Society for the Preservation of Steam Engines


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The restoration

Activities in de period from October 2000 until the 7th of September, 2001

Invited by the Nederlands Openluchtmuseum (Dutch Open Air Museum) a delegation of the VBS inspected the engine in October 2000 in the depot of the museum. The VBS discussed the possible approach with the curator, Mr. van 't Hull. It lacked the inspection certificate, the identification plate from the Boiler Inspectorate, the drawings and the material data of the boiler. 

To get the portable steam worthy again the drawings and a material description of the boiler are necessary and an expert will have to investigate the state of the boiler.

Shortly after this visit Mr. Bijker of boiler manufacturer Standard Fasel in Utrecht was approached. The Ten Horn firm has been part of Standard Fasel for years. A thorough search of the archives of Ten Horn proved that no drawings dated before 1900 were present anymore.

In April 2001 the VBS visited the Open Air Museum again and the most important measures of the portable were taken. Based on this measurements a new drawing was made.

In June 2001 a quotation was done to the Open Air Museum which was approved by the Open Air Museum in August 2001

On the 7th of September the portable was transported to Nijkerk by Henk van der Wal from Jubbega.

Plan of action

After the engine arrived in Nijkerk a thorough visual inspection revealed some interesting details. During the time that the engine was property of the Henry Ford Museum in the United States attempts were made to repair the boiler. The crown plate of the firebox  was replaced altogether. The firebox has no crown stays but four supports that are attached to the crown plate with firm bolts. That this repair occurred in the United States could be concluded from the performed welding. Before 1940, no welding was done at boilers. Undoubtedly, one removed the bolts and the supports, cut out the crown plate, and welded a new one, working from the inside of the firebox. With little space above the firebox it had to be a singular weld. The weld did not flow well and looks shoddy and irregular. The question rises, of course, why this crown plate had to be replaced. The dents between the crown plate supports points to damage, caused perhaps by stoking the boiler while the water level was too low. Extreme corrosion could have been another reason.

The fire tube plate did probably leak which could not be stopped by caulking. This was also welded. The weld looks well at the lower side, but at the upper side the melt had not been hot enough to get a good weld.

Extreme corrosion was found around one of the mud hole covers leaving a thickness of the plate of 3mm instead of the original 11 mm.

Multiple rivets have a welded edge. The fire tubes are new and well fitted.

We concluded that the repair did not lead to a safe boiler. With chalk stripes still visible at the newly placed crown plate of the firebox the boiler was never stoked after the repair.

Unfortunately the Henry Ford Museum has no documentation about the repair.

After this inspection the plan was made to remove all parts and to have the boiler inspected by a certified boiler inspector. All parts got marked where necessary to make the rebuild possible.

The boiler

Saturday, October 13th, 2001, Wouterus Bos, a certified boiler inspector from Bunschoten carried out a thorough inspection. The welding was reviewed as totally insufficient. In search of cracks an error in the used plating was discovered. At some spots "doubling" was found. Doubling occurs when the iron plates are rolled and undesired layers arise, mostly existing out of Phosphor and Sulfur compounds. This very thin layer separates the plate in two layers.

103-0319_IMG.JPG (7258 bytes) The little horizontal line in the center of this picture shows an example of doubling. In fact, the doubling runs much further through which can vaguely be seen. At a spot 50 cm further down doubling could still be demonstrated.

Locating this kind of defects is done with a strong magnet and a fluid that contains small iron parts. The small iron parts mark the cracks clearly. To enhance the contrast the surface is painted with a special white paint first.


Conclusion of the boiler investigation

The boiler of this portable is not steam worthy. To get a safe boiler again a new firebox must be made. The welding on the pipe plate must be done over again. Part of the plating around the left mud hole cover must be replaced. A serious problem is the location of the corrosion near the riveting of the edge. Welding at this spot can easily lead to cracks or leakage.

The Society for Preservation of Steam Engines agreed with the museum that the portable would be made steam worthy again only if this could be done against limited costs. The repair of the defects mentioned above would cost several tens of a thousand guilder which means that the portable will not be brought under steam anymore. The option to repair the portable to a state where it can run on compressed air of limited pressure (1.5 to 2 Bar) will be investigated.

The various parts

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Water gauge

The portable has one water gauge. Make it going again and polish it. The drain pipe is missing, a new one must be made. Check where the other drain pipes are made from to use the same material. 

Grind the taps if necessary. Drain tap is not original, needs to be replaced with something better.

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Pressure gauge

Check if this pressure gauge is original. If it is American it needs to be replaced by an European specimen. Otherwise, restore this gauge.

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Sample cocks

Polish and grind the taps if necessary.

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Drain tap

Turned 90 !
Seems original. Make it going and polish it. Check drain spout, does not seem original. If the  portable is steam worthy again a safety provision has to be made for the handle.

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Small safety valve

Take apart, degrease, paint (black), grind inner valve

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Big safety valve


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Feed pump

Is complete, make it going

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Cylinder block

Undamaged. Clean and paint.

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Slide bars

Badly mounted with filler rings. Polish and align it.

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Crankshaft and pump excentric

Clean it and adjust to a lower position

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Cylinder block and lubrication device

Complete. Make it going and paint it.

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Complete. Check it and polish it partly.

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Main steam valve

Is in good shape. Renew seals and grind it.

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Is in good shape.
Clean it and paint it.

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Destroyed during the fire. Make a new riveted chimney.

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Repair small crack in plating. Clean it and paint it.

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Beautiful wheels. Lots of rust between the spokes. Remove rust and paint them. Grease nave again.

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Steam distribution
(slide valve)

Looks well. Perhaps polish the surface

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No wearing edges. Smooth surface no action required.

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Lack a piston-spring !
Ask permission to the museum to have it replaced  ?
Received permission. (28-11-01)

Activities in September 2001

After a thorough inspection and registration all parts were removed from the portable and stored in plastic containers. The plan is to have the boiler sandblasted and to have it spray painted with primer.

Activities in October 2001

The boiler has been inspected for defects (see the report earlier on this page). Meanwhile the restoration of all the parts has started. The torn parts of the bogie have been repaired professionally. 

Activities in November and December 2001

After stripping of the complete engine, we have started cleaning and painting the various parts
The boiler and undercarriage where taken to a professional sand blaster, who also put some long lasting paint on.
After sand blasting the boiler, some remarkable details showed up


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The Ten Horn is back from the sand blaster. We will soon start to give her the original colors back, mainly black, green and red

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Clearly shown on this picture are the marks put on the boiler probably 100 years ago. The dots match with the dots on the bolts that do hold the cylinder block

Progress in January 2001

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The chimney was badly damaged during the fire.
We have made a new one, with rivets, as it should be with a engine of this age

A beautiful piece of craftsmanship form our oldest volunteer, Gert van der Hart !

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Most parts have been clean and painted.
Within a couple of weeks we can start re-assembling the portable

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Taking care of the fly wheel.

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8 February 2002

The piston is back, fitted with a new piston ring made by  Rottink at  Delden

Progress in March/April 2002

27th of March 2002

De steam block is mounted again

The crankshaft is forged in one piece
We are getting near the end !
The regulator is weight controlled, while in most cases it would be controlled by a spring
Activities in May 2002
Is she good looking ?
Works no 35, working pressure 100 PSI,. built in 1895 by Ten Horn at Veendam The Netherlands

She did run again on compressed air, if you want to see it,
click here for a short impression


23rd of Augustus 2002


We are finished. You see the portable here still on the low-loader of Henk van der Wal at the parking lot of the Museum at Arnhem


She is standing on the grounds of the Museum again, after a restoration period of just 12 months.
A real surprise
On the 29th of August 2002 we did visit the Historic Dockyard at Chatham.  Much to our surprise we found an almost identical portable built by Marshall !
Even the front wheels are the same. It is clear that Ten Horn only built the boiler and ordered all other parts by Marshall at  Gainsborough.
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