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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I'm currently in the planning process of making a simple steam tram in roughly 1:22. I currently plan to use a single cylinder if I can find the right one for the right price, but my real problem is a boiler..I'm not sure what would be best for this project.. alcohol, butane, or even coal fired...So i'm asking for opinions and/or tutorials to help me me along with it..I've NEVER done anything like this before and want to my best.
 

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A few more details might help. You mention looking for a single cylinder, if you find it for the right price. Two questions come to mind. Do you have a rough idea of a budget for this? Are you looking to attempt the boiler yourself, sub contract it out, or use an existing boiler such as one for the Ruby? I have a few british books on boiler making if you want to read up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Budget is undetermined, but trying to be a little thrifty. I plan to build most of it myself(including boiler) since I like creating things like that. I just have never done it before, and don't know where to look,etc...
 

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Here's a suggestion to get you started: Midwest boiler & live steam engine .
I don't believe it's particularly expensive; I think it's somwhere in the range of $160 ~ $250.


There was a small, 4-wheel "logging lokie" designed around this boiler & engine; I believe it was the Bay Area Garden Railway Society that came up with the plans, but unfortunately I can't find the link at the moment.
Since the loco isn't much more than the Midwest boiler & engine mounted on a simple wooden frame with chain drive to one of the axles, it wouldn't be difficult to "kitbash" the basic BARGS design into a "steam tram" configuration.
Tom
 

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I was going to recommend the Midwest steam engines as well. The Heritage model that Tom recommended is already built. There is also the Model VI (item 980) that has to be built from ready-machined parts, but it's really easy. The boiler needs to be soldered-up also, and all parts are supplied. http://www.midwestproducts.com/item_detail.asp?item_id=108

Both of these Midwest engines fire with Sterno. When I built my version of the BAGRS loso I fired it with alcohol by making a simple two-wick alcohol lamp-like affair that was below the loco's deck underneath the boiler. Works great.

Steve
 

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Remembered that I had a photo of my BAGRS loco with the twin-cylinder engine made from Midwest Model VI parts, You can even see one of the burner wicks inside the firebox. The second cylinder is just peaking out from behind the forward engine frame upright. This version of the BAGRS loco has a couple of other mods as well.



Steve
 

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Check out the Coal-Fired Boiler Project posts for some ideas and as Steave has posted some good recomendations I have copied and posted them bellow:

11/28/2008 3:55 PM Quote ReplyAlert
Andrew,

Get a copy of K. N. Harris' "Model Boilers and Boiler Making". It has very complete design and construction info for copper boilers of this size. There's a LOT of design data and calculations but work through them to really understand what the constraints and requirements are for a safe and successful boiler. Harris has a lot of practical advice about the design and placement of the various boiler fittings as well. Several months ago Chris Scott posted in this forum the link to Henry Greenly's 1903 book "The Model Locomotive, Its Design and Construction", and it contains the same boiler design calculations as Harris. I wonder how long the same rules had been around before Greenly published them 105 years ago?

Read every resource you can find and do some "google" research on the internet, especially for the smaller ride-on scales. Kozo Hiraoka's books and articles in Live Steam magazine are gold mines of tips and techniques. This forum has also had boiler fabrication postings with good photos that show how others have done things. Coal-firing has its own requirements (and problems) but all successful boilers for any fuel will share common features.

For a long time before cutting any metal I pestered the experts about design details and design formulae. Shamelessly at steamups with flashlight and ruler I would measure fireboxes, grate areas, and flue tubes (diameter, length, and number of), and then head back to Harris' book to see if the numbers corresponded to his calculations. I must have "finalized" my own design about six different ways in the past few years. For excellent advice about silver brazing techniques I will credit a couple of generous experts in our hobby and the writings of Kozo Hiraoka.

I'm no expert but will try to help as best I can.

Steve

Plus as already recomended check out the BAGRS loco builds,
Regards,
Gerald
 

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Here is a Midwest Boiler and engine I use to build the BAGRS locomotive . It is built of all brass for the frame , and uses a gas burner for heat. The tank is mounted in the left tall tank at the rear. It has a triple reduction chain drive and powers both axles . It has a top speed of 5 Scale miles per hour. Great fun , and an attention getter when it is out running .

If you paste the link into your browser it will take you there. Not sure if this was going to work .

http://i530.photobucket.com/albums/dd344/Charles_MM/ProfMc3.jpg

Charles M SA#74
 

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Dang Charles,

That is one great looking loco. Gotta love the BPE as a jumping off point.
 

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Dark: The very best resource on boiler making is any one of books by Kozo Hiraoka. The best book is the "Climax" book, but it's all metric. His Pennsy A3 is very good too and it's in inches. He shows everything you need to know, step-by-step. His are also the best on fabrication and machine shop practice.


Boilermaking is a lot of fun. I think it's the best part of the hobby. Just start off easy, gain skill, expect some mistakes.


Here's a few shots of a project I did a few years back:















Take care, post some shots of your progress. Bob
 
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