Another Aussie

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Hi Alan, And "welcome to the forum".
I am an original Englishman (Pommy) from what you may call Blighty? I appreciate we have different languages, and humour, so please excuse mine if I hit the "wrong button". It sometimes happens on this forum as there are so many using various versions of "English" (Some make me cringe, but we must share the same planet, so I try to be forgiving of "those that mis-use the King's English through no fault of their own. Simply "distance for many generations").
Like language, "rules and regulations" vary globally. So while we have "British Standards", there are many erstwhile bodies who have written their own, or simply plagiarised others' Regs. for their own use.
I.E. The Australian regulations for pressure vessels. Very like the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' (ASME) version. Can be found on-line.... but you may pay a fortune for them.
I correspondence with others on this forum, I have worked-out a few things. These rules may help you get a perspective on managing steam vessels.
  • In many "western-style" countries, any insurance claim is quickly refuted by clever companies, to avoid them paying out any money. So if a steam boiler should leak a little, and someone gets a burn or scald from the Hot boiler or steam, then claims against the "user/operator" of that boiler, then the insurance company will immediately say "show us the documentation and proof of safe operation" - of which a boiler certificate is also expected.
  • Your local club will contain experts (some of whom may really be expert?) and insurance, and rules whereby you can get covered by that insurance. I.E. pay them a membership fee, get them to test and certify the boiler, and teach you the safe practices that they manage to allow the insurance to cover operation of steam boilers.
Works for me! Like relationships with a person. It is good to be close to someone and it is not a legal requirement for every partnership to be certified. But if things go wrong (inevitable, as human bodies are not reliable) then without a certificate, life is more difficult to resolve. And people get close to their models, including "Old boilers"... So certification is a help if things go wrong.
But club membership also has the benefit that I enjoy sharing "model making and steaming" with like minded wierdos.... - a bit like corresponding in this forum?
Enjoy our company, you sound like another of our kind... (of wierdo?)
I am not fully familiar with Australian Regs, but I have done calculations on the strength of boilers (mostly to ASME) to help people design their own variations of boilers. (Usually a variation arises because the material is different to the original design - e.g. metric versus imperial sizes and thicknesses). So ask and I shall try to help?
Hello Alan and welcome. Would you mind posting a link to the Retrol HM-01 that you purchased? I would also be interested in your thoughts on it when you receive it. Thanks, Ross.
Hi Ross, Still haven't received the HM-oi yet but here is a youtube link about the building of the kit, there are other videos on how to improve it's performance as well..
Hi K2, I bought a copy of the AMBSC code part 3 as my engine has a 63mm dia boiler putting me in the sub-miniature sizing, trouble is, at the end of it it says that stays maybe required as per stay design in Part 1 of the code, and me being a cheap ar&e, I only bought part 3. So now it looks like I am up for another part and postage, when will I ever learn :(. I will look through all your links as with all the other offers of help from others. sorry for late reply, been out in the shed filing away and drilling.

I'm a newbie too. I have started a small steam engine build with 5/8" bore. I plan on running it on steam, as it's a steam engine, not a compressed air engine. I think I will purchase a certified boiler though.The steam engine is very interesting, that's for sure!
I have found there are "simply" 2 sorts of modellers.
Those with the cash and those without.
It used to be "those with the time" and those without.
Toady I think the "wise and safe" trend is to BUY a small certified boiler, as (in the words of a guy who has made half a dozen loco boilers) - it is SUCH A LOT OF WORK to get it right so it is good for testing and certification afterwards, that a year of steaming the finished loco can be lost just making the boiler... A 3 year project becomes 4 - or more... So he has just bought his second new welded boiler. His first boiler lasted ~25 years, but after a good service - now with new boiler as the original finally puffed steam as a "last big sigh" when it leaked - he reckons he'll be steaming again soon. (He is now mid-80s, so wants to be steaming again for a few years before his last "sigh").
But Buy the boiler with the BIGGEST BURNER ability. = an underfired tubed boiler ("Stuart" style?).
(this one can just about take a 4~5kW burner?).
Marine boilers (central fire-tube type) are limited by the size of burner the boiler can use, and smaller ability for steaming etc. - but are compact for boats!
I guess this one has 2 x 1.5kW burners??
"You pays ya money and takes ya choice".

When it comes to steaming ANYWHERE - the only cheap and simple way is to join a club, get your boiler certified BY THEM ( a formality with most new boilers made by a proper manufacturer who supplies test certs), and be covered by THEIR insurance - e.g. if steam costs you an eye when steaming in your garage, or scalds a child, or whatever you'll need insurance for? (Hopefully NEVER need it.. but that's the risk if you are without it!). Normal Domestic Insurance will not cover you.
That is possibly a reason why so many do not contemplate steam... - or maybe they don't understand how dangerous compressed air can be?
But I make and repair boilers, because I can. And my club inspector examines and certifies GOOD boilers for use, so I am covered by their insurance. Life can be easy and fun!

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