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Horizontal Corliss Engine

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Niloch23/12/2013 23:10:31
371 forum posts

I have just been given a set of drawings on 13 sheets, probably dye-line prints, for a very impressive horizontal Corliss engine model, probably a mill engine. Despite their susceptibility to fade in daylight, all sheets are in extremely good condition. They were drawn by Arnold Throp using Imperial dimensions and Superscale Ltd has been crossed out and replaced by Fleet Model Services. They were produced in March 1981 and all the drawings were 'approved' by a T.Fleet.

The flywheel is 9.75” in diameter with a face of 2” and to include the condenser the engine is about 28” long. It is drawn with a Hartnell Governor. Interestingly the sheet which shows the crankshaft gives five versions:

  1. Shaft for single cylinder engine and all corliss compound.

  2. Shaft for tandem compound with S.V. (Slide Valve ?) L.P. (Low Pressure?) cylinder.

  3. Shaft for cross compound with S.V. L.P. Cylinder.

  4. Shaft for cross compound all Corliss.

  5. Shaft for twin tandem and four cylinder triple expansion, this component in model form is 12.75” long!

It seems likely that the drawings may include details for more than one version, e.g. one sheet includes 'tie-bars for tandem cylinders'.

Is there anything known about this model? Have the words and music appeared in the model engineering press? Are there images of a completed model? Are there castings available? It is way beyond my abilities, even at twice full size, the trip gear and dash pot arrangement looks fearsomely complicated. However, I would find it interesting to know a little more about the pedigree of the model. Thank you.

Pete23/12/2013 23:33:10
78 forum posts

I suspect but don't obviously know for sure that this could be one of the Corliss versions that Southworth Engines sell. Your mention of Arnold Throp seems to ring some bells with me as the original designer of there Corliss valved engines. A simple email to Southworth would no doubt get you a proper answer. Sadly Peter Southworth passed away within the last couple of years, but his company was bought and is being run by I believe a old friend of his.


Phil P24/12/2013 07:29:46
622 forum posts
165 photos

You have indeed got the drawings for a Throp/Fleet/Southworth Corliss engine.

Arnold designed it and built one himself, Fleet Models sold it for a while before Peter Southworth took it on.
I have an original Fleet Models sales brochure showing the different configurations of this engine.

Southworth Engines is now owned and operated by a friend of mine in Sheffield called Bob Potter.
Bob will give you further details of the engines if you wish to make contact:-


01142 818595

Jo06/01/2014 12:51:47
198 forum posts

You should have 16 sheets in the set not 13, so I am not sure which you are missing.

The Throp Corliss engine designs are a simple design and so long as you have access to a lathe/mill/indexing head should present no real problems. Some of the set ups are featured in the second of the Workshop practise series of books, which was written by him.

You will find more information in my cross compound build here: **LINK** It is a big engine: I am not sure where I will store mine once it is complete (or if I will be able to lift it!)


JasonB06/01/2014 13:00:09
17828 forum posts
1949 photos
1 articles

Jo, there were 16 sheets in Niloch's setwink 2

Jo06/01/2014 13:23:39
198 forum posts

Good that means he has the full set: he said 13 in his post. Also do you have the picture of the valve gear and the correction to the goveror.


JasonB06/01/2014 16:17:05
17828 forum posts
1949 photos
1 articles

I'll have a look at them later and let you know.

Niloch06/01/2014 19:36:14
371 forum posts

That Niloch is something of a simpleton, he can't count. No storage space Jo, don't be ridiculous; I'll have it here....................permanently!?!?!?

Simon Walker 328/11/2019 12:11:02
1 forum posts

Hi, I am very new here so forgive me if I ask some obvious questions. I am potentially interested in building a version of the Corliss engine and there seems to be several different sets of designs drawings around. Any feedback and sources of information would be much appreciated.

There is what I would call the "Southworth Engines" version currently being managed through Blackgates Engineering and there may be castings available from Blackgates (I am currently waiting to find out as there contact is away at the moment.) I have found builds based on these designs/castings on the internet.

In addition there is also a set of MEM drawings dated around November 2012, as above I have found engines builds based on these designs.

There is also another set of drawings for a larger scale (dated Feb 2018, 1.5 scaled and in metric dimensions) engine that were in some in some way related to a set of Model Engineer magazine articles in August 1982. Is anyone aware of someone building an engine from these designs?

JasonB28/11/2019 17:51:11
17828 forum posts
1949 photos
1 articles

The larger scale metric drawings by Julius are basically the Thorpe (Southworth) design modified by him for construction without castings. I've not seen anyone build from these drawings so they are best regarded as untested and you may find the odd error, unusual conversion and even dubious fits.

There are also a couple of offerings from Historic Models and Reproductions in the form of the Lane & Bodley and the Green Automatic cut off both are currently being built my members of MEM forum. Coles used to do one but hard to find now and you would be having to pay a premium

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