ALL TOO often these days, people decide not to build boilers, put off by rules and regulations; the mysteries of shaping copper and silver soldering, and by stories of ‘getting it wrong’. At first some experienced help is a very good idea. This pictorial article on building a boiler for the lovely Combpyne locomotive tracks the process as done by MALCOLM PHILLIPS of the Tyneside SMEE. We hope that it will encourage others to have a go a boiler building. For advice on silver soldering see www.cupalloys, who also still supply those grades of silver solder most popular with model engineers. For more advice try


See Part Two here

See part Three here

Stage 1 - working out the most economical way to cut the sheet copper and then rough cutting the pieces with an angle grinder fitted with a 1mm thick metal cutting disc then using a bandsaw to cut the outline.

The plates are then heated to red hot to soften the metal prior to bending round the flanging formers.

Rather than hammering the copper directly, a piece of nylon bar can stop hammer marks appearing.

The plates will work harden and need reheating to finalize the flanging process.

Once the plate is flanged it is secured in the milling machine and excess material is removed.

A set of flanged plates finished in the same way.