Modeler's Corner

Scale Updates

LittleSamsonprototype.jpg

Left: The Little Samson prototype with the full-size Samson in the background.

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Hello again, everyone. I'm still waiting to finish repairs on my old milling machine, so I haven't made the progress on the Gade I'd hoped for. I expect to be back on track in a few weeks, and once I'm moving ahead I'll continue my report on building the scale Gade from Morrison and Marvin.

Last issue I mentioned that Lester Bowman was continuing work on his scale Samson. Lester has provided an update on the project, which appears below.

In the meantime, I'm still planning on being at the 2005 North American Model Engineering Society show (NAMES), which will be held April 23-24, in Southgate, Mich. I'll have a full report in a future issue, and I'm still planning on having the Gade ready by NAMES.

We don't get a lot of news in this hobby, but I recently found out that Rich Dickey, who wrote the five-part scale Redwing buildup series that first started in the November 2004 issue of Gas Engine Magazine, has bought Redwing!

Vic Greenwood has been running the company since 1999, but he decided it was time to exit the business. Rich had so much fun building his engine, he decided to make scale engines a full-time part of his life. So congratulations to Rich, who's discovered quickly what the rest of us already knew, and that's how much fun building scale engines is. Is this hobby great, or what?

This month's tip for model and scale parts sources:

Rich Dickey is the new owner of Redwing Motor Co. Contact him at: P.O. Box 581, Lead Hill, AR 72644; (870) 436-3921; info@redwingmotor.com The new website is: www.redwingmotor.com

Have a tip other model makers should know? Send it to Rusty Hopper at Gas Engine Magazine; rustyhopper@hotmail.com

Scale Samson Webspoke

The little webspoke is taking shape as you can see in the form of gray iron castings. Although not perfect, I believe they will serve their purpose very well.

The foundry used fine grain sand leaving a nice, smooth finish, so the castings file up and machine easily. I'm very happy with the end results, although I may modify the cylinder pattern somewhat to provide a little more material to machine.

Comparing the castings with the wooden patterns reveal more information than any book could ever teach. Every question I had about pattern making is answered by the casting. It is wonderful to see that this worked and the draft was correct.

You remember the frustrating curves in the base pattern when you see the smooth flowing lines in iron. You forget the hundred C-clamps purchased to hold wood together and the Bondo fumes and glue all over everything … and the sawdust, the never-ending sawdust! All these things become insignificant when you hold a perfectly formed iron flywheel in your hands. It's as if one has just painted a Mona Lisa!

Now the fun begins. I can't begin to express how excited I am to begin the machining and assembly of Little Sam. It's as if I'm working in the Samson Iron Works itself when I handle these little castings. It's like reaching back through time itself because, in essence, I am facing the same challenges they did, though on a smaller scale.

Shrink fits, tapered gib keys, machined cams, babbitt bearings, solid turned rod with brasses and an igniter - Oh, the challenges!

Above: A close-up of the finely detailed webbing cast into the Samson's main base.

But soft spring days and warm summer nights are best when combined with lathe and file. It's the song that has been sung by many men who dream of power in flywheels and controlled explosion.

I will send an update every three months or so as progress allows. It appears to be about a two-year project. After the basic engine is completed with all four cycles taking place, the secondary patterns will be made and machined. There is no deadline on Little Sam. No need to hurry, just enjoy.

Contact engine enthusiast Lester Bowman at: 175 N. Santa Ana, Modesto, CA 95354; (209) 527-4665; samsonironwks2003@yahoo.com

Rusty's Mailbag: Scale Marion

I love building models of old engines, and last year when I finished my Corliss steam engine model, I started looking for a new subject. I didn't have to look far, as there is a very fine collection of old engines almost in my own backyard. As a member of the Texas Early Day Tractor & Engine Assn., I have met some collectors of some really interesting old iron, and it didn't take long to get really interested in an old Marion 25.

The engine is a sideshaft design, with a 12-inch bore and 19-inch stroke. It has 66-inch diameter flywheels, but one of the more unusual features is its use of exhaust and intake boxes. These are square, almost cubical. The intake box is in the side of the head, and the exhaust is on the front. Not much is known about the Marion's manufacturer, and if anyone has information I would like to hear from you.

The model I'm building is a 1/5-scale, and in this size model, it's possible to scale a lot of detail quite precisely. All total, there will be 22 castings. I have enclosed a picture of the first 17, just back from the foundry. Patterns for the piston, three bearing caps and base are still in progress.

The basic specifications are:

Bore: 2-3/8 inches
Stroke: 3-13/16 inches
Flywheel: 13-1/2-inch diameter
Base Overall Length: 16 inches

Contact: Maury Uebelhor, 111 Valley View Drive E., Leander, TX 78641; (512) 260-8215; maury@ecpi.com