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Best material for smokebox construction

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Peter Venn13/08/2021 08:47:12
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9 forum posts

Is it a given that the smoke box for 5 inch gauge engines should be constructed of 1/16 steel plate or can 1/16 copper be used instead? The smoke box I'm constructing is not a simple round that can be cut from tube, but requires to be formed as a D and copper is easy to mould when annealed. After all copper is used for the rest of the boiler construction as well as the fire box.I would be interested in the thoughts of the experts.

Nigel Bennett13/08/2021 09:01:57
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424 forum posts
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It's not the best material, because 1/16" copper isn't the strongest of metals, especially when annealed. But it takes paint slightly better than brass, and it won't rust!

It will dent or distort very easily, though; if you're forever loading it and unloading it into a small car to run it at a local track every week, then it may well get rather doleful and sad quite quickly - especially if somebody else helpfully grabs the chimney to move it and you get a Leaning Tower of Pisa effect...

But there's no real reason that you shouldn't use it. Good luck with it!

Clive Brown 113/08/2021 09:03:54
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34 photos

The two 5"G. loco smokeboxes that I've constructed have been 1/8" brass, which seems a common material.for that purpose.

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