My Father's Model Steam Engine Boiler

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Here are some pictures of a model steam engine boiler my father made before his death in 1998.

My father, Jan van Roojen (photo on the page found on the sidebar documenting his milling machine), was a mechanical engineer who immigrated from Holland to Canada and then the United States in the early 1950s. He spent most of his career at Ingersoll Milling Machine Company in Rockford Illinois, but also worked for a time in Mattawan, New Jersey. He worked up until his retirement at age 70, and then went back to work for Ingersoll for several years as contract help. He had hoped to build models in his retirement and in fact did complete one nice steam boiler for a steam engine, the one pictured here.

I believe he got the plans from a Dutch model builder's magazine called 'Modelbauer'. I suspect that the long term plan was to use this boiler to generate steam for an engine he never got around to making. In any case, he made this by making metal dies around which he pressed the brass parts for the boiler and then cutting the parts to fit one another and silversoldering it all together. It took him several years to get to this stage. He never did quite get the fuel burner for it to work right, partly I think due to a translation problem in names for fuels between Old Dutch magazines and what those fuels are called in the states is they are even available. He was working on that at the time of his last heart attack.

I've been meaning to put this project up on a website for years. There's an off chance I'll someday get a matching steam engine made to go with this, but only an off chance. I've got way too many hobbies as it. I know this would be a disappointment to my dad, but I seem to have a tendency to make things full scale or abstract.

copyright 2009