« PreviousContinue »
and tapering off on the top, and painted them red, which gave them a very rural appearance, and I liked it very much ; but it appeared that the moisture would get in under the bark and separate it on the top; and make it distigured after it had been down a few years. What makes this fresh in my memory is, that it was only last week I was stripping this bark off and painting it. I took this common black oil, and mixed it with a little linseed oil, and mixed the paint with the common black oil, and painted these posts over, and it seems to dry in very quickly. Of course it does not give a lustre, because it soaks into the wood, and that has a very preserving effect.
Mr. FRANCIS. Mr. President, I have been very much interested in this paper of Mr. CRAFTS. I see that the samples which have been tested for strength were of yellow pine, and undoubtedly that kind of wood seems to be well adapted to this process; that is to say, it has considerable resin in it, and other substances which are considered antiseptical themselves after they are properly treated. Now, in regard to the method of treating that lumber, he has given us no particulars. I understand that it is done in an iron cylinder about six feet in diameter and perhaps one hundred feet long, — something like that. The cylinder, I believe, is wound on the outside with coils of steam pipes, and a pressure of steam of about two hundred and fifty pounds is maintained. That gives a temperature — I am not quite sure as to what the temperature is, corresponding to that pressure, but at any rate they get somewhere between four and five hundred degrees. [The temperature of saturated steam corresponding to a pressure of two hundred and fifty pounds per square inch, above the atmosphere, is not far from four hundred degrees Fahrenheit; and it can be made much hotter by superheating.] Then they apply the pressure of two hundred pounds or so to the wood, in order to keep the sap inside.
Now, I think it will be found that this treatment cannot be given by anybody or everybody. It must be done by experts ; by persons who understand how to do it; and they learn by experience. There is no formula they can follow; and this process, to be successful, I think, depends very much upon the care which is given to the details of treatment.
Mr. CRAFTS. Mr. President, I would like to ask Mr. FRANCIS, and I think he will agree with me, whether this does not apply to almost all processes for preserving timber, — that it must be honestly done? I think that is the prime factor in all this work.
The PRESIDENT. Our next paper was to have been by Mr. FRANCIS P. SHELDON of Providence, but I have not seen him here this morning, and we will have to continue the discussion of the preservation of timber until he comes, or take up some other question.
The PRESIDENT. Mr. MESSENGER will say a few words upon the oil fuel process which he has been using for some time past, and no doubt will entertain you with his experience.
Mr. F. M. MESSENGER. Mr. President, I will say that I did not come here to speak upon the oil fuel question, but I was a little disappointed, when I received notice of the meeting, to see the papers that were going to be read, because I understood that we were to have a paper on oil fuel ; that is, I got that impression, and I was very desirous to hear one. I will say I did not expect to speak about it myself to-day. We have been using oil fuel a little over three years in our mills, but I have no data to give you of the results that we have attained. I hardly think that with our system of burning we attain as high an efficiency as they do with the Archer process, although I have not seen that process; but, from the paper we heard here last spring, I should judge they have a better system than we bave. We use the Reed burner, which is a simple process, and requires little attention and care. To vaporize, we use steam from the boiler. The Standard Oil Company's expert claimed to use but five per cent. of the steam generated by the boiler, to vaporize the oil with ; but in our experience, in some tests we have made, 'we think it takes a little more than that. And that led us to examine a little into the merits of the Aerated Fuel Company's process at Springfield ; but in the test figures which they sent me it did not seem to me that they attained any higher efficiency than we had done ; and, as I understood it, - although I have not investigated very thoroughly the plan for using that process, — it would be quite expensive. That is, I understand they use an air compressor, which takes considerable power to operate it; and the first cost of the plant is quite expensive. We put in our plant very thoroughly, so far as our piping of the tanks is concerned. We put in two large tanks ten feet in diameter and thirty feet long side by side. We excavated so that we set the tanks down pretty well into the ground; that is, we dug a cellar and laid cross walls with cement bottom - I think, four cross walls, equally divided — and through those we laid three stringers of railroad iron 'under the tanks, to prevent any settling.
We discharge the cars directly into these storage tanks, as we call them. Then we laid a pipe to our mill yard, which is about six hundred feet distant. These tanks we housed in with a brick building, and laid our pipe line through to the mill yard, where we also built a small building for our immediate supply. Here we set a small tank above the feed tank to measure the oil accurately; so at any time in the day we are able to take our reading and know how many gallons of oil we burn. In that respect we can keep pretty close account of the fuel, and we do not have any heavy shortages to charge up as we used to have with coal. Our coal used to shrink for some reason or other in our coal shed. As I said, I have no data with me or figures to state just what results we are obtaining, but our impression is that, as regards the money that we pay for fuel, there is a very slight difference between the oil and the coal. Our coaldump being several hundred yards from the boiler-room, we were obliged to cart all our coal to the boilers, and take away
our refuse matter, ashes, etc. With oil we save this expense, and we make a considerable saving, in labor also, in our fireroom. At the present time we generate about twelve hundred horse-power of steam at our largest plant, where one fireman takes care of it with perfect ease and comfort, and we have to stir him once in a while to keep him from getting lazy. I understand Mr. THOMAS of Lowell has experimented considerably, and I think he has used different processes of burning oil; and I think perhaps, having more recently installed his plant, his memory may be better than mine, and I would like to have him called upon.
The PRESIDENT. I understand you to say the cost of material is about the same, whether you use coal or oil?
Mr. MESSENGER. That is our experience. I will say we always burn broken coal at our works. We might perhaps have burned a coal that would have been a little cheaper in results than what we did use.
The PRESIDENT. Anthracite ?
Mr. MESSENGER. Anthracite, yes; and our comparisons are made with that.
The PRESIDENT. Mr. THOMAS, we will be very glad to hear
Mr. E. W. THOMAS. I am quite unprepared to give any figures. I can simply substantiate what Mr. MESSENGER says in regard to the first cost of the fuel. It stands us about the same. We make a saving in the handling and carting of ashes, in labor, and in the appearance of our boiler-house. I had intended to read a paper here to-day giving forth some facts; but as a matter of fact I am not prepared to; certain suggestions I wanted to make, but I could not prepare them in time to incorporate in a paper.
The PRESIDENT. What process do you use?
Mr. THOMAS. We are using the same as Mr. MESSENGER, Reed's burner, which is a very simple process.
The PRESIDENT. Mr. Fish, will you give us your experience in your process ?
Mr. C. H. Fish. We are still running about six hundred horse-power upright boilers, and we have been running now since a year ago last August, when we started; but have not made any tests for perhaps seven or eight months; but I see no reason for changing the figures which were given at the meeting here in the spring. Our evaporation, I think, ranges from sixteen to perhaps eighteen pounds maximum in our regular running, and we have never had any trouble at all with the process. This is the Archer process. As far as the first cost and economy goes, why, figuring from that evaporation, you can arrive at your own conclusions. Our coal used to cost us nearly five dollars, delivered at the mill. This year coal is very much cheaper there, but we have not bought any, so I do not know just what it will cost us. Our tanks are underground without any foundations at all; that is, we dug a hole deep enough to bury the tanks below the level of the boiler-house floor, and the tanks are held by brick cradles or shoes bricked up against them to prevent their shifting, and connected with the pipes; and the whole is covered up underground, so the road goes right across over the top, and there is no knowing where the tanks are. We left the hole open long enough to determine whether the tanks were going to leak any or did leak any, and when we found they were all right, covered them up.
Mr. MESSENGER. I would like to ask Mr. Fish if they did not vent their tanks at all.
Mr. Fish. Yes; we had to vent them because of running oil into the tanks. We passed a pipe out of the top. Each tank is tapped with an inch hole, and all connected with one main which runs to one side of the roadway, out of the way, and an upright pipe sticks up six or eight feet; but that is the only vent except in connection with the pumps in the boiler-house.
Mr. MESSENGER. In our tests, as I remember, the best results we got were a little over seventeen pounds of water to a pound of oil, but our coal w's costing at the time two dollars and a half per thousand pounds; that would be a little over five dollars a ton for coal delivered on our dump.