Photos Of 6″ Scale Little Samson Traction Engine Boilers (Plus Others) Under Construction
Yesterday, 22 May 2014, I travelled to meet Tony Baldwin of AJB Engineering to see some large scale model traction engine boilers under construction in the workshop at his home in Codnor, near Ripley in Derbyshire, UK.
Tony specialises in making steel boilers for large scale model traction engines and all the boilers are built to strict pressure vessels standards and inspected by the insurance Company RSA and on completion come complete with the CE Kitemark and all documentation.
I need the CE Kitemark for the boiler for my own 6″ scale Little Samson model traction engine because although I will build it in Thailand, I intend to export it back to the UK (after I have played with it for a while in Thailand) and sell it on. Without a boiler built and certified to the pressure vessel Standards and witnessed and certified by a company like RSA you won’t be able to sell a traction engine in Europe.
So, having placed the order for my Little Samson boiler with Tony, he kindly invited me to visit him at his home and workshop to see some boilers under construction.
First Impression Of Tony Baldwin And His Workshop
When I first entered the workshop there was a huge crackling noise. It was Tony doing some welding on a boiler. Now I have heard welding noises before – I have done plenty of welding myself – but this was almost deafening.
I was impressed – but not surprised – by the huge size of Tony’s workshops but I was surprised to see how many model traction boilers he had in hand or completed. I couldn’t count them all but there must have been around a dozen or more. And this is supposed to be a recession! It’s quite amazing what a tremendous demand there is for people wanting to own a large scale model steam traction engine in the UK.
Tony himself was equally as large in life as the workshop and the boilers and his handshake was both friendly and as strong as the steel used to make the boilers.
Recognising that Tony gave up his own time to stop working and show me around his workshops I am am truly grateful to him.
Photos Of Large Scale Model Traction Engine Boilers
Anyway enough of the talking here are some photos I took on my visit to AJB Engineering:-
Photos of steel boilers for large scale traction engines, including two for a 6 inch scale Little Samson, under construction made by AJB Engineering
Group of Large Scale Model Steel Traction Engine Boilers[img src=http://modelengineeringinthailand.com/wp-content/flagallery/little-samson-boilers/thumbs/thumbs_02-two-little-samson-6-inch-scale-steel-traction-engine-boilers.jpg]00Two Little Samson 6 Inch Scale Steel Traction Engine Boilers
Two Little Samson 6 Inch Scale Steel Traction Engine Boilers<br />[img src=http://modelengineeringinthailand.com/wp-content/flagallery/little-samson-boilers/thumbs/thumbs_03-close-up-of-little-samson-6-inch-scale-steel-traction-engine-boiler.jpg]00Close Up Of Little Samson 6 Inch Scale Steel Traction Engine Boiler
Close Up Of Little Samson 6 Inch Scale Steel Traction Engine Boiler[img src=http://modelengineeringinthailand.com/wp-content/flagallery/little-samson-boilers/thumbs/thumbs_04-another-large-scale-steel-traction-engine-boiler.jpg]00Another Large Scale Steel Traction Engine Boiler
Another Large Scale Steel Traction Engine Boiler[img src=http://modelengineeringinthailand.com/wp-content/flagallery/little-samson-boilers/thumbs/thumbs_05-photo-of-a-steel-traction-engine-boiler-for-a-large-scale-model.jpg]00Photo Of A Steel Traction Engine Boiler For A Large Scale Model
Photo Of A Steel Traction Engine Boiler For A Large Scale Model[img src=http://modelengineeringinthailand.com/wp-content/flagallery/little-samson-boilers/thumbs/thumbs_06-two-more-steel-model-traction-engine-boilers-under-construction.jpg]00Two More Steel Model Traction Engine Boilers Under Construction
Two More Steel Model Traction Engine Boilers Under Construction[img src=http://modelengineeringinthailand.com/wp-content/flagallery/little-samson-boilers/thumbs/thumbs_07-oxy-acetylene-flame-plate-cutter.jpg]00Oxy Acetylene Flame Plate Cutter
Oxy Acetylene Flame Plate Cutter[img src=http://modelengineeringinthailand.com/wp-content/flagallery/little-samson-boilers/thumbs/thumbs_08-tonys-own-4-inch-scale-model-traction-engine.jpg]00Tonys Own 4 Inch Scale Model Traction Engine
Tonys Own 4 Inch Scale Model Traction Engine[img src=http://modelengineeringinthailand.com/wp-content/flagallery/little-samson-boilers/thumbs/thumbs_09-another-traction-engine-model-under-construction-by-tony.jpg]00Another Traction Engine Model Under Construction By Tony
Another Traction Engine Model Under Construction By Tony[img src=http://modelengineeringinthailand.com/wp-content/flagallery/little-samson-boilers/thumbs/thumbs_10-gears-for-the-traction-engine-model-under-construction-by-tony.jpg]00Gears For The Traction Engine Model Under Construction By Tony
Gears For The Traction Engine Model Under Construction By Tony[img src=http://modelengineeringinthailand.com/wp-content/flagallery/little-samson-boilers/thumbs/thumbs_11-another-view-of-the-traction-engine-model-under-construction-by-tony.jpg]00Another View Of The Traction Engine Model Under Construction By Tony
Another View Of The Traction Engine Model Under Construction By Tony
One thing you’ll immediately notice is the huge size of the boilers and the thickness of the steel plate. This isn’t 3 1/2″ gauge locomotive-sized stuff with little copper boilers – this is massive. It’s not ‘model engineering’ at all really, it is real engineering to a smaller size that the original.
When I asked Edward George of Little Samson Models if the 6″ scale version had exactly the same number of components as the real one he replied (with qualifications which I’ll explain below) that yes it does. In fact so do the 3 inch and 4 inch scale versions.
You see, the drawings for all the models are copies of the original Works Drawings for the real thing. Only the dimensions are changed to suit the scale of the model in question. The exceptions are these:-
- The boiler internals are changed to suit a real life at the appropriate scale. Generally steel thicknesses are thicker that scale and smoke tubes larger but smaller in number.
- The hornplates are separate from the boiler and bolted to it. In full size practice the hornplates are part of the boiler.
Apart from that, everything on the model is an exact, but smaller, copy of the original full sized traction engine.
That’s my understanding but no doubt someone will come along – and they are welcome to do so – and offer some corrections.
More Details Of Tony’s Boiler Fabrication Workshop
Here are a few photos with some explanatory text:-
Above, as it says, is a Little Samson 6″ (equals half full-size) traction engine boiler. The diameter of the boiler barrel is 12″. (305 mm)
You can see the massive amount of welding in the foundation ring. All the welds are made using the MIG (Metal Inert Gas) process and when I asked Tony he told me that he runs welds at around 300 Amps.
Next is a photo of the plate cutting machine.
This is a machine that Tony uses to cut out the steel plate for the model traction engine boilers. It’s difficult to see from the photo but the machine is divided into two sections. On the left is the ‘input’ section. Here a drawing is laid out on the work surface and the tracing head follows the lines on the drawing.
On the right is the cutting section where an oxy-acetylene cutting torch mimics the movements of the tracing head and cuts the steel plate.
Now for a couple of photos of large scale model traction engines built and being built by Tony.
As you can see in the photo above this is a model compound traction engine. The scale is 4″ (ie 1/3rd full size) and with a boiler of 10″ diameter it is smaller than the 6″ scale Little Samson traction engine which has a boiler diameter of 12 inches. Note the fine detailing that Tony has added to this magnificent example of a large scale steam traction engine model.
Next is a photo of Burrel compound traction engine under construction by Tony.
So that’s my short report on my visit to Tony Baldwin of AJB Engineering. Tony has promised to send me some progress photos as the build of my boiler gets under way and I’ll post then here as soon as I receive them.