Hit-and-Miss Ice Cream Churns

| October/November 2001

  • SmokStak

  • Quart freezer
    Mel Smith uses a 1941 John Deere Model E 1- HP to run his 20 quart freezer

  • SmokStak
  • Quart freezer

The following comes from a recent topic on SmokStak at Various individuals started, commented and concluded the following bulletin board thread.

Can someone tell me if the ice cream churns hooked to the hit-and-miss engines were made for those engines or is it a conversion of some sort? If a conversion, please explain how, as I would like to set one up. I have the engine already.

All the ones I've seen were White Mountain Freezers adapted for hit-and-miss. They have to be geared real slow or run off the cam gear to slow them down. They also have to have a slip clutch or a break cable wooden pin in the drive somewhere or else when the ice cream freezes it'll tear up something. I don't know the RPM, but it's slow.

Thanks for the info. I'm hoping someone will tell me in detail how to do all the gearing down and hookup, etc... It will be July before I can get to a show and possibly see a setup such as I am asking about.

Step-by-step? Well, let's see. First, a throttle-governed engine is a much better power source than a hit-and-miss for running a freezer. The sudden acceleration when the engine hits has a tendency to cause shock loads and broken parts. Not to say you can't do it, but be aware of what's going on. To build you need a pallet or skid of some sort, a hand crank freezer and a countershaft, plus some sort of reduction setup -v-belt and pulleys or chain and sprockets are simplest.

I recommend using a countershaft even if you are mounting it with the engine on a cart for three reasons: first, it allows a second reduction; second, it allows you to make a light drive for the freezer and still use the gas engine's original drive pulley; and three, if you insist on using a hit-and-miss engine, adding a heavy flywheel to the countershaft will help even out the power. Putting a shear coupling on the countershaft is cheap insurance, too.