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Austerity Boiler Components - Bulk buying

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by estwdjhn, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. estwdjhn

    estwdjhn Member

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    I hope this thread is OK with the Admin.

    At work (I work for a boilersmiths) we've been making odd bit's and pieces for Austerity boilers for years, usually as "1 offs".

    I've orders in at the moment for a couple of Austerity backheads, and we've made quite a few in the past (Austerities are known for cracking backheads, to the point that on any given Austerity boiler, it's usually not so much a question of "is the backhead cracked?" as "how badly is it cracked at the moment?").

    Given the constant dribble of orders for Austerity backheads, we're looking at setting up our big press with 2 part tooling to form them, rather than hand forging them. Even once we've bought the tooling, each time we set it up on the press is a fairly time consuming (and thus expensive) operation, so I've been wonder if rather than setting the tooling up every six months when someone wants one, there might be interest from various Austerity owners in manufacturing a largish batch of backheads for them to hold in stock until their loco is due a major boiler overhaul. If I could get orders for 10 I think we'd be able to knock about 20%-25% off the usual cost for making one at a time.

    I've no idea if there is any interest, but given there are 77 odd of the things kicking about in preservation I think this could possibly save some owners a good deal of money.

    Backheads aren't the only items this might work for - we periodically get asked to supply Austerity smokeboxes, either as kits of parts or assembled - again, if there was interest in a batch of 5 or so, there could easily be some savings to be had getting components profiled and rolled (I got quotes for doing this a year or so ago, and I think it I'd wanted five, it knocked about 20% off the costs of the raw components, probably similar off the "ready to fit" completed smokeboxes).

    Same potentially goes for other things - e.g. we've supplied bunkers in the past, and have drawn a full cad model of the tank (I know quite a few are running round with quite ropey tanks).

    Maybe there is no mileage in it, but as a concept it's got to be worth a try - potentially everyone's a winner if some sort of deal can be done that gets costs down, and thus locos overhauled more cheaply.
     
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  2. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Well, with that lot, there's not much left to make. Middleton' s got the patterns for the wheels so how much for a new Austerity (0-6-0ST version!):)
     
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  3. ... and you're suggesting building a new one?

    I suspect we'll be seeing http://www.engine61662appeal.co.uk/project.html in steam on the South Bedfordshire Railway before that idea takes off...
     
  4. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    No, he didn't.
    I suggest you read estwdjhn's post again

    Keith
     
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  5. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    No he didn't. I did. However, please note the smiley.
    Then again, it might not be a bad idea after all. ;)
     
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  6. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    I noted that Steve - and I did take it that you were joking, however DisusedBranch appears to have not got the joke and also quoted the wrong person!!

    :) :) :)

    Keith
     
  7. Hermod

    Hermod New Member

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    Out of interest I will love to se some pictures of these cracks and wonder if it will be very difficult to have a redesigned backplate certified.
    I am not in a position to by one but wonder if it can be made better to day?
     
  8. estwdjhn

    estwdjhn Member

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    Basically they usually crack up the waterside along the outer row of stays each side, alongside the corner radius. The throatplates tend to do the same. It's a very common area to find cracks on many designs, as it is a stress line that's very hard to design out. Quite a few other designs crack in the corner radius itself instead, which isn't really any better.

    I think the cracks develop fairly early in the working life of an Austerity backhead - I've seen several which show evidence of the cracking having developed, then been welded up when they've had a firebox replaced in their working life, and which have subsequently cracked again alongside the welds.
     
  9. No, I quoted the right person because my response was directly below Steve's, so I thought it was obvious who I was replying to... in response to his reference to the previous poster's comment, which was the one I quoted.

    Maybe is Steve was making a 'joke' it should also have been clearer?
     
  10. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    You quoted estwdjhn, but your statement was about Steve's post. If you are commenting on Steve's post, then please quote Steve!

    I really don't think it could have been any clearer! The smiley is understood by most people to indicate a joke or that the post should not be taken seriously.

    Keith
     
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  11. THE MELTER

    THE MELTER New Member

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    Well for what its worth i think this thread is spot on.
    its what the forum should be about, there should be lots of info here informing where you get things made and services available,
    the recent thread on firebars was excellent and these types of threads should be commended and encouraged.
    i know that some information is out there but it take some finding at times.
    i think there should be a suppliers section on the site where people can put up what they do and others can recommend or give an alternative supplier.
    anything that saves time and money as well as informing is to be appreciated.
    and it is, by me at least.
     
  12. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Member

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    And actually I don't see why a startup or a smaller railway wouldn't consider a brand new Austerity. For those kinds of lines it would be a darn site more useful than a brand new Clan (or Patriot. or P2...)
     
  13. estwdjhn

    estwdjhn Member

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    You can buy a running Austerity in decent nick for about a third to half of what one would cost to build, so it would be rather a pointless activity!
     
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  14. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    pete2hogs, 5944 and Bluenosejohn like this.
  15. marshall5

    marshall5 Member

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  16. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

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    I have recently inspected a new backhead produced by estwdjhn and it looked to be a very nice piece of kit, just as well since I paid for it. A directory of suppliers would be very useful, I can suggest the following entries, purely as a satisfied customer:


    Boiler Contractors: Locomotive Maintenance Services. 14 Bakewell Rd Loughborough LE11 5QY.

    Boiler Contractors: Newtons of Cromford.

    Jones Brothers of Darlaston 0121 5687575, locomotive spring manufacture and repair. Have austerity spring drawings on site.

    HP Rings of Chesterfield 01246 261299, cast iron piston ring manufacturers

    Armstrong Oilers, NYMR, lubrication felt pad manufacturers

    Spiralweld of Southampton 023 80228801 metal spraying and turning.

    Wiilam Twiggs of Matlock, steel stockholders, suppliers of engineering steel and engineers supplies

    Leeds Bronze: non ferrous supplies. 0113 2718711.

    D & J Hawkins (Casting Services) Chesterfield, 01246 862097, non ferrous castings & stock supplied to order in LG4 bronze, pattern manufacturers. Ferrous castings also.

    Ribble Steam Railway pattern making contacts, castings in SG iron organised, batches of industrial locomotive fittings organised.

    Great Central Railway, Loughborough: whitemetalling and larger size machining services.

    Heritage Traction Supplies (Martyn Ashworth). Fittings occasionally supplied. See tractionads.

    Miniature Pressure Gauge Company: steam pressure gauge suppliers. Up to 6" diameter and 300 psi. Also vacuum gauges, but not duplex.

    Railway Wheelset and Brake Ltd: vacuum & steam pipe suppliers.

    Pete Briddon: specialises in brake blocks for industrial diesels, also supplies vacuum pipe swan neck castings. See Tractionads.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
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  17. Fireline

    Fireline Member

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    Did you see the price that was being asked for the one that John Bunch bought? I think you could have built an Austerity for that!
     
  18. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't necessarily mean he paid that for it though!
     
  19. THE MELTER

    THE MELTER New Member

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    Don't forget Messers Israel Newton.
     
  20. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    Newtons of Cromford are listed above. The business relocated from Bradford some years ago.
     

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