730 Gets a Boiler

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:20 pm

Getting Plumbed...

Have to say, didn't think the discussion about burner refurbishment would morph into a combustion discussion. This is a subject where there's more involved than simply lighting the fire, kicking the tires and waiting for steam pressure. Expect this discussion will continue, but I'll move on.

Once the boiler was back on the frame, there were (2) screws that held the boiler to the lower half of the split smoke box. The upper half was fitted and determined (2) additional screws were now needed...quite possible because the smoke box was slightly out-of-round. But, the upper half of the smoke box had to wait until the cylinder delivery pipes were installed.

IMG_0965.JPG

As I hooked up the blower and delivery pipes, Honest Dave came by and said..."You're not going to leave THAT as is, are you?" Sometimes it's nice to have another opinion (or critic). Uh...okay, I'll replace the slightly twisted cylinder pipe. Don't think that made a difference before. So the "offending" piece of tubing was replaced with some damaged flare fittings. Okay Dave...happy now? Due to the tight tubing turn, think there was still a slight crease in the tube.

IMG_1006.JPG

Mentioned previously how some boiler jacket check valve holes had to be elongated to get the check valves to thread into their respective bushings. Went back with the curved fender washers and some model hex screws to cover the unsightly hole openings. In keeping with other boiler trim, stainless screws were used.

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And when the injector delivery pipe check valve was installed, here's how this looked up close and personal...

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Work then turned to the other end of the boiler...the steam turret. Originally, the turret was built with a flange mount. Was difficult to access some of the (6) socket head screws that held the turret in place. The new boiler could be fitted with a 1/8" or 1/4" npt bushing. Since it's easier to "bush down", a 1/4" bushing was provided. Bigger was better in this case. From there, a reducing bushing was installed along with 1/8" pipe nipples and a 1/8" npt union provided by HDS -shop #2. Wanted to make future turret removal easier if that ever had to be done. Took a while to find the right combination of fittings...with the determining factor being the alignment of the blower pipe thru the boiler stay.

IMG_0971.JPG

While the turret might look like the opening scene to Monty Python's flying circus...we all get accustomed to the valve arrangement in due time. For the Rutland, the stop/isolation valves and branches from left to right are:
- steam powered water pump
- ejector valve (used for loco "parking" brakes)
- pressure gauge (on top of turret)
- blower
- whistle feed (on top of turret)
- injector

Finding the right combination of fittings to fit the pressure gauge in its original location was a challenge. Found an arrangement that was as compact as possible and not too gangly looking. Ended up with a back mount pressure gauge, a 45 deg elbow and a 3/16" tubing compression fitting.

IMG_1024.JPG

Next section...when the boiler was pressurized to check fittings for leaks...a few too many leaks were identified for comfort. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

James Powell
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by James Powell » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:00 pm

Ok- so from a full sized prospective, with oil fired boilers, the way we treated the fireside was to leave the last 12 hours of soot ON the boilers if they were going to be dry. If you know that the fireside is going to get wet, then you want as little as possible there. It's also the reasoning behind problems with condensing NG and Propane boilers in houses, and why the exhaust line has to be plastic in that case, rather than metal. It is mostly a SO4 related problem, rather than a NOx related problem (Sulfuric rather than Nitric acids).

Firing Natural Gas at work, we just turn the burners off...but we don't blow soot either, as there practically isn't any.

Moderately well understood in the heating world, anyway...

I suspect that propane fired boilers are more suseptable to fireside corrosion due to the lack of a layer of soot forming on the plates, therefore the sulfuric acid attacks the plates directly, rather than having what amounts to a dessicating layer between the plates and the SOx. I'd also be suspicious that the problem shows up as faster fireside corrosion than waterside, because propane boilers tend to be used (and cycled) more than coal. At least from where I have seen, there are not that many 7.x gauge coal/oil fired locos out there.

Perhaps like Jos, there is another PhD in this for someone...but not for me...

James

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makinsmoke
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by makinsmoke » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:14 am

That's an Allen smokebox, but not an Allen exhaust casting.

Any idea what was used for the exhaust?
Tks,
Brian

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:44 am

Brian...good question. Don't know where the stack came from. Can only think (1) of two places: Mercer or Railroad Supply. The tender tank is fiberglass which I believe was a Railroad Supply product...trucks are RRSC as well.

Pete Bialecki did NOT want a stock looking Allen Models 10-wheeler. He offset the center driver (a Rutland practice) and made his own outside Wahlschaerts valve gear to replace the usual inside Stephenson valve gear. The boiler...need I say, a tapered "looking" boiler instead of a straight "looking" boiler...but if you saw the earlier photos, the boiler is indeed a straight boiler under the jacket and insulation.

The Rutland has been a good/reliable loco to run. While most of the loco has been "touched" at one time or another for rebuild or improvement, the valve gear has not been touched (yet)...other than make new pivot point pins. The Rutland is easy to operate and just keeps going and going. Allows me at times to sit back in the seat and hang my feet over the top of the cab and listen to the loco work up the grades. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:57 am

James...interesting background info. Yes, I remember from my days working with colleagues testing the company high temperature (1800 deg F) pollution control systems. The guys always had to test for destruction efficiency, but in some states had to test for NOx and SOx emissions. The CA South Coast District was particularly picky. They didn't want to accept test instrument readings that showed 99.5% destruction efficiency. By boss walked over and pulled the sample probe out of the exhaust stack...and the reading went UP! This, to show the test inspector...the exhaust air coming out of the oxidizer was cleaner than the ambient air quality South of LA. Believe the inspector left after that.

Would agree that coal/oil soot on the firebox walls might provide some insulation with regards to the trace amounts of NOx or worse, SOx in the firebox. But applying coal/oil soot in a propane fired firebox while possible, is not so practical. The coating on the heat surfaces also reduced thermal efficiency. Same for soot on flues.

Burner cycling? Would like to think you're referring to firing rates up and down. There are some coal burners that probably are fired as often, if not more than the Rutland. But I can say from the old Rutland boiler...experienced a crown sheet failure. Whether by acidic degradation on the fire side and/or the water exposure on the wet side...there was evidence the crown sheet and side walls had de-laminated. Will be sharing old boiler photos at the end of this thread.

Q: was boiler rated steel used for the old boiler barrel and firebox? I doubt it. Would using a boiler rated steel barrel and firebox have made any difference? Dunno, don't have that kind of background. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:26 am

Still getting plumbed...

Holes and ports in the boiler were slowly getting closed/filled. Time to turn my attention to the steam turret. Without appliances hooked up to the turret, was able to pressurize the boiler and use soap solution to check for leaks. Was VERY surprised at the number of bubbles showing up.

The turret was removed and taken home to continue work on leak closure. The only other time I can remember pulling the turret was when the original steel flues were replaced with copper flues in 2005...and the boiler was stripped for that repair. With the Rutland still at HDS -shop #2, got another 1/8 npt union and used that to mount a pressure gauge where the turret used to be...and kept working on the loco.

Back home, grabbed a piece of scrap aluminum and made a mounting block for the turret. 1/8" npt hole top side to mount the turret using the OTHER half of the union the pressure gauge was mounted on (flexibility is nice). Drilled a cross hole in the side of the alum block for a commercial air quick connect. Now, the turret was set up on air for leak repair.

IMG_1028.JPG

All totaled, there were some 20+ leaks in this plumbing nightmare. Made a quick sketch of the turret and piping to mark where the leaks were located. Found leaks as far back as the stop valve pipe nipples on the turret. Yikes...do you know how many pipe joints would have to be broken to get to the turret? My solution...I fluxed it! Turned the turret so it was horizontal. Applied more than enough flux around the pipe nipple joint. Got out the propane hand torch and some 400 deg F silver bearing solder and flowed a heavy fillet around those joints. Repeated same around some of the pipe plugs in the turret. Was successful in closing those leaks. When I was done...

IMG_1058.JPG

Now, ran into a problem using Loctite 567 a Teflon based pipe thread sealant on the threaded pipe connections. Discussed this some time ago on Chaski. Don't know if the tube of material was old...OR...should have kneaded the tube to mix the contents before dispensing the thread sealer. Either way, this was a typical problem...

IMG_1019.JPG

This is the upper water glass leg. Don't know how many times these few fittings in a distance of 5 to 6" were removed and re-installed. In the end, was given some Permabond LH050 from KRC who was told about this stuff by a contract pipe fitter. The contractor's company would not get this for the guys...too expensive. Cost about $50-60 for a 250 ml jug. Recently found smaller sized tubes are available for a lot less.

lh050_-_350ml_1.jpeg

Every time Permabond was spread on the threads and the pipe joint screwed together...there were no leaks! I was sold. Permabond is an anaerobic Teflon based pipe thread sealant. Like many Loctite products, this material "cures" in the absence of oxygen.

When all the turret leaks were resolved, exposed pipe threads were masked and open pipes plugged and the entire turret glass bead blasted one last time before being mounted on the boiler one last time.

And then, something interesting showed up. While checking all the plumbing on air, thought I would do a sight glass check. Just had to listen for escaping air. OR...when both water glass valves were closed and the drain open...there should be NO air. Found the lower water glass isolation valve would NOT close! This not be good...and had been on the loco this way for 23 years...and never realized this. The valve steam and handle were removed. Believe the stem had a 10-32 thread. Ran a die farther down or up the stem shaft and re-installed. NOW...I could close the lower boiler water gauge connection.

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Lastly, the appliance connections were made up. All union connections were checked for leaks. Some needed a little tightening. Others, had to remove the union halves and apply Permabond to the threaded pipe connections and then...no more bubbles.

IMG_1011.JPG

Slowly but surely, the Rutland is starting to look like her old self. Next time, I'll get into the cab...whoops...I'll get to working on the cab. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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makinsmoke
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by makinsmoke » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:50 pm

Thanks for all of this Carl. I am leaning a lot!

By the way, the bent washers...
Many boiler check valves are attached with flanged connections to the boiler. Your washer trick replicates that look quite well. Using four screws versus two would push the look even further! I may have to try that myself.

Of course Barry sold the real thing in our scales but at some point you have to save a few francs for Cher chez le Femme..

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pat1027
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by pat1027 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:52 pm

In the pictures of the firebox bubble test the sheets look really corroded. Marty says he's seen other propane fired locomotive with heavy corrosion on the fire side. It's indeed a curious point.

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:49 pm

Brian...glad to read some of this is helping you (or anyone else for that matter). As such, don't mind investing the time doing such write-ups.

As for the fender washers...basically, two screws were easy-er to set in place than four. With four screws...have to put those at 45 deg angles with respect to the hole. Else, one screw ends up behind the check valve inlet or other piping. It's basically a decoration, therefore wasn't worth the extra stainless screws (which have a nasty habit of falling on the floor and disappearing)! Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:53 pm

Pat, noticed the side sheets of the firebox as you indicated when I was showing the relative position of the arch sheet above the burners...and below the crown sheet. Is that good or bad? Well, rust can't ever be good, but after what I saw on the old Rutland boiler...I might still be more concerned about what I CAN'T see.

Wish there was some kind of coating (other than soot) that could be applied to the firebox walls...that could withstand the flame temperatures without peeling or flaking and still provide heat transfer. If anybody out there has some ideas...please share. Might be worth investigating.
Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:52 pm

ccvstmr wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:26 am
...Was VERY surprised at the number of bubbles showing up...All totaled, there were some 20+ leaks in this plumbing nightmare.
More work in plugging up the leaks than in R&Ring the boiler. :D
—————————————————————————————————
I'm an old guy. What's your excuse? ☻

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:34 pm

...sorry guys. Weekend annual meet last weekend. Long days...short nights (but that's another story). Time to get back on track here. As we near the end of the new boiler installation and loco overhaul, there's a few details left to cover. With that...

Call a cab...

Suspected going into this, with the new boiler and better insulation, would not be able to fit the cab front wall over the boiler. Wasn't disappointed. Got out a rounded rasp file and started removing aluminum. It was slow going, all the while trying to match the front cab wall with the boiler. Sometime after a nice pile of aluminum shavings were on the bench, Honest Dave comes over and says..."Do you know the cab is pitched downward?" Well no...'cause this is that happens when you get up close and personal with something. Okay, so the cab looked like the back end of a jacked up Chevy. Not only that, the cab was pitched so far down, couldn't even open the front cab doors (need to open those doors for ventilation...ha!) and there was a substantial gap between the top of the boiler and cab wall.

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First things first...after trying several different thickness of shims, found a 3/16" shim/riser was needed to raise the cab floor under the cross brace. Made a couple spacers from aluminum scrap. Slots were milled to span the frame plus the brake rigging hangers on the bottom...and whatever width was needed on top for the cab floor cross brace....with 3/16" left between the bottoms of those slots. After sand blasting and painting, a bead of JB Weld was put down in the top slot only (didn't want to glue the shim in permanently), the cab floor raised and the shims installed. Let the cab floor settle down on its own.

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Next, Honest Dave to the rescue once again (geez, he made a lot of extra work...and rightly so. Helped make the loco look much better). He suggested making a new fascia plate or false front for the cab wall. Knowing the diameter of the boiler, insulation and jacket, sheared a 1/16" thick piece of aluminum sheet and started to lay out the opening for the boiler.

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Eventually, cut out the opening for the boiler...realizing this might need some "adjustment" later on. Cut out slots for the door hinges using a nibbling tool. Side note...it's amazing what you see after the fact. As I was looking at these photos, wondered WHY I left those slotted round head screws in the door hinges? Best I leave well enough alone for now and move on.

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Decided to cut the aluminum sheet off at the top of the lower hinge. Wasn't enough material to run the fascia down to the running board around the lower hinges. Figured I'd spot the holes for the handrails later on.

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Using the handrail stanchions as a guide, ground the end of a steel rod to a point and passed the rod thru the stanchions on the larger boiler diameter stanchions. Tapped the end of the rod to imprint a prick mark on the fascia. Repeated on the other side of the boiler. Removed the rod and fascia. Drilled the fascia for something around .173" and de-burred. Drilled the rest of the mounting holes for the 2-56 hex head model screws around the perimeter of the fascia plate and tapped those...all they while praying the tap wouldn't break (it didn't).

Some may ask...why .173" diameter handrail hole? Well, the original handrails were made with .125" OD aluminum tubing. The handrail on fireman's side is used to pass a wire for headlight power. That wire had to be cut and spliced each time the hand rail was removed from the boiler. Don't recall if that was Teflon insulated wire or not...but didn't want to cut/splice the wire anymore.

Found some stainless steel tubing at McMaster-Carr with a .135" ID...large enough for a wire with shrink tubing splice and .165" OD. Bought (3) 36" lengths...AT $20 EACH! Then thought, why not use 5/32" stainless rod for the engineer's side handrail...doesn't need tubing there. So, now have (2) spare tubes should someone decide to lean on the hollow handrail. Have a couple extra stainless solid rods as well.

Holes in all the stanchions were opened to .173" (#17 drill). That was about the largest hole I could put in the stanchion ball without separating the ball. This allowed the rod and tubing a little extra room to slide thru the stanchions and navigate the offset for the tapered boiler. With the loco covered in stainless trim, didn't have to worry about scratching a painted handrail during installation. Had a few stanchions where the old threaded stud was removed. The stanchion based drilled and tapped for 5-40 thread rod studs.

Next time, the cab gets some cosmetic TLC. Naturally, nothing is easy when trying to save time and maybe cut corners. Will be back...Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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