Stationary Engine List

Repairing Crankshafts

| February/March 2004

  • Stationary engine

  • Stationary engine

This morning dawned bright and sunny; a clear-blue, cloudless sky and just a hint of frost. According to the weather man, it's just a pause between two lots of bad weather, but it couldn't occur at a better time because today is the last show of the season.

The show itself is simply an afternoon at the Victorian-era steam sewage pumping station in our local town, but it's a good excuse to get the engines out one last time. Four beam engines sit inside the station, one of which will be in steam for the afternoon while the stationary engines run outside.

It gets dark by around 3:30 p.m., so people usually bring lighting displays, either engine-powered or oil and acetylene lamps. A brass band sets up at the top of the engine house between the beams and plays Christmas carols, and the transport museum, which is housed at the site, gets out toys to drive or ride around.

Before we turn our attention to the warm engine shows of summer, plenty of time still remains for restoration and repair projects. The discussion here began with a report from a list member following his visit to the Jeremiah O'Brien Liberty Ship in San Francisco, Calif., and observations about the method of assembly of the crankshaft in the ship's engine.

And so, on to the discussion that attracted my attention this month on the ATIS Stationary Engine Mailing List.