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Author Topic: Sternwheel engines  (Read 3334 times)
Les Tindall
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« on: July 04, 2021, 08:22:26 AM »

The forum always seems to be a fount of knowledge. So here's the question:

On sternwheeler engines (ones with Pitman lever valve gear) are they reversed using a linkage from near the boiler (which can be some distance away) or by levers situated beside the engines (in which case an additional person is required as I am presuming the steam flow to the engines is controlled from valves by the boiler)?   

Les Tindall
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Barney
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2021, 02:31:48 PM »

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ships_Engine_Order_Telegraph.png
Now every one will SAY Im WRONG but Captain Birdseye said the ships telegraph see above link would be used- basically a man on the bridge does the orders and a man in the engine room does the rest some early versions were just a brass trumpet you shouted down it went down a tube to the engine room the steam from the boilers would be also controlled by "the man " down below or at the rear of the ship in this case
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Ray Dunakin
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2021, 11:23:37 PM »

I don't know squat about sternwheeler river boats, but perhaps there might be something helpful in this video which was shot aboard the Nachez:

https://youtu.be/kPamW4DzccA

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5thwheel
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2021, 11:58:41 PM »

These photos are from the City of Portland in Portland, Oregon. The boilers are separate from the engines. The reversing is operated via a quadrant (no picture) at the head of the engines. by the engineer.   


* reverse gear.jpeg (165.97 KB, 1152x864 - viewed 99 times.)

* eccentrics.jpeg (173.75 KB, 1152x864 - viewed 96 times.)
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Bill Hudson
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5thwheel
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2021, 12:06:36 AM »

The pilot house


* pilot house 1.jpeg (65.71 KB, 432x576 - viewed 85 times.)
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Bill Hudson
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Les Tindall
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2021, 02:24:08 AM »

Thanks all, Bill I think your photos may have answered the question with a crew of 2 on the engines.  One - the "boilerman" keeping the fire going and operating the steam inlet valves, to the cylinders and the other (possibly 15 feet away from the boiler by the engines) operating the reversing gear (the drawings I have do not show any steam valves/wheels by the cylinders so must have been operated from the boiler), both having communication with the pilot from the wheelhouse via speaker tubes or telegraph. I suppose wages were cheap in those days (around 1910)!
Les
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Les Tindall
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2021, 04:43:45 AM »

Been doing some more thinking on this. The "engineer" would have to be pretty nimble, if there was no linkage between the 2 cylinders to reverse them, he would have to run around 10 feet across the engine room (possibly on the early boats full of cargo) and then inform the pilot and boilerman that this had been done and they could allow then steam back into the cylinders.  Good communication was required, reversing one engine before the other is not good for machinery! (ther new boats such as "Natchez" have more modern equipment  and not the rather crude Pitman valve gear. Any further thoughts and comment welcome.
Les
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5thwheel
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2021, 08:07:35 AM »

Les, Maybe this will help.  Are you planning on building a model a stern wheeler?


* engines.jpeg (11.37 KB, 250x142 - viewed 207 times.)
« Last Edit: July 07, 2021, 08:33:14 AM by 5thwheel » Logged

Bill Hudson
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Les Tindall
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2021, 02:01:56 PM »

Thanks again Bill, a useful picture.  Barney and I have also been chatting by email with suggestions and ideas. It's coming together.   I have started on the engines for a 1/24th scale sternwheeler workboat with a steam dredger at the front. Outline idea attached.
Les


* Work boat 3.jpg (37.66 KB, 430x608 - viewed 96 times.)
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Les Tindall
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2021, 02:06:39 PM »

Oops - vertical paddleboats! 
The Engines look a bit like sewage pipes with lever on top. That is the Pitman lever valve gear, its a slow revving, low pressure engine.  I've still got to figure out where the steam valves go to operate the engines as non of the drawings I have show them.
Les   


* paddle steamer engine 2a.gif (111.73 KB, 684x383 - viewed 103 times.)
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5thwheel
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2021, 03:19:38 PM »

A small stern wheeler wood fired boiler single stack.


* eng 2.jpeg (40.97 KB, 297x396 - viewed 81 times.)
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Bill Hudson
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5thwheel
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2021, 03:25:43 PM »

A small stern wheeler similar to what you are trying to design.


* stern wheeler.jpeg (34.81 KB, 456x308 - viewed 98 times.)
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Bill Hudson
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Les Tindall
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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2021, 02:35:55 AM »

Thanks Bill, that drawing of the sternwheeler is just about the right size for the one I am think of building. It's also useful as it gives the width versus length ratio. Important to make the boat "look right". I presume the little room at the back (sorry stern) of the boat is the WC (loo, dunny, toilet, heads - whatever you eant to call it).

Les   
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5thwheel
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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2021, 08:00:45 AM »

Thanks Bill, that drawing of the sternwheeler is just about the right size for the one I am think of building. It's also useful as it gives the width versus length ratio. Important to make the boat "look right". I presume the little room at the back (sorry stern) of the boat is the WC (loo, dunny, toilet, heads - whatever you eant to call it).

Les   
Could be the head but probably had a holding tank below. [I can just imagine turds etc. sticking to the paddle wheel blades] I suggest you have a squared off bow like a barge. Looks like a fun project.
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Bill Hudson
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5thwheel
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2021, 08:15:09 AM »

Oops - vertical paddleboats! 
The Engines look a bit like sewage pipes with lever on top. That is the Pitman lever valve gear, its a slow revving, low pressure engine.  I've still got to figure out where the steam valves go to operate the engines as non of the drawings I have show them.
Les   
The engines should have a long stroke. alleys say your boat is 90 feet long: it would require two engines w/ 8" diameter cylinder X 42" stroke. It would consume 4 1/2 cords per hour. I hope you can read the chart attached.


* engines.jpeg (36.56 KB, 400x285 - viewed 79 times.)
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Bill Hudson
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get up ten.
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