Farm Collector

Mystery Solved: April 2015 Mystery Tool Answers

April 2015 Mystery Tool A

A. Beading implement used on tubes/flues in steam engines. Identified by Stephen Clemens, Mazeppa, Minnesota; Dick Kates, Oakland, Iowa; and Mike Garross, Beach Park, Illinois. “The round part in the middle goes in one tube and the far left one goes in the tube that you want to bead,” Mike says. “Beading is the rolling over of the end of the tube. Each time the hammer is raised, it turns the beading tool a small amount. Keep hitting until you have gone all the way around the tube. It will take several passes around to complete the beading.” Photo submitted by John Krock, Kenton, Ohio.

April 2015 Mystery Tool B

A. Unidentified. Photo submitted by Virgil Cassill via email.

April 2015 Mystery Tool C

A. Unidentified. Photo submitted by Ben and Sandra Swope, Ashley, Ohio.

April 2015 Mystery Tool D

A. No definitive answer. Kenny Payne, Irvington, Kentucky, believes this to be a belt-driven tachometer. Dick Kates and Marlin Herbst, Merrill, Iowa, believe it to be a specialized governor. Photo submitted by Clarence Gibbs, Inman, South Carolina.

April 2015 Mystery Tool E

A. Chain used in rotary cement kilns. Identified by Michael Janis, Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and Barry Jones, Monroe, Michigan. “It is hung in a tubular kiln, dips into wet slurry and exposes the slurry to hot gas as the kiln rotates,” Michael says. “Several tons of this type of chain are used in the heat exchanger job at the kiln’s feed end. A few years ago, most cement and lime kilns were wet process and used this chain. Some lime kilns still use this chain. When worn chain is removed, it is usually sold for scrap, but on occasion is sold or given to farmers who sometimes use it to break up clods in their fields, much like a set of harrows. The chain is not suitable for structural applications. It has been designed for maximum heat exchange area to evaporate water from feed slurry.” The wet process has been all but abandoned in the U.S., Barry adds. “I worked at what I think was the last plant in Detroit in the 1980s,” he says. “A wet kiln is 600 feet long and 16 feet in diameter. It rotates at about 2-3 rpm, and operates at 2,900 degrees. The kiln is lined with the chains; as it rotates, the chains carry heat down into a liquid slurry of ground limestone, clay and water to heat it and break up chunks as it dries.” Photo submitted by Wilfrid Vittetoe, Washington, Iowa.

  • Published on May 22, 2015
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