Early Steam Models

Looking back, these engines seem very crude and are not shown here for their high quality craftsmanship. They simply show the starting point for my model engineering hobby and the start of a long learning process.



This was the first steam engine I ever made. It was built from a kit that was given as a gift, but due to the limitations of the workshop and skills at the time, it ended up quite different to the original design.

The biggest difference was the engine itself which, originally was a sliding valve design. To keep things simple, it was replaced with an oscillating engine instead.

The boiler was 150mm long and was fitted with a steam dome, safety valve and simple super heater. The engine had a bore of 10mm and a stroke of 20mm.

The engine had a few problems, a slightly non-true flywheel and a piston which protruded from the cylinder at top-dead-centre; however it ran very well despite these issues.

Simple horizontal steam engine plant.



Vertical steam engine plant.



The second engine made never actually ran. It was a vertical boiler plant with a double-acting oscillating cylinder engine. 

The problem was the boiler, which seemed incapable of producing steam. 

Looking at the design and materials used, it is possible that a combination of the small heating surface and thick brass tube shell, meant that it was just too inefficient.



After the failure of engine No 2, a very simple model was designed, to try and regain confidence.

This basic engine was built from off-cuts of material. The end result was a tatty and crude steam plant, but it did at least run and the design brief was to make the engine as simple as possible.

The boiler had a home made spirit burner, which had 2 wicks (the previous models had been solid fuel fired). It worked well but the boiler was easily exhausted when the engine was running at full speed.

Small Steam Plant










Large steam plant

 This ambisious steam plant never got finished as I was distracted by the arrival of my Stuart 10H casting kit. 

However the engine and boiler were built up to a working state and it ran very nicely. The engine was a twin cylinder oscillating design with a cast iron flywheel.

The boiler had a super heater, 3 water tubes, a pressure gauge, level gauge, drain cock and of course a safety valve.

The burner was an 8 wick home-made design fed by a 'chicken feed' type fuel system. The fuel (meths) was held in the red tank on the left of the model and gravity fed to the burner.