Firing With Green Slabs, Etc.

| January/February 1960

219 Hubbard Street Fort Myers, Florida

On- page 7 of the July-August issue is a comment on the Case setting on a Dutch Oven like a hen on the nest. I am enclosing a clipping from June 7, 1959 Tampa Sunday Tribune to throw a little more light on burning green slabs. Several years ago some furnace builders figured they could go the original boiler builders one better and get more steam out of a given size boiler. They raised the boiler sometimes as much as three feet higher from the grates to give a greater fire space. And what extra steam they got was at a loss, unless the fuel was oil. With too much fire-space, the fire lost its heat before going through the tubes, which are the main source of steam.

That same mistake was made only a few years back at a place where a 135 H.P. H.R.T. boiler was set in a high furnace to be fired with slabs. The very necessary high bridge wall held down the length of slabs being burned and was plenty of trouble to keep built up. Finally, when it became necessary to install another boiler, I pointed out that other lower hung boilers that the company owned steamed easier, and the new one went in with its original 24' fire space.


'In this modern day of liquid fuels that don't fizz and throw sparks, the old-time fireman who fired with green slabs and kept the steam gauge needle pointed skyward are becoming hard to find.

'Burning green pine slabs fresh from the saw was an art in those days. And keeping steam with green cypress was little short of a miracle. But it has been done.

'I used to fire a 20-horsepower Peerless boiler with a 20-horsepower engine mounted on top of it That did not give any reserve steam and our fuel was green cypress slabs. All the way we could keep steam was to watch the roller bed and grab every thin slab with bark on it. We cut the slab into short pieces on the butting saw and split it fine. By the time the bark singed off, the wood was dry enough to burn.


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