Soot in the flues

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As we prepare our March/April issue for the printer, there is a blanket of snow outside the window. We had had such a mild fall, that winter didn't seem to be 'on the way' this year, but at last it has arrived!

We have lots of letters for the column this time, and a great number of pictures, as well. We are grateful to all of you who have sent us material, and urge those of you who haven't, to do so!

And now, on to our letters:

The American Welding Society, 550 N.W.. Le Jeune Road, Miami. Florida 33126 sends us news of a recently published book that might be of general interest to our readers.

'The American Welding Society has just released the latest edition of Weld perfect: The Easy Guide to Perfect Welding by Darrel McGuire. Weld perfect was written to help give people practical knowledge of welding and simplify some of the technical language used by the profession. Color illustrations and charts are used to explain the variety of welding applications, and the book includes a chapter on the importance of welding safely. Other chapters include information on shielded metal arc welding, flux cored arc welding, gas metal arc welding, submerged arc welding, filler metals, and metallurgy, as well as useful appendices on common welding symbols and definitions of welding related terminology.'

'Weld perfect' author Darrel McGuire has had a long and distinguished career in the materials joining industry. McGuire began his welding career as the son of a contractor, working on construction sites as a teenager. Today, he is Senior Welding Engineer for a Fortune 500 company in Wisconsin. McGuire wrote Weld perfect, with the idea to 'keep it simple.'

'Copies of Weld perfect can be ordered by calling AWS customer service at (800) 334-9353, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET, or through the Society's website at The list price is $18.00, $12.00 for AWS members. Discounts for bulk orders are also available.

'Celebrating 80 years of service, the American Welding Society is the largest organization in the world dedicated to advancing the science, technology, and application of welding. AWS, headquartered in Miami, Florida, serves over 48,000 national and international members. The 1999 AWS Annual Convention and International Welding and Fabricating Exposition will be held April 12-15 in St. Louis, Missouri. Additional information on AWS programs and publications can be found on the AWS website.'

HERB E. BECKEMEYER, 1123 County Road 900 E, Champaign, Illinois 61822-9623, writes, 'Thanks for the nice remarks you made about me in the last issue of the Album. Pictures enclosed are a few that may be of interest.

'Picture #1Threshing on an Amish farm near Arthur, Illinois, in August 1997. Something I have always wanted to do.'

'Picture #2Taken the same time as #1. What is a team of horses worth? $16,000 I was told! I admire horses and the people who handle them, but they're not for me. I had all the horses I wanted when I was a young kid home on the farm!

'Picture #3John Schrock and Herb Beckemeyer, taken at Wauseon, Ohio, and a Gaar-Scott 25 HP engine owned by John Schrock. Now there are two experts, I want all to know! (HA! They think they are?)'

'#4 Picture Is of one of the 19 tractors my wife thinks I have. How come a guy can say it's white and the wife invariably says its black! Anyway, it's a 40-62 Huber waiting to be cleaned and painted. That is to be done this winter.'

'I'm closing with a bit of 'good' advice to all who may see or read this. Be nice to the next person you meet because they are having a tough time of it also!'

DON BRADLEY, PO Box 151,Forsyth, Montana 59327, has this to say, 'I am enclosing some pictures. One is of my 110 Case. You ran a story on it back in your July/August 1981 IMA. I am also including a picture of my 50 Case, which I have owned for 53 years. I even made a living threshing and sawing with it in the 1940s.'

We received a note and two pictures from TOM CURTIS of 3073 Jamesville-Pompey Road, Pompey, NY 13078, who told us:

'These are pictures of our 1920 50 HP Case steam engine, serial number 35000, pulling five 16-inch plows at the Pageant of Steam in Canandaigua, New York, in 1998. Since it was burning coal, the fire was hot so there isn't much smoke. The engine had 150 lbs. of steam on it at the time; it put on a good show, as did the other engines we had his year. Our engine has been in our family 35 years and is owned by Tom and Ed Curtis of Pompey, New York.'

We are happy to hear from RANDY E. SCHWERIN, Rt. 2, Box 178, Sumner, Iowa 50674. He says, 'Thought it was time I contributed a little to the magazine, so here goes. I have these photos to share of my latest acquisition in the steam power department. This is Advance engine #11501, built in 1909. It's a 22 HP engine, mounted on Advance's good coal-burning boiler, equipped with the standard 22' drive wheels and 2' Waters governor. I bought it in the spring of 1998 and had it hauled home in July. John Schrock and I removed the boiler tubes (which were the original ones and still in good condition). We found the interior of the boiler in remarkable condition outside of the usual accumulation of scale lying in the bottom of the barrel and water-bottom. We installed the new tubes and steamed it up the same day and, I must say, for an engine that had not turned a wheel in over 30 years, it sure took off and ran like a champ.

'I think this style traction engine was one of the handiest to work around that there ever was. Very simple and well-built with the Marsh reverse. I carry 125 p.s.i. and it has plenty of power to do all I need with it, and it has that good typical sharp Advance 'bark' to its exhaust. It's sure a joy to hear run!'

'What I find most interesting about this particular engine is the fact that I've been able to learn all of its history back to and including its original owners. It was bought by the Nice brothers of North Powder, Oregon, in 1910. The Nices were custom thresher men for many years, and usually had about a 60-day run. They wore out two 32' x 56' Advance-Rumely wooden machines with this engine. They also used it on a well drilling rig. They then bought a 36'-60' Advance-Rumely steel machine to use with the 22, and it's thought that this machine still exists. I had the pleasure of talking with one of the Nice brothers' sons, Malcome, about their threshing business, and although he is 83 years old and nearly blind, his memory is very vivid with many fond memories of the old engine and threshing crew. Another family member, Glenn O. Nice, held an annual threshing bee in the 1950s near North Powder.'

'Owning a steam engine can be a history lesson for sure. Having the privilege of owning an Advance 'Banner Boy' with such a colorful past is just icing on the cake!'