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Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats

Shipman Steam Engine Boiler


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  #1  
Old 09-07-2011, 06:33:44 PM
Sam Shublom Sam Shublom is offline
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Default Shipman Steam Engine Boiler

I was at Mount Pleasant last weekend and found this in the swap tent. It is a Shipman "porcupine" type boiler. I believe this one was made for marine use as it is on a cast iron base by itself and not on a base with an engine as most stationary Shipman's were. It is in pretty good shape considering it is over 100 years old. I just did a hydro test on it and found only one leaking tube...toward the bottom as would be expected. I doesn't look like it would take to much to get it going. The tubes or "quills" screw into the water leg and have an oddball taper thread (not NPT) but I think I can cut it on my lathe.

It has most of the Shipman automatic features still on it..burner, burner regulator and the water column cutoff float. Here are some photos of it and some pictures from my Shipman file. I thought the casing was galvanized at first, but further inspection shows it to be nickel plated copper. It is lined with genuine asbestos and not the safe stuff they make you use nowadays. Hopefully I can dispose of it and replace it with fiberglass without contracting mesothelioma! I would like to find about a 2 x 3 upright to go with it.

Anyone else have one of these boilers or engine/boiler combination?





---------- Post added at 05:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:29 PM ----------


Shipman at the New England Wireless and Steam Museum




Shipman Catalog Cut

Last edited by Sam Shublom; 09-07-2011 at 06:42:02 PM. Reason: .
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:15:59 PM
Joe K Joe K is offline
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Default Re: Shipman Steam Engine Boiler

Shipmans are a very neat setup. Entirely self regulating. Burned kerosene. Not too keen on those threaded in tubes and cast iron header, however. Nevertheless, I've never heard of one coming loose or blowing off.

This is the so called "Boston" model. The Rochester was an entirely different animal. Round like a drum IIRC. And the earlier shipmans were even more different. There is a couple of good write ups on the 'net on all of these. Scientific American, Manufacturer and Builder. Used to be found at the "making of America" treasury at Cornell.

There is some write up on the Shipman self regulating feature (and a cut away version pix of the machine - why do they always want to cut away a perfectly useful machine?) at the Smithsonian book "Feedback Mechanisms" by Otto Mayer. Used to be on the 'net in Google Books. Try googling it.

There is a pix of the 1 hp shipman in one of Kenneth Cope's machine tool books. Shipman was first a woodworking tool builder and only came to steam engines a bit later. It might be his "Footpowered machinery" book which is a little difficult to find now. I'm not sure that Astragal Press still prints that one.

Anyway, you're very lucky. Even to have it sit there if you don't dare trust those tubes.

Keep your eye out for a small crosby pressure gauge. perhaps 4" in diameter.

Joe
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:32:14 PM
Sam Shublom Sam Shublom is offline
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Default Re: Shipman Steam Engine Boiler



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Old 09-07-2011, 07:41:36 PM
Boatbum Boatbum is offline
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Default Re: Shipman Steam Engine Boiler

I wonder how long it would take to build up pressure from cold with one of those. Any one know?
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:46:37 PM
Sam Shublom Sam Shublom is offline
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Default Re: Shipman Steam Engine Boiler

There was an air pump attached that you worked to get the kerosene burner atomizing. They claimed you needed to work it slowly for about five minutes until you had enough steam to aspirate the burner. There after it took about 15 minutes to have a full head of steam (100 PSI)
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:48:20 PM
m_thompson m_thompson is offline
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Default Re: Shipman Steam Engine Boiler

There are two Shipman Boston engines at the NEWSM. I see that you found a picture of one of them. Can put better pictures of them on the NEWSM WWW site if you want.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:20:16 PM
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Default Re: Shipman Steam Engine Boiler

NEAT! I really like that outfit. Do you have any idea what the capacity of your boiler is? Leave the asbestos alone if you can. It can only hurt you if you breathe it or ingest it. If it falling apart and needs replaced by all means replace it with a modern insulation. Some modern stuff like Kaowool also becomes carcinogenic after is has been subjected to high heat though.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:37:45 AM
m_thompson m_thompson is offline
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Default Re: Shipman Steam Engine Boiler

I put new high resolution images of the Shipman Boston engines on the NEWSM WWW site.

http://www.newsm.org/steam-engines/shipman-boston-l.jpg

http://www.newsm.org/steam-engines/shipman-boston-s.jpg
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:43:50 AM
chrsbrbnk chrsbrbnk is offline
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Default Re: Shipman Steam Engine Boiler

Are the tubes tilted back towards the header , or how did they handle sediments ? wish I would of seen it there, this stuff is always interesting.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:01:39 PM
Sam Shublom Sam Shublom is offline
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Default Re: Shipman Steam Engine Boiler

No, they are 90 degrees to the waterleg. This question is always asked about porcupine boilers and all I can say is it doesn't seem to matter all that much. The boiling action is so violent that sediment dosen't seem to settle and stick and they run pretty clean with regular blowdowns from the waterleg. Though not a Shipman boiler, I saw the tubes that were replaced in a porcupine that was in launch service for 20 years and while the lower tubes were eroded to the point of leaking, there was very little sediment.

They have all the usual water tube boiler saftey atributes with a low volume of water being first. The thing most likely to give is one of the tubes and that usually results in putting out the fire and relieving pressure. They suffer from not having a great reserve of steam capacity, but they make steam so fast you can often overcome that by diligent fire regulation. And with liquid or gaseous fuel, that can be done automatically.

Last edited by Sam Shublom; 09-11-2011 at 12:09:52 PM. Reason: .
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