some basic direction regarding boiler making

Discussion in 'Boilers' started by Don Pittman, Mar 1, 2019.

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  1. Mar 22, 2019 #21

    IceFyre13th

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  2. Mar 22, 2019 #22

    packrat

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    There is no way a electric soldering iron is going to heat up much of anything but a wire or two...
    Good thing he did not get hurt.
     
  3. Mar 23, 2019 #23

    Cogsy

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    He used a torch but used electrical solder, not an electric soldering iron. Agreed he was incredibly lucky.
     
  4. Mar 23, 2019 #24

    goldstar31

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    Of course, there is a huge range of melting points just 'electrical solder'. As you say rightly about being lucky.

    Here we go again with the difficulties of being separated by the English language. I seem to have read about hard solder and something that LBSC- Curly Lawrence used for repairing leaks in silver soldering boilers and called Comsol.

    Perhaps someone could bring these remarks of mine into the 21st Century. I'm sorry but I cannot

    Regards

    Norman
     
  5. Mar 23, 2019 #25

    Brian Hutchings

    Brian Hutchings

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    Comsol is a soft solder containing a percentage of silver.
    The problem with using a soft solder on a silver (hard) soldered boiler is that it is not possible to make repairs with silver solder after soft solder has been used.
    Brian
     
  6. Mar 25, 2019 #26

    Entropy455

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    Lead-tin solder is a no-no (i.e. the stuff that melts under 500 degrees F). Silver-braze is the way to go (i.e. the stuff that melts above 1500 degrees F) - it's much stronger. Stay away from the cadmium stuff. . . The cad-free silver-braze is more user-friendly anyway. Note that lead-tin solder will apply with an air-fuel torch, whereas silver-braze requires an oxy-fuel torch.

    Goldstar would have a panic attack at my house. I've got (qty 2) #5 acetylene bottles in the garage, and (qty 3) K-bottles of oxygen. I've also got a 1000 gallon propane tank out back.

    The trick with welding and brazing safely, is to simply not breathe the vapors - and also protect your eyes and skin. Flux is your friend. And always hydrostatically test pressure-vessel fabrication joints to 150% max-working pressure.

    Note that in the US, any boiler operating over 15 psig is considered high-energy, and requires boiler inspection. This includes a dinky model-engine/hobby boiler.
     
  7. Mar 25, 2019 #27

    goldstar31

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    After 6 years of total war and with nowhere to run and then 2 years of service alongside 2 squadrons of Spitfires, I don't get even overly excited. Inevitably, people become disabled, some of us 'war' pensioners.
    The hardest job is to survive after it is all over- when people have forgotten.
    For me, I could weld and solder as far back as 'I can't remember' and simply after I had made my pile by 55 years, I stemmed some inevitable boredom and became a 'manure student' and got double distinctions in City and Guilds and was a Certified welder.

    Certainly, it was fun and a somewhat warm but it was never as demanding as having to start as a kid in a a filthy dirty coal field with no educational chances and try to become a financial success.
    Laughingly my son teases me saying 'Dad, you've been retired longer than you've ever worked'. Long enough to have educated two brilliant children and now four grand children with enough wherewithal to ensure that they , too, will have educational chances that I never got.

    To get there, such things as 'panic attacks' has no place in my vocabulary.

    Norm
     
  8. Mar 25, 2019 #28

    Shopgeezer

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    Norm you are a treasure. My dad chased U boats on destroyers in the N. Atlantic after scraping through the ‘30s on a dirt poor farm. Worked himself up to a supervisor on the railroad and raised a snotty brat who did not appreciate your generation as much as I do now. I had opportunities and education only due to the parents I was lucky enough to be born to, a responsibilty I felt compelled to pay forward to my kids (and now grandson).

    I am a member of the Commonwealth Air Training Museum. We restore WWII training aircraft to flying condition. Got 5 up and another just about done. We have a field day every year and the artillery museum brings out the old stuff. Walking among this equipment I can only imagine what you guys went through.

    Long life and happiness to you Norm. You and your generation earned it.

    Don
     
  9. Mar 25, 2019 #29

    goldstar31

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    Thanks Don especially for an insight in what you and your friends are doing. I got a lump in my throat to recall that you had a brace of old Ansons. We had a flight of the dear old things -12 and 19's some of which still had wooden wings. I smiled to recall the shock of my lot finding that somewhere somehow people had been flying with a rudder which had been peppered with gunfire, patched up and still worked for so many years.
    Well RAF 31 Squadron( The Goldstars) had their 102 year anniversary whilst the new boys had their more formal 100! We were a cavalry mob and the good old book instructed that 'An airmen had to sleep with his horse'

    So there's two of us left from the Cold War or whatever it was. Johnniie was a National Service 'LAC Leading Ablution Cleaner or Leading Aircraftsman on Spitfires and Percival Proctors whilst I was a Sh1t corporal always on the fiddle. The proper airforce had gone to the Berlin Airlift whilst 'we' sort of kept the rest of us callow youths in some semblance of order!

    Really, it's all a pack of lies but no one will believe what really went on. The two of us will ring each other up on the Queens Birthday the 21st April to recall the deaths of three of our comrades a mere 70 years ago. One pilot had lost all his brothers over Germany whilst the other had trained on Ansons and then survived the War on Mosquitos.

    So revere your sailor Dad. It was a rough but forgotten time. I was privileged to be in Halifax NS a few years back. My son in law was doing heart surgery there with my daughter doing dentistry and I stood by the memorial to the Navy lads which overlooks the bay- and felt rather proud of those who never made it back to shore.

    Thanks for the memory
     
  10. Mar 25, 2019 #30

    chrsbrbnk

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    "Note that in the US, any boiler operating over 15 psig is considered high-energy, and requires boiler inspection. This includes a dinky model-engine/hobby boiler."
    A fair number of states have an exclusion in their boiler code for model or hobby boilers , with parameters of diameter or pressure or grate size ect. In many of the states with exclusions for models the state inspector won't look at it . Often if you are exhibiting at a show the show's insurance may require someone look at it or often the people who display often will look it over. alot of states have it as if it never leaves your property and is not displayed for money and meets the size and pressure requirements its ok Point is your results may vary look at your states boiler code there are a ton of different terms or descriptions for what we consider hobby boilers look for terms like hobby boiler miniature boiler historical boiler model boiler
     
  11. Mar 26, 2019 #31

    Entropy455

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    Some folks in Washington State got into trouble for operating scaled down steam locomotives (giving kids free rides and such, at tractor shows, and other events). If I remember correctly, they were running the model engine boilers at about 80 psig. They were fined for operating unlicensed (aka uninspected) high-energy boilers. Problem - the locomotives can't pull a load when operated under 15 psig. And to license a homemade boiler, the fabrication welds must be certified (qualified welder, qualified NDT inspections) - in addition to a PE design review of the boiler itself. In even higher energy designs, post-weld stress relieving is required, as well as using pre-certified boiler-rated steel for construction.

    Personally, I would be much more nervous of a neighbor constructing a homemade boiler, than I would him owning oxy-acetylene bottles. . .

    I served in the cold war on submarines. Thankfully it was uneventful. . .
     
  12. Mar 26, 2019 #32

    goldstar31

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    My brief episode was in early in 1950 when HMS Truculent was struck by a ship off Sheerness iin the River Thames and we took a DH Devon C1 out of workshops at RAF Hendon - now the RAF Museum to see what we could do.

    But all this hoohah about bottles and safety on very low pressure boilers was 'Scotched( nice pun if you know boilers) when Abby reminded us all that the poster wanted help in a very small little gadget and - heigh ho, we all wanted to show our knowledge rather than help the guy on his way.

    Well some three years ago my wife died, she was a very capable dentist doing orthodontist and was actually joining wire and clasps with nothing more than a alcohol fed gadget and blowing it up to temperature with nothing more than lung power. She could manage a contra bass clarinet or a bass saxophone in her spare time- but I digress. Me, I'm silver soldering still with nothing more than a single bottle of propane and before all this hit the streets, a freemason called LBSC or Curly Lawrence was writing tomes on how to make model locomotive boilers using a paraffin/kerosene blow lamp.

    So much for what has been deemed necessary! An older generation safely welded boilers with such things.

    So readers, I'm going to move on to problems of lathe alignment and mention my final problems with the failure of teeth after a constant use over 80years

    Meantime, I hope the original poster was not blinded with science
     
  13. Mar 27, 2019 #33

    Brian W

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    Hello, I am new to this forum and just bought three old Stuart steam engine plants. Reading what you guys and maybe gals have built gives me a definite inferiority complex. I am just a tinkerer.

    Each of my newly acquired steam plants has a Stuart 504 boiler and I have some issues with them.

    All three are set up for either steam or compressed air. On one of them the original builder welded a copper tube into the top of the boiler for the compressed air inlet. The copper weld was done off center and is quite sloppy with weld splatter around it. I would like to reverse this and restore the boiler to it's original condition. Looking at the discussion referenced in post #21 I see that welding copper requires pre and post welding treatment to prevent warping and cracking. What is that treatment? Looks like I can't just take this to my neighborhood TIG welder to seal up the hole. I hope to be able to get the tank back to where I could sand & polish the tank and the weld would be both invisible and usable for making steam.

    My other immediate issue is that for some reason the original builder also cut a hole in the front cast iron tank support plate and a notch in the bottom part of the plate expanding the opening. Both done off center and sloppily. The hole cuts through the parts of the cast in fake doors. Why would someone do that? I think this piece is beyond repair, other than brazing a plate over the top to cover the damage which wouldn't look very good but would restore the integrity of the plate. So I am looking for a replacement which seems to be unobtanium unless I buy a whole used boiler. I do have two good pieces that could probably be used as plugs to cast a new piece. Does anyone know someone who could do that?

    I also read the remarks about state regulations concerning boilers. Is that why they do not make this style boiler anymore and why the new ones are so expensive?

    Thanks in advance for your responses.

    PS. The engines are a Victoria, a Beam and a No. 9 and I am thrilled to have them.
     

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