Locomobile

A section for all non-Steamboat things and machinery - Steam vehicles, trucks, plant, cars etc...
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DetroiTug
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Re: Locomobile

Post by DetroiTug » Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:29 am

Hi Scotty,

Yes, the mirrors' sole purpose is to observe the gauge glass. In 1901 the rear view mirror had not been thought of yet according to my reading. Some models of the cars had a small kerosene lamp that illuminated the gauge for night driving. Although I can't imagine driving one of these in the dark with a kerosene burning headlamp. That is an antique mirror form an early car, probably a dash mounted rear view mirror from a Model T Ford.

Another bit of trivia, all of these and other cars of that period had white natural rubber tires on them, all tires were white until about 1912. Through experimentation it was discovered that adding carbon to the rubber made it much more wear resistant. It was initially added to only the treaded portion - that's where whitewall tires came from.

The only automatic these cars had were for the burner and it was just high and low fire. It was just a copper diaphragm that operated off of boiler pressure which controlled a fuel valve. The boiler level was manual just as I have it here. It is just a bent 90 degree rod that comes out of the same tube the control levers are mounted on which is connected to a needle valve bypass.

Stanley had a pretty good water automatic and it would be a good addition on our steamboats. It was just a brass tube about 15" long mounted like a gauge glass although horizontal at the desired boiler water level. Boiler water in one end, steam in the other which expanded and contracted the brass tube depending on the water level. This tube lengthening and shortening opened and closed a bypass valve. They worked very well and were used on all later model Stanley cars.

It seems to run pretty good, but I still have burner issues to deal with and won't really know how well it runs until those are sorted. In the video, it's running off of straight kerosene for the pilot and the main burner. The pilot is an Optimus Nova camp stove. I'm switching it over to white gas, which means I have to build a small pilot tank.

-Ron
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Re: Locomobile

Post by dhic001 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:44 am

Ron,

It wasn't just Stanley that used that system for automatic boiler water levels. My friend Peter Sewell had that system on his boat, visible in this picture http://www.steamboatassociation.org.uk/page-1854442 (damn link hasn't worked, follow that link then look up Bos Murphy), which worked superbly. An initial drain of the tube once in steam and then it was all go all day long. With a virtually automatic oil fire and automatic feedwater control, all you had to do was point the boat in the right direction. Apparently, although I never saw them, the big industrial boilers at Chelsea Sugar Works in Auckland had exactly the same system, just the tubes were about 6 feet long.

Daniel
DetroiTug wrote:
Stanley had a pretty good water automatic and it would be a good addition on our steamboats. It was just a brass tube about 15" long mounted like a gauge glass although horizontal at the desired boiler water level. Boiler water in one end, steam in the other which expanded and contracted the brass tube depending on the water level. This tube lengthening and shortening opened and closed a bypass valve. They worked very well and were used on all later model Stanley cars.

-Ron
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Re: Locomobile

Post by DetroiTug » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:11 am

The Stanley Automatic Water Level regulator is widely attributed as being their design and was used on all of their later models of steam cars. Depicted in this illustration from the UK based steam car club of Great Britain. And it's a given due to its simple design and construction that it has been used by many over the years. And I'm going to be one of them. :D

A quick Google shows Bos Murphy was born in 1924 and Stanley closed up shop in 1929 after 35 years in the steam car business. Bos would have been 5 years old at that time, it's highly unlikely he had anything to do with the Stanley Automatic Water Level regulator other than to borrow their design later on possibly.

The Stanley twins along with George Eli Whitney and others that worked with them are responsible for most of the small mobile steam plant apparatus we use today. And many contemporary designs are a derivative of their early work. They all had numerous patents on on many aspects of small mobile steam plants.

-Ron
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Re: Locomobile

Post by dhic001 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:16 am

Did you follow the link provided then look up Bos Murphy on the link? This Bos Murphy is a boat name!
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DetroiTug
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Re: Locomobile

Post by DetroiTug » Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:35 pm

I was just replying to the perceived assertion that it was not really a Stanley design and everyone was using it already. Here is the states we refer to it as a Stanley water control etc. You can call it whatever you want though ;)

Ernest Ofeldt designed this one is 1906, which is very similar to the one you referenced. And who knows, the Stanley design may be based on this one.
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DetroiTug
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Re: Locomobile

Post by DetroiTug » Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:52 pm

A little update:

The construction is very near completion. Then it's time to disassemble and do the finish work (make it shiny). It's been a fun project.

Image

Image

Image

-Ron
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Re: Locomobile

Post by Scotty » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:30 pm

Hallo Ron,

this looks really beautiful, I'm very interested in the final pictures.
In the same class as the steam tug.


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Re: Locomobile

Post by PatJ » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:46 pm

Ron-

Sorry to be late to the party, but I just checked in on this thread after a bit of a hiatus from this forum, and just wanted to say how impressed I am with your work.

My dad built a locomobile replica, but yours is considerably more sophisticated than his.

This thread brings back many memories.

Keep up the fantastic work.

Pat J
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Re: Locomobile

Post by DetroiTug » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:10 am

Hi Pat,

Thanks for the compliment. Getting it near tear-down for paint and plating.

Hers are a few recent pics.

Image

Image

The seat was a real challenge.

-Ron
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Re: Locomobile

Post by DetroiTug » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:22 pm

Getting some of the painting and pinstriping done. Learned how to do Nickel plating.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

-Ron
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