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1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted


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  #1  
Old 01-03-2015, 12:02:41 AM
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Tim Colwell Tim Colwell is offline
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Default 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

Hello,
I recently picked up this gauge tester. Its an Ashcroft. I'm hoping I can make some money. Does anybody know anything about it? Can it be used with steam gauges? How much is it worth?
The lady I got it from also told me the man that consigned the item worked for pepsico.

here's a link to an ad I put up. I know I'm not supposed to but I'm bad with pics and got these to work.

http://www.enginads.com/classifieds/...product=108419

Sorry mods,
Thanks,
Tim
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:59:51 AM
Ed Bays Ed Bays is offline
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Default Re: 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

That looks to be an archaic dead weight tester, possibly similar to the Parker H K hydraulic tester. First off, is it filled with mineral oil, or glycerin? If it came from Pepsi (the guy may have just worked there and got the thing at a garage sale) , and is actually a hydraulic tester, it is probably or was at one time filled with a "food grade" something. What does the knob on the lower end of the photo appear to be? There should be a way to "float" the weights. What is the range of weights that came with it? Today testers of this type have to be sent to a certified recalibration center annually for a re-certification against a master tester. The safest bet to "make some money" would be to try to resell it for a profit. I'm not even mentioning the liability aspect connected with a business dealing with steam. Just an opinion, but I'd hang it on the wall, and leave this stuff for the pros. Good luck......ED
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:27:38 AM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
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Default Re: 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

Definately an old dead weight tester. Used to check calibration of any gauge that can tolerate oil. New models run up to four grand, but as old as it is your price probably isn't far out of line. You might try the used test equipment dealers for interest. If you were closer I'd maybe be interested myself just to check my air gauges. Handy to have around, but unless you calibrate gauges frequently then it will mostly sit on a shelf and look interesting.... Check your area for calibration labs. You might get a better price out of one that does pressure cal.

As to use, the instruction plate pretty much covers it. Only hint I might ad is to give the weights an easy spin now and then as you turn handle in to increase pressue. When weights suddenly spin free you've reached the desired pressure. Pressure is determined by ratio between piston diameter and weights. Don't recall if it is ratio to weight diameter or weight platform.

Good luck
Doc
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:40:14 AM
Jim Mackessy Jim Mackessy is offline
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Default Re: 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

I have one of these I picked up at a flea market for $10.00 a few years back. It looks like you have the weights for it, mine did not and I had to find those on an internet auction site, you know the one. It works by putting a known amount of pressure on the oil by using the weights calibrated for a piston of known area. I did the math once but don't recall the numbers, what did surprise me was the degree of accuracy this system has. As for making money, if you mean on reselling the instrument, I'd say you can. If you intend to test gauges for money, you'd have to have your weights tested and certified by a lab traceable to the National Bureau of Standards or some such and a lot of money for liability insurance, and it would take a ton of gauge testing to recover even a small portion of that. Then you have to know how to properly adjust gauges, and that's even tougher to learn in today's throw away world. I use mine to check my own gauges, and a few for close friends. Nice find! - Jim Mackessy
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Old 01-03-2015, 11:15:34 AM
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Default Re: 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

I by know means meant to test gauges for people to make money lol. I just wanted to flip it right away. But it sounds like it may be a hard sell.

Tim
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:52:19 PM
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Default Re: 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

Tim,
I have a pretty decent old dead weight gauge tester from "Butte America." I traded some two piece box Winchester antique ammunition to the gentleman who owned this, while living in Kalispell, Montana. While I know it would still work and I have used it, slightly, it is pretty much "a wall hanger" that I happen to like. It has a relevance to steam which turns my crank. Inspectors would use this dead weight setup to re-calibrate their smaller gauges (shown) weekly, which they are tee'd to a boiler's operating gauge for a comparison. Gary



PS: the box of weights is a real "hernia builder."
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:37:07 PM
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Default Re: 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

Gary,
Yours is really nice! If mine was old I would definitely keep it... But it isn't. Oh well it's already sold!
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Old 01-03-2015, 05:15:24 PM
butch vollmar butch vollmar is offline
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Default Re: 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

Gary! I have a guage tester just like the one you have pictured. It is amazingly accurate with the new certified guages I have. BV
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Old 01-03-2015, 06:50:00 PM
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Default Re: 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

I just purchased one. Can post more pics when I get it. Hope it is complete and accurate I do know that is comes with the little thing to pull needles off the gauges. Not sure if I ever did see weights in the picture of the one I purchased.
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:40:50 PM
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Default Re: 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

Mine went to a good home and will see a lot of use!
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Old 01-08-2015, 07:06:03 AM
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Default Re: 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

I should spend more time on this forum! Somebody has got to be happy.
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:35:33 AM
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Default Re: 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by George White View Post
I just purchased one. Can post more pics when I get it. Hope it is complete and accurate I do know that is comes with the little thing to pull needles off the gauges. Not sure if I ever did see weights in the picture of the one I purchased.
If you can measure the piston diameter to a thousandths of an inch, you can calculate the pressure created by cast iron bodybuilding weights (like you can buy at Walmart for small money) and make a passible tester.

Until I got my Crosby Deadweight Tester (with all 11 brass weights) I used an earlier Ashcroft creation sans original weights by stacking up 2-1/2lb dumbbell weights. If placed centrally on the pan, and spun carefully, I could calibrate gauges to near perfect - at the calculated pressure.

Which is close enuf for our purposes.

Joe K
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:29:52 AM
Peter Peter is offline
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Default Re: 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

Nine times out of ten the weights are gone. if not seen, probably not there.

Absolutely like Joe says. And the weight could be fine tuned with drilling and/or filling to what ever precision you desire. I filled round flat stack-able tin cans with lead shot to make up some weights. Seems like with enough care there would not be any compromise in accuracy.

The pointer puller tools are available from internet or catalogs.

I dont know what would throw the accuracy off, beyond obvious wrong weights, maybe seriously gummed up and dirty or not using it correctly? Altitude vs gravity? I guess that is a more a question than an informed comment.
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:54:17 AM
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Default Re: 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

Some of my weights had shallow holes drilled in them also.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:58:14 PM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
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Default Re: 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Colwell View Post
Some of my weights had shallow holes drilled in them also.
That's how they calibrate weights when they make them. Also how labs tweak them into spec if needed (Seldom on weights). Add or remove mass.
Doc
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:18:10 PM
Joe K Joe K is offline
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Default Re: 1303 Ashcroft gauge tester info wanted

The drilling of holes or otherwise "calibrating" a weight for use on a deadweight tester is only necessary if you want to have "whole" numbers as your weight target.

I can't remember numbers exactly (it's late and I'm lazy tonight) but the ashcroft tester with about five 2-1/2 pound dumbbell weights/disks would yield about 87 lbs pressure. As my boiler safety valve is set at 85 psi (with a possibility of 4 percent over pressure and 2 psi blow-down/reset) I figured that a gauge with the needle set to be exact at 87 psi was close enough.

Once I spun too enthusiastically and the stack of 5 came asunder - such is the vagaries of centrifugal forces. So an improvement would have been to provide a recess or means to fix the weights concentric. But I never did that.

On the Crosby Deadweight Tester, the brass weights are in increments of 20 psi typically, and weigh 4 lbs. The piston has an area of 1/5th of a square inch.



For a "steam engineer", a deadweight tester is like No. 2 to be on one's mantle/desk/file cabinet. A steam indicator is a MUST HAVE in these locations, the deadweight tester POSSIBLY REQUIRED.

Joe K
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