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Piston Valve Engine - How to Reverse?

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James Alford11/04/2017 16:01:47
345 forum posts
72 photos
Mainly out of interest I have been looking at piston valve steam engines. I have found plenty of examples of single acting designs that cannot reverse. I can only find comments about reversing the steam and exhaust feeds to reverse a double acting engine, but no actual explanations.

Does anyone have any clear drawings or diagrams that show how to reverse these engines?

Thank you.

John Haine11/04/2017 18:52:55
2511 forum posts
132 photos

Look up Stephenson's link

John Olsen11/04/2017 22:26:34
964 forum posts
86 photos
1 articles

A simple piston valve engine with no lap or lead can be reversed by swapping over the inlet and exhaust. A changeover valve can be made to do this. This doesn't need any change to the engine itself, just a valve with four ports. In one position A goes to B and C goes to D. In the other position, A goes to D and C goes to B.

You can't reverse a slide valve engine in this way because the valve would lift off the valve face when steam is applied to the inside.

Steering engines for ships used to use this idea.


JasonB12/04/2017 07:27:02
15386 forum posts
1586 photos
1 articles

If you do have some lead on the valve then the engine will run in one direction and that can be changed by the eccentric in the same way you would a normal slide valve engine be that with a simple slip eccentric or one of the other reversing gears such as the above mentioned Stephensons

James Alford13/04/2017 02:58:54
345 forum posts
72 photos
Thank you for the replies. I shall look into the types of links suggested.

John: do you know of any drawings of reversing valves on piston valve engines? I have only seen them with oscillating engines and am confused how they work on piston valves designs.


Stewart Hart13/04/2017 07:25:54
600 forum posts
300 photos

Simplest way to reverse is as Jason said is with a slip eccentric this Grasshopper Engine I built has a piston valve and slip eccentric if you send me a PM with your email address I'll send you the plans.





Edited By Stewart Hart on 13/04/2017 07:33:33

Edited By Stewart Hart on 13/04/2017 07:34:07

Henry Artist13/04/2017 09:04:18
68 forum posts
46 photos

Most Wilesco engines use a slip eccentric.

The Maxitrak Allchin uses Stephenson's linkage on a piston valve engine.

If you want a reverser valve (i.e. it swaps the inlet and exhaust) go read "Making Simple Model Steam Engines" by Stan Bray.

James Alford13/04/2017 17:05:38
345 forum posts
72 photos
Henry: Thank you for the book suggestions. I shall visit our county library reserve stock where the lesser-read, but worthwhile books are kept. They might have a copy.

Stew: that would be appreciated. I have sent a PM with my details.



Edited By James Alford on 13/04/2017 17:07:22

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