Boiler Steam Team

Boiler Steam System Team


BACKGROUND: On May 4th, 1901 Alvin O. Lombard was rewarded patent No. 674,737 for a logging engine. Lombard soon after built what would be the first Lombard steam powered log hauler in Waterville, Maine. The Lombard was used to haul wood from the forest on snow and ice covered paths. The 19 ton machine was only rated at 90 horsepower, but could transport up to 12 sleds, or 300 tons of lumber. This was certainly an incredible invention and allowed mills to harvest woods that would not float such as maple, white birch, beach, and ash. The steam powered log haulers were used for a few decades, but went obsolete when the first diesel engine was introduced. The diesel engine lowered operating costs while not sacrificing power, and became a more attractive piece of equipment to transport lumber.

ABOUT PROJECT: With all of the history surrounding the lumbering industry, the steam powered log hauler ranks in the highest echelon of innovations in the early nineteen hundreds. Our senior project is to restore one of these historic pieces of machinery for the Maine Forest & Logging Museum at Leonard’s Mills.


  • Install lube pump and linkage
  • Install throttle lever
  • Obtain and install all steam fittings (code work)
  • Design connections for running on compressed air with lube system


  • Wednesday, April 30, was the chance to show accomplishments made to the public and family members. Team members were joined by local news providers, and were able to share their yearlong restoration journey with them. Team members showed off their restored Lombard log hauler by making several laps around the parking lot on compressed air. Everyone in attendance shared their affiliation with the project and enjoyed seeing the finished piece of history. Below is a collage of photos from Wednesday.
Collage of Photos from Wednesday.
Collage of Photos from Wednesday.
  • Tuesday, April 29, began with making necessary repairs to the Lombard throttle lever and stuffing gland. After completing repairs, group members began to filling the saddle water tank with treated water from the University of Maine steam plant. When the boiler and tank was filled with the appropriate amount of water, steam team members began to build a fire in the firebox. The amount of time until building a pound of pressure takes approximately one hour and about two hours to accumulate 130 psi, the ideal operating pressure. After waiting for the boiler to increase in pressure, the Lombard log hauler was tested for the second time on steam and performed excellent. Team members made two laps around the parking lot before parking it out front of Machinery Hall where it could burn off the rest of the wood in the firebox and release pressure. This turned out to be an exciting and emotional day for all the individuals working on the project for the past 40- 50 years. The steam team was very fortunate to have this opportunity and support from Brian Fanslau, Jason Lamontagne, and Chuck Spaulding. These three individuals are just some of the major contributors that played a major role in helping steam team members complete Maine State Boiler Code piping, and operate the machinery. Below are some photos of the Lombard log hauler operating on steam.
Collage of Photos from Tuesday while Operating on Steam
Collage of Photos from Tuesday while Operating on Steam
  • Tuesday, April 22, was filled with excitement as this could be the first day the Lombard Log Hauler would operate off of steam in more than 80 years. Brian Fanslau, Jason Lamontagne, and Chuck Spaulding were all in attendance as they were the three main operators. Also in attendance were John Belding, who provided a fire pump and hose to get the water to the Lombard, Anette Rodrigues who donated firewood, and the Bradley Fire Department. After teams had completed necessary tasks to run off of steam, steam team members began to build a fire in the firebox of the boiler. After allowing the boiler to build pressure Brian Fanslau opened up the throttle. It was not but 5 seconds until we were faced with mechanical issues. This forced team members to quickly devise a plan to fix these issues before our next steam trial operation. Even though the first steam trial was not a complete success we gained a lot of experience, and will have enough time to make the necessary changes before our next trial. Below is a photo of the Lombard releasing steam, after reaching 150 psi.
Safety Valve Releasing Steam at 150 psi
Safety Valve Releasing Steam at 150 psi
  • Saturday, April 19, began with steam team members finishing small tasks in order to get the Lombard ready for an air test. After completing these tasks the steam team and engine team members began pumping air into the boiler with an industrial air compressor that was loaned from Sargent Corporation. After the boiler was up to 25 psi, group member, John Fassak anxiously, but cautiously opened up the throttle and allowed air into the engines. All of the students in attendance were surprised by how well they operated at such a low pressure. After testing the engines at 40 psi, students from several teams began working together to put on the 400 pound drive chains. This was not an easy task, but went smoothly with teamwork and a come-along. After successfully placing the drive chains on, students turned on the industrial compressor and began charging the boiler for a second time. Fassak opened up the throttle again and the Lombard Log Hauler creeped out of the barn for the first time since the fall. After being so pleased with how it was operating group members decided to place the industrial compressor on the back of the Lombard and drive it down Government Road to the locked gate. At that point group members repositioned the compressor by placing it out front of the Lombard and began driving the Lombard in reverse until being back into the barn. This was a very rewarding day for all team members and gave us confidence going into our first steam test on Tuesday. Below is a photo from today, and a link providing a video of the work done today. VIDEO: 4/19

    Steam Team Members Operating The Lombard Off Of Air
    Steam Team Members Operating The Lombard Off Of Air
  • Tuesday, April 15, began with highlighting tasks that needed to be complete, and finished with a list of accomplishments greater than any other day. The steam team logged more than 35 billable hours at Leonard’s Mills today, and was productive until the end. The accomplishments are listed below:

-Installed the steam whistle and mocked up the pulley system

-Installed tri-cocks and painted handles

-Installed safety valve

-Painted various parts

-Completed water piping and installed two new valves to allow a strainer clean out in the event that the strainers become clogged by tank shards

-Installed manometer union and temporary manometer

-Installed flexible hoses and barbs

-Painted and installed final blow down valve

-Bent gauge siphons

-Calibrated gauges and retrieved fittings from steam plant

-Installed two gauges

-Installed short prevention into conduit for copper tubing protection

-Checked bent lever clearances

-Primed oil pump and filled reservoir

Displayed below are just 2 photos from today. The one on the left shows the steam whistle, and the photo on the right shows the new gauges in the cab. To view more photos from today please click the link provided. 4/15 Photos

Left Side Photo Shows the Steam Whistle, and the Photo on the Right Shows the Installed Gauges.
The Left Side Photo Shows the Steam Whistle, and the Photo on the Right Shows the Installed Gauges.
  • Thursday, April 10, was another eventful but productive and rewarding day. Dave Corey, a State of Maine Boiler Inspector, arrived around 9:30 to conduct the final inspection of the boiler. Mr. Corey was extremely thorough and checked every component of the boiler. Some of his main focuses consisted of thoroughly inspecting the firebox and boiler tubes. After the inspection, Dave Corey granted us permission to operate the boiler and congratulated us on passing the boiler inspection. Along with passing the boiler inspection, steam team members installed water piping and boiler plugs. The link provided shows some of the work completed on Thursday and Dave Corey performing the boiler inspection VIDEO.  Below are a couple of photos taken on Thursday of the boiler piping.
Boiler Piping Inside the Cab
Boiler Piping Inside the Cab
  • Thursday, April 3, turned out be a very productive day for steam team members. Some accomplishments made Thursday included: threading a new piece of 2 inch pipe for the main steam line, finishing main steam piping with the exception of suction, mocking up suction piping with PVC to inspect lever interference, draining the oil pump and cleaning it thoroughly, adjusting the sight glass by realigning it, painting and pinning the bell crank. Along with these accomplishments we connected the 1/2″ conduit line to the blower using 4 hose clamps and then strapping the blower line/conduit combination to the steam dome. This eliminated all play in the blower, and was a great solution as it provides hidden support and no interference with insulation. Below are some photos showing some of these accomplishments.
Shown are Photos of Work being Completed on Thursday.
Shown are Photos of Work being Completed on Thursday.
  • Along with the task completed above on Thursday, we took measurements of the water tank and insulation in order to figure out where the tank will lie in its final position. We have asked Brian Fanslau from Boothbay Railroad to bring a T for the right side water line, allowing for a manometer style sight glass to display the tank water level. Below are some photos of measurements being taken.
Above are Photos of Measurements being Taken on the Boiler.
Above are Photos of Measurements being Taken on the Boiler.
  • Wednesday, March 26, revealed the evaluation of our hydro-test. Maine State Boiler inspectors conducted a formal hydro-text and claimed the boiler to be safe by rewarding us a passing evaluation. Below is a photo of Dave Corey, a Maine State Boiler inspector, inspecting the boiler.
Maine State Boiler Inspector, Inspecting the Boiler.
  • Tuesday, March 25, turned out to be the most eventful, but rewarding day for steam team members. The day started at 6:30 a.m. when members of the team helped Rod Stanhope fill the 2,000 gallon tank, loaned to him, with 1,000 gallons of preheated water at the UMaine Steam Plant. Chuck Spaulding supplied the piping schematic to get the water into the trucks tank. While some members were dealing with the logistics of getting the warm water to Leonard’s Mills, other students were preparing the boiler for the practice hydro-test. Brian Fanslau and some team members installed the newly ordered sight glass and the final piping. Following that, the warm water was pumped into the boiler and portable heaters were placed around the boiler to maintain a water temperature of approximately 90 F. In the afternoon, the practice hydro-test was conducted and revealed a minor leak in the throttle stuffing box. This was easily fixed by tightening the box. The test consisted of pressurizing the boiler to 300 psi, which is 1.5 times the maximum allowable working pressure, and make sure there are no leaks. The boiler passed our practice hydro exam, but still needed to maintain its water temperature overnight so the boiler could face its formal hydro test done by the State of Maine Boiler inspectors. Steam team members took responsibility of maintaining the waters temperature overnight in 2 F weather by dividing the night into 3 shifts of 2 students. This allowed students to still get some rest and keep the boiler warm and ready for Wednesday. Below are two photos showing the water being pumped into the trucks tank, and a portable heater blowing heat into the firebox of the boiler.
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Above are Two Photos Showing the Preparation Steps for the Hydro-Test Wednesday.
  • Saturday, March 22, steam team members completed the installation of the throttle system, and prepared for the hydro-test on Wednesday by positioning the heaters around the boiler and firebox. Steam team members also reinstalled the steam dome cover. The two photos below show the throttle system and the location of it with relation to the boiler.
The photo on the left shows the throttle system inside the steam dome, and the photo on the right shows the location of the throttle in relation to the boiler.
The photo on the left shows the throttle system inside the steam dome, and the photo on the right shows the location of the throttle in relation to the boiler.
  • Monday, March 24, steam team member, Lloyd Guerrette remade the broken check valve with round brass stock and a lathe. Below is a photo of the completed check valve.
Manufactured Check Valve
Manufactured Check Valve.
  • Thursday, March 20, turned out to be a very productive day at Leonard’s Mills thanks to the help from Brian Fanslau and Jason Lamontagne from the Boothbay Railroad. Steam team members completely installed the exhaust piping, and the piping in the front of the boiler to the large globe valves up front. Also, steam team members, Nick Woods, and John Fassak finished mocking up the throttle. Our next task is to completely fill the boiler with water and run a hydro-test on Wednesday. Below is a photo of the completed front boiler piping.
Finished Boiler and Exhaust Piping.
Finished Boiler and Exhaust Piping.
  • Saturday, March 5, was spent determining the rod length, a bracket solution, and the hardware count. Below is a collage of photos taken Saturday at Leonard’s Mills.
Collage of Photos Taken Saturday
Collage of Photos Taken Saturday
  • Tuesday, March 4, steam team member, John Fassak spent Tuesday of vacation working with Professor Anderson machining a throttle valve stuffing box and gland. The stuffing box parts were machined to precise calculated tolerances using CAD, lathes, and CNC machinery. Some engineering learning outcomes from this process included learning the importance of correct dimensioning of parts, and calculating press fits. Below are pictures of this process and a link to a video documenting the entire manufacturing process. VIDEO: Manufacturing Process
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Throttle Stuffing Box Manufacturing Process
  • Thursday, February 27, was a very exciting day considering it was the first time we have installed code-approved steam piping components. During the installation process done by our experienced steam team leaders, Brian Fanslau and Jason Lamontagne, steam team members acted as apprentices. Both steam leaders provided a wealth of knowledge to students regarding antique steam boilers and engines. This was the first of a couple meetings and installation processes that will be conducted in the next month. We have a few other tasks to complete in order to meet our goal, to perform an unofficial hydro-test during the week of March 17th. We plan to conduct an unofficial hydro-test before the official hydro-test, done by the state of Maine, in order to identify any leaks or additional problems. Please see the collage of pictures below showing the work done on the boiler and exhaust piping.

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Steam Piping Done in the First Installation Phase
  • Wednesday, February 26, was spent machining and adjusting exhaust components. The team was divided into two groups, one focused on machining the exhaust flange to match the already existing flange, and the second group worked with Chuck Spaulding, from steam plant, to add an exhaust drain port. The first collage of photos below shows the machining process of the exhaust flange that was casted by Peter Grant at the Odd Duck Foundry. The main focus when machining this part was making sure the center hole was concentric with the existing flange, and applying the correct diameter so it would mate with the exhaust piping. The side holes were less important and could be over-sized in order to make sure the exhaust flanges’ center holes lined up.

    Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 2.33.33 PM
    Exhaust Flanges, and Manufacturing Process
    • The picture below shows a nipple and ball valve threaded into the exhaust piping. This will allow us to open and close the drainpipe when needed.
Exhaust Piping Under Boiler with Drain Port
  • February 18, 2014, steam team worked several hours fitting the oil bell crank at Leonard’s Mills and refurbishing valves at the University of Maine Steam Plant. The oil bell crank is a necessary part in allowing the lube pump to provide oil to the engine cylinders. The refurbished valves will be used in the plumbing of the boiler and will provide an authentic look. Below are pictures of the work being performed by steam team members.
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Above is a Photo of The Bell Crank Attached to The Linkage
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A Collage of the Valve Refurbishing Process
  • February 12, 2014, steam team member, Nick Woods, manufactured new brass valve seats for the injector globe valves. This is one of the necessary steps to refurbish the injector valves and  allow them to pass Maine State Boiler Code requirements. When Woods disassembled the injectors, the original copper valve seats were severely cut from the previous steam operations and needed to be replaced. Nick Woods’ process to manufacture new valve seats consisted of taking measurements of old valve seats, findings brass stock in the Machine Tool Lab, and using a lathe to machine them to final specifications and tolerances. Below are some pictures of this manufacturing process.
Pictures of Manufacturing Process
Pictures of the Manufacturing Process
  • February 11, 2014, steam team member, Lloyd Guerrette, made substantial progress with manufacturing the lubrication bell crank. This will allow the lube pump to operate in sync with the engines and provide them with an adequate amount of lubrication. Below are some photos of the finished lubrication bell crank.
The Completed Lubrication Bell Crank
The Completed Lubrication Bell Crank
An Inside View of the Brass Fittings
  • February 7, 2014, no time was wasted with regards to ordering parts. From the help of Mr. Fanslau and Mr. Lamontagne, steam team members are now aware of specific tasks that need to be completed in order to reach their goal of running the Lombard on Maine Day. Tasks completed on Friday included cleaning and reassembling injectors, meeting with Peter Grant from the Odd Duck Foundry to get an exhaust flange casted, and ordering necessary parts to prepare the boiler for a hydro-test in a couple of weeks. We would like to thank Mr. Grant for his efforts Friday afternoon. With his help students were taught the steps of casting a part out of recycled materials, and gained a greater appreciation for Mr. Grant’s casting craft. Below is a photo of Peter Grant pouring molten metal onto created molds.
Peter Grant Pouring Molten Metal onto Created Molds
Peter Grant Pouring Molten Metal onto Created Molds
  • February 6, 2014, steam team members met with Brian Fanslau and Jason Lamontagne regarding the restoration of the steam system. Both Mr. Fanslau and Mr. Lamontagne seemed very optimistic and have helped prepare a tentative schedule to complete the piping of the boiler. They were very helpful with reviewing the bill of materials and specifying which parts are necessary to replace and which parts can be refurbished. With their help, the Steam Team’s goal, having the Lombard running off of steam on Maine Day, is within reach.
  • January 28, 2013, steam team members met with Dave Corey, the Maine Deputy Chief Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspector, and Brian Fanslau from the Boothbay Railway Village. Both visitors provided steam team members with invaluable information about how to continue on with the steam restoration of the Lombard Log hauler. Mr. Corey, and Mr. Fanslau Inspected the Lombard at Leonard’s Mills, and then brainstormed ideas on how to best restore this Lombard steam system with meeting state code and funding limitations. They provided support with the Bill of Materials and companies to contact in order to purchase these components. From their visit the steam team was provided with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Steam team members would like to thank both Mr. Corey and Mr. Fanslau for traveling to Leonard’s Mills and The University of Maine and providing us with such invaluable information.
  • January 16, 2013, steam team members updated drawings of the boiler and piping schematic. A substantial amount of time has been dedicated to complete the steam system assembly drawings. The drawings will be used to provide pipe fitters with blueprints and a guide to completely pipe the boiler. Featured below is Nick Woods’ most recent drawing showing all of the necessary components to completely pipe the boiler with exception to the oil pump.
A Drawing Of The Boiler and Piping
  • December 10, 2013, Battens were fastened to the barn doors, and steam team members took measurements of the piping in Crooker’s Lombard. These measurements will be used in a schematic and bill of materials, which will be used as a guide for purchasing parts for the Lombard under restoration. Below is a picture of steam team members taking measurements off of the Crooker’s Lombard.
Steam Team Members Taking Measurements
Steam Team Members Taking Measurements
  • On December 3, 2013, we spoke with two Cianbro representatives about piping the boiler. The Cianbro representatives were enthusiastic about the project and suggested we might be able to use some of the old components, such as the injectors and valves. With this information we decided to take photos of the components we might be able to use and send them to the state boiler for inspection. By using these components we would be able to save money, and increase our authenticity of the restoration project. We currently are waiting for a quote from Cianbro to pipe the boiler, and are thankful the representatives could visit us at Leonard’s Mills.
  • On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, the entire MET capstone class achieved their number one goal set at the beginning of the semester, to have the Lombard Log Hauler running on compressed air. With contributions from every team, we successfully achieved that goal, and were able to move the Lombard Log Hauler forward and backwards. Our contribution to this achievement was to provide an adequate amount of lubricated air to the engines so they could run safely. We had a series of problems we had to solve during the trial runs, but we were able to combat them and allow the engines to run. By running the engines we were able to determine what wasn’t working properly, and which parts needed to be tuned up for the engines to run smoother in the future. The link below is a video provided by Professor Crosby showing the progress made during week 12 and the Lombard Log Hauler moving. Lombard Steam Log Hauler Restoration Week 12
  • Mounted the lube pump system to boiler and connected to linkage. During the trial run on compressed air, we were able to see the lube pump work and pump oil out of the discharge spout. The photo below shows a steam team member fastening the lube pump to the boiler inside of the cab.

    A Steam Team member is attaching the lube pump to the boiler.
    A Steam Team member is attaching the lube pump to the boiler.
  • Fastened the air system and throttle to the front of the Lombard Log Hauler. Below is a picture of the mounted air system and throttle.
Above is the mounted air system and throttle
  • Refurbished the Hills-McCanna Co. lube pump reservoir. Below is a collage of photos showing students working on the lube pump, and what it looks like.
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Above is a collage of lube pump photos
  • The following link shows the refurbishing steps taken by the steam team members to restore the Hills-McCanna Co. Oil Pump. Also included in the video is the oil pump being activated to provide oil. Hills-McCanna Co. Oil Pump Youtube Video
  • Completed hanging and securing battens to the exterior walls of the Machinery Hall. The only remaining battens to be hung and secured is on the barn doors. Below are two pictures showing steam team members hanging and securing battens, and the completed exterior walls.
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Shown are Steam Team members securing battens to the Machinery Hall, and a photo of the completed exterior walls.
  • Spoke with Sullivan and Merritt Constructors, project manager, Jake Olsen about completing the boiler system. Mr. Olsen provided us with information regarding the Maine State Boiler Code, and explained to us what necessary steps we will have to take in order get the Lombard Log Hauler running on steam. We are currently waiting to get a quote from Sullivan and Merritt Constructors on how much the components and labor will cost. Thanks to Mr. Olsen’s visit Tuesday we are now one step closer to reaching our final goal of having the Lombard Log Hauler run on steam at the beginning of May.
  • Completed painting the Machinery Hall at Leonard’s Mills with other teams.
Above are team members concealing the back wall of the Machinery Hall.
  • Built a temporary air system to test the engines.
  • Built a throttle lever for the air system, and fabricated a linkage for the lube system.
Above is a picture of the throttle for the air system. The next step is to attach it to the front of the Lombard, next to the steering wheel, and connect it to the air system.

PHOTOS: To view more photos of our progress, please click the following link:  Steam Team Photos


  • Tom Littlefield is from Dayton, Maine and is interested in basketball, and diesel machinery. He spends time working on trucks and hopes to be working in New England for an Engineering company after graduating in 2014.
  • Nicholas Woods grew up in Richmond, Maine on an Alpaca Farm. He enjoys playing sports, spending time with friends, and fishing. After graduation he plans to go back home and work with his family in their hydraulic business.
  • Nicklaus DeBlois is from Sidney, Maine. He enjoys playing hockey, golf, and tennis with his friends. After graduation Nick plans to find a job that integrates engineering with the business field.
  • John Fassak grew up in Mansfield, Massachusetts. He enjoys hunting, fishing and snowmobiling in New England. After graduation John plans to work in the power generation field.
  • Lloyd Guerrette was raised in Frenchville, Maine. Lloyd likes to work on, modify, and tinker with cars. After graduation Lloyd wants to open his own hot rod car shop.
  • Alex Saunders is a fine looking gentleman from Rowley, Massachussets. His interests are ice hockey and anything with two wheels. He plans to graduate this spring and get a job in the engineering field.


  • Lonnie’s Hydraulic Service from Topsham, Maine recently donated nearly $500 worth of hydraulic hose and valves for the air system. The Steam Team, Mechanical Engineering Technology Capstone class, and the Maine Forest and Logging Museum at Leonard’s Mills thanks Lonnie’s Hydraulic Service for their tremendous generosity.
  • We are always seeking donations of parts, volunteers, and funds for part costs. If you would like to donate please call the SET Office or The Maine Forest and Logging Museum at Leonard’s Mills.