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Thread: Triple Expansion Steam Engine

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Divington, AOW EAN

    Triple Expansion Steam Engine

    Sadly my Dad died a few years ago, rather unexpectedly at the not so ripe old age of 71. He was an avid sailer and engineer amongst other hobbies and I've been gradually going through some of the rather esoteric items that I have inherited. Amongst other interesting things that have turned up was this:

    An almost? finished triple expansion steam engine. There are other parts that I assume are ready to be fitted and a folder with plans etc.

    The plans are beautifully drawn/rendered in my opinion.

    The question is, what should I/what would you do with such an item? I image it has some value as it is, but also wonder if the plans themselves could be reproduced so that other modellers could create their own engines. I'm in no hurry to sell it and it does have sentimental value as well as the joy of owning such a well made thing. However, I'm no engineer and possess neither the tools nor aptitude to finish it!

    Anyway, I thought the forum modellers might be interested in seeing it and if anyone can tell me more about it I'd be all ears!

  2. #2
    Nice desirable item
    I have several similar- beam engines. Horizontal twins, compound engines
    The pre eminent supplier of kits was a firm called Stuart-turner who sold kits of raw castings kits of machined parts or ( I think) even complete kits
    Yours is a model of an engine usually found in ships- triple expansion as, high pressure steam entered the first stage (smallest) cylinder then exhausted having expanded and cooled to drive the middle sized cylinder after which the same process led the steam to the 3rd and final (largest) cylinder
    This gave an efficient use of steam, which usually exhausts to atmosphere on the models ( a closed loop condenser/recovery system on ships)
    For ease and safety, lots of model engineers run these on compressed air to show them working.
    Hope this helps
    Pm me if you want any more info

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Divington, AOW EAN
    Thanks Goat - yes I’ve been doing some ‘googling’ and I believe Titanic also had triple expansion steam engines. I should probably have mentioned the size of it since it’s hard to judge scale from a photo..

    It’s approximately 200mm high and 280mm long, so not huge, but very heavy! Some of the parts (not in the photo) are cast so ties in with what you say about the kit suppliers. I might well PM you too.

    Could you recommend any forums that discuss this kind of model?

  4. #4
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Mainly UK
    You won't get much of a discussion going as it's a pretty quiet forum but Carl Evans over at The Shed would definitely be interested.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    I sent the photos to my father (Stan Bray) who is a past editor of Model Engineer. His reply is copied below.

    It is a design published in model Engineer probably fifty or sixty years ago and is a very attractive model when finished. When finished are the key words as large numbers have been started and not finished as it is both time consuming and complicated. There is not sufficient in the photograph for me to be able to comment on the model in question. I was not aware that John Bertinat had descried modifications to the original design. However he was an exceptionally knowledgeable model engineer and no doubt his modifications would have improved its efficiency although not necessarily its ease of construction. Drawings and castings for the engine are still available from
    Reeves 2000
    Appleby Hill
    CV9 3ER
    Telephone: 01827 830894

    If the person who has the model is within striking distance of Langtoft I would be happy to have a look at it and offer suggestions as to go ahead with its completion

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