First Things

| August/September 1988

Box 55, Nineveh, New York, 13813

I love old engines no matter what kind they are. Anytime I see one in the scrap pile the gears begin to turn in my head. I hate to admit it, but I think those gears are a little out of time with the rest of the world. Anybody in their right mind would have left this piece of antiquity, that I picked up from my very good friend Harold Merrin, the local junk man, stay in the pile of junk where I found it.

At first glance I thought that it was an old compressor, then I spied the carburetor. The first thought that came into my mind was that it was an old Maytag. I have my doubts about this, there were other two cycle engines made besides Maytag. It's a two cycle all cast iron engine with a brass carburetor and timer. I don't think Maytag ever made an upright engine, but who knows.

I keep looking for clues and markings, but have never found anything that gives me the remotest idea of who made the engine. The only thing I know is that it is very old and was made before magnetos. It has a timer and ignition system that works off a buzz coil. I have the buzz coil and some of Lee Pedersen's high tension wire, so I don't think the ignition will be a problem. I don't think that very many of these engines were made. Although the brass connecting rod was cast, it also shows hand work like it was one of a kind.

It was a life or death situation with me. I just had to restore this lovable hunk of old iron or die trying. The water in the cylinder had been there a long time and the iron piston was welded to the cylinder. It was an impossible situation, even thinking about it was ridiculous.

Remembering the days of the old gasoline blowtorch gave me the bright idea of firing up an old one I had. I knew better than to use my acetylene torch. The old blowtorch worked great, it gave me heat all the way around the cylinder.