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Vertical Boiler Fittings

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gary arthur21/08/2019 23:03:00
113 forum posts
286 photos

Starting work on an aluminium outer shell. The idea is to tighten and secure this with three circular brass bands, and to polish it all up to make it gleam:

gary arthur25/08/2019 22:18:57
113 forum posts
286 photos

Unsurprisingly, the holes didn't line up exactly with the bushes when I tightened the shell to the boiler:

So I sketched a circle around each hole concentric with the bush...

... and then removed the shell and opened out the holes using a round file:

The holes are now a bit too big, so I plan to cut pieces of thin aluminium drilled to fit neatly over each bush behind the shell to cover up unsightly gaps through which the insulation would be visible.

Essm26/08/2019 13:28:03
16 forum posts
8 photos

Hi Gary

I'm going to be starting the cladding shortly for my boiler and am also considering aluminium.

Your sheet looks quite thick - can you tell me the exact size please?


gary arthur26/08/2019 13:34:08
113 forum posts
286 photos

Hi -

it's 1 mm thick.

The supplier also had 0.8 mm thickness and I would have preferred that, but he had a small offcut of the 1 mm which he cut to size for me and charged me a fiver.

If I had gone for the 0.8 he would have had to cut into a full sheet which would have cost more. Normally I'm happy to pay a bit more for the right thing, but I figured that in this application 0.2 mm probably wouldn't make a great deal of difference.



duncan webster26/08/2019 13:49:39
2340 forum posts
34 photos

If you can't find any of the ceramic fibre, then cork, balsa wood, or even corrugated cardboard are very effective insulators. The only advantage of the ceramic fibre is that it is not degraded by the inevitable water spillage

gary arthur26/08/2019 13:51:03
113 forum posts
286 photos

Hi Duncan -

I got my ceramic fibre from GLR Kennions. It was pretty cheap.


gary arthur26/08/2019 22:01:57
113 forum posts
286 photos

Following on from the posts above, the following is self-explanatory:

And below, assembled and on its stand. The holes and bushes still don't line up perfectly, and the banding could be tidier, but overall I think it's reasonable and aim to keep going forward. I'm looking forward to seeing how it performs now that it's insulated. I couldn't decide which of the two pics below I like best, so I posted them both:

Edited By gary arthur on 26/08/2019 22:04:00

gary arthur01/09/2019 17:16:58
113 forum posts
286 photos

Sorry about the dreadful picture quality, but you get the idea...

The boiler complete with insulation and outer shell, running the engine on pressurized kerosene. Also ran it on gas and on pressurized alcohol - good results on all counts.

Giving up on the coal idea with this small boiler - that will wait for a bigger boiler in due course smiley.

Just support pillars to make for the gas and alcohol burners and this stage of the project will be finished.

Edited By gary arthur on 01/09/2019 17:17:39

gary arthur04/09/2019 02:17:32
113 forum posts
286 photos
Up and running, and steaming nicely. Almost finished now...

Edited By gary arthur on 04/09/2019 02:18:31

gary arthur08/09/2019 22:18:01
113 forum posts
286 photos

Finally, the three burners of choice for the boiler:

All customised from cooking stoves.

Left: Indian pressurised kerosene burner.

Centre: Pressurised alcohol burner hacked from kerosene pressurised camping stove with the nozzle drrilled out to 1 mm for alcohol.

Right: Gas burner from camping stove.

There is a locating ring fixed to the base of the boiler stand (screwed on from underside):


The ring is superfluous when using the kerosene burner as the burner is self-supporting:

The other two burners, however, drop neatly into the ring, which prevents them from moving away from the central position under the boiler and from toppling over due to drag on the fuel supply tube:

All three burners raise steam effectively, so it's mix and match.

I now consider the boiler to be finished, so - apart from a youtube video on the burners which I shall post in the near future - this thread is drawing to a close.

To everyone who generously offered their addvice (and in particular Duncan, who kindly offered to send me some bits and pieces) - my sincere thanks. Your help has been invaluable.

All the Best,




Edited By gary arthur on 08/09/2019 22:18:41

Edited By gary arthur on 08/09/2019 22:20:03

Edited By gary arthur on 08/09/2019 22:22:55

Edited By gary arthur on 08/09/2019 22:25:38

gary arthur09/09/2019 00:53:34
113 forum posts
286 photos

And finally - to conclude this thread - a video about the burners:

Oce again - thanks for all your help.

Edited By gary arthur on 09/09/2019 00:54:07

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