The model Thames Steam Launch ‘Miranda’ was originally designed by Basil Harley. It featured a neat twin cylinder oscillating steam engine and gas fired boiler. When Ray purchased an incomplete model he was a little stumped on how to tackle the steam plant as his expertise lay with the carpentry.
After some e-correspondence with Jeremy he decided to commission him to complete the plumbing so that he had a safe, self contained working steam plant ready to place into the finished hull.
The boiler was devoid of any fittings.
The engine had never been connected to the boiler, but ran sweetly on air.
The first job was to test the integrity of the boiler. As there were no certificates to accompany it the first job was a visual inspection. This showed a well constructed boiler with a good plate thickness.
Given the size of the steam engine it was decided to work it under steam at 40 psi and therefore the initial hydraulic test was to 80 psi which is twice working pressure. It was tested against the calibrated test gauge of the Scottish Model Engineering Trust.
Fittings for the boiler and engine were purchased from Blackgates Engineering of Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.
Here can be seen the test fitting of the Hydrostatic Lubricator and the main Stop Valve. The main steam pipe has been manufactured and fitted to the dome.
This photograph of the backhead shows the test fitting of the Safety Valve, Pressure Gauge, Water Gauge and Clack Valve.
Also in view is the single flue tube and the flange for fitting the burner.
Finally, ready for the initial steam test!
The oil and water trap and chimney were manufactured in house.
The whistle and whistle valve were still to be sourced.
The whistle and valve is of German manufacture by REGNER.
The burner is by ‘Taymar’ and is no longer manufactured sadly.
To view a short video of the steam plant running, click on this link:
From the very first contact I was impressed with your interest and understanding of my proposed project.
Before any work was undertaken a full discussion of the possible problems that might be encountered with the restoration of my steam plant were explained to me. From there the work progressed in stages, testing the boiler to begin with and then on to the purchasing and fitting of the required parts, always with an upfront assessment of the work and cost involved.
You have done a first class renovation of my steam plant, and throughout the whole process I have been extremely impressed with your professionalism, friendly courteous manner, interest and pleasure at undertaking the work.
Thank you Jeremy, my steam plant is a great testament to your skill and care.
Best wishes, Ray”
Stop Press: December 2013 – Owners Update