I have recently come into posession of two toy steam
engines and a boiler my grandfather built about 95 years ago. My concern
is with the structural integrity of the boiler. Can you advise me how to
determine if this boiler is safe to use. The boiler has no gauges on it
to determine pressure, so I will need advice on proper gauge specs.
I don't know the answers to your questions, but I do have a safety tip:
If you pressurize it to test it, make sure you fill it completely with
water first. Air is compressible, and it will store energy as the
pressure builds up, releasing that energy all at once if the structure
fails. Water is incompressible, so it will not release stored energy
if the thing bursts.
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Update: June 2012