Villa Team News - 26 November 1997

Birch Grove's boiler repairs

About half of the 80 crown stays are now fitted. These steel stays are being made in the workshop. On their outside ends they will be knobbled over in the same way as the copper side stays. [Click on the image for full-size picture.] [View of the firebox crown outside]
[View of the firebox crown inside] A view inside the firebox showing the newly-installed crown stays. On the inside end these will be fitted with nuts. The two rows of nuts nearest the tubeplate are for the bridge pieces which support the front of the crown (see next picture).
A view inside the boiler barrel looking back over the firebox crown. The shiny vertical bars are the new crown stays. The curved red-painted pieces in the foreground are the bridge pieces which support the front of the crown sheet, with the front (slightly thicker) row of stays passing through them. The long bars still covered in scale are the logitudinal stays running from the front tubeplate to the firebox backplate. Rather out of focus at the top are the rivets holding the boiler barrel onto the firebox outer crown sheet. Just visible near the bottom are two of the rivets holding the inner crown sheet to the front tubeplate. [View of the firebox crown from inside barrel]
The front tubeplate (viewed as the boiler lies on its right side). The nuts are holding the logitudinal stays, some of which are just visible through the tube holes; the brown drips are Loctite used to help them stay put. The large hole is the end of the main steam pipe, which has had this end trimmed back to fresh copper by extending the other end. The studs are used to bolt on a cast steel elbow to which the copper main steam pipe is fixed. [View of the front tubeplate]
[View inside the dome] The other end of the main steam pipe inside the dome. The regulator valve bolts onto the flange. Visible inside the barrel are some logitudinal stays, and the two pipes which take steam from the dome to the injector valves mounted on the backplate.
The chimney, standing upside-down, showing a substantial crack which will be welded. The cap of the chimney casting is hollow with holes in its top face. The crack was made by water freezing inside some time during the many years it has stood around unused. [View of the chimney]

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