SmokStak

By Staff
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Not for sale? Sitting Sandwich engine.

The following comes from a recent topic on SmokStak, which can
be found on the Internet at: www.engineads.com/
smokstak.cgi.
As ever, various Individuals started, commented
on and concluded the following bulletin board thread.

I first saw this Sandwich engine in 1976 when it was hauled to
its present home. It hasn’t been moved since, and it’s
sinking further down in the dirt. The owner won’t part with it:
he says he plans to run it someday. You’ve got to admire him
for not giving up hope, but it’s too bad he won’t cover it
up. – Dusty

Buy a tarp, some rope, go over there and offer to cover it for
him. I understand this would be out of your pocket, but it’d be
worth it, in my opinion. – Joe

He’ll sell or trade it. You just haven’t offered him
something he wants. Visit with him regularly, talk to him, find out
what he would like to have. Once this is known, then you can get
the right trading material. This may take months or years, but it
does work. I’ve traded dog food and chicken feed for engines,
I’ve traded rifles for engines, I’ve traded a septic system
for an engine. I’ve baled hay for a tractor, I’ve traded
liquor for a threshing machine, and I’ve chopped tobacco for a
tractor. People are funny, not everyone wants the cash. –
Patrick

I have a nearly identical situation with a 6 HP IHC M I found by
accident. It sits outside, which worries me. The last time I was
over to ‘talk engines’ with the owner, I offered to buy a
tarp and rope to cover it, and he said ‘no.’ Last week, I
stopped by again with my brother – and by golly – the old timer had
at least covered the low-tension magneto and run it in the last
couple of weeks.

Dusty, that’s a sweet-looking engine, and I would like to
get my hands on it, too. As much as we all dislike it, we have to
accept the fact that it’s his engine to do with as he pleases.
It’s a pity: the odds are he will never do anything with it. If
you want the darn thing, odds are you’ll get it, but it takes
persistence and patience.

For the sake of the engine, try getting permission to cover it,
and that’ll buy some time and you’ll be less worried about
it. It’ll also help hide it, increasing your chances of being
it’s next caretaker. – Marty

Dusty, you might consider trading him a nice-running, painted-up
Fairbanks-Morse Z or a similar, more common engine that’s
already restored and running. Maybe he just wants a running engine
and doesn’t care if it’s a Sandwich or FM engine. Good
luck. – Mike

Nice old engine, but I’m not sure if I’d trade a good FM
for it. It looks to me it might be exposed to the snow in the
winter. If I weren’t so busy with my latest project, I’d
slip up there and have a peek for myself. – Kid

Dusty, try taking an inexpensive squirt oil can filled with a
50/50 mix of motor oil and kerosene with you next time you go over
there. Tell the gentleman the engine should be protected from the
elements and ask if it’s all right to lube it for whomever the
future owner may be (hopefully, you). If he says no, then just
leave the can with him, and pray he’ll do it himself. Can’t
hurt! – Chan

The owner knows as long as he owns the engine you will visit
him. After you get the engine, will you still visit him? One
collector told me about an engine he acquired under similar
circumstances. After the restoration was complete, he took the
previous owner along to local shows to exhibit the engine. The
previous owner was very happy. I don’t know your situation, but
don’t we all own items we won’t part with, that we have no
interest in now except for the fact that they’re ours? Been
there, done that. – George

It seems the older we get, the less inclined we are to part with
our ‘things.’ I’ve been trying to buy a small
Worthington engine from a gentleman who also owns a Hercules that
belonged to his father, and he remembers going to the railway
station with his dad to pick it up. During my last visit, I offered
to completely restore his Hercules free of charge, put it on a
small cart, etc., if he would sell me his Worthington. I had no
luck, and won’t try that again. His comment to me was,
‘What do you know about the worth of a Worthington that I
don’t?’ I explained that I wasn’t out to cheat him, I
just hated to see both engines go to ruin, and I would like to have
the Worthington in my collection. I have items I don’t want to
part with, too. I’ve already reached my three score and 10
limit. Holding onto them recalls the past when I’m not sure of
the future. – Cal

For the engine’s sake, cover it up. If he doesn’t cover
it up and does try to restore it some day, it’ll be even
harder. Trust me, I know. – Tim

The man has hundreds of pieces of old iron just rusting away on
his property. A few inherent problems exist with ‘saving’
this old stuff. A younger man has eagerly taken after him for the
past five years, while I live in another state hundreds of miles
away. The younger guy has one thing in the back of his mind, and
that’s making money, with no interest in the preservation of
this old stuff at all.

The engine was stuck when it was acquired in 1976, and it has
only received a few squirts of oil over the years – not enough to
help out. It’s hard to care for a piece when you live this far
away.

The owner is a prince of a man, but he just has no interest in
parting with his goods. That’s all right if the engine is
properly looked after. The trouble is, there’s just tons of old
iron around. It’s going to be one heck of an auction someday.
Most of the good stuff is located in barns or old outbuildings. –
Dusty

I have seen numerous similar situations and have been sorry to
see stuff rust away or eventually sold for scrap. But after all,
it’s their stuff, and it’s theirs to do with as they see
fit. Put yourself in the older person’s shoes: they may have
collected it with the intention of restoring it and never had the
time or funds to do it. It can be hard to admit you’ll never be
able to work on something due to age or health issues, or to face
the fact you’re older and facing death.

I had an uncle who fit this description. When he was in his
mid-to-late 80s, he still wouldn’t set foot in the local senior
center. He always said he wasn’t old, and he had a tremendous
amount of stuff he was going to restore ‘when he had the
time.’ Time passed, as it always does, and he eventually
suffered a stroke and lived out his last years in a rest home,
finally passing away at age 93.

I had the task of selling off his stuff to pay the rest home
bills. Because of huge medical bills I owed for my kids, I
couldn’t buy any of it and had to watch as it was hauled away.
I think there are a few lessons to be learned here. First, if
you’re getting old, have a plan to dispose of your stuff or get
legal advice about how to protect it for a family member who’s
interested in keeping it in the family. Second, if you see a site
with someone else’s old stuff on it, accept that it’s not
for you to decide what happens to it. Put yourself in the
owner’s shoes, realizing there are probably some issues in his
or her life that led to the situation as it is. There’s surely
no harm in nicely approaching the owner about selling it, but be
considerate, and if they’re unwilling to sell, don’t bug
them. – Bob

Bob, what you wrote was very good advice. When I retired, I
thought that I’d finally have the time to do all those things
that I couldn’t do when I was working. Eight years after
retiring, I find my mind is willing to sign contracts, but my body
isn’t capable of fulfilling them – a sure sign of approaching
old age. I have a small garage full of little engine projects that
I’ll probably never finish. Unfortunately, there’s no line
of people outside the garage wanting to pay me a little face-saving
money for this stuff so they can haul it away.

I suspect that there are many others out there in the same boat.
The stuff in my garage, such as it is, will just sit there until
one of my kids has to dispose of it because they’re not
interested in it and they don’t want it themselves. – Russ

In my travels, I see this scene over and over again. For the
most part, I simply enjoy the visit, marvel at the view and then go
on about my way. It did kind of hurt seeing a complete Mogul
tractor rotting away in Colorado this way, but I got over it.
Besides, I have my own unfinished projects to work on. In a way, we
all have the same problem: too much iron, too little time. –
Harry

SmokStak is an engine conversation bulletin board with over
50,000 messages on file and is part of the Old Engine series of Web
sites that started in 1995 as ‘Harry’s Old Engine.’
Harry Matthews is a retired electronic engineer and gas engine
collector from Oswego, N.Y., now residing in Sarasota, Fla.

‘For the engine’s sake, cover it up. If he doesn’t
cover it up and does try to restore it, some day it’ll be even
harder. Trust me, I know.’

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