Hickory Tree Associated

| November/December 1996

  • Wheel and Axle of Engine

  • Wheel and Axle of Engine

  • Wheel and Axle of Engine
  • Wheel and Axle of Engine

4260 Lower Saucon Road Hellertown, Pennsylvania 18055

This engine story started about 25 years ago. I saw this engine sitting alongside a barn, next to a field of corn I was about to harvest. As all old engine collectors would do, I asked the owner if it was for sale. 'NOPE,' he said, 'GET!!' Well so much for the welcome I got!

This past fall I was passing through and wondered if the engine was still there. Would you believe, it still sat there covered with a rotted piece of board? This time I approached the owner with some general talk and then I asked about the engine. He said it belonged to his brother, who was now in a nursing home. I asked if it could be bought. To my surprise he said yes, his brother wasn't likely to come back from the nursing home and he sure could use some extra money. I asked him what he wanted. He told me and I laid some of those Ben Franklins in his hand and his eyes lit up, but he said a hickory tree was growing up through it. I was to cut the tree into fireplace length logs and pile the branches in the fence row!! Agreed.

A friend of mine, 'Stumpy,' and I took along two power saws, pick axe, shovel, a couple of tools and set out to reclaim this prized piece. As you can see by the photos, the tree started to claim the wheel and axle. We dropped the tree, made a vertical cut between wheel and engine, made a horizontal cut above the wheel to vertical cut. We removed the flywheels, carb, unbolted the engine from the trunk and left the trunk fastened to the stump in the ground. After the engine and pieces were loaded, we pulled the cotter pin from the axle, squirted the axle with oil and as Stumpy raised and lowered the front of the trunk I used a bar and got the trunk free! After digging all the stones away from the stump, we started to reclaim the wheel. Well, after sharpening the chain at least a dozen times, we finally got the wheel. I guess when the barn was built all the small stones were covered with dirt. We must have cut more stone than roots!

At first, I was going to remove the tree from the engine. The more I looked at it, the more I liked the tree!! So I decided it would make a good conversation piece.

The tree claimed the ignitor, push rod, trip assembly, the wheel and axle.


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