Reeves Double Tangye Horizontal Engine
United Kingdom - Manufacture date: 1970
Bore = 1 1/8", Stroke 1 1/2", Flywheel diameter = 5 1/2"
Style: Dual Cylinder, Double Acting, Governed horizontal

Dimensions: 12" length x 7" width x 6" height

Reeves Double Tangye in Its New Livery

This beautiful engine was acquired from an online steam engine dealer. The Double Tangye is a dual cylinder engine, massively proportioned with an amazing amount of detail, making it a very eye catching display. Usually, buying from a dealer is much like buying from Ebay, in that the history of the engine is often lost along the way to your display shelf. In this case, Robert, the builder of the engine, saw it on this site and emailed me with a little of the engine's history. This collection has managed to acquire 4 of Robert's engines from more than one source, so it was fun to learn who had built this one and to have the chance to speak with him about the various projects which found their way here.

The original color scheme has been changed to the current red with pinstriping, to eliminate the disconcerting white base it had when I purchased it. The brass lagging on the cylinders, like it often does, reflected a good deal of the handling this engine had received over the years. I didn't want to completely lose the tooling and hand finishing marks on this one so the polishing was quite a bit lighter than on other engines I've restored.  In keeping some of the "flaws" that make this engine unique, I've tried to keep the essence of Robert's work intact. The new brighter colors make it a real show stopper as it retakes its rightful place in the collection display.

Reeves Double Tangye  "Before "

The real beauty of this engine is the attention to detail in the hand work required to hand shape the working, dual brass flyball governors and the associated linkages and gearing. Although I've polished things up a bit, many of the pieces still show some of the marks of what had to be many hours of painstaking hand work. The functional miniature oilers are real glass and brass, adding a touch of realism missing from most engines. The hand rubbed mahogany lagging was added to give the machine a more classic look, and then strapped in place using strips cut from the original brass which once covered the cylinders.

I found that the engine had a problem with the crosshead guides which  prevented the slide valve blocks from seating properly, allowing blow by, directly to the exhaust ports. I discovered the crosshead guides were placing lateral tension on the slide valve rod, which acted as a lever, thereby lifting the valve blocks away from contact with the ports. Once the crossheads were shimmed out a bit, things came back into alignment and after a bit of fine tuning to the timing, the engine ran perfectly.

Thanks "Bill M.", of Ann Arbor, for the steam chest drawings and the assembly instructions. Bill is nearing completion with his own new  Tangye and I hope he'll see it up and running real soon.

Governors and Cylinders "Before"

Governors and Cylinders "After"


Stuart Beam  -  Reeves Tangye  -   Williamson   -   Stuart H9   -   Stuart D-10   -   Jensen 51
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