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Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats Antique steam engines, their boilers, pumps, gauges, whistles and other related things that make them run.

Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats

Antique Vertical Steam Engine


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  #11  
Old 10-14-2017, 10:36:24 AM
Ronald E. McClellan Ronald E. McClellan is offline
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Default Re: Antique Vertical Steam Engine

I'm with JoeK I think that a cutoff needs a governor. I have a couple of model engines that have a governor in the flywheel that changes the length of the stroke of the push rod for the slide valve. Is that called a riding cutoff?? Ron
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  #12  
Old 10-15-2017, 06:12:07 PM
Joe K Joe K is offline
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Default Re: Antique Vertical Steam Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald E. McClellan View Post
I'm with JoeK I think that a cutoff needs a governor. I have a couple of model engines that have a governor in the flywheel that changes the length of the stroke of the push rod for the slide valve. Is that called a riding cutoff?? Ron
Perhaps, perhaps not.

One method of making an "automatic" engine (i.e. engine that does not need a separate throttling governor on the inlet supply) is to vary the valve timing: If your engine requires less steam to carry less load, vary the steam admission quantity at the reciprocating valve at full boiler pressure, rather than take an efficiency hit by (in effect) running a pressure reducing valve on the steam supply.

Various valve actuating systems were used. One common was called "Robb-Armstrong-Sweet" (RAS) after its inventors. Fitchburg engines had another system, as did American-Ball, as did even four valve corliss engines.

Two ways that I'm aware of doing this: make the eccentric path "move" in greater or lesser circle depending on speed. Greater speed causes the circle to "tighten up" and lessen valve movement. Lower speed causes the circle to "enlarge" causing greater valve movement and hence greater steam.

Another method uses the "inertia" of a butterfly shaped weight to move either the size of the eccentric circle OR its position relative to the crank/piston. OR both.

There were at least 10 different ways/advantages of doing an automatic engine governor.

The only downside that I've heard of for an automatic engine was a stoker engine which had "run away" - and the chief engineer had me design a weighted spring loaded plunger weight which would snag a trip lever and cause the engine to shut down on chronic overspeed. I think the only problem with the shaft governor was it got crapped up (dirty) from years of neglect until it lost the automatic action.

Joe K
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  #13  
Old 10-15-2017, 07:22:04 PM
badboy1950 badboy1950 is offline
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Default Re: Antique Vertical Steam Engine

i will open the valve chest tomorrow and post photos and explain the valve action the best i can.
i have run the engine in both directions but it seems to prefer running clockwise
when viewed down the crankshaft connecting rod end to the flywheel( hope that makes sense ).
when i turn the flywheel counterclockwise by hand the piston becomes locked halfway on the stroke with compression top and bottom.
this is without introducing air pressure to the inlet.
Dan
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  #14  
Old 10-15-2017, 09:36:44 PM
GreasyIron GreasyIron is offline
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Default Re: Antique Vertical Steam Engine

Photos may easily be worth 1000 words if you take some when you open the valve chest. Especially if you can get a couple at the right distance and angle to show the port opening(s) and the location of the piston. If not, even separate photos, if you can remember which ones go together.

I don't see a reversing mechanism, in which case it makes sense that it favors one direction. Perhaps I'm missing something there though, else, I assume when you ran it backward you put air to the exhaust side?

---------- Post added at 08:36:44 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:23:47 PM ----------

Are the two small cylinders identical? They look a bit different in the photos. Pulling a vacuum on the exhaust seems rather elaborate for an engine of this size (but I'm far from an expert), but then boiler fed seems odd without a matching boiler - though maybe one existed at one time, though I'm still leaning toward having a purpose with a larger remote steam supply.

If they are different then maybe one for each purpose, but then certainly "all decked out" in my mind.
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:16:35 AM
Ronald E. McClellan Ronald E. McClellan is offline
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Default Re: Antique Vertical Steam Engine

The engine should not run in the opposite direction with this exception. It is possible that it has a slip eccentric. I have a Stuart 5 A that has one. You turn the flywheel in the direction that you want it to run. The eccentric slips on the shaft to a stop for that direction. If you turn the flywheel in the opposite the eccentric will slip around to the other stop to run in that direction. Ron
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:00:29 PM
badboy1950 badboy1950 is offline
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Default Re: Antique Vertical Steam Engine

Ron;
i think this has a slip eccentric as i have observed some extra motion at the eccentric closest to the connecting rod when i reverse direction of the flywheel plus the engine does run in reverse (counterclockwise).
the bronze spacer between the eccentrics activates the eccentric closest to the C R .
i now have the valve chest open.
turning flywheel clockwise as viewed from opposite side of steam chest.
photos as marked

1. top of piston travel
2. bottom of piston travel
3.halfway on upstroke
4. halfway on downstroke
i hope this makes sense and not to confusing.
any and all questions answered as best i can.
thanks for everyones interest.
Dan
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  #17  
Old 10-16-2017, 03:27:28 PM
Joe K Joe K is offline
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Default Re: Antique Vertical Steam Engine

Riding cutoff, but not adjustable except through valve timing. The D-valve runs on top of a grid-valve which runs on top of the cylinder ports. Advantage of this is full steam flow without wiredrawing at slower speeds, and a more perfectly formed indicator diagram therefrom.

Will be a little bit of a bear to set properly. I'd have to consult some of my books to get this one right. Best would be to play with it using a steam engine indicator to try to get to that optimal "shoe" shape indicator diagram.

So mark carefully the adjustments: the position of the D-valve and grid on their respective actuating rods AND the position of the eccentrics on the crank. You may find there is but one setting for these (keyed eccentrics, non-adjustable valve rods - assemble, plug & play) If this is the case then this is a remarkable small engine and the engineering product of someone who knows his steam.

You have to keep in mind that most 19th century small steam engines were "one-offs." Made by a foundry or engineer or craftsman. Only a bit later (after the turn of the 20th century) did steam engines assume a standard, interchangeable parts, engineering drawing constructed motif like the 1930s Briggs & Stratton engines.

Joe in NH
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:55:24 AM
GreasyIron GreasyIron is offline
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Default Re: Antique Vertical Steam Engine

Those pictures definitely show the valve arrangement well!

I wonder.... what are the chances the timing is still factory set, if it is adjustable?

It runs either way, with air applied the same place? If so, then the slip eccentric seems the answer - I'm really not familiar with that either, but "some extra motion at the eccentric" and "spacer....activates" does seem to support intentional slip. But then I wonder: can the arrangement work proper with only the grid-valve eccentric moving and not both?

Finally, I really wonder what application [in this size] would make such valve arrangement worth the extra expense, or whether it was more a "selling point" for the manufacturer where gains may or may not have be negligible to a given application. Quite a neat specimen indeed!

Joe, can you elaborate why small steam engines were maybe a decade behind traction engines, maybe a couple decades behind locomotive, regarding interchangeable parts?
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:25:18 PM
al vanley al vanley is offline
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Default Re: Antique Vertical Steam Engine

Possibly CB was on to something when he wrote that it looked suitable for a small steam launch. Riding cut off expansion gear was sometimes applied to marine engines at the end of the 19th century, and given the apparent high quality of manufacture and engineering, the relatively light base plate (instead of the more usual cast base for a stationary application), the counterweighted flywheel, and the shaft-driven pumps, and (possibly) slip eccentrics, it might well be a launch engine.

Al
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Old 10-17-2017, 05:44:53 PM
cyberbadger cyberbadger is offline
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Default Re: Antique Vertical Steam Engine

I asked some other steamboaters and we can't exactly place it. Maybe maybe not.

I like to look at the unique features to see if anything is plausible.

What I see going for it being a marine engine is the ryder cutoff is efficiency.

Steamboats you have to carry your fuel with you. So the more efficient use of steam could mean whether you can make it to the next fuel dock or whether there is room for an extra passenger or that weight has to be reserved for fuel.

The fact that has a slip eccentric for reversing is a nod in the right direction. Makes docking and maneuvering much more manageable. Not as quick as a Stephenson type to reverse, but slip eccentrics are still often seen in steam launch nowadays.

-CB
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