204 E. Cass St., St. Johns, Michigan 48879
I would like to add a few things or ideas to the article, The Injector, by Floyd Cook. Why does it work?
My thinking always was that cold water being heavier than hot or warm water therefore giving it more speed thru the steam jet or by the steam jet, which makes it easy to enter the boiler against its own pressure. Seems like I've read in the past who it was that came up with the idea and made it work, but I've lost it. Who, of our readers, can come up with the answer?
I would like to add to this article with an experience I had with an injector.
Some years ago I built a model engine, three ft. high and six feet long and carrying 175 lbs. pressure, all welded boiler. The shell, the man said, was tested at 900 lbs. I kept 350 lbs. cold water pressure on same for a week to be sure it would carry 175 lbs. easy. It sure performs at that pressure. The injector, a Penberthy, three eights size would not pick up the water over 150 lbs. so I wrote to Penberthy about same, and told them not to tell me all the simple causes, because I know all of them, but that's exactly what they did, so I had to go on my own. Don't know how many times I took the injector apart to find a way to correct this, which I figured was possible. Finally, under a good light, I noticed a small thread in the center of the steam jet. Then looking for something that would fit in there I found a small jet out of a Chevrolet carburetor which fit exactly, and then I started drilling this hole larger, one size drill after another until it picked up the water at the 175 lbs. and it's still in there. It also cut the capacity of the injector by all of half, which is still plenty for my size boiler, but satisfactory anyway. This three eights injector was the smallest one I could find at the time. Isn't imagination a great thing to have?
While I'm at it, I'd like to add a few more experiences I've had with steam. We had a 15-45 Case, new in 1910, with a Judson governor. This was a good governor, bur threshing within half mile from home one Saturday P-M all at once it had only half of its power, driving a 32-54 Case separator. So we had the bundle pitchers take it easy until quitting time so as not to lose any time and drove the engine home that night. On Sunday, we took the governor apart and found the top valve seat going up and down with the top valve, so all we had to do was to bead down the metal to hold the seat where it belonged and that ended that experience. However, had it been the lower seat it might have been harder to find. We had a Gould valve in this engine which made it really easy to handle and easy to fire. Also put rocking grates in it which was a great help. Used this engine 10 seasons and still had the same flues in it and it had plenty of 80 and 90 day seasons.
Traded it for a 25-30 Avery tractor which we used 8 years and sold it. A kerosene burner it was, and it would use about a third more water with fuel than fuel and about a bbl. of water in the radiator, especially in hot weather. We had mostly stack threshing, plus some barn threshing and we equipped the separator with wing feeders and run the whole rig with four men, two bundle pitchers, and a blower tender. I took care of both the separator and tractor, furnished the fuel and bundle pitchers and got 7-8 and 9 a bu. 1920 was the best grain year we ever had and come up with a little over a hundred thousand bushels.
Came nearly going thru my separator one time. While relieving a bundle pitcher one day, the fork slipped out of my hand and was on its way thru the separator. So, doing what I shouldn't have done, I thought I would step on the side of the feeder (the old one) and pick the fork off same; but it didn't work out that way. My left foot standing on a bundle, give way and being over balanced, stepped on the drive belt and it threw me on my back right in the feeder. I saw the band cutters too. Being young, I threw both arms out and the right one had the fork in it and I hadn't seen it either. I was walking off the feeder with the fork when my brother, who had just threw a fire in the engine (had the steamer then) and stepped to the side to watch the machine, when I was jumping off the feeder. How lucky can you get? One swipe of the band cutters and I'd been thru the blower before the machine could have been stopped. Taught me a good lesson! Lost a glove in a husker one time, which taught me a plenty. Why does a man take such chances?
Didn't get to go to any of the steam-ups last summer on account of my wife. Just two Centennials which only took a few hours. I like Wauseon, Ohio steam up and missed it for two years now. Could tell of some more experiences, but this is enough. Others can tell theirs too; lets hear them. I was born with steam in my veins, I guess.