finally back to work

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reubenT
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:04 pm
Location: Spencer TN USA

finally back to work

Post by reubenT » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:39 pm

on the steam stuff. Making all the boiler parts, about ready to weld er up. I'm modifying the design slightly to fit the stuff I have to work with. It's the ofeldt style water tube boiler. 10" steel pipe in the middle with lots of coiled boiler tubing welded in the sides. Instead of the round end caps I'm using flat end plates from half inch plate steel and putting a half dozen 1.25" fire tubes through the middle just to tie the plates together so they won't flex. So It ends up a fire tube/water tube combination. Adding a water separator at the top. I need a good strong 1" T to put the safety valve into the line, might be easier to make one than go hunting suppliers. (black iron plumbing T's are way too light, this is scd 80 pipe for the steam outlet) a pipe going from drain pipe to top opposite the steam outlet will serve as water level indicator, will put a row of spark plugs in it to operate a row of LED's. Then when running stationary I can switch it to automatic using the level indicator plugs to turn the feed pump on and off. (through electronic switching of course) The firebox shell will be 36" diameter. Got an old 30" propane tank to modify for that, has a nice round top that'll be just right to curve in over the tube coils. I put together an oil torch for preheating the weld joints, it works great, just compressed air and used oil, it'll turn steel orange. It's going to be one heavy duty boiler for the low pressure of 200 PSI the relief valve is set for. The design is for 600 psi. The initial application is to run a westinghouse design 2 cy engine and power a 4x4 truck. (3/4 ton dodge with cab removed) But the boiler is way bigger than the engine needs, and the engine too small for the truck, it'll work but be real slow climbing hills, otherwise it'll run a generator and log splitter mounted on the truck. (generator for portable power, the electric chainsaw, I'll put an electric motor on a garden tiller and run that too) and can be connected to sorghum press and grain mill on occasion. In time I plan to build from scratch a much bigger engine to match the boiler, and a much smaller boiler to match the engine. move the westinghouse engine to a little jeep frame, bigger engine on the dodge. And down the road a ways I have in mind a 3rd one made from a 5 ton military truck with even larger main engine, a donkey engine winch and big flotation tractor tires. But that's thinking too far ahead of things for now. Also just built a molding bench to work on with the foundry, and building a small cupola because the big one is too big for little parts. Been experimenting with charcoal making, that's taking some adjustment in kiln design to get something that will work for me. Got lots of firewood drying for all 3 purposes. winter heat, biochar for agriculture, and cupola firing. The purpose of all the steam machines is agriculture backup work. I see petroleum supply as very unstable, I want my food supply on a better basis than that. And I don't want to revert to hand methods either. Horse power is fine, I've tried that and like it, but it's pretty limited in what it'll do, and I have way more wood than grass. Since I've loved steam engines since I was little, might as well do something practical with them.

boomerralph
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:13 pm
Location: St. Augustine, FL

Re: finally back to work

Post by boomerralph » Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:51 pm

Try McMaster Carr for your pipe tee
1" 3,000 psi @ 72° F Forged Steel Cat. No. 45005K156 $10.32
Ralph M. Reese
St. Augustine, FL
Under Construction
LE Pacific
Allen 10 Wheeler

reubenT
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:04 pm
Location: Spencer TN USA

Re: finally back to work

Post by reubenT » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:02 am

OK, great. I was hunting but didn't think to look there. In the mean time I've reconfigured the piping a bit to take the potential strain off the fittings, and set it up with ordinary steel fittings. They've done OK for me at hydraulic pressures before so I suppose they'd be OK for 200 psi steam. I just want to reduce risk of breakage to a minimum, the hazard of steam is high enough. If I were to run it at it's design pressure of 600 PSI I'd definitely get all high pressure fittings on it. It's all welded up, one day is all it took, preheating a section at a time with the oil torch to almost an orange glow. Spent today adapting an auto air conditioner electric clutch to fit a pressure washer pump, to create an automatic boiler feed pump triggered by the spark plug water level detectors. And manual switch override of course. Having it on automatic while mobile will cause rapid pump cycling normally, unless I switch it to a lower water level and design an electronic delay circuit to prevent rapid on/off switching as the water splashes around, it will still switch on every time the water uncovers a plug but stay on longer keeping it at a higher level. I have 6 spark plug holes in the vertical pipe to operate 6 LEDs for the sight gauge, I could use any combination to turn the pump on and off, or just on with a fixed on time. The boiler contains so little water it will disappear fast under power, looks like around 7-10 gallons. Had to make a stub shaft on the lathe, 3/4" with key slot on one end and duplicating the air conditioner pump shaft on the other end. then adapting the front cover from the freon pump to bolt onto the water pump flange. (rotary table on the mill comes in handy to get the bolt holes just right) I needed to thread the outlet fitting on the pump but found it was hardened. Found a carbide bit to try it and still wasn't working very well. Finally realized I just needed to soften the fitting, lit up the oil torch and turned it a good orange color, let it cool slow and then it cut just fine, strait threads of 11 per inch, a copper washer sealing it with a matching adapter in a piece of steel rod to take it to half inch pipe thread. All the plumbing ready. Just gotta seal all the joints, add a gauge and set up a motor to run the pressure pump. Hope it doesn't leak. In operation the pump will run off a pulley on the steam engine.

Oh and I was just going on someone's guess on the engine. But they were off a lot on their guess of 4-5 HP. I finally did it myself, took off the crankcase cover and measured the bore and stroke and did the calculation. Turns out it figures to 15 HP at 100 PSI or 30 at 200. Which is plenty for the truck, and likely will even run my small sawmill. And takes it right up to match the boiler which has a 15-40 HP rating. Probably because it's a "high speed" engine. found a figure of 600 RPM for it in some old literature. High speed for the times when most engines of the size were running at not over 250 rpm.

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