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Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines

Curved Spoke Flywheels and Single Rivet Laps


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  #1  
Old 04-10-2012, 02:28:51 PM
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Default Curved Spoke Flywheels and Single Rivet Laps

So… when did most companies shy away from using curved spoke flywheels and single rivet lap joints? There are other features on both boilers and engines that identify them as “OLD”. A lot of the really old stuff is difficult to date. It would be interesting to add this time line to our growing pool of information.

-Dean-
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:21:01 PM
Joe K Joe K is offline
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Default Re: Curve spoke flywheels and Single rivet laps

Ooh. Tough question to nail down definitively. Especially the first.

Well, one opinion of many, having taken note and observed these things over many years of my life.

Curved spoke pulleys probably started going out in the 1880s. By then everyone had had developed enough confidence to be able to cast something with straight spokes and have some assurance cracks would not occur - nor develop in actual use.

But this did not happen all at once or a result of any accident - or lack thereof. More likely the old patterns wore out and when new ones were made they said "lets try it like this" - and the this being straight spokes.

Single lap rived boilers never really went out. Qualify that - they never really went out but certain jurisdictions took upon themselves to look with a jaundiced eye - which I don't really understand.

And part of this jaundice was promoted by the ASME itself who effectively "outlawed" single lap rivets above 100 psi. Which others, correctly I might add, have opined was an extreme overreaction. And not universally followed even among boiler builders.

I myself own a single lap seam boiler which, if memory serves, I calculated out at an operating pressure of 210 psi - and this limited by the stamp to 100 psi - and this even on a non-code boiler built in 1907 - the 100 psi ASME limit taking some credence by this builder even before it's 1910 adoption. (I think I'm remember this right.) But this Lookout Boiler is very much built like a proverbial "brick sh*t house" with 3/8" plates and 3/4" rivets (I think - hard to tell this latter.)

Lookout and the few others that survived into the mid-20th century continued to build a single lap seam boiler - but limited to 100 psi. Although many did change their construction techniques to included welded construction - the firebox and ogee ring being one area.

One midwest seller of a small boiler on Craiglist (and referenced on this site) indicated (IIRC) "single lap seam, welded fire-ring, 100 psi, Code Stamped 1947. Probably the last of its kind though.

The spoke/flywheel thing did concern the Henry Ford Museum enough in the 1980s to "take down" the entire overhead pulley works in the Edison Brick Shop and have everything sandblasted and dye-penetrant checked for cracks and then repainted - to include the flywheel on the Greene Engine - which in my opinion was probably of the greatest risk - being the largest diameter. But risk is more a function of the square of the velocity - which I don't have data on for the rest of their pulley/belting systems.

At the same time the B&W boiler was examined in detail similarly and pronounced "fit" according to the literature.

I did not hear of any issues that were found or corrected - but maybe this examination was required by their insurers - this being a public display. And the article despite the potentially dire import was decided "upbeat" - as you might expect.

Curious a couple of years back when the family and I were out to "The Henry Ford" (as they like to be called) we were at Edison's Laboratory from Ft. Myers and outside on the ground was the hulk of a B&W boiler - not sure why there. Kept as a spare or possibly a reject from that examination?

Both (all actually) interesting subjects to a 19th century man being held captive in the 21st century.

Joe
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:01:35 PM
Mike McKnight Mike McKnight is offline
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Exclamation Re: Curve spoke flywheels and Single rivet laps

Gaar-Scott used curved spoke flywheels on at least their 13 HP engines until 1912. Nichols & Shepard used them until the bitter end-the late 1920's. Didn't Port Huron use them until the end, also?

Frick used single-row lapseams until at least the teens on their 12 HP tractions.

It takes more than either a single-row lap or a curved spoke flywheel to neccesarily denote an old engine. I've seen plenty of engines built in the 1890's that had single-row laps, but straight spoke flywheels. I've also seen numerous curved spoke flywheel engines built quite late, too.

Mike M
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:27:08 PM
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Default Re: Curve spoke flywheels and Single rivet laps

My 1917 24 Port Huron has a curved flywheel. Some of the early Port Hurons had straight spoked flywheels.

Beth
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:44:29 AM
Tom Runty Tom Runty is offline
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Default Re: Curve spoke flywheels and Single rivet laps

The 19 Port Hurons had curved spokes - but we tell people that they used to be straight!

Nichols & Shepard used curves spokes as well.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:56:39 AM
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Default Re: Curve spoke flywheels and Single rivet laps

Geiser used curved spokes on all their traction engines except for the Anderson models, and Emerson-Brantingham continued the style after they acquired the Geiser line.

Geiser portables also used the curved spoke flywheel up to at least 1905, and perhaps later. Mike Rohrer would know more about how long this design lasted on the portables.

David
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:39:44 AM
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Default Re: Curve spoke flywheels and Single rivet laps

Correction on that Edison Brick Shop engine: The engine was a Brown Engine from Fitchburg, MA. The Greene Engine is at NEWSM and is a product of Rhode Island.

I guess you could say I'm color blind. Black & white works.



Joe
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:13:54 AM
Jack Hottel Jack Hottel is offline
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Default Re: Curve spoke flywheels and Single rivet laps

Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
Geiser used curved spokes on all their traction engines except for the Anderson models, and Emerson-Brantingham continued the style after they acquired the Geiser line.
David
Geiser continued the curved spokes as long as they built the letter series Landis type engines. The 40/50 Landis types have straight spokes.
It is interesting to look at the 1918 catalog cuts of these
last. They are modifications to the earlier cuts and don't have the details right.
Jack Hottel
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:33:57 AM
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Default Re: Curve spoke flywheels and Single rivet laps

Some earlier Aultman-Taylors had straight spoke flywheels.



Most early Aultman-Taylors used "dog leg" flywheels.



Otherwise, it would appear they used the dog leg flywheels to the end. Gary

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Old 04-11-2012, 10:40:48 AM
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Default Re: Curve spoke flywheels and Single rivet laps

I believe that Aultman Taylor straw burner flywheel was a probable replacement. Nothing I can prove, but seemed a concensus of some of us at one point.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:25:49 PM
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Default Re: Curve spoke flywheels and Single rivet laps

The last Peerless my grandfather bought new in 1924 was a 50 hp, Serial # 18284, the flywheel size was optional, he bought the curved spoke one as it was larger in diameter.
I have the original order paper.

It is now owned by my friend Ervin King. Funny thing is that curved spoke flywheel is how Ervin and I met, as he was looking at my TT Peerless and said, I have a Peerless exactly like this, when I ask if the serial # was 18284 he nearly choked.

Mike
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:31:47 PM
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Default Re: Curve spoke flywheels and Single rivet laps

OK, Curved spoke flywheels are not the best indicator but what about sectionalized boilers like this one.

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=103280

or box bed frame engines. Some of the earlier boilers did not have steam domes etc
-Dean-
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:28:48 PM
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Default Re: Curve spoke flywheels and Single rivet laps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter View Post
I believe that Aultman Taylor straw burner flywheel was a probable replacement. Nothing I can prove, but seemed a concensus of some of us at one point.
Peter,
My reaction years ago was the same as yours... Someone changed the flywheel on this return flue. But after finding the photo below, with another Aultman-Taylor return flue with straight spokes, I wouldn't bet the farm. Gary
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:56:21 AM
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Default Re: Curved Spoke Flywheels and Single Rivet Laps

HA! Yes, I guess I wont want to bet on that on that one then. That Willis Able engine flywheel also looked small in diameter. But; I know, that does not make it a replacement.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:28:12 AM
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Default Re: Curve spoke flywheels and Single rivet laps

Quote:
OK, Curved spoke flywheels are not the best indicator but what about sectionalized boilers like this one.
Actually, that boiler, while old, is not that remarkable construction wise EXCEPT for the split back-head. And I'll have to say that the split - and it's location - show a remarkable insight into boiler construction using available materials. I can only imagine that the back-head must have been prepared as a unit ahead of time as it would be difficult at best to construct it by "building out" - and unlikely that they had a long reach rivet driver at the time this boiler was constructed - a tool which would be a necessity to do it "in situ." Long reach rivet tools are an invention after 1880s.

Dunno. I've given this only a cursory thought. Someone may see more in this boiler.

Quote:
or box bed frame engines.
As to box bed, I assume you're referring to so called "lathe bed" engines. Actually, some of these were quite advanced even in the 1860s. We've talked about a couple of builders of this era who incorporated unique "cutoff" mechanism usually controlled by separate flyball governors of the watt type. The original Corliss engine was described in the literature as "box bed" - but not really in the spirit of the "lathe bed" steam engines I think you have in mind. Corliss was unique only in the use of "drop cutoff" and not even that unique when others of similar ilk (Sickels, Wright etc) are considered. Corliss did hire the best lawyers. It's called "patent defense" and why patent lawyers exist.

The use of the lathe bed style engine kind of went out after the 1870s. So many other manufacturers were coming out with "improved" engines. IMHO, improved meaning "appearance" primarily since the thermal aspects of the later engines may even have been less than the earlier "box beds" with their controlled cut-offs. And there may have been some marketing hubris in this. "Old Fashioned" was a term extant even in the 1870s (hard to imagine?)

As to steam domes, I would assume this primarily an invention to answer to issues for "mobile" boilers. Although there are MANY woodcuts of HRT stationary boilers of the 19th century showing a steam dome of sorts. Priming was an issue even then and a steam dome may have been a local answer to the problem. A "dry pipe" may have been a later response.

Joe K
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:30:19 AM
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Default Re: Curve spoke flywheels and Single rivet laps

One of the previous threads on Lathe bed engines is http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=87684 Here I refer to "Woodruff and Beach" and there is a further tag showing a restored engine of this maker down in Connecticut.

Woodruff and Beach would have been one of those disappointed with the Corliss Patent Legal Case - although they would not have been affected directly as their valve action was not "releasing." (IIRC)

Joe K
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