The smallest of the Stuart Babcock boilers - the 500
Fairly beaten up when bought and I hate the thick green paint all over it. So it's been taken apart and the clean-up started. Really only five pieces to this boiler: two side panels, two end panels, and the boiler itself. The backhead includes a water gauge, the pressure gauge and a blanking plug. At this stage the pressure gauge reads 30 psi - and there is nothing going on! Original steam valve and safety valve on top. The glass in the water gauge is cracked and will need to be replaced. The original spirit burner works. I was concerned that the wick might have been lost or rotted away, but all is well.
The side panels have cleaned up well. Removed the old paint in cellulose thinners and polished the panels using fine wet & dry. They are flat at least. One coat of etch resist primer, then light sanding, then two coats of red oxide primer and more sanding down. Next stage is to paint the side panels black - unsure whether to go gloss or satin finish? I suspect gloss would show too many marks and finger prints!
Painting complete - the side panels were vey hard work with many many layers of paint and rubbing down with increasingly fine wet and dry paper. Pleased with how they have turned out. Something I have learnt: don't try painting panels outside on a sunny day - the metal gets very hot and the paint dries too quickly leaving a horrible finish.
Boiler has suffered a few knocks, but is cleaning up well.
The 500 would originally have had asbestos sheets stuck to the inside of these side panels, but these seems to have been removed some time ago. Maidstone Engineering supply sheets of insulation material, so another job is to fix that to the inside of the two panels. Two layers of the fibre insulating material added to each side of the inside panels.
Stuart were able to supply the missing parts I needed, so nothing (other than a lack of time) is stopping me finish this boiler.
4th November 2018 - finally replaced the water gauge (including cutting the glass tube), the pressure relief gauge and the steam outlet valve. Pressure test OK, so time to fire it up. I used the Stuart spirit burner and the boiler was up to temperature/pressure in no time. The pressure relief valve pops every few seconds at around 60 psi. However, the wrong choice of paint for the final matt black coat. It bubbled up and flaked off! The etch primer underneath looks to be OK. I need to do some research to find what I ought to have used.
OK - new paint job and new pictures added to the gallery.
12/11/18 Live steam test. Really pleased how quickly this boiler comes up to pressure. Few leaks where I need to seal or tighten the joint. Short video alongside after removing the burner, and just blowing off steam.