A Brief Word
In the February issue there were numerous comments about
repairing flywheels. Without going into the engineering details of
stresses, forces and other technicalities, let it be said that ye
olde Reflector is adamantly opposed to repairing flywheels. Our
attitude is, ‘If it’s busted, don’t use it.’ While
there are some people who likely can repair a flywheel in a
satisfactory and safe way, there are many others who think they
can. Why take the risk? Cast iron has a way of turning to shrapnel.
We just don’t think it is worth the risk.
In the same connection, there were numerous comments about
shrink fits. Now in the case of a cracked hub (say around the
keyway), an iron band shrunk over the hub is a good idea. However,
don’t take our word for it, talk with a professional engineer
if one is available to you, or at the least consult a text like
Machinery’s Handbook before calculating the shrink you
Some of the figures we saw in the February article will give too
much shrink, and others will not give enough. Again, if you
don’t know what you are doing, go to someone who knows, and
preferably not to some windbag who has all the answers to
everything. We’re sure you folks tire of us incessantly talking
about safety, but that’s the only way we can prevent a
Remember, too, that the tragedy can happen in your own back
yard, perhaps with your grandkids. Accidents don’t just happen
at engine shows or county fairs. Nowadays, in our sue-happy world,
if it can be proved that you knew there was a problem ahead of time
and did nothing about it, that’s called negligence. If that is
proved against you, somebody else is gonna own what you now call
yours. Please be careful!
The March issue arrived while we were typing this copy in early
February. We note the article about magnet chargers. We heartily
agree that the more amp-turns the better job you will do of
recharging a magnet. The matter of permeability is also
However, we have always charged a magnet by putting it over the
poles, and after energizing the coils we tap the magnet lightly
with a piece of brass (or a brass hammer). This helps rearrange the
molecules within the magnet.
In a plain spark coil (as used in ignition), rapid decay of the
magnetic field is essential. In a magnet charger it is desirable as
well, but not nearly so important. One time we had a couple
good-sized chunks of that laminated steel that is used in
transformers etc. This stuff is dead soft, and won’t retain
magnetism for any length of time at all. We never got a chance to
use it in building a charger because someone (we don’t even
remember who) talked us out of it for the same purpose.
When charging magnets, the top pole pieces need to be perfectly
smooth and not covered with rust and crud. The same holds true for
the bottom of the magnet poles. Take a few minutes to clean these
surfaces first. The better metallic contact at these two points,
the better will be the magnetic circuit when you have the charger
turned on. On my magnet charger, I ground the pole faces on the
surface grinder. You can also use a nice, true, smoothing stone to
do the same thing.
In the last issue we were particularly impressed with the
article by Jerry Toews on the Pioneer, as well as Keith
Kinney’s article on the Clarke Gas Engine Co. We’re truly
impressed with the fine articles that have been appearing in the
last few months!
This month we have quite a few inquiries, and we begin with:
37/4/1: Nelson Bros. Jumbo ‘See the photo
of an engine I got last spring. My engine is a 2-1/2 – 3 HP model,
s/n C3462. I would like to correspond with someone having one of
these engines with igniter ignition rather than spark plug.’
[These engines were made at Saginaw, Michigan. J John M.
Edgerton, 27 Loon Lake Rd., Bigfork, MT 59911.
37/4/2: Unidentified Engine ‘See the photos
of an unidentified engine. It has a six-spoke flywheel. One of the
pieces lying near the engine has the part number of BN-80. The
color looks to be a blue-green. Any help would be appreciated.’
Danny Shields, 479 Wonderful Lane, Owingsville, KY 40360.
37/4/3: Nordberg Diesel ‘See the photos of
my 15 HP Nordberg diesel. It is Model 4FS1-AH, s/n 1AH256. The
engine has a 4 x 5–inch bore and stroke. I am restoring the
engine, and would like to find any information pertaining to it,
especially in determining its age, etc. Any help would be greatly
appreciated.’ Dennis G. Anderson, 2592 Saunders Rd., Vinton, VA
37/4/4: Economy Engine Q: I would like to find
some information on my 5 HP Economy engine, s/n 19897. I would like
to know when it was made, the correct color scheme, etc. Any
information would be very helpful. Wayne K. Vos, 12948 3rd Ave.,
Victorville, CA 92392.
A: We suggest you contact Glenn Karch who
writes the Hercules Engine News article each month in GEM. His
articles also include his home address as well as his e-mail
37/4/5: Stover Parts Q: I have a Stover engine,
3 HP, s/n W67665. It is missing the magneto, fuel pump and piping.
Can anyone point me to a source for the needed parts? My engine was
built for Brackett, Shaw & Lunt at Somersworth, N.H. Robert A.
Farrenkopf, 33 Thomas Rd., South Weymouth, MA 02190.
A: If anyone can provide some sketches and/or
photographs, we are sure that Mr. Farrenkopf would be most
appreciative. Stover built a lot of engines for BS&L. This
company was a large jobbing house, and provided Stover with a major
distributor in the New England states.
37/4/6:Cletrac Model 35 Q: I am restoring a
Cletrac Model 35, s/n 2406. I think it was built in 1934 or 1935,
but I would like to find out for sure when it was made. I also
would like to find the original color for the Cletrac. Marvin Crom,
190530 Carter Canyon Rd., Gering, NE 69341.
A: All we have ever found is the total
production period for the Cletracs, so we can’t help you there.
We have the following paint numbers listed: DuPont 017D Orange,
plus Martin-Senour 3728 and Ditzler 60583 as crossover numbers.
37/4/7:Wizard Riding Mowers ‘I have a
Wizard 11 HP riding mower that needs the drive belt and the mower
deck belt. An owner’s manual (or copy) would also be of help.
This mower was made about 1985, has a 38-inch deck and is Model GLS
115 A48. It is s/n 407 LA 622. Who built this machine for Western
Auto, and is there still a parts source? Any help would be
appreciated.’ David Mozol, 213 Mozol Lane, Oden, AR 71961.
37/4/8:Ottawa Buzz Master ‘I would like to
find more information on an Ottawa Buzz Master (brush cutter) with
a posthole digger attachment. [This was a combination buzz saw
and a brush cutter with dangerous possibilities.] I also would
like to find information on a Novo centrifugal pump outfit-it looks
like a Novo LF two-cylinder engine. A final question: What is the
correct batch mix and slump for a concrete block-making
machine?’ Ray W. Rodgers, 4535 Rodgers, Nashville, IN
37/4/9: Lufkin Engines Thanks to Ronald Parks,
1405 Nabors Lane, Odessa, TX 79761 for sending along some
photocopies regarding the Lufkin-Cooper-Bessemer engines. This
query appeared in 37/2/3.
37/4/10: Jumbo Engines Alistair G. Forteath, 54
Main St., New Elgin, Morayshire, IV30 6BH Scotland is looking for
information on a 1 HP Jumbo, Model T, s/n 10174. It was sold in
England by Detroit Engine Co., Market Place, Brentford, Middlesex.
If you can supply him with any photos or other information on this
engine, please write to him. He is especially in need of
information on the carburetor and a few other missing parts.
37/4/11:Associated? Rich Howard, Sarpy Rd.,
Hysham, MT 59038 sends along some photos of what he thinks is
either an Associated or a United engine. It has a
3-7/8 x 5-inch bore and stroke. The flywheels
have a part number of A82. If you can be of help to Rich, please
contact him at the above address.
37/4/12: Information Needed Q: See photo
37/4/12A of a single-cylinder diesel built by American Marc. Any
information on this engine would be greatly appreciated. Photo 12B
shows a brush saw with a Wisconsin engine and Jeep wheels. It is
equipped with a 28-inch saw blade. I would like to find information
on this unit. I also would like to know the year built on a Witte 2
HP, s/n B26328. Vernon Achord Jr., 14218 3rd St., Santa Fe, TX
A: The American Marc is of World War II
vintage. It wasn’t marketed more than a few years. The Witte
was built in 1925.
37/4/13: Fairbanks Company Q: The article in
the June 2001 GEM, stirred my interest. I have a very similar
engine but mine reads ‘The Fairbanks Company.’ However,
this engine is also very much like the Blakeslee on page 59 of
American Gas Engines. Did Blakeslee build this engine? Or possibly
Bates & Edmonds? Was there a connection between them? Further
information would be much appreciated. Gordon Hawk, P.O. Box 156,
Geneseo, NY 14454-0156
A: Fairbanks Company at New York City sold
numerous makes of engines over the years. The company was not
connected with Fairbanks, Morse & Co., but apparently some of
the Fairbanks family was involved in the firm. It is entirely
possible that Blakeslee built this particular engine for Fairbanks
Company. This writer has a catalog of the firm, and while most of
the items are ‘Fairbanks’ the majority are identifiably
built by someone else. At least so far as engines go, this writer
is convinced that Fairbanks Company never built any, but instead,
they contracted with Blakeslee or whomever. When the contract was
up, they usually moved on to another brand, probably looking at the
price they could get for a block lot of engines.
A similar situation can be found with the so-called
Waterloo-built engines. There were a dozen or more different gas
engines that all have that Waterloo Boy appearance. Indeed they
were built at Waterloo, Iowa, by the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co.,
but had nameplates of some other firm that was essentially a
marketing organization, or as in the case of Fairbanks Company, was
essentially a jobbing house. We suspect Gordon’s engine is
indeed a Blakeslee, and as such is indeed a rare bird.
37/4/14: Ottawa Log Saw ‘I am contemplating
the restoration of an Ottawa log saw, 5 HP, s/n TE29801. It is
missing the magneto, but otherwise appears to be complete. I would
like to find further information on this unit, including the
correct magneto. [It uses the familiar Wico EK]. Any help would be
appreciated.’ Arthur Dwight, 201 Butte View Dr., Bolingbrook,
37/4/15:Montgomery Ward Hammermill Q: I have a
Model No. WB9A M-W hammermill, and would like to run it with a gas
engine. What speed should it run? How many horsepower will I need?
The mill is a 7- or 8-inch size. Jim Zimmerman, 3128 Mitchell Line
St., Orchard, IA 50460.
A: A 7-inch mill would require 12 to 20
horsepower for real production. For demonstration purposes though,
you could run the mill slower, say at 1,200 to 1,500 rpm and
probably get by with a 6 HP or 8 HP engine. Originally, the mill
likely operated at 2,500 to 2,900 rpm. We’d suggest a
throttle-governed engine because of the high speed you are using.
If the mill is going to run at 1,500 rpm, and has a 4-inch pulley,
then if the engine is running 400 rpm you will have to use a
15-inch drive pulley on the engine.
37/4/16:Early Vertical Famous Chuck Balyeat, 1
East San Patricio Ave., Mathis, TX 78368, is looking for
information concerning an early vertical IHC 3 HP Famous he is
trying to date. Chuck writes:
‘After some difficulty, I was able to determine the number
on this engine was LA167. Being a low number, that led me to wonder
how many of the real early 3 HP’s were still in around, and if
a GEM reader might have one.
‘I find it curious that the LAI67 identification plate has a
low number and raised letters, FAMOUS name, and no water pump. I
also hear there is more than one IHC number list, so some might be
a matter of contention as per date.’
Contact Chuck at the address above or call him at (361)
547-9103, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
37/4/17: Thanks! … to Howard Fischer, 107
Cedar Ridge Dr., N201, West Bend, WI 53095 for sending along some
information on the elusive Sumter magnetos. It is greatly
37/4/18: Thanks! … to Harvey D. Cain, 70621
M-62S, Edwardsburg, MI 49112. Sometime back Harvey sent us one of
those gib key pullers he has been advertising in GEM for several
years. It is a welcome addition to the toolbox. This tool is great
for pulling gib keys, provided of course that some rocket scientist
didn’t drive the key in with a post maul, making it virtually
impossible to remove. We’ve actually seen engines where some
knucklehead drove the key in so tight as to actually split the
flywheel hub! In these cases, the gib key is usually minus the head
anyway from attempts to pull it. At that point, arm yourself with
some long drills and prepare yourself for a long job of removing
metal a bit at a time!
A Closing Word
Thanks to all who sent inquiries this month. You have posed some
very interesting questions. If you can be of help to anyone, we
encourage you to do so. Perhaps next summer you will have a
question for which you’d like an answer. Likewise, if people
respond to your query, please do the honor of sending back your
We have things pretty well in place for our tour to Germany in
July. The spaces are pretty well taken, and we look forward to the
We are also quite intrigued by the possibility of saving at
least some of those big Cooper-Bessemer engines down in Kansas.
We’ll allow that removing one of these is a big job and takes
some serious equipment. On the other hand, there won’t be
another crop of these engines, and once they are gone, they’re
gone forever. We hope to hear more of this effort, and hope that
all goes well. The important thing is to rescue the engines, AND
the foundation drawings. Without the erection drawings, life is
gonna be pretty tough when it comes time to remount them.
That’s all for this time – we hope to see you here next
C.H. Wendel is a noted authority on antique engines and
tractors. His books constitute a vital reference resource for
collectors and hobbyists. If you have a query for C.H. Wendel, send
it along to Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS
Low-Tension Ignition System
Bringing some understanding in a nontechnical way as to how the simple battery and coil and the low-tension rotary magneto ignition systems work.
Weidenhoff Model 818 Magnet Charger
David Cave creates his own documentation through this internal and external examination of his Weidenhoff model 818 magnet charger.
A Concrete Demonstration at Old Threshers
A longtime Old Thresher Reunion supporter and antique gas engine enthusiast makes concrete blocks the old-fashioned way.