| December/January 1998

  • Parts of Engine
    The other woman. I can't figure how much it cost to restore my first engine. I've blocked it out of mind.

  • Parts of Engine

1280 Oakham Road New Braintree, Massachusetts 01531

It all started in the fall of 1992, when my nephew Roger wanted an old motorcycle engine I had under the workbench in the shop. I asked him what he had to trade. He said he had this Ottawa log saw. It was in baskets but it was all there. Not knowing what a log saw one lunger was, I agreed on the trade. This was the beginning of a 2? year battle to get it running, and subsequently a downhill slide of my mental and physical health.

When we unloaded the baskets of parts and brought them into the shop, the main casting was unbalanced and tipped over onto my ankle. Being excited about my new toy it didn't seem to hurt bad!

The next few months I tried to find people and shows to take pictures of other Ottawas so I could assemble mine. Most of the parts all went on in some kind of order, but the push rod that trips the magneto would fire at different times every revolution. I was stumped. So, I brought it to a friend of the family, Paul Walker, across town. We spun it over and over and over trying about everything. Both exhausted and half paralyzed, unable to stand up straight, we slid it out of the way until we regrouped. Two and a half weeks later, after a trip to the hospital for back spasms and prescriptions for ibuprofen, we tried to start it once more.

Paul had left to fetch some part he had made for someone that had stopped in. I was in the (now assumed) Ottawa starting position when it started! I was under the impression it would vibrate round the floor some. It began to do a polka across Paul's workshop heading for his restored Rolls and a 1918 motor cycle. I lost my balance when it hit me in the shins. I tripped over his welding cables, but falling in the correct direction I wrestled it into submission.

It died once more. When Paul returned I told him that it was running! He passed it off as a fish story and didn't believe me. These restorers never told me about mental torment!


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