R. R. 4 Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
We have some shows up in this country. Mr. Floyd Westling at Clive, Alberta this year had a fine show with three steamers and a 10' Royal Scott steam locomotive to give youngsters rides and many oldsters also. He had quite a few old tractors plus old cars and also the Central Alberta Antique Car Club made an appearance with their cars. Mr. Westling has a nice 50 HP Case steamer which has been in the family since it was new in 1914. Floyd had a fine crowd and a lovely day. It was hot as blazes, as my job was to operate the 50 HP Case and I sure did lose some pounds from the heat.
Oscar Westling had his 25 x 75 Case steamer there and Mr. Glen Crandall of Ponoka brought his 28 x 80 George White plowing engine, also his plow which added a nice attraction. Mr. Crandall usually threshes about 60 acres on his farm with his steamer belted to a Rumely separator.
I have some unhappy news for those of you who know Walter Spree man at Olds. He was severely injured while spraying crops by aero plane, however he is coming along fine and says he will be running his own 65 HP Case as soon as he is able.
I own two engines, a 40 HP Case, in mint condition with a butt strap boiler; also a 16 x 48 Rumely double cylinder. With the butt strap boiler, this is a very powerful engine and also in mint condition, but not painted yet. This engine really belongs to my wife but I try to claim it once in awhile, as it is such a beauty.
I am a Pressure Vessel Welder and Boiler Maker by trade. I enjoy very much the discussion on boilers that appear every once in awhile. If I may say a few words on the subject, it will be this. I am never half as scared of a boiler with 'reasonable' pressure on it, as I am of an incompetent engineer. You could take a boiler with a proper 'safety valve' and put an iron plug in the fusible hole and then build a fire in it and boil it dry and melt it completely down without any danger to anyone from an explosion as it will not explode as long as the safety valve works and once the water is boiled out all that is left is to melt the boiler down. So much for that.
Pressures to operate at some inspectors say if the engine has a lap seam boiler, it should not operate over 100 lbs. P.S.I. This makes sense provided the inspector is capable of a proper cold water and hammer test. If an inspector cannot find the weak spots with his hammer then he should not be an inspector and I don't mean that he should beat the boiler to death. Most inspectors fear lap seam boilers to have channeled or grooved but very few inspectors allow or demand various tests that can be made of these seams.
My helper on engine is John Kvill, New Norway, Alberta. John is a fine engine man and very capable with an engine. That's me bending over chopping wood. At right is my wife's 1916 16 x 48 Double simple M. Rumely, 175 Ib. This is a beautiful engine and in fine shape. Don Brownell is operating here. Courtesy of Fred Freschette, R. D. 4 Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.
1.You may drill holes through the boiler shell along the seam for metal thickness test and pipe thread these holes and put plugs in when these tests are made. This can be done without damage or danger to the boiler.
2.Also the Ultrasonic testing equipment available at any boiler or pressure vessel plant can be used to test the metal for thickness and any cracks. This is absolutely accurate if these machines are operated by a proficient operator. I have noticed there is a considerable difference in inspectors also. So it is wise to listen to them as many of them are very good tradesmen and know what they are talking about.
But once more I tell you I am more afraid of a poor quality engineer or a show-off who rough handles these wonderful old machines, than I am of an old boiler that will stand a reasonable test. So use common sense and you won't have to learn too much to become a good engineer because you have started with the best foundation-COMMON SENSE.
I threshed 1,000 bushels this spring for my neighbor, Orville Gehrke. He has a 28' IHC separator and I used the 40 HP Case. It was a lovely day and everyone enjoyed themselves.
I have been a subscriber to your magazine for quite some time and am always pleased with it.