Rough and Tumble Engineering
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Rough and Tumble Engineering

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Project Gutenberg's Rough and Tumble Engineering, by James H. MaggardThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: Rough and Tumble EngineeringAuthor: James H. MaggardRelease Date: February 19, 2004 [EBook #11164]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ROUGH AND TUMBLE ENGINEERING ***ROUGH AND TUMBLE ENGINEERINGBy James H. MaggardPREFACE_______In placing this book before the public the author wishes it understood that it is not his intention to produce a scientificwork on engineering. Such a book would be valuable only to engineers of large stationary engines. In a nice engine roomnice theories and scientific calculations are practical. This book is intended for engineers of farm and traction engines,"rough and tumble engineers," who have everything in their favor today, and tomorrow are in mud holes, who with thesame engine do eight horse work one day and sixteen horse work the next day. Reader, the author has had all theseexperiences and you will have them, but don't get discouraged. You can get through them to your entire satisfaction.Don't conclude that all you are to do is to read this book. It will not make an engineer of you. But read it carefully, usegood judgment and common sense, do as it tells you, and my word for it, ...

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Published 08 December 2010
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Project Gutenberg's Rough and TumbleEngineering, by James H. MaggardThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: Rough and Tumble EngineeringAuthor: James H. MaggardRelease Date: February 19, 2004 [EBook #11164]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK ROUGH AND TUMBLE ENGINEERING***
ROUGH AND TUMBLEENGINEERINGBy James H. Maggard_______PREFACEIn placing this book before the public the authorwishes it understood that it is not his intention toproduce a scientific work on engineering. Such abook would be valuable only to engineers of largestationary engines. In a nice engine room nicetheories and scientific calculations are practical.This book is intended for engineers of farm andtraction engines, "rough and tumble engineers,"who have everything in their favor today, andtomorrow are in mud holes, who with the sameengine do eight horse work one day and sixteenhorse work the next day. Reader, the author hashad all these experiences and you will have them,but don't get discouraged. You can get throughthem to your entire satisfaction.Don't conclude that all you are to do is to read thisbook. It will not make an engineer of you. But readit carefully, use good judgment and commonsense, do as it tells you, and my word for it, in one
month, you, for all practical purposes, will be abetter engineer than four-fifths of the so-calledengineers today, who think what they don't knowwould not make much of a book. Don't deceiveyourself with the idea that what you get out of thiswill be merely "book learning." What is said in thiswill be plain, unvarnished, practical facts. It is notthe author's intention to use any scientific terms,but plain, everyday field terms. There will be anumber of things you will not find in this book, butnothing will be left out that would be of practicalvalue to you. You will not find any geometricalfigures made up of circles, curves, angles, lettersand figures in a vain effort to make you understandthe principle of an eccentric. While it is all very niceto know these things, it is not necessary, and theputting of them in this book would defeat the veryobject for which it was intended. Be content withbeing a good, practical, everyday engineer, and allthese things will come in time.INTRODUCTORY ________If you have not read the preface on the precedingpages, turn back and read it. You will see that wehave stated there that we will use no scientificterms, but plain every day talk. It is presumed byus that there will be more young men, wishing tobecome good engineers, read this work than oldengineers. We will, therefore, be all the more plainand say as little as possible that will tend toconfuse the learner, and what we do say will be
said in the same language that we would use if wewere in the field, instructing you how to handle yourengine. So if the more experienced engineer thinkswe might have gone further in some certain points,he will please remember that by so doing we mightconfuse the less experienced, and thereby coverup the very point we tried to make. And yet it is notto be supposed that we will endeavor to make anengineer out of a man who never saw an engine. Itis, therefore, not necessary to tell the learner howan engine is made or what it looks like. We are nottrying to teach you how to build an engine, butrather how to handle one after it is built; how toknow when it is in proper shape and how to let italone when it is in shape. We will suppose that youalready know as much as an ordinary water boy,and just here we will say that we have seen waterhaulers that were more capable of handling theengine for which they were hauling water, than theengineer, and the engineer would not have made agood water boy, for the reason that he was lazy,and we want the reader to stick a pin here, and ifhe has any symptoms of that complaint, don'tundertake to run an engine, for a lazy engineer willspoil a good engine, if by no other means thangetting it in the habit of loafing.______PART FIRST In order to get the learner started, it is reasonableto suppose that the engine he is to run is in goodrunning order. It would not be fair to put the greenboy onto an old dilapidated, worn-out engine, for
he might have to learn too fast, in order to get theengine running in good shape. He might have tolearn so fast that he would get the big head, orhave no head at all, by the time he got throughwith it. And I don't know but that a boy without ahead is about as good as an engineer with the bighead. We will, therefore, suppose that his engine isin good running order. By good running order wemean that it is all there, and in its proper place,and that with from ten to twenty pounds of steam,the engine will start off at a good lively pace. Andlet us say here, (remember that we are talking ofthe lone engine, no load considered,) that if youare starting a new engine and it starts off nice andeasy with twenty pounds, you can make up yourmind that you have an engine that is going to benice to handle and give you but little, if any,trouble. But if it should require fifty or sixty poundsto start it, you want to keep your eyes open,something is tight; but don't take it to pieces. Youmight get more pieces than you would know whatto do with. Oil the bearings freely and put yourengine in motion and run it carefully for a while andsee if you don't find something getting warm. If youdo, stop and loosen up a very little and start it upagain. If it still heats, loosen about the same asbefore, and you will find that it will soon be all right.But remember to loosen but very little at a time, fora box or journal will heat from being too loose asquickly as from being too tight, and you will maketrouble for yourself, for, inexperienced as you are,you don't know whether it is too loose or too tight,and if you have found a warm box, don't let thatbox take all of your attention, but keep an eye on
all other bearings. Remember that we are notthreshing yet, we just run the engine out of shed,(and for the sake of the engine and the youngengineer, we hope that it did not stand out allwinter) and are getting in shape for a good fall'srun. In the meantime, to find out if anything heats,you can try your pumps, but to help you along, wewill suppose that your pump, or injector, as thecase may be, works all right.Now suppose we go back where we started thisnew engine that was slow to start with less thanfifty pounds, and when it did start, we watched itcarefully and found after oiling thoroughly thatnothing heated as far as we could see. So weconclude that the trouble must be in the cylinder.Well, what next? Must we take off the cylinderhead and look for the trouble? Oh, no, not by anymeans. The trouble is not serious. The rings are alittle tight, which is no serious fault. Keep them welloiled and in a day or two ten pounds will start theempty engine in good shape. If you are starting anengine that has been run, the above instructionsare not necessary, but if it is a new one theseprecautions are not out of the way, and a greatdeal of the trouble caused in starting a new engine,can be avoided if these precautions are observed.It is not uncommon for a hot box to be causedfrom a coal cinder dropping in the box in shipment,and before starting a new engine, clean out theboxes thoroughly, which can be done by taking offthe caps, or top box, and wiping the journal cleanwith an oily rag or waste, and every engineer
should supply himself with this very necessaryarticle, especially if he is the kind of an engineerwho intends to keep his engine clean.The engine should be run slowly and carefully for awhile, to give a chance to find out if anything isgoing to heat, before putting on any load.Now if your engine is all right, you can run thepressure up to the point of blowing off, which isfrom one hundred to one hundred and ten pounds.Most new pop valves, or safety valves, are set atthis pressure. I would advise you to fire to thispoint, to see that your safety is all right. It is notuncommon for a new pop to stick, and as thesteam runs up it is well to try it, by pulling the relieflever. If, on letting it go, it stops the escaping,steam at once, it is all right. If, however, the steamcontinues to escape, the valve sticks in thechamber. Usually a slight tap with a wrench or ahammer will stop it at once, but never get excitedover escaping steam, and perhaps here is as gooda place as any to say to you, don't get excited overanything. As long as you have plenty of water, andknow you have, there is no danger.The young engineer will most likely wonder why wehave not said something about the danger ofexplosions. We did not start to write aboutexplosions. That is just what we don't want to haveanything to do with. But, you say, is there nodanger of a boiler exploding? Yes. But if you wishto explode your boiler you must treat it verydifferently from the way we advise. We have just
stated, that as long as you have plenty of water,and know you have, there is no danger. Well, howare you to know? This is not a difficult thing toknow, provided your boiler is fitted with the properappliances, and all builders of any prominence, atthis date, fit their boilers with from two to four try-cocks, and a glass gauge. The boiler is tapped infrom two to four places for the try-cocks, thelocation of the cocks ranging from a line on a levelwith the crown sheet, or top of fire box, to eightinches above, depending somewhat on the amountof water space above the crown sheet, as thisspace differs very materially in different makes ofthe same sized boiler. The boiler is also tapped onor near the level of crown sheet, to receive thelower water glass cock and directly above this, forthe top cock. The space between this shows thesafe variation of the water. Don't let the water getabove the top of the glass, for if you are runningyour engine at hard work, you may knock out acylinder head, and don't let it get below the lowergauge, or you may get your head knocked off.Now the glass gauge is put on for yourconvenience, as you can determine the location ofthe water as correctly by this as if you are lookingdirectly into the boiler, provided, the glass gauge isin perfect order. But as there are a number ofways in which it may become disarranged orunreliable, we want to impress on your mind thatyou, must not depend on it entirely. We will givethese causes further on. You are not only providedwith the glass gauge, but with the try-cocks. Thesecocks are located so that the upper and lower cock
is on or near the level with the lower and upper endof the glass gauge. With another try-cock about ona level with the center of glass gauge, or in otherwords, if the water stands about the center of glassit will at the same time show at the cock whentried. Now we will suppose that your glass gauge isin perfect condition and the water shows twoinches in the glass. You now try the lower cock,and find plenty of water; you will then try the nextupper cock and get steam. Now as the lower cockis located below the water line, shown by the glass,and the second cock above this line, you not onlysee the water line by the glass, but you have a wayof proving it. Should the water be within two inchesof the top of glass you again have the line betweentwo cocks and can also prove it. Now you canknow for a certainty, where the water stands in theboiler, and we repeat when you know this, there isnothing to fear from this source, and as a properlyconstructed boiler never explodes, except from lowwater or high pressure, and as we have alreadycautioned you about your safety valve, you havenothing to fear, provided you have made up yourmind to follow these instructions, and unless youcan do this, let your job to one who can. Well, yousay you will do as we have directed, we will then goback to the gauges. Don't depend on your glassgauge alone, for several reasons. One is, if youdepend on the glass entirely, the try-cocks becomelimed up and are useless, solely because they arenot used.Some time ago the writer was standing near atraction engine, when the engineer, (I guess I must
call him that) asked me to stay with the engine afew minutes. I consented. After he had been gonea short time I thought I would look after the water.It showed about two inches in the glass, which wasall right, but as I have advised you, I proposed toknow that it was there and thought I would prove itby trying the cocks. But on attempting to try them Ifound them limed up solid. Had I been hunting anengineer, that fellow would not have secured thejob. Suppose that before I had looked at the glass,it had bursted, which it is liable to do any time. Iwould have shut the gauge cocks off as soon aspossible to stop the escaping steam and water.Then I would have tried the cocks to find where thewater was in the boiler. I would have been in a badboat, not knowing whether I had water or not.Shortly after this the fellow that was helping theengine run (I guess I will put it that way) cameback. I asked him what the trouble was with his trycocks. He said, "Oh, I don't bother with them." Iasked him what he would do if his glass shouldbreak. His reply was, "Oh, that won't break." Nowjust such an engineer as that spoils many a goodengine, and then blames it on the manufacturer.Now this is one good reason why you are not todepend entirely on the glass gauge. Anotherequally as good reason is, that your glass may foolyou, for you see the try-cocks may lime up, so mayyour glass gauge cocks, but you say you usethem. You use them by looking at them. You arenot letting the steam or water escape from themevery few minutes and thereby cutting the limeaway, as is the case with try-cocks. Now you wantto know how you are to keep them open. Well, that