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Sectioning a steam locomotive boiler

Sectioning a steam locomotive boiler
01/07/2020

We sometimes get asked to cut some unusual items, and for those of us who have ever played with trains as a kid, this job was interesting – Sectioning a miniature steam locomotive boiler.

When we were contacted by the customer to provide a sawing service for cutting a steam engine boiler longitudinally however, we did think this was going to stretch our resources and ingenuity to the limit, not to mention the overhead crane! Once the specification of the job was received, and we saw the actual boiler, it took but a moment before we said, yup, we can cut it.

Due to the unusual shape of the boiler, which was supplied without the engines chassis, we had to improvise some fixturing to keep it steady and movement free during the sawing process. Sawing interrupted sections like this can cause more then the usual amount of shocks and movement of the job as the blade intermittently snags internal structures at awkward angles. Often as not, this can strip a blade if a tooth is pulled into a void, such as a tube, but the blade gullet is hooked up on the tube wall. Without a proper cutting action from the hardened blade tip, this can result in either the tearing out of the tube (or internal structure such as a web or gusset) or the teeth on the blade becoming damaged or torn off.

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