, 12:59:42 AM »
You're really getting on, Stew.  I always like your projects.
What will you use for the pickle?  I mean, what kind of acid?

Dean
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