1919 7 hp Baker Monitor VJ

A 28-year-old engine fan restores a 98-year-old Baker Monitor VJ engine.

| December/January 2018

  • A 28-year-old engine fan restores a 98-year old engine.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Andy Moravec’s 1919 7 hp Baker Monitor buzz saw rig before restoration. Although it was mostly complete, which was something of a miracle in itself given its rarity, it needed a fair bit of work to bring back to running operation.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • The cylinder head is at the bottom of the hopper in direct contact with water, leading to corrosion of the head studs and nuts. Fortunately, Andy didn’t have to remove it.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • The Monitor mid-restoration, with the valve chests and water hopper removed.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Andy’s friend Jeff Schley helped with the restoration, including applying the pin striping to the flywheels.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • The 2 hp, 4 hp and 7 hp Baker Monitor engines used a barrel-shaped cast iron gas tank.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Andy’s 7 hp Monitor still has its original clutch pulley setup for coupling and uncoupling the buzz saw.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Governing is hit-and-miss, with an adjustable flywheel weight.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • The Monitor with the saw table set in place. A wood strut attaches the table to the wheel at the bottom. A metal strut (obscured here by the saw blade) runs from the top of the table to a collar on the wheel axle.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Andy with the 1919 7 hp Baker Monitor. A fine restoration, and a testimony to his resolve to collect and restore engines that once belonged to his grandfather, Lloyd Young, who helped start the Union Thresheree.
    Photo by Bill Vossler

1919 7 hp Baker Monitor VJ

Manufacturer: Baker Mfg. Co., Evansville, WI
Serial Number: 20531
Horsepower: 7hp @ 400rpm
Bore & Stroke: 6in & 7in
Ignition: Spark plug w/battery & buzz coil
Governing: Hit-and-miss, flywheel weight
Owner: Andy Moravec


Twenty-eight-year-old Andy Moravec is chasing after pieces of his grandfather Lloyd Young’s collection, and already has a couple of crawlers and his elder’s 1919 Monitor 7 hp gas engine, which the Minneapolis, Minnesota, youth has restored. “My goal is to reassemble his collection,” Andy says.

Lloyd Young started collecting back in the 1960s and died in 1975, so Andy never got to meet him. But much of Lloyd’s collection was passed down to his aunts and uncles. “One of my favorites when I was growing up was his Rumely 20-40 G OilPull tractor, because that one started the Union Thresheree at Symco, Wisconsin, in 1967, along with Harold Werth’s threshing machine,” Andy says.

This 1919 7 hp Monitor was passed down to one of Andy’s uncles and remained as a kind of lawn ornament for 25 years. “I always saw it sitting in his yard, with nothing happening to it, so I talked to my uncle about it. When I showed interest, he asked if I wanted to restore it. I scooped it up and moved it from Wisconsin to a two-stall garage in north Minneapolis, where I started to restore it.”



“Restore” is the operative word, as the engine was seized and a rough one, needing valve work, water jacket repair (it was cracked in two places), replacement of the deteriorated wood seat, as well as removing rust and fixing welds on the cart, which had been modified several times.

Step by step

Andy started work to get the engine running in October 2015. “Both the intake and exhaust valves had to be ground, and the seats, which I had done. It needed a new head gasket, which I made myself,” Andy says.