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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

Unknown Vertical Steam Engine


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  #1  
Old 07-02-2019, 02:44:49 PM
Mrnick Mrnick is offline
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Default Unknown Vertical Steam Engine

This is my first steam engine, I normally buy gas engines so I dont know much about them. I have a few questions I'm hoping someone can help answer.
1. Who is the manufacturer and approximately what year?
2. What is the port for coming out of the cover?
3. What do they normally go for.
Thanks
Nick
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2019, 02:49:05 PM
Mrnick Mrnick is offline
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Default Re: Unknown vertical steam engine

Pictures.
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2019, 04:49:37 PM
Sam Shublom Sam Shublom is offline
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Default Re: Unknown vertical steam engine

I am guessing this was some sort of launch engine for a small boat. The port in the valve chest cover is a steam inlet. Looks like there is also one on top of the valve chest, so take your pick. Either should work, just plug the one you are not using. The pipe is the exhaust.

Does it have a slip eccentric? That would pretty point to a marine application.

Looks pretty fragile and I would guess it needed to be piped up to something to give it more rigidity.

I have no idea who made it or what it is worth.
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:28:35 PM
Joe K Joe K is offline
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Default Re: Unknown vertical steam engine

If not a "slip eccentric" then definitely a stationary engine. The hole on the top of the steam chest would be normal for attachment of a steam flyball governor. Normally I would expect to see a small pulley alongside the eccentric to drive the flyball governor - the fact that it is missing points more to a slip eccentric and marine application. (most marine engines don't use a governor instead the water/propeller act as "load" preventing overspeed for the engine.)

I've seen designs like this from the 1870s. A LOT of small shops in those days copying each other on engine design - and using the foundry down the street as their source of castings. Thus production runs might be a dozen engines a year in varying design/sizes. You may never know the maker. Nor does it really matter - most engines from this era ARE unique.

Joe K
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:34:44 PM
Mrnick Mrnick is offline
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Default Re: Unknown vertical steam engine

Sorry I'm not sure what you mean by slip eccentric.
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2019, 07:35:59 PM
Joe K Joe K is offline
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Default Re: Unknown vertical steam engine

Toy engines (and small marine engines) will have an eccentric disk which is not rigidly pinned or bolted to the shaft. But instead can turn between "stops."

The way it works the engine is rotated by hand in the direction you wish it to go, and the eccentric is then pulled along by the motion of the engine. Apply steam and the engine goes in this direction.

If you want to reverse direction, you turn off the steam, rotate the engine perhaps half a turn in the opposite direction by hand, the eccentric disk hits a "stop" and is then carried along with the motion. Then you apply steam and it will go in that direction.

There is something like perhaps 120 degrees between "forward eccentric" position and "reverse eccentric."

This form of reverse was VERY common on Weeden and Bing toy engines.

If the eccentric disk seems "loose" relative to the shaft and can be rotated between stops - this is what you have.

Joe K
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:40:14 PM
Sam Shublom Sam Shublom is offline
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Default Re: Unknown vertical steam engine

It is a simple reversing mechanism where the eccentric is loose on the shaft but catches in two different positions. With the steam off, you turn the flywheel in the direction you want the engine to go until the eccentric starts to turn with the crankshaft. Then put the steam to it and it runs in that direction. To reverse, shut the steam off and turn the flywheel in the opposite direction until the eccentric catches and starts to turn and it will run in that direction.

If it doesn't have a slip eccentric, all of the above is a moot point.

Shoot a little oil from an oil can down one or both of those holes in the steam chest. Plug one of them and pipe some compressed air to the other. Use a valve so you have some control over it. Give the bearings a shot of oil and then put the air to it. Once it starts running, most of your questions will be answered.
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:41:04 PM
Mrnick Mrnick is offline
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Default Re: Unknown vertical steam engine

Thanks Joe, that makes perfect sense.
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:41:42 PM
Sam Shublom Sam Shublom is offline
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Default Re: Unknown vertical steam engine

Here is a video of the slip eccentric.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8co8KNAdyQ

Put some air to it, you'll figure it out.
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:12:32 PM
Radiomike Radiomike is offline
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Default Re: Unknown vertical steam engine

The early type of slip eccentric is simple, but does not allow for the more economic expansive working.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valve_gear
and good article about steam valve gears
http://mikes.railhistory.railfan.net/r132.html

Mike
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:32:56 PM
Steamdean59 Steamdean59 is offline
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Default Re: Unknown vertical steam engine

Could it be some kind of a blower or fan engine that was mounted directly on the blower. Dean
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2019, 09:53:19 PM
Joe K Joe K is offline
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Default Re: Unknown vertical steam engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamdean59 View Post
Could it be some kind of a blower or fan engine that was mounted directly on the blower. Dean
That is possible and removes the requirement for a governor. Many of the Sturtevant Blowers were powered by a direct connected engine minus the governor.



Usually when a fan is driven by a belt from a steam engine a governor is included in the mix - in case the belt breaks.

Joe K
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:49:06 PM
Mrnick Mrnick is offline
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Default Re: Unknown vertical steam engine

Thanks for all the information. I'll get it all oiled up and apply some air, see what happens.
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:43:40 PM
Mrnick Mrnick is offline
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Default Re: Unknown vertical steam engine

Looks like a fixed eccentric. Ran fine on air. Thanks for all the information.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:19:32 PM
Lester Bowman Lester Bowman is offline
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Default Re: Unknown Vertical Steam Engine

Very interesting but very odd little engine. A person could just push with one hand against the cylinder and snap the side frame members. Really a weak design. Maybe if the cylinder was half the size the design would be more plausible.

There had to be something else to stiffen it up somehow. This may be the only one left in existence because of this design weakness. Or maybe it was an early form of " machine it yourself castings" and make your own engine. No matter what its original purpose was...it is a fascinating and early form of steam engine. One of those engines I keep thinking about
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:29:08 PM
Mrnick Mrnick is offline
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Default Re: Unknown Vertical Steam Engine

Maybe the pictures make it look weaker than it is. It really doesn't seem weak or flexible at all. Here is a video of it running.
https://youtu.be/4jUagv6wH_8
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