Modeler's Corner

A long history in the making

| April 2007

  • LittleYork.jpg
    'Above: “Little York,” a hit-and-miss engine finished in 2002 from Richard Shelly plans. '
  • DinkyDears.jpg
    Left: “Dinky Dears – John Deere.” Mel built this engine in 2001 from Jerry Frisbie plans. Ignition is by a 6-volt car coil and 6-volt lantern battery in the base.
  • Pioneer.jpg
    'Below: “Pioneer,” a non-compression engine built in 2007 from Rudy Kouhougt plans. Ignition on this and the Little York are the same as the John Deere, pictured above. '
  • Beamer.jpg
    'Above: “Beamer,” the hot air engine Mel finished in 2004 from Jerry Howell plans. '
  • Rider-Ericsson.jpg
    Left: A Rider-Ericsson hot air engine finished in 2005. It is a 1/4-scale pumping engine from Myers Model Engine Works.
  • FireEater.jpg
    'Right: “Fire Eater,” a vacuum engine built in 1990 from Philip Duclas plans. '
  • TinCanhotairEngine.jpg
    'Right: A tin can hot air engine built from junk: a tin can, beer can, car shock and Mel’s first curved-spoke flywheel. '
  • Miser.jpg
    'Above: “Miser,” a low-temperature hot air engine finished in 1999 from Jerry Howell plans. '
  • 1941SouthBendlathe.jpg
    Below: Mel doing work with his 1941 South Bend lathe.
  • Ervin.jpg
    'Left: “Ervin,” a hit-and-miss gas engine finished in 1997 from Curt Schlueter plans. '
  • Vickie.jpg
    'Below: “Vickie,” a hot air engine finished in 2000 from Jerry Howell plans. '
  • LittleAngel.jpg
    'Above: “Little Angel,” built in 1995 from Bob Shares plans. Ignition is by an airplane coil and two 1-1/2-volt flashlight batteries. '
  • OilPumper.jpg
    An oil pumper built between other projects is Mel’s own design.
  • Melswaterpump.jpg
    Mel’s water pump from Tom Alexander plans.
  • MelTinCanHotAirEngine.jpg
    Another tin can hot air engine Mel also built between other projects.

  • LittleYork.jpg
  • DinkyDears.jpg
  • Pioneer.jpg
  • Beamer.jpg
  • Rider-Ericsson.jpg
  • FireEater.jpg
  • TinCanhotairEngine.jpg
  • Miser.jpg
  • 1941SouthBendlathe.jpg
  • Ervin.jpg
  • Vickie.jpg
  • LittleAngel.jpg
  • OilPumper.jpg
  • Melswaterpump.jpg
  • MelTinCanHotAirEngine.jpg

I really enjoy reading your Modeler's Corner, the only trouble is you don't have enough entries, so I figured I would try and help you out.

I am an 83-year-old retired farmer who loves shop work, but money was always tight so I couldn't buy new tools. I have a 1941 South Bend lathe with 9-inch swing and 3-foot bend, and a small table top jet mill. I have no schooling on lathe and mill work, so the little I know I learned by reading, and trial and error.

My engines all run and we show them at power shows. In the past we went to about six shows a year, but last year, due to age and health reasons, we only went to three shows.

Contact Mel Hofer at: 312 E. 3rd St., Freeman, SD 57029; (605) 925-4732.