How I Became the Proud Owner of MY LITTLE 'M'

Content Tools

R.R. 2, Box 3S5, Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933

In the 1940s my granddad did small carpenter jobs, which I sometimes helped him with. When he did jobs of cement I would help him move the little 1 HP International model 'M' to the job. I had no idea at the time that someday that little 'M' would be mine.

My granddad passed away in the 1960s and the family had a tool sale. That is when I became the proud owner of the little 'M.' According to the serial numbers, the engine was built about 1920, with a trip ignitor on the side of the head. I took the little International home with me and put it out in back of the house, where it sat for the next 10-15 years.

When I built my new house out in the country, I put the little 'M' in the backyard with the magneto off of it. Ground squirrels had built a nest in it out of pignuts, hazel nuts, and all kinds of leaves. I had to unscrew the wing nut on the crankcase to get it off in order to clean the squirrels' nest out of it.

Then I moved the little engine into my shop, out of the weather, to begin restoring it. I oiled all the working parts so I could disassemble it. I removed all grease caps and pipes and plugged those holes, so sand would not get in it when it was sandblasted.

After it had been sandblasted and cleaned, I put a base primer on it. Then I had Dupont Delux 776700 paint mixed a shade lighter, as the original mix was too dark, almost black. The International Green, I felt, was also too dark.

My granddad ran the engine on a 9-volt dry cell battery and coil. He ran the negative wire from the battery to ground the engine and the positive wire from the coil to the clip on the trip ignitor.

I later found the original magneto, and it still had the gear on it, which was a surprise to me. During this part of the restoration, I put new wrist pin bushings and piston rings in it.

When the restoration was complete, I enjoyed taking my little 'M' to the 4-H Fair in Montgomery County and to the 'Old Fashion Day' exhibits.