TOO MUCH PRESSURE

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.

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