Restoration of an Engine

| May/June 1997

9313 4th Line, R.R. #5, Milton, Ontario L9T 2X9

Now priming became an issue all of a sudden. Did we want it primed for acrylic paint or for oil based paint? Up to this point, I did not know there was a difference. I knew acrylic paint looked better and stayed better, but also felt it was too expensive for this big a job. We decided to go with the oil based paint primer. Bad decision! As time went on, we realized that to go to this much work, time, effort, and expense, the best was none too good. Well, not much happened during the summer of 1993. We had steam shows to go to, and work to be done, and we both got busy doing other things. Time flew by and all of a sudden, it was fall.

While all this had been happening at home, Boilersmith had modified their plans for the boiler, sent them to Toronto to M.C.C.R. and had them approved. The stamped blueprints now in hand, they could start to order steel, make pieces and put it all together. One day, I got a call to bring the old boiler home since they were through with it. The new boiler was well on its way, and would be ready in a few weeks. Eventually, it was, and once again we were off to Seaforth (about 100 miles away), to bring home the shell of the new boiler. It was a pretty looking sight to behold. It finally looked like one day we would have an engine put together again.


In Ontario, when you do a boiler job such as this, it has to be done in stages. That is to say, when the boiler first came to us, it was only a shell no fire box, no stay bolts, no tubes, no flue sheets - -just an outside shell, The reason for this is that after marking, drilling, and tapping all the necessary holes, Ontario Pressure Vessels Act requires a plug to be put on the inside a piece of metal about one inch thick and approximately 1 inches in diameter. Boiler smith would put this on the inside, before completing the boiler.

We had to set every piece in place where it would eventually go, before drilling or tapping any holes. The reason for the plugs was that the studs that hold the castings to the boiler would not go through into the water, as they used to when it was built seventy-six years ago. That way there was no possibility of leaks. These plugs were also drilled and tapped about 3/8 of the way through. The stud then would be about one inch deep. We had to be very sure that each hole we drilled was necessary and in exactly the right place. There would certainly be no chance to move it afterwards. This means that the gears all had to mesh exactly right and the engine had to be lined up with everything else. This turned out to be a big job, because there were no studs to hold anything while we put on the next piece. We used clamps and chains and bolts in the stay bolt holes with clamps to put it all together. Bim figured out how to do all this. I am sure he sat up nights thinking this one through. However, as time went on he got it all laid out on the new boiler. I took some pictures of this and he did the work and the improvising.

When he figured he was as close as he could possibly be, he marked all the holes with paint and then with a centre punch. He must have been very close, because later we were to find out that everything fit exactly right. He took all those castings and engine off the new boiler again a lot of heavy lifting and handling, to be sure.