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Need Help with Maccsteam Butane Burner Gas Jet

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Glen the Rotorhead

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I built the attached pair of steam power modules for my 1/32 scale ironclad ram Keokuk. The boilers, burners, and butane tanks were built by Mike Abbott of Maccsteam to my specs. They have been sitting for a year so I fired them up yesterday. One ran like a champ but after about 30 minutes, the other one appeared to starve out from lack of fuel. I disassembled the gas lines and checked them for blockage but couldn't find any. I attached the jet straight to the tank and all I could get was a pilot light, so I assume that the problem is the jet. It is a No. 5. Does anyone have a source for jets and/or know if Mike made any special mods to his burners to accept a stock jet? I would also be interested in knowing of any sources for model steam system repair and maintenance if it is not the jet.
Thanks in advance

Finished Propulsion.jpg
 

portlandron

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I ask this question regard gas jets, scroll down about 6 postings.
There does not seem to be any place in the U.S. that sells them.
I ended up ordering from
Forest Classics - Gas Essentials and Jets.

Had them in about two weeks after placing order.
 
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Glen the Rotorhead

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I ask this question regard gas jets, scroll down about 6 postings.
There does not seem to be any place in the U.S. that sells them.
I ended up ordering from
Forest Classics - Gas Essentials and Jets.

Had them in about two weeks after placing order.
Thanks for the heads up. I have talking to Phil at Forest to isolate the problem. He is my go-to guy for jets and regulators.
 

Steamchick

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Hi, For cleaning jets there are 2 simple methods. - but 1 can damage the jet.
Use a pricker. - Actually, a drill of the correct size - for a No 5 jet this is a 0.20mm drill. I use the drills that come in sets from China for about $0.30 ~$0.40 per drill - in packs of 10 drills - with a 3mm diameter shank. CAREFULLY rotate the drill between thumb and forefinger and apply a tiny pressure when pricking the jet and any detritus should be cleared. You should act like you are removing a splinter from the finger of your 3 year old boy.... CAREFULLY!
HOWEVER - this can damage the jet and make it bigger, or you can break the drill! - so you may quickly use up the 10 drills in a pack! A broken drill bit means the jet is a write-off. So the wash-out method is preferred if it works on your detritus.
RECOMMENDED: Take and aerosol can - IN THE OPEN AIR - AWAY from flames, etc. and DON'T SMOKE. Use a Carb cleaner aerosol from an Auto-shop, or if you can't get one I have used butane lighter refill cans. Remove Jet from the burner - carefully holding in pliers or something - against a fixed object. Apply the nozzle of the can to the jet to the out side of the jet and give it a squirt. (BEWARE! If you use your fingers to hold the jet you are likely to get FROSTBITE from the freezing action of the liquid gas washing through the jet! Frost burns are VERY PAINFUL - so I am told. - I don't risk it myself.). Aerosol can stems are breakable plastic, and stiff to operate, so support the jet properly when applying pressure on the can to give it a squirt. A broken plastic stem of a can is a waste of a can...
The advantage of back washing the jet - especially using the carb cleaner aerosol - is that you remove deposits that are blocking the jet WITHOUT risk of damaging the jet orifice size. This is CRITICAL for correct and safe burner action. - A bigger jet than originally designed - even by 0.001in. - can cause the burner to produce Carbon Monoxide - which is a deadly poisonous gas.
Sorry to be an Old Werrit about safety - I'm a survived motorcyclist. (The only activity where the Authorities don't actually publish the death rate or permanent disability rate! - more than the 15,000 per year deaths by bullets in the USA).
Beautiful model, I'd love to see the boat it will power...
Enjoy!
Ken
 

delalio

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That is a beauty of a setup!

Very nice. Definitely want to see more pics of the full thing!!

As for the burners I'm based in Ireland, so probably not much use to you. Polly Models in the UK are pretty damn good!!

Cheers,

Del
 

crueby

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The Train Department here in the US carries a lot of the European manufacturers (Regner, Roundhouse, etc), they
have jets listed. I would suggest contacting the owner there, Jason, and ask specifically about the part you need.

 

steam4

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The Train Department here in the US carries a lot of the European manufacturers (Regner, Roundhouse, etc), they
have jets listed. I would suggest contacting the owner there, Jason, and ask specifically about the part you need.

 

steam4

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I had the same problem. what did was get a piece of stranded speaker wire separate the strands and poke through the jet. just make sure that the strand is small enough for the jet size
 

Steamchick

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A number 5 jet is 0.20mm diameter. - That is 0.008in. So use your micrometer to measure anything you plan to poke into the jet to unblock it. Then think again and don't even do that! - Read Post #4 above.
I STRONGLY advocate that you clean jets with ultrasonic cleaners, solvents, aerosols etc. as in my post #4 above. I recently cleaned a no 8 jet (0,25mm) with the 0.25 drill hand-held (for speed) and ended-up with a bigger (no 10-ish?) jet with a single poke of the drill so had to make a new no 8 jet. Having the tools (and having developed the technique) I can do this, but buy no 5 and no 3 jets and NEVER attack them with metal prickers in any metal (copper wire included). - It's cheaper and easier on the "stress gauge"!
The simple reason is that jets are a gas dynamic orifice, and the diameter and length of the hole, shape of approach and departure of the hole all affect the performance of gas that is passing at anything up to Sonic speed (the limit for a jet - when it chokes). Poking any metal in the hole can make the hole larger, but may simply damage the leading edge of the hole and affect the turbulence in the jet - and gas passing speed and volume - and the tuning of the burner will be upset. Jet makers (not I !) are high precision people who make high precision components so it is simply stupid to poke at them in an uncontrolled manner. I have leaned that from making dozens of jets and burners.
The burners are specifically tuned to the performance of gas jets, so affecting the jet spoils all the performance you have paid someone to design, tune and make. You would not do it on your expensive car, so why do it on your prized model?
Nuff said, (You did ask for advice!)
K2
 

chrsbrbnk

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I have been curious about the whole butane tank and burner thing. Are the tanks typically steel? and are they welded or silver soldered together? what sort of pressure does the full butane tank have? what do they use for fill valves and burners, are they dyi or purchased? do you do some sort of hydro static test on the tank. seems like a leak could be pretty awesome
 

Steamchick

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Normally Tanks are Commercial items - usually in steel - as that is the best way to ensure Regulations are met. Otherwise there is no way an Insurance Company would cover any claim arising. (They will find every breach of contract to avoid paying-out against claims.).
But there are ways you can make a pressure vessel and get it tested. In the UK the pressure vessel codes - special for LPG apply. But it is cheaper to buy a proprietary tank than certify your own design and get it tested.
Disposable non-refillable small tins are not so cheap - but OK for small boats, etc, Model suppliers have certified small tanks for sale. Larger supplies come in commercially refillable cylinders - so you are paying for the supplier of the gas to provide a safe container. But we use them for barbecues, caravans, industrial gas supplies for gas burners, Houses, etc.
So the industry has many different sizes and shapes we can utilise.
K2.
 

Larry G.

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A number 5 jet is 0.20mm diameter. - That is 0.008in. So use your micrometer to measure anything you plan to poke into the jet to unblock it. Then think again and don't even do that! - Read Post #4 above.
I STRONGLY advocate that you clean jets with ultrasonic cleaners, solvents, aerosols etc. as in my post #4 above.
Your local watchmaker will have the best ultrasonic cleaning equipment, generally of pristine cleanliness. Jewelers will usually have the same and also a live steam jet for cleaning jewelry.

Best Wishes for a Happy & Healthy New Year

Larry
 

Steamchick

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I bought a small ultrasonic cleaner for £20 off the interweb.I use water with a splash of washing-up liquid . Cost = nuppence.
K2
 

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