A BRIEF WORD
As we go to press for this issue in early March, the old yearnings return for some time to play with engines again. By the time this issue is in your hands, this midwestern writer will probably have cranked up at least a couple of engines already, just to see if they still run! Now for you folks in the warmer climates, this isn't a problem. You can go ahead and play with old iron almost any day of the year. Out here in Iowa, the time and bother of hauling hot water out to the engine so as to warm it up just doesn't seem worth the bother. Besides, as a youth I had plenty of chances to heat what seemed like barrels of water on the cookstove. After lugging the water into the house from an outside hydrant came the chance to lug it back out again and start pouring it into the old John Deere D tractor. The temporary warm up provided by the hot water made cold weather starting a lot easier. After the Model D was running came the chance to grind two or three loads of feed. No grinder-mixer either; ya scooped it into the grinder, and ya scooped it from the waiting wagons into the feeders. I once suggested to my father that grinding feed, like cleaning the hen house, always seemed to come on Saturdays. Not content to leave well enough alone, I then proposed the great wisdom that the hen house seemed to always be clean every day of the week but Saturday. For reasons I will leave unexplained, that was the only time I proposed this matter. After a very brief and a very one-sided 'discussion' of the situation, I was quite content to clean the hen house and grind the feed every Saturday.
We recently came across an article describing the role of the village blacksmith, once so familiar in our small towns. As a descendant of several blacksmiths, I always found an inexplicable pride in their careers and accomplishments, but never quite understood why they were so highly revered in the community. The aforementioned article noted that the local blacksmith was looked on as the expert in things mechanical. If he was a genuine craftsman, he never feared for a lack of work. His skill with forge, hammer, and anvil made it possible to form complicated shapes with what seemed to be relative ease. Good blacksmiths were also expected to be good plow mechanics. Sharpening plowshares was a major part of their business, and many of our readers can remember going into a blacksmith shop and seeing a couple of specially built racks full from top to bottom with plowshares from their customers, all with the owner's name inscribed with chalk. Anyone who knew anything at all about a plow knew almost immediately whether the plowshare had been correctly sharened, and this quickly separated the good plow man from the mediocre mechanic. The latter usually lacked for ' work, but the man who thoroughly understood the science of the plow always had more than he could do.
In putting all this into perspective, a great many of our early machinery company people were originally blacksmiths. For instance, Meinrad Rumely, Cyrus Hall McCormick, Abram Gaar, and many others came up this way. In an age when machine tools were almost unheard of, isn't it indeed remarkable that we ever got the reaper, the thresher, or the plow? Sound easy? Have any of our readers tried to build one of these implements having only a forge, an anvil, a hammer, and a stock of iron bars ?
Our first question this month begins with:
25/5/1 Shipping Magnetos Jack Chandler, RR 5, Box 505, Carthage, MO 64836 sends along some very useful information:
Styrofoam pellets are almost the same as not having any packing at all and should never be used by anyone shipping a magneto in for repair. The heavy magneto will work to the bottom of the box and by the time it arrives at the destination, a rebuildable magneto can be damaged beyond repair. Instead, use a cushion of tightly wadded newspaper packing, and make sure that there is at least an inch of this packing around all sides of the magneto. Also be sure the box is packed tight and solid to prevent any movement of the magneto during shipment. Be sure that your name and address is also placed inside the box, as well as on the outside. Consider insuring your shipment for what a replacement magneto would cost.
25/5/2 Damaged New Holland Cylinder Q. I have a New Holland engine which was located in an underground pump house. It sat unused for years, and in the interim the magneto had been removed. Then the mice carried leaves and other debris into the cylinder through the magneto opening. Now the bottom half of the cylinder is badly pitted. To bore it and insert a sleeve is difficult, since it is a headless engine. So far I have found no machine shops that can do this. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Gilbert Lehman, RD 3, Box 126, Lowville, NY 13367.
A. These cylinders were most likely bored on a horizontal boring machine. However, a good machinist with a heavy lathe could handle the job. After removing the compound, and. possibly the cross slide, it would then be necessary to use a heavy boring bar that would fit through the ignitor hole and of sufficient length to permit the necessary carriage travel. Getting the cylinder perfectly aligned to the bar wouldn't be a ten minute job. In fact, it will probably take several hours worth of making jigs, cutting shims, and plenty of patience to achieve this goal. It can be done on a lathe, although it would be easier to find a shop with a boring mill. An ordinary cylinder grinder such as Sunnen would smooth out the rough spots and improve matters a bit, but for a first class job we believe that sleeving will be the only alternative. Old-time automotive machinists disliked cylinder hones so badly that they often compared them to the common post hole auger.
25/5/3 John Deere Orange? Q. In working on a 11/2 HP John Deere engine I discovered an orange color under the green paint. Were any of these engines originally painted this color? Daniel F. Page, 8011 McConnell Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90045.
A. We suspect you have unearthed some old-fashioned red lead primer. This material, instead of being red, often was of an orange, or a reddish-orange color.
25/5/4 Diamond Reo Kits Q. Several years ago Diamond Reo made a kit to use a small air-cooled engine to power a small boat as an inboard. They supplied the flex coupling, shaft, stuffing box, strut, and propeller.
I want to use a 5 hp engine to run a 16-foot boat. However all the marine catalogs cover much larger engines. I could make most of the pieces, but don't know where to get the information on shaft size, propeller diameter, blade area, and the like. Any information will be appreciated. Donald G. Husek, 1927 Esquire St., Fairbanks, Alaska 99709.
25/5/5 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photo of an unidentified engine. I have been told that it is a Stevens or a Rawleigh-Schryer. The tag is missing. Bruce Sniffin, P.O. Box 2004, Vernon, CT 06066.
A. We believe your engine to be a Rawleigh. See page 408 of American Gas Engines. The Rawleigh engine and the Stover Jr. engine are quite similar in appearance, with the notable exception that the Rawleigh mounted the ignitor in the head, but the Stover mounted it in the cylinder, just behind the head.
25/5/6 Motor Bike Q. See the photo of a motor bike I recently acquired. It uses a Briggs Model NP motor. There is a foot pedal on each side of the platform; these pedals are tied together for operation with either foot. Pushing on either the top or bottom of the pedal operates either the throttle or the brake. I've been told that this outfit was originally sold as a kit. Any suggestions? Daelyn Sanger, HCR 1, Box 54, Rockham, SD 57470.
25/5/7 Waterloo Boy Q. See the photo of a Waterloo engine recently acquired. As I want to restore it to original condition, I would like to know the horsepower, approximate age, original color, etc. The name tag's missing. Any info will be appreciated. Kenneth David, RR 1, Box 107, Farmersburg, IA 52047.
A. Several Waterloo engines of the same general design are shown on pages 536 and 537 of American Gas Engines. We would judge your engine to be a 7 HP model.
25/5/8 Co-op and Cockshutt Info Duane Meyer, P.O. Box 318, Hill City, SD 57745 would like to hear from anyone having the proper colors for an E-4 Co-op tractor and for the Cockshutt 30 tractor. Also, he would like to know where to obtain decals for the above models.
25/5/9 Northwestern Engine Q. Danny R. Whitehead, RR 3, Box 253, Maryville, TN 37801 sends two photos of an engine made by Northwestern Steel & Iron Works, Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It is s/n 7124 and rated at 5 hp. He would like to know its proper color, approximate year built, and whether it is considered to be a rare engine.
25/5/10 Sieverkropp Info Thanks! to Andy Gortsema, P.O. Box 223, Fairfield, WA 99012 for sending along an original flyer on the Sieverkropp vertical engine. Andy reports that he has both the one-cylinder and two-cylinder Sieverkropp models. Right now he's working on an Ideal 3 HP engine.
25/5/11 Some Questions Q. See 11A illustrating a Stover T142018,4 HP engine. Photo 11B shows a Fairbanks-Morse 4 HP engine, s/n 155257. What is the age of these engines? I am puzzled by the FBM carburetor. It is a half-globe shape with two round covers. Which of these engines is more collectable? Scott Martin, 701 W. Edgewood, Mesa, AZ 85210.
A. The Stover Type T was built in 1920, and the FBM was built in 1916. The FBM carburetor should have an open bowl for gasoline. One needle valve is used for this starting supply. A pump plunger is within the carburetor to bring up fuel from the main tank. It is an overflow-type carburetor, meaning that the excess fuel pumped into the bowl runs back to the tank. The constant level carburetors exhibit improved engineering over the ordinary suction-type carburetor, but were more expensive to build. Depending on your personal preference, we would suppose that one of these engines is entirely as collectable as the other.
25/5/12 American Marine Motor Q. I recently acquired an American Marine Motor built by American Engine Company, Detroit, Michigan. It is s/n 939Z. It is the same engine as shown on page 24 of American Gas Engines. Any correspondence concerning the correct color scheme and scarcity of this engine will be appreciated. John R. Whitacre, RR 1, Box 211, Waverly, WV 26184.
25/5/13 Lansing Engine Q. Lost summer I acquired the engine shown in the photo. It is a Lansing and was made in Michigan. I found a picture of this engine in a book by Alan C. King on page 32. According to American Gas Engines the Lansing company faded into oblivion after 1905. Are there any more of these engines still around, and if so, does anyone know the color scheme? Any information will be appreciated. G. Broersen, 10241 -88 St., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5H 1P4.
A. The reference in American Gas Engines is on page 272. However, the illustrated engine is of vertical design, while the engine shown here is a horizontal. Perhaps some of our readers have collected some information on this elusive company. We haven't had much luck over the years.