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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

Barn fresh...


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  #1  
Old 07-21-2009, 01:59:39 PM
Greg DeKeyzer Greg DeKeyzer is offline
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Cool Barn fresh...

Too excited not to share the discovery... I hauled the engine in the attached picture out of the woods this weekend. Found it by following up on a comment by a friend that there was some type of old engine out "there". For anyone who thinks there is nothing left to find, think again.

Greg
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2009, 02:03:27 PM
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

Nice find
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:22:42 PM
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

Nice find is right!

The Judson governor suggests it is from at least the 1880's, as I have an identical governor on my Nichols & Shepard from the same era.

It also has the crosshead pump to supply water to the boiler.

In my opinion, this is a Ford Museum quality engine that old Henry missed.

Congratulations on one heck of a find. I confess I broke the 10th Commandment for a moment or two.

David
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  #4  
Old 07-21-2009, 02:37:22 PM
Greg DeKeyzer Greg DeKeyzer is offline
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

David,

Thanks for those nice comments. I hear so many "Oh, there's an old engine or something out in the woods near such and such..." stories I sometimes don't check them out. You can imagine how I felt last winter when I first saw this after hacking my way through a quarter mile of undergrowth.

The really remarkable thing is that the engine appears totally complete, unmolested and in remarkably good condition for having been outside for God knows how many years. Nuts came off with little effort. No broken castings that I have been able to find.

I still haven't figured out the arrangement, but it looks like it may be a uniflow engine with a slide valve. There is a steam jacket around the cylinder and it looks like the cylinder exhausts into a large cast iron "box" running the length of the base. The water inlet appears to enter into the "box", probably makes a loop, (I haven't pulled the cover off yet) and then goes into the crosshead pump. In other words, a preheater.

I'll keep you posted if you are interested.

Thanks again,

Greg
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:07:12 PM
Grape Grape is offline
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

Great find!!!
It would be great if you could re-create the old base when you get it to its new permanant home. The aged brick work makes a beautiful picture. Do you have any idea of its past history?
Keep us updated on your progress please
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:28:52 PM
Greg DeKeyzer Greg DeKeyzer is offline
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

A good friend of mine said essentially the same thing when he first saw the picture. He wanted to pick the whole thing up and put it in his living room.

Sadly a question of letting it remain picturesque and rust into oblivion or pull it out for preservation. If it had been outside my back door on my property it might have just stayed put.

It will ultimately go on a brick foundation, but I will never be able to replicate the setting and the moss...
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:02:43 PM
HBurk HBurk is offline
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

Did you take the tree with it? Did the owners have NO interest in it? What did it run? Was it still in the original family?
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:17:18 PM
Marc P Marc P is offline
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

Well even my old stubborn self is ashamed because I am often the first saying there is nothing left original out there like that.

It is too bad that you can't scoop up all of it, and move it to it's new home, tree and all.

Very nice find.
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:23:46 PM
Greg DeKeyzer Greg DeKeyzer is offline
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

No tree. Rotten. I will plant another right by it when I set it up.

The owner doesn't live in the same town and as it was well back it the woods she may not have known it was there until I brought it up.

History? No, not really. I acquired it through a relative of the owner whom I knew. I am going to try and contact the owner later on to see what I can find out. Hunch right now is that it may have been used to pump water for rice fields. Not much wear on any of the parts and that would seem to fit the rice theory.

Thanks,

Greg
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:40:59 PM
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

Greg,
Nice find is an understatement. I feel your excitement. When I walk up on something like that I get weak in the knees. That is a really nice find, please feed us more pictures.

I know of the remains of an old crate factory here in Florida. There are three similar engines up on their foundations with trees growing through them. The foundations are about shoulder high. There is a boiler house some distance from the engines. It still has the boilers in place in the brickwork, but all of the building structures are gone. There is also a silo with a dome shaped cieling, all made of brick. The sawdust and chips were blown into it and used to feed the boilers.

Alan
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:25:53 PM
Greg DeKeyzer Greg DeKeyzer is offline
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

Here are a couple more pix.
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  #12  
Old 07-21-2009, 06:43:46 PM
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg DeKeyzer View Post
A good friend of mine said essentially the same thing when he first saw the picture. He wanted to pick the whole thing up and put it in his living room.

Sadly a question of letting it remain picturesque and rust into oblivion or pull it out for preservation. If it had been outside my back door on my property it might have just stayed put.

It will ultimately go on a brick foundation, but I will never be able to replicate the setting and the moss...
Greg,

I think that someone (that is not me) who works w/ historic (brick) buildings preservation/restoration could give you some good advise here. I think that those old bricks should be saved and used if only for a "covering" over the new ultimate concrete/brick foundation that your eventually design/use. Keeping it "together" would be great. I think you will be surprised at how closely you may be able to replicate the setting and the moss etc.
Anyway, my two cents worth and good luck to you and this nice find and thanks for posting the pictures.

Don Siefker
http://www.oldengine.org/members/siefker
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  #13  
Old 07-21-2009, 06:59:04 PM
Greg DeKeyzer Greg DeKeyzer is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Barn fresh...

That's a good idea, thanks! If I don't get these I have enough local bricks of the same vintage to do the job, but it would be neat to have the original ones. I'm going to try and get them after my back heals...
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:08:03 PM
threecase threecase is offline
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

It is hard to imagine now, but all of the trees look younger than the engine, so quite possibly it was in the middle of an open field at one time. Thanks for sharing,
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:25:24 PM
Greg DeKeyzer Greg DeKeyzer is offline
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Cool Re: Barn fresh...

Good point. I had not thought of that. Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:53:29 PM
Mark L. Jordan Mark L. Jordan is offline
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

It's late in the evening, and I worked 12 hours today, and my brain isn't working well, so forgive my following statement:

It seems like the older metals wear better than the newer stuff. Cast iron, wrought iron, steel......from some time ago seems to stand the elements better than the equivalent material made today....??

Any comments?

Sleepy Mark
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:02:59 PM
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

Mark L. Jordan:

The understanding I have, is that, a lot of the old iron was charcoal refined . . . leaving the iron alkaline. Whereas, the new iron is coke refined . . . leaving the metal acidic.


Gary K
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:14:58 AM
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

I wonder how it might work out to build a wooden base and cover it with a brick face. Then the engine could be moved around more easily and still preserve the look of the brick base. Unless you plan to cement up a real base to place the engine at home and you dont plan to move or show the engine.

I saved a pic of this for reference. I have seen quite a few older and comparable age engines at the steam shows, But; seldom do they look like this. The difference is that hard to define look and detail of an origional engine. Even one that has always been indoors has that 'look'. The nuts, the oilers the old darken finish. I feel the same way about traction engines and portables, within reasonable safety limits. there is nothing quite like the look of an unmolested engine. I thoroughly enjoyed the photos and discussion.

There are a lot of protective liquids that can be applied to the iron. I like LPS3 rust inhibitor. others have good results with Tranny fluid. I would avoid linseed oil or any of the chemical darkening rust treatments.

Edit: I think we could start an OT thread. Why is the older stuff often so much better. Old paper, old books, old photos, old iron - on and on. And does anybody care?

Last edited by Peter; 07-22-2009 at 07:21:37 AM.
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:19:25 AM
pvtschultz pvtschultz is offline
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

I have a dumb question. Why not restore it and give 'er steam? I know that most people don't have little boilers laying around, but I'd hate to use it as a yard ordinate myself.
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:44:51 AM
Peter Peter is offline
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Default Re: Barn fresh...

I assumed this was a restoration? Have not heard any comments that would preclude steam or air operation. My idea with the wood base and brick face would allow takin her out and using a club boiler during a show. And let people see an engine in its working clothes. Either way, I think this one has been saved. The question, I would have is rhodent nesting & damage in the cylinders.
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