| November/December 1997

1501 Banbury Court Richardson, Texas 75082

It all really began four years ago when I realized that all my numerous past hobbies had been limited in some way by a lack of two basic tools and the knowledge to use them. Now, I had the normal stuff like a drill press, Dremel tool, grinder, etc., but my retired friend Clem had a nice shop with two significant items that I didn't have: a small milling machine and a metal lathe. He said a fellow could make about anything with these!

My impression was that you needed to devote a career as a machinist to have any hope of making anything meaningful made of metal with moving parts. However, things changed after several engine shows with those model gas engines puffing away next to their full size counterparts.

The rest is history with a 'Jet' milling machine and 13' lathe proudly in stalled in my small workshop and three finished model engine kits behind my belt, including Brad Smith's scale Maytag Upright.

Starting off slow, with simple projects which came with instructions rather than just a confusing drawing, really helped. When I got stuck, which was often, my friends were more than ready and willing to offer help. I learned through experience that this fraternity of home shop machinists have an unwritten universal code to answer all rookie questions without the person ever realizing that they may be meaning less or really stupid. I feel that these great guys understand that the apprentice machinist has enough problems living with himself.

With this as background information, my next pursuit was to obtain a full-size upright to display at engine shows next to the scale version. This took me to Emmett, Kansas, last year to extract several HP uprights from the jaws of bidders undergoing a feeding frenzy at a large antique gas engine auction. I had no idea that Maytag collectors were that serious; an old glass gallon Maytag oil jug went for $750. When the auctioneer finally got around to my engines of interest, I was not hopeful of staying within my allowance which had been pre-negotiated with the queen (my lovely, understanding wife who is typing this article for me!).


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