While working on the boiler at Local 7's welding school I did some work at home on all the parts that would be needed. On the left is the fresh air intake or the "lungs" for the boiler. It is fabricated from 11 Ga. steel plate. The plate was bought at scrap price of .50 per lb. at a local steel supplier. I picked up a lot of pieces I knew that I would need along the way. Now for a little less typing and more pictures!
The plate was cut to fit around the outside of the boiler. What would I give for a plasma cutter now!
I cashed in a favor at a local sheetmetal shop and had them bend up the fresh air intake. Hopefully sparks from the ash pit would not fly out and set fire to the bottom of the boat.
A piece of 16" was obtained from another friend of mine and was prepped up for the water leg of the boiler. Its getting harder to find the std. wall thickness of 3/8" as a lot of engineers will now allow thinner pipe sizes than 20 years ago. There was a lot of sch.10 and 20 around but I finally located a small piece just a couple of blocks from my house. The 16" water leg was welded on to the tube bundle.
The tube bundle was cleaned up and a piece of 1/2' square was bent around the bottom to make the bottom of the water leg. Sorry, forgot a picture of it but is shown later on.
The water leg was welded from both sides. Most all the welds are now being done with either MIG or Tig welder by a 4th year apprentice who just passed his certification. There's a couple of apprentice's thats helping out and really enjoying the project rather than being stuck in a booth with an old chunk of pipe in front of them!
Next was to cut down the outside of the boiler to the right size. I was pushed out of the way by two eager youngsters wanting to get in on the fun!
Two x-heavy half coupling were welded to the top of the tube sheet. I probably won't use them as they will be under the smoke hood. I'd rather have too many than not enough. These were TIG'ed in place
A 2" thread-o-let was added to both sides of the outside jacket of the tube bundle for visual checking of the tubes as the boiler ages. It is also useful for cleaning out and mud that may lay on top of the tube bundle.
Here's a nice close up of Nate doing his "thing" with a TIG torch and filler rod.
Back home after another night at the welding school. I'm getting ready to tack together the fresh air intake for the boiler from the parts made a couple of days ago. The use of welding magnets help in aligning everything
Everything is now tacked together and going along nicely. In fact too well if you know what I mean!
Since I only have a stick welder I will bring this to Local 7 and let Nate TIG it up for me
In the meantime I'll dig out all the hardware that I've picked up for the boiler. Most of it was obtained over the last 2 years on E-bay with the exception of the whistle. I spent almost a day cleaning and polishing everything. The gauge was taken apart, cleaned, repainted to match my engine. I was lucky to pick-up 12 red-line sight glasses 9-1/2" long for Ten bucks on E-bay and they worked out just fine giving me just the right distance for the boiler.
I had the 2 clean-outs in place and needed to install 15 more thread-o-lets for various reasons. I think that I will have only three that won't have something coming out or going into the boiler. It"s going to look like a Christmas Tree one of the apprentices blurted out!
Well, they didn't take as long as we first thought. I don't think it took much more than an hour for all of them. These were the first two and are for the sight glass. I placed them so if the water was down out of sight I still had an inch of water over the bottom tube sheet.
Here's the last of them being welded up right now. I took me as long to lay them all out as it did to cut and weld them. Either I'm slow or Eric's fast,FAST, FAST