View Full Version : I'VE GOT RIBS!! (or at least five of them.)

12-31-2003, 01:42 PM
I had a busy & productive weekend for the boat! it started 9:00 Friday morning after Christmas when I dragged the remains of our house's old oil fired forced hot air furnace up to a friends' house. (They are dairy farmers & he has a good workshop for repairing the tractors & farm equip.) I used his cutting torch, electric shears, & grinder to cut the old heat exchanger from our house's old oil fired forced hot air furnace up into about eight pieces, which I then brought back home to weld back together to use as a boiler for steaming. (I guess it was kind of good that the house needed a new furnace this winter :rolleyes: ) Saturday I welded the pieces back together & got it pretty much together. - My idea had been to reduce the size of the heat exchanger to as small as I could, cut a big circle out of the top & suspend an old 35lb propane tank in the fire box area to boil the water in. Well, it turned out better than I expected and Sunday afternoon I was making steam! I even hooked up the old controller so that it uses the safety shut off (in case the flame goes out), and starts with the simple push of a button.
When I got that finished I set up my steam box (10"x10"x12') and within about 15 minutes of a 'cold start' I had enough steam in the box to bend anything you could want to. (With about 100,000 BTU it better make enough steam!! LOL) With the warm weather we had this weekend I though I'd give it a try, so I took one of my 10 foot oak planks, planed it, ripped it, & jointed it into five ribs each 3/4"x7/8" x10' & tossed them in the box. An hour later (didn't need to wait quite that long) I was bending ribs! Five out of five good ones, and they went in better than I could have ever hoped for! Kind of like butter!! (Can you tell I'm pretty pleased?) they went in so nicely & I had that much working time that I'm confident I'll be able to get them all in without having to wait for spring weather.
I used about 1 1/2 gallons of heating oil and had to add about 3 gallons of water half way through, but it recovers so quickly that steam never stopped coming out of the box.
OH, I guess I better order some rivets. LOL

"The heart of the beast!" with a steam supply welded on center & a make-up water fill welded to the side.

The converted remains of hte old furnace.
You can see the propane tank on top.
Making steam!!!
RIBS!! - (sorry the pic is so dark.)

12-31-2003, 02:55 PM
Now that is cool!

The Gentleman Sawyer
12-31-2003, 04:39 PM
Good job, although I am surprised that none of the usual experts have, as yet, striped your legs for not knowing they are "FRAMES", not ribs. smile.gif
Happy New Year To All!
The Gentleman Sawyer

[ 12-31-2003, 04:42 PM: Message edited by: The Gentleman Sawyer ]

12-31-2003, 10:09 PM
Oh I'm aware of the 'frames vs ribs' thing. I grew up on the Jersey shore where they've been ribs since well back in the 1800's. Steam bent is ribs, sawn is frames in that neck of the woods. ;)

12-31-2003, 11:20 PM
Ribs where I grew up too. Frames are things you hang pitchers in smile.gif

Bob Smalser
12-31-2003, 11:44 PM
I love it...resourcefullness at its best.

Another junkyard trip is in order.

01-01-2004, 09:01 AM
Tripple excellent! :D :cool:

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
01-01-2004, 09:34 AM
Nice work Ned. smile.gif
Green white oak ribs?

J. Dillon
01-01-2004, 09:47 AM
Congratulations Ned ! Looks like you might be ready for some rivets soon. I know of a some what experienced crew. ;)

BTW. Is that propane tank up to par ? It looks like it seen better days. Have it looked at by an experienced inspector. ( tip from a propane gas explosion victim). :eek: :(


01-01-2004, 03:48 PM
Nice ribs/frames, and potato cooker :D

01-01-2004, 04:46 PM
Don't listen to the knockers Ned, smile.gif Keep up the good work.

Originally posted by Aramas:
Ribs where I grew up too. Frames are things you hang pitchers in smile.gif G'day Aramas, all the best wishes for 2004.
Where I grew up, ribs were for BBQ'ing "hmmm lip smackin good" smile.gif and 'pitchers' were those fellas wot stood on a mound and threw a ball at another fella with a stick! :D


01-01-2004, 08:20 PM

At this rate we'll be look at launch-day photos soon ;)

01-01-2004, 09:55 PM
It probably would make a pretty good potato cooker too! :D Jack, I appreciate the concern & will always pay attention to headed cautions here. As for the propane tank, it was really in prety good shape, that is mostly weld splatter that makes it look rough. There is really no need for concern, this is a totally open system with NO pressure (ok, so about as much pressure as a tea kettle on a stove). The hose from the boiler to the steam box is a corragated plastic hose that is lighter than a shop vac hose.
I do have a GREAT respect for steam pressure & what it can do. I first fired the thing up well away from other things & with no hose attached to get an idea of how it would work & to make sure it didn't boil to violently. When it is up & going I can easilly unscrew the side pipe for adding water (with good gloves on).

01-02-2004, 01:12 AM
Brave welding!
Great frib cooker.... I like it!