Barney Kedrowski’s Baker Monitor

Gas engine restorer learns to cast with a 1909 4 hp Baker Monitor.

| August/September 2017

  • Barney Kedrowski's 1909 4 hp Baker Monitor.
    Photo by Barney Kedrowski
  • The 1909 4 hp Baker Monitor as found, missing its hopper.
    Photo by Barney Kedrowski
  • Barney Kedrowski's homemade "old school" casting furnace.
    Photo by Barney Kedrowski
  • The first attempt at casting the muffler: The molten metal cooled too rapidly during the pour and wouldn't form to the mold due to cold casting sand. Bringing the casting sand to room temperature took care of the problem.
    Photo by Barney Kedrowski
  • Success! The muffler castings, cleaned up and bolted together.
    Photo by Barney Kedrowski
  • The casting frame for the muffler. Inside is one half of the muffler.
    Photo by Barney Kedrowski
  • The casting frame for the top half of the water hopper.
    Photo by Barney Kedrowski
  • Left to right: An original Monitor water hopper and the plaster mold.
    Photo by Barney Kedrowski
  • Barney digging the top half of the Monitor's new water hopper out of the sand.
    Photo courtesy Barney Kedrowski
  • Barney with the freshly cast top half checking fit against the plaster bottom half.
    Photo courtesy Barney Kedrowski
  • The casting crew, left to right: Dennis Jensen, Jim Allen and Barney.
    Photo courtesy Barney Kedrowski

1909 4 hp Baker Monitor

Manufacturer: Baker Mfg. Co., Evansville, WI
Year: 1909
Serial Number: 3742
Horsepower: 4 hp @ 400rpm
Bore & stroke: 5in x 7in
Flywheel dia: 28in x 2-1/2in
Weight: 850lb
Cooling Capacity: 7-1/2 gallon
Ignition: Jump spark
Governing: Hit-and-miss


I’ve restored many engines over the last 12 years, so when I bought a 4 hp Monitor that was missing a water hopper and muffler, I knew it was going to be difficult, but I wanted a new challenge. You know the saying, “Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it”? I truly understand that saying now!

The 4 hp Monitor is a relatively scarce engine, so I knew that parts for this engine would be hard to find. However, I already had a 4 hp Monitor in my collection that I would be able to use to make duplicate parts. It was time for me to take on a new skill – sand casting!



Casting

Sand casting is a process of making parts by duplicating the original parts, using sand as the mold to form the liquid metal. I had heard of sand casting, but had never done it. But I knew if I learned how to sand cast, I could make parts for this engine as well as others as long as I had an original part to copy. Parts are difficult to obtain for 100-plus-year-old engines, so I knew this skill could come in handy in the future!

I decided to learn this new skill working from library books, and I also purchased two books from ads in the back of Gas Engine Magazine (Metal Casting: A Sand Casting Manual for the Small Foundry, Volume 1 and 2). The books were great for reference, but YouTube videos were what really taught me the process! Videos give you almost hands on education, and I’m a visual learner. If school were as good as YouTube, I would have gone to college!