Stationary Engine List


| December/January 1999



Computer Keyboard

http://www.atis.net

A great deal of the traffic on the Stationary Engine Mailing List over the last two months has been on the subject of the Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Show at Portland, Indiana: preparation for the show and impressions afterwards. As it must be one of the largest engine shows in world, it seemed an ideal place for a meeting of those whose normal method of communication is via a computer keyboard, so we traveled, from England, Australia, Canada, and from coast to coast of the United States, by commercial jet, private plane, truck and car to meet, mostly for the first time.

No one went away disappointed, and much as I would love to pass on some of the comments made about the meeting (votes are not all in yet as most of the Australian contingent are still traveling homewards as I type), I must bear in mind that technical information is more sought after than show reports, and pass on instead some of the expertise which has come to light in other 'threads' of discussion.

The subject of the 'finish' on an engine is one which crops up regularly and frequently stimulates a lively exchange, to which the usual outcome is to leave it original, to shine it up to a perfection not even seen in the factory--or anything in between. It's an entirely individual preference, and the variety, as in the choice of engine, is one of the many things which adds interest at a show. However, at some stage, almost everyone needs to paint all or part of an engine, and the following advice surfaced from those around the world who have tried and tested many different methods.

I have found that body filler is best for deeper holes as it has more body and strength. Most spray putty will separate in layers if applied too thick and is best used in thin layer coats. One way is to use the body filler, then smooth it back with a sander with maybe 100/200 grit and the use of a light layer of body putty which can be smoothed a lot easier with finer paper.

You can get glazing compound at most automotive supply houses to use as a filler. Sand it, put on a good heavy coat of primer and then paint only after the primer has cured. The paint will flow and do a great job.