June 12, 2006.

John R. Bentley 2006.

A Miniature Steam Engine Plant.
One day while driving in the country I discovered an old steam engine in front of a house and upon inquiring I found out it was a sawmill engine, circa 1890.  Further investigation revealed that it was designed and constructed in a local foundry/machine shop here on this island, known for their manufacture of starch factory boilers and equipment.  I thought it would make a nice subject for a model, so when I got home I made a drawing of the engine from memory - I was surprised later to find how close it comes to the original.

I took a few shots around my model plant recently...

The boiler is a Horizontal Return Tube type.

Condensate and feedwater tanks are visible from this view.

Here is early shot of the model, still bearing a temporary "S" on the valve chest.

The old engine began appeal to me.  After many visits back to the prototype, I was able to get precise measurements and pictures.  I fabricated the engine and then made a wood fired boiler and other fittings which I eventually mounted together as a complete steam plant.   

Unfortunately, I didn't finish up a couple of small engine parts yet.

Lighting was very low in this back corner -
so depth of field was a problem in this shot below.

I made a pencil rubbing of the etched nameplateplate on the original engine.
I electronically reduced the image in size to suit the model.

These are the blowdown valves at the back of the boiler.

High speed sawdust blower and hand feed pump.


View from the rafters.

No fosil fuels in that firebox!

That's Norway Maple in there!

A bit of creosote in evidence, but what a delectable maple aroma this boiler has acquired!

A deadweight safety valve showing on the dome.

A spring-type safety valve in this picture below.

This shows the back tubeplate with hollow stays.

Some silver brazed boiler tubes show in this flash picture.

I have been asked about the boiler setting and brickwork.  Click Here for more.

Dirty old boiler!

And just for a change of century.....

Here's one of my earliest efforts - a model gas-fired boiler atop my stainless steel coffee cup.

Both the model Cleaver Brooks CBH-70 and the sawmill boiler have 3" shell diameters.

The Boiler Setting and Firebox

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