More Progress on the Boilers – and a “Contraption”
We now have all the components to commence the “real construction” of the boilers.
Boilerplate and Steel
As you will recall from earlier posts we have drilled the holes in the steam and mud drums, and ordered the plasma cut 3mm plates for the housings from Ashby Welding in Church Crookham, and (after a lot of searching) ordered the 20mm Boiler Plate for the drum ends – which was eventually sourced from Brown MacFarlane in Stoke on Trent with the very capable assistance of their Account Manager Alan Taylor. So the Landy made another round trip to Hampshire with a good load of steel in the back!
A First Set of Tubes
While in Hampshire Nigel Thomson and I spent a few hours in is workshop making a first set of 5 boiler tubes, so that I could test fit them in the boilers. They all fitted, as the pictures below indicate. So now he and Mark have only 600 or so more to do! (and you can see the plasma-cut end plates from the CAD drawings in an earlier post).
In order to finally fit the tubes a “tube expander” is fitted into the end of each tube and this is wound into the tube to expand it into the drum, and this secures it in place. This requires that we have a mechanism to reach inside the steam and mud drums to screw the expanders into and out of each tube, and also to drive a countersink bit to clean and de-burr the inside of each of the 1,200 tube holes in the drums. We thought of using a right-angle air ratchet wrench to do this, but having tried this out I decided to opt for a more “traditional” chain-driven tool, that Louise immediately christened “A Contraption”….
Here are some pictures and a video of The Contraption with some old bloke demonstrating its use, and showing how well it cleaned up the holes in one half of one of the steam drums.
The pictures below show the effectiveness of de-burring the holes on the right-side of this steam drum (and it was quick too)…