15 Mell Drive N. Babylon, New York 11703
Out East, about as far as you can go, the hobby is flourishing! Some friends and I have been in this hobby for many years and we enjoy the people as well as the hobby and the fun of making old iron work again, as well as 'modeling', steam and gasoline.
These close-up snapshots are of a 1/5 scale upright IHC Famous I have jus completed.
I became acquainted with Jim May from Sandwich, Illinois, about two years ago when his 1/5 scale Sandwich engine appeared on the back cover of the October 1992 issue of GEM. I wrote Jim for castings and drawings. He also sent me a list of other engine kits he had, and said that he was just finishing a 1/5 scale IHC Famous, vertical engine. I just had to have that model kit! About a month later I received the U.P.S. shipment of both kits (Sandwich and IHC). The drawings came by regular mail.
As I workedon the engine I enjoyed the ease with which everything went. By starting with the base (which houses the fuel tank) and painting as I went along, the engine began to take shape fast. Once the big work (base, crank-case, cylinder, crankshaft and fly wheels) was done, the interesting work (for me anyway) was now at hand. Having what basically looked like an engine sitting in front of me I began to study the drawings to see where I would start. A tough decision because there are a lot of parts to make. Jim has all the parts broken down into groups and numbers, the drawings by group and print number. If you obtain one of his kits, and have a problem, refer to these numbers to aid in ease of answering the problem. If you enjoy all the neat little brackets, what nots and do-dads, this is it!
After many hours of enjoyable machining, filing and grinding, I was down to the final pieces. The igniter! These parts are small but not impossible. A little time and patience and you will have a little jewel of an igniter with the springs, points and trip finger all working smoothly.
After a little over 100 hours part time (an hour or so every night and a few hours on the weekends), I had a very rewarding piece of work. Jim suggests motoring (belt up to an electric motor) for about a half hour or so to help set the rings and at the same time you can check and retighten all those loose nuts and bolts that you forgot to Loctite. It works and will save a lot of time and aggravation in the long run. The engine will start easier the first time and the more times it's run, the easier it is to start.
Jim May's address is 808 Elm Street, Sandwich, IL 60548. Write him a letterhe's always working up something different!