A Brief Word

Edwards Engines


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Well, Y2K is all but forgotten. We wrote in the last issue that just in case it materialized, we had the ol' Junkers diesel ready. Though it didn't happen, we still had the hankering to hear the old girl, so we piped the exhaust outside the garage and ran her anyway.

We are already at work on going to Australia in February 2001 for the National Rally in Tasmania. It will run from March 9 to March 11 (Friday-Sunday) in 2001. There aren't any details yet of course, but for those interested in Australia, here's some forward notice.

We get The Olde Machinery Magazine from Australia. It is always interesting, and we are always amazed at the American-built engines and tractors that ended up there. Of course, International Harvester recognized the potential for Australia early on, and established an assembly plant at Geelong. Shipping assembled engines and tractors to Australia was not feasible due to the import duties, so IH simply shipped the parts to Australia and assembled them there. In the early days, IH was very strong in Australia, as was Allis-Chalmers, but to a lesser degree.

A recent article in TOMM from Australia discusses the Type FF McDonald Oil Engine. It was closely copied from the St. Marys H.O. engine built in the U.S., and used the Hvid fuel system. The latter was actually developed by Brons in the Netherlands, but was licensed by Hvid for North America and, obviously, some other countries.

As we have stated previously, the R. M. Hvid Company was simply the licensee for the Brons oil engine patents. Thermoil, Davenport, St. Marys, and numerous other oil engines were all built under the Brons design, and differed little in detail.

Due to the Christmas holidays our queries this month are fewer than usual, but we begin with:

35/3/1 Edwards on Edwards

Harold Edwards, 1201 E. Center St., Warren, IN 46580 writes:

Regarding the recent articles on Edwards engines (Nov. '99 and Dec. '99 GEM), I hope we can find out how many still exist. We have three spark plug engines restored. The first one was purchased from Mr. Cougills at Rich-wood, Ohio, in 1979. It is No. 7438. The second one (s/n 20613) came from central Ohio in 1985, and the third one from Michigan in 1995. It is s/n 17670.

These engines do not have the air throttle, must use a hole for priming. They usually start real easy by priming both cylinders and using a strap around the pulley. They run very smooth and are powerful. They also run better when hot, with the water boiling.

Edwards engineers were way before their time. Two rods operate four valves; speed control is very easy, and in my opinion it was a good design. However the muffler position is bad, and the cast iron is of poor quality. The bottom of the water hopper is too thin and is easily broken out. Engineering of the flywheel mounting to the crankshaft could have been better. The flywheel is secured with four studs which will break off. After all my fault finding, I think they are a great show piece; I like to hear them run. We do not find many at the shows, and very few are running.

Although my name is Edwards, we are no relation to the people who built the engines. I have two sons, and each is to have an Edwards engine some day. If I can be of help to Edwards owners, I will be happy to try. See the photos of my Edwards engines. (Also, see additional contributions about Edwards engines on page 8.)

35/3/2 Ottawa Log Saws Q. Jeff Knaack, 2401 Jennings St., Sioux City, 1A 51104-4250 would like to find more information on the Ottawa log saws, including some history of the company. Can anyone be of help?

35/3/3 Reo Lawn Mower Q. Norman Grathwohl, RR 5, Box 24, New Ulm, MN 56073 is restoring a Reo lawn mower and would like to know if or where decals might be found.

35/3/4 Shaw Du-All Q. I recently acquired a Shaw Du-All built by Shaw Mfg. Co., Galesburgh, Kansas. It is Model H5A, but the s/n is illegible. I would like to find information on what kind of engine was used, and what tires and wheels were used. What implements were available? Eugene Alt, 1720 Heron Ave., Audubon, 1A 50035.

35/3/5 RE: Drain Your Engines Q. James L. Johnson, 4115- 298th Ct., Auburn, WA 98001 writes: After a trip to participate in a small show in Union, Oregon, I returned and put the engines into storage. My wife asked, 'Did you drain those engines?' I answered, 'Yes!' Shortly after, my wife was reading GEM and saw your reminder, so she said I better check to make sure. And they were NOT drained! Thanks for the reminder!

A. Sometimes we worry about ranting on too much about things like safety, draining engines, and other details. We're sure happy that we ranted on, and were of some help!

35/3/6 Speedex Garden Tractor Q. John W. Gunter, PO Box l68, Elmer, LA 71424 writes: I have purchased a Speedex garden tractor. I would like to hear from anyone with information, such as parts books, manuals, etc. We have been told that it is about a 1960 model. It has 'S-24' on the hood. Any information would be appreciated. My email address is

35/3/7 Standard Motor Company Q. What is the address of Standard Motor Company in Minnesota? Truman Wallenmeyer, 10665 Ritchie Rd., Prairie Home, MO 65068-2111.

A. We don't believe this company is still in business. Any comments from anyone?

35/3/8 Push-A-Bike Q. In the late 1930s a company in Aurora, Missouri, made a Push-A-Bike engine attachment for a bicycle. It used a small Briggs & Stratton engine with direct-chain-drive to a 10-inch pneumatic wheel on the ground. This attached to the left side of the bicycle. Any information would be appreciated. Richard Wetzel, 2301 -61st, Lubbock,TX79412.

35/3/9 Briggs & Stratton Q.I have a Briggs & Stratton engine, Type 60,832, Model A, s/n 13677. I would like to know when it was made, and the horsepower. Jack Heard, 525 Grow's Mill Rd., Wilmore, KY 40390-9737.

35/3/10 Q. Howard Hill, 9215 SR 303, Wind-ham, OH 44288 would like to find any information on the three-point hitch attachment for the jeep, as built in the late 1940s and early 1950s. If you have any information please contact Howard at the above address.

35/3/11 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photos of an unidentified engine. Only part of the nameplate is left and it indicates that the engine was built at [Mil] waukee, Wisconsin, has a 31/8 x 4? inch bore and stroke, and s/n 103028. Any information would be appreciated. Alfred Steppich, 94 Tonjes Rd., Callicoon, NY 12723.

A. We would suppose your engine is a LeRoi, given the base design and the bore and stroke dimensions. LeRoi built thousands of the 31/8 x 4? design in one, two, and four-cylinder sizes. The latter was used in a great many small tractors. If anyone can supply additional information, kindly contact Mr. Steppich.

35/3/12 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photos of a small unidentified engine. A friend of mine found it at an old mine in the Nevada desert some forty years ago. It has a threaded hole about 3/8 of an inch at the top end of the cylinder and a small 1/8 inch hole in the side of the cylinder, where a milled, rounded notch is shown halfway down the cylinder. There is no magneto. A patent date of November 20, 1909 is cast into the base. Any information would be appreciated, jerry Bandy, 405 -5th St., East Alton, IL 62024.

A. We checked the U.S. Patent Office Gazette. Patents are issued every Tuesday, and 1909 didn't check out correctly. We worked backward and found that November 20, 1900 was correct. Finally, we found Patent No. 662,181 of that date, and it looks somewhat like the photos you sent. The patent was issued to George J. Altham and John Beattie of Fall River, Massachusetts. That's all the information we could find.

35/3/13 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photos of an engine said to be a Cushman marine model. It has a belt-driven fan, sprocket between flywheel and crankcase, top mounted tank, and a 1? x 9 inch flywheel. There is no nameplate, but casting numbers include VA-1 on crankcase, VA199A on breather, and VA30 on inspection plate. Any information on this engine would be appreciated. Ken Vincent, 508 Shady Lane, Sulphur, LA 70663. email:

35/3/14 Stuart-Turner Marine

Frank Killing, 2339 Fairgreen Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016 has a marine engine with reverse gear. It was built by Stuart-Turner Ltd., Henley-on-Thames, England. It is No. P55M/ 70668 - 8 HP. The reverse gear is No. 70668. The engine is missing a number of parts and he would like to find further information and a parts source.

35/3/15 Safety

Eldredge Driver, 19 CR 4007, Crane Hill, AL 35053 sent us this photo (15-A) of a tractor that came off a trailer while reloading. We have no details of where this mishap occurred, or if anyone was injured. Here's graphic proof of what can happen...please be careful! Mr. Driver also sent us a photo of a 1? HP Royal engine that belongs to a fellow in Mississippi, see photo 15-B.

35/3/16 Information Needed

Frank Kuehl, 724 Congress St., Neenah, WI 54956 writes that he recently purchased his first two engines. One is a Fuller &. Johnson 2? HP Model NC, and the other is a 3 HP Type M, IHC engine. Mr. Kuehl is looking for service and operating information on these engines. Some of our regular GEM advertisers have materials, and perhaps some of our readers also have some information. If you can be of help, please contact Mr. Kuehl at the above address.

35/3/17 December GEM Engine

In 34/12/4 of the December 1999 GEM, there was a picture of an engine on the river bank up in Oregon. I wasn't sure what it was until I looked at a St. Marys Oil Engine booklet. The engine in the photo is a one-cylinder version of their stackable engine, built in sizes from one to six cylinders. Steve Butler, 1457 Calle Pasado, Lompoc, CA 93436.

35/3/18 Thanks!

to Don Green, PO Box 618, Allyn, WA 98524-0618. Although he says he won't be able to join us in Australia for the 2001 Tour, he nevertheless sent along a stack of valuable information to help plan the tour. Thanks!

35/3/19 Letz Burr Mill

Mike Sullivan, Box 571, Pittsford, VT 05753 has a belt-driven Letz burr mill for which he would like further information. His mill was built in the 1930s. Any help would be appreciated. See photo.

35/3/20 In Reply to 35/1/4

The tool is a gauge for sizing horseshoes and the like. Kenneth Kahler, RR 3, Box 88, Franklin, PA 16323.

35/3/21 Thomas-Built Tractor

Verne L. Nibbe, 421 Cedar Pond Rd., Hartwell, GA 30643 writes that he recently acquired a small tractor similar to an Allis-Chalmers Model G. It is powered by a one-cylinder Wisconsin engine and has a hydrostatic drive. The decal on the gas tank calls it a 'Thomas-Built' tractor, but it has a lot in common with another called the 'Tuff-Built.' Any information on this tractor would be appreciated.

35/3/22 General Model D

Dick Hamp, 1772 Conrad Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124 writes that the engine of 35/1/8 (January 2000 GEM) is a General Model D, 1?-2? horsepower. They were built by General Engines Co., a division of Leuthesser Bros. at Franklin Park, Illinois. Dick writes that he is sure they built more than ten of these engines, since he personally knows of three or four of them himself. From the sales literature, it appears that they were a well built engine, and listed at $40. Dick now has an email address of

35/3/23 F-M Forest Fire Outfit

Bob Hitchcock, PO Box 1543, Overton, NV 89040 sends a photo of a Fairbanks-Morse Forest Fire Pumping Outfit, Job No. 706A, Outfit No. K28. The engine is of two-cylinder, two-cycle design and is identical to a Waterman inboard engine he also owns. When we completed our book on Fairbanks-Morse in 1993, we ran across a little folder at the Beloit, Wisconsin, factory for the above outfit. It said little, and no one knew anything about it, when or how long it was built, and in the photo archives nothing was found. Perhaps this is one of those situations where Fairbanks-Morse contracted with Waterman to build the engine, while F-M perhaps supplied the pump and the mounting frame, then attached their own nameplate. We simply do not know.

35/3/24 Myers Pumping Outfit Q. See the photos of a Myers Orchard Spraying Rig. I would like to know the age of this outfit, and further information on the Novo engine. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Stuart Davidson, 9525 Nita Lane, Streetsboro, OH 44241.

35/3/25 Standard Twin

Mike Harper, 11400 N. 1750th Rd., Macomb, IL 61455 needs information on a Standard Twin garden tractor, s/n 37C2549. If you can be of help regarding its age and service information, please contact Mike at the above address.

A Closing Word

We wonder how many small (or large) lathes are owned by our readers, but get little use. Running a lathe can be great fun, but requires some basic knowledge first. First of all comes the gearing. A quick-change gear box is the easiest and most convenient, since it is very easy to change the feed. Many older lathes and a few of the later ones came with a nest of loose gears, thus the slang term, a 'loose-geared lathe.'

A great many older lathes are still in use that were originally set up for operation from an overhead lineshaft. Thousands of these have been converted to a direct motor drive by mounting the top cone pulley on a separate framework above the spindle and operating the lathe with an electric motor. Few shops remain where the machines are operated through lineshafting, clutches, and belts. If one should find a nice old lathe with the top cone pulley gone, it is probably worthwhile to set it up using an old four-speed transmission to get the speed changes.

In American practice, lathe size is determined by the diameter of work that can be run. An example would be a 20-inch lathe. This would run work up to 20 inches in diameter, with a radius from the spindle to the lathe bed of slightly over 10 inches. European practice would call this a 10-inch lathe however, meaning that the machine could run work with a 10-inch radius.

For the average home shop, small lathes can do satisfactory work. However, heavy roughing cuts and similar applications will not run very well. The lathe simply does not have enough mass to stand heavy loads. The spindle is not heavy enough, nor are the bearings. Likewise the bed and carriage simply are not large enough to withstand heavy strains. For this kind of work, look for a heavy machine.

Various manufacturers have designed lathe beds in different ways, and probably one is as good as another. Some run the carriage on two v-ways, while others run on one v-way and one flat way. Regardless, it must always be remembered that most work is relatively short, and chances are that the lathe bed will be low up close to the chuck. This allows the carriage to settle a few thousandths, and changes the diameter of the work being turned. There are various methods of compensating for this problem. One of the old machinist tricks was to set the tool a bit high back at the outside end of the work. As the carriage moves toward the headstock, settling a bit as it goes, the tool bit also drops imperceptibly, taking a slightly heavier cut than when out at the tailstock end of the job. Next time we will talk about setting up and leveling a lathe.