Searching For Vintage Boiler West Coast US

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cyberbadger
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Re: Searching For Vintage Boiler West Coast US

Post by cyberbadger » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:18 am

Lopez Mike wrote:One of the seldom discussed topics (at least in polite company!) is that boilers are a consumable item..
I completely agree. I think within the traction engine community this is not a concept easily stomached. I can understand it - their chassis is the boiler - a consumable item.

BTW -- The ash pan area on Nyitra has real boiler rivetts all the way around - only for visual effect. Only someone who knows steam would notice that they serve no structural purpose whatsoever. :)

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-CB
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Re: Searching For Vintage Boiler West Coast US

Post by RGSP » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:07 am

cyberbadger wrote: I completely agree. I think within the traction engine community this is not a concept easily stomached. I can understand it - their chassis is the boiler - a consumable item.

BTW -- The ash pan area on Nyitra has real boiler rivetts all the way around - only for visual effect. Only someone who knows steam would notice that they serve no structural purpose whatsoever. :)
-CB
Traction engine boilers were constructed a little better than if they had just been boilers though, and are WORTH repairing, where a steamboat firetube boiler would be cheaper and better scrapped and start again. Certainly in the UK there are plenty of traction engines where the boilers show evidence of both major and minor repairs: usually rivetted but sometimes welded - presumably where the boiler was of known steel type.

By the way, button head bolts with allen sockets make quite a good substitute in looks for rivets. Not boilers, but I get a good bit of stuff galvanised, and after galvanising the head recess fills in, and it looks very much like a rivet - on that side at least. A further very minor point is that the galvanising "takes" perfectly well on 104 (A2) stainless, and by some quirk M6 and below bolts are often cheaper in stainless than mild steel.
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cyberbadger
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Re: Searching For Vintage Boiler West Coast US

Post by cyberbadger » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:01 pm

RGSP wrote:
cyberbadger wrote: and are WORTH repairing.
I'd rather see a quality replacement from someone with the skill equivalent to Jonas Stutzman make a replacement instead. Better than the day it the originally was built.
-CB
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Re: Searching For Vintage Boiler West Coast US

Post by TahoeSteam » Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:36 am

Jim,

Funny you should mention working in LNU, my dad and I were coming back from Geyserville today and stopped at an "antique shoppe" in Calistoga. The owner wasn't there, nor were there any phone numbers posted, so I left my card. He has a "display" area of sorts with a 50hp Case in the middle of it and a fenced off area with multiple boilers and engines of different shapes and sizes.. that might be a promising place to search. As other's have mentioned, a lightweight casing with frivets (fake rivets) and a watertube or modern VFT inside is another good option.

My dad worked for CDF for 30 years also... in the words of Hank Jr., "It's a family tradition..."
~Wesley Harcourt~
Check out the steamboat videos on my YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/c/wesleyharcourtsteamandmore
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Re: Searching For Vintage Boiler West Coast US

Post by fredrosse » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:14 pm

......"By the way, button head bolts with allen sockets make quite a good substitute in looks for rivets.'......

In my view, fake things should not be used in the building of things, be they historic or not. I understand that getting real rivets on a boiler is very difficult, and virtually all newly made boilers will be of welded construction. I somewhat understand the reasoning behind using fake rivets on a traction engine boiler, the boiler being somewhat a centerpiece of this historic machinery.

A recent fad in the USA, overhead garage doors, with fake colonial iron hinges pasted on the exterior, as if the garage doors will swing like doors of older times. Yuk!

I put an addition on our house, and had to pay about 5x the going price for a simple double hung window. The same size window, with fake mullions over double pane low energy glass, was about $300, vs. having windows made with real mullions and single thick glass, $1500 each. Granted, this is extreme, but I wanted to keep true to the historic (1693) properties of the building.

I understand we are all entitled to our opinions, just my "2 cents" worth.
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Re: Searching For Vintage Boiler West Coast US

Post by Ethelred » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:29 pm

......"By the way, button head bolts with allen sockets make quite a good substitute in looks for rivets.'......

That's very true, particularly when replacing pop-rivets.
I'm making a new shell for a two-drum water-tube boiler and a row of stainless, socketed button-head bolts holding the stainless sides on, will look the dogs...
And a copper strip round the top edge will be fastened using studs and brass dome-head nuts...
Bling 'em on!
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Re: Searching For Vintage Boiler West Coast US

Post by Mike Cole » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:31 pm

Ethelred wrote:......"By the way, button head bolts with allen sockets make quite a good substitute in looks for rivets.'......

That's very true, particularly when replacing pop-rivets.
I'm making a new shell for a two-drum water-tube boiler and a row of stainless, socketed button-head bolts holding the stainless sides on, will look the dogs...
And a copper strip round the top edge will be fastened using studs and brass dome-head nuts...
Bling 'em on!
This is what I did in making my watertube boiler. Looks OK
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Re: Searching For Vintage Boiler West Coast US

Post by RGSP » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:39 pm

Fred,
i agree completely with you about fakes, such as your door example. When I mentioned button head bolts, it was in the context of the things in the following picture from last week:
Image
They're tree guards, which stop my sheep eating my trees, and are both tough and ornamental at the same time. The first batch I made, about 10 years ago, were assembled using cold rivets (which I can buy fairly easily), but the hole tolerances need to be tight, and frankly the assembly is a pain. The ones you can see use M5 button head bolts, with 5.5 mm clearance holes, so the whole assembly becomes trival, especially using a cordless driver. Nuts are clearly visible on the inside of the guard, but there's no doubt the button heads look better than hex heads, and as I said, especially after galvanising, which fills the hex sockets in. I'm not trying to fool anyone, just achieve something which works well, and looks pleasing.

Now you've got me going, my house dates from 1480 +/- 10 years, and has 31 windows. Most of them were replaced in the 1960s, and were in poor condition by 1986. So... I bought unseasoned local oak, gave it 5 years to season, cut it, planed it and put mouldings on, and then assembled new windows which are in the style of 1550, except I used a power tools where possible, and also used modern waterproof glue. I claim they're not fakes, but very practical and beautiful things. I didn't go for the 1480 style, although there are several originals preserved effectively inside the house walls, because it was pre-domestic-glass, and they used thin animal skin for glazing, or left them unglazed and just slid wooden shutters across on the upwind side of the house, and I do like a comfortable house!
Likewise the actual glazing is all of multiple 3" x 5" rectangular panes within the larger apertures, held together with lead strip - over 2,000 of the little brutes, and all cut and soldered together by me, like the originals. However, I used horticultural glass, because it has more defects and colour variation in it than window glass, and to my mind looks interesting; I also used a long-life polysuphide compound for sealing the glass to the lead, because the original stuff used pig fat, red lead and a bit of arsenic, which is 'orrible, and doesn't last very well either. Now the glass and the sealant wouldn't fool any expert for more than seconds, and were used because they work very well, and are available easily and at an affordable price. Are they fakes? Again, I would say no, because the intention is to achieve something which works well primarily, and secondarily looks aesthetically pleasing.

The criterion I mainly use when deciding whether to use modern materials and methods is "would the original maker have used my newer techniques if he had them available"? That isn't the whole story, of course, and in some cases it's appropriate to get materials and use techniques as close as possible to the originals, but not always.
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Re: Searching For Vintage Boiler West Coast US

Post by fredrosse » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:53 am

RGSP, excellent work, glad you keep after the historical aspects of your property, and make things that are authentic.

When I built the boatbuilding workshop (wanted to build the boat in our two car garage, but wife Katharine insisted on keeping CARS in the garage!!??), I installed a common overhead garage door, insulated, so heating the shop is possible. Since the property is so old (at least in the USA 1693 is considered old) I built heavy duty old style doors , with real hand forged hinges outside of the overhead door. Now we can keep the Zombies out when the time comes.
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Re: Searching For Vintage Boiler West Coast US

Post by RGSP » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:55 pm

I've been asked to post a photo of the house, which is below. The water in front is part of the moat, the sheep are part of our Texel flock, and the dog is the late lamented "Ash", who got a very agressive lung cancer 3 years ago.
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