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Anyone in UK got a small steam engine for sale?

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large_ghostman

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Anyone here in the UK got a old steam engine collecting dust, and they are willing to sell? Been on ebay and the prices seem very steep for used ones, maybe I am underestimating the cost!

I thought they would be around £30, I was after one for my build project. Its really simple steam driven generator (tiny scale), as a representation of energy generation. The theme I chose was mixing old and new technology, so I mixed industrial revolution and modern electrics. Real simple Idea seeing as most electric is kind of steam driven anyway :D.
 

large_ghostman

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That would be cool, bit difficult to attach a small generator too though. I have found one on ebay that might do it, have to wait and see what it goes for :D. I built a stirling engine but it dosnt have enough power to turn the motor to get 1.8V.

The modern part is a micro dev board with a clock on it, it blows a whistle sound as an alarm at set times. Really simple idea but I didnt want a huge project this year.
 

large_ghostman

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Thanks les thats a good idea, I dont hold out much hope. Looking into it I discover these things cost alot, part of the reason is every boiler has to be tested apparently and carry a certificate, no idea if this is a UK/euro thing or world wide. I assumed that a 'toy' would be exempt, but apparently not! Looking back at past sales on ebay, not many working ones go cheap.

SOOoooo I have a fall back position, not as elegant but it should represent the idea. I will take the old 2 stroke hedge trimmer (dosnt work), and convert to run on 'steam' (actually it will be compressed air but hey ho). Seems easy enough to do, bit of a shame as I like real steam but its an easy solution. This year the work has swamped me, so I have had to massively scale down what I make in school projects. Besides the marks stop at A*, looking at other projects that got A* makes me wonder why I put the effort in last year.

Not being funny about it, but the fact is I could have done 80% less work and effort and still got top grades. :eek:Maybe I am getting cynical!:confused:. I will save the clever stuff for home, I ended up not doing many home projects after my exams last year, so this year I wont be making that mistake again.
 

large_ghostman

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Yeah they fetch good money second hand, seems to be alot of people are into them.
 

Nigel Goodwin

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I've been to a number of peoples houses where they have made their own model steam engines from scratch, including full steam trains etc. - sounds like a good project for you? :D
 

large_ghostman

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I've been to a number of peoples houses where they have made their own model steam engines from scratch, including full steam trains etc. - sounds like a good project for you? :D
What put me off was the £200 for a boiler test certificate! My compressor goes to around 120 psi, but I think the boiler test is ~200 psi with water??? Not sure now as the site was confusing.

One half of me thinks to hell with it, as long as I include a auto bleed off valve it will be fine. Its only a small boiler anyway, the other part thinks I am bound to get in trouble lol. But yes if I get my 3 phase lathe working I would love to build a few steam engines :D. So many different kinds of steam engine, its a cool hobby making them. But all the hobby build sites bang on about the boiler test.

The Stirling's I built were really interesting, the coke can type are really easy to make. There are some cool videos of home built steam engines around. Which motor is best as a generator? I was thinking a small outrunner BLDC?? Mainly because I have a couple hanging around.
 

JonSea

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Could you use a boiler from an espresso machine? That might make part of the project easier.
 

large_ghostman

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Could you use a boiler from an espresso machine? That might make part of the project easier.
hmmm i dont know, i have a old coffee maker i could try, but it might not have the pressure, if needed air will do, steam would just have been alot more cool! We got a 2 stroke headge trimmer that had it, they are pretty easy to convert to compressed air running.

The other advantage is its less messy for a school demo. The downside obviously being it dosnt feed my love of all things steam :D.
 

JonSea

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Only espresso machines have boilers, for frothing the milk and whatever. Being from the hometown of where Starbucks was born, I should like and know more about coffee, but I don't.

Espresso Machine Boiler Types talks about what's in an espresso machine.

A steam engine would be awesome, but probably not so practical for a demonstration.
 

Nigel Goodwin

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large_ghostman

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Not seen that one, I have seen 'BIG RED' though. Awesome machines! I went to a Yorkshire mill museum and they had a huge steam engine, went back 2 years later and the museum was over priced fancy flats! Apparently the engine was scrapped!
 

tcmtech

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Personally I wouldn't put too much concern into the boiler tank given making a safe and functional unit from a common propane bottle or air tank is pretty easy plus comes with its own built in pressure relief.

If you have ever looked at any commercial application air and boiler surge tanks you will see their specs tags give a PSI @ XXX temperature rating which for many is 200+ PSI @ 450 - 650F!

Or at worst a bit of welding to make a boiler tank out of heavier gauge steel and using as common pneumatic pop off valve would work. Even a smaller 1/4 NPT size air tank pop off valve (most are 50+ CFM capable) will dump far more steam BTU's than any fire you would ever deliberately put to a small tank would transfer. ;)

Everything else about the system is just 'don't ask don't tell' need to know and no one outside the home that wants money needs to know. :D
 

large_ghostman

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TC this is the UK, the money sniffers would know lol. I turned my little Kabota tractor around last year at the bottom of our driveway, I had to cross the road briefly to swing it. NO cars in sight, except the police car coming round the corner as I was 3/4 of the way across! Fortunately this was 23 days after I got a tractor license (just after my birthday), but still not considered legal for various reasons. I got let off with flea in my ear, but goes to show you that even in the middle of nowhere they are watching:nailbiting:.

Glad I got that tin foil hat off ebay, just worried customs were tipped off by paypal :rolleyes:. Cant have citizens with head protection on can we :joyful:
 

large_ghostman

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Actually if I thought about it, I could rig the tractor hydraulics to push water to past 200psi or whatever it is. Nice small copper boiler and a bit of brazing......
 

JimB

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LG, are you off your head?
Where did this 200psi idea come from? That is one SERIOUS boiler.

The Flying Scotsman (L.N.E.R. A4 locomotive, no 4472) only has a boiler pressure of 220psi.

Using steam at that pressure, you will be able to run your mind at 100mph .

JimB
 

Pommie

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If steam is a problem, why not build a simple water wheel. You could probably knock it up from things you already have. Just a thought.

Mike.
 
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