AN INTRODUCTION TO BOILER REPAIRS

Steam engine rally

R. G. Pratt

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It is the writer's honest opinion, thatĀ  a general description and dissemination of information regarding repairs that can lie made on traction engine boilers, would result in fewer engines reaching the scrap yard, and if only one engine can be saved, the writer will feel amply repaid for his efforts.

An outline of the laws covering Permissible repairs to traction engine boilers is beyond the scope of this paper, as some states have complete jurisdiction, some exempt them when used purely for agricultural purposes and still other states have boiler laws of any kind. It is well to bear in mind that those states having boiler laws have adopted a Code formulated by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. This Code was founded on good sound engineering principles and is the basis of all stationary boiler design and repair at the present time. Most thresher companies adopted this code in 1918 as the basis

Steam Engine Joe Rynda of Montgomery, Minn., towing his 18 hp Avery Undermounted No. 3190 built in 1905, home with his 65 Case. That is a journey we all would have enjoyed. Courtesy of L. I. Bjorneberg, New Ulm, Minnesota.

of their boiler design and boilers so constructed are stamped with the code symbol, working pressure, date of manufacture, and registration number. This stamping is usually found onĀ  the crown of the rear boiler head, and forms a very important consideration when parchasing an engine for use in a Code State.

We need only to read through the pages of the old thresher magazine to appreciate the trials and tribulations encountered in repairing and operating the traction engine boilers in the days when welding and gas cutting were unknown arts. When all patches had to be applied with rivets and patch bolts, rivets had to be driven by haul, holes had to be drilled with hand operated ratchet drills, and all caulking and chippins of seams was a slow process perform d by hand. In present day boiler practice, air tools are used for drilling holes, driving rivets, and for caulking seams. Gas is used for cutting out rivets and defective metal. The electric arc is used for welding in patches and building up of sheets thinned by corrosion. All of this work must be performed by skilled mechanics equipped with the proper tools and material. An inexperienced welder is no bargain and can, in a very short time, ruin a boiler which could otherwise have been satisfactorily repaired. Good boiler makers, like old threshermen, are becoming very scarce. We find the railroad shops about the best source for boiler makers and quite after, a man can be hired to work after hours or on weekends, and most all of these men have the 'know how' and experience to complete a very satisfactory repair.

An article on retubing boilers will follow in our next issue.

Mr. Hardy Lindblad has a Case Lindblad engine that is worth seeing. We had the pleasure of running it. He is the only man we know of who found a use for the peep hole in the Case boilers. He has promised us pictures and if they come you will be surprised as we were.

Steam engine rally at Horsmonden, June 23rd, 1951,. In the foreground, 1901 steam automobile being put through its paces. Note solid rubber tires and tiller steering. And in the background a road haulage engine by Charles Burrell and Sons of Thetford, Norfolk, England. Courtesy of R. G. Pratt.

Mr. C. W. Lambert's rally at Horsmonden, Kent, England, on June 23rd, 1951. Mr. Wicks of Pembury, is leading the procession with 3-1/2 ton singlocylinder steam tractor by Tacker and Son of Andover, followed by the 'LIFU' steam car of Mr. Nightingale and after that a 6 hp Marshall traction origins. These were in turn followed by other engines and it is the tail of the procession that Mr. Wicks is trying to make as long as possible. Moving pictures were taken and except for the weather, better pictures could have been procured. All voted this meeting a great success, it being the only meeting of its kind held anywhere in the British Isles. Courtesy R. G. Pratt.