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Stationary steam engine with reversing link

Graham Industries VR1A

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Brian John02/11/2017 08:01:52
1454 forum posts
579 photos

I have just finished painting and building the VR1A stationary steam engine with reversing link from Graham Industries in the US. It is a fully machined kit and quite cheap. It is not a ''shake the box'' kit but the instructions are very good with lots of helpful photos in the supplied book. I only had one problem with a 2-56 threaded hole which would not accept the screw. Fortunately I had a 2-56 tap on hand to clear things up. (I don't even remember buying that !)  I will post a video of the engine running later. I intend to match it with a suitable size boiler and construct a steam plant but it has to be run in on air for at least one hour. It does run very nicely right from the start.





Edited By Brian John on 02/11/2017 08:06:12

roy entwistle02/11/2017 08:36:00
1118 forum posts

Well done Brian. But if I might make a comment. Change all the round head screws for studs and nuts and it will look a lot better ( It won't run any better though ) smiley


Brian John02/11/2017 09:47:58
1454 forum posts
579 photos

I know but this kit came from the US so all the threads are imperial. I have a good range of metric socket heads but nothing at all in imperial. I was a bit surprised that the kit came with slotted head screws.

NOTE : the imperial fasteners are quite expensive compared to the metric version. I have been looking on ebay.

Edited By Brian John on 02/11/2017 10:49:30

Gordon Tarling02/11/2017 10:49:32
162 forum posts
4 photos

Graham industries does sell a set of hex head bolts for these engines - even comes with the appropriate sized box spanner. Linky

geoff walker 102/11/2017 18:17:30
374 forum posts
145 photos

Hi Brian,

Nice job, looks like it's about the height of a "coke can", would that be right?

I'm currently making a similar sized vertical engine like yours but without the reversing gear.

I've just had a browse through your photos and noticed you have made a couple of small, well made, simple boilers. Presumably these boilers would be good for use with your latest engine. Are they your own design or built from available plans?

I am looking to make a simple boiler in conjunction with the engine, your horizontal one maybe?

Can you give me any info that would help me?

cheers geoff

Brian John04/11/2017 00:48:22
1454 forum posts
579 photos

Gordon : thanks for that. I might order a set of brass nuts next time I place an order with them.

Geoff : the height of the VR1A is 100mm.

Are you asking about the vertical boilers or the horizontal boilers ? They are ''sort of'' my own design made from what I can source from the scrap yard or buy from China on ebay. The vertical boilers are easier to make and produce enough steam for small engines like the one on this thread. I got the idea after building the Midwest Steam wobbler engine and its vertical boiler (no longer available). I scaled it up by about 50% and added a firebox.

The horizontal boilers are more powerful and I found I needed the extra steam pressure to run the Liegende and Danni steam engines. I can give you some dimensions if you need them. I use Mamod safety valves in all my boilers which I buy from the UK.

geoff walker 105/11/2017 14:31:18
374 forum posts
145 photos

Hi Brian,

Thank you for your reply.

I had my eye on the horizontal boiler, should be ok for my engine. Do you have any approximate idea of it's nominal working pressure.

A few main sizes are all I need, diameter and length of the boiler + the height from the center line to the base. I can work all other sizes out from there.

I have a good stock of thin gauge brass for the stand. Where did you get the boiler tube, is it anything special or just large plumbing pipe?

I should be ok to make it but will need to develop some new skills in metal forming and silver soldering + of course acquire the necessary equipment.

cheers geoff

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