Stationary Engine List

Making Mufflers


| June/July 2003



Stationary Engine

The avowed mission of this column is the passing of information discussed by members of the Stationary Engine Mailing List to the readers of GEM.

But a personal side benefit it gives me is updating readers on the state of Tillie, GEM's cover girl for the December 2001 issue. Tillie, in case you've forgotten, is the 15 HP half-breed oil field engine my husband, Jim, and I displayed at Portland, Ind., in 2001 and then shipped to England.

Tillie ran a couple of times that winter, then flatly refused to run again. All last summer, whenever he had time to spare, Jim got a good workout on the flywheels trying to get her running again, but with no result. In the course of Tillie's restoration, a crack around the inside of the head had been welded - and welded again -before Tillie made her Portland run. Jim suspected the crack was the source of the problems, so he had a go at welding it himself, but with no result. He then turned to a professional welding company, and finally tried a specialist cast iron welding company. We collected the head from them last week, put it back on Tillie, fired up the hot tube, and one flip of the flywheels and she was off. Believe me, it felt good!

Even if you haven't taken an engine to a show yet this season, you likely will soon. With that thought in mind, I've culled a few threads from the List that should help you get your engines into tip-top cosmetic condition and ready for public viewing.

The first question was on the cleaning of oilers, when the standard cleaners are unavailable:

Are there any chemists in the house? What's a good concoction for cleaning old, tarnished brass? It's too late to go buy Brasso or Noxon - I need something that's already in my kitchen.