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Wilson (small)


Not much is known about this maker (not by me, anyway). It appears that they made two models of steam engine. They were both vertical oscillating cylinder engines but different sizes and with differences in design. This is the smaller of the two.

The brass boiler is approx 55mm diam x 55mm tall. It is mounted inside of the steel firebox. The burner is missing but it should be a meths wick type. The boiler has a single flue to the chimney. It has a safety valve but no whistle and no water level indication.

A short steam pipe, with a compression fitting on each end, feeds steam to a needle valve and simple lubricator on the top of the cylinder frame. The frame is an alloy casting integrating the port face and crank shaft bearings.

The cylinder is a traditional oscillating type made in brass. It is 7.9mm bore x 16mm stroke. It is connected to a crank pin on a 39mm diameter flywheel. On the other end of the crankshaft is a 7mm diameter pulley. The base is drilled with Meccano standard holes around the edge.

As acquired, the base had been repainted at some time. It was painted over rust and is the wrong colour anyway. The firebox is the same colour as the base and was probably repainted at the same time. The safety valve spring also needed replacing. I have repainted the base and the boiler casing and replaced the spring. The base is not the correct shade of green but at least it's green.

The video below was made using a burner of unknown provenance, the tank of which is too small. However, it works well for a few minutes. The video was taken before my repainting.

Make Model Made Description Cylinders Cylinder Type
Wilson Small late 1940s? Stationary 1 Single acting
Piston Diam mm Stroke mm Valve Type Boiler Type Fuel Mechanical Condition
7.9 16 Oscillating cylinder Vertical Meths Good
Cosmetic Condition Paintwork Packaging Purchased Purchase cost Additional cost
Fair Repainted
14/10/2017 142.00