After completing some temporary copper piping ( I couldn't wait for the bronze to crawl here), it was time to fire it up. Several days before, the boiler was filled, a little oxygen scavenger added and I took it up to working pressure with the hydro pump to make sure all was tight. Water was dropped to a third glass.
In true UK tradition, I lit it off with Kingsford Match Light Charcoal ...
In short order, the fire was over the grates and coal was added:
Here's looking up through the stainless grate bars at a hot fire. In an hour, I had drafting steam, but didn't force it because I wanted to see how it would do naturally aspirated. In two hours, we were at warming through pressure (100-125), and shortly thereafter, the safety let go at 200 psi:
I had told the Mrs, "Watch the neighbors (whose house you see) come running when the safety lifts." "Hey! You all right?!" "Yup. Just the safety." Another typical suburban Saturday ...
A rain storm hit while we were firing things up. So the boiler was rained on, not for the last time:
- Combustion chamber door never got above 350 F, so I'm pleased with the plenum insulation, etc. The door itself is still rather plain. So I'm imagining some bronze hand rails, a warming shelf for baked goods and maybe an espresso maker if I can figure out how to pipe it.
- The boiler is more efficient than I imagined. The smokebox and smokebox plenum never got above 350 F. This will change under forced draft. The permanent stack will have a pyrometer so it can be monitored with greater precision.
- With jacketing, I expect it to be more pleasant to be around. It was a hot day ...
- Anthracite firing went as planned. This was pleasing as it is a compact and hot fuel. Plus it is local. A scuttle and a half (twenty pounds?) brought us to working pressure.