A Brief Word

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As we assemble this column in early July, we are also doing the page proofs for our new book, Standard Catalog of Farm Tractors. As noted earlier, the intended publication date was pushed back due to the tragic death of our editor, John Brecka. Picking up where he left off was quite a difficult job. After various delays and problems, the book has made it to the final stages, and by the time you read this copy, we may have it in production. We are pleased with the layout, and hope that the vast amount of information will be useful to those interested in vintage tractors.

Plans keep moving along for our planned tour of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand next February. By early autumn we will be moving into the final stages. We may still have a few places available in case you would like to join us.

This month the queries are pretty scarce . . . that is the usual thing this time of year. After all, who wants to spend his time writing letters when there are so many interesting things to do outdoors?

Our friends Klaus and Petra Hottges from Germany left Boston about June 30 for a tractor tour that will end in San Francisco. They plan to stop in Amana along their way. We admire anyone who has the courage to drive a tractor across the United States. In their instance it is a 1955 Lanz Bulldog.

Our first query is:

35/9/1 Type M and Tiny Tim Q. Photo 1A is a 'before' and 1B is an 'after' of a 1? HP McCormick-Deering engine. It needed lots of parts, and many of these came from various GEM advertisers . Also see 1C of a Tiny Tim Battery Charger. It is a Model L65, s/n K-1529, 6 volts, and 240 watts, It was made by Continental Motors, Muskegon, Michigan. Can anyone provide any information on this unit? Carl G. Guretse, 304 Perkiomen Ave., Lansdale, PA 19446.

35/9/2 Gray EngineQ. Can you provide any information on a Gray engine, s/n G2648? I need help with parts for the governor, ignition system and the correct color scheme. It has a 4? inch bore, but I don't know the horsepower. Any information would be appreciated. Dick Stoats, 1441-17? Rd., Fruita, CO 81521.

35/9/3 Fairbanks-MorseQ. I have a 2 HP Fairbanks-Morse Type T with a cast iron water hopper and s/n C8176. Can you shed some light on this strange number? Also, I was reading in GEM where an individual had a Fairbanks-Morse Model 52 and a s/n in the 500,000 range. I have a similar engine with s/n 505170. This puts the manufacturing date at 1922, but this doesn't fit in with the style. Can anyone explain this? Roy Hotz Jr., PO Box 670, Martindale, TX 78655.

A. We cannot give you an explanation. Perhaps the C prefix on the Type T was for 'Canada.' The 500,000 numbers for the Model 52 are even more peculiar, since we are quite certain that F-M engines were numbered consecutively, regardless of size or model.

35/9/4 Sandwich EngineQ. I would like to know the color scheme for a Sandwich 1? HP engine. Russell Lane, PO Box 24, Peru, Maine 04290-0024.

A. We have DuPont 28968, 65541, and 67783 all listed as being comparable green to the original. We are not sure of the striping except that it was orange, and we think that Sandwich decals are available.

35/9/5 From ScotlandQ. Our friend, John Caldwell, Kelk Cottage, Crosshouse, By Kilmarnock, Scotland KA2 OBG sends a photo:

On a recent visit to New Zealand I came upon a derelict water tanker on tracks. The plate on the drawbar states that the maker was The Athey Truss Wheel Co., Chicago USA. Any information would be welcome.

A. Sometime ago we visited Kilmarnock. The Ayrshire Vintage Tractor & Machinery Club conferred Honorary Lifetime Membership upon ye olde Reflector and his wife at that time. We carry many fond memories of that visit with us, and the plaque they presented to us hangs prominently in our home.

35/9/6 Tractor Clubs in California 

D. Lahmeyer, PO Box 1013, Santa Cruz, CA 95061-1013 would like to know of any tractor/engine clubs in Central California Coast area. Please contact him if you can be of help.

35/9/7 Fordson Questions Q. I have a 1927 Fordson and need to know where to find some good babbitt to fix the rod and main bearings. What kind of weld rod can you use on the rear axles where the bearing is? What can be used on the worm or the gear that goes on the worm that has the spline on the end? Also, I have a Speedex tractor Model 1630, 16 HP. Photos 7A and 7B show the Fordson; 7C and 7D show the Speedex. Jesse Viney, 3102 Boston Avenue, Lakeland View, S/D, Pascagoula, MS 39581.

A. Babbitt is sometimes available through the GEM advertisers. So far as welding up the rear axles, you will then have to machine them again, and we haven't tried this to know how well it would work. We would be hesitant to attempt building up the gear teeth you mention. These are hardened gears, so welding them would be difficult, if not impossible. Besides, after welding the temper will be gone, and there is no decent way to again harden them.

35/9/8 Banner EngineQ. See the photos of a 1? HP Banner engine with a 3? x 5 inch bore and stroke. It came from a North Jersey junkyard where it was half buried for 50 years, so it took a great deal of work to restore it to running condition. I would like to find any possible information on this engine. John A. Klemchak, 850 Forest St., Fairlawn, NJ 07410.

35/9/9 From South Africa Q. See the photo of a two-Cylinder Universal engine, s/n 31391. The radiator is not original, although the top and bottom hose connectors and bottom mounting brackets are still original. American Gas Engines shows only a four-cylinder engine without the radiator. Can anyone provide me with dimensions of the original radiator, or even a photo? The exhaust system is also missing. Any further information on this engine would be greatly appreciated and most welcome. Andy Selfe, Weathertop Farm, Jagersvlakte Road, PO Box 41, Elgin 7180 South Africa.

35/9/10 Tractor Questions 

Tom Foreman, 1817 SR 83, Unit 348, Millersburg, OH 44654 would like to find any information on a Sears Handi-Man garden tractor of about 1959. Also he would like to know if anyone has a service manual for a Massey-Harris 44 tractor. Does anyone make side panels for the Massey Harris 22? Is the s/n stamped in the chassis of a Massey-Harris 44? If you can answer any of these questions, please contact Tom at the above address.

35/9/11 Briggs & Stratton 

Tim Frew has a Model 23FB B & S engine on a small roller. He would like to know what horsepower this engine might be, and what new engine he could use as a replacement. The roller was used to pave many driveways and parking lots, but is getting more cantankerous with each use. If you have e-mail, contact Tim at; if not, send your comments to Reflections in care of GEM.

35/9/12 Letz MillQ. Fred Rademacher, 4027 Wagonseller Rd, Green Valley, IL 61534 has a Letz burr mill with JD (John Deere) on the hopper, and needs to know the original color(s). The mill is a Type A, s/n 22587.

A. We know the frame is blue and the hopper is orange, but we don't have any color matches. Can anyone help?

A Closing Word

Jerry E. Brown, 8929 Hubbard St., Culver City, CA 90232 writes:

I enjoy the articles about old lathes, and have a 1917 South Bend in my shop. It is a 13 x 40 which I bought from a fellow Live Steamer who had used it to build miniature locomotives. From 1975 until I retired in 1994 it was in regular use making more train parts for the live steam hobby . It is still still in use and runs fine.

There was a tool post grinder in the tooling assortment that came with it. This caused some concern because we all know what that can do to unprotected lathe ways. The bed is in fact swaybacked, but it has caused no difficulties for me or the previous users. The crossfeed screw shows no serious wear.

I did a lot of work on it, including a motor driven power feed and a traction engine style clutch on the countershaft. It is a joy to watch it peeling off chips to the sound of that flat belt slapping around the cones, It won't cut ? inch blue chips and only has a ? inch hole in the spindle, but for my purposes, it is just fine. I often wonder what the people who built it might think if they could know that their handiwork is still going strong after 83 years (and counting)!! Regarding a swaybacked lathe, we have seen all kinds of 'cures' for the problem. Sometimes one can shim up one leg a bit, actually twisting the bed a few thousandths. Sometimes we have seen a custom-made lifting screw set beneath the bed in a appropriate spot to lift the bed a bit. We are sure that some folks will cringe at this idea, but if it works, why not?

We'll try to get some additional material for next month. Right now, we are going to work on collating and binding the new Notebooks that have been in production for several months.