Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 19, 2018 03:48PM
Hi Rick,

Best of luck with your relocation. I just did this myself a few years ago, SoCal to Central Texas, and I don't envy you the workshop takedown/reassembly job.

Your car sounds very similar to mine, except that mine is not intended to be a replica of any actual antique steam car, more of an "antique-style hot rod". The idea is a fun steam roadster for a fraction of the cost of an original antique steamer. Model T chassis (Speedway T-bucket kit/body, with fenders & removable hardtop & modified to ride a bit higher) and a Stanley-like engine with about the same displacement and displacement/mile as the later 10hp Stanley (3.25x4.25).

Peter
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
November 17, 2018 02:15AM
By way of update, my latest "tangent" is working out a vaporizing-burner carbon-cleanout system, following my paraphrase of Ron's comments: "If it wasn't for vaporizing burners plugging up, then traditional steam cars would be virtually trouble-free".

In the concept system which I am now working on, the "Easy-Clean", every time the car is refueled [100-200 miles], the operator pulls a handle back, holds it there for 2 seconds ["one mississippi, two mississippi"], then pushes the handle forward. This sequences 10 valves which use boiler steam to blow every bit of carbon out of the pilot & main vaporizers, branches, and filter screens; also operating 2 main jet pokers and a pilot wire "twiddler" to clear the jets. Overall burner system complexity, cost, and R/D/fabrication work, looks substantially less than alternative fan/blower/carburetor burners. Most of it is off-the-shelf equipment. Compare 3-4 second handle-pull/push work to the procedure for cleaning out old-time steam car vaporizing burners.

A "Stage Two" vaporizing-burner cleaner system, fully automatic, is the next step. That is the full-fledged "Auto-Kleen" system. But 4 seconds to pull a handle back and forth at every fuel-filling time, doesn't seem to be a colossal hassle that desperately needs eliminating.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 08, 2018 01:48AM
Just finished blueprints for "Stanleyoid" pilot light/burner with carbon-blowout and diesel glow-plug electric preheat/ignition cold-start. Imagine Stanley system with no main/pilot vaporizer carbon clogging or fussy startup/maintenance problems. Pull lever, pilot and main burners light, boiler steams up, open throttle and go. Even with today's crummy "pump gasoline".

Hey Oil Companies/govt/etc, add tons more chemicals to motor vehicle fuel; my vaporizer blow-out system can handle them too. You add it; my steam car burner handles it. Add something that really kills my burner, and it will kill so many gas cars that VW's colossal diesel-emission fakeout scandal will look like a kiddie Halloween prank in comparison.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 08, 2018 02:10AM
Stage 2 & 3 of my burner-control design project include a method of converting manual 1/4-turn ball valves to pull-cable/automatic actuation, and a linear-cam multi-valve actuation method via pull-cables. Stage 3 [linear cam] seems unlikely to be of interest to anyone other than myself, but if anyone is interested in converting a 90-degree pivot ball valve to linear-motion actuation, then I will post drawings.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 08, 2018 02:27AM
"Whatever you do, Big Oil/Big Auto/Big Government will stop it". Umm, no. Good Tech beats "Big" whatever.

Deal with it.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 08, 2018 02:48AM
Not to mention Stage 4: steam cars running on solid biofuels. ICE cars can do the same, but with twice the fuel consumption due to energy-conversion losses. Carbon-neutral advantage for IC cars: negative-zero.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 08, 2018 05:03AM
Hi Peter,
I'm settled into a nice 2 bedroom apartment. We went all out and have 2 garages. I'm in thinking mode now for the next several months with intentions to get out my sketch board and writing instruments, create a Bulletin article (or 2) along the way. I paid riggers big money to put my equipment in storage. I'll just have to go without my girls (Hardinge Lathe & Bridgeport Mill) for a little while.

Need your help in explaining Stage 1, 2, 3 etc? Not sure where you going with this. However, it sounds exciting.

A couple of thoughts, you mentioned ball valve linear motion. I'm going to use a concept/proven method from Ron Rogers to actuate my throttle, main ball valve (for my Gentleman Speedy Roadster). If he is listening/reading, he might post the pictures?

Not sure how your using a diesel glow plug to aid in the pre-ignition sequence. If comfortable with releasing info, can I get some more details? Out of necessity, I've become quite familiar with my New Holland TC29D diesel tractor ignition system. I went through all the relay logic, quite the challenge for a mechanical guy.

Just to let you know, I'm in the camp where a good vaporizing tube design will prevent carbon. I go for the simple, most elegant solutions...try to at least.

Kind regards,
Rick
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 08, 2018 06:04AM
Rick,

Here those are. Works great.

-Ron


Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 08, 2018 11:42PM
Hi Ron,

Excellent! My guess {?} is that you cut off most of the original lever, welded on a new tab, ground the welds, and black oxide coated it? Great way to get it strong as heck and exactly the shape needed for the job.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 09, 2018 01:57AM
Hi Rick,


Good plan: "doing the homework" -- IE, taking the time to carefully figure out the concept and details, plan the fabrication, blueprint things, etc.. This will save you time & rework later in the workshop.


I got my "stages" kind of mixed up there. My December 8th posts refer to "sub-stages" within the "Stage One" mentioned in the November 17th post. Well, except for the solid biofuel steam car, that's a whole different project, not a sub-stage.

I'm not too secretive about the electric preheat/ignition setup. Basically it uses a pair of NGK Y-110 diesel glow plugs, about 10 bucks each from Amazon. One sticks up next to the pilot vaporizing tube inside the firebox. This one heats the vaporizer tube and lights the fuel/air mix when the pilot valve is opened. The other is next to the cross fitting for the pilot jet. That heats up the metal next to the jet so that fuel vapor doesn't condense there during a cold start-up. Both of these have sheet metal infrared reflectors painted with ITC-250, which reflects 98% of any infrared radiation which hits it. These reflectors bounce the infrared radiation from the ~800F glow plug tips to the vaporizing tube and jet cross fitting respectively, to heat 'em up. Heat conduction within the vaporizer and cross-fitting metal should distribute the heat from the "toasted zone" to the rest of the vaporizer and fitting.

For the tube-heater/igniter reflector, I am currently looking at a piece of Inconel/Hastelloy X sheet metal, 0.020" thick. That should take the firebox heat without softening, warping, or oxidizing.

I think that a properly tuned vaporizer can eliminate carbon, but only with pure fuel like fresh 1-K or "white gasoline", free from additives or water. I think Jim Crank was running his tuned vaporizer on 1-K, probably from a jet-fuel supplier, and look at Pat Farrell's home filling station setup, with top-notch clean/dry kerosene.

Cruddier fuel can do the job too, depending on how much fuel is burned. In a car, long road trips with typical gas-station fuel could mean a lot of carbon and frequent cleanings. But with the "Easy-Clean" system, it only takes a few seconds, and one push-pull of a lever, to blow out all carbon, even with bad fuel.

What bugs me is the up to 10% ethanol which they put in road gasoline now, plus the other additives. This might "crack" even when the gasoline doesn't, and it absorbs atmospheric water, which is a definite carbon producer in vaporizing tubes.

I do plan to tune the pilot and main vaporizers to keep fuel vapor below 400F at the outlet, and to see how long that will go before the screens etc plug up. Maybe the "Easy Clean" setup will only be needed at extremely long intervals. But whatever the interval, long or short, this setup will make the cleaning extremely quick and easy. Of course, if it goes like 100,000 miles and never plugs up, then, well, car #2 won't have any of that equipment in the burner or pilot!

On the ball valve throttle, Ron's idea is great, and is very similar to early Stanleys, which used a multi-piece linkage to actuate a throttle valve on top of the boiler. I plan to use a ball valve throttle, but set up like the later condensing Stanleys, on the steering column under the hood, with a pivoting rod running parallel to the steering column up to the throttle hand lever. In my case, the pivoting rod will be connected directly to the ball valve's stem. I plan to set it up so that the original handle is kept in place, in case the rod, hand lever etc breaks and I need to get under the hood to close it manually. Of course there will also be an emergency shutoff valve, closeable from the front seat, upline from the throttle. Safety first, last, and always.

Current design work is the cable-operated ball valves. 5, all with same design. Design one, build 5. I already have blueprinted cable-operated steam supply valve and carbon/steam "blowout valves" at the jets; these are of the poppet type, with 440C balls pressed by small die springs onto conical-face 316SS valve seats made from stainless pipe nipples. This combo should be OK with 400F fuel vapor, and with steam and abrasive carbon particles blowing [briefly and rarely] over the sealing surfaces of the valves and their seats.

The 5 quarter-turn ball valves, I plan to design with small sheaves/pulleys bolted onto the stock valve levers. Cables are attached to these pulleys, and run into greased tubes a la old-car emergency/parking brakes, bicycle brakes, etc.. The ball valves, for vent, isolator, and fuel shutoff, are 1/4"NPT size, bronze body, Apollo brand, I think identical to Ron's throttle valve. I bought one and did some tests for opening/closing torque, not to mention taking various measurements needed for designing mounts for the valves and their cable-tubes.

The cables/tubes will run to a control box with a sliding handle sticking out of it. Push that handle back/forth, with about 12" travel and reasonable force, and the valves all open/close in the proper sequence. I have the basic concept worked out for that box too; that is the next design/blueprinting job after the cable-operated ball valves.

The poppet-blowout valve design job turned into a whole-pilot blueprinting project. Comparing this pilot burner to a Stanley pilot is like comparing a 1960s carburetor to a 1910 carburetor. The later design is more complex than the decades-earlier one, to [hopefully] solve some shortcomings with the earlier designs.


Somebody once described my approach of "adding gizmos to fix steam car problems" as a "Band-Aid" approach. This comment disturbed and intimidated me at the time. Recently however I realized that the entire history of internal combustion road vehicle development -- and of recent advanced EV propulsion systems -- is exactly the same so-called "Band-Aid approach". And I realized that this approach has been very successful in IC car and EV development, both technically and economically. So why not apply it to steam automobiles as well?



OK, this is getting long; enough for this post. Hope this helps explain what I am up to, and maybe acts as a thought-provoker and reassurance that you are not alone in getting into detailed design work before heading to the shop. Being without a shop for a while may be frustrating, but the resulting drawing board work may be a blessing in disguise.

Peter.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 09, 2018 06:18AM
Hi Peter,
Nice response and appreciate the kind words.

I understand better what you're doing. It sounds sound, in other words a workable concept. If I may, throw in that with my Model H, I plan to go with a Propane pilot light. This will be high tech with an electronic barbeque ignition system winking smiley In the video from the Fall SACA meet you can see me actuate the propane ball valve and pushing the barbeque ignition, lighting the burner. Note that I was at 100 PSI at that moment. The burner runs full blast, no modulation, no pilot and no shutting off when I run. I have to give the system all she can take. Also note that as I was running, I turned up a needle valve to make me go faster. When the steam exhausts on the Scooter, it draws the flame through the fire tubes better. Without the draw, flames come out everywhere...a little bit harry.

OK, so the experience with the Scooter and propane is my guide to the Gentleman Speedy Roadster. I'll be able to turn on my pilot light ball valve sitting at the steering wheel and hit the igniter. Whoosh, the pilot(s) are running under my vaporizing tubes. We would let that run a little bit and perhaps bullshitting with some on lookers talking about some CARNOT efficiency thing. This part I don't have worked out, intent to run propane through the vaporizer tube to initially fire the burner to heat up the vaporizing tubes. Then switch over to gasoline and fire as required to have fun.

Tony fires his Buggy like this. When he runs and gives rides at Meets and Events, he runs full bore on the burner all the time. He impresses the rider with great acceleration from the start and limps back to the crowd. While the next rider gets on and settles in, the boiler is building back up pressure. Again, whoosh, another fast, impressive start to a short ride around the bend and back. Note that I don't know how well Tony's Buggy would fair during a Tour. Probably run well if he could run at the point where he generates steam at the same rate needed to maintain speed given road conditions are suitable to run at that speed. Then running at a Parade, not so good. He would have to put a smaller nozzle in the jet. Then he could fire the burner for longer periods without going on-off with the gasoline burner.

On the other hand, Jim fires his Stanley EX with the typical blow torch...you know the drill. When giving rides, he has the reserve stored and provides a decent acceleration to his riders. His system controls the burner by pressure. I'm not implementing this pressure control at this point. Gona go with a manual control at first, I'm the computer. Jim's pilot light is a typical Stanley that heats the vaporizing tubes. Start and stop use would probably work well say in a Parade. All other driving conditions like a Tour and just giving rides works well with his system.

Note that I plan to show off with grandiose acceleration with a 2-seat Roadster. Just some food for thought.

Kind regards,
Rick
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 09, 2018 07:21PM
Hi all

Ron, from your initial post it appears you got a batch of crap kerosene and plugged your historically troublefree vaporizer. You got it cleaned out by oxiginating the crap out of it but want to avoid a repeat in the future.

3 years ago, I installed a cheap marine water separator and was surprised at the amount of junk that came out. I also started using Jet Fuel. I clean the vaporizer twice a year but probably could go with once

Someone mentioned converting back to gasoline. Why would you even consider that? any leakage around your pump packing and you have all that volatile stuff under your floorboards.

If you have a "ateam enema" system integrated into your plumbing, any leakage into the vaporizer will result in carbon

Herb from Ohio
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 10, 2018 05:56AM
Hi Rick,

The first steam car I ever rode in, Jim King's 10hp Stanley, had basically the same pilot setup as you describe. Except that it ran on butane, from a small plumber's-torch-sized tank in a bread-loaf-sized small wicker basket on the starboard running board. Jeff Theobald was the operator/chauffeur that day; he opened the wicker basket lid, turned a valve knob to "open", then lit the pilot with a match. Actually I think he used one of those long-neck disposable/Bic butane fireplace lighters. Anyway, no pilot vaporizer preheating or carbon clean-out nonsense. The running-board wicker basket kept the pilot tank out of the sun and passenger compartment and safely ventilated in case of leaks.

Your dash-mounted push-button pilot lighter is a bit more advanced. If you want to impress people with your hitechiness, try calling it a "piezo-electric combustion initiator". LOL

Those are simple, reliable, inexpensive, and standardized/easily sourced/replaced modules; very good.

I don't know how long a torch tank would run a propane or butane pilot for a Stanley-like burner, but spares could be carried for longer trips, and would not be grossly expensive, difficult to source, or laborious to replace. Basically the li'l tank just screws in & out like a lightbulb. If I were going that route, I'd do the Jim King wicker basket on running board thing too. Safe and handy, and it even looks nice. British ingenuity/practicality at its finest.

The extra equipment I'm working on shows "the difficulty of designing for convenience". The considerable extra design work is my "reward" for trying to run main & pilot burners on plain fuel-station motor gasoline, with "just fill 'er up and go, like a gas car" convenience. For "strictly hobbyist", low-mileage use, it's extreme overkill, but I am designing for idiot/lazy operators and 12,000 miles a year daily driving. Personally, if I'm going to design/build something, I'm going to do it as well as I can. I like the challenge; the mental exercise. And, why should steam car driving fun be restricted to us smarty-pants/techie/gearhead fellers only? smiling smiley

Imagine a steam car that you can hand the keys to anyone and let 'em take her out for a spin.

Manual burner control. Well, just keep an eye on that pressure gauge. With enough boiler reserve and an attentive operator, it should work fine. One concept mini-steam powerplant I worked on had an over-pressure steam relief valve, with its outlet pipe aimed at a paddle on the lever/handle of the main burner ball valve. If steam got too steamy, the relief valve would shoot a whoosh of steam at the paddle, shutting off the steam. Then the valve could be manually opened again when needed.

Many years back I posted complete blueprints for my "easy-build" Stanley-style Steam Automatic valve, closely based on the famous Stanley automatic fire controller but designed for simplified low-buck fabrication from off the shelf bar stock, threaded rod, etc, with very modest shop tooling. No castings, forgings, welding, or elaborate machining needed. Easy to build, and, like the Stanley Steam Automatic, gives infinitely continuously variable firing rate [within the turn-down ratio range of course] and steady steam temp, but a bear to design. The response at the time was crickets chirping; I thought I also heard a few snores. smiling smiley

Equally crickety and snore-provoking, no doubt, is my Feed-Water Automatic, also closely based on the Stanley design, but designed for easy building by the average chimpanzee with a drill press, band saw, and a few steel bars, threaded rods/nuts, and off-the-shelf plumbing bits.

However, I do plan to cheap-out with a fusible plug instead of the Stanley-style Low Water Automatic. If the boiler water runs low, you probably have to get under the hood and fix something anyway, so what's the problem with an extra 10 seconds of wrench work to change a fusible plug.

Pardon my digressions; I am procrastinating over a few design details with the cable-operated ball valves. Every time I run into a design snafu, you guys have to read long ponderous jibber-jabbers from me here; sorry about that, ignore at will. Now looks like cable connected direct to factory lever/handle, rather than a winch/sheave. Doesn't look like a fatal problem, just a hassle to work out. A "time-out" often leads to a quick solution after a day or two. These may end up rather weird-shaped valve units; kinda like RJ Smith's unique control mechanisms. Hey, weird is OK, as long as it's buildable and works.

Peter
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 10, 2018 06:43AM
Hi Herb,

I do plan to use gasoline, but with a non-Stanley fuel pump that is vented such that any major fuel leaks from pump packing will overflow and drip on the ground rather than accumulate in a Stanley-style pump box under wood floorboards.

This fuel pump has a splash-lube oil bath case which should continuously lubricate the fuel pump plunger and packing, while also excluding airborne dust and grit from the plunger and stuffing box, thus [theoretically] greatly reducing packing/plunger wear and leakage, relative to Stanley and other antique steam car pumps. This type of design works very well in modern commercial-production plunger pumps, and I think that it will work well in this pump. Only road experience will tell for sure, of course.

I like the idea of being able to conveniently fill up my steam car with ordinary pump gasoline at any fuel station. However, as you note there are safety issues with gasoline. And I think it needs a special vaporizer cleanout setup for convenience. Which is a disadvantage.

I have read several reports of leaking "steam enema" systems actually increasing carbon in vaporizers. In the system which I am working on, there is a vent valve to send any steam leaks from the "enema" valve to the ground, plus "isolator valves" which prevent this steam leakage from getting into the pilot or main vaporizers. The tradeoff is extra valves, mechanism, and plumbing.

Overall, I think the tradeoffs will be worthwhile.

Peter
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 10, 2018 09:44AM
Hi Herb,

Thanks for the input and advice, now I have to call the airport to see if i can purchase some Jetfuel smiling smiley.. As funny as that sounds, that is probably the best solution instead of relying on the integrity of the Kero at the corner gas station. Someone mentioned "Stove oil" and that is probably how the refinery sees it, just anything that will burn in a "wicking" burner or can be sprayed and burned with a gun burner, but vaporizing is a totally different application and the refineries probably don't even consider that for the end user of their product.

Rick,

I have to shut my burner off frequently, I have a few Stanley fuel automatics, I'm going to reset one for for the Loco operating pressure and install. Then I'm going back to the larger orifice I originally started out with, we de-tuned it for slow driving at shows. The original orifice of .042" opening would make steam very fast and had no trouble keeping up at higher speeds, sometimes it would pop off while driving at mid-range speeds and taking on feedwater, but that's how it should be, it just needs an automatic to control the burner when the pressure is attained. It would be like trying to use a furnace for a house with no thermostat, trying to tune the burner to the load, let the burner do what it wants - make lots of heat, just control it.

-Ron



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2018 12:06PM by IronChief.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 12, 2018 05:34PM
Hi Ron,

Something like 25-30 years ago I knew somebody who heated his apartment with a wick-type kerosene space heater. I don't know why he used it; his apartment had a gas wall heater, maybe there was some problem with it, like the heat didn't get to all the rooms. Anyway, he had an arrangement with a fuel supply company across the street from Lindbergh Field, San Diego's international airport. One time I went with him to help him lift his 5-gallon kerosene cans in & out of his car trunk. He lined up the cans next to one of the 30 foot tall jet fuel tanks and filled them from some industrial looking hose/nozzle setup, and paid the guys there cash on the barrel head. I seem to recall him saying something about how the fuel was cheaper there than buying cans at a hardware store, and didn't clog up his heater wick. If he had a kerosene-fueled steam car, he probably could have driven the car there and filled it up directly. He lived close to the airport. Not sure if this would work for everybody, but it worked for him.

Peter



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/2018 06:26AM by Peter Brow.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 17, 2018 11:38AM
Hi Ron,
How does that fuel automatic work? If it is the large disk style, how does the moving disc seal? What is the seal material? Never really saw one of these appart.

Then, could there be a communication between the disc going in and out to pushing a wire into and out of the nozzle? This is a thought I always had regarding the pressure burner design and keeping carbon clogs at bay. I got the idea from the Coleman stove where you turn this lever up for lighting and down for running.

Coleman Stove Operation

The lever is a cam, moves a tightly wound spring/wire that pushes a wire through the vaporizing tube and into and out of the nozzle. This keeps the stove free from carbon in the jet.

Kind regards,
Rick
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 17, 2018 03:16PM
Rick, It's just a large metal disc as a diaphragm reacting against a spring. A rod holds a ball nearly in place on a seat, overcome the spring tension with pressure on the diaphragm and it closes the valve - shuts the burner off. Very simple and very reliable, virtually every steam car manufacturer used this same design to control the burner.

Coincidentally, the picture of one is from the Stanley museum auction and it made it's way here later on and is on the Conrad now. That was built by the late John Packard and he did an outstanding job on it.

-Ron


Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 20, 2018 11:53AM
Ron said, "Rick, It's just a large metal disc as a diaphragm reacting against a spring."

Hi, what is the type of metal in the disc? What gauge thickness? I'm thinking seriously to build one or similar design. Can you use aluminum foil?

Reason is that when I tested my vaporizer(s) on my Ofeldt Burner, the safe distance was 10 feet from the pressure tank. It takes quite the time to burn down after the ball valve was closed. Kind of scary when you close the valve and the burner still fires at a serious rate. This control at the burner location (relatively close) is surely a safe way to operate.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 20, 2018 01:23PM
Hi Rick,

The burner automatics I have looked at had a copper disc, looks like about .015" thickness. You asked about the sealing, it's just a gasket on each side. Some of the diaphragms are corrugated in a circular pattern, but I don't think that is imperative, a simple sheet can work too, again like the water level automatic, there isn't much movement. Some others here more familiar with them can probably help with that.

Aluminum foil, has virtually no strength in extension, I wouldn't suggest trying that.

-Ron
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 20, 2018 04:18PM
The disk John Packed used is Beryllium copper, also known as copper beryllium, beryllium bronze and spring copper, is a copper alloy with 0.5—3% beryllium and sometimes other elements. Beryllium copper combines high strength with non-magnetic and non-sparking qualities. It has excellent metalworking, forming and machining properties
There are many alloys of this and I am not sure which one John Packed used. It’s one that will take a lot of flexing without cracking. He did tell me when I was in his beautiful shop, and I have it written down somewhere but I have no idea where that is now after moving to Florida.
Rolly
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 20, 2018 05:14PM
Sounds like M25? Beryllium, they mention "flexible metal hose".

[busbymetals.com]

-Ron
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 21, 2018 04:11AM
Steam Jedi Master Coburn "Ben" Benson told me "A.B.C. A Beryllium Copper diaphragm". Old Light Steam Power drawings say "brass" for the diaphragm. A few years ago, I found 2 sources for beryllium copper diaphragms, ready to bolt-into a standard Stanley Steam Automatic, with the 12-bolt pattern. NB: beryllium alloys are reportedly toxic; careful chip/coolant disposal is advised if you find the sheet of proper thickness and decide to drill it, esp with abrasive-coated bits. I seem to recall that the hole size is good for center-punching on pattern with a jig, then use a pliers-type sheetmetal hand punch [cheap at Harbor Freight] with punches that tit-center on the center dimples. Drill jig, precision center punch sheet in jig, then use pliers-type hole punch.

Brass sheet may work just as well, but I suspect it wears and cracks sooner than the "ABC". Brass, like many copper alloys, is prone to work hardening over time. Some antique-car guys with costly/rare brass headlights will even leave them off for fun runs and only put them on for car shows, to extend their life. Steam Automatic diaphragms are constantly flexing on the road with constant burner on/off and hi/low. So maybe 10-20 years service life with brass diaphragms, 50+ years with ABC?

I can look up & report the diaphragm thickness and McMaster spring p/n if anyone is stuck. Cobi-Wan Bensoni only gave clues on the spring; as a steam padewan learner I had to do the homework and figure that out myself. LOL

In the process I learned spring design. A weird engineering art unto itself, but vastly useful.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 21, 2018 09:15AM
I believe the last time I spoke to Don he said he had acquired all of John’s patterns and castings to take over making them. He most likely has the information and may have some of the regulators available
Rolly
Bourdon Boiler Works
3801 Bourdon Rd.
P.O. Box 55
Woodstock, VT 05091
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 23, 2018 08:25AM
For diaphragms, how about this:

Ultra-Strength Easy-to-Form 510 Bronze Sheets

[www.mcmaster.com]

(Scroll down one item)

The print copy of Catalog 105 [1999] has more info than current print or online catalogs:

"Made of alloy 510 phosphor bronze, these coils provide good corrosion resistance in most environments. They're used for making almost every style of flat and coiled spring, including tubular springs..."

I haven't checked my blueprints, but I think that this is the material I specified for diaphragms in my Steam Automatic blueprints. Available in a wide range of thicknesses, and sounds unlikely to have work-hardening/cracking issues. Point and click ordering from McMaster; on your shop bench in a few days.

I seem to recall seeing references to "phosphor bronze" alloys in 1900-1930 engineering books/articles, so this might be the same alloy that the oldtime steam cars used for pressure-sensor/control diaphragms. Many old light-steam hobbyist blueprints specify "brass" for parts which I later learned were actually originally made of bronze alloys.

Peter



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/23/2018 08:32AM by Peter Brow.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 23, 2018 08:37AM
Peter Brow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> For diaphragms, how about this:
>
> Ultra-Strength Easy-to-Form 510 Bronze Sheets
>
> [www.mcmaster.com]
>
> (Scroll down one item)
>
> The print copy of Catalog 105 [1999] has more info
> than current print or online catalogs:..............................
> Peter

All great information on the steam automatic, but to assist others in their "search", the automatic should have its own thread under "Stanley steam Automatic."
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
December 23, 2018 08:48AM
Sorry Pat; thanks, good advice; I just started the new thread.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
January 04, 2019 05:51PM
"Cable-operated valve" blueprinting has now been finished. Design work started around 12-10-2018; blueprints finished 1-4-2019. Last design/blueprint job is the "linear-cam control box" for the 10 valves. Pull handle back, hold for a couple seconds, then push forward. Pilot/main vaporizers and jets spotless clean, carbon gone; all blown out by boiler steam; the "steam enema from Space".

One line in "Back To The Future" is "the Flux Capacitor -- this is what makes time travel possible!". In this case, "The Easy-Clean vaporizer -- this is what makes vaporizing burners practical!".

P. E. "Doc" Brow smiling smiley
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
January 04, 2019 07:29PM
Sorta like instant coffee in a microwave, eh? smiling smiley

( I live close to Canada so the "eh" is legit)

-Ron
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
January 04, 2019 09:04PM
So, sounds possibly workable? Maybe less exciting/fun than an old-time burner that needs an hour of cleanout work at frequent intervals, but still... boringly perhaps... workable? I'm not hearing any specific technical criticism of this idea from anybody; hope that interpreting this as a go-ahead/"build/test and find out" is not delusional... the microwave coffee comparison is not encouraging... microwave coffee, blecch... smiling smiley



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/04/2019 11:45PM by Peter Brow.
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