Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What's up OBRM????

so far this season, our intrepid volunteers have been preparing parts from #35 to be shipped down for restoration to Steam operations corp. Some items have already been shipped and we are ready for shipment #3, this year.
Also, they have finished up caboose #50's bi-annual maintenance. Also completed is #12's bi-annual maintenance. We also kept up on the Worlds Fair Alco diesel cab, by repairing the air-horns, paint touch ups and waterproofing the cab, which is a maintenance headache! But we are getting to the finish line with this task.
We also were FINALLY  able to get our 1 cylinder steam engine running. We have been working on this for over 2 years and I was finally able to hook up with a steam engine "legend" Conrad Milster. Conrad Milster is the man in charge of Pratt Institutes power generating plant and works on engines like these all the time. He is famous for installing a steam line in the yard at Pratt every New Years eve and inviting the citizens in to hook up their whistles which they blow at midnight. Its been a tradition which I hope continues.
He also is a member of the CT Antique Machinery Association (CAMA)and within the past couple of years has removed an engine very similar to ours from the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park (NY Worlds Fair grounds) to bring up to CAMA and restore to operating condition.

He was able to get it running in about 15 minutes, although it does need quite a bit of small "tweaks" to get it running. The main issue that stymied us turned out to be that the slide valve was not seating and allowing all of the air around it to go right out the exhaust valve.
See!! It takes an expert and I am smart enough to know that I didn't know enough to get this engine running

Here is what he had to say about our engine:
It is a Civil Ware era single action pumping engine which may have had a feed water system attached to pump water into  another system.
The flywheel was probably used to power another set of machines and the governor was added on later, probably around the turn of the 20th century.
He also stated that his unit operates on 5-10 lbs of pressure & puts out between 10+15 horsepower.

When this unit was donated by the Old Bethpage Village Restoration a few years ago, we also received an add on unit on which we will install a grinding wheel to demonstrate how this engine was used for industry.
The take off from the flywheel is a leather belt which he said we can order from an online retailer once we get the correct measurement and we can also get a belt to power the governor balls from the same retailer.

We plan on having demonstrations of this engine on Saturdays beginning sometime in August.
This will be a hit with all.

Thank you again Conrad Milster, who is a genuinely nice guy.


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