Soot In The Flues

E. D. Mcllwain

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HI! Isn't it great to have the wonderful season of Spring? Bet you have your gardens all planted and have already forgotten the bad winter

Had been wondering if any of you ever listen to the 700 Club comes out of Philadelphia station on TV. It's quite inspiring! Well, I recently had the letter that comes out every now and then from Pat Robertson (who is the head of 700 Club). He had a lot to say but I just want to give you a little of letter contents: 'Questions are asked about the freak weather this winter. Drought is fast turning California into a disaster area, while the Midwest and East recover from Artie cold and massive snow.

For a brief period, factories were closed, economic life halted, agriculture demoralized, and government taken by surprise. This winter could well serve as God's warning to the United States that all our might is helpless to stand against even a minor shift in the wind. Where would our greatness be if God truly turned His hand against us?

It is doubtful if this winter will make any long-term impact on us--either economically or spiritually. People never seem to learn spiritually from short-term trouble. Like Pharoah of Egypt, as soon as the plague is over, they harden their hearts and go back to their old ways. They will not learn that God's kindness, coupled with His warnings, are meant to lead them to permanent repentance.

1977 will be a year of unciertainity in the world. It will be a year of unusual prosperity, but people will refuse to believe it. It will seem too good to be true. In fact, this year may be the time of lull before some serious economic storms.

It will be a great year to do something significant in God's service' - and he goes on but I think it is well worth thinking very seriously about What will you do? and how will you respond to God's call this year? and have you or will you accept His Son as is pointed out to us so many times in the Bible as the only way to eternal life which can begin the moment you accept???? Try it, it's great!

Since the last magazine I had a hospital visit of 9 days and I am now a diabetic, on insulin Praise The Lord Anyhow for Romans 8:28 tells us 'ALL things work together for good, to those who believe in God also tells us to 'Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with Thanksgiving, let your requests be known unto God, and God will give you the Peace that passeth all understanding' (Philippians 4:6-7) I know-I had it-I have it-you can have it too! And now onto your precious letters which mean so much to our Iron-Men Family!

M. E. BRISON, Box 192, Route 1, Millersport, Ohio 43046 has a new item for sale many of you may be interested in Russell decals Mr. Brison runs many ads in the IMA and the ad on this is in this issue. He says the Russell owners have been wanting these, but it was a very difficult and expensive decal to convert to modern production. He is hoping to be able to get his cost out of it, but says that the hobby has been good to him and so he is doing this one for the good of the hobby. So, I thought you'd like to know about this new item. Look in the classified ad section.

Another new organization which is going to present their first show this July 30, 31 is Schiermeier-Hoefelmann Threshing Association, Inc. (And Other Shenanigans) Antique Auto & Machinery Show.

They are a non-profit organization incorporated on November 29, 1976. We wish them much success with their first event and they hope to see the many friends that they have made in the hobby so far. This show will be at St. Paul's Lutheran Park, New Melle, Missouri. (See Coming Events ad.)

ROBERT KOONTZ, 4033 Harrison, Gary, Indiana 46408 sounds happy and eagerly looking forward to the upcoming reunions:

'We certainly have enjoyed reading the Iron-Men Album this last year. I'm sure glad that our friends introduced us to it and encouraged us to subscribe. We did not realize just how many steam shows were around the country and how close some of them were to us.

This year we visited many new shows including the shows at Mason, Michigan; Rockford, Illinois; Mt. Pleasant, Iowa and our old stamping grounds, The Laport Historical Society. This year we hope to return to these shows, plus add some new ones.

Last year I purchased an old sawmill made by Bell Saw, which at first sight looked like a pile of junk. With the aid of a friend, and a lot of coffee, restoration is almost complete. I now have a very portable Bell Sawmill and this season I hope to participate at the steam shows.'

WILLIAM HALL, 213 Dupont Avenue, Seaside Heights, New Jersey 08751 comments:

'I am sure I will not be the only one to write you about your question under the photo of the 1886 Scheidler engine as to whether or not it is the oldest operating engine in the U.S. The answer is NO. I would suggest the following two, both older. The Greencastle engine owned by Mr. William Waters, Damascus, Maryland, sold new in the summer of 1883. While it is stored in a shed at the present time, it can be ready to go in hardly more than a day's notice. Also, the GarrScott, belonging to Mr. Shifflet, of Bridgewater, Virginia, and shown there nearly every year. It carries a date of 1884. I do not say that these are the oldest, but they are the oldest I know of in operating traction engines. It would be nice to make an appeal to anyone who knows of any older to write and speak up. If the appeal is made through the pages of the Iron-Men Album it is possible we could trace the oldest. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who could help find out which is the oldest traction engine still in operating condition. I think we should draw the line at OPERATING or in condition to be operated on short notice. Care to try through your column? I would also appreciate hearing from anyone with information on this subject. I will try to answer any letters I get, as I always have, if anybody cares to write to me.'

Can't resist this letter from BILL SHANER, 11704 Wright Road, Lynwood, California 90262: 'Your two magazines are the best and most wonderful of any of the more than fifteen magazines that I subscribe to and some of them cost more than $10.00 per year. Your two magazines have more beautiful and wonderful pictures, ads and good stories than any 4 of the other magazines that I get. Hey, keep up the good work and Praise the Lord.' (Isn't that inspiring, in many ways.)

DALE E. BRUNSON, 805 North Grant Avenue, Norton, Kansas 67654 sends a few lines:

'Mr. Carl H. Bryant (Deceased 7/76) and I have owned a Case Steam Traction Engine 75, built in 1916 since 1966 when we bought it and restored it. It is in fine shape and display it several times a year. Carl always had a subscription and shared it with me.

You probably know about the Association at Bird City, Kansas. We have a great time there, for three days, and as big a show as there is in this western part of our country.

Back in the middle Twenties I hauled water and ran an engine, just like the one we now have. The last year I ran the engine I was 21 years of age.

Sure enjoy the Album, so please send it along, have missed it since Carl passed away.'

WALTER E. SCHRAGE, 1219 Lawn Avenue, New Haven, Indiana 46774 has some information for you readers and although it concerns gas engines, he has had many requests to send it in for this column. 'Send SASE for collectors who want IHC or John Deere gas engine years of manufacture of Famous, Titan 1 HP to 50 HP, Mogul 1 to 50 HP, Victor, Send parts numbers, engine number. Prefix letter 1, 3, 6, 10 HP 'M' McDeering. Send parts number prefix letter, engine number LA-LB 1 - 2 - 3 - 5 HP. Send prefix letter and engine number. L -1 HP engine number - only 500 manufacturers and one year single flywheel. 1, 3, 6 HP John Deere gas engine. Send engine number, 6 digits.'

J. D. HOPE, 74 Owen Street, Dalby 4405 QLD, Australia is very interested in finding some information about a Buffalo Pitts portable steam engine which he is restoring. The shop number is 8807. He would very much like to know the year of manufacture of his engine, along with any other data.

EDD W. CUTLER of Shingle-house, Pennsylvania 16748, when sending in the show report for Tioga County had this to say: 'We had a very good year and Iron-Men Album helped make it that way. Several people I talked to from out of state said they saw our ad in Iron-Men Album Magazine and decided to come out and have a look-see. Soot In The Flues is what I read first. Keep up the good work.' (Thanks Edd, and I'm sure we're all glad to know our magazine is really helping the organizations.)

I wish you could see this letter, the handwriting is very legible and rather pretty. Read on: 'I am enclosing my money for one more year of subscription. I read it now since 1967. I am 93 years old now. (I'd say 93 years young!) I ran engines from 16 years old, every year until I was 86 and still love the smell of one. I still get to read your magazine. I live in an Old Folks Home now for four years and still read and write, and may you be able to publish it yet for many years to come. Wishing you all a prosperous New Year. - Sincerely yours, M. VANDER VELDE, George Boyack Nursing Home, 1203 Centre Avenue E, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.' (For now I'm putting the letter on my bulletin board - 93 and can still read well and write lovely.)

A. HALL, 8525 - 27 Highway, R. R. 3, Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada L4L 1A7 tells us: 'I have two Iron Horse Engines made by Johnson Motors Company, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada and have asked around and nobody can tell me the year of these engines, so I hope somebody out in Engine Land can help me. I would like to know when they were made and when they were discontinued, so I can get the year that mine were made and several others for friends of mine.'

RALPH E. BARTHOLOMEW, 14 Abbott Street, Fort Plain, New York 13339 has this to say: 'If you could give me any information on how to build a steam engine, I would most appreciate it. I feel that I need valves, gauges and lots of things and all the data as to what I do need from someone who had plenty of experience with this.' (I agree, I imagine you can't just tell someone how to build a steam engine seems like it would be a series of lessons, however, I hope one of our experienced builders gets in touch with you.)

This picture was made in December 1958 of Charles Idol, who with his wife, has presented the steam powered sewing machine at many shows.

He, being a dedicated lover of the Iron-Men Album, brought a fact to my mind.

Ever had your husband come in home from work and complain over a meal getting cold? Should he have any interest at all in steam engines, there is one sure cure of this complaint. Call him to a hot meal and discover he has an Iron-Men Album in his hands. If he does as my husband, he will read the Album from cover to cover and forget the meal completely. When the last page is completed, he enjoys that cold meal after the rest of the family have completed theirs.

Looking to you folks for help is ROBERT P. DEAN, Route 3, Box 56, Centreville, Maryland 21617:

'I need information on the restoration of a Peerless Steam Engine-It is necessary for me to strip the boiler of all parts, what is the compound the manufacturers placed between the brackets and boiler? Was this material poured hot or was it a paste-like mortar-and then allowed to dry? This material will not melt, only burn slowly, and I am having great difficulty removing it. Can anyone give me some help on what it is and how to remove it and where can I get this stuff when I replace the brackets and the two journals or cannon bearings that carry the main axle and counter shaft? Please, some of you older men, give me some help on this matter.'

The following is a letter that will be of interest to many of you readers: 'Dear Anna Mae and all other of you good folks:

A warm Cheerio Ho to each of you who may be feeling the ravages of Old Man Winter in his ill humor. We do have the warm weather at present (90 degrees) but with it a continuation of severe drought, water shortage and rationing, etc.!

But now I wish to submit a few additional remarks to the interesting article 'Instantaneous Effective Crank' as appearing in the March/April IMA. (Mr. Claude P. Abbert).

This thoughtful article brings to mind some of my first mechanical experiences in the old railway shops. There was one switch engineer who always proclaimed that he wanted an engine with short connecting rods. Not realizing, perhaps, that what he gained thusly on forward quarters, was lost on rear quarters. So, while he could give that string of box cars a good bump from a forward standing start, to move a heavy load otherwise meant momentarily reversing to run in some slack. The regular switchers, not having pilot trucks, were shortened up as much as possible, and having low drivers, the cylinders were set close by with much shorter rods than the conventional road engines which occasionally became impressed into switcher service.

But back to our effective cranks. It is suggested that it might be more accurate to state that torque distribution is not the same on both the 'in' and the 'out' strokes. Consider, for instance, the case of a conventional engine set up for 0.8 cutoff (with equal lead) on both strokes. By simple geometry, it will then be found that the point of cutoff in degrees of rotation of the crank will occur earlier on the outstroke than on the in stroke. This is due to the angularity of the connecting rod, and was described in detail in this writer's article 'The Connecting Rod' as published in Steam Engines, April/May 1961, by another good steam man whom we feel must have been called much too soon. This effect tends to offset that as described in the article in question.

Now again, consider an engine which has just been set up in a shop by a good millwright. He makes temporary or permanent tram marks on the crosshead and valve stem, if they have not already been provided, and proceeds to set the valve and piston clearances accordingly. This at least gets the engine into a very close 'ballpark.' Then, after steam is up, and it is desired to 'trim' the engine by means of an indicator, he proceeds to make any necessary variances until he achieves equal area diagrams, as measured with a planimeter, from both ends of the cylinder. This means that equal work is done by both ends of the cylinder. If the engine does not have a balanced piston rod, which usually rides in a shoe ahead of the cylinder, there will be a slight error of approximately 4% in favor of the head end as typified by a 4 inch rod in a 20 inch cylinder, for example.

But work in this engine may be defined as a product of the average torque and the circumferential distance traveled and any conversion constant, for each stroke. Now, in balanced condition, since the degrees of travel are the same for each semicircle, the average torque must also be the same.

Very sincerely,
Registered professional engineer (at it since 1918)
35640 Avenue F Yucaipa, California 92399

The following letter is from P. J. ABBOTT, 29 Woodlands Way, Southwater, Horsham, Sussex, England in answer to a request letter in column from Harry E. Young, II, 485 South Hillside Drive, Canfield, Ohio 44406 - I'm sure many of you will want to share this information:

'I have recently seen your request in the Iron-Men for Jan./Feb. 1977 for details of large stationary steam engines. About the largest in this country is still working at a place called Kempton Park just west of London near Heathrow Airport, pumping water for the Metropolitan Water Division of the Southern Water Authority.

Their height from the base of the pumps is 62 feet. Cylinder diameters are High Pressure 29 inches, Intermediate 54 inches and Low Pressure 86 inches with a common stroke of 66 inches. Each engine has two flywheels each of 17 feet diameter and 32 tons weight. The crankshafts are 19 inches diameter at the bearings and 27 inches diameter at the flywheels. They were started in October 1929 and pump between 12 million gallons a day against 400 feet head or 19 m.g.d against a head of 200 feet. Maximum engine speed is 25.4 revolutions per minute. Steam at 200 lbs. per sq. ins is supplied by six water tube boilers by Babcock and Wilcox. The engines were made by Worthington Simpson Ltd., of Newark, England.

They are expected to be working for a few years yet at least although there are plans for replacement by electric pumps. I recently had the pleasure of taking a small party from Canada and America to see one of the engines working and they will remember the impressive spectacle they are in action.'

MILTON H. TIEGS, Route 2, Box 51, Henderson, Minnesota 56044 sends this along: 'An answer to Laurence Bohlmeyer, R. R. 2, Shipman, Illinois who asked about a 1910 double cylinder engine with two smokestacks. Here's a picture we found that maybe will serve his answer found in Minnesota Farmer's Institute Magazine in 1903.

I subscribe to Iron-Men Album Magazine for many years and don't want to be without it.'

WALT THAYER, Box 2175, Wenatshee, Washington, 98801 has a CORRECTION: 'That Shay locomotive I mentioned in March-April Iron-Men Album Magazine is in a rock quarry near Columbus, Ohio NOT Chillicothe. There are a lot of quarries in that area and only a thorough search and inquiry would find the right one.'

And now God Bless each and every one of you I love you all-be talking to you next issue.