Boiler probably of the 19th century - Ships Nostalgia
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Boiler probably of the 19th century

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  #1  
Old 25th November 2019, 10:25
sidnik77 sidnik77 is offline
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Boiler probably of the 19th century

I am researching a wreck which is about 100 years old.
The Scottish boiler is there and it is 4,1 meters in diameter,
and 3 meters tall.
The odd thing for me is that from what i have seen in boilers of about the same age, usually boilers of that diameter have 3 furnaces,
while mine has only two.
Also the main stays with nuts are 18,
and from what i have seen in boiler plans usually they have max 10 nut stays.
Does this mean that the boiler is a high pressure boiler?
Can you give any more information about that kind of boilers?
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  #2  
Old 27th November 2019, 12:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidnik77 View Post
I am researching a wreck which is about 100 years old.
The Scottish boiler is there and it is 4,1 meters in diameter,
and 3 meters tall.
The odd thing for me is that from what i have seen in boilers of about the same age, usually boilers of that diameter have 3 furnaces,
while mine has only two.
Also the main stays with nuts are 18,
and from what i have seen in boiler plans usually they have max 10 nut stays.
Does this mean that the boiler is a high pressure boiler?
Can you give any more information about that kind of boilers?
Sidnik77, I'm no expert but if the ship is about 100 years old then chances are that the boiler pressure could have been as much as 220 psi, maybe lower. Such boilers could have 1 to 4 furnaces, so 2 are no surprise. The number of stays may not necessarily be indicative of pressure, there was considerable variation from one maker to another. And in some cases, some of the tubes also acted as stays, which may not be apparent after a century under water.
Here are a few reference books you could find helpful:
1. Marine Engineering by A E Tompkins, 1921
2. Practical Marine Engineering by W F Durand, 1901
3. Marine and Naval Boilers by Frank Lyon, 1915
4. Modern Marine Engineering Vol 1 by Harry Cisin, 1921
Try the "Forgotten Books" website, some of these may be available there.
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  #3  
Old 27th November 2019, 18:54
sidnik77 sidnik77 is offline
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Blueprint 2002 thank you for answering.
The thing i am trying to find out is if it was a 40 psi boiler or maybe a 220 psi,
or maybe something in between.
The nut stays where 18,
the firetubes which acted on this boiler also as stays where 400.
Thank you for the bibliography,
i'll look it up.
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  #4  
Old 27th November 2019, 20:13
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Hello there Sidnik, The furnace tube diameters and the number of stay bars would indicate that it is a boiler designed for higher pressures than usual while the two furnace design was not uncommon ,the number being dependent on the required boiler steam output and the heat value of the fuel.
At 100 years old it was most likely coal fired but if younger and oil fired everything changes.
When designing coal fuelled fire tube boilers only the top half of the furnace tube is regarded as effective heating surface due to the grate or fire bars shielding the lower section while oil or gas firing can utilise the whole diameter and can be proportionally smaller .
The photo suggests that it is sitting under water ,end up.

Bob
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  #5  
Old 27th November 2019, 23:05
sidnik77 sidnik77 is offline
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Originally Posted by spongebob View Post
Hello there Sidnik, The furnace tube diameters and the number of stay bars would indicate that it is a boiler designed for higher pressures than usual while the two furnace design was not uncommon ,the number being dependent on the required boiler steam output and the heat value of the fuel.
At 100 years old it was most likely coal fired but if younger and oil fired everything changes.
When designing coal fuelled fire tube boilers only the top half of the furnace tube is regarded as effective heating surface due to the grate or fire bars shielding the lower section while oil or gas firing can utilise the whole diameter and can be proportionally smaller .
The photo suggests that it is sitting under water ,end up.

Bob
Hi Bob,
the ship sunk before 1920,
i believe in 1913,
so the boiler is older than 100 years old.
It is coal fired for sure,
we have found a lot of it.
The diameter of the whole boiler is 4.1 meters,
while the diameter of each furnace is 1.2 meters.
I know that the two furnace designs where common,
though all the plans and blueprints i have found the diameter of the two furnaces boilers is always less than 3.5 meters.
Any more ideas?
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  #6  
Old 27th November 2019, 23:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidnik77 View Post
Blueprint 2002 thank you for answering.
The thing i am trying to find out is if it was a 40 psi boiler or maybe a 220 psi,
or maybe something in between.
The nut stays where 18,
the firetubes which acted on this boiler also as stays where 400.
Thank you for the bibliography,
i'll look it up.
According to Tod & McGibbon's Q&A of just over 100 years ago, there would be one stay tube to every six or eight ordinary tubes.
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  #7  
Old 28th November 2019, 03:42
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Sidnik, We were still selling and building the latest versions these fire tube boilers when I retired .
The originals, such as your undersea treasure was known as a Scotch Marine two pass , wet back boiler with a water surrounded combustion chamber at the rear where the furnaces terminated and the combustion gas flow reversed through the stay tubes and plain tubes to the front mounted smoke box then up the chimney.
This combustion chamber was cylindrical save for the top portion which was flattened to maximise the steam space and this flattened surface was strengthened by strong backs for its support under steam pressure.
The front and rear main tube plates were strengthened in the steam space by solid stay bars.
Plain tubes used to be expanded and beaded in the combustion chamber, expanded and bell mouthed in the front (gas exit) tube plate but modern practice is for all tubes to be welded in situ.
The nightmare of any old timer steam engine ship's engineer was a leaking tube , the biggest cause being waterside scale build up causing local overheating and pin holes or worse developing . A temporary fix was to shut down the fire, open the front smoke box and pass though a long threaded tie rod that just protruded into the combustion chamber space and the front end being fitted with a large sealing washer before a very brave engineer , body clad in surplus clothing for protection , crawled up the furnace tube and reached up into the combustion chamber to slap another sealing washer on the tie rod and start the nut on the thread.
The whole assembly could then be tightened from the front smoke box and a temporary seal of the leaking tube achieved.
The 'volunteer' often has a rope around his ankles to assist a quick extraction if he passed out in the heat.
I have heard this story from many old time engineers in both the Royal and merchant Navies .
I ramble on but i but I cannot think of any reason for the twin furnace boiler diameter to be larger than 3.5 metres .
Perhaps it was to provide a greater water volume and better output flexibility .
There are many web sites that should allow you to study cross sections of this type of boiler but after 25 years of retirement my recollections are dimming to say the least.

Bob
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  #8  
Old 28th November 2019, 20:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spongebob View Post
Sidnik, We were still selling and building the latest versions these fire tube boilers when I retired .
The originals, such as your undersea treasure was known as a Scotch Marine two pass , wet back boiler with a water surrounded combustion chamber at the rear where the furnaces terminated and the combustion gas flow reversed through the stay tubes and plain tubes to the front mounted smoke box then up the chimney.
This combustion chamber was cylindrical save for the top portion which was flattened to maximise the steam space and this flattened surface was strengthened by strong backs for its support under steam pressure.
The front and rear main tube plates were strengthened in the steam space by solid stay bars.
Plain tubes used to be expanded and beaded in the combustion chamber, expanded and bell mouthed in the front (gas exit) tube plate but modern practice is for all tubes to be welded in situ.
The nightmare of any old timer steam engine ship's engineer was a leaking tube , the biggest cause being waterside scale build up causing local overheating and pin holes or worse developing . A temporary fix was to shut down the fire, open the front smoke box and pass though a long threaded tie rod that just protruded into the combustion chamber space and the front end being fitted with a large sealing washer before a very brave engineer , body clad in surplus clothing for protection , crawled up the furnace tube and reached up into the combustion chamber to slap another sealing washer on the tie rod and start the nut on the thread.
The whole assembly could then be tightened from the front smoke box and a temporary seal of the leaking tube achieved.
The 'volunteer' often has a rope around his ankles to assist a quick extraction if he passed out in the heat.
I have heard this story from many old time engineers in both the Royal and merchant Navies .
I ramble on but i but I cannot think of any reason for the twin furnace boiler diameter to be larger than 3.5 metres .
Perhaps it was to provide a greater water volume and better output flexibility .
There are many web sites that should allow you to study cross sections of this type of boiler but after 25 years of retirement my recollections are dimming to say the least.

Bob
Thanks Bob for all these precious information,
i have been researching coal fired boilers,
my profession has nothing to do with all these,
and i have found that there is a lot of lost knowledge.
So your comment is a precious one from a past era.
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  #9  
Old 28th November 2019, 20:30
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My pleasure Sidnik, ask Google for a cross section of a scotch marine boiler and you should find all you need.
The principles of design have not changed very much today save for welding replacing riveting , bolted stays , and assisting tube tightness etc . Stress relieving overcoming all the negatives of these methods.
The two pass design has been superseded by a three pass , one pas down the furnace, one through the tubes to the front and the last pass back to the boiler rear to exit . The smoke goes up the chimney just the same!

Regards Bob
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  #10  
Old 28th November 2019, 22:25
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Coal Fired 'Modern' Scotch Boiler. My book is dated 1931 so I guess this in the right ball park.

Stephen
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  #11  
Old 28th November 2019, 22:34
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Drawing No. 3.

Any possibility the two furnace boiler in the wreck could be the Donkey Boiler?
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  #12  
Old 29th November 2019, 00:30
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Thanks Stephen. That says it all.

Bob
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Old 29th November 2019, 07:51
sidnik77 sidnik77 is offline
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Originally Posted by Stephen J. Card View Post
Drawing No. 3.

Any possibility the two furnace boiler in the wreck could be the Donkey Boiler?
Hello Stephen,
thank you for the diagrams,
i have found many diagrams like this in the old marine engineering books i have found,
archives.org is a great source,
also many photos of Scottish boilers,
the odd thing always is that all these boilers are 3 furnaced,
with max 10 nut stays.
No it can't be a donkey boiler cause there is one lying almost next to it,
a vertical cross tube boiler exact the same like the one in the photo
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  #14  
Old 29th November 2019, 15:49
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Well, one of them 2-furnace boilers is still in service... the last German coal burner! Little tug WOLTMAN.

Stephen
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  #15  
Old 29th November 2019, 15:50
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The lower image shows a 2 furnace boiler with 18 Stays.
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Old 29th November 2019, 19:31
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The need for one, two or three furnace tubes today would be based on several factors . If oil or gas fired a single furnace boiler could achieve an output of 30,000 pounds of steam per hour but to achieve this amount when firing solid fuel two or more would be needed . The biggest firetube boiler we installed in NZ was a 30,000 lbs/hr 160 psi coal fired unit with twin furnace tubes each 5'9"
In diameter , 18' 0" long and 16' 0" shell diameter all weighing 64 tons.

In a marine application a triple furnace hand fired boiler would allow for more a flexible steaming rate than a twin , furnace especially when the ship is steaming at full speed as every now and then the grate needs to be allowed to burn low to permit de-ashing , a frequent job when burning high ash coal .
With modern moving grates in land boilers the coal is slowly fed and burnt from front to the back of the grate to the bridge wall where the ash can drop off into the underside of the furnace and be raked out without disturbing the main fire and lessening the steaming rate.

Another factor that might dictate the number of furnaces is the boiler working pressure . The main shell thickness which is effected by internal pressure can be as thick as required for the nominated pressure but the
furnace shell plate which is subject to external pressure must be proportionally a lot thicker but not beyond that which is dictated by design codes to ensure a limited heat gradient between fire side and steam side and this formulation includes an assumption that the stem side furnace surfaces may gain a degree of fouling due to the quality of the feed water or the lack of adequate water treatment.

Many a furnace has collapsed due to over heating and it still happens in modern times.

All these factors are taken care of a British Standard for the construction of shell or fire tube boilers and its formulae . BSS : 2600 if my memory serves me right.

A lot of ramble but I am sure that the steaming flexibility and boiler pressure factors are the reason for multiple furnace tubes

Bob
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Last edited by spongebob; 29th November 2019 at 19:55.. Reason: Confusion
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Old 29th November 2019, 20:54
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Spongebob keyed: the grate needs to be allowed to burn low to permit de-ashing, a frequent job when burning high ash coal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bituminous_coal
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthracite

May 1960 I shipped out on the SS Edmund W. Mudge as a coalpasser. The coal burning hand fired vessel built in 1911 had a pair of three furnace Scotch Marine Boilers built by the shipyard that built the vessel.

I was on the 8-12 watch. At the end of the 4-8 watch the four upper fires were allowed to burn down just before the change of watch. The first thing we did when relieving the watch was to clean those four upper fires. The Mudge had six firemen and both watch firemen went to the fire room at the change of the watch.

Each fireman cleaned the two upper fires in each boiler. My job was to make sure the squat 200 gallon barrel located on the centerline was kept full of water, gravitated from the lake. Each fireman would reach way back in the furnace and rake out the cooling ash from the grate. Then 'hit' the furnace with about a dozen, or so, shovels full of coal - about 40 pounds of coal per full shovel. Then the firemen 'winged-over the hot coals from the other side of the furnace then cleaned that side and hit it.

While this was going on, when the firemen needed to reach the rear of the furnace, they needed to stand on the ash lying on the deck. My job was to soak down the ash pulled out with full five-gallon buckets of water. When all four fires were cleaned one fireman left the fire room to return @ 0900 to relieve the fireman who stayed.

I then used a rake to pull all of the ashes that had filtered down into the ash pit beneath the fires out onto the fire room deck. Then I shoveled the piles of ash to one side of the fire room, placing it over the ash left behind by the previous watch. Then I blew into a 3/4-inch pipe mounted on the inboard side of the starboard boiler. My placing my mouth on the pipe and blowing caused a whistle to be heard out in the engine room. The Oiler started up a steam reciprocating water pump that provided the water necessary to suck in the ashes and propel it up and overboard. There was a concrete plug with a chain tether covering the hole in the deck at the middle of the U-Bend in the pipe.

When all the ashes had been blown overboard I then blew in the pipe again and the Oiler secured the pump. I then swept the floor plates, then washed the steel fire room deck with a hose also gravity fed from the lake. Then I left the fire room and went on my appointed rounds.

The vessel was pretty much all original equipment and we all knew that 1960 was the last year this vessel would sail. The company had two T2 tankers converted to ore carriers at Baltimore Maryland Key Highway shipyard due to enter service summer 1961.

I went to the open deck above the galley and oiled the galley steam reciprocating exhaust fan bearings. This was done each four hours by the coalpassers. Then I walked forward and did the same, oiling the steam reciprocating fresh water pump for the forward quarters. Then I reported to my watch engineer for assignments.

At 1100 both firemen and me reported to the fire room when the two bottom fires were cleaned, one fireman left while I cleaned the two ash pits then shoveled all the ash to one side or another placing it over the concrete plug in the deck. This was then left to the next watch to blow over the side.

Then I made coffee for the next watch and mopped the fantail deck. Just before the end of the watch both firemen and me reported to the fire room where we were relieved.

Sometimes we got nice clean burning with little ash Anthracite coal but more often we received ash heavy Bituminous coal complete to the insulated copper wires used for blasting the coal out of the ground. We needed to cut the wires with the blade of the shovel because it tied large clumps of the coal together.

Greg Hayden
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Old 29th November 2019, 22:52
Bill Morrison Bill Morrison is offline  
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Stephen's #14 . This is identical from Illustrated Marine Encyclopedia 1890 by Captain H Paasch.
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Old 30th November 2019, 00:11
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Beautiful engineering 'art'! Far better than any computer can do!

Stephen
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Old 30th November 2019, 02:23
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#18 , that depiction might strike a pang of terror in the heart of John Rogers and others who have wielded the squaremouth shovel to feed the hungry furnaces.

Bob
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Old 30th November 2019, 08:05
sidnik77 sidnik77 is offline
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Originally Posted by Stephen J. Card View Post
The lower image shows a 2 furnace boiler with 18 Stays.
Thanks for the photos Stephen,
i have found the same photo which is from a German encyclopedia of shipping,
the problem is that there aren't any information about,
and we don't know the diameter.
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Old 30th November 2019, 08:10
sidnik77 sidnik77 is offline
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Originally Posted by spongebob View Post

A lot of ramble but I am sure that the steaming flexibility and boiler pressure factors are the reason for multiple furnace tubes
No ramble at all Bob,
i wish you could keep on rambling with information like these for ever
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  #23  
Old 30th November 2019, 08:37
sidnik77 sidnik77 is offline
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Wooooooooow
thanks Greg
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Old 30th November 2019, 08:39
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Originally Posted by Bill Morrison View Post
Stephen's #14 . This is identical from Illustrated Marine Encyclopedia 1890 by Captain H Paasch.
Thanks Bill
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Old 30th November 2019, 08:42
sidnik77 sidnik77 is offline
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#17
Could you please describe me the process of cleaning through mudholes and manholes
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