Stationary Engine List

Sal Ammoniac


| August/September 2003



Stationary Engine

The Stationary Engine Mailing List relies on the latest technology for its existence, its members making use of computers and the Internet for information exchange. This month, we experienced a couple of breakdowns in that technology.

First of all, the went quiet for a few days, due to some problems with the main computer that handles the List traffic, resulting in messages disappearing into cyberspace. Most of us on the List are so used to the high volume of mail generated by members that if nothing comes through for a couple of hours, we KNOW there must be something wrong. A couple of days later, I left the comforts of home for a family holiday in the southwest of England. 1 was fully equipped for mobile communications, but that, too, failed on the second day, leaving me isolated from the rest of the world.

Despite having no means of keeping up with List conversations for the last week, I did have the rest of the messages from the past month, and from those I've selected the latest topic for the readers of GEM. Coincidently, given the failures of current technology, the chosen subjects relate to modern-day use of technologies of the past. - Helen

One of the first pieces of literature most engine men acquire is the necessary manual for their particular engine, which is usually a great source of information, from starting tips to useful information for keeping the engine in good running order for as long as possible. One member of the List wanted to see what the others thought about following the repair advice given in his engine manual.

The Economy book says to use one pound of 'sal ammoniac' to a gallon of water to seal up cracks in water jackets. What is sal ammoniac and has anyone ever used this to seal small cracks? Never was any good at chemistry!

The List is blessed with folks from all walks of life, as well as all ages and geographical locations, so responses, both the technical and the practical, came quickly from those who knew this method and had tried it.