Box 376, Columbus, New Mexico 88029
In my opinion, those of us who seek aging piles of rust for the
sole purpose of saving ancient items for posterity, go through two
drug influenced stages in our chosen task.
The first, of course, is the adrenalin high which follows the
successful convincing of some victim that he has no earthly use for
that scrap pile, and could at least buy a couple of drinks with the
generous sawbuck or two we have offered him.
The second, which involves even more adrenalin, comes after the
long period of pounding, sandblasting, cleaning, repairing and
painting of the who is. This is when you back up your Honda to the
flywheel, and rev up said Honda till the flywheels get going and
the long awaited banging and chugging starts. I don’t believe
any stimulant can equal the charge you get from watching the
putti-putti doing its thing. My wife shakes her head sadly every
time I walk past the Maytag, give it a confident kick, and leap for
joy when it starts its bangity-bang.
I am looking forward to another one of those ‘second
highs’ perhaps next summer, but in the meantime I thought
others might be interested in the process I went through getting my
scrap pile home after the ‘first high.’
For a couple of years I had noticed the old Fairbanks Morse 4
horse vertical water cooled thumper sitting on the bank of Lake
Chelan some halfway up the lake and on a 15-foot bluff miles from
the nearest road. It had apparently been used to run a pump for a
small orchard up the hill. One spring, I noted there had been a
small brush fire in the area, and the old machine was laying on its
side. I immediately twisted the arm of a friendly County Treasurer,
found out who was paying taxes on that area, and looked him up.
Making my ‘museum material’ spiel as convincing as I could,
I soon walked away with a rough receipt for the old engine.
The following pictures illustrate the process of getting it
home. Taking off cylinder, piston and rod to get the big chunk down
to about 500 pounds, carefully lowering it over the bank into a 400
pound capacity Meyers boat with some 1000 feet of water below it;
towing it some 10 miles down lake; and finally getting it into
shallow water at a boat ramp. Lake Chelan is about 1400 feet deep
off the bluff area, so needless to say I had two 1/2′ nylon
lines on it at all times, fastened to the heavy ski eyes on the
stern of my boat. It was a job, but fun, and it will all be
justified one day when it starts thumpety thumping.