A Brief Word

Power Hammer


Lester Bowman

Content Tools

As we prepare this copy in early June, the show season is well upon us once again, with every show being better than the last one, except of course for the rainy year we have had in many parts of the country. Like we've told you so many times before, work safely, and play safely as well. There's no point in spoiling a weekend mashing a finger when it could have been avoided.

We continue typing away on our Standard Catalog of Tractors, and we must admit this is a detailed and complicated project. Tractors literally seem to come out of the woodwork! This is especially true for the small garden tractors of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Fortunately for us, the cutoff date of this book is approximately 1960. Without establishing a cutoff date before we ever began, we have serious doubts we would ever see it to completion! But we plug away, and eventually, we'll be able to see it in print.

Just recently, the Voyageur Press has released This Old Tractor. It is a treasury of vintage tractors and family farm memories. Numerous writers are featured in the book, including Roger Welsch and ye olde Reflector. It was a joy for us to do our part in the book, and we hope that tractor enthusiasts will enjoy it.

Ye olde Reflector has also been asked to submit an article for the upcoming Encyclopedia of Chicago History, under the auspices of The Newbery Library in Chicago. Our section will cover the Fraser & Chalmers and Allis-Chalmers firms as related to their quarrying and mining equipment.

It's also confirmed that we will be speaking at South Dakota State University on October 11. We'll be at the State Agricultural Heritage Museum, and we look forward to meeting all our friends in that part of the world!

We had hoped to get our Hallett diesel engine ready for some of the fall shows, but since we'll be on the tour to Germany and other places during July, it's not looking like there will be enough time. Our understanding is that this engine has never done a day's work except to operate a few hours at shows. It has such high compression that it's pretty tough for ye olde Reflector to crank it over. Perhaps it is time to rig up some kind of starting device that isn't obvious after the engine is running! Has anyone come up with something like this, perhaps using an old automotive starter? Our thought is to somehow make a friction pulley, or perhaps something out of rubber (like a piece of an old rubber roll from a printing press), or something of that sort. Maybe some of our readers have already handled this problem and can offer some advice.

We still recall the time we tried to start our Stover 10 HP diesel with the crank supplied. . . the engine had an electric starter, but we thought we would follow the instruction book to see what happened. The book said to roll the engine over as fast as possible with the petcock open, then close it and bring the engine over, and it would start. I cranked the engine as fast as I could, and when I was at my max, I told my son to close the petcock. He did, and right after that I picked myself up off the ground with the crank in hand. I'm not sure how big the guy was that wrote the instruction book!

Our next issue will be done up early for the benefit of the folks at GEM, but the October issue, with a due date of August 7, will handled by my editor, Linda Weidman at GEM. We seriously doubt that we'll be able to return from Europe in late July and still have time to do the column, thus our short sabbatical.

Our first query this month is:

33/8/1 Eclipse Lawn Mowers, Etc.

Thanks to Frank Whitney, 2702 Whitney Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215-4149, for sending us information on the Eclipse lawn mowers as well as information on Briggs 6k Stratton engines. We quote Mr. Wilsey in part:

Eclipse was eventually acquired by Hahn and then became Hahn-Eclipse. The latter was then absorbed by Gravely. Then after Gravely bought the Ariens Company, the Hahn-Eclipse line was phased out. It is possible that a long-established Gravely dealer might have some parts.

In 33/5/19 (May 1998 GEM), the question was raised of how to remove the flywheel of a Briggs & Stratton Model A engine. The two small holes on either side of where the crankshaft comes through the flywheel are for use by a flywheel puller. If the current B&S pullers won't fit, you can make one. Take a piece of flat steel about 1 x3x and drill through it for two bolts of whatever size you can tap the flywheel holes. Put a nut on each bolt and run it up to the bolt head. Place a flat steel piece over the end of the crankshaft, run the bolts into the tapped holed of the flywheel, then run the nuts down onto the steel stock and tighten them evenly. This will pull the flywheel off the crankshaft to expose the magneto.

NEVER bang on the end of the crankshaft to try to loosen the flywheel. This can knock out the crankcase on the pto side of the engine.

In 33/5/21 (May 1998 GEM), Paul Gorrell of Burlington, Iowa, does indeed have an unusual Briggs & Stratton engine. The Sears model 500.204058 translates into a type number 204058, which is a Model U. The 500 is a Sears prefix. The Model U is shown on page 91 of Jeffrey Rodengen's book, The Legend of Briggs & Stratton. The unusual gas tank is described therein as a 'vacuum supply' setup. The parts diagram for this engine labels the second line between the carb and the tank as an air line. The only reason I can think of for this fuel tank arrangement was to keep gasoline vapors from escaping. Perhaps the engine was designed for use indoors.

The Model U was rated at 1 HP @ 3200 r.p.m., and was built between 1940 and 1945. It could be bought with a lever or kick starter, in addition to the rope starter. It could also be supplied with a 2-to-1 or a 6-to-1 reduction gear. Mr. Gorrell's engine was built in November 1943. Many B&S engines of this period were built for military use.

Several other readers wrote in about Mr. Gorrell's engine. William W. Allen, 18695 C.R. 87, Elberta, AL 36530 suggests that it might have been used in a high-vibration application such as a tamper or other machine.

33/8/2 Power Hammer

Q. See the photo of an old power hammer that came from a blacksmith shop. It was made by Schuyler Company and was their No. 1 'Gunning Model.' It is also called the 'Common Sense Hammer.' Any information on this power hammer would be greatly appreciated. Lester Bowman, 2440 Thomas St., Ceres, CA 95307.

33/8/3 Briggs & Stratton Question

John D. Cox, 2224 Wyandotte Dr., Oakville, ONT L6L 2T5 Canada, sends a query about getting copies of the pictures from the June 1998 GEM regarding the Model P and Model F engines illustrated on pages 12 and 13 of that issue. We have to confess that when we send pictures in to the magazine from our files, they don't always get refiled when they come back, but tend to accumulate until the next filing spree comes along. Thus, at the moment we haven't a clue where to look for them.

33/8/4 Hines Tractors

Michael Morrell, 17290 NE 28th St., Williston, FL 32696 wishes to thank everyone who responded to his query about the Hines, Tuff-Bilt, and Saukville tractors. All of these are quite similar to the Allis-Chalmers G tractor, and use a Kohler 16 HP engine.

33/8/5 Toro Tractor?

Q. See the photos of a recent find. It has a Toro engine and a Toro tag #220 on the frame. Can anyone supply any information on this unit, or the years it was made? Paul Hodden, P.O. Box 597, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240-0597.

33/8/6 Unidentified Engine

Q. See the photos of an unidentified engine which I inherited and am restoring. I has a serial number stamped on all the castings of #5658. It has a 9 x 16 inch bore and stroke, with 4 foot flywheels. The water pump has the name 'Charter' cast into it. Any information would be helpful. Steve King, P.O. Box 511, Sandia Park, NM 87047. Email: 

33/8/7 Jacob Haisch Engine

Q. See the photos of a 6 HP Jacob Haisch engine, s/n 6066. I would like to know when it was made, and the correct color scheme. Also, in photo 7B, there is a part missing. I am told it is the governor detent and the speed control arm. Can anyone be of help? Johnny Cathey, 4804 - 63rd, Lubbock,TX 79414. 

33/8/8 M-W Power Spray Pump

Q. See the photos (8A, 8B, and 8C) of a Montgomery-Ward Power Sprayer, model 483 50, that I found in a junk store. What kind of pressure could it produce, what was its operating speed, and about how old is it? Also see photo 8D of a John Deere tractor going to nature. Note one tree in front and one tree in back of the rear axle, It is in Rockdale, Texas, one block off Main St., near the tracks.

Can you give the approximate age and horsepower of a Ford lawn tractor, Model LGT-100 with a Kohler Model K241AS engine? Ed Ferguson, 605 Lake Placid Dr., Seguin,TX78155.

A. Most of the old orchard pumps could produce 100 psi with no trouble at all; some could in fact get up to 150 psi. Usually these pumps didn't operate more than somewhere between 300 and 500 r.p.m.

33/8/9 Ephraim Ball

Gary and Barbe Breylinger, P.O. Box 1197, Bigfork, MT 59911 recently favored us with some papers involving Ephraim Ball and the Ohio Mower & Reaper Company. Ephraim Ball was the grandfather thrice removed of Barbe Breylinger. Because of the family connection, these folks would like to know more about Ephraim Ball and his company.

For our part, we can tell you that Ball and numerous others were aspiring inventors and almost all came into the Great Mower and Reaper Wars of the 1860s and 1870s. Mower and reaper inventions abounded, and there seems to be little doubt that some of the larger companies succeeded where others failed when it came to patent litigation. Eventually the battles subsided, that is, when the manufacturers decided to pool many of their patents for their own common good. Thus arose the 'Hinged Bar Pool' for instance; this related to the hinged cutter bar design for mowing machines.

33/8/10 Fairbanks-Morse

Q. Js the book, Fundamentals of Magneto Ignition, still available? Any help would be appreciated. Also, I have a F-M 1 HP battery-equipped engine on a Type F lighting plant base, but the generator is missing. Does anyone know the type of generator used? I am looking for materials on operation of this unit. Any help from GEM readers would be greatly appreciated. Robert L. Rowe H, 145 Mollie Ave., Many, LA 71449.

A. The above book was published by Fairbanks-Morse, and may still be published by them. . . we're not sure. Perhaps some of our readers might be able to advise you regarding the generator.

33/8/11 Unidentified Engine

Q. See the two photos of an unidentified air cooled engine I purchased last winter. There is no nameplate nor are there any part numbers. Any information would be appreciated. Jim Windle, 4001 Fox Run Rd.,Powhatan,VA23139.

33/8/12 Piston Clearance

Q. What is the proper clearance between piston and cylinder bore? I have a 10 HP F-M hopper cooled engine that was flown out of the bush by helicopter. It is now at the British Columbia Institute of Technology to bore out the cylinder and resleeve it. However, I need to know the proper clearance. Dan Reilly, 170 Waterford Ave., Penticton, BC V2A 3T7 Canada.

A. Ordinarily, 0.001' is allowed per inch of diameter on the piston skirt, although some manufacturers allowed an extra .001' on top of the total. Using the latter rule, a 9-inch piston would have 0.009' clearance on the skirt, plus an added .001 of clearance for a total of 0.010' of clearance. However, the top land should have a clearance of 0.0035 per inch of diameter, and the second land should have a clearance of 0.002' per inch of diameter, because of the extra heat (and greater expansion). For show purposes, with no load, a hit-and-miss engine might safely have slightly less clearance, but for throttle-governed engines it is probably better to stay with the recommended clearances. The above figures were, by the way, derived from an ancient copy of the American Machinists Handbook.

33/8/13 Hercules Engines Recently we received e-mail from Dave Rotigel and Sons (http://www.iup. edu/~xddc/) regarding the Hercules engine, and a recent response we made. Dave responds:

You suggested that the 'E' on the s/n plate on a Hercules-built engine identified it as an Economy. In fact, this is the model number. The Model E engines were built from 1914-1923. Some 225,000 of them were built during that time. The lip on the hopper identifies it as such. The Economy hopper did not have a ' 'rolled-over'' lip and the hole was not oval, but was rectangular in shape.

33/8/14 Ingeco Engine Recently we received an e-mail from Jacques du Toit, with an e-mail address of jacquesdt@cyberserv. in South Africa, but we don't have his snailmail address. Anyway, he has a 4 HP Worthington engine, s/n 34849. He needs technical information on it, since many parts are missing, and he would like to restore it. If you have a 4 HP Ingeco or Worthington, and have access to e-mail, kindly contact this gentleman if you can be of help. We're sure he will be greatly delighted!

A Closing Word

In this column was a question we don't see very often. . . it related to the fitting of a piston within the cylinder bore. More often, we are queried about fitting piston rings. Quite often the ring lands are worn, sometimes very badly. In this situation there is little to do except to set the piston up in the lathe and carefully square up the ring grooves again. Once that is done, there is the job of fitting new rings to the odd-width you have left in the ring lands. Usually it is best to open up the lands to a set figure so that all three rings can be the same width.

Fit the rings up fairly snug in the grooves because after the engine runs an hour or so the tool marks will be worn off and there will be lots of clearance, perhaps more than you want. It is important to remember that ring leakage is usually UNDER the rings, not over the top. Also don't gap the rings any more than necessary. We usually leave somewhere between and of a thousandth per inch of diameter, leaning toward the high figure for the top two rings. If you're relatively new to all this, take heart. Even those of us who are accustomed to fitting rings don't always get the job we would like.

Speaking of old engines and tractors, has anyone ever figured out why everything from mice to bumblebees have a special liking for gas tanks and crank-cases of old engines? What with the sour gas, the grease, and the carbon, why would any living thing seek that location as their home? Mayhap someday a bureaucrat will get hold of this strange phenomenon and commission one of those government studies into these activities. After all, one would think a study like this could be done for under a million or two, plus offices, and of course, a research laboratory!