While this copy will be in your hands during December of 1996,
this is actually the first issue of 1997, and begins the 32nd year
of the Gas Engine Magazine. It seems impossible that some
thirty-five years ago or more, we were urging the late Elmer
Ritzman to come out with a magazine for the gas engine and tractor
folks, as compared to the ever-popular steam hobby. Elmer finally
took the plunge, and here we are, continuing his legacy.
Before Elmer finally went ahead with GEM, ye olde Reflector gave
serious thought to starting a magazine devoted to the gas engine
and tractor hobby. How well we recall the counsel from some of our
friends, mostly to the effect that, ‘it sounds pretty risky to
me… how much can you write about engines and tractors?…this
hobby could just be a flash in a pan, and it’ll dwindle out
after a few years.’ In hindsight, we’re glad we never got
into the magazine business, what with monthly deadlines and
all…we have enough problems just meeting the GEM deadline for the
column you’re reading!
We’re delighted to tell you that we’ve just signed a
contract with Krause Publications to do an Encyclopedia of American
Farm Machinery. That might not be the exact title, but it gives you
an idea of what we’re talking about. We’ve got a tremendous
amount of material through which to sift, and it’s a big
project, so guess what we’ll be doing this winter! It also
gives us great pleasure to tell you that we’re going to be
doing a Standard Catalog of Tractors for Krause Publications.
They’ve pioneered with their Standard Catalog of American
Automobiles, and some of you may be familiar with this one.
We’ve got lots of material this month, but before we start
with the queries, here’s our opportunity to express our
sincerest wishes for a joyous and happy Christmastide, and a
healthy and prosperous New Year! We truly wish we could personally
thank each of you and please take this message as a very personal
way of extending the best of Holiday Wishes! Our first query
32/1/1 Johnson Motor Wheel Q. I recently
acquired a twin-cylinder Johnson Motor Wheel on which I need
information. This 1 HP, two-cycle engine is in excellent shape and
has good spark to both plugs. The original gas tank is missing, a
sheet metal cooling fan had been attached and the engine had been
attached to a homemade mount to operate something other than a
bicycle. I would like to authenticate its original usage by
mounting it on an early model bicycle after I complete the
restoration of the engine.
Any assistance, such as brochures, parts list, owner’s
manual, or personal knowledge regarding the mounting of the engine
on the fender, wheel sprocket, shock-aborbing springs, method of
operating head and tail lights off the flywheel magneto, and the
like, would be greatly appreciated. Loren Erwin, PO Box 701,
Carthage, MO 64836-0701.
32/1/2 Co-op/Cockshutt Tractor Q. I have a
Co-op Cockshutt 30 tractor, s/n 5875-K-193. I would like to know
more about it, especially its age, the proper color scheme, and any
other information I can find. Thank you. Kurt Seachrist, 45534
Riffle Rd., Lisbon, OH 44432.
A. We’re not sure of the age, but assuming
the first four digits to be the Cockshutt number, that would put it
at 1947. We have it that the Co-op tractors manufactured by
Cockshutt are Red, Martin-Senour 90T22014. Those made by Duplex and
Huber are DuPont Red, B8241. Perhaps someone can supply additional
information for you.
32/1/3 IHC Mogul Q. What is the proper color
for an IHC Mogul engine? In November 1993 of GEM, your listing gave
DuPont 93-29709-H Olive Green, but DuPont can’t give me any
information. Can you help? Norbert Breitkreutz, 432 E. Lincoln
Ave., Hartford, WI 53027.
A. The current DuPont listing is 29609 for the
Olive Green. You should be able to get this from any DuPont
32/1/4 Reid Engine Q. I just bought a 15 HP
Reid engine out of the oil fields of West Virginia. I’d like to
find out the year built, and the bore and stroke dimensions for the
various HP engines. My engine is s/n 4932. Frank O’Meara,
19991 Birchwood Loop, Chugiak, Alaska 99567.
32/1/5 Ferguson Service Unit Q. See the photos
of a Ferguson ‘On the Farm’ service unit. It was used for
tune ups on Ferguson tractors. One side has Sun gauges, small tune
up tools, and the other side has a Continental engine with an air
compressor unit and hose for servicing tires. Can anyone supply
further information on this unit? Michael E. Schultz, 1650
Schust Rd., Saginaw, MI 48604.
32/1/6 Fennell Co. Engine Q. See the photo of
an engine I recently acquired. It is a hit-and-miss model, and the
plate reads, W. E. Fennell Co. Pumping Machinery, Boston, Mass. The
flywheel has a casting number of U-4044, and the head has a number
of 2T-10. Can anyone supply further information on this engine?
Tony D’Amato Jr., 50 Bennett St., Hudson, MA
A. Tony is a young collector, age 12. If you
can be of help to this young collector, kindly do so.
32/1/7 Calculating Horsepower Q. In the March
1987 issue, page 10, you gave a formula for calculating delivered
brake horsepower as D2LN over X. My memory says that you gave a
correction in a later issue, but I have not been able to locate the
correction. Is the formula correct? If not, I will appreciate the
corrected formula or reference to the proper issue. Joe
Williams, 3121 Creek Road, Kingsvilk, OH 44048.
A. First of all, the generic term horsepower
can mean several different things. There’s theoretical or
calculated horsepower which means exactly what it says, and
doesn’t account for any losses due to friction, etc.
There’s flywheel horsepower which doesn’t account for the
losses due to fans, generators and other integral equipment.
There’s calculated horsepower which is what we’re talking
about here, and with the proper formulas gives some indication of
the output. Then there’s brake horsepower with the results
shown on a dynamometer or other test equipment. This rating is the
most indicative of what’s available, since all operating losses
are accounted for, and what’s delivered to the dynamometer is
what’s available for work.
E. W. Roberts in the Gas Engine Handbook of 1900 notes that the
mean effective cylinder pressure in engines of the time averaged
about 65 psi. Also of importance, engines of that era had an
average piston speed of about 1,000 feet per minute. Using gasoline
fuel, and a four-cycle engine, then the formula is:
H.P. = D2 x L x R/18,000
For a two-cycle engine operating on gasoline, the denominator is
In this formula,
D = the diameter of the cylinder in inches
L = is the stroke in inches
R = revolutions per minute
Thus an engine having a 4 x 5 inch bore and stroke and operating
at 500 rpm will look like this:
42 x 5 x 500/18,000
= 16 x 5 x 500, or 40000/18000
or about 2.22 horsepower.
32/1/8 Gilson Engine Q. I am a new collector
and just bought a Gilson 1 HP engine on original trucks. What is
the proper color scheme for the engine as well as for the trucks
and wheels? Also there are two small holes on the splash guard;
were these for the nameplate? Otherwise, the engine has no serial
number. James R. Shaw, 3517 Blocker Dr., Kettering, OH
A. We have Gilson engines listed with DuPont
RS915 Red, and trimmed in DuPont BS902 Blue. We don’t know the
correct color for the trucks, although most of the wheels were
painted black. The holes are for the (missing) nameplate.
32/1/9 Foos Engines Q. I recently spoke with
two men who had a 6 HP Foos with the disc crank. I own an 8 HP disc
crank model, plus a 2 and a 4 HP Foos Jr., and a 1 HP Foos Type J
engine. I would like to know if anyone has a complete Foos Junior
with the water tank, fuel tank, and walking beam on an extended
base? Any information would be appreciated. R. Pichel, 4260
Lower Samson Rd., Hellertown, PA 18055.
32/1/10 Ideal Engine Q. I would like to
correspond with someone having an Ideal engine. Mine has a 4-inch
bore, and I need to know about the gas tank and shroud. I also need
information on a Detroit engine. Gary Montgomery, 294 Carver
Street, Winslow, IL 61089.
32/1/11 Standard Twin Information Q. I have a
Standard Twin tractor equipped with a 10-inch plow, built by
Standard Engine Co. of Minneapolis, s/n 404C7167. See in photo 11A
the tractor on the left is also a Standard Twin but notice the
wheel hub is different than mine on the right, with yours truly
right behind it. I believe the tractor on the left starts with a
Also I have an Attwell tractor with no number but it states,
Attwell Chain Tred Tractor, Patent Pending, Seattle, also a number
‘1’ cast into the top of the transmission on the upper
right corner. It is powered by an air cooled Wisconsin engine,
Model AK with a 2 7/8 x 2 inch bore and stroke, s/n 893532, spec
no. 19679-3. It has a 9-inch plow. See photo 11B.
Photos 11C and 11D show what the Standard Twin looked like after
a bush had been chopped down that had grown up through it for
Any information as to the year of manufacture, color, or
anything about the company would be appreciated on all three
tractors. I would appreciate corresponding with other owners of
these garden tractors. Robert A. LeBaron, 5801 E. 5th St.,
Tucson, AZ 85711-2403.
32/1/12 Stover Model KD Q. A couple of years
ago I acquired an 8 HP Stover engine, Model KD. It is badly
weathered, and the bore has a large number of pits, but the surface
between them is smooth and true. The main journals are pitted as
well, and in addition the governor sleeve on the crankshaft is
rusted solid to the crank. Does anyone have any suggestions? David
E. Mikkelson, 2361 Millville Ave., Hamilton, OH 45013.
A. It’s almost like opening Pandora’s
box to ask for suggestions, and we’ll even throw in a
nickel’s worth: You don’t indicate the location of the
worst pitting in the cylinder. If it’s toward the back, and you
can hone it out so it’s fairly bright, why not give it a try
the way it is? It run in fairly well, and although it will never be
optimum, it might run quite well enough for show purposes. We
suppose there might be something out there such as J-B Weld or
something else that might help the cause.
Regarding the governor sleeve, if it were my engine, I’d get
it outdoors, heat the sleeve up about smoking hot and start in with
penetrating oil. It might take a few times of this disagreeable job
but it will probably loosen it up. Just don’t pry too hard. We
can see no problem in heating it up with the torch. In fact, by
heating it, you might expand the sleeve enough that it can be moved
a little. (Remember, all these jobs can be dangerous, and we’re
not telling you what you should do, we’re just telling you what
we would do if it was our engine. Also, you’re hereby on your
32/1/13 Babbitt Flux Q. What is the recommended
flux for babbitt? Where can it be obtained? Ernest J. Richard
Sr., 1510 Demosthenes St., Metairie, LA 70005-2702.
A. We’ve poured lots of bearings, and
we’ve never used any sort of flux in the babbitt. On the other
hand, we’ve also melted a lot of type metal for the Linotype,
and occasionally we’ve used some sort of powder flux. With or
without, we’ve never noticed any big difference. In our
opinion, stirring the metal occasionally while it’s coming up
to pouring temperature seems to bring up any dross, and by
carefully skimming it off before pouring, we’ve usually gotten
good pours the first time.
32/1/14 Associated Engine Q. I have what
I’m told is an Associated Chore Boy, but all I can make out on
the tag is ed Mfg. Co., Waterloo, Iowa; 1 HP, s/n 324444. Can you
tell me if this is a Chore Boy? David Krueger, Blackduck, MN
A. Look on page 34 of American Gas Engines in
case there’s any doubt about your engine. That should give you
enough clues for a positive identification. The Associated was red,
comparable to DuPont 2622. The cylinder itself and the cylinder
head are silver; this was done for better heat radiation.
32/1/15 LeRoi Engine Q. I have a Type W3 LeRoi
engine, s/n 103230. Can you tell me when this engine was built?
V. T. Hunn, 5100 Rubidell Ln., Ft. Worth, TX
A. We have no information on this engine.
32/1/16 IHC LA Engine Q. I have a
McCormick-Deering 1 -2 HP engine, s/n LAA21526. Can you tell me
when it was made and the correct color scheme? Gary W. Everett,
15500 Glen-wood Ave., Overland Park, KS 66223.
A. Your engine was made in 1936. Opinions vary,
but IHC changed their tractors from gray to red in 1936, so they
likely changed the color of the engines at the same time.
32/1/17 Standard Twin Q. I just acquired two
Standard Twin garden tractors; 401C5592 with a Wico magneto and
406C8726 with a Fairbanks-Morse magneto. I would appreciate hearing
from anyone having information on these garden tractors, especially
the age, color scheme, and a source for parts. Allen C. Gruver,
1450 Beaver Valley Pike, Willow Street, PA 17584-7900.
32/1/18 Fairfield Engine Q. How is this for an
enigma? This motor is, without doubt, a Fairfield. We are aware of
four of these motors here in Australia. (However, they are shown in
Australia by Invincible Motors Pty. Ltd., at Sydney.Ed.) Invincible
closed in the 1960s, and there appears to be a connection but we
may never know the details. Reg Ingold, 37 Seaham Street,
Holmesville 2286 Australia.
32/1/19 FWD Tractors Q. My name is Michael
Massa, and I study agriculture in Germany. In March 1996 I visited
the Antique Gas & Steam Museum at Vista, California. My special
interest is in four-wheel-drive tractors.
I’m looking for someone who can tell me more about the
Knudson Company. They went bankrupt in the mid-1980s and most of
their tractors were sold in Washington. They built hillside 4WD
tractors of 300 and more horsepower.
I’m writing my diploma about 4WD tractors and track-type
tractors and for me it is very necessary to find someone to provide
technical facts on this model. Michael Massa, Heilbronner
Strasse 54 74223 Flein, Germany.
32/1/20 Breisch/Peters Jay Peters of
Breisch/Peters, Maria Lane, Schwenksville, PA 19473 writes:
Thanks for using the news release about our new engines.
However, more than one alert reader has brought a small problem to
our attention. We furnish all materials to build ONLY the Flame
Licker and the Upshur. I can see how easy it was to make this
error, but I hope this correction will suffice. The engine builder
has to round up some material for our other castings kits; however
we provide, as part of the kit, plans and directions for making the
engines and any parts that are not included in the kit.
32/1/21 Witte Engine Q. See the photos of a
Witte drag-saw engine recently restored. The nameplate reads: Witte
Power Unit, Manufactured in the USA for Canadian Importers Ltd.,
Avonmouth, Bristol [England], s/n 99894.
Details obtained here in the UK regarding the importers are
somewhat sketchy and with an absence of information here, I’m
looking to you folks for assistance. The hopper is a little larger
than those depicted on the literature I have, the oiler is on top,
as opposed to the crank face of the hopper, and the dimensions are
3 x 5 inch bore and stroke. See the photos. If anyone can help,
please contact Bill Bontoft, 18 0akleigh, Scunthorpe, North
Lincolnshire, DN16 3NB United Kingdom.
A. Your engine and a number of others like it
were sold to Canadian Importers in October 1940. Beyond that, we
don’t have any specific information on your engine.
32/1/22 Unidentified Tractor Q. See the photo
of an unidentified garden tractor. It has a huge worm drive gear
case with 40-107 cast into the left side of the case. On flat
surface on top is stamped 4318. It has a Wisconsin AK engine with
an automotive-type clutch that drives a chain to the gear case. I
need some parts, and any information regarding this tractor.
Wesley Faust, 1395 South Peach St., Medford, OR 97501.
32/1/23 Taylor Vacuum Engine Q. I just acquired
a Taylor 2 HP vacuum engine, Type C, and s/n 13260. How old is this
engine, and can anyone provide me with any operating information?
Is the company still in business? A. J. Derie, 3 WoodLane,
Maynard, MA 01754-2415.
A. Taylor began in the 1920s, but no
information has surfaced regarding their subsequent activities.
However, parts were available from Universal Milking Machine Co.,
Waukesha, Wisconsin as late as 1948. The vacuum piston was cast
integral with the engine piston. Outside of that difference, the
Taylor operated in a manner similar to other engines of the
32/1/24 Winton Car Engine Larry
‘Airborne’ Powell, 129 East 13th, Junction City, KS 66441
After my article appeared in the July 1996 GEM I have received
two letters. The first was from Don Scheppelman, a Winton car
collector. He corrected the year of the Winton as a 1903-04
two-cylinder. The second letter from Daniel Burkhart identified the
unidentified tractor as a Big Bull 25 HP model made by
32/1/25 Termaat & Monahan Don Brantmeier,
RR 5, Box 77 A, Eldon, MO 65026 sends along some historical
information on Termaat & Monahan Company of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
They built primarily marine engines up to 1912, and in the latter
year they began building their familiar four-cycle stationary
models. This lasted until 1920. In 1919 T & M came out with
their Wiscona Pep engines, apparently continuing them until about
32/1/26 Midget Racer Q. I am trying to locate
plans for a gas engine powered midget racer. Some plans of this
type were available in the early 1950s. If anyone can be of help,
kindly contact: Mike Nicolella, PO Box 534, Bridgeville, PA
32/1/27 Mogul Jr. Engine Q. I own a ‘slant
top’ 1917 Mogul Jr. engine and have often wondered why IHC
built both the ‘flat top’ and the ‘slant top’
varieties of this particular engine. Everyone I ask seems to have
their own opinion. Can you set the record straight? Richard
Kibler, 1555 Greening Drive, Copley, OH 44321.
A. These engines bear a ‘UB’ prefix and
were built 1915-18. The slant-top, from our information, was
designed that way so the water wouldn’t spill from the hopper
when moving it around on its ‘wheelbarrow’ cart.
32/1/28 Hercules Engine Russell Timms, Yan Year
Rd., Doreen 3754, Victoria, Australia, sends along three photos of
a Hercules gas engine made in San Francisco, California. He has two
of them; the numbers are three digits apart. See the photos.
32/1/29 InfoNeeded Q. What is the proper color
for a Rumely OilPull 30-50 model, s/n Y194, built in 1928?
What is the problem with the propane freezing on my Superior 40
HP engine after running it for awhile? George Kovach, PO Box 24,
Blairmore, ALTA, Canada.
A. We’re told that Rumely changed over to
the peculiar blue-gray, steel gray, or what have you, in 1926.
We’re also told that it closely corresponds with DuPont 71939
Your letter mentions that you’re drawing from a 20 pound
propane cylinder. We’ve never spent a lot of time around
propane (we loathe the stuff) but it’s our guess that you are
drawing too much fuel too quickly from the cylinder. You may do
better using one or two 100 pound cylinders to avoid this
32/1/30 Toro Mower Q. I have a Toro Pro
Commercial Mower with a sulky seat, Model P779. It is powered with
a Wisconsin Model H9333 aluminum engine; this unit has three reel
mowers. Is there any information available? I’ve tried many
Toro distributors with no luck. Bill Herman, 5493 Laura Loop,
Poulsbo, WA 98370-7815.
32/1/31 IHC Titan Jr. Engine Q. I have an IHC
Titan Jr. J HP engine that belonged to my grandfather, who used it
on an orchard sprayer. Then my father used it in the workshop, and
an aunt used it on the washing machine and churn. I acquired it
about 20 years ago, and as shown in the photo, it putts two small
grinders , along with many other things.
When I removed the head I found the rings to be cam ground with
expanders in the two top rings. When were cam ground rings and
expanders first used? Any information would be appreciated. R.
W. Doss, 5950 Winson Dr., Huntington, WV 25705.
A. We don’t know when expanders were first
used; can anyone help?
32/1/32 Information Needed Q. I would like to
design and machine a small model steam engine with about a one-half
inch bore. Ideally I’d like a set of drawings for a slide valve
engine, possibly a v-twin with double acting cylinder, but at the
very least, the valve lever and cam system dimensioned so that I
may scale it to the desired size. Any information would be
appreciated. Ed Yung, 230 Jefferson, LaPorte, TX 77571.
A. We’d suggest some of the model
magazines; a few are devoted to model steam. Perhaps some of our
modelmakers can provide sources of information.
32/1/33 A Beginner Q. Where does a beginner
begin? Where do you find information on various phases of
restoration, the correct paint colors, finding replacement parts,
etc.? Tom Philips, 124 Fort Hill Ave., Canandaigua, NY
A. It looks like you’ve found a good
starting point with Gas Engine Magazine. Many of our regular
advertisers offer new parts, used parts, and accessory items.
Others offer many different books, decals, and other supplies.
32/1/34 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photo of
an engine we haven’t been able to identify. It has no tags or
other markings. We think it may be a Majestic, but with so many
original parts missing, it is hard to tell. Can anyone be of help?
James W. Windle, 4001 Fox Run Rd., Powhatan,VA 23139.
32/1/35 Ford 9N Problem Q. How can I set up my
old Ford 9N to a 12-volt alternator? How do I reduce the voltage
for the coil and distributor? The Ford has a positive ground. How
will this affect the points, etc.? Any help would be appreciated.
Gene Ellingsworth, 1759 -60th Ave., Osceola, WI 54020.
A. The main thing we see is that you would have
to install a coil resistor ahead of the coil, and this should be
readily available. Perhaps someone has made a similar changeover
and would offer some advice?
32/1/36 Koban Engines Will Cummings, 8710
Vickery Rd., Castalia, OH 44824-9777 writes that he has found
several 1915 advertisements pertaining to the Koban rowboat motor,
a small two-cylinder outboard design. Will also sent along several
photocopies of the ads, but they were just too dark to reproduce.
Does anyone have further information on this one, or are there any
Koban rowboat motors still in existence?
32/1/37 Unidentified Power Plant Q. See the
photo of a recent acquisition. It has no nameplate or other data,
so I’d appreciate hearing from anyone who can identify it.
Don C. Pejsa, PO Box 4034, Oroville, CA 95965.
32/1/38 Field Force Pump Q. I am Nicole Guriel,
age 12, of Simi Valley, California. I am part of the Moor-park 4-H
Club and am in 6 projects. One of these projects is Farm Machinery,
which my father, Nick Guriel, leads. We’re working on restoring
a hit-and-miss engine. It is a Field made by Field Force Pump Co.,
Elmira, New York, 2 HP, s/n 5014. I would appreciate hearing from
anyone who can help us with information on this engine. Nicole
Guriel, 1434 Rambling Rd., Simi Valley, CA 93065.
See photos MM-1 and MM-2 of a Maverick engine I just completed.
The drawings and information were by Philip Duclos in recent issues
of Home Shop Machinist Magazine. The basic engine is made from
normal shop material, aluminum and steel. The engines run and start
very good. William E. Byrd, PO Box 203, McMinnville, TN
See the photos of several models I’ve built. MM-3 is a 1/5
scale of a 3 HP IHC Famous engine. MM-4 is a 1/5 scale of an engine
of my own design, and is hit-and-miss.
Photo MM-5 is a 1/5 scale of a 10 hp Fairbanks-Morse throttling
governor model of 1919 vintage, and MM-6 is a 1/5 scale of a 10 HP
Sandwich hit-and-miss of 1916 vintage. All of the engines run well
and have very good detail. James May, 808 Elm Street, Sandwich,
A Closing Word
For those interested or involved with our upcoming tour to
Australia, please note that a visa is required in addition to your
passport. Be sure to have the visa, or you won’t be able to
come into Australia. For reasons we don’t know, Australia is
one of the few countries we know of where a visa is required from
everyone coming into the country. For those who have the travel
information from Wade Farm Tours, contact them immediately if you
need to obtain a visa!
Recently, our friend, Walter Reiff from Germany stopped in for a
few hours. He brought along a new book, Deutsche Stationar Motoren
by Armin Bauer. It’s an expensive book, and it’s written in
German, but it certainly does contain some interesting engines, and
on top of that, it’s entirely in color. It’s always seemed
to us that the German-built engines shed their own special
In our forthcoming book on American farm implements, we plan to
include as many trade names as possible. This should be very
helpful in identifying various implements. For instance, how many
people know that a Deluge pump was made by Fairbanks-Morse, or that
a So-Ezy hay press was made by Williams Mfg. Co. of Macon, Georgia.
Each section of the book will have as many of these various trade
names as we can scrounge together.
Right now we’re looking at a book with 2,000 illustrations,
maybe more. If any of you have old farm machinery literature that
might be of help, we’ll be glad to hear from you. Even though
we already have lots of information, the field is so vast that we
certainly don’t have more than a thumbnail sketch of the big
It’s interesting how the farm implement industry developed.
During the 1870s and 1880s great strides were made in developing
new horsedrawn equipment. This started to peak by 1900, and all was
well until the coming of the small tractor in the 1913-15 period.
That required new thinking and new designs for farm implements. The
result was that a great many of the implement builders had merged
or gone out of business by 1925. Many of those still hanging on got
their coup de grace during the Great Depression, and for those
still surviving, the cessation of most implement production during
World War Two brought the era of horse drawn implements to an end.
We suppose that there’s something good that can happen as a
result of even the horrific years of World War Two. One of those
things was that the face of American agriculture and mechanized
farming in particular, would never be the same.
Again, Best Wishes for Christmas and for the coming New
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.