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Vintage Toy Steam Engines and Motors Weeden, Empire, Doll, Jensen, Wilesco, Mamod, Marklin

Vintage Toy Steam Engines and Motors

Stuart Educational Model?

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Old 10-20-2016, 03:06:38 PM
Dave T upstate NY Dave T upstate NY is offline
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Default Stuart Educational Model?


I’m new here; and my knowledge of miniature steam engines is limited to my Jensen #75 and Wilsco Old Smokey that my grandfather gave me 45 years ago. Back in the summer, I fired up my Jensen to show a young kid how a steam engine works. He loves mechanical things and was fascinated. Last month, he comes home from 4th grade with what appears to be an old educational model. His teacher stated that he “inherited” the unit when he was assigned the room 25+ years ago. The teacher knew nothing about the unit and never tried to fire it. As the young student showed a lot of interest, the teacher loaned it to him to take home and investigate. Next thing I know, I get a phone call…

There are no identification markings. Condition appears decent; needs a lot of cleaning and oiling. Minor repairs to reconnect the lines. Boiler appears to be sound.

I’ve done some research on-line. The engine appears to be a Stuart 7A. I held an air line against it and it ran fine.

The boiler has me stumped. It reminds me of a Stuart. Steel construction.

Firebox appears to be made for solid fuel, but there is no removable tray (like my old Jensen). What do I use for fuel? How much? Although the firebox is sealed and separated from the wood base, should I be concerned about fire hazard?

How should I fire this thing up?

My young friend is anxious to see this run. Any help or direction would be appreciated.

Dave Toborg
Schoharie, NY
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:38:42 PM
Dave T upstate NY Dave T upstate NY is offline
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Default Re: Stuart Educational Model?

128 views, but no replies? Darn.

Can anyone advise on how to fire up this thing? I'm ignorant; don't know where to start.

Dave T
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:32:57 PM
gbritnell gbritnell is offline
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Default Re: Stuart Educational Model?

First things first. It looks like the front bottom of the boiler has a drain plug missing. In the middle of the top of the boiler there is a hole, presumably threaded for a combination filler and relief valve. Before even thinking of firing the boiler up I would make a plug for the front hole and a fitting for the top hole with which you can pressurize the boiler to test it for structural soundness. This is generally done by filling the boiler with water then attaching a small hand pump to bring the pressure up. This is called a hydrostatic test.
I would say if you can get the boiler to 60 lbs. without leaking you should be good to go as far as firing it.
After testing you will need a pressure relief valve for the top hole.
Now how to heat it. I don't think you can get enough heat from solid fuel to run an engine of that size, at least not very well. Stuart makes an alcohol burner for their horizontal boilers that could be used.
When you get to that point the displacement lubricator should be filled with oil to lubricate the engine when running on steam. Stuart engines are made from iron and if water is left in the cylinder after running it will rust the cylinder walls so the engine should be blown out with compressed air to clear any condensation.
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