Stationary Engine List

Engines and Marital Harmony


| January/February 2003



Stationary Engine

The Stationary Engine Mailing List on the Internet is a mine of useful information, some of which I pass on to readers of GEM. It is also frequently a mine of useless information, and for this month's article I've veered towards the latter. That said, this information could well come into the category of safe working practices, as it is a list of 'wife-do-nots.'

Now, a discussion along these lines is not going to classify for a top award at the next gathering of the politically correct, but I have two claims in my defense. Firstly, some of these contributions are from engine wives (note that I did not use the phrase 'engine widows' - their opinions are admirably put forward by their men folk), and secondly, I'm female, which I think gives me an edge in such a sexist discussion.

This article may prove useful in many ways. Those new to the hobby (of engine restoration or relationships - take your pick!) may be set on the right track for a hobby that runs in harmony with marriage. Some may pick up a few tips to form the basis of New Year's resolutions. And some of you can use it as a defense mechanism: 'You think I'm bad? But dear, at least I don't do what THIS guy does!' You will note that names have been omitted to protect the guilty parties. I don't want to see an extended list of obituaries in the next edition of GEM.

The discussion began when one List member reported a method of weighing an engine that involved using the bathroom scales. As he said, 'The only hitch was that my wife had a fit when she found out what I was doing with the scales. She still remembers when I wrecked her good paring knife cutting a gasket.'

'Kind of like my wife not being too happy with me using her oven to pre-heat a rod, and pouring babbitt bearing on the kitchen table. Perhaps we should come up with a list of 'wife-donots' for those members just getting started,' responded a sympathetic List member.

In the spirit of those great words of wisdom, 'Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself,' I give you the definitive guide to Wife-Do-Nots.