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Firebox Side Stay and Boiler Bush Material

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Howard Atkins 112/10/2017 10:51:55
3 forum posts


Should I use phosphor bronze or bronze for the firebox side stays, boiler bush etc. on a copper boiler?


Phil H112/10/2017 11:59:19
132 forum posts
17 photos


Use phosphor bronze because the term 'bronze' can include all sorts of unsuitable alloys.

An alternative is to use copper. For example, many people also use larger diameter snap head copper rivets for the side stays. There are plenty of examples on here/ U tube showing rivets being used as stays.

You could also use copper for the bushes but many people talk about machining difficulties with copper. For some reason, I have never had a problem drilling or machining copper - luck maybe???

If in doubt - you could have a chat with your boiler inspector - I'm sure they would help.

Phil H

Howard Atkins 112/10/2017 16:57:54
3 forum posts

Thanks Phil

julian atkins12/10/2017 20:41:47
1190 forum posts
353 photos

Hi Howard,

There is some disagreement over the following but for boiler bushes such as dome and regulator bushes (large bushes) , and for that matter any smaller bushes, do not use leaded phos bronze. Although some suppliers state their leaded phos bronze is ok to silver solder (eg Colphos) silver soldering a boiler involves long heat ups, and I have heard of all sorts of disaster stories of leaded phos bronze bushes. I have never used leaded bronze and to avoid any confusion have never acquired any.

I have also never used gunmetal castings for bushes.

If you go to a dedicated non ferrous supplier they will cut you off accurate slices of cored phos bronze which saves an enormous amount of machining and cost. I have used C Rees of Cardiff for the last 16 years (which is local to me and I can pop in and select what I want from the racks and shelving) usual disclaimer.



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