DANGER!

Colonel Huston L. Herndon with Mrs. Denis McCormack

Colonel Huston L. Herndon is seen here with Mrs. Denis McCormack of Ormond Beach, Fla., and Timonium, Md. Colonel Herndon's collection forms the backbone of the American Royal Florida Steam and Gas Engine Roundup held each year at Bradenton-Sarasota, Fla. He puts in a tremendous effort to make the first show of the season a great success.

Courtesy Denis McCormack

Content Tools

I noticed in a recent issue of GEM where someone advised gasoline engine buffs to make engine valves from old auto, truck or tractor valves, by annealing with heat and turning down the stem in a lathe to the proper size.

Please warn your readers at your earliest convenience about the DANGER in applying heat to anneal a valve stem or using an old poppet valve for a punch.

Some poppet valves are hollow and filled with oil. They will explode like an atomic bomb right in your face if you attempt to heat them red hot or to use one as a punch. There is a much better and safer way to acquire a poppet valve for an old gasoline engine.

Just use a cold rolled piece of rod of the proper size and turn down about a half inch of the end so you will have a shoulder. Next get a cast iron pipe plug that is large enough and turn down to make the poppet end and drill a hole that will fit on the turned end of the rod. Heat to cherry red, place the cast iron poppet on the hot rod and rivet while hot. This makes a valve that will last many years in a gas engine. In the old days many of the manufacturers made them this way.

I have a collection of 21 old engines and I enjoy GEM very much.