Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Boiler Fittings (1)

Remember this item from a previous article?
Superheater feed manifold
What about this one? Possibly a more recognisable item depending on how well you've been following my 'blog exploits in the past.
Regulator Assembly in place (before restoration in December 2004)
The first is the four-way manifold used to feed the boiler's wet steam output to the four-ring superheater input; the second is the regulator assembly which receives the output from the superheater.

I showed the fitting of the superheater in a previous article confidently assuming that it could stay put from then on as in the photo below.
Superheater assembly neatly sitting in the top of the boiler
How naive!

What I hadn't spotted was that, with 2" studs sticking upwards from the manifold and regulator assembly, there was no way that these could be fitted on to the horizontal studs on the boiler without lifting the superheater about 3".

The only lifting gear at Midsomer Norton is a road-railer but it has not been available for some time. So ingenuity was going to be required.
Temporary Aerial convergent 'plate-way' in use!
I knew I could lay my hands on a jack and a lorry strap and that the superheater weighed about a quarter of a ton. After a few checks, I found my trolley jack was rated at 1.8 tons and the lorry strap at 3 tons so all was well within safe limits.

So it was a simple matter of putting the plate-way (point rods) in place to support the jack, tighten the straps and jack up the superheater. It worked like a dream!
Precise lifting ability
The jack is ideal for this as it can lift the superheater precisely to the right height and then lower it on to wooden beams for longer term support. Not wise to depend on the strap (particularly as it would get in the way of keeping out the rain!).
Interim resting place
Superheater rings showing below the top plate
So far, so good I thought until I tried to fit the manifold.

When the boiler was refurbished, all the studs were renewed. Of course, the new studs protrude precisely at right angles to the curved surface of the boiler - which means that they are not parallel! They are further apart at their outer ends than at the boiler surface and hence wouldn't mate with the holes in the manifold flange.
Five brand new studs for the manifold fixing
(there is a blanking plate fitted in the photo for a hydraulic test - I guess it had bigger holes!)
I've got a few options: bash it hard enough to make it fit (don't like that); grind the edges or ends of the studs or bend the studs so they are parallel (maybe); drill out the holes in the manifold flange (not keen on that). I'm still thinking about this!

More to come when the bits are in place.

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