Let's Keep 'Em Puffing

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7650 Banks St.,Justice, Illinois 60458

This is the time of the year, we all suffer from that old plague, known as spring fever. We've tried everything including sassafras tea, sulphur, and molasses, but there is still no cure.

As we look out the window, we notice that Indra and mother nature are offering new life. The trees and plants are promising us a new years propersity, far better than the last.

We stroll outside like an animal coming out of hibernation, wandering out to the shed and lo and behold, there's old Betsy standing there exactly in the same spot and condition that she was left in. Walking around, looking her over, pull the flywheel, yep, she's free and okay. We open the fire box door and look inside. We might notice a little bit of cinders that we didn't quite clean out, and some scale on the sidewalls, so we take a hammer and pick around a little. Soon we hear a sound much duller than the rest of the walls, so we find we have a thin spot. So, we mark the spot with some chalk. Where else do we check? All of the lower portions of the boiler, around the fire box, tapping very close, making sure we cover every square inch of it. Wherever that rust and mud was laying last fall when we gave her an acid wash job, tap around all the stay bolts, and make sure they are sound. When you find one that has a dead or cracked sound, mark it. Check all around the boiler, at the water and steam line. Sometimes there are some weak spots there. After you have located all the bad spots, cut them out with your torch. I like to weld a small rod on the stop bolt head, so I won't drop it in the boiler, when I cut it out. Before you weld in your patch, you should look the inside over very close with a light and a small mirror, and make sure there are no more cavities, or else they will get larger in the future. With your grinder, 'V' out your parent metal and patch, so that you can get full penetration. There is pro and con on which rod to use or material to use for the patch. There are a lot of good alloys on the market. Some prefer high carbon, and some like a low nickel alloy. I sometimes use a low hydrogen rod for some areas.

Perhaps you intend to give her a new set of tubes. After you remove all the tubes, inspect the inside of the boiler thoroughly. Make sure it is smooth, and no thin spots. If you should have to cut out an area you may choose to replace it by rivets to keep the old fashioned look. In most cases we choose a steel frame 55,000-65,000 pounds per square inch. We do weaken our seams by rivets. This is true, for example; basing the plate strength as 100%, double rivet joint would be 70%, and the single rivet would be 56%. So, by this, we soon realize the welding offers a better job.

Some of you may be building your own boiler and setting up your engine on your own base or chassis, and you want the proper size pipe. The steam pipe may be connected at any convenient point of a boiler, preferably with a dome. If the boiler is to furnish steam for an engine only, you should make the line diameter that of the cylinder, and as straight as possible. Long curved bends are much better than elbows. Perhaps you want one boiler to run several engines. I will give you an example of what size pipe to use:

1.  1' will supply 2-' pipe.
2.  1' will supply 2-1' pipe.
3.  1' will supply 2-1' pipe.
4.  2' will supply 2-1' pipe.
5.  2' will supply 2-1' and 1-1' pipe.

Men often wonder whether the size of the pipe is measured on the inside or the outside, while the fact is that it is neither one or the other. The size given means nothing as an exact measurement, and is, in fact, not much more than a name by which it may be known. A 1' ordinary pipe measures about 1 5/8' diameter and 1 9/10' outside, and is often mistakenly called 2' pipe by those who are entirely unfamiliar with such matters. A 2' pipe is 2 1/16' inside and 2 3/8' outside, while a 3' pipe is exactly 4' outside.

These expressions are often abbreviated to E.S. and D.E.S., or they are sometimes written X and XX. You will also find them listed as Schedule 20, 40, and 80. The outside diameter is always the same, no matter what the weight of the pipe may be; the inside becoming smaller as the thickness is increased. This of course is essential in order that the same taps and dies may be used for all pipe of a given size regardless of the weight. The internal area of double extra strong is, for some of the sizes, not much more than one-half that of ordinary pipe, and this is a fact which must not be lost sight of when considering their relative discharging capacities. For sizes below 1', the area is much less than one-half.

The larger sizes of pipe, from 14' up to 30', are made of even dimensions outside diameter, and are known as O.D. pipe distinction to those above described, which are sometimes called I.D., or inside diameter pipe, although, as previously observed, they are none of them made to exact inches or binary fractions of inches. The O. D. pipe can be had in any thickness from ' up to ', varying by 1/16' while the I. D. can only be found in the peculiar thicknesses given in the tables for standard, extra strong and double extra strong, unless made to order in large quantities and at special prices.

Next time, we will talk about horsepower of boilers and fuels. Now, that should cause some arguments, debating and hair pulling.

Good luck to all. Hope to see many of you at the shows.