Steam Powered Rice Mill 2006 Thailand
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    Default Steam Powered Rice Mill 2006 Thailand

    Make video full screen, sound is wonderful. Paul

    YouTube

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    Paul39

    Thank you for posting this youtube. I've watched a number of youtubes about remaining steam powered rice mills and sugar mills, some by this same man & his wife.

    This youtube has many interesting details. Notably, on the steam chest covers of the engine, there is what appears to be Asian characters for the maker's name. The engine is a tandem compound, slide valve, so rugged and simple. When I saw the governor, my first thought was "Pickering", and sure enough, on the governor valve body, the words "Pickering type" and 3 (3 inch size) appear.

    Sometime in the past, I found a youtube of a machine shop in either Thailand or another nearby country. In that youtube, the shop was making and repairing steam engines for rice mills. They had a stock of new castings on hand. Possibly, steam engines for the rice mills and similar uses were being made locally and more recently than elsewhere in the world.

    The boiler appears to have a steam dome, and still has the weighted lever safety valve- something we discussed in the Ashcroft Gauge thread. Interestingly, the pressure gauge in this youtube reads in lbs per square inch (with a "square symbol" on the gauge face). The boiler is carrying a respectable 160 psig or thereabouts. The engine, seeming to favor something of English design, has a feed pump driven off the crankshaft. I did not see any other obvious means of getting feedwater into the boiler.

    The engineer/fireman seems to have it all in hand, working a large tee handled slice bar or poker to break up the bed of burning rice hulls. In the USA, it was common to use a small old speckleware or enamelware coffee pot for steam cylinder oil or lube oil. This was kept warm on either the steam chest of the engine, or (on locomotives), on the boiler back head on a sheet metal shelf. In this youtube, given the locality, the engineer uses an old aluminum tea kettle for the lube oil.

    The rice mill is an interesting thing to watch. It kind of reminded me of a small scale coal breaker with the shaking screens. The work in the rice mill appears to have changed little in maybe 100 years. No forklift to handle the full sacks of rice, and no sewing machine to close the sacks. Mills needing to close burlap or similar types of sacks use a "sewing head", rather than taking a large needle and twine to hand-sew the sacks shut.

    The mill seems to have been built in a time when putting up a tall brick chimney was within the budget and do-able. Shipping a riveted "tin" smokestack in sections to the site, let alone the service life in a tropical climate (corrosion due to high humidity, monsoon rains) made a tall brick stack a good choice. Burning the rice hulls probably needs a lot of draft as the fine rice hulls appeared to really pack into a tight mass in the fire box.

    The rice mill and its steam engine are ideally suited for the location, a technology the people can readily work with, repair, or make parts or even new engines.
    My guess is this rice mill and others like it in similar local conditions, will be around for a good while longer. Why burn diesel fuel (for the ubiquitous 1 cylinder diesels that seem to be used for everything and anything in Southeast Asia) when rice hulls are free fuel ? Running the steam plant is likely cheaper and more efficient than using a "sweep" with a water buffalo walking in a circle to drive the mill.

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    I couldn't help thinking that the small shrine on the end of the engine was there in memory of someone who got careless... Thanks for posting Paul, seeing old technology still in everyday use is like a little window into the past. Jim

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    The engine is Japanese ,Thailand /Siam being closely associated with Japan since the 1880s....In WW2,Thailand played both sides ,to avoid being the loser ...the Japs invaded Malaya thru Thailand,and Jap forces supplied from Thailand were still advancing in Feb 1945......The next video of a rice mill in Burma is a classic ,the engine driver leaning over the bigend to screw down a greaser on the ecentric ...missing him by millimeters....The engine made in Preston ,Lancashire......Wouldnt care to stand too close to either boiler ,likely all maintenance done locally ,if at all.

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    Gov is USA....Phil

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    Phil:

    With all due respect, I disagree about the governor. On the governor valve body, as I noted, it reads: "Pickering Type". I've seen a few Pickering governors on engines here in the USA. The valve body has lettering cast into it which reads "Pickering Governor" and their location in the USA (Portland, Connecticut, if I remember correctly). The governor in the youtube is a Pickering design, probably built by a licensee or simply copied by some other manufacturer. I know Pickering governors were also built in England and used on engines there and that information is cast onto the valve bodies.

    It is entirely probably that the governor in this youtube was "reverse engineered" from a "real" Pickering governor, built by a shop in Southeast Asia without bothering to get any kind of formal agreement with Pickering in the USA. As the saying goes: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", or "brand recognition" for an otherwise unknown shop producing governors.

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    In the video they said the steam engine was locally made so in Thailand(?).
    Here is one steam engine manufacturer in India.

    Steam Engines - Steam Engines Exporter, Manufacturer & Supplier, Rajkot, India

    steam traing in use..
    YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Michaels View Post
    The rice mill and its steam engine are ideally suited for the location, a technology the people can readily work with, repair, or make parts or even new engines.
    My guess is this rice mill and others like it in similar local conditions, will be around for a good while longer. Why burn diesel fuel (for the ubiquitous 1 cylinder diesels that seem to be used for everything and anything in Southeast Asia) when rice hulls are free fuel ?
    During the RVN war, we bought CO2 to refill fire-extinguishers from the outfit as made Saigon's notorious beer-shaped liquid. Stack gas from rice-hull boilers were said to be a part of the raw feed to a French-built plant that compressed it.

    Put the fires out well enough. "Purity" was no big deal w/r a few "trace elements".

    But when yah discharged a fire extinguisher?

    Whole area smelt as if yah had woken up on the floor of a brothel soaked in three days worth of binge drunk off cheap rice beer then gone to stale piss!

    Or so the grown-ups described it. Wise and Fatherly Sergeants usually throwing themselves voluntarily on that particular type of "grenade" ever-so loyally ... so green Lootenements didn't have to be bothered.

    Or at least that was their standard defense, and they stuck to it.

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    Ya, ur right the Japanese are crafty...Phil

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    Rice hull boilers...burnt rice hulls ..and many other kinds of ash can become survival clean/safe water source.

    http://www.dlsu.edu.ph/wp-content/up...vol1no2/03.pdf

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    This is the Burma rice mill that John.k mentioned.
    YouTube

    Rice arrives, is unloaded by hand - women labour partly. Meanwhile, the maintenance team are repacking the valve rod and the piston shaft glands with their preferred packing material.

    The engine is a simple, primitive design well suited to the conditions and no need for much in the way of steam economy. The packing is fairly ineffective! Boiler behind the engine.

    The engine was made by T. Dryden of Preston, my home town. Preston had many small foundries at one time, my family owned one of them. Foundry meaning not just making iron castings but a wide range of machining processes as well. T Dryden were based in Grimshaw street, a little more than a mile from my family business. You can see part of their machine shop here:

    Dryden'''s Foundry, Grimshaw Street, Preston. | Image courtesy… | Flickr

    Apparently Dryden senior eloped to England from the Scottish lowlands and set up business.

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    Phil:

    There was a time when the Japanese used to mimic US brand-names and try to pass off their products using "brand recognition". Probably the wildest was a story that after WWII, the Japanese went so far as to 'name' a town "USA" in Japan. That way, they could 'legitimately' stamp "Made in USA" on their export goods. Never mind which USA they were referring to.

    On the other hand, certain design features in machinery and machine tools are designated by the name of the firm that might have first invented them, or first used them. An example the the "Norton" style of quick change thread/feed box, or the names of the various types of locking tapers (Morse, Brown & Sharpe, etc), or one European lathe builder advertising they used a "LeBlond type of bedway" (or words to that effect, but cashing in on the LeBlond name). In steam engine design, the name "Corliss" has been used by numerous engine builders to describe the type of valves/valve gear, along with any number of other "common designs" (Lentz, Stephenson, etc).

    In the youtube, the way the governor valve body has "Pickering Type" cast into it is reminiscent of the way the some of the Asian manufacturers still try to cash in on US manufacturers' names. We see it in some of the Bridgeport clones, with names like "Hartford" (OK, it's a also a city in Connecticut known for precision manufacturing, albeit hung on an Asian copy of a Bridgeport).

    Paul39:

    What I have also found on youtubes are a number of films of Pakistani copies of old British diesel engines like the Ruston horizontal engines. These are not engines made in England ages ago and 'rebadged' by Pakistani sellers. The names of Pakistani manufacturers are cast right into the engine mainframes, as well as being on brass nameplates. These are heavy one cylinder horizontal diesel engines and a lot more complex in design than the 'Listeroids' engines coming out of India.

    Another widely copied engine are the single cylinder horizontal Yanmar diesels. These are as common as dirt in Vietnam and neighboring countries and seem to have been copied by quite a few manufacturers.

    I appreciate seeing how the so-called underdeveloped or third-world nations develop their own manufacturing technologies. It is my own opinion that when an underdeveloped nation develops their own industrial base at their own speed, they are far better off than simply acquiring modern state of the art technology from abroad. On the other hand, in the Pakistani youtubes of the Ruston-clone engines, the men are often barefoot, the engines sit in crude buildings or on foundations in the midst of poor surroundings, yet the men are using modern smart phones.

    The Ruston-clone engines are often the sole power source for a village and surrounding countryside. The engines are belted up to pump water for irrigation, to mill various grains, to run woodworking machinery and generators. The belting is all in the open, often with bolted splices in the belting, pulleys wobble on shafting, and the men work in loose, baggy clothing in close proximity to all of the moving belting and machinery. It's a case of the people knowing they have to take responsibility for their own actions, and so far, I have not seen any youtubes of anyone getting wound up in the belting or machinery. Seeing a guy in loose clothing and flip-flops or barefoot using his feet to turn over a Ruston-type diesel engine flywheel would give any US insurer, let alone OSHA, a complete case of apoplexy.

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    The funny thing is the "Made in USA" name was changed to Yuasa on objection ,and Yuasa is today the premier maker of lead acid starting batteries........As to steam engines ,the engines go on forever ,but boilers do not .......So ,I imagine boiler explosions would not be unknown there.No boiler,no engine.

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    Re Joe Michaels:

    The Ruston-clone engines are often the sole power source for a village and surrounding countryside. The engines are belted up to pump water for irrigation, to mill various grains, to run woodworking machinery and generators. The belting is all in the open, often with bolted splices in the belting, pulleys wobble on shafting, and the men work in loose, baggy clothing in close proximity to all of the moving belting and machinery. It's a case of the people knowing they have to take responsibility for their own actions, and so far, I have not seen any youtubes of anyone getting wound up in the belting or machinery. Seeing a guy in loose clothing and flip-flops or barefoot using his feet to turn over a Ruston-type diesel engine flywheel would give any US insurer, let alone OSHA, a complete case of apoplexy.
    YouTube

    Looking at the videos of Asia I am impressed with what they do with what is available, and have a greater appreciation of the life I have in the USA.

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul39 View Post
    Re Joe Michaels:



    YouTube

    Looking at the videos of Asia I am impressed with what they do with what is available, and have a greater appreciation of the life I have in the USA.

    Paul
    LOL! Yah.. well. "you need to get out more". It's all over the broadest possible span, Asia, Africa, Middle East.

    Near-naked and barefoot - maybe with a cellphone - to newer and taller buildings and subway transport than Manhattan, New York City.

    USA & Canada, coupla LATAM nations - have more SPACE than most of the rest - even Europe. UK population density is actually higher than China's "average".

    Otherwise? A modern city... is a modern city. Most anywhere there is money enough to build the superhighways, mass transit, and skyscrapers. Which is a LOT of places.


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