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Rolling a 5" gauge copper boiler barrel

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Peter Simpson 320/03/2022 11:28:29
40 forum posts

Looking to roll a 5" gauge copper boiler !/8" thick copper plate. What rollers would be suitable ? There load of rollers on the Bay. but they only go up to 1.2 mm thickness

Andrew Tinsley20/03/2022 11:54:43
1630 forum posts

You don't need rolls. I simply make a former and bend the sheet around it. You will need to keep annealing the sheet between bends as it will work harden. Fully annealed copper is surprisingly soft and bendable.


noel shelley20/03/2022 11:54:46
1348 forum posts
21 photos

BIG ish ones ! Soft hammer and a round wooden block, anneal as needed ! Easy way would be to pop round to a friendly small engineering works and offer beer tokens, may be a lunchtime job ? Or copper tube at 3mm wall ? Good luck. Noel

Nick Clarke 320/03/2022 12:06:50
1427 forum posts
63 photos

Has your local ME society got some larger bending rolls? - mine has. Where are you approximately in the country?

Dave Halford20/03/2022 14:33:33
2052 forum posts
23 photos

Blackgates do 5" copper tube in 10G.

duncan webster21/03/2022 21:59:34
3989 forum posts
65 photos

LBSC recommended bending boiler shell round a downspout. I don't! I'd take up Noel's suggestion, one anneal will get you from flat to round at 5" diameter. However, if you're aiming for the usual 80-100 psi working, you can get away with 13g for a round shell, more difficult if the back end is opened out for the firebox outer wrapper. If you go down this route take your boiler inspector along with you

Speedy Builder522/03/2022 06:39:56
2613 forum posts
212 photos

If you are looking for rollers, make sure the are "slip rollers" so you can slip your tube off the end once rolled !

Paul Lousick22/03/2022 06:49:46
2043 forum posts
722 photos

Copper sheet is expensive, especially if you stuff it up and have to buy a second sheet. A set of slip rolls is also expensive and a costly ornament if you do not have another use for them.

For a one-off project, best to take the plate to a local engineering business.

Peter Simpson 328/03/2022 18:41:25
40 forum posts

After phoning numerous engineering companies, non of which were remotely interested in doing the work. I have two choices.

Buy flat 3mm sheet and form it round a 4" tube.

Buy 5" diameter 10 SWG tube a cut the relevant triangle out to form the the 4.5" diameter smoke box end.

Sheet is cheaper but tube may be easier.. What the thoughts of the experts ?

Speedy Builder528/03/2022 19:34:08
2613 forum posts
212 photos

I am surprised that (Unless Peter has has a personal message) nobody here has offered to roll Peter's barrel.


JasonB28/03/2022 19:42:59
22751 forum posts
2653 photos
1 articles

Maybe not many members with large enough rolls, and from his latest post looks like it would really want rolls that can do tapers

Simon Collier28/03/2022 20:43:12
463 forum posts
63 photos

I’ve rolled 3 mm copper using large rolls donated to the club. I had to keep annealing it with my 2944 burner. Rolled to 6-1/4” with slight taper. The member who donated them moved away and some time later they vanished. He undonated them! Hardly anyone is going to have rolls big enough. I suggest making a former from stacked plywood disks. With multiple annealings and using hands, hammers and band clamps, it can be done. Buying 5” tube would be so much easier.

duncan webster28/03/2022 21:57:06
3989 forum posts
65 photos

If OP reveals where he is based we might be able to suggest firms we know of

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