Antique Engine and Air Compressor

By Staff
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1 HP Gray engine, owned and restored by Dan Lindberg, 990 Mace Road, Duluth, Minnesota $5804.

990 Mace Road, Duluth, MN 55804

Last year I got the engine, a 1 HP Gray, from Kim Johnson, a
local implement dealer. He had hauled it down from Fairlight,
Saskatchewan where it had originally run a cream separator.

The old farmer that had it said they had thrown it out because
it never ran right, but the Associated engine they replaced it with
was worse.

When I got the engine, it was a real : basket-case. I began
restoring it in my Junior High School shop class. It had thrown a
rod and there was a chunk out of the block where the oiler sits.
The rod cap was missing, along with all of the governor parts
(somebody had made a new one and they did a poor job of it), the
pushrod, rocker arm, lubricator, and muffler were missing, along
with some other small bits and pieces.

The head was a real mess, too. The valve guides were broken off
with the valves bent over inside them, the little fork that holds
the rocker arm was broken in four places. The threaded boss where
the muffler screws in was also broken off. The needle valve in the
carburetor was bent over and rusted solid, too.

When I managed to get the piston unstuck, I had another
unpleasant surprise. There were no rings, and the end of the
connecting rod was nearly rusted away to nothing (I can’t
imagine why, it had been sitting in a manure pile since 1940).

This little engine must have been a scapegoat for someone’s
anger and frustration because they even broke the crank in the
flywheel and there are dents in the castings where someone had been
pounding on the poor thing. 

The compressor I bought from one of my neighbors. He thought it
would be the perfect thing to run with an antique gas engine and it
turns out he was right. Nobody has ever seen anything like it

The compressor was in pretty good shape and it had been stored
inside. All I had to do to it was make another pulley for it (the
compressor had two), and find some grease cups for it.

The belt switcher is something that my Dad and I devised. It
uses an unloading valve and an air cylinder to power a fork that
moves the belt. The unloading valve opens and powers the air
cylinder when the air pressure in the reservoir tank reaches 60
PSI. When the pressure drops, the valve closes, bleeds off the air
cylinder, and a spring moves the fork from the idling to the
working position.

I made a belt tightener so it can be clamped at the desired
tension, making it easier on the bearings. The tightener
doesn’t bounce up and down like some do.

The cart, the gauge, the buzz coil, and the small valves and
parts came from flea markets, auctions, and our junk box.

I think the engine was made about 1915. I heard that it was made
by T &. M Motor Company of Wisconsin for Gray Motor

The air compressor was made by F. W. Spacke Machine Co. of
Indianapolis, probably sometime in the late 1800’s. I would
like to hear from anyone who knows anything about it or the

My parents are restoring a wooden threshing machine. It is made
by the Doylestown Agricultural Works of Doylestown, PA. It is a
very small machine. It does not have a wind stacker, an elevator, a
recycler, or even a sacking attachment for bagging the grain. This
machine has an overshot cylinder and a straw rack.

The threshing machine was designed to be pulled by horses,
because the grain infeed table folds around to make a seat for the
driver. This would mean that the machine was made somewhere around
the turn of the century.

They would like to hear from anyone with information on it.

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