Engine and boiler went through a building fire

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tom1356
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Engine and boiler went through a building fire

Post by tom1356 » Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:36 pm

Looking for restoration advice on an antique engine and boiler that went through a fire in a hull.
The hull was scrapped and I want to know if there is anything special to look out for when restoring them?
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Re: Engine and boiler went through a building fire

Post by Kelly Anderson » Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:23 am

Is the boiler of riveted or welded construction? If riveted, the joints are liable to be no longer water tight depending on how hot the boiler got. If the boiler is of welded construction, barring major distortion, it isn't as likely to be seriously damaged, other than the tubes may no longer water tight in the sheets. Leaking tubes can be rerolled.

As far as the engine goes, the bearing materials may be damaged or melted, along with any other bronze parts. The cast iron piston rings may be collapsed in the cylinder bore. The crankshaft may be warped.
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Re: Engine and boiler went through a building fire

Post by DetroiTug » Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:38 am

If it's a welded seam boiler with seal welded tubes it's most likely unharmed. Annealing a weldment involves bringing up to red heat and allowing it to cool slowly, which is required or suggested for welded steel boilers, but few people do it. The all welded boiler in my steam carriage only holds about a gallon of water and I've accidentally ran it dry more than once without injury. Obviously close visual examination, ultrasounding the shell and hydrotesting is in order. That goes for any new to you boiler though, new, used or unknown. It's best to treat boilers like guns, when someone hands us a gun and tells us it's unloaded, check it anyway in a safe manner.

The engine, it depends how hot it got. I've been restoring a very rare steam carriage that was in a barn fire, nothing but the steel remained and much of it was warped and had to be replaced. All the copper and brass tanks etc were gone. Big job. Thank God, I'm finally piping it up now.

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Re: Engine and boiler went through a building fire

Post by TahoeSteam » Wed Jun 09, 2021 6:43 am

A bunch of steam stuff was lost last summer in the fires... Roundhouse and locomotives at Swanton Pacific RR. A member on here lost his house, boat, and more. Another lost his family's shop. Rough stuff. Hopefully it can be salvaged.
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tom1356
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Re: Engine and boiler went through a building fire

Post by tom1356 » Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:35 pm

Thank you for the replies.

The boiler is riveted. The previous owner thought it would need babbits redone but thought it was in pretty good condition. It was primed and put into dry storage
They had been through a previous fire and were rebuilt. But that fire was the boiler running dry overnight.
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Re: Engine and boiler went through a building fire

Post by tom1356 » Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:16 am

Initial observations are promising.This is the low pressure cylinder piston valve.
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Re: Engine and boiler went through a building fire

Post by DetroiTug » Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:30 pm

Tom,

Never say never when it comes to a restoration. You should see the steam carriage that I'm restoring, there was virtually nothing left. Looks like most of the damage is external. Some sandblasting and paint, piston rings, some brass bits and bobs and you'll be back in business.

Ron
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Re: Engine and boiler went through a building fire

Post by tom1356 » Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:32 pm

Ron,

I am encouraged. The high pressure valve looks good too. A couple of the shiny bits survived. The throttle handle and the main bearing cap.
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Re: Engine and boiler went through a building fire

Post by DetroiTug » Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:09 am

Tom, Is that an original Whitney engine? Do you have any History on it?

Ron
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Re: Engine and boiler went through a building fire

Post by tom1356 » Tue Jun 22, 2021 3:08 am

DetroiTug wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:09 am
Tom, Is that an original Whitney engine? Do you have any History on it?

Ron
Hi Ron,

Yes. This is the Ida F.
Named after his daughter. George used Ida F. on Island Pond in NH for 48 years.
I think I know almost everything about her.
She is quite special.


Tom
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