SOOT IN THE FLUES


| September/October 1975



Soot in the flues

Hi to all of you out across the nation wending you way to the Steam Shows - if the money holds out to buy the gas - how about it? At the rate we're going, who knows, maybe we'll go back to steam cars???? Have fun though and as you travel from show to show - just as the bees flit from flower to flower gathering honey, I know you are gathering 'sweets' for the next year's memory box. What a precious blessing that our Creator gave us the ability to remember -trouble is, we remember what we want to and not always what we should - but you know what? -despite all the problems facing the world today - I'm very optimistic and eagerly looking forward to the forthcoming year - for with the Bi-Centennial year now in progress - more than ever we are going back into history and remembering the events that brought our country this far - and I for one, still feel very lucky and proud to live in this land. God Bless America! Enough flag waving for this issue and onto the words from our Iron-Men Family

A news item comes from MR. AND MRS. HENRY E. BECKER, 37 Livingston Avenue, Roseland, New Jersey 07068 - 'The Centerville & Southwestern Railroad will be relocated and running again under the auspices of the Mon-mouth County New Jersey Park Commission. The C & S R R had operated for twenty-five years on the former Becker Dairy Farm in Roseland, N.J. when closed on September 4, 1972.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry E. Becker, donors of the miniature railroad, are pleased that it will be in good hands and nearby for many of its former riders.' (Thanks for the good news!)

TED LANDERS, New Life Farm, Drury, Missouri 65638 brings up a point - 'What are the problems associated with monotone boilers? They seem like the best way to go from a cost standpoint, but you never hear of anyone liking them. We don't have a boiler and are considering making a mono-tube. Are there are boiler design books available?' (I don't know, do you?)

Here comes a letter with hopes of replies - LAURENCE GRAVES, Route 1, Box 147, Suisun, California 94585 states: 'I'm a steam buff nut, way out and points West. In late 50s, the late Ray Campbell loaned me a book listing 200? steam cars built and disappeared from the road. All gone by 1925 when the last Stanleys and Dobles ceased business. Why were they unsuccessful? They burned too much fuel. The layman forgot them. Most used 6-800 lbs. steam pressure. One car carried 1000 lbs. (psi). This should have made them very efficient. It did not! Readers of the ALBUM recognize a 20-60 steamer has 60 HP on the belt (flywheel) and only 20 HP at drawbar. What happened to the 40 HP difference? It was swallowed up by friction in the plain gear bearings. The drive wheel bearings carrying the weight of a heavy boiler have lots of drag. Gas tractors are better off with expensive roller bearings. Even here a 60 HP loses half its horsepower and is rated only 30 HP at drawbar.

Firing up a double pancake flash coil in August 1974 and working feed pump by hand, little force was required up to 100 psi. At 200 psi one feels the pressure. My pump is a brass plunger 5/8' D X 1' stroke. Packing is on end of plunger. It can easily hit 1000 psi at 6-800 psi I put extension on handle. Carried this psi for one hour and twenty minutes. At these pressures, steam cars used too much steam to run feed pump. So the car used too much fuel. Driver could not sense this. 2% is the estimated steam consumption for a feed pump. Allowing pump friction, I cannot see how 50 pounds of steam can pump 3000 pounds water into a boiler at 150 psi. Comment requested!'