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Dobson Gaskets is a leading UK manufacturer of gaskets and sealing products

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+44 (0) 1535 607257


E Dobson and Co [Gaskets] Ltd
Unit 1
Holme Mill Ind Estate
Fell Lane
West Yorkshire
BD22 6BN

Call Us Now

+44 (0) 1535 607257

Call Us Now

+44 (0) 1535 607257

Opening times

Mon - Thur 8.00 - 17.00
Fri 8.00 - 16.00
Steam Locomotive Boiler Restoration by H.A McEwen Boiler Repairs

Client: H.A McEwen Boiler Repairs
Location: West Yorkshire

We’ve worked with McEwen’s over several decades to provide a range of bespoke steam gaskets for both heritage and modern industrial boilers. The industrial and heritage boiler engineering firm are in the final stages of a complete rebuild of the boiler on the Renishaw No. 6, a vintage locomotive owned and operated by Tanfield Railway in Gateshead for which we supplied a range of gaskets.


Heritage steam restoration projects utilise a range of gaskets and gasket materials. Though often significantly less than the number of gaskets required for modern industrial boilers, the Renishaw No. 6 locomotive project required the installation of numerous gaskets and lengths of packing materials in the restoration process.

About Tanfield Railway

Constructed in 1725, Tanfield is the world’s oldest railway and operates 69 vintage steam locomotives on a six-mile round trip through rolling countryside in northeast England.

The Renishaw No.6 was built in 1919 and remained in operation for many years before falling into disrepair. Restored at the turn of the century, the locomotive again went out of service at the expiration of its 10-year steam test in late 2012. Keen to re-introduce the Renishaw to its line, Tanfield commissioned H.A. McEwen to restore the boiler and obtain the necessary certifications to return the locomotive to steam.

Steam Gasket Applications

steam gaskets

Gaskets used in heritage boilers are subject to significant temperatures and pressures over a long period. The choice of sheet material is critical in ensuring the integrity of the boiler and its working parts. These are some of the gaskets manufactured and supplied for the Renishaw No.6 restoration project:

  • Unigraph and Unimetal Gaskets: Highly stable graphite composite with a polymer coating, which is ideal for sealing purposes on pipe flanges.
  • Prekev Rubberised Cloth: Highly resistant to steam due to its composition of rubber polymer, aramid and steel. Used for sealing the mud-lids at the base of the boiler.
  • Gland Packings: Typically applied to rotary equipment including steam valves and pumps, as well as on boiler door joints. A cost-effective seal favoured for its high chemical resistance and leak prevention.

Alongside our pre-cut gaskets for the project, we also supplied McEwen’s with sheet materials that could be cut on-site to seal bespoke connections on the locomotive.

After undergoing an extensive rebuild, the project is nearing completion and the locomotive is awaiting its final steam test before returning to duty later this year.

Working with McEwen’s

In addition to the above materials, H.A.McEwen also regularly use other specialist materials for industrial boilers, such as:

  • Spiral Wound Gaskets: Ideal for application on pipe flanges due to its metallic strip and compressible filler material capable of withstanding fluctuating high temperatures and pressures.
  • Boiler Seal GasketsComparable to Pilot Seal, it is commonly used to seal the boiler door joints on heritage and modern industrial boilers and has excellent capability at high temperatures.
  • Glass Ladder Tape: Used at temperatures above 550°C, it is highly resistant to chemicals and is ideal for providing thermal insulation on furnaces, heat exchangers and boiler doors.

industrial boiler

We have been working with McEwen’s for over 30 years, who rely on the quality of our gaskets for a wide variety of steam boiler projects, from new installations and heritage restorations to regular servicing and maintenance contracts.

McEwen’s Managing Director Alasdair McEwen says that the firm order around 95% of the gaskets they use from Dobson’s and have always valued the attention to detail and expertise provided.

“You can’t fault them for service,” he explains. “They’re really good and in the past have gone above and beyond for us. There’s generally a quick turnaround, with gaskets manufactured within the space of a few days.

“For instance, Pete helped us service a contract for a large processing plant after the gaskets ordered in by the client were the wrong size. I rang him and he came into work on a Saturday and manufactured the gaskets that we needed straight away.

“It would have been very costly for the company to keep the boiler out of action while the gaskets were replaced, and Pete really saved the day. You can’t beat service like that, and there are not many companies that would go the extra mile for their customers.”

dobson factory

Our experienced engineers are skilled at producing high-quality gaskets for steam service duty using a range of modern technology and time-honoured techniques. Produced at our factory in West Yorkshire, all of our steam gaskets are manufactured to suit customer requirements from a wide range of sheet materials. Get in touch today to find out more.

For more information about H. A McEwen Boiler Repairs, visit

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