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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

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

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

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

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

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.


Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines