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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

What the heck is it?


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  #1  
Old 08-02-2010, 09:08:13 PM
tirediron tirediron is offline
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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...
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:49:16 PM
Jeff Smith Jeff Smith is offline
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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
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:01:44 PM
tirediron tirediron is offline
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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.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:12:09 PM
Jim Mead Jim Mead is offline
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Default Re: What the heck is it?

That not quite concentric eccentric would be fun to watch....
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:08:54 PM
Tim Mathis Tim Mathis is offline
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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.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:22:05 PM
tirediron tirediron is offline
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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?
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