Box 400, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
When I was a small boy, my father had a 25-75 Case steam engine, a 36-58 Case separator and a John Deere eight bottom plow.
The first job I had away from home was in 1929 when I fired and ran a 22-65 Sawyer-Massey in a sawmill. Then in the winter of 34-35, I built myself a sawmill. My first setting I used a gas engine and that fall I got a 28-80 Case steam engine. I used it for 3 years and then I got a 32-110 Minneapolis as the Case didn't have enough power to run everything at the same time. About 1942 I quit the sawmill as it was too hard to get help due to the war. So you see I am no stranger to steam. I have an Alberta Final Traction Certificate.
About the end of January 1977 I broached the subject of building myself an engine of about 30 to 35 HP. As my wife was agreeable, I started immediately by going to the Steam Branch in Edmonton. It was June before I got approval on the blueprints for the boiler.
They demanded that a class A welder do all the boiler so Fred Freschette of Red Deer did do all the welding, and a boiler inspector examined it many times during construction. After the welding was all finished, I had to take the boiler to Calgary to have it stress relieved before we put in the flues. It has 24 1?-flues 5 feet long and the flues are rolled and beaded at both ends.
All materials used in the boiler met the Alberta Boiler requirements. The boiler inspector hydrostatically tested it to 265 lbs. and it is approved for 175 lbs. both here and in Saskatchewan. The bare boiler weighs 1600 lbs. All the material in the boiler is 3/8 excepting the flues which are one gauge heavier than required.
The rear wheels, the gears, and the differential are off of a 18-36 Hart-Parr and the front wheels are off a John Deere D.
The engine I designed and built completely excepting the governor and the flywheel which was out from an old flour mill. I am building a new governor for it in my spare time and have it about two thirds done.
The engine is a two cylinder 5-inch bore and 6-inch stroke.
The crankshaft I turned from the solid of 4140 steel. The connecting rods I also turned from the solid of 4140 steel and when they were finished with bronze in the big ends and needle bearings in the small ends, they weighed 9 pounds a piece. The crankshaft started out with 587 lbs. and ended up with 92 lbs. The crosshead guides were made of national seamless tubing and the crossheads are shimable and faced with bronze where they contact the guides. Both piston rods and valve rods are stainless. The cylinders I had cast of Mehanite. The pistons are hollow and have two 3/16 piston rings on each. I built balanced valves for it and used a Woolf valve gear.
The crankshaft is mounted on ball bearings and there are sealed ball bearings in both eccentrics.
As it is a twin engine, I didn't bother with a clutch and used a chain drive from the crankshaft to the differential. The governor drive pulley is keyed to the crankshaft and I use a pin to connect it to the drive sprocket, which has a bronze bushing in it.
The completed engine dry weighs 6900 lbs. and after fueling and filling with water, it weighs about 4? tons.
The first trip I took with this engine was on the 24th of June, 1978, so you can see I didn't let any grass grow under my feet. I took it to Saskatoon Pionera early in July. It took 10 hours to make the 400 miles from here. Then I took it to Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, and I had it to several places here in Alberta. I think I must have traveled about 3,000 miles with it. I pulled it on a trailer behind an old International ? -ton.
There must have been at least 30 old time engineers that tried it out and nearly all of them were very impressed with the way it ran.
I still have some work to do on it and hope to get it done in the spring, as I don't have room to get it in the shop.
We put it on the Baker fan at Saskatoon and the men figured it was putting out over 35 HP. I took it up town to the tractor pull and it had plenty of power to spin its wheel on good footing.