| January/February 1997

'Hired Man' engine

3980 Becket Drive Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906

All three of these engines were 100% built by me. All three of the casting kit suppliers happen to be advertisers in GEM, as am I.

Above is 'Hired Man' engine, a 1/3 scale model of a 1 HP engine, built from a Breisch/Peters castings kit. The crankshaft was machined from a solid bar of tool steel and left in the annealed state. All engine bolts, studs and nuts were machined from stainless steel, as were the valves, springs and push rod, on both this model and the one at bottom left. All brass parts were machined from bar stock except the connecting rod and governor weights. A 1/8' bore plunger pump keeps the fuel level at the needle valve height. A tiny micro-switch is used for points and a small transistor ignition circuit (TIM-4, designed by Floyd Carter) triggers the lawn mower magneto coil that is inside the engine base. A small 6 volt gel battery in the battery box supplies the current. Contrary to many reports that the air cooled Hired Man engine runs hot, the head and cylinder never get too hot to lay a finger on and keep it there!

A half scale model of a 2 HP Middletown Machine 'Woodpecker' engine, built from a castings kit by Richard Shelly. The fuel tank, fuel valve, mixer, drain cock, lubricator, oil caps and many other small parts were fabricated mostly from brass stock. The battery box contains a small 6 volt gel battery. A lawn mower magneto coil in the engine base fires a homemade take-apart 10 mm spark plug. Scale size spark plug wire comes from television repair shops.

A half scale model of a 2 HP Perkins 'Windmill' engine, built from a DeBolt Machine castings kit. The crankshaft on this model and the one at left were machined from a solid bar of tool steel and left in the annealed state. The engine bolts were made from stainless steel as is the governor shaft, needle valve, tank bracket and some other parts. Many of the bronze castings were discarded and the parts machined from solid brass. The make-and-break ignition points are of tungsten welding electrode material. A 12 volt gel battery and an induction coil made by rewinding an old transformer are inside the base.