5444 Davison Road, Lapeer, Michigan 48446
As a hobby, I have collected and restored the old hit and miss engines for many years. A few years ago, I saw some model engines at an engine show and purchased a kit. I thought that these would be easier to move around and handle while still allowing me to enjoy the hobby that I have enjoyed for so long. After completing a few of these kits, I built a couple of my own, completely from scratch using the knowledge that I have acquired over the years of the original hit and miss engines.
About two years ago, I got to thinking that if I could build a model square piston engine that would actually run, I would have something unusual and unique. So I set out to do just that and the end product is what you see here.
One of my main concerns was how to get compression. I decided to make four overlapping pieces to go around each piston to use as rings. Then I put strings behind each segment to force them out toward the cylinder wall. By doing this, I got the compression that I needed to run the engine. The end result surprised me as to the amount of compression that this gave me and how well the engine runs. It runs just as well as the original hit and miss engines with the round piston. I was so pleased with the end result, that I proceeded to start making another square piston model, this one having a 1/8 inch larger piston and a different style. By the time this article is published, I should have it completed.
I attend several of the engine shows in the Michigan area as well as the show in Portland, Indiana. I am planning on having both of these engines on display in the future, so I hope to see many of you there.