American Walking Beam Engine

A special section just for steam engines and boilers, as without these you may as well fit a sail.
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fredrosse
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Re: American Walking Beam Engine

Post by fredrosse » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:30 am

Built the base for the boiler today, thought it would take a couple of hours, but it took 10. Welded water cooled pipes to the base, and have the option of water cooling the boiler support columns. I plan to fill these pipes and columns during initial runs, and see if they start to boil off the water, if this happens, then I will rig some minor circulation to keep the base from getting too hot. May not need these features, but easier to provide for them now, rather than retrofitting.

Boiler Shell is supported by the 4 washout connections, using automotive type exhaust pipe/muffler clamps. The boiler can be mounted as shown, or about 3 inches higher. For initial propane firing, the lower position should be OK, may want to mount higher when firing with wood.
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boiler base mount 02.jpg
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fredrosse
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Re: American Walking Beam Engine

Post by fredrosse » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:42 pm

Got the furnace installed under the boiler, as usual, more work than expected. Steamed up for the first time today, still trying for 09 October Boat ride.
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STEAMING1.jpg
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Narwhale
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Re: American Walking Beam Engine

Post by Narwhale » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:08 pm

fredrosse,
Would love to see some pictures of the boiler before you get her all wrapped up.
Looking real good so far.
Wearyman
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Re: American Walking Beam Engine

Post by Wearyman » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:54 pm

fredrosse,

You mentioned you were using propane for firing. Could you provide pictures of your burner and propane feed layout?

Thanks! (great boat BTW, I'm amazed that you have gotten it all together so quickly!)
Johnlanark
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Re: American Walking Beam Engine

Post by Johnlanark » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:35 pm

Hi Fred, like the others I'm amazed at your rate of progress - hope you make the meet.
It's all looking great. Nice to see some steam on the site. I hope those boiler wheels have brakes for when it's sitting in the boat.
John
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artemis
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Re: American Walking Beam Engine

Post by artemis » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:16 pm

Wearyman wrote:fredrosse,

You mentioned you were using propane for firing. Could you provide pictures of your burner and propane feed layout?

Thanks! (great boat BTW, I'm amazed that you have gotten it all together so quickly!)
I'd also like to know. Am in the process of designing/building a small (12"ID x 13"H) VFT for a boat and engine I recently acquired at the "right price" (free!) - boiler to be propane fired.
Ron Fossum
Steamboating Magazine Editor
http://www.steamboating.org
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fredrosse
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Re: American Walking Beam Engine

Post by fredrosse » Wed May 25, 2011 12:32 am

Working to get the sidewheeler into the water soon. Found a stainless steel salad bowl that makes a good smoke hood, a perfect match to the boiler shell, and deep enough for an economizer coil. Made a fixture to hold up the smokestack, and secure the insulation/lagging around the boiler. I decided to make an octagonal outer casing, so I can fit metal lagging pieces without too many holes to be aligned, which would be the case with a cylindrical outer jacket.

Bought a piece of 16 oz polished copper, 3 feet x 8 feet for the outer lagging ($164 USD). I will try to fit the lagging in common aluminum flashing for now, don't want to possibly spoil the copper with a cutting mistake.

The boiler is setup for burning propane (just a big weed burner) now, with only about 6 inch furnace height. The boiler can be mounted higher, when the wood/coal firing begins later in this century. This smokestack fixture can telescope on the boiler foundation tubes, to allow this modification with little rework.

I am using a steel stack, double wall (6 inch inside diameter, 7 inch outside diameter, 5 feet tall), and if anyone can suggest a proper stack topping, it would be greatly appreciated. I have been looking for a good brass umbrella can ornament, but have found nothing yet.
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Boiler-Stack Frame S.jpg
Stack/Lagging Fixture
Boiler-Stack Frame S.jpg (94.67 KiB) Viewed 3498 times
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fredrosse
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Re: American Walking Beam Engine

Post by fredrosse » Wed May 30, 2012 3:41 pm

Getting the boiler ready for this season’s steaming. Pulled out the boiler, and installed a much better insulation/lagging arrangement, but still did not use the sheet copper I bought last year, I don’t want to possibly spoil the copper, so I used cheap aluminum flashing again.

Changed out the burner system in the sidewheeler this year. I had been using a Home Depot Propane Weed Burner (just a giant blow torch), which worked OK for the first two seasons, but made way too much noise.

Installed four cast iron aspirating gas burners from a home heating furnace, a little over 100,000 BTU output on propane. These burners are perfectly quiet, so cruising should be a more pleasurable experience this year.

With a controlled propane pressure of 11 inches water column (in WC), I was able to test the boiler’s output, and adjust the flue gas flow to properly match the burner’s output. I wanted to be sure that the burner flames would not be excessive, with all the products of combustion entering the boiler fire tubes.

What I found was that too much excess air flows thru the boiler, much more than is required for proper combustion. This excess air reduces the average temperature of the hot gas flowing thru the boiler, and causes reduced boiler output. Much of the energy is wasted by this large quantity of excess air flowing thru the boiler and up the stack.

The stack is 6 inches diameter, about 3 feet tall. Removing it completely still allowed plenty of air for combustion, no flames emitted from the wrong places, and boiler output went up.

I then put a 6 x 3-3/4 reducer at the boiler outlet flue, a significant area reduction (about 40% of original), and no stack. This still allowed plenty of air for combustion, no flames emitted from the wrong places, and boiler output went up again.

It is clear that I have plenty of draft available for putting an economizer coil in the flue gas path, probably mounted inside the 6 inch stack. And a flue gas damper to reduce excess air will also be added.
Attachments
SW New BurnersS.jpg
New (actually about 50 years old) gas burners installation
SW New BurnersS.jpg (38.62 KiB) Viewed 3036 times
BoilerTestSetupS.jpg
Test Setup - Orifice between test gauges determines steam flow output of boiler
BoilerTestSetupS.jpg (28.32 KiB) Viewed 3036 times
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fredrosse
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Re: American Walking Beam Engine

Post by fredrosse » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:24 pm

Here is a picture of a somewhat larger, and far more authentic, walking beam engine in the building process, June 2019. It is about 33% of original size, so I guess it is a small scale model of the original.
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bigwalkingbeam.JPG
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Lopez Mike
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Re: American Walking Beam Engine

Post by Lopez Mike » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:43 pm

Going to build a San Francisco ferry boat around it are you?
If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.
Dalai Lama
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