P.O. Box 83, Lannon, Wisconsin
Joseph May's letter in the March-April issue of the ALBUM raises my pressure to the pop-off point, so here goes! I will probably be accused of not knowing whereof I speak, as I have never experienced the thrill of trying to see how close I could come to wrecking a perfectly good engine without going over the limit. The matter of raising the working pressure above that at which the manufacturer set the pop valve and then trying to see how far the engine can be strained to get the last ounce of power out of it constitutes stunting in my book. No engine was ever manufactured for that purpose and no manufacturer would ever guarantee an engine abused in this manner.
It is my honest opinion that any man who has stood beside the cylinder of any engine holding the sawyers lever, with 50% over the manufacturer's recommended pressure on the boiler, and gotten away with it, does not need to have his head examined. Instead, he should get down on his knees (as soon as he can get them on the ground) and thank the Almighty that the manufacturer built a 50% safety factor into said boiler and engine. He should then use the gray matter in said cranium to consider the terrific additional strain to which he has subjected the crank pin and bearings. I can think of any number of places that I would rather be than near this engine if a crank pin should let go and the steps on the side of the engine is not one of them. After all, does it prove that you have a better engine than the other fellow? After the steam has gone down it is still a 10X11 engine, or what have you.