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Larry Worley's Erector Steam-Powered Oil Well

Larry writes: "Here in Texas, we still have a lot of Oil Wells. Remarkably, a lot of them are shutdown for some reason. (Hmmmmmm!) Anyway, I found a drawing of one showing how they're built and operate. I tried to reproduce it with Erector.

This Oil Well is 27" long and 26" tall. The arm is 22" long and operates one full up & down cycle in about 8 seconds. The head where the pump rod attaches is heavy. So I put 5 ounces of Lead shot in a small Tylenol bottle and duct taped that so it looked OK, then secured it inside the aft end of the arm for needed balance. The arm operates very easily.

Obviously, I couldn't use a long axle as a drill bit, so I had to resort to deception. I attached a long piece of flexible coupling to the rod end on the head and ran it down through the simulated pump head. On the underside, it is routed through pulleys and tied to a string. The other end of this string is tied-off at the aft end of the arm. As the counterbalance drive mechanism rotates and pushes the arm upward, the string pulls the flexible coupling down and it appears to disappear into the ground. When the head raises, the rod appears to be coming up from the ground. Occasionally, it will flex a little on the down stroke.

Of course, I had to power it with steam just for kicks. This is my latest gift from Santa, the Wilesco D22 Steam Engine. It is a very large, powerful and beautiful machine. It's dual cylinders provide far more than enough power for this little model. The whole machine turns slowly so it is difficult to see any motion in the pictures. If you look closely though, you can see the steam and smoke being exhausted as the engine runs. And, wouldn't you know it? This one didn't strike any oil and make me rich. Aw, shucks!"