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Old 08-19-2008, 06:08 PM   #21
Bogstandard
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Default Re: Hardware Store Boiler

Bernd,

Try pushing a sewing needle into it in an area that won't be noticed.

If it goes into it like it was similar to oasis block (a very closed cell foam) then it can be used.
If it is very difficult or impossible to push in, sorry, it can't be used.

The reason for the difference is that household or town gas has different calorific value than propane or butane. So with the bottled gas, the harder one doesn't glow like the softer one.

Unless of course you want to run your boiler from the domestic gas supply. But the pipe would have to be mighty long if you want to sail a boat.

Kludge,

American sites seem to have a better selection of cast pipe fittings like elbows and flanges than the UK ones. So if you look carefully at a lot of English made engines, they have bent pipes rather than cast elbows. If we do need them, we are expected to make our own. Also it seems, the US makers tend to use larger pipes than we normally use. 1/8" and 5/32" are our standard sizes.

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Old 08-20-2008, 12:53 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogstandard
American sites seem to have a better selection of cast pipe fittings like elbows and flanges than the UK ones.
That's interesting. Some of the most beautiful and detailed engines I've seen came from the UK and I figured all the nifty stuff would be over there. This news brings about a total paradigm shift!

I've found some nice cast fittings that can be silver soldered to the "piping" to look like cast iron makeups at http://www.livesteam.com/ but thus far, no flanges or flanged fittings. This I find somewhat distressing since it indicates I might have to *horror of horrors* actually make them.

Quote:
If we do need them, we are expected to make our own.
Oh. Well. In that case ...

Quote:
Also it seems, the US makers tend to use larger pipes than we normally use. 1/8" and 5/32" are our standard sizes.
Well, lets see ... pressure is in pounds per square inch (over here; the rest of the world does it differently) so if you add more square inches (or at least parts of them), you should have more pressure, right? The fact that this also goes through water at a rather prodigious rate is just an incidental inconvenience.

As a side issue, I will likely build one of these boilers - with some changes like silver soldering a lot and answering some other safety concerns - but I also expect to buy my "get serious" boiler (or boilers) since the discussion here has made me extremely wary of making one and I do have that promise to Noelle taking priority over my abilities or lack thereof. There are places I will push my abilities as much as I can. That ain't one of them.

Best regards,

Cautious Kludge


 
 
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Old 08-20-2008, 03:23 PM   #23
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Default Re: Hardware Store Boiler

PM Research sells trees of model pipe fittings in various sizes.

http://www.pmresearchinc.com/store/home.php?cat=39

I've used them on my model boiler and they look very nice. It's a bit tedious to drill and tap them but worth the effort for the improvement in appearance.
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:49 PM   #24
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Marv,

Just had a quick look around that site. I can't believe how much they charge for copper tube. I have just bought a 10 metre (33ft) length of 1/8" annealed copper tube. That cost about 12 ($24). Larger sizes are about the same ratio. I search for annealed copper brake pipe. Much cheaper than model engineering sites.

I did like those 1/8" cast bronze sets of fittings. They are just not available over here as far as I know. The larger sizes are generally not needed. Shame they don't do 5/32".

John
 
 
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Old 08-20-2008, 05:10 PM   #25
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Default Re: Hardware Store Boiler

One goes to the ME sites to get things one can't obtain elsewhere. They're never the best price for stock stuff like tubing, pipe, fasteners, etc..
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:16 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by mklotz
PM Research sells trees of model pipe fittings in various sizes.
Cool! Thanks for this. They are lovely!

Quote:
It's a bit tedious to drill and tap them but worth the effort for the improvement in appearance.
Drill is good. It's kind of necessary actually if anything's going to flow through it by some means other than magic or a particularly unique application of quantum coupling which I don't think would work anyway.

Tap I'm not so sure about. I'm more likely to silver solder instead even though the effect isn't quite the same. (Or do both, come to think of it.) Any exposed threads on the tubing would be covered with lagging - which I haven't yet found again after I found it once before and mislaid the bookmark, at which I'm really quite good - for those sections that are lagged so they wouldn't actually have to be threaded anyway.

I'm still looking for flanges for things like attaching to steam chests and the like. Also, I remember seeing flanged valves here and there (to make them easier to remove/replace in the prototypes?) and other fittings. Even with 6-8 (rather tiny) bolts holding them together, I can't see them being good for much more than 15-20 psi before something really bad happens. (Ian, any thoughts on this?)

John, I'm thinking 1/8" for the plumbing for most of my engines. A few places around the boilers may be bigger but that's things like safety valves et al. Small tubing with the safeties set in the 12-15 psi range should aughta be about right for all except the hugest of them. In that case, I'll have to bump up to larger tubing with the safeties left alone.

The air operated engines will use larger tubing but they don't count for this. They're more "Kludge Gone Wild" enignes for entertainment purposes only.

Speaking of plumbing, is there any reason the tubing under the boiler has to be coiled? I had the idea that laying it flat like the cooling tubing on a locomotive air compressor laid over on its side with the cool end lower than the hot end would work nicely as well. Heat would be applied evenly the length of the tubing from a source that can heat the full length evenly and the whole thing could be isolated from the boiler so it's not directly heated quite so much.

This was a middle of the night demon-fighter idea so probably has more holes in it than any of several varieties of Swiss cheese but I would be interested in comments.

Best regards,

Kludge ... after another sleepless night
 
 
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:27 PM   #27
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Default Re: Hardware Store Boiler

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogstandard
Bernd,

Try pushing a sewing needle into it in an area that won't be noticed.

If it goes into it like it was similar to oasis block (a very closed cell foam) then it can be used.
If it is very difficult or impossible to push in, sorry, it can't be used.

The reason for the difference is that household or town gas has different calorific value than propane or butane. So with the bottled gas, the harder one doesn't glow like the softer one.
That stuff is harder than dried cement. Guess it can't be used. Did learn something here too.

Thanks John.

Bernd
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:43 PM   #28
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Default Re: Hardware Store Boiler

I'm a complete novice to model steam, so pardon me if I've got the wrong idea but...
Is the ceramic used mainly as a wick for alcohol burners, or is it a radiant element?

If the former, pumice works just fine and shouldn't be too hard to get hold of even in the supermarket.
Maybe Kludge could pick it up around Kilauea?
I've even used pumice to burn kero, oil, diesel etc.
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:52 PM   #29
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Kludge,

This is how I make pipe to engine flanges.

http://www.homemodelenginemachinist....hp?topic=527.0

John
 
 
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:59 PM   #30
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Default Re: Hardware Store Boiler


Quote:
I did like those 1/8" cast bronze sets of fittings. They are just not available over here as far as I know. The larger sizes are generally not needed. Shame they don't do 5/32".
John,

I just now went out into the Garaj Mahal and measured two of the trees I have. The nominal 1/4" has an OD of 0.33". The smaller, nominal 3/16, measure 0.27". I'm sure you could drill the latter to take 5/32 (0.156") tubing. They're cheap enough that ordering a few trees to play with won't break your budget - after that new shop we know you're really a secret millionaire.

I've attached a picture of some of the plumbing on my boiler. It uses the 1/4" for the larger pipe and the 3/16" for the smaller.


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