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Wood - and coal fired vertical boiler

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Some weeks ago I bought in the net an old riveted copper boiler for wood and coal. The boiler misses water gauge, safety valve and manometer - this parts I ordered. On monday I made a pressure test with warm water until 6,5 bar - absolute tightness! The riveted copper parts are sealed with a alloying of tin and plumet.
Yesterday I made a steam test with gas burner until 4 bar, at first the safety valve was a little leaking, but was no problem to seal.
Tomorrow I will heat with wood - we will see the result. I think, this will give an interesting steam plant in combination with an steeple engine like Stuart`s James Coombes.


True an old treasure  :trophy ....will make a superb smoky source of steam for a stationary steam plant with spinning governer

There are many examples on the WEB and always seem to attract a gathering at displays ...

Does the boiler shell have any reference marking or registration numbering?

Derek  :beer

Hi Derek,

I don`t know anything about the history of the boiler. There is no reference marking. The kind, like fire- and ashdoor and also the rounded ashpan are made, leads to the the conjecture, that the boiler was manufacted and is not a singular built. At first I supposed, that the boiler was made in England, but the threads were metric - thread of water gauge is M 8 x 0,75.
Perhaps one of our members knows more about this discovery?


Today afternoon the first steam up with scrap - plywood. In the beginning I had to take care, that the fire don`t extinct - there should be some small holes in the firedoor for the air. After some pressure was availiable, one can use the steam blower, what was very effective. After 20 minutes 4,5 bar pressure was reached. The blower gives a strong draught, without it would be difficult to reach higher pressure. Unfortunately I didn`t have any anthracite coal - probably the the fire will be much stronger.

So I suspect the copper outer is a decorative shell, and the actual boiler is contained within

The boiler itself is also probably of riveted and caulked construction

Depending on the age/year period of manufacture, the boiler may have been lagged with an asbestos material or even with wood lathes over the asbestos

Do not be concerned with the word asbestos, as it is contained/dormant and of no consequence or harm

In one of the images we see a different red/purple patina on the outer shell, so little children must be aware  :ranting

When you turn the boiler on its side or upside down and remove the ash pan, do you see the actual boiler shell endplate and vertical fire tubes?...are there signs of silver soldering of the tubes to the tubeplate?

Another feature of such model vertical boilers was a reinforcement ring plate, riveted to the actual boiler shell approx mid position. This plate also had the mirror image of the tube bank pattern, so provided additional shell reinforcement against diameter expansion ballooning and also maintained the boiler tubes straightness

This form of construction would have been the only way to clean the boiler tubes of the build-up of carbon black together with bituminous crud that held the carbon & set like tar......or clinker

You are certainly correct that the calorific value of 'coal' is near x 2 of 'timber' 

Would suggest you don't plan on doing a boiler tube de-coke on the loungroom bone carpet  :nono



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