Questions and Answers

Where you can ask a steam question, find a steam answer or provide a steam answer

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This page was initiated on 15 June 2003













Date Question Answer
15/06/03 Brian Forster (who had the idea for this page) from Tasmania asks "has anyone had experience with injectors? I have obtained a "Metropolitan" model 3N injector that has 3/8" fittings. The only problem is I am unable to identify the water in, steam in and water out fittings."

"I have had many years experience working with injectors [In the railway world on loco's] but have never actually set one up. I hope someone in the membership can help."

Peter Cowie from Sydney provides this answer:

In the 1998 Steamboater's Handbook, a page from the Metropolitan Catalogue has the following drawing showing the connections

and this table giving the specifications

22/06/03 Brian asks another question:

How do members feel about boiler storage between steam ups? Some folk swear by storing dry whilst others recommend wet storage.  The chemical company in Launceston where I have purchased my boiler treatment [D&M Chemicals] recommend wet storage with adequate chemicals being added to bring the PH to about 10 to 11 and to scavenge the free oxygen in the water. They maintain this is the only way to go. Others say the way is to blow down the boiler whilst it still has a few pounds [oops sorry kilopascals] on the dial. The latent heat in the boiler drying out the remaining moisture. I tried this without success as without removing all the inspection plugs it is impossible to remove all the condensation. I would love to hear other's opinions.

Another Brian replies on 21/08/03:

 I thought I'd add my bit to the 'to treat or not to treat' question in Q & A. Like Brian Forster, I tried to empty my boiler after each run, then tried to get the boiler dry by using latent heat. As the boiler blowdown opening is about 20mm above the bottom tubeplate (VFT boiler), this simply did not work. Blowing air through the blowdown when the boiler was cold made a gurgling noise. Plainly there was still water there. I then faxed every boiler establishment I could find in NSW with my problem and asked for their solution. Hydroguard Services of Unit 2, Gundy St, Gateshead, 2290 (Newcastle) replied within half an hour! (Other replies took weeks, or not at all, and none of the others were very helpful.) Their Hydroguard 484 was delivered within 48 hours, at $30 for 5 litres. They recommend 150ml per 1000L dosage/ or enough to make the gauge glass tea coloured.  I use the latter dosage, which is considerably more than the former, but it will still take me quite a few years to use it all up. Being a total newcomer to steam, I am hesitant to enter this long-running debate, but have found this treatment easy to use and monitor. I blow down a gauge glass full every run, usually near the end, then top the boiler up when cold with the hand feed pump. New treatment is simply added to the hotwell.

Hoping this is of some help,


Brian Jones

I have finished an Elliot Bay triple and am in the process of lagging the engine with Australian Cedar (a timber similar in appearance to mahogany). I am interested to find out the traditional finish for timber lagging on a steam engine considering the issues of heat, oil, water etc. The timber lagging does come into contact with the cylinder head for about 1/4" at either end of the vertically placed 1 1/2" wide strips. Suggestions so far are shellac, linseed oil and varnish. I look forward to hearing the views of others


Peter Cowie

Brian Forster from Tasmania replies:

My little engine is timber lagged with Tassie Oak which I subsequently stained darker, this I cut into strips about 15mm by 12mm by about 100mm long. I put insulation material behind the strips before fixing brass bands to hold it all together. The trick is to be able to hold the insulation in place then the strips whilst bolting up the bands. I used masking tape and the whole lot went together fine. I have finished the timber with marine varnish and after many steam ups now, it shows no sign of discoloration, this includes the ends where as you say they do come into contact with the cylinder head. Likewise I have done the same to my boiler, insulation followed by timber strips and brass bands. The timber here has shown some heat marks where it contacts the outlets but certainly nothing to worry about. It is quite amazing the heat timber will take, and dont forget after all this is the old fashioned way of lagging boilers. Hope this helps.


Cheers from Tassie. Brian. 



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