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Roger Byrne

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  • Gender
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    Racine, Minnesota
  • Interests
    Antique tractors, trucks, cars, steam engines, gas engines, pre-1922 IHC machinery, 1/8 scale models, all early 1900's technology and I hold Minnesota A-2 and Hobby Steam engineer licenses.

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  1. A page back there was a discussion on Baker Fans and Prony Brake Dynamometers that covered the subject well. Nearly 40 years ago, I wanted to test belt horsepower and along with a couple friends, put together an outfit to do that. I took a well used, outdated M&W tractor PTO Dynamometer that was purchased form an implement dealer who had replaced it with one that could handle the higher horsepower of the newer tractors. There would be no cooling water access at the show grounds so a water/radiator/fan system was used. Some bearings, jack-shaft and pulley were mounted to a frame and even though it was put together in a rush because it was just before show time, it worked well. In fact it was used at the show for over 25 years when it was operated by a competent operator but later, abuse and neglect took its toll. A while back, I figured it was time to get it operational again. Had I know how bad a shape it was in, I wouldn't have started the project. The M&W Hydra-Gauge Dynamometer needed an overhaul as it had been run too hot, burnt the oil and wreaked the seals. Well being this deep into the project, I figured the whole outfit should be rebuilt to a higher standard and improvements made. One of the major items was to improve the cooling system by directly cooling the oil with a large industrial heat exchanger and fan. This also added over 8 gallons of hydraulic oil to the operating system making it nearly 40 gallons. The frame was rebuilt along with the jack-shaft/pulley drive set-up to make it into a more compact unit. The outfit was put to the test a few weeks ago and worked out great. We tested a friends 10-20 Titan along with his 20-30 Oil Pull and both hit their rated horsepower plus. I think Troy will have to put his McCormick Deering 15-30 on it this spring. The way that tractor easily handles a 28" thrashing machine, I'm guessing it puts out a lot better than 30HP. I'm looking forward to also putting my 16-30 Oil Pull and 8-16 International on the Dyno to see what they can do. It's also great to use the the Dyno as it was originally intended, to help you tune your engine carburetor/timing to get the best results.
  2. The WEBER wagon company was formed in 1845 and was purchased by International in 1904. The WEBER wagon line was the premier wagon sold by IHC and my 1920 dealers book has 58 pages dedicated to the WEBER wagon in various versions and styles. It's the second largest section (P&0 plows was the largest) in the whole book dedicated to just one product.
  3. Wow TwoStep, you post a couple photos of a very rare tractor. Those two photos from Jones County Texas are not of a Best/Holt steamer, they are of a Buffalo Pits three cylinder tractor. They were introduced in 1911 and were not successful. Buffalo Pits made great steam engines, but their attempt to build a gas tractor was a complete failure. They used a three cylinder engine with a questionable ignition system and the tractor was too narrow for its top-heavy design. It also weighed too much for the power produced from the engine. The last two photos below show what happened when it was at the Canadian tractor trials. It broke down and had to be pulled out of the field by a Big Four.
  4. Here is a bit more about how early roads were built and the Adams Leaning Wheel graders. Some of these early roads were built by digging a trench (ditch) and casting the dirt up into the center of what will be the road bed. The Adams Leaning Wheel graders shifted the pitch of the wheels so they would lean into the cut and be able to move more fill into the center of the road than the conventional graders of the time. The first photo below shows a 30-60 Aultman Taylor tractor pulling 2 Adams graders and you can see how the wheels could be angled as needed. The second photo shows a Cat 60 building a road with single large Adams Leaning Wheel grader. The graders were were the most common way the early roads were constructed with the larger and more elaborate Elevating Graders (also known as Muckers) being the other primary machine to build roads. The Elevating Graders were basically a plow that dug into the ground and the dirt it lifted up would go onto a belt and be elevated into a wagon alongside the machine. The wagon would then dump the dirt where needed. The first photo shows a Big Four pulling a Mucker. The next three have a family history will me. My Dad started in 1927 working for the Leon Joyce Construction Co. as a mule skinner and these photos are of the outfit he worked for. The first photo shows an Elevating Grader being pulled by mules, the second shows a Mucker being pulled by a Cat 60 with horses/mules used to carry the dirt away and the last photo shows the progress to "cat wagons" being pulled by Cat 30's. My dad is running the Cat 30 and wagon in the left side of the last photo. He used to say he went from a "mule skinner to a cat skinner in just three years".
  5. Finney, I'm afraid that a 50HP (belt HP) steam traction engine is not going to pull much more than a 4 bottom plow or maybe a 6 in light soil. You are going to need something like a 110HP case to pull a 12 bottom plow under most conditions. If you are referring to that 50HP as the boiler horsepower, other than the NEW 150 Case that was built, there are no traction engines that have a 50HP boiler in this country. Even the biggest engines like the 40-140 Reeves only has a boiler that would be rated around 40HP. In reality, there is no comparison with the way tractors are rated today compared to the rating systems from the early years. After all, my 1919 International 10-20 Titan (10hp drawbar & 20HP belt) can pull a three (14") bottom plow under most conditions and my 1919 Oil Pull 16-30 is rated to pull a four bottom plow. If you read the old books, they would say it took 3 to 4 HORSES to pull a single 14" plow under most conditions . . . they were talking about real draft horses. When tractors came out, the drawbar ratings were to show how many REAL HORSES the tractor would replace.
  6. Dag nab it Anson, I sure wish we didn't live 875 miles apart, on opposite sides of the country. First off, I'm sure we would have a lot more frequent and animated "Blue Smoke" discussions if we could do it face to face. Another thing . . . I think I'd try to sneak that Adams Leaning Wheel Grader out of your rusty iron refuge some afternoon when you were taking a nap. I've been looking for a medium size one for years but only find the big 12+' ones that are too big for my old tractors. I've found several small/mid-sized Russel and Adams graders but none of the Leaning Wheel version. My Dad used to use Adams Leaning Wheel graders back in the 1920' & 30's to build roads. He always said the Adam L W grader was the only one that could cut a ditch in hard ground and could build a road faster/better than anything else on the market at that time. I'm guessing if I put some Yankee greenbacks in your hand that maybe ?? you'd part with it. Too bad that the transportation cost up to my part of the country would put a kibosh on the deal. By the way, how wide is that blade . . 8'? How about a couple photos of the front showing it's patented leaning/steering system?
  7. Gary isn't that rating increase (45HP to 50HP) do to change Case made when going from 125PSI rated boilers on the earlier versions to the 150PSI rated boilers on the later engines?
  8. Anson, if you want a detailed explanation of the TRUE horsepower developed from a boiler or the TRUE horsepower developed from that steam in a reciprocating piston engine . . . well that gets real deep and requires a ton of specific calculations of each component. I'm not going to dig into all the reference and code books needed to get into all of that. Also as stated in comments above, part of the rating of MODERN boilers is the cubic feet of steam that can be produced at a certain pressure in a given amount of time. The basic rules/formulas were originally started in 1907 and by 1915, the improved American Society Of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standards were being adopted by most of the boiler manufactures and states for engineer licensing. It is still used today with many updates/modifications over the last 100+ years and is the basis of all the many laws governing boiler construction and operation. AS A SIDE NOTE: The current ASME code consists of 17,000 pages in 31 volumes and contains 600 different types of codes! Part of the basic code uses 10 square feet of heating surface to equal one Boiler Horsepower. The heating surface is the area of the boiler that is in direct contact to the heat source, like the fire box and all the boiler tubes. So if a boiler has 200 square feet of heating surface (typical of a medium size steam traction engine boiler) it would be considered a 20 HP boiler for engineer licensing in most states. As you can see, this doesn't take into consideration the fire grate area, type of fuel, type of draft, operational pressure and many other factors that would tell you the TRUE amount of power the boiler could produce . . . that's the kind of stuff I'm not going to get into. Now when it comes to the engine, the TRUE horsepower the engine can produce also has a large number of variable factors. The basic rule uses the diameter of the piston, the length of stroke, the engine RPM and the effective steam pressure to figure the engine horsepower rating. Even this basic version gets pretty involved and doesn't get into variable valve timing, compounding, valve porting, exhaust nozzle restriction and a bunch of other factors. OK . . . probably too much information already so let's get down to how that stuff relates to Steam Traction Engines. Here are some well known companies that used a double rating giving the boiler and engine horsepowers. Port Huron 19-65 (19HP boiler with the engine developing 65HP on the belt) * Nichols & Shepard 25-85 (25 HP boiler with the engine developing 85HP on the belt) * Baker 23-90 (23HP boiler with the engine developing 90HP on the belt) Now Case used the boiler rating in the earlier years and later changes to just using the belt horsepower rating. An example of that is the early 32HP Case was later reissued as the 110HP. Many companies stayed using the boiler horsepower rating. I used to own a 24HP Minneapolis and when I tested it on a dynamometer at 150PSI, I had no problem getting a sustained 85HP+ at the belt. I think you can see a bit of a pattern between the boiler rating and the belt horsepower and it's about 3.5 to one. It should also be noted that when these engine are test on the belt, they often produce more than their rated horsepower. It should also be noted that before some guys will say this engine could do this better or the various engine were not exactly the same horsepower as the heating surface the boiler they had, these figure are just simplified and what was used during the period they were manufactured. And to repeat what Gary said before, the smaller number on a traction engine ratings is NOT the drawbar horsepower. I have never seen a traction engine advertisement that stated the drawbar horsepower of their engines.
  9. No issue Gary, I always called the drive unit on Art's Reeves a "dog" clutch. To me, traction engines either had a friction type clutch (expanding or tapered shoe) or a direct interlock from the crankshaft to the gearing in the form of a "dog" or "pin". When I talked about using a pin in a friction type clutch, I was referring to the pin used to keep the friction type clutch from slipping under heavy traction loads like shown on your photo of Monk's Peerless and I always used on Bud's 28HP Minneapolis when we were plowing. We are both on the same page. P.S. for Gary: Did you know Harold Stark passed last Friday. He would have been 100 February 22, 2022 The hole I have circled is where a pin is inserted to lock the flywheel to the friction clutch shoe yoke.
  10. IF the engine is stalled there, it can hold in that position with steam pressure as stated above . . . but I'm sure they would just get busy blocking all the wheels on the building and engine until they they got the extra help they needed. I see it is hitched to the building off-center, maybe they are waiting for the another steamer or tractor to help. As far as coasting down the hill, I can't think of any competent steam engineer that would let that happen because there are several ways to control the engine under those conditions. As a side note, in my part of the country, where there are long and steep hills, it was common on the really bad ones, to remove the governor belt to prevent the engine from over-speeding so the engineer could control it with the reverse lever and throttle. If going up the hill, you would go forward but if going down the hill, you had to back down so you can keep water on the crown sheet (top) of the fire box. The south "Hamilton" hill just a couple miles from me (Gary drove the Autowagon there) was one of those hills that had at least two "run-a-ways" (a Reeves and a Case) because the operator (notice I didn't say engineer) didn't remove the governor belt. Backing down hills with a steamer is something I've done many times and IF the grade was long enough, I removed the governor belt. The reason for taking the governor off-line is that if the engine gets above its set top rpm (over speeding), the governor shuts off the steam to the engine. If the steam is shut off, the engineer can't feed steam to reverse the engine rotation to slow/stop its motion. Yes, a few traction engines do have mechanical brakes that can be applied. They are usually bands around the the intermediate or differential gears. Below is a side view with the back wheel removed of a Russel steam engine with the brake band on the intermediate gear.
  11. Twostep, I'll give the simple answer to your question. It will either just spin out as you suggested or if the traction is very good and the engine has reached its power limit, it will stall out . . . just like a gas tractor. Many steam engines (not all) have a friction type clutch but they are not used as they are on a gas tractor. The clutch is usually either locked in (over-center) or out and only rarely used the way a clutch is used on a tractor. On many traction engines when they are used for heavy drawbar work, a pin is inserted into the friction clutch to lock it so it won't slip. The traction engines that don't have a friction clutch use a "dog" clutch to connect the engine to the power train and it is either in or out of gear. If the engine spins out or stalls, you just close the throttle. Now the boiler is a separate issue and that is regulated by the engineers controlling the rate of firing , feed water, fire box draft and other operations. The boiler also has a safety valve to relieve pressure if it gets too high. Just remember that the engine and the boiler are two different systems. The boiler generates and stores the power to be used as needed. You can steam up the boiler and it can sit there for hours and not do anything until the energy is needed. The engine is the machinery used to tap that power and put it to use.
  12. Merry Christmas to all of you guys with a HEALTHY and Happy New Year to boot! The image above was painted by John Sloane and is from our Christmas card we sent a few years ago.
  13. I'd say jeeper61 posted a photo to what that truck is in TwoStep's picture.
  14. The truck in TwoStep's photo is probably not a International Six-Speed Special but it could very well be an earlier Shovel Nose IHC. The cab is not right, the frame is too narrow, the springing is different and the wheels with hard rubber tires indicate it's not a Six-Speed Special. The wood cab, the frame/spring layout and the axle look right for the double-reduction final drives used on the 1915-1922 Shovel Nose Internationals but to be honest, it's hard to tell without a higher resolution photo.
  15. Gary, I think you stepped over the line when you defaced a MARINE's head garment!!
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