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Just Done Something Stupid!!

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Brian H05/03/2019 16:40:36
1175 forum posts
86 photos

I can't believe I've done this but... I've just silver soldered the steam collector pipe into my boiler shell, without drilling some holes or putting in some hacksaw slots to let the steam in!!!!

I'm working out how to save the day but (almost) any suggestions welcome.


Lambton05/03/2019 16:57:36
675 forum posts
2 photos


I cannot help you with advice on the particular problem you have, however please rest assured that we have all made stupid mistakes at some time or other and lived to tell the tale.

My old Dad, long gone now, was a time served toolmaker used to say to me " the man that has never made a mistake has never made anything"

Good luck.


JasonB05/03/2019 17:12:49
15752 forum posts
1647 photos
1 articles

can you reheat and pull the pipe out?

Jeff Dayman05/03/2019 17:13:46
1559 forum posts
37 photos

Hi Brian, sorry to hear about your "whoops". We've all had them.

For repair - if fitted through the front tubeplate into the boiler space - can you set the boiler up in the mill or drill press and simply bore out the soldered end of the tube? Maybe grab the other end with a clip or some wire through the dome bush hole so you can retrieve the tube fragement?

This would mean making a new steam collector pipe but would pose very little risk to your boiler apart from the second soldering op to solder it in.

Good luck with the repair.

J Hancock05/03/2019 18:24:31
297 forum posts

The risk to be evaluated is how successful will the two reheats be ?

Is there any possibility of introducing steam, from another source , into the tube via a ''banjo' at the backhead ?

Brian H05/03/2019 20:08:39
1175 forum posts
86 photos

I think the saying is... it never rains...

Thank you for your suggestions. I have taken a couple of photos that will answer some of the questions but, needless to say, my camera picks today to pack up!

I'll try again tomorrow to put the pictures on here but your answers got me thinking.

The tubeplate has one end of the offending tube in it, joined to a boss tapped 3/8 BSP. A 1/2" hand reamer just entered and went in as far as the start of the tube. I then used a worn, but newly sharpened on the end only,1/2" end mill, used in a tap wrench, and cut away the tube so that I can see a gap all round it.

I shall then do as Jason suggested and heat up the other end of the tube ( which I had fortunately left oversize) and pull out the tube. Thats the theory anyway. I'll let you know how I got on and hopefully get the pictures on.


Bazyle05/03/2019 23:06:50
4655 forum posts
185 photos

Too late you seem to have attacked it. The 1/2 inch is masses of room to do some remedial operations since it is gong to end up not a pressure pipe. I would have made a 3/8 rod with a little cutter in the end like a boring bar and moved it longitudinally to cut little slots. Doesn't need to be precision.

Brian H06/03/2019 09:07:56
1175 forum posts
86 photos

Thanks for that Bazyle, I'd already thought of something similar but my vertical mill isn't big enough.

Here are pictures of both ends of the offending pipe.

Steam Collector at BackheadSteam Collector at Tubeplate

As described earlier, I've cut the pipe out at the front tubeplate. I'll heat up the pipe at the backhead and pull it out. It will then need just a new bush and maybe a new pipe (with holes in it!).


Martin Kyte06/03/2019 10:04:52
1463 forum posts
24 photos

Purely as an academic question as you have settled on a solution.

What would people think about fitting an additional access bush in the crown. One could drill the required holes in the original steam pipe through the hole and then fit a bush and blanking plug. I don't know how bothered boiler inspectors get about additional bushes. Not very I suspect and of course there needs to be space in which to fit the said bush.

regards Martin

Brian H06/03/2019 10:34:10
1175 forum posts
86 photos

That sounds like a good idea to me Martin. It probably wouldn't be possible on this boiler because there is a 1/4" thick plate on top of the firebox wrapper to locate the two safety valves.


Brian H06/03/2019 15:19:15
1175 forum posts
86 photos

Had a devil of a job pulling the tube out. Finally did it and discovered a silver solder lump on the outside of the tube.


Jeff Dayman06/03/2019 19:03:56
1559 forum posts
37 photos

Glad you got it out Brian. Re the solder lump - always one surprise, eh? Anyway good luck on the re-solder of the pipe WITH THE HOLES IN. devil

Brian H08/03/2019 10:42:09
1175 forum posts
86 photos

Ordered a new piece of tube from Maccmodels around 4.00 in the afternoon and it arrived the following morning strapped to a piece of wood, excellent service!




Edited By Brian H on 08/03/2019 10:42:38

Howard Lewis08/03/2019 18:55:12
2144 forum posts
2 photos

You are away! You will remember and not do it again, unless you're like me!


mark costello 108/03/2019 20:15:44
530 forum posts
12 photos

You are very brave to post Your mistakes, sometimes it seems like if I posted all My mistakes I would need My own forum.

Brian H08/03/2019 20:25:39
1175 forum posts
86 photos

Very kind of you Howard and Mark, although it can be a bit embarrasing to posts mistakes, it may help to prevent a fellow modeller from making the same mistake.


Jon Lawes08/03/2019 20:53:13
313 forum posts

How on earth did you make the holes so regular, I can sit for ages trying to line everything up and still end up with my holes looking like Jackson Pollock drilled them...

Brian H08/03/2019 22:23:49
1175 forum posts
86 photos

Hello John, all done with the magic of a DRO! No (well not much) skill required.


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