Steam Engines
[Home] - [HELP] - [Forums] - [Groups] - [Classified Ads] - [Subscribe] - [Books] - [Sponsors] -

Go Back   SmokStak > SmokStak® Old Iron and Tractor Community > Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines
Forgot Password? Join Us!

Notices

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

What the heck is it?


this thread has 29 replies and has been viewed 5149 times

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-02-2010, 09:08:13 PM
tirediron tirediron is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 352
Thanks: 132
Thanked 272 Times in 101 Posts
Default What the heck is it?

We've been cleaning up around our club's storage area, and dragged out what I had always assumed to be an old steam winch from under a tangle of blackberries and other junk.

It is a winch, but we're baffled as to the purpose... Here's a description (pictures to follow shortly): The unit has 2 8x12 cylinders with piston valves and NO reverse; it's connected via double-reduction (I'm guess-timating that the total reduction is about 100:1) to the single winding drum, which only has room for about 150' of 1 3/8 cable. There's no apparent corrosion to indicate marine service, it has no clutch or friction as you'd find on a donkey-engine, and no maker's marks of any sort. The lubrication is via zerk (however these may have been added later in life).

The throttle, cylinder drain-cocks and brake are all controlled from right in front of the main drum, with no apparent provision for remote control.

Any ideas? The real stumpers are the short cable and lack of reverse...
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-02-2010, 09:49:16 PM
Jeff Smith Jeff Smith is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA
Posts: 3,946
Thanks: 4,080
Thanked 2,637 Times in 1,053 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

With double piping to the piston valves, the engine can run backwards. That is one of the nice things about a hoisting engine with piston valves.

Please post photos.

Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-03-2010, 09:01:44 PM
tirediron tirediron is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 352
Thanks: 132
Thanked 272 Times in 101 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?



Right side of the unit




Rear view, the double reduction is clearly visible; not quite so easy to see is the lip on the right side of the drum which is only about 3/4 of an inch above the 1 3/8 EFSWR which appears to be original, or at least that which was on there when it was in use. The cable clamps which are machined into the drum flanges are clearly designed for this size of cable.




The interesting throttle valve. The vertical pipe, right FG is the one which rises vertically from the centre of each valve chest. The configuration does look like it could support Jeff's suggestion about reversing, however I'm puzzled by the fact that all pipes are the same size (2 1/2").




Close-up of the RH cylinder. The pipe configuration here makes no sense to me unless there are some VERY complex passages cast into the valve/cylinder body to allow for the transmission of steam. The handle in front of the cylinder head is the throttle.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to tirediron For This Post:
  #4  
Old 08-03-2010, 09:12:09 PM
Jim Mead Jim Mead is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Owego, New York, USA
Posts: 678
Thanks: 648
Thanked 640 Times in 291 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

That not quite concentric eccentric would be fun to watch....
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-03-2010, 10:08:54 PM
Tim Mathis Tim Mathis is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Pinckneyville, Illinois
Posts: 340
Thanks: 749
Thanked 572 Times in 202 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

Reminds me of the old engines they used to use around here to raise and lower the "cage" which the miners used to ride in to go to the bottom of the shaft to go to work and come back up in at the end of their shift here in Southern Illinois. Used in early-mid 20th century coal mines, then switched to electric. There used to be one of the hoist/cage setups from a local mine on display in the Chicago Museum of Science and Natural History, not sure if it's still there or not. Cable ran to the top of the tipple on the mine, over a large wheel, then dropped to attach to the top of the cage. Our mines were usually fairly shallow back then, 150 ft might have been good 'nuf. Later mines were quite deep.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-03-2010, 10:22:05 PM
tirediron tirediron is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 352
Thanks: 132
Thanked 272 Times in 101 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

We'd thought of that, but in light of any obvious way to reverse this engine, can you imagine the dead-weight force it would require for the cage to run down?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-03-2010, 11:12:42 PM
Jeff Smith Jeff Smith is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA
Posts: 3,946
Thanks: 4,080
Thanked 2,637 Times in 1,053 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

I have seen other engines like this one and because the piping is the same size and enters from the top of the piston valve and from the end, it runs in reverse by changing the the steam from the inlet to the exhaust piping. Many logging skidding engines are built this way. They have a unique throttle that changes the steam flow to the ports and open as the exhaust ports to the stack. Search for logging skidders and you should find more information. I grew up around the logging industry in WV and have seen many hoisting engines over the years.

I think that you will find that the throttle valve is actually a F-N-R valve and is in neutral where it is now. Push for one direction and the valve ports send steam into the top and exhaust out the end and pull and it reverses. The throttle has a series of different ports to allow it to use one steam line in and one exhaust out.

Jeff

Last edited by Jeff Smith; 08-03-2010 at 11:22:26 PM. Reason: Added F-N-R
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-03-2010, 11:16:48 PM
tirediron tirediron is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 352
Thanks: 132
Thanked 272 Times in 101 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

Jeff, do you have diagrams that would show the steam flow for this? I can't figure it out for the life of me.

Any thoughts on what it might have actually been used for?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-04-2010, 12:15:58 AM
Axtion Jim S Axtion Jim S is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Abbotsford, BC, Canada
Posts: 377
Thanks: 428
Thanked 173 Times in 123 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

Would have to be a small landing with a short turn, and the drum is so small that it won`t take up much cable. It is also missing a back haul drum. Not much use in a high lead opperation. It is my two bits worth that it is a dock winch used on a gin pole.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-04-2010, 10:25:32 AM
Firewoodguy's Avatar
Firewoodguy Firewoodguy is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 1,006
Thanks: 1,181
Thanked 1,456 Times in 416 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

I have seen some these winches at the local slate quarrys sitting in buildings unused growing up when i was younger but yours i believe also is something from or near waterways..I agree with jim,
probroly something from a dock...Actually at Jacktown,they have the old Dally slate quarry double drum winches that i think they brought back to life this past summer show for the attendees..There may be some pics of the winches,piping & valves on the clubs website. Pretty neat winch ya have there!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-04-2010, 12:03:58 PM
Jeff Smith Jeff Smith is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA
Posts: 3,946
Thanks: 4,080
Thanked 2,637 Times in 1,053 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

This type of hoisting engine was used for about anything. I have seen them in ports, mines, and home made railroad cars where the lumber company took two or three of these and made a log hoist to load the rail cars; one would have a short amount of cable to to raise/lower the boom and the others were much longer.

If you look at the throttle valve, you can see that the areas near the inlet missing pipe are at angles, I would say that this is cored inside to create the passages to make it a F-N-R valve. Also, this type of engine can operate quickly, notice the break band on the crank disk. It is amazing how quickly they will stop and change directions with the piston valves since the operator can apply the break the to crank disk.

Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-04-2010, 09:31:51 PM
Dale Miner Dale Miner is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Southwest Oh 45014
Posts: 369
Thanks: 242
Thanked 534 Times in 225 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

Jeff,

I think it works like this;

Forward operation, steam enters on top of the piston valve, goes through ports that line up and around the piston valve into the cylinder. At the piston valve moves, the next set of ports line up, and the cylinder exhausts through the center of the hollow piston out the end of the housing. To reverse, apply steam through the center of the piston, and the exhaust is out the top of the housing. As long as the valve timing has a very late cut off, and a corresponding negative lead, engine runs either direction depending on where the steam is fed. Economy secondary to simplicity. Since the engine is quatered, late steam admission is not an issue regarding dead centers. I suppose valve timing could be adjusted for more power one direction than the other, espcially since the unit is a hoist of some sort.

Later,
Dale M
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Dale Miner For This Post:
  #13  
Old 08-04-2010, 10:24:44 PM
Pete Deets Pete Deets is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Evansville, WI. USA
Posts: 1,522
Thanks: 820
Thanked 1,590 Times in 692 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

You fellows are right on in your estimation of the reversing and reversing valve. Stoker motors in railroad locomotives used much the same arrangement. That is why the pipes going to the piston valve are the same size - when one is exhaust the other is admission and vice versa. If it helps, the reversing valve changes the engine from outside admission to inside admission (or back) to reverse direction.

The "monkey motion" of the eccentric is the same you'd see on a locomotive with either Baker or Walschaerts valve gear and is fun to watch......PD
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Pete Deets For This Post:
  #14  
Old 08-05-2010, 12:39:11 AM
Jeff Smith Jeff Smith is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA
Posts: 3,946
Thanks: 4,080
Thanked 2,637 Times in 1,053 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

Dale,

You said what I was trying to explain (only better) in posts #2, 7 & 11......................(DUH!!!)............ .......with the exception that I was trying to also explain how the throttle valve also has to allow the exhaust to exit the valve. Both the inlet and exhaust pipes must connect to the throttle valve and that has ports inside to allow for these pipes to change from inlet or exhaust to the top or end of the piston valve.

Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-05-2010, 01:11:05 AM
tirediron tirediron is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 352
Thanks: 132
Thanked 272 Times in 101 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

Thanks guys... I'd still love to see a diagram of the passages inside that cylinder.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-05-2010, 07:50:37 AM
Pete LaBelle Pete LaBelle is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Holland, Michigan, USA
Posts: 1,511
Thanks: 2
Thanked 1,831 Times in 643 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

I agree in the switching of the steam/exhaust ports to create the reverse. Piston valve engines are condusive for this option. Along with the F-N-R function of that valve, it also is the throttle. Near the center of the stroke would be the neutral position. All ports blocked. Move it slightly off center, and the winch starts to move. The further you pull the F-N-R valve to the extent of its stroke, the faster the winch will turn.

Kinda like a boat motor transmission/throttle functions. One lever. 2 functions.

Pete
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-07-2010, 09:43:30 AM
Firewoodguy's Avatar
Firewoodguy Firewoodguy is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 1,006
Thanks: 1,181
Thanked 1,456 Times in 416 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

Found this pic of a steam winch used for lumber/sawmill purposes..Kinda looks like yoru steam winch.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	St-wincht.jpg
Views:	207
Size:	9.3 KB
ID:	84432  
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-07-2010, 10:31:31 AM
Jeff Smith Jeff Smith is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA
Posts: 3,946
Thanks: 4,080
Thanked 2,637 Times in 1,053 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

I searched YouTube to find steam hoisting engines (and other names for them) but I could not find one with piston valves in operation where it was actually operating the way they were designed and intended to operate, they were just chugging along as a demonstration. I wanted to find one that was reversed using the brake so viewers could see how fast they can reverse.

Here is one of the log skidders at Cass, WV.

Thank you,

Jeff
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_9820.jpg
Views:	183
Size:	139.0 KB
ID:	84433   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_9823.jpg
Views:	157
Size:	133.0 KB
ID:	84434  

Last edited by Jeff Smith; 08-07-2010 at 08:58:58 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Jeff Smith For This Post:
  #19  
Old 08-07-2010, 09:19:50 PM
al vanley al vanley is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 89
Thanks: 1,923
Thanked 171 Times in 55 Posts
Default Re: What the heck is it?

It is a puzzle. The brake applied to the crank disc is an unusual feature in small hoisting engines - they were usually applied to one of the winding drums. It doesn´t look like a late model donkey for logging either - the drum capacity is limited and there´s no haulback or gypsy drum. Double reduction wouldn´t be necessary for most cargo or mooring winches. Maybe used for drydock, dredge, quarry or pile driver? Good luck - somebody out there will know.

Al
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-17-2010, 08:46:38 PM
Ethan C.
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What the heck is it?

I'd like to say that it was shop built out of parts and peices of other engines, but all the parts look like they fit together too good. What puzzles me so much is that there is no reverse, wich means whatever was on the other end of that thing was on a one way trip.I dont know if it could drag anything that heavy either

---------- Post added at 07:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:44 PM ----------

Steam Shovel? Dragline?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

F o r u m Jump

Similar Threads Chosen at Random
Thread Thread Starter F o r u m Replies Last Post
What the heck is this? Ihorse Antique Farm Tractors 10 12-14-2009 09:25:13 PM
What the heck is this? R. Kern Hit & Miss Gas Engine Discussion 4 11-29-2009 04:49:42 PM
What the heck is it? Landman Unidentified Engines 4 10-29-2009 11:44:38 PM
What ta heck is it??? Larry Wolden Antique Autos and Trucks 3 01-31-2009 01:40:48 PM
What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ?? oldironmike Military MEP and Aircraft Gen-Sets 30 04-15-2008 11:35:59 AM


Use "Ctrl" mouse wheel to change screen size.
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:50:20 AM.

Smokstak and Enginads site search!


All use is subject to our TERMS OF SERVICE
SMOKSTAK® is a Registered Trade Mark - A Community of Antique Engine Enthusiasts
Copyright © 2000 - 2019 by Harry Matthews P.O. Box 5612 - Sarasota, FL 34277