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The  American

Duplex Pump

The primary objective for all the work on the American this winter was to provide an additional means of adding water to the boiler when running. It already has engine-drive mechanical pumps but they don't quite keep up with what's needed - I have to give a dozen strokes on the hand pump every time around the track.

I added an injector (a steam powered way of putting water in the boiler). Injectors can be finicky and sometimes not work. They also only work at "full speed" so they tend to put  water in in a hurry and that causes a loss of steam pressure as it cools the boiler.



I  wanted a mechanical steam-driven pump but the most common type in Live Steam is a design by a fellow named Bill VanBrocklin years ago.



VanBrocklin pumps are nice but they look kind of clunky! (In my opinion.) And EVERYBODY has a VanBrocklin pump on their steam engine. I wanted something different!!!

I have a full-size, original duplex water pump that I like the looks of. I used it on the Russell traction engine tender just  for fun but it is WAY TOO BIG for the American. It is in the style of pumps made by a company by the name of Worthington back around the turn of the century.

Looking for a steam-driven pump in a similar style but an appropriate size for the American, I found one by a British company called Southworth but it is a little big and doesn't look quite as nice.



Also in my research I found that a company called Cole's Power Models used to sell castings and drawings for a really nice little Worthington style pump!



Unfortunately Cole's  went out of business years ago :(  :(

I have belonged to a Live Steam forum for years now and last night I posted my lament that I can't buy a Coles Worthington pump now a-days. Within an hour I had a response from one fellow that said he had the castings that he would GIVE me (only wanted me to pay postage) - WOW! Great deal! But he didn't have the drawings on how to build it so I posted a request for anyone who had drawings. When I got up this morning someone else had offered me a  set of drawings for the cost of copying and mailing! DOUBLE  WOW!! What a great bunch of guys!!!!

... more on the pump when I start building it :)




.... and the work continues! ....

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