Spirit Burner.

Modelling the Kerr-Stuart Brazil Class 0-4-2ST locomotive in 16mm scale. - Keith Bucklitch

Spirit Burner.


This is made as a single unit, that can be removed for servicing. This consists of a sump and the burner tubes, connected by pipework.


1. The Sump.



The sump is made from two parts of 0.75 mm brass. These are silver-soldered together after drilling at least one of the holes to allow hot air to escape. (Again it is essential that there are no leaks. Meths has the ability to seep through the smallest of holes!) The sump is secured in position by 10 BA screws inserted through the buffer beam into two flanges of 1.5 mm material soldered to the sump. Use hex head screws here for cosmetic reasons as they may be quite conspicuous on the buffer beam.



The pipe to the burners is a length of 1/8" copper pipe. I suggest you measure the job from the tank to the centre of the firebox to get an idea of the length.


2. The Burner Tubes.



The burners themselves are 3, 25 mm long pieces of 9.5 (3/8") brass tube arranged in a triangular formation. These are drilled for the feed pipe, the connecting lengths of pipe inserted and the assembly silver-soldered together and to a base plate of 0.5 mm brass. The feed pipe can now be adjusted for length and soft soldered into the sump.


Pack the burner tubes with whatever wick material you fancy so that approximately 3 mm of wick are showing. Put some meths in the sump tank and light the wicks. You want a flame about 25 mm (1") high with only a touch of yellow. Add or remove wick material until you have a mainly blue flame. Too much yellow indicates incomplete combustion. Any colours other than blue or yellow indicate impurities in your fuel. Some 'industrial' meths is made from recycled materials and contains impurities. I recommend either BP quality meths (from your pharmacist) or if you are going to France for a holiday, obtain some Alcool a Brûler. This is colourless and a fraction of the price in Britain. It is usually obtainable from a supermarket in the hardware/cleaning materials section at around 6 francs/litre. (Incidentally, I have also found Acetone on sale in French supermarkets at a similar price. Very useful for degreasing surfaces.) Unfortunately some French meths does have a sweetish smell which can be overpowering if running indoors!! I suspect it is distilled from the wine lake. Packing the wicks acts as a control valve for the meths consumption. Too loose and we have a high flame which wastes a lot of fuel. Too tight and the flame goes out too easily.


Next - Raising Steam

If you have any questions, or comments or find any errors in these notes please contact me by email. Email Keith Bucklitch.

Copyright © 1998, Keith Bucklitch
Last Edited - November 1998