IndianaRog and the Temple of Steam

Miniature steam engines by Jensen, Karsten, Stuart & Empire. Lionel & MTH trains. Wind up clocks & watches plus black powder cannons and mortars.


Key component assembly

This is an enjoyable stage of any project, putting the big pieces together after literally months now of fiddling with the small stuff.  Here we go

Placement of each piece to be screwed down takes lots of trial arranging of all components, as steam line and water fill line to the boiler dictate spacing between firebox and engine frame.

This photo shows the firebox screwed down in place with a bundle of 110 V AC wiring in chimney stub ready to hook to heaters.  Engine frame, exhaust to condensate stack and condensate stack itself are mounted and condensate drain plumbed to the rear.



A side view of these same pieces as mounted



The original pair of 450 watt ceramic heaters were working fine, but more wattage was desired given planned higher generator loading and extra lighting added to this unit.

Below is one of two custom made 575 watt Chromalox heater elements designed to slide inside dry channels in the rear of the boiler.  The heaters are 4.75 inches in length and .75 inches in outside diameter.  This is as close as possible to have them made, so excess of about .05 inch internal channel diameter is made up by partially wrapping the heaters with thin brass sheet shims seen here. 


You want as little dead air space as possible inside the channels, but don't want to put strain on the channels by forcing too large a diameter into them either...a leak in the dry channel could really ruin a good day.

The pair of brass sheet wrapped heaters are seen below just slightly snug in their dry channels prior to mounting the boiler and wiring them in.



Below the boiler is mounted, pair of Chromalox heaters and separate blanket heater beneath wired in, steam line connected, boiler fill tube connected, pressure gauge, whistle and safety valve mounted.



Rear view below taken at this same stage, showing the condensate drain run to the rear and a single 14 gauge power cord replacing the original 3 lighter weight cords/extension plug arrangement that were factory standard.  I've capped the two unused holes on the chimney stub.  The 51R allows for a main power switch and separate heater switches on the console face. 



An original Jensen 50 (as this unit once was), accomplished heat control by plugging and unplugging 1-3 of the heaters from the extension plug block mounted behind the chimney stub.  Though crude, this was a simple and effective way to throttle the heat input up or down.

The console base is mounted below, with the wiring bundles emerging from holes in the main wood base beneath.



It's April 20th...I've slipped the console cover on below for a glamour shot...but internally wiring the console and mounting/plumbing in the water tower are the next (and last) parts of the project.



Stay tuned, we're getting close to the finish line...