An Informative Letter


| May/June 1969



355 Clinton Ave., Williamstown, N. J. 08094

It has been a little over one year since I first started to receive your magazine and I wish to let you know that I have enjoyed it very much.

I would like to comment as follows: (1) I am starting in as a newcomer in practical steam engine work and have had some difficulty in learning where to obtain certain items often needed. I would like to pass on to others the following information:

(a) Steam cylinder oil can be obtained in 5 gallon cans (smallest size container sold) from Atlantic Richfield Company, Philadelphia, Penna. The price is about $1.20 per gallon and the thing to do is to go to one of their district sales offices or office of one of their distributors and ask for 'CAPITOL CYLINDER OIL'. I bought two such cans-one for myself and one for 'NEW JERSEY STEAM HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC.', of which I am a member. This grade of oil is designed for dry saturated steam at about 80-150 pounds per square inch.

(b) Industrial type cast iron split piston rings of the type suitable for steam engines can be obtained from Koppers Company, Inc., which has district sales offices and distributors all over the U.S.A. If you have trouble locating a nearby office, write to Koppers Co., Inc., Piston Ring and Seal Dept, P.O. Box 626, Baltimore, Md., 21203. A 3 inch diameter by 3/16 wide ring is priced at about $2.50 with a minimum order of about $20.00. Unless you have special requirements, ask for a standard compression ring, standard straight cut joint, plain unalloyed grey cast iron, of so many inches diameter and so many fractions of an inch width.

(2) In the Nov.-Dec. 1968 issue of the IMA on page 9 is an article entitled '5 Yrs. Building Engine' by John Diekema, Holland, Mich. This is a most interesting article and I would like to see more like it because it gives practical information on how to build something, in this case a locomotive type steam boiler. I have recently built two wick type oil cups to feed S.A.E. No. 40 weight oil to the bearings of my lathe countershaft. They have turned out very well and cost me about $0.75 each because I made them mostly from standard pipe fittings.