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Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats

Lookin' for info


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  #1  
Old 02-06-2007, 02:23:43 PM
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Question Lookin' for info

I've got quite a few books, but none cover "How to operate a Boiler." i.e. starting, running and what to do when we get close to the envelope and have ran out of 's

Hopefully someone out there can recommend a good book.

Thanks for looking
RickinMt.
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Old 02-06-2007, 02:44:43 PM
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Default Re: Lookin' for info

Abe Books gives you access to a lof of good old stuff.
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Old 02-07-2007, 02:17:56 PM
PTraubert PTraubert is offline
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Default Re: Lookin' for info

Audels Engineers & Mechanics Guide and Audels Power Plant Enginnering are a good book set/book with sections on boiler operation. Some of the International Correspondence School (ICS) textbooks are also good.

I have seen these on ePay but got mine at flea markets/swap meets.

Patrick
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Old 02-07-2007, 04:34:41 PM
Brad Kelley Brad Kelley is offline
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Default Re: Lookin' for info

Rick,
Are there any steam schools out your way? Why not just go out and run a boiler with an instructor? Experience is a great teacher!

Good luck, you've got a great looking setup!
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  #5  
Old 02-07-2007, 05:30:02 PM
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Default Re: Lookin' for info

Maggard's "Rough and Tumble Engineering" is a great book (and fun to read, too!)...Even old heads can learn a few new things in it. I'll pick up little stuff I missed even reading it the 10th time through.
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Old 02-08-2007, 05:33:41 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Lookin' for info

Patrick, I've got and read Audels "Engineers and Firemans Exam." Will keep an eye out for those you mentioned.

Brad, no steam school in this neck of the woods to my knowledge. OJT is definetly my way of learning and did spend a few days on a setup similiar to ours. Had a good time and learned a lot.

Allen, will try to locate that book.

'preciate it guys!!
Rick
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Old 02-08-2007, 01:58:34 PM
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Default Re: Lookin' for info

You should enroll in the "20 reeves Highwheeler Engineering Institute" with professor Yeager. You will learn a thing or two. When it comes to written material the "Steam Engine Guide" is pretty good and I highly recommend the Case steam engine manual for a simple explanation of the traction engine put into plain words. Remember that these are old texts and some ideas have changed and some were wrong when they wrote them. I got a book at steam school a few years ago "Traction Engines and How to Run Them" (i think) that recommend that the engineer run the engine up to governed speed and quickly engage the clutch to get out of a tough spot. Most engineers agree that this is poor practice. The texts a a valuable reference but they should not be taken as the gospel.
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:31:22 PM
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Default Re: Lookin' for info

do you want to know how to design and build these things, or do you actually want practical knowledge on their operation???

suppose you were on an engine and the injector wouldn't take. what would be of more use to you, knowing what the injector looks like on the inside from the cutaway in a book, OR knowing that 99% of injector trouble comes from leaking joints and packing or too hot of water????????? EXTERNAL factors.

my point is the trouble 9 times outta 10 can be remedied without tearing into the injector, but a "newbie" may be inclined to rip it apart because he saw pictures of the guts in books and was distracted from the info.

most books are filled with diagrams and crap that don't mean a damn thing to a green engineer. once you grasp the concepts of safe operation and such there is no harm in pursueing more "learn'n". i'd start with q & a books with little or no pictures, and work up to the valve gear diagrams cutaways ect., ect... and always quiz yourself.

one thing i have noticed in a few ancient books is they ask what an engineer should do first thing when they take charge of a (hot) boiler. a few books i've read say trace out piping. i think that is boogus and the correct answer should be assess the water level, make sure the glass is clear and the cocks work and make sure all feeders are working. wuddaya think?
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:35:21 PM
Brad Kelley Brad Kelley is offline
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JBoogie,
Everything you just said sounds like it was read right out of "Rough and Tumble Engineering". It's a darn good read that does exactly what you say, skips teaching someone how to build an engine and goes directly to how to safely operate it.

Quote:
ROUGH AND TUMBLE ENGINEERING
By James H. Maggard

PREFACE_______

In placing this book before the public the author wishes it understood that it is not his intention to produce a scientific work on engineering. Such a book would be valuable only to engineers of large stationary engines. In a nice engine room nice theories and scientific calculations are practical. This book is intended for engineers of farm and traction engines, "rough and tumble engineers," who have everything in their favor today, and tomorrow are in mud holes, who with the same engine do eight horse work one day and sixteen horse work the next day. Reader, the author has had all these experiences and you will have them, but don't get discouraged. You can get through them to your entire satisfaction.

Don't conclude that all you are to do is to read this book. It will not make an engineer of you. But read it carefully, use good judgment and common sense, do as it tells you, and my word for it, in one month, you, for all practical purposes, will be a better engineer than four-fifths of the so-called engineers today, who think what they don't know would not make much of a book. Don't deceive yourself with the idea that what you get out of this will be merely "book learning." What is said in this will be plain, unvarnished, practical facts. It is not the author's intention to use any scientific terms, but plain, everyday field terms.

There will be a number of things you will not find in this book, but nothing will be left out that would be of practical value to you. You will not find any geometrical figures made up of circles, curves, angles, letters and figures in a vain effort to make you understand the principle of an eccentric. While it is all very nice to know these things, it is not necessary, and the putting of them in this book would defeat the very object for which it was intended. Be content with being a good, practical, everyday engineer, and all these things will come in time.
You can download the entire text here:
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/11164
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Old 02-08-2007, 04:45:48 PM
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Default Re: Lookin' for info

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Kelley View Post
You can download the entire text here:
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/11164
Brad,

Thanks for the great link. I've just downloaded the book and will start reading as soon as I finish this e-mail. I especially like the first lines in the introduction which says:
If you have not read the preface on the preceding pages, turn back and
read it. You will see that we have stated there that we will use no
scientific terms, but plain every day talk.
Do you know when this was written?

Harry
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Old 02-08-2007, 07:40:23 PM
Brad Kelley Brad Kelley is offline
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Default Re: Lookin' for info

No, I don't know when it was written or originally published, but I have seen it reprinted under a few different titles. It was obviously written back in the day and intended to be a learning tool for real thresherman, not just hobbyists like us. I love the language and the writing style the author uses, maybe it's just the plain old fashioned speak of it. It makes what is basically a manual read like a good story IMO.
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:39:28 AM
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Default Re: Lookin' for info

I've downloaded Maggard's book and at first glance it looks like what I was looking for. I also won a 181 page book by him on that site.

I thank you all who replied. My interest for now is to run an engine and boiler safely. I see no reason why his book wouldn't apply to our VFT also. As previously mentioned, we ran a similiar setup last fall for several days and learned a bunch, ran the injectors at several pressure settings, experimented with blower, draft, which needed some serious attention, and ran the coke bottle style vertical, similiar to our Wachs. The engine ran a shingle mill so it got loaded up very nicely.

We've now got the material for skid ordered, Friend Corky is milling a mount for the mechanical oiler. Then I'll pipe (or do you plumb oil line ) using 3/16 aircraft tubing up to the main steam line.

Well I've got some reading to do, but first I need to make a few passes with the snowplow.

Take Care....Live is Good!!!
Rick
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:34:07 AM
Jeff Smith Jeff Smith is offline
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Default Re: Lookin' for info

Rick,

Here are some photos of a vertical boiler and engine mounted on a skid that I took at N.T.A. in 2005.

Jeff Smith
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:56:31 AM
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Talking Re: Lookin' for info

Thanks Jeff. One of these days I hope to get better acquainted with my displacement oiler. For now, I don't have a warm fuzzy on the glass packing. Will show it to Gary and the Mt. boys when I run into them.

Now these engines on that site have me stumped.

120069656821

Plowing again today,
RickinMt.
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:57:48 AM
MPierce MPierce is offline
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Default Re: Lookin' for info

Rick:

The answer to the question, "plumb an oil line" was answered by a pipefitter to me.

"The only thing that is plumbed is a bathroom, and I am a pipefitter, NOT a plumber." Quite forcibly!

So, I take him at his word, and pipe an engine, not plumb it.

Melvin
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Old 02-10-2007, 10:40:18 AM
John Davidson John Davidson is offline
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Default Re: Lookin' for info

Quote:
Originally Posted by MPierce View Post
Rick:

The answer to the question, "plumb an oil line" was answered by a pipefitter to me.

"The only thing that is plumbed is a bathroom, and I am a pipefitter, NOT a plumber." Quite forcibly!

So, I take him at his word, and pipe an engine, not plumb it.

Melvin
One of differences between plumbers and pipe fitters is that plumbers don't bite their fingernails. John the retired plumber.
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:33:00 PM
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Question Re: Lookin' for info

Plumb it is . How can we tell if our engine is getting the right amount of oil? Oiler does have a sightglass and one can see the pulsations.

Rick
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Old 02-10-2007, 02:17:36 PM
Mike Rock Mike Rock is offline
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Default Re: Lookin' for info

Thanks for the Gutenberg site!! Downloaded the text zipped in about ten seconds on a dialup!!

Great reading. They sure have a wealth of titles there.

Most respectfully,
Mike Rock
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Old 02-10-2007, 03:06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Strobel View Post
Plumb it is . How can we tell if our engine is getting the right amount of oil? Oiler does have a sightglass and one can see the pulsations.

Rick
Rick; One way to tell is to watch your exhaust steam, be it from cylinder cocks, weeps at packing glands, or the like. When you have discoloration and it looks like pus, you are on the right track. PUS IS GOOD. Start out heavy and work to less feed, not the other way around. Oil is cheaper than making new parts. In addition to Rough And Tumble Engineering , another James Maggard text The Traction Engine It's Use And Abuse is a good read. My copy is copyrighted 1898 and revised and enlarged (By An Expert Engineer) in 1902. If your "Coke Bottle" engine and vertical boiler are rigidly mounted together pipe your engine exhaust to the boiler stack like a traction engine and use that exhaust steam for draft rather than running a blower. It will save you some steam, which in turn will save you fuel and water. That, in turn, will save you work! Firing's fun, but no need to over do it! Hope this helps - HAPPY STEAMING!
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