A Catechism of the Steam Engine eBook

John Bourne
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 432 pages of information about A Catechism of the Steam Engine.
astern.  Instead of eccentrics, however, pins at the end of the shaft are employed in this engine, the arrangement partaking of the nature of a double crank; but the backing pin has less throw than the going ahead pin, whereby the efficient length of the link for going ahead is increased; and the operation of backing, which does not require to be performed at the highest rate of speed, is sufficiently accommodated by about half the throw being given to the valve that is given in going ahead.  A valve shaft extends across the end of the cylinder with two levers standing up, which engage horizontal side rods extending from a small cross head on the end of the valve rod.  A lever extends downwards from the end of the valve shaft, which is connected by a pin to the brass block within the link; and the link is moved up or down by the starting handle, which, by means of a spring bolt shooting into a quadrant, holds the starting handle at any position in which it may be set.

654. Q.—­What is the diameter and pitch of the screw propeller?

A.—­The diameter is 7 feet and the pitch 14 feet.  The propeller is Holm’s conchoidal propeller.  Its diameter is smaller than is advisable, being limited by the draught of water of the vessel; and the vessel was required to have a small draught of water to go over a bar.  This engine makes, under favorable circumstances, 100 strokes per minute.  The speed of piston with this number of strokes is 700 feet per minute, and the engine works steadily at this speed, the shock and tremor arising from the arrested momentum of the moving parts being taken away by the counterbalance applied at the discs.


655. Q.—­Will you describe the principal features of a modern locomotive engine?

A.—­I will take for this purpose the locomotive Snake, constructed by John V. Gooch for the London and South Western Railway, as an example of a modern locomotive of good construction, adapted for the narrow gauge.  The length of the wheel base of this engine is 12 feet 8-1/2 inches.  There are two cylinders, each 14-1/4 inches diameter and 21 inches stroke.  The total weight of the engine is 19 tons; and this weight is so distributed on the wheels as to throw 8 tons on the leading wheels, 6 tons on the driving wheels, and 5 tons on the hind wheels.  The engine is made with outside cylinders, and the cylinders are raised somewhat out of the horizontal line to enable them better to clear the leading wheels.

656. Q.—­What are the dimensions of the boiler?

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A Catechism of the Steam Engine from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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