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Wilesco D16 Steam plant

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Andrew Tinsley26/06/2020 16:31:00
1611 forum posts

I was given this some 30 years ago. The boiler was modified and used in a model steam launch. The person concerned didn't use a safety valve in this modification. There was a spectacular boiler explosion and the launch sank!

So I have everything except the boiler and my steam mad grandchildren are pestering me to make another boiler, so they can play with it. I was going to make a Mamod style boiler, until I saw a photo of the complete D16. The boiler has a large glass window in the "firing end" and appears to be made of tinplate ( which I doubt!). The large diameter glass window has quite thrown me and I am intrigued as to how that all hangs together.

If anyone has a D16 I would appreciate some good photos and also what the boiler material is (brass?). I would like to make a reasonable replica of the original boiler. If I can't find out sufficient details, I shall just have to make a Mamod equivalent.

Thanks,

Andrew.

Paul Kemp26/06/2020 20:39:55
723 forum posts
27 photos

Andrew,

If you are going to use a glass (Pyrex or similar) window you might want to ensure you use only demin or soft water or it will scale up and be pointless.

Was that the soft soldered boiler in the boat that exploded in the other thread?

Paul.

Andrew Tinsley26/06/2020 21:03:05
1611 forum posts

Hello Paul,

Yes it was indeed that boiler that exploded. I watched the fiasco from the shore. I never actually saw the boiler, only the steam launch in full flight. Fred told me that he had soft soldered the place where the gauge glass had been. Only now, some 30 years later, do I understand what he meant by this, having seen seen a photo of the boiler!

I have now found that Wilesco still exist and they have an agent in this country (Forest Classics). It would seem that I can buy a boiler for the Wilesco at a reasonable price. The photos of the boiler look as though they are stainless. If that is the case, I am not sure what Fred had soft soldered and I shall never find out as he died at the turn of the century.

The explosion was quite quite shattering, bits of steam launch flying in the air! Fred had used a butane fired heater and no safety valve, what the pressure was when the shell let go is mind boggling. I thought that it would be a quiet afternoon watching the launch chuff around. I didn't think for a minute that he was a lunatic.

Andrew.

Paul Kemp26/06/2020 21:28:05
723 forum posts
27 photos

Andrew,

i don't think the boilers are stainless, some of the blurb suggests polished nickel plating but looking at a video the bling looks like a cover especially round the whistle and safety valve. I don't have any Wilesco products so can't speak with any authority but I would expect the boiler to be copper under the skin. Was quite surprised by the quoted operating pressure of "about 1.5 bar" almost double what you would expect on a Mamod.

Paul.

Cornish Jack26/06/2020 23:40:00
1219 forum posts
171 photos

Paul - if this is the full workshop layout with lineshaft tooling etc, I have one ... somewhere! If nobody else sorts it first, I'll go 'on safari' in (for?) the next couple of days to find it. " I may be some time ..."

rgds

|Bill

Cornish Jack29/06/2020 16:40:55
1219 forum posts
171 photos

Andrew (got the name right this time!!) - Back from the 'jungle' and located the Wilesco. Mine is the D 141 Steam Plant. Haven't seen it for a while but I would have thought the boiler/steam plant would be common across the range. If you think this is suitable for the dimensions you want, let me know what is required.

rgds

Bill

Andrew Tinsley29/06/2020 17:09:12
1611 forum posts

Hello Bill and co,

I seem to have screwed up with my last posting, so here goes again. Apparently Wilesco is still in business and they have a main agent here in UK. After an inquiring email, I found that virtually every spare was available. The boiler is only a little more expensive than buying the raw materials, so I will go with that.

I really must apologise for not making sure that the message had been posted. Quite why the post disappeared I really don't know. I am very embarrassed that Bill dug out his Wilesco plant and is offering me some dimensions. Thank you for that Bill and very sorry you were troubled for nothing.

At least the grandchildren will get their hands on the plant, sooner than if I had to make the boiler!

Thanks to everyone,

Andrew.

Brian G29/06/2020 18:06:52
845 forum posts
38 photos
Posted by Paul Kemp on 26/06/2020 21:28:05:

Andrew,

i don't think the boilers are stainless, some of the blurb suggests polished nickel plating but looking at a video the bling looks like a cover especially round the whistle and safety valve. I don't have any Wilesco products so can't speak with any authority but I would expect the boiler to be copper under the skin. Was quite surprised by the quoted operating pressure of "about 1.5 bar" almost double what you would expect on a Mamod.

Paul.

Hi Paul

The boilers are soft soldered brass, either in a polished finish or nickel plated. It isn't unknown for the sight glass flange to come adrift if the boiler runs dry (when I tried to fix one where this had happened I didn't realise it was made this way and tried silver soldering. I burnt straight through it with a propane torch)

Soldering, polishing and plating the boilers starts at about 3:38 in this video

Brian G

Cornish Jack29/06/2020 18:17:26
1219 forum posts
171 photos

Andrew - good to hear you were successful on spares. No problems with the workshop rummage - well overdue and it's amazing what you find - things long since faded from memory!!

Your grandchildren are very lucky!

rgds

Bill

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