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5" gauge boiler rod stays

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John Billard 114/10/2019 14:53:41
73 forum posts

Can someone point me to a 5" gauge copper round top boiler design with rod stays over the firebox?


John B

JasonB14/10/2019 14:58:33
18142 forum posts
1997 photos
1 articles

Should be something in the Australian code book about design as they don't allow girder stays so all have to be rods

This is a 7" dia TE boiler altered to meet Aussie code

John Billard 114/10/2019 15:14:20
73 forum posts

Thanks Jason - that was quick!

John B

John Billard 116/10/2019 12:39:26
73 forum posts

Just to add - I am seeking that Australian Code book - can it be obtained easily?

Thank you

John B

duncan webster16/10/2019 15:42:49
2595 forum posts
34 photos

I got mine direct from the AMBSC, google it. I can't find anything in it which forbids girder stay, but you have to justify them being strong enough. There again mine isn't the latest issue.

As long as girder stays are adequately supported at the ends, and deep enough to take the bending load, I can't see anything intrinsically wrong with them

John Billard 128/12/2019 16:26:28
73 forum posts

Just further to my posts on 5" gauge boiler making I have further questions:

I am happy to follow the treatise by Alec Farmer in his book "Model Locomotive Boilermaking". However noting that this was published over 50 years ago are there any changes or advances in techniques that would be worth considering?

Secondly the book on p 19 refers to oxy acetylene nozzles ranging in sizes between 11 and 18 - is there a modern equivalant to these sizes or are they still the available?

Does anyone have any recommendations about the use of a suitable hearth for this job:?

Thank you in advance for any responses.

Wishing all contributors a Happy New Year and thank you for all the information and amusement over the past year!

John B

Paul Lousick29/12/2019 04:07:01
1417 forum posts
542 photos

My engine has a steel boiler and is built to the AMBSC code with girder stays above the firebox.

I dont have a copy of the code for copper boilers but was told by my boiler inspector that girder stays can be used in a copper boiler provided that they meet all of the requirements in the code. And I believe that they have to be full height (from top of crown to inside of the outer wrapper) and the UK version allows partial height (someone in UK please advise if this is correct).    However, there is a preference to use rod type stays.

The AMBSC code for Australian boilers can be ordered from the Scale Model EXchange SMEX


Edited By Paul Lousick on 29/12/2019 04:56:53

fizzy29/12/2019 09:21:04
1712 forum posts
115 photos

Ive got all Issue 8 2012 - pm me if you want it

IanT29/12/2019 10:08:17
1535 forum posts
144 photos

I work in Gauge 3, so our boilers are smaller than 5" ones, although most are still >3 BL.

The Orange book here in UK really just requires the Inspector to make sure the boiler is constructed in accordance to the given design and it assumes that this has normally been published by the Trade or in the Modelling Press. Where this isn't the case, the "designer" is required to produce the necessary calculations in support of their (new) boiiler design - or if an existing design has been altered or will operate at a higher working pressure.

In terms of the actual build quality, the following guidance is given:

c. Check that copper fireboxes with girder stay arrangements have adequate penetration of silver solder to all joints. d. Check that hollow stays (e.g. for blower) that are fitted by mechanical means have adequate strength and integrity of joints

That's about it I think.



John Purdy29/12/2019 20:12:59
194 forum posts
61 photos

Reference your question about BOC tip sizes, I had the same problem when reading Alex Farmer's book as to the best of my knowledge BOC equipment is not available in this country so quoting tip size numbers means nothing ( my equipment is Liquid Air). But through a post to this forum a couple of members were able to measure their equipment and provide the following actual tip sizes:

BOC tip size     diameter      closest # drill size
#1                    .6mm                 74
#3                   .8                       68
#5                 1.0                       61
#7                 1.3                       55
#10               1.4                       54
#13               1.6                       52
#16            1.8-1.9                    48
#25               2.0                       47
#35               2.4                       42

There is also a chart of equivalent tip sizes for a number of manufacturers here:
Hope this is of some help to you

Edited By John Purdy on 29/12/2019 20:15:42

Edited By John Purdy on 29/12/2019 20:19:09

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