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

Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines

Peerless "Handwheel" reverse


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  #1  
Old 11-18-2010, 09:38:12 PM
Jim Mead Jim Mead is offline
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Default Peerless "Handwheel" reverse

On page 101 of "The Steam Tractor Encyclopedia" by Spalding and Rhode, there is pictured two early Peerless traction engines with a unique reverse. If I'm not mistaken, the "handwheel" serves to backoff and then advance or reverse a rotating member that must somehow connect with the eccentric made fast by the double sided latching hook. To reverse the engine, this would seem to entail stopping the engine, grasping the crank handle of the "handwheel", backing off the mating member via the small belt connecting the two, flopping over the latching dog with your finger (yikes), rotating the mating member to the opposite notch, making sure the dog is set and restarting the engine. There seems to be at least two notches provided for each direction (?) so as to give some degree of "hooking up". And I guess the "handwheel", with it's crank handle, is flailing around all the time the engine is running? (yikes, again). I thought I had it figured out, but in looking again, I can't study out how all the stuff on the right hand side of the crank disc is connected to the eccentric which must (?) be on the left side of the crank disc. And, is there a chance one of these engines survives?

Which reminds me, and here I make a terrible admission, that I never did really figure out how my later 40 hp Peerless shifted its eccentric "through" the crankshaft, even after much study of the drawing in the Peerless catalogs. Thank heavens it wasn't frozen when I first revived the engine, just very stiff. Got it lubed up and just kept putting oil in that little hole plainly marked "oil". I'm still haunted by that bit of Geiser or Landis engineering too, even though I recently crossed the street in Waynesboro and now own a 1915 Frick, which has its "improved" reverse hanging out the left side for all us apprentice grade engineers to see........

Anyone more proficient with scanner and computer than I who might have a copy of the book is encouraged to post a scan of the photos if you care to. Thanks for your consideration...

Jim
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:36:24 PM
Jack Hottel Jack Hottel is offline
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Default Re: Peerless "Handwheel" reverse

Jim,
I have also been curious about the early Peerless reverse ever since I read that book. Maybe the collected wisdom of the stack will bring forth light. If any of that vintage of engine still exists I would sure like to see it.
A discussion of the reverse in the later Landis type Geisers, such as your 40 has been done. See my post of 08-17-2006.
Jack Hottel
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:08:53 AM
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JBoogie JBoogie is offline
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Default Re: Peerless "Handwheel" reverse

the handwheel deal is a mechanical wonder, as in it's a wonder it worked. it was invented by f.f. landis and patented in 1881.

from what i could tell the handwheel does rotate when the engine is running. the other end of the belt runs on a pulley on the crank disc. the crank end pulley actuates a train of gears that engage in a curved rack. turning the pinion inside the rack shifts the eccentric. what a mess.

the reverse we se on the landis style engines was invented by f.f.'s brother a.b. i think a.b.'s gear is pretty ingenius since supposedly the only thing that can really wear is the eccentric strap bearing and the valve guide. no links, pivots or wedges ect.

has anyone discovered the cause behind the so-called "peerless death rattle"?
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Old 11-20-2010, 09:26:50 PM
Brad Kelley Brad Kelley is offline
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Default Re: Peerless "Handwheel" reverse

What a strange contraption. Here's the patent, with diagrams and description:

Patent number: 244758
Filing date: Feb 21, 1881
Issue date: Jul 26, 1881


http://www.google.com/patents/about?...q=landis+steam


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Old 11-20-2010, 10:32:51 PM
Jack Hottel Jack Hottel is offline
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Default Re: Peerless "Handwheel" reverse

Landis anticipated Rube Goldberg by some 30 years!
Brad,
Thanks for the great info. One of those wonders that can be seen and still not believed. The later design is most elegant by comparison.
Jason,
The thrust forces acting on the eccentric are transmitted back to the control lever and its latch. Lost motion in the control mechanism adds up fast. As the engine revolves at slow speed you can actually see the eccentric move on the disc in response to the forces of gravity and valve operation.
Jack Hottel
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:42:29 PM
Jim Mead Jim Mead is offline
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Default Re: Peerless "Handwheel" reverse

So I guess the white latching dog, so prominent in the picture at the top of page 101 of Spalding and Rhode, simply keeps the crank shaft pulley locked in relation to the crank disc. So that the thing doesn't unwind itself, as it were. But I do see two notches in the pulley, both in the same direction, so maybe you could "hook it up" some. But the dog seems double sided, like it could be flopped either way, which makes sense for reverse. I still wonder but what you had to flop and engage the dog by hand.

I think I'm beginning to understand the later Landis reverse thanks to Jack's earlier post. The key, which is not well shown in the catalog cuts, is what is going on within the collar on the crankshaft. I never understood how the action of the reverse lever could be transmitted to the hollow interior of the crankshaft without the crank being in two pieces! I think I now see that the crank shaft is simply slotted, and the actuating pin on the reverse rod spins around within the collar that is moved back and forth by the reverse lever. To be contrary, I think there must be loads of places for this style gear to wear. Add them all up and you get the "death rattle". I always ran mine with a bungee holding the reverse lever "still". But the eccentric still rose and fell slightly within the dovetails, but the noise was a lot less. Ran square though......

Jim
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