An Informative Letter

Content Tools

355 Clinton Ave., Williamstown, N. J. 08094

It has been a little over one year since I first started to receive your magazine and I wish to let you know that I have enjoyed it very much.

I would like to comment as follows: (1) I am starting in as a newcomer in practical steam engine work and have had some difficulty in learning where to obtain certain items often needed. I would like to pass on to others the following information:

(a) Steam cylinder oil can be obtained in 5 gallon cans (smallest size container sold) from Atlantic Richfield Company, Philadelphia, Penna. The price is about $1.20 per gallon and the thing to do is to go to one of their district sales offices or office of one of their distributors and ask for 'CAPITOL CYLINDER OIL'. I bought two such cans-one for myself and one for 'NEW JERSEY STEAM HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC.', of which I am a member. This grade of oil is designed for dry saturated steam at about 80-150 pounds per square inch.

(b) Industrial type cast iron split piston rings of the type suitable for steam engines can be obtained from Koppers Company, Inc., which has district sales offices and distributors all over the U.S.A. If you have trouble locating a nearby office, write to Koppers Co., Inc., Piston Ring and Seal Dept, P.O. Box 626, Baltimore, Md., 21203. A 3 inch diameter by 3/16 wide ring is priced at about $2.50 with a minimum order of about $20.00. Unless you have special requirements, ask for a standard compression ring, standard straight cut joint, plain unalloyed grey cast iron, of so many inches diameter and so many fractions of an inch width.

(2) In the Nov.-Dec. 1968 issue of the IMA on page 9 is an article entitled '5 Yrs. Building Engine' by John Diekema, Holland, Mich. This is a most interesting article and I would like to see more like it because it gives practical information on how to build something, in this case a locomotive type steam boiler. I have recently built two wick type oil cups to feed S.A.E. No. 40 weight oil to the bearings of my lathe countershaft. They have turned out very well and cost me about $0.75 each because I made them mostly from standard pipe fittings.

(3) In the Nov.-Dec. 1968 issue of the IMA on page 27 is a picture sent in by D. Conroy, R.D. 2, Hannibal, New York, showing the inside of a sawmill run by a water turbine. I wish more information about this unusual source of sawmill power had been given, as I am sure that there are not many water powered sawmills left in operation. Perhaps you could get someone to write an article for publication about water powered mills of various types (sawmills, grist mills, etc.). I understand that there are at least three water powered flour mills still operating in Lancaster County, Penna. I noticed the advertisement for 'Frontier Village', between Boone and Blowing Rock, N.C., on page 32 and see that they have a water powered grist mill. Is it possible that the people who operate this would like to write an article about it for publication?

Again I would like to thank you for the many hours of enjoyment that I have received over the past year while reading your publication.