Posted 6 years ago
I found this steam engine lubricator in a box lot at an auction. I cleaned it inside and out and replaced the cracked and damaged glass sight glasses.
It is huge. It holds 1/2 gal. of steam oil. It is made entirely of nickel plated brass, except for the wooden hand wheels to prevent the operator's hands from burning from the steam.
I believe that I know how it works. If I am wrong, someone will correct me, and this is a good thing because if you keep an open mind..... you can learn something every day.
Here goes: (see pic #4, the oiler on the left is like mine). Steam engines require adding steam oil into the steam before entering the engine to lubricate the internal workings of the engine. If you used regular lubricating oil, the steam would flash (burn) the oil and gum-up (not lubricate) the engine. Steam oil is made to withstand the heat and mix well with the steam to lubricate the engine.
You add the steam oil to the lubricator and you can see the level in the longer of the two sight glasses.
Steam is allowed to flow through the oiler where the drop in temp. condenses the steam into water.
As the oil floats to the top of the water, the adj. valve under the smaller sight glass is opened to show the dripping of the oil which will bubble to the top of the sight glass and set to drip a number of times a minute that the operator deems ideal for the speed that the engine is running.
This oil mixes with the condensed water and is carried to the engine as the steam works it's way back to the engine, carrying the oily condensate with it.