Let's Keep 'Em Puffing

| July/August 1971

7650 Banks St. Justice, Illinois 60458

Now that I have lived through line 4, schedule C, plus line 2, schedule B, add together and pay . . .

By drinking about 30 cups of basil tea brewed from water strained from oat seed, I should be tranquilized enough to get back into life's regular common grind. First, I would like to thank the ones who wrote me letters asking how to fix their boilers. I hope I was able to help them. Anyone may write to me and I will do what I can for them. Let's see, where were we when I left off? Oh yes, you were standing in the fire box knee deep in hot coals, watching the combustion 'closely,' and wondering why the smoke wasn't going through the flues.

At this time, I will try to explain the best method of firing coal to get the least amount of smoke. I said before it is difficult because a person has a desire to put too much coal in a fire at once. Let us at this time pick a size boiler. Let's say 20 hp., that's a good size to work from. Our fire box is 42' long, 28' wide, and 35' deep. We draw a line down the center of it and it is 14' wide, so we will say 12' for round figures. Now we have 3 sq. ft. of grate to work from. Don't forget the little thermo cap for the smoke stack we talked about a few months back. It will help build up a draft. We build a fire on the one side of the fire box only. Slowly adding coal and giving it good draft in order to keep the smoke down as much as possible. When we get enough steam for the blower, we remove the thermo cap and use the blower.

If you do have some coke, now is a good time to put some in and let it get hot, for we have a good draft and it will soon catch. Of course, you could use anthracite or hard coal. Hard coal makes a hot local fire with little flame, and a limit to the value of additional tube surface is soon reached. When fire is hot, fill the other side with coal, small amount at a time, and the fire will burn the gasses as they escape from the volatile matter. Fill this side up well above the fire level of the burning side; by the time it has coked good and is burning clean, the other side has burned out and you can clean it down to the grates. You should burn from 10-15 lbs. of coal per hour, per sq. ft. of grate.

Now remember, I figure the boiler a full capacity, but at a show you may not fire that heavy unless you are working your engine. If you choose to burn coke, you can top off your fresh coal with a few shovels after each fill of coal. You say how much heat will we get at this method of firing? Well, let's see. Let's forget the hydrogen as we know is 62,000 units of heat per lb., and work on carbon only.


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