730 Gets a Boiler

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:59 pm

Cab Refresh...

Figured after 23 years when the loco was originally out-shopped, it was time to "freshen up" the cab. If nothing else, the original pin stripe work was wearing thin from handling. On the cab, engineer's side in particular, from reaching thru the side windows to move the Johnson Bar. Some of the original green paint had chipped off along the cab floor. For now, will just concentrate on updating the cab finish.

IMG_1064.JPG

After the rest of the cab was treated to some fresh paint, found there were parts of the cab needing additional attention. Drats! In the above photo, you can see where duct tape was used to mask the old wooden looking side panels. For the most part, this worked great...EXCEPT around the edges. The duct tape did NOT survive the pounding from the blast. Tried to go back and touch up the wood panel edges with a brush...and that only made matters worse. The surface finish looked like crap. So much for taking a short cut!

IMG_1072.JPG

Used a sanding sponge to "feather" the edges, all around the wood panel. After that, used a shop vac to suck off the sanding dust. Took a shop towel with Naptha to wipe the rest of the residue off. When dry, masked the area AROUND the wood panels. What color? Found out some time ago, the original builder used Rustoleum primer red.

Applied the red primer spray and used one of those 1200/1500 watt box heaters blowing hot air against the cab side...up close and personal...for several hours to accelerate the drying. When this was completely dry, the surface would get a satin clear coat. btw...use the same heater when heating surfaces and adhesive backed vinyl to get surface temperatures up to 100 deg F (nominal) before removing the backing paper and setting vinyl graphics in place. The vinyl lays down easily and smoothly.

Might not see this in any of the photos, but the cab is resting on a couple 3/4 x 3/4 pine strips on top of a laboratory turntable. This made it SO easy to paint one side of the cab, spin the entire structure around around and paint the other side...without having to touch cab. Worked great!

IMG_1074.JPG

When the clear coat was dry, reversed the masking process. This time, masked the wood panels.

IMG_1077.JPG

Thereafter, sprayed the surrounding cab sides with the Rustoleum Hunter Green paint. When dry, got out a small brush and painted the cab armrests with Rustoleum satin canyon black hand...carefully. Installed the original builders plates. And the cab was almost ready for installation on the cab floor.

IMG_1086.JPG

While I don't have any photos of the cab roof, it too was sand blasted...top and bottom. The underside sprayed satin black. When dry, flipped the roof over and painted the top side. This too received red primer and an over spray with clear satin before getting screwed to the cab.

Would also like to point out, the front cab doors were removed (carefully so the screws wouldn't break) and the door edges filed so the door could swing easily and "nest" in the door opening.

Next time, I'll get into some cab "highlighting". 'til then...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!
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Harold_V
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by Harold_V » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:44 am

Vinyl electrical tape works quite nicely for masking when blasting, either sand or glass bead.

H
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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:54 am

Harold,

See several possible issues with what happened in my situation:
1) blasting air pressure was too high and lifted the edge of the mask.
2) working on an uneven surface...as a result of the faux wood siding.

I've worked with vinyl tape before. Mostly for electrical work. On occasion, when a band-aid wasn't readily available, a clean piece of paper towel and electrical tape works great for plugging the leak. One problem with vinyl tape is that it stretches. Would think for masking, need to apply the tape with as little stretch as possible so it doesn't pull away from the surface. As you noted, the tap will provide a nice straight line which is not usually possible with regular masking tape (of any color...off white, blue, green, etc). Thanks for the suggestion. 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 Mr Ron » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:39 am

I am not a live steamer although I aspired to be one at one time. I'm an electric engine guy, but I tapped into this write-up of yours mostly out of curiosity. I was amazed at the meticulous work involved in reboilering a steam engine. I commend you in your write-up, it being so well documented. I would have to guess that you have something to do with technical writing and engineering as well. I have been involved in technical writing of instruction manuals for the USMC and recognize when something is well written or not. The latter is usually the case with today's written documentation. Your writing skills are refreshing to say the least. I wish there was more of it in the world. I will continue reading your future installments.

P.S. I started building a 1" scale camel back switcher around 35 years ago, but quit after funds got low. I always thought that I would continue building it, but have moved on to electric engines instead (easier to build). I have been building in 1-1/2" scale, but have switched to 3/4" scale because I am running out of room. Although initially intended to be an operating model railroad, I now make engines for display and possible operation under radio control. At 84, my time is getting limited so It's getting harder to complete started projects. The current model I'm working on and will probably be my last is of a PRR loco type GG1.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:21 pm

Mr. Ron...Thank you! Appreciate you kind words regarding the loco work. No doubt, it was a new journey for me.

As for the writing...you're right. Was in a technical/engineering capacity for some 35 years. Can't say how many reports were drafted, along with specifications, safety bulletins and sadly...fire and explosion investigations (nobody was hurt or injured). In the (3) explosions I was charged with the follow up. Found in all (3) cases, the incidents were a result of human intervention. Should be obvious, writing doesn't bother me.

Also, spent 21 consecutive years as Recording Secretary/Editor for my local club. Turned out some 250 monthly newsletters during that time. Circulation was between 150 to 180 newsletters...back in the days before self-adhesive stamps. One of the bonuses...found out when things were up for sale before anybody else. And THAT'S...how I got to purchase the Rutland in late 1999. It's been a hoot since for sure!

As for your railroading endeavors...don't give up. Age is just a state of mind. Don't have to make progress in leaps 'n bounds...baby steps is all it takes. If you work on one item every day on that loco, in time, you will complete your GG-1. Side note...helped the guy at KRC - shop #1 build a 1.5" scale GG-1 and rebuild the drive for a 1" scale GG-1. Both were sold thereafter. The 1.5" scale G went to Australia. The 1" scale G went to CA.

Stay tuned...there's still some more things to cover. 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 22, 2019 5:04 pm

Some animals have stripes too...

There's still one subject to cover regarding the Rutland cab...and that's one of the highlights. Someone (don't know who) applied painted pin stripes to the sides of the loco cab and cylinder covers. Over the years, the stripes were wearing thin. In particular on the engineer's cab side where the hand rubs the outside whenever the Johnson Bar is moved. Because of the "rub" or "cleaning" factor, self-adhesive pin stripes would not be acceptable. As long as the cab was getting other cosmetic TLC, might as well take this to the max. Here's the cab/covers before refinishing...

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The cab had already been repainted as described before. Was time for the thin brass cylinder covers to receive similar treatment. The covers were sand blasted to rough up the surface and give the paint something to "bite". Once cleaned, covers were sprayed with the Rustoleum gloss black appliance paint...like the boiler jacket...and allowed to dry for 5 days!

A club member put me in touch with a guy that did pin stripe work. Met him and showed him what I wanted. He turned the work down...the project was larger than he imagined. At 80 years of age, he didn't think he could paint straight lines (painting straight lines is about as difficult as maintaining straight track). He referred me to another pin stripe guy in the SW Chicago 'burbs. Went to meet him. He agreed to do the work. Called me 3 days later to say he was done. And here's what he produced for $65 (was still a bargain!)...

xpin striped cab and cyl covers.JPG

When mounted on the locomotive, this is what the refinishing effort looked like...

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For the sake of conversation...the driver/pilot truck wheel rims are painted Rustoleum white enamel. Once or twice a year the rims need some touch up resulting from derailments. However, the "730" on the sides of the cab are self-adhesive vinyl as are the stripes on the edge of the running boards and around the domes are self-adhesive. Some years prior, had the brass cylinder head covers and stainless formed steam chest cover satin chrome plated. And for the entire "look", here's what was produced...

IMG_1111.JPG

If there's a "lesson learned" from the cab and cylinder cover refinishing...don't use citrus wipes for cleaning painted surfaces. This is one reason the cylinder covers no longer had any shine. Citrus wipes are great for cutting oil/grease on side rods and valve links. Instead, was told about using automotive Carnuba car cleaner/wax on painted surfaces. We'll see how well the shine holds up on those gloss surfaces over time.

Well, nearing the end of the "boiler-ectomy" project. Can only hope readers are enjoying "the ride" and nobody fell asleep. Then again, I do some of my best napping (sorry...THINKING and PLANNING) in front of the computer! Will be back soon to cover a few other details. 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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pat1027
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by pat1027 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:18 am

Carl, It's been an interesting story. Looks like you'll get a few miles in before winter. What did the interior of the boiler look like?

Back to the firebox corrosion this is the firebox on the coal fired boiler my dad and I built in 2005. Below the arch I reached in with a brush and cleaned it up a bit to get a better view of what the surface looked like. The dark spots are small pits. Material is A516-70. Above the arch is the uncleaned surface, a thin layer of soot with some ash.

Image

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:17 pm

Hello Pat...glad you're enjoying the "trials and tribulations" of the Rutland re-boilering project. Figured there would be something in this write up that can help others. Of course, if they only run their steam loco a few times each year...their boilers SHOULD last a long time. Since the Rutland was put back on the rails mid May...I've racked up some 50 miles of service...and the running year is long from over.

You asked about the firebox. Here's a photo of the firebox just after I started getting into the boiler work...obviously upside-down...
IMG_0880.JPG
After a couple firings, here's the rust that already started to form on the firebox walls and underside of the crown sheet...
IMG_1610.JPG
Water vapor "damage"? Was raw, exposed steel when I started.

What steps have been taken? When I'm done running, the safety valves are removed and replaced with sintered bronze exhaust mufflers to keep out bugs and critters while allowing air ventilation. Have also been putting the blower on the stack to run when the loco is rolled into the engine house. Will be getting a countdown timer to set the blower to run for 6 or 12 hours and then shut off completely. As previously noted...worst part is waiting 20 to 25 years to find out if the boiler life was extended or shortened. This is most definitely a case where "time will tell"!

After seeing your firebox photo...might be nice to coat the firebox walls and crown sheet with coal soot. Only problem, can't get my hand thru the firebox door. And if I did...might not get it out! Is it worth pulling the boiler off the frame at this time for a soot treatment? Don't think so.

Thanks for sharing. 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 ccvstmr » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:36 pm

Under the Big Dome...

As we approach the end of this escapade, thought I'd share a "quick hit".

With the new boiler, insulation and metal jacket...the jacket took on a new shape. Rounder than before. Not much of a problem operationally, but when it came to set the sand dome and steam dome cover in place...that was another matter.

Don't believe I snapped a photo of the "set up" this time, but have a photo from 2016 when the domes had to be repaired. Was reminded at that time of a dentist taking an impression for crowns or other mouth work. Covered the boiler with wax paper while trying to eliminate wax paper wrinkles. Spread a liberal amount of Bondo on the dome flanges where needed to build up the flange thickness and press the dome in place.

IMG_7565.JPG

Had to work fast. Bondo...has a habit of setting up faster than you want. When I was able to pry the steam dome cover off the loco and remove the wax paper, the excess Bondo that "oozed' inside was trimmed and carefully spun the outside of the dome cover flange against a belt sander.

IMG_0953.JPG

Used a Dremel tool to mark "F" forward and "R" rear to make sure the dome went back in the proper orientation. After that, was a matter of priming, painting (the center stripe is Rustoleum red primer) and when thoroughly dry, was over-sprayed with Rustoleum crystal clear gloss coat. 1/4" white adhesive backed automotive pin stripe material was applied last.

Next time, think I'll go back and revisit the handrails. 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 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:27 am

Hand it over...

The handrails have been discussed on 'n off again as the bare boiler received "decorations" in the way of boiler bands and other needed parts. Thought I'd go back and cover the subject as a whole instead of piece-wise as has been showing up in this project discussion. Handrails are certainly something to consider up front. In fact, had a local club member mention that the discussions here would help him with his loco project.

I was lucky to have a loco that had already been running. As such, (2) fixed points for the handrail elevations were already established. The 1st was the stanchions on the smoke box. The 2nd was the holes in the front of the cab...even if the cab was not sitting at the final elevation. Any discrepancy in the cab was resolved with the fascia plate that was mounted to the front cab wall...and new hand rail holes drilled.

With the boiler on the frame and the cab set in place (loosely)...a line was drawn down both sides of the boiler to establish the handrail elevations. Not only was the vertical elevation drawn on the sides of the boiler, cross marks were drawn for the approximate handrail stanchion mounts. Stanchion mounts were measured from the front of the boiler along both lines.

Reference lines are visible in the next photo. In fact, that same reference line was used to attach the boiler jacket ring supports at the 1:30 and 10:30 positions...or...45 degrees off the top center of the boiler. btw...if you're looking for a flexible ruler to measure/draw reference points, can find a vinyl ruler in the fabric departments at various stores. These are usually 1/2" x 36" long. Great for measure around curved objects.

IMG_0876.JPG

Mounting pads up front were made from (2) pieces of 1/8 x 3/4" cold rolled steel, TIG welded together, that were cut off from the jacket support rings. Welded together, these were 1/4" thick...the thickness of the ceramic wool blanket insulation. These stanchion pads were drilled/tapped 5-40 to match the threaded stud on the stanchion.

For the rear boiler, needed something approx. 1/2" high for the larger diameter due to the simulated tapered boiler look. Found some scrap steel pieces for stanchion mounts. Drilled a hole in the center to reduce heat soak thru (probably doesn't do much after an hour of running), filed the bottom of mount to help with holding and TIG welding and drilled a hole in these for the 5-40 stanchion studs. Here's how the boiler looked after all the TIG welding was completed, the boiler wiped clean and covered with high temperature paint...

IMG_0912.JPG

When it came time to transfer the stanchion mount locations to the boiler jacket, 5-40 set screws were inserted into each mount...point/cup facing outward. Left just enough set screw exposed to grab later on and remove. In short...a 5-40 transfer punch. Knew any increase in jacket diameter would have to be made up in oversized stanchion stud mounting holes (and that had to be done).

With the boiler back on the loco frame, the stanchions were installed to check the alignment.

IMG_0901.JPG

After that, remove the stanchions, install the boiler jacket and check the alignment once again on the other side. This time, used a piece of brazing rod to simulate the handrail...

IMG_0893.JPG


Believe I explained previously, the handrails were increased in diameter. Primarily for the fireman's side handrail which provided passage for the headlight wiring...with a single-pin connector and shrink wrap tubing for insulation. Therefore, the ID had to be at least .125". Selected a piece of stainless steel tubing from McMaster Carr that had a .165" OD x .135" ID and 36" length. These weren't cheap, but with the other stainless trim on the loco, figure it was this or aluminum tubing...and aluminum tubing bends too easily (from the old handrails).

To use the new stainless tubing, had to increase the handrail hole in all the stanchions. Believe I ended up increasing the hole size to .173" (in steps). Drilled holes in a piece of scrap alum and tapped those 5-40. Then I had a way to hold the stanchion during drilling.

Had a few instances where the original 5-40 stud on the stanchion was a bit short. Originally, stanchions were screwed into threaded holes in the metal jacket. Where longer mounting studs were needed, was able to chuck the stanchion in the lathe 3-jaw chuck (stud end outward). Cut off the old stud, face, center drill, drill and tap 5-40. Could then make new studs any length from 1/8" silicon bronze rod (stronger than brass).

IMG_7014.JPG

Would appear the above stanchions are from the smoke box. These were painted. All the other stanchions were plated brass. The smoke box stanchions would later be cleaned and painted high temp alum.

Later on when all the parts and pieces came together...loco frame, boiler, jacket, stanchions and handrails came together...this was the end result...

IMG_1022.JPG

Despite some extreme aggravation with the boiler jacket alignment and the desired to undo past ills, was more than pleased with the final result (and greatly relieved too). Not only that, stainless parts can be cleaned with citrus wipes instead of polish (a time saver).

While the boiler fitting and installation is pretty much complete, there's more to cover in the way of valves and details. Will get to those starting with the next installment. 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 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:12 pm

Blow it down...

By this time in the boiler replacement project, the Rutland was back on the rails. The locomotive came back on line much better than expected after being down for 1.5 years. However, several issues cropped up needing additional examination and adjustment. One such item was the blow down valves. Never had the blow down valves apart...even though the never seemed to seal properly when closed. Which was the reason the boiler was never stored "wet".

Would like to say (and some may take exception to this)...perhaps the blow down valve function does not do what we expect. You open the valve during operation and get a plume of water/steam and an impressive "roar". More than likely, you're not effectively blowing down the entire mud ring. Why say that? Water under pressure will take the path of least resistance. Therefore, if there is sediment collecting around the mud ring, channels will form allowing a clear path to evacuate SOME sediment...but not from the far mud ring corners. Proof of this is when you see boilers with their water legs cut open. Clean near the blow down valve port...but filled with foreign matter elsewhere. Hence, the need for better cleaning as someone like Marty Knox of Ridge Loco Works advocates. But I digress...

Here's a view of the blow down valve on the Rutland. If anybody knows the maker of this valve(s)...please speak up...can't find the supplier. Cast-in writing simply says EVERLASTING VALVE CO. - JERSEY CITY. Keep in mind, these are the original blow down valves on the locomotive. Most likely purchased in mid '90's.

IMG_1592.JPG

The problem that showed up...the valve wouldn't close!

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So, did what any technically curious person would do...took the valve apart to see what was inside. Here's the inside...

IMG_1623.JPG

Two items to note: 1) there's some kind of sediment build up on the casting directly to the left of the blow down port and then again below that. On the disk (Teflon?) you can see the (2) corresponding arced wear marks. Okay, know what the problem is...how does this get resolved?

Working at HDS - shop #2...took a piece of round brass and machined the end to fit inside the halves of the blow down valve case. Loaded the brass up with lapping compound and held each valve case half by hand while the lathe spun the brass with the lapping compound. Repeated the lapping process several times. After a few minutes, here's the result...

IMG_1629.JPG

The plastic disk was "sanded" on some 1000 or higher grit paper...turning 90 deg every few strokes to even the clean up. The original valves had a stainless beveled spring washer used to apply pressure to the back of the disk against the inside of the valve housing to seal the blow down port. However, when the valve was assembled and a bubble test/check performed...

IMG_1636.JPG

Not good. Thought the beveled washer was not applying enough pressure to the back of the disk. Purchased some more stainless beveled washers and found...(2) washers were too thick. Didn't matter if the washers were "nested" or "center to center" or "perimeter to perimeter". Had to find something that would work.

IMG_1635.JPG

While I don't have any photos...will tell you what was done. In the process of the valve "rebuild"...replaced the O-ring around the valve shaft using a silicone rubber O-ring. Decided to try another O-ring of the same size under the plastic disk in lieu of the stainless steel beveled washer. One O-ring was thicker than (1) beveled washer...but thinner than (2) beveled washers. Seemed to apply enough pressure to seal the valve port.

Next post, will finish up the blow down valve rebuild. 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 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:47 pm

Still blowing down (pt 2)...

Continuing with the blow down valve rebuild, noticed there was a paper thin gasket separating the (2) halves of the blow down valve case. When the gasket was measured...found that to be .005" thick. No way was that going to be reused. Went back to McMaster Carr...to get some .010" Teflon sheet. Available in 12" x 12" sheets.

Cut off a square of sheet material slightly larger than the valve case. Set one of the case halves on top of the Teflon sheet and used a transfer punch as close to the screw hole size as possible to transfer the hole locations. Also placed reference marks on the Teflon and the case half so the gasket would be installed in the same orientation. Should point out too...ground reference marks in the valve housing halves to ensure the case went back together in the same orientation.

IMG_1654.JPG

Holes were then punched as close to the transfer punch center as possible. Lines were drawn across holes opposite one another to locate the center. A circle cutter was used to remove the center of the Teflon gasket.

IMG_1655.JPG

Next, anti-seize was spread around the perimeter of the valve case. Got this idea from Ridge Loco Works. If the material/method is good for sealing gaskets on a steam dome, should pretty much work elsewhere. Only problem...the smaller the parts...the bigger the mess!


IMG_1656.JPG

Once again, the transfer punch came out. This time, to simply align the valve case halves and the gasket since the gasket wanted to slide out. Had a fighting chance getting everything lined up as long as one hole was located until the 1st screw could be installed.

IMG_1657.JPG

More anti-seize would be applied to the mounting flange on the 2nd valve case before installing the valve and sealing disk and assembling the other valve case. Can't say HOW MANY times each valve was assembled and dis-assembled (too many)...until the results of the rebuild were satisfactory. The last step in the process...cut away the excess Teflon sheet gasket material.

While working on the 2nd blow down valve, could not get the lapping technique to provide a smooth surface inside the valve case. Decided to try an alternate polishing approach. Out came the Dremel tool with a polishing bit and some red (rouge) polishing compound. Took several minutes again using the end of the polishing pad, but was able to get a mirrored finish that would hopefully provide a good sealing surface.

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Now, will tell you there's no sense showing a photo of the final valve rebuild. There's nothing to see. But will share a photo partway thru the process (during one of the many valve re-openings) to show the following...

IMG_1676.JPG

When I saw "foam" instead of "bubbles"...knew I was heading in the right direction. Should note...these bubble tests were being conducted using 80-90 psi air against the valve seal...slightly less than normal boiler operating pressures. What's blocked from view...is the blow gun with the tip removed. The internal blow gun thread is 1/8 npt...the same as the back of the blow down valve housing.

Found blow down valves aren't as complicated as originally thought. Nothing to be afraid of. Getting the right rebuild technique took a few twists and turns to arrive at methods that produced the desired results. 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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