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Single roll beading expander

Charlie Gale

Registered
Last Subscription Date
06/13/2014
I have been looking at Elliot beading expander on line, they look like a very good tool. A couple of questions, do you need to have a power unit to work them or will plain muscle power work. What sort of money are they and do they come up on the 2nd hand market.
I cannot find an agent in the UK. Any help appreciated but I expect one would be too expensive for a one off job,

Regards Charlie
 

Tom Runty

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
Charlie,

I have one of Elliott's beading roller, a 2"/11-gauge that we've done three jobs with and one or two pending. It works well once you get it adjusted correctly, and is a time and effort saver. I don't believe you can make it work without a motor of some kind, though. We've used both a large air motor and a large Rigid angle drill motor (electric). The air motor is a real air hog, so you need a heavy duty compressor. The roller is all the Rigid wants, but it makes it through.

I don't remember off hand how much it cost, but will look around in my records to see what I paid. I figured it was worth it because there are a couple boiler shops nearby, plus my own project.

But don't get rid of your old roller and beading tools. You run into tubes where there isn't enough clearance for the beader roll, especially along the top and sides inside the firebox. Even in the front we've had rivets in the way once in a while.

I don't know about the U.K., but we were able to rent a 3" roller and power unit for a single job on the Northern Illinois Steam Power Club's large stationary boiler. Don't know the details, but I can check it out tomorrow night.

Tom R.
 

Charlie Gale

Registered
Last Subscription Date
06/13/2014
Tom,
Thanks for your reply, I found a price for the all in Elliot tool at £1780.00 plus carriage plus import duties plus VAT. so that's a no go.
Will just have to revert to old system which gets much harder as I get older, but then what would I be doing if I was not fitting flue tubes ??

Once again thanks for your help.

Regards Charlie
 

Joe K

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/09/2019
Beading tubes is not that hard. Per my boiler tube mentor Joe Mastroberti, the task is sped along by first "belling" the tubes by using a ball pein hammer and bending the outboard protrusion out about 30 degrees. One bells around each tube thus giving a start to the "boilermaker's thumb" or actual beading tool.

This is done first firebox end with the tube "outside" the hole and on say an anvil. Mr. Mastroberti marked a line about 5/16" in from the end of the 2" tube and I (teen-ager at the time) used the line to locate, overhung a short piece of railroad rail used as an anvil, and "belled" the tubes to that line. The belling helped locate the tube in the hole for rolling at the firebox end.

As opposed to the firebox, the smokebox end was belled "in place" after all the firebox tubes were in place and rolled and beaded, but not final. Then Joe started expanding and belling and beading the tubes at the firebox end one at a time, starting at the centermost tube of the sheet, and working "alternately" and in and out between quadrants of the tube layout - the object to not "pull" the sheet too much in any one direction during the install, always to expand first then bell, then bead.

For beading a couple of these smokebox tubes Joe had me hold a large 20lb weight against the tube under install - but at the firebox end. "Makes it 'solid'" he said. I suspect those particular tubes were still a bit "loose" despite the expanding. I think Joe could tell by the sound.

Once all the tubes were in place and installed and beaded, then a final roll, final bead, and a test using domestic water pressure for "leakers." There are/were always a couple.

Joe Mastroberti was in real life a school-teacher in the Worcester Public Schools (Science) and re-tubed boilers under his father's business on weekends. He is now passed but celebrated online https://www.capecodtimes.com/article/19991112/Obits/311129973

He was a generous soul who tolerated a teen-ager with interest in steam, and taught him a think or two (mis-spell intentional) - but also saw some native ability methinks.

We never know who we affect in our lives.

Joe K
 

b7100

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
I think I have seen where these could be rented. Not sure where. Postage/rent might be a bit pricey.
 

George Hoffman

Sponsor
Last Subscription Date
04/28/2018
Joe ,If you bell them on the firebox end how could you get them in place? Obviously they would have to go through the fire door but they sure wouldn't go into the outer holes.
As for the roller/beader, I borrowed one from a friend which didn't work worth a damn. The organization he belongs to paid about $4,ooo for it They were doing a big boiler with 250 tubes. They couldn't get it to work properly so went back to the old way.. We found that the tube sheet holes varied in Dia which the beader can't tolerate. so the beader was a pain. Went back to the old method. They take a lot of horsepower to drive them also.
Cheers.
 

Joe K

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/09/2019
Joe ,If you bell them on the firebox end how could you get them in place?
VFT boiler laying on its side.

As to mis-sized holes: Joe Mastroberti put this largely to "over-rolling" on a previous re-tube. His solution: carry copper tube and cut pieces of copper tube in length slightly thicker than the tube sheet and roll these in first.

A couple of these he put me to cutting a slice out of the side which Joe "butted" together in installation - and rolled as the others. These were for the smokebox end IIRC.

"It pays to have a choice of copper shim tube" he said.

He got on my case about my previous tube removal. I had cut all the tubes just inside the sheets and let them "drop" into the bottom of the shell - then I fished the scale laden tubes out a single tube sheet hole at the bottom - gravity being a force.

As the tubes were removed, the scale naturally held up their passage through the hole. Undaunted, I "hammered" the tubes out using a large diameter rod.

The repeated abrasive action of the scale (28 tubes) left the one hole "quite oversize" (in Joe's words) and I think this the one he actually "scarfed" the copper make-up ring by hammering it down at the butt-joint.

"Next time," he says "Spread your tube removal efforts around to ALL the tube holes - and don't make life hard for the tube installer."

As I said -a "think or two." But having done it - and understanding - makes all the difference.

OBTW, when it came time for me to select a tubing expander for my "continuing education" - I chose an expander with "flaring rolls" so the belling is done automatically.



Joe K
 
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