Letters & Miscellanies

Hot air engine, New Way, engines from Down Under, Briggs & Stratton


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Hot air engine

Here is a photo of my hot air engine. I first became intrigued with Stirling cycle engines several years ago, reading about them in various magazines. Then I got a box of books at an auction and one was about hot air engines. I read and reread that book but had a hard time understanding how an engine could run just on hot air.

These engines are extremely rare in Canada. I had the opportunity to see one at the O'Keefe ranch near Vernon, British Columbia. Then things made sense and I decided to build one. I tried to find plans and had no success until I borrowed a copy of Steam & Stirling Engines You Can Build. It describes a 2-inch scale model. From this I scaled to the 5-inch size I had started to build, trying to replicate a Rider-Ericsson.

It is all built from ordinary materials. The cylinder is a section of hydraulic cylinder barrel, 5-inch bore. Most of the linkage has ball bearings. The pump is from brass stock and stainless steel. The power piston was machined from solid bronze. The flywheel came from an old bundle cutter and the firebox was a section of a grain chute. The burner is from a water heater. The firebox is brick lined and has grates so it could run on wood or coal, though I've never tried that. It is too easy to use propane. It takes 10 to 15 minutes after you fire up until it is ready to go. You just give the flywheel a flip and away it goes. It runs about 60-80 RPM and pumps about 100 gallons per hour.

This project was a lot of fun to build and even more fun to watch run. There are no gears, no ignition, no carburetor and no governor. I think I now understand how and why it runs, but it is still hard to explain. This engine is mounted on a skid, together with several other pump engines and water pumps to take to shows.

Don Voss, R.R. 1, Spiritwood, SAS, Canada, S0J 2M0

New Way

This is a 1915 New Way 1-1/2 HP engine before and after. It took about two years to get it running. It is air-cooled, has spark plug ignition and runs backward. The serial no. is 850.

I also need a recoil for an Ohlsson & Rice power plant. I think it was made in the 1960s.

Norman Smyth, Box 27, Birtle, MAN, Canada, R0M 0C0


Last issue we put an exclusive story on our website concerning the Stephenson County Antique Engine Club, Stover engines and ledgers. We said C.H. Wendel had donated Stover ledgers to the club, located in Freeport, Ill.

We've since been informed the club has yet to receive the ledgers, though the donation was announced at the Stover Reunion in July of last year. Photos in the article showed Wendel, Curt Andree and Ron Wiley posing with sales ledgers already belonging to the club.

Also, the photo of the Stover upright engine labeled as Curt's 5 HP Model C engine was incorrect. His engine is directly behind it with the Stover name on the water tank. - Editor

Engines from Down Under

The Talbot Vintage Engine Rally was held March 17-18, 2007. This is a little rally in Victoria, Australia. The town's population reaches no more than around 150 people, however this is where a great family-orientated club is based. This year, the rally coincided with the very famous Talbot farmers market, which was great for both ventures.

We had a good number of engines (see the following photos) on display at the rally from chaff and wood cutting to flour making and anything in between. The engines on display ranged in origin from Australia, New Zealand, England and America.

Sunday saw the local Country Firefighting Assn. do a firefighting display, there were also classic cars on display as well as tractors. A fabulous and fun weekend was had by all who attended.

Brent Freeman, Maryborough, Victoria, Australia; pipbrent@optusnet.com.au

Briggs & Stratton

Years ago, when I was making a service call on a 1947 Plymouth, its owner offered me an old 1-cylinder engine. I knew it was unusual, but years of use and decades of disuse had left it a dirty, oily mess.

My first task was cleaning the engine. What appeared out of the grime was a 1936 Briggs & Stratton Model ZL, serial no. 6758. It is of prewar design with an integral P.K. Lindsay air compressor, Model E12, serial no. 2772.

The Lindsay compressor fills the two long blue tanks under the frame and is driven directly from the B&S crankshaft.

I have currently bypassed the magneto and use only the points to provide the spark. That is the reason for the small 12-volt battery you may be able to see below the carburetor.

In application, this engine-compressor would have served as a mobile air source for tires, tools or spraying.

Henry Dodgen, 1105 Hillcrest Road, Newberry, SC 29108; (803) 276-0325

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