What a wonderful time of year! This writer is a native Iowan, but Iowa's cold winter weather has never been one of our favorite aspects. First of all, we personally don't care much for cold weather. Secondly, when we get those twenty below readings, even the modern engines don't care to start with ease. Even worse, our old vintage engines don't take to cold weather at all, unless of course they are in a heated building. During the summer months, any engine worth its salt will start with ease. For most of us, it's very enjoyable to crank up an engine and let it run for a few minutes, almost every day.
Another nice thing about the summer months is the many, many shows and swap meets all over the country. We've gone to three or four of them this year so far, and hope to catch some more. Our annual journey to the Annual Swap Meet at Waukee, Iowa was certainly no disappointment. We spent several days there, and met many, many folks from the United States, Canada, and England. One of the British collectors showed us his photos of a tremendous tractor collection. A man from California showed us a series of photos taken during the recovery of a Regan engine from an abandoned gold mine. It took several men three days to walk in to the engine, assemble a raft made of 2 x 4's and plastic buckets, and actually float the engine downstream to a roadway. In fact, we hope to provide further details on this project if we can get these folks to send us the story!
We've also been hearing some distressing reports from some of our readers. Several people have alleged that products and/or parts they have ordered have not been satisfactory. We know that both extremes are always , present, namely, the out-and-out charlatans on one hand, and the chronic complainers on the other hand. For these outside extremes, there is probably no rehabilitative help available. The charlatans are going to ply their trade regardless of anything. The chronic complainers are going to bellyache even if they are shipped an ordinary cast iron part that is specially made for them from sterling silver. Surely, neither of the above groups are to be found within our hobby! On the part of those ordering from a vendor, be sure you are get ting what you think you are getting. If it is a considerable cash outlay, perhaps it would be wise to go see what you are buying before you buy. Always remember the ancient saying, 'Let the Buyer Beware!' So, if you're going to buy, do so with a bit of caution. If you're going to sell, be sure to give your customer full measure. Let's not permit our hobby turn into a mini-S&L scandal. 'Nuff said!
Last month we had the largest column ever, but this month it's pretty small. This is a usual happening . . . it's hard to write about engines and tractors when we're busy working on them. So, we begin with:
26/8/1 Sickle Grinder Q. See the two photos of a McCormick-Deering hand operated grinder. You show a photograph of a similar machine in your book, 150 Years of International Harvester. Can you provide further information? Nigel Robson, 221 Tudor Ave., Hastings, New Zealand.
A.These are sickle grinders, built specifically to sharpen the cutting knives on mowers and grain binders. The complete sickle is clamped into the grinder, and is moved laterally to grind adjacent cutting surfaces. That is why the stone is v-shaped. Special gearing and linkage oscillates the stone in and out to automatically grind the entire cutting surface of each knife. These units appear occasionally, but are not considered to be very plentiful, as most were junked long ago. Deering Harvester Co. built these units already in the 1890s, and they were probably available into the 1920s. Most American farmers preferred taking the sickles to the local blacksmith rather than try to use this little machine.
26/8/2 News Release The International Society for Vehicle Preservation has a series of five fact sheets of four pages each, that any serious car, truck, tractor, RV or boat owner simply must read. #1-Exhaust Valves, Valve Recession/Unleaded Gasoline, available now. To follow are: #2-Fuels; #3-Lubrication; #4- Cooling System; #5-General Power Train Care. $1 each plus a legal size SASE each, or better yet, send $5 and they'll provide the envelopes and stamps. Send to the above Society at this address: P.O. Box 50046, Tucson, , AZ 85703-1046. They also publish a newsletter that might be of interest to owners of older vehicles.
26/8/3 Custom Tractor Q. I have a Custom tractor marketed by Montgomery Ward. Can anyone supply me with any information on this tractor? Rich McKay, 4838 Gulf Shore Road, St. James City, FL 33956.
26/8/4 Cady Engine Jay Heitkamp, 11012 Will Talley Road, Bogalusa, LA 70427 needs information on the following engine: Cady Model 3, s/n 3031. Built by C. N. Cady Co. Inc., Canastota, NY. The carburetion and ignition are missing. Any help will be appreciated.
26/8/5 Bull Dog Q. I recently acquired a 4 HP Bull Dog made by Bates & Edmonds. It has the gears and parts of the speed control mechanism missing. I would like to correspond with someone who has one and can furnish parts, pictures, sketches, or other information needed for the restoration. Charles Bryan, 307 W. First St., Box 124, Avon, SD 57315.
26/8/6 Ideal Engine Q. See the photos of an Ideal engine. This one has an open crankcase, and all I have seen use an enclosed case. Also, the intake and exhaust valve assembly screws into the head. The other Ideals I have seen have this assembly as part of the casting. Also note that the 'E' of 'ENGINE' is missing from the flywheel casting. It is absent on both flywheels. Any information on this engine will be greatly appreciated, regarding when Ideal built this engine, along with other details. John A. Blair, 415 Timothy Ave., Norfolk, VA 23505.
A. We can't tell you much about this very early Ideal, as we have never seen one like it before now. However, we can tell you that when it was cast, the letter 'E' probably came off the flywheel pattern and was unnoticed.
26/6/7 IHC LA Colors Q. I have an International 1?-2? LA engine. Could you give me the proper colors? A couple of years ago I used some DuPont Dulux, but recently they said at the paint shop that this paint is no longer available. Kent Zobel, RR 1, Box 35A, Monroe, NE 68647
A. The engine to which you refer used IH Gray for the body of the engine, but the flywheel and some of the trim was in IH Red. We understand that DuPont Dulux is still available, but some dealers no longer carry it. However, most Dulux colors convert to Centari colors, provided there is a desire to look it up. Also, there is a possibility that an alkyd finish might be available from Ditzler, Sherwin-Williams, Martin Senour and others.
26/8/8 Brunner Mfg. Co. Q. I have an air compressor made by Brunner Mfg. Co., Utica, N.Y. It is Model 105, s/n 84243. So far I have been able to find no information on this unit, such as its age and the correct operating speed. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Ben Thompson, Beals Cottage, Ganthorpe, Terrington, York YO6 4QD England.
26/8/9 Griffin Engine Q. I would like to develop a model of the American or Griffin double-acting engine shown on page 24 of American Gas Engines. Any information, photos, or data will be gratefully appreciated. Brad Pritts, 13450 Bagley Road, Cleveland, OH 44130.
26/8/10 Challenge Engine Q. See the photo of a Challenge 3 HP engine, s/n 25801 built in Batavia, Illinois. Can anyone help with the proper color, correct ignition system, etc. on this engine? Olie Warning, 193 Irene Ave., Rochelle, 1L 61068.
A. We think the Challenge is a dark green, but we have no number for it. Also, there was someone in Illinois who made some Challenge engine decals, but we do not have their name. Perhaps some of our readers can help.
26/8/11 McLeod etc Q. See the photos of a McLeod that was sold by McLeod's Hdwe., Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is s/n 4292. Does anyone know who built this engine, or when it was built? The plate says 1? HP and 750 r.p.m. I do not have the igniter, and would appreciate knowing what make and type were used. Also see photo 11 -C of a Fair' banks-Morse ModelZ, 2 HP, s/n911135. What year was it built? Gary Horton, Box 104, Ardrossan, Alberta, TOB 0E0 Canada.
A We can't tell you a thing about the McLeod engines, but perhaps someone can be of help. The FBM was built in 1948