One AdOne Witte


| July/August 1995



2 HP Witte

RD 4, Box 143 Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601

By March of 1994 my 11 year old son had finished work on the 2 HP Witte that his mother and I had given him for Christmas (see GEM October 1994), and we were both looking forward to the 1994 show season. My only problem was that I had no 'new' old iron to show for the upcoming season. I had looked, but nothing of real interest had surfaced.

Then my wife suggested that an ad in a small weekly paper we receive might get some results. I didn't think so but the ad was free so I decided to give it a try. 'Wanted Antique Stationary Engines. Hercules, Witte, Oil City, Fairbanks-Morse, etc. Any size, any condition,' the ad read. To my surprise, two days after the ad appeared, my wife got a call from a woman whose husband had started restoring a large engine and had then injured his back and could not complete the restoration. I called him immediately, and set up a time the following evening to go to see what he had.

Scott Rubright had begun the job right! The 8 HP Witte which he was selling had been completely disassembled and sandblasted. He had removed and cleaned the piston and rings, honed the cylinder and reinstalled the piston and crank. Other than that, the parts were in boxes all neatly labeled! Scott told me that he had obtained the engine in upper New .York state several years ago, and that although he had never had it running it was 'all there.' The only problem was the exhaust valve which had been rusted shut and was now in three pieces. We agreed on a price, and the next evening I picked up the Witte and brought it home.

Being a member of the Fort Allen Antique Farm Equipment Association has many advantages not the least of which is that there is always a club member who either has the part you need to complete a project or can make it! What I needed was an exhaust valve for my Witte and ,1 thought I knew a club member who could help. I called Harvey Bush at H&B Machine Shop and he told me, 'Sure, bring the head down and I'll either find a valve for it or make one.' The next day I delivered the head to Harvey.

Now came the real fun. It looked like the parts were all there, but how the heck did they go together? That's where my son Dan's 2 HP Witte sure came in handy. His and mine were exactly the same except that someone had given mine steroids! After several evenings' work, the 8 HP Witte was all together, but it still looked pretty sad. Scott had primed it after he sandblasted, but he had used about four different colors of primer! I was now convinced that the engine was complete, however, and Harvey had manufactured a new exhaust valve for it, so it was time to take it apart and ready it for paint.