intro and my stationary engine with some boiler questions

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lupy
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Location: Renton Wa

intro and my stationary engine with some boiler questions

Postby lupy » Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:51 pm

I have always had a fascination with steam engines. I have a reasonable garage shop, but not a lot of free time at
this point in my life. I came across this engine and boiler a couple of days ago, very reasonable. Given the
dangers of steam boilers, I don't want to fire up the boiler until I understand better how to check it out first. Not
sure of the right term, but the boiler is double walled around the fire box, so that water surrounds the fire except
the bottom. It is ~.140" thick steel 6" dia with about 50 X .25" copper fire tubes, about 12" tall without the top,
propane fired, center burner on one valve, and 4 more burners around the outside on a second valve, 160 psi
gauge, unknown safety valve, glass water level.
On the engine, I pulled off one of the piston covers, and it is 1" bore 1.5" stroke, one piece cast iron
chambers, aluminum steam chests, aluminum support underneath. No mfg. anywhere on it.
the water pump is marked worthington, and appears to be mostly brass.

Questions:
Any idea of make of engine?
Is there a good post covering proper boiler preservation? Testing? Drying out after running?

Thanks for any help!
Ps pardon the mess, it's a shared shop.

Image

Harold_V
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Postby Harold_V » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:43 pm

lupy,
I'm no help with the boiler questions, but I sure like what I see! Very cool!

Welcome to the forum.

Harold

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seal killer
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Postby seal killer » Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:50 am

lupy--

Welcome to the forum!

I really like the way that machine is laid out. I am going to keep that picture handy and refer to it in a few weeks!

--Bill
You are what you write.

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LVRR2095
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Postby LVRR2095 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:18 am

The engine looks like ones that were sold by Anton Bohaboy from New Jersey back in the early days of the hobby.

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Bill Shields
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Boiler

Postby Bill Shields » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:23 am

1> When you are finished, get the boiler as dry as you can. standing water with oxygen is your biggest enemy.
2> use clean water - distilled is good if you are not sure of mineral content..
3> there are treatment chemicals LSB4000 / LSB8000 to add to the feed water if you are really concerned. Considering how much (little) you are probably going to run it, see #1 as your primary concern.
4> HYDROTEST it with a hand pump and only water to 150% of safety valve set pressure before you do anything
5> check that the safety DOES work and water level indicated is correct (no clogs in lines)
6> do NOT rely on your 'little' gauge - get something more industrial, if only to compare you gauge to so that you can be sure it is correct.
7> determine where the bottom of the copper tubes are and make a mark on the boiler / glass about 1/2" ABOVE that as your MINIMUM OPERATING WATER level. I would THINK that it is about where the single valve is to the right of the glass, but you should actually MEASURE the location and mark the boiler.
8> be sure that the feed-water steam driven pump runs before firing. If the pump won't run on air, it probably won't run on steam. If you cannot get water in, DON'T FIRE the boiler. Having a hand-driven pump is also a very good idea for emergencies, although with a propane boiler that you can just shut off if you lose feed water, it is an arguable point.
9> safety valve looks like BAGLEY from Coles - which are good valves, assuming they work correctly. Adjustment is at the very top with a 'split screwdriver' nut around the pin sticking out the top. Don't adjust anything inside the little hex on the side (resets reseat pressure).

10> learn how to control / set the burner BEFORE you try to heat the boiler with it. You probably have no idea what pressures required - figure 1-2 PSI as a starting point.
11> although you can probably start it on natrual draught, an electric blower will help. I don't see any line for a steam blower / exhaust draught line appears to be hanging down on the left of the engines - without this back through the stack, you will probably have trouble keeping up heat.

What's behind the draftsman's scale? need to see that piping also...maybe a shot from around back?

lupy
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:58 pm
Location: Renton Wa

Postby lupy » Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:37 pm

Wow, thanks for all the info. There currently are no entrances back into the stack where steam could be re
introduced. I will revisit this when I get a little further along.

The water treatment sound good, No idea how old this unit is, but anything I can do to extend it's life is probably a good idea. I did a little searching, but didn't find anyone actually selling the treatment, (sources??). I will probably wait to find this stuff before filling/hydro testing the boiler. Any idea what sort of working pressure I should shoot
for? Ideally I would like about 1/4 hp out, for a project I have in mind. Does air produce the same amount of power per PSI as steam? When I am running tests, It would be much easier to not have to fire everything up all the time.

The ruler isn't hiding anything, the lower line goes to the engine with a valve, and the upper goes to the whistle and an auxiliary input. This can introduce air to the engine and feed pump without pressurizing the boiler.

The boiler has a blow down at the back, I will try to get some more pics today. Any idea what the other
openings/ valves do on the boiler? I suppose they could be to allow air to escape when filling??

I hooked up some shop air to the top line ( boiler isolated, no pressure ), the engine and feed pump both run, Yay!!! While it self starts, the engine is a
little uneven, so I expect I will have to re-lap the valves at some point. The feed pump runs really smooth, I have
never seen one run before, and it's really cute to watch the rods going back and forth. No idea if it will actually
pump, but it's fun to watch.

It came with some Stuart steam oil, I put a little on all the bearing points and in the top of the cylinders before
running. Anything else I should do before running the engine/ pump again on shop air?

Thanks again for all the useful info.
Ken

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LVRR2095
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Postby LVRR2095 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:13 pm

Ken, if you run the engine on air..do not use steam cylinder oil in the cylinders. Steam cylinder oil is for just that....steam. The steam being hot, will thin the oil. On compressed air steam cylinder oil is too thick and will not provide the lubrication you need. On air a light machine oil should be all you need. You mention 1/4 horse power....you won't get anywhere near that figure with an engine that size.
Keith

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Fred_V
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Postby Fred_V » Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:38 pm

i get .15 HP.
Fred V
Pensacola, Fl.

lupy
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:58 pm
Location: Renton Wa

Postby lupy » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:36 pm

.15 HP might do it. Any idea what sort of pressure I would need to be running?

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Dick_Morris
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Postby Dick_Morris » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:18 pm

When I looked again at the boiler I noticed that the water and pressure gauge as well as the fittings were from Coles', and then the light came on. The image below is from their catalog 21, 1970.

They were in Ventura, California for many years. Around this time there was also a company that advertised boiler construction in Ventura, but at a different address. Their Live Steam ad in November, 1970, said:

MODEL BOILERS
Built and Repaired
Also Boiler Parts Formed Out
MODEL BOILERS
Box 178 Ventura, California 93001

My recollection is that the same ad ran, unchanged, for several years.

My impression is that the boiler maker wasn't directly associate with Coles'. However, your boiler most likely was purchased from Coles' and I wouldn't be surprised if the boiler maker above is where your boiler was built.

I was having trouble getting the image to post. I'll try and send you a larger image by PM.
Attachments
Coles' catalog 21, 1970.jpg

lupy
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:58 pm
Location: Renton Wa

Postby lupy » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:43 am

That has to be it. I was told by the guy I bought it from that his grandfather in law built it, but he probably bought the finished components and assembled them on the base. Not to bad mouth his inlaws, but there are a number of sloppy details in the way things are mounted to the plate that just don't jibe with the same person having made the nicely finished engine, boiler and water feed pump.

Thanks for the pic.

Anyway, still looking for a source for water treatment. If anyone has a current source, or an extra can they want
to sell, let me know.

Here is a pic of the back side, and a shot of the center burner, you can just see the tops of the outer ring of 4 burners.
Thanks
Ken
Attachments
burner detail.jpg
back view.jpg

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Fred_V
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Postby Fred_V » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:22 am

lupy wrote:.15 HP might do it. Any idea what sort of pressure I would need to be running?


i was using 125 to get that number. i'll run the formula for you again when you decide what pressure you can use.
Fred V
Pensacola, Fl.


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