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Stationary Steam & Traction Engines Antique steam engines, traction engines, their boilers and the related things that make them run.

Stationary Steam & Traction Engines

Steam Whistle Will Not Whistle?


Our family heirloom Lunkenheimer steam whistle will not make a sound. We have attached it to an...

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  #1  
Old 07-25-2009, 08:57 PM
MD Woeste MD Woeste is offline
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Default Steam Whistle Will Not Whistle?

Our family heirloom Lunkenheimer steam whistle will not make a sound. We have attached it to an air compressor with up to 140 lbs pressure. Any suggestions please. thanks
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:23 PM
Frank Martin Frank Martin is offline
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Default Re: Steam Whistle Will Not Whistle?

I don't know very much about steam, so this may be completely off base. But it seems like a steam whistle should require a tremendous volume of gas (steam or air) in order to whistle. If you're trying to run the whistle with compressed air supplied through an ordinary 1/4" or 3/8" air hose, even at 140 psi, you may not be able to move enough volume through the whistle in order to make it sound. It would be even worse if you were just blowing into the bottom of the whistle with a rubber tip blow gun. That would be even more of a restriction. So, my uneducated guess would be to try to force more air into the whistle, not just more pressure. For example use a larger diameter hose, or plumb the whistle directly to the compressor using something like 1/2" or 3/4" pipe.
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:02 PM
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Larry Evans Larry Evans is offline
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Default Re: Steam Whistle Will Not Whistle?

I also have very little experience with steam or whistles but I do have a Lunkenheimer catalog from 1908 with some interesting data.

For example there is a table showing volume and pressure requirements for various whistles from 1 inch to 6 inches in diameter. Per this table a 2 inch diameter whistle should operate with 25 cubic feet per minute at 40 psi. If you are interested I would be glad to look up the specs for your whistle. To further confuse the issue they also made a line of low pressure whistles that operated in the range of 3 to 20 psi. A picture of the whistle would help.

Regards,
Larry Evans
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:25 PM
Mike McKnight Mike McKnight is offline
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Default Re: Steam Whistle Will Not Whistle?

Check and make sure dirt daubers haven't built mud nests in either valve part or the bell. Either one and she won't blow right.

Mike M
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:22 PM
Tom G Tom G is offline
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Default Re: Steam Whistle Will Not Whistle?

I have tried blowing steam whistles, using an air compressor, and it doesn't work very well. You have to screw the bell down pretty far, to get a sound from the whistle, and even then, it isn't very loud. The bell is mounted on a stud, and can be screwed up and down, to adjust the sound. I have a small whistle which can be held in one hand. With the bell screwed down, I can make it whistle, by simply blowing into the base. With larger whistles, it's a different story. You can apply air pressure to the whistle, and start screwing the bell down, until you start getting some sound. Don't expect much sound, unless you have a small whistle.
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:07 AM
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Randy Hart Randy Hart is offline
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Default Re: Steam Whistle Will Not Whistle?

I have a few steam whistles and have made some as well and it was explained to me that steam will expand when released and create much more volume before it hits the bell than air.. thus the other posts are correct in that a closer gap is required to get one to toot. I have a small Lunk that came right off of a steam application and I had to drop the bell almost half way down to get a pure sound.. more like a shrill chirp, it's no bigger than a 12 ga shotgun shell dia.. hope this helps
Randy Hart ohio
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:00 AM
Phil P Phil P is offline
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Default Re: Steam Whistle Will Not Whistle?

Hello

Have a look at this whistle. This whistle works on both air and steam. On steam it sounds like the full sizes whistle, on 100 lbs. of air it is a much higher pitch. This is a 1/8 replica if the original. The inlet is 1/8 pipe. Steam is much denser than air so the sound is not the same.

www.sallyscoffees.com/whistle/DSC00927.JPG

Phil P
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:17 PM
MD Woeste MD Woeste is offline
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Default Re: Steam Whistle Will Not Whistle?

Hi, the whistle bell is about 6 1/2 inches by 3 across. thanks
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:25 AM
MD Woeste MD Woeste is offline
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Default Re: Steam Whistle Will Not Whistle?

Shop Vac made it work. Must be the volume of air needed. thanks
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:06 PM
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Allan Crook Allan Crook is offline
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Smile Re: Steam Whistle Will Not Whistle?

Hi steam whisles work on several principles, as mentioned before the bell being moved up or down changes the tone, also the volume and pressure of the air available has an effect but the one item that is often overlooked is the gap a the diaphram plate at the bottom of the whistle it can also be adjusted as well but remember very small, I mean very small can change the tone as well. Try using a feeler gauge or very thin piece of brass shim stock to check the clearance as well as clear out any dirt. Hope this helps

Cheers Al
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Steam Whistle Will Not Whistle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MD Woeste View Post
Shop Vac made it work. Must be the volume of air needed. thanks

It could be that you were trying to make 'er whistle with pressure and not volume.
Your Shop Vac does the reverse, which is why it worked.
JMHO
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:32 AM
LAKnox LAKnox is offline
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Default Re: Steam Whistle Will Not Whistle?

Check out the specs on this triple-whistle, made by Kahlenberg Bros.: http://www.kahlenberg.com/documents/3-5575.pdf. Here's a link to a recording of it sounding: http://www.kahlenberg.com/audio/tripwhist.mp3. This is just =so= sweet!

Lyle
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:56 PM
JKenney JKenney is offline
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Default Re: Steam Whistle Will Not Whistle?

Hello, I have a nice collection of whistles and have made a few. A large whistle can blow on compressed air. But it has to have the volume to do it/ I have a 6" 3 chime steam whistle for a doorbell and it will drain a 60 and a 80 gallon tank n a blink of an eye. Smaller whistles will blow on compressed nicely. But the sound is not as nice as steam. How ever you could machine a new languid plate so it could blow nicely on air. I have a manifold I made up for shows and a surge tank ran buy a diesel tow behind air compressor. Heres a steam whistle blown on compressed air.

Enjoy ,

John

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8i4c_2wesI
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