6 Blossomdak Place Christchurch 5, New Zealand
What do you do when you are retired? What else? You spend time on a hobby that you love! It is also handy if you are by trade a fitter and turner. So what better than to make model gas engines? If everything goes alright, you get a smile on your face when it is running nicely.
First I was a draftsman by trade, then a fitter and turner. It all started by buying old gas engines and working to restore them. A lot of parts I had to make myself, like carburetors and bearings for a 4 HP Watt engine (English). But then one day I was reading the Gas Engine Magazine and saw that lots of Americans made model engines from castings. So, I ordered some models from America, but when it came to change our money to yours plus postage, then I came to the conclusion that that didn't do much for our pension.
Then I was at a rally and was looking around at the engines and enjoying the lovely music when they run beautiful. I thought, 'What if I make my own model?' So after a lot of kilometers on our quiet roads here in New Zealand, some models and ideas were born. In the weeks that followed, I started to prepare my own engine on paper. Then, by sawing through a 4' water pipe, lengthwise, I could see the cornerstone was put into place. After working out the sides and barrel everyone who was a lover of engines could see what it would become. I had some trouble with the flywheel, but that was solved by casting from another engine with a diameter of 13'. Now I was on the way to success and full of beans, I went from there. I wanted to make something like the Tangye, so I made a sideshaft with the cams in the front and the valves on the bottom.
After a couple of months it started to look like a stationary engine with a sideshaft. Now I had to design a carburetor. After three tries I had one that ran. What a day when you see the first puff of smoke out the outlet!
After a couple of alterations everything ran like clockwork.
But now for a hit and miss. I did that with a belt from an old threading sowing machine that brought the governor in working with the throttle from the carburetor. After a while everything seemed alright.
Now it was time to make a trolley. The wood came from an old Oregon door. The wheels were made with spokes and the rims are from an old gas cylinder. I make my wheels like that or with a center plate with holes.
When everything was finished I had to have a nameplate. I was able to make, with a pantograph, a nameplate 'Baby Tangye.'
The bore is 2', stroke 3', R.P.M. 400, flywheel 13'-2'. Ignition low tension 6V buzz coil (Ford), length 2' 6', width 1'6'. Hours to make it: 1600.
We in New Zealand are quite far from the rest of the world. I immigrated in 1951 to New Zealand, Dutch by birth
with New Zealand citizen papers. Of course, we don't have as many people interested in restoring engines or model making gas engines for that matter, as you have in America. I am one of 25 members of the Christchurch Historic Machinery Club. We have 15 clubs, plus or minus, in New Zealand.
I have just finished a model from America, and what a beautiful engine this is. It is from a drawing from J. &. E. Palmer, a hit and miss junior. I would like to know if any of the subscribers of Gas Engine Magazine know where I can get some more drawings of models gas engines, 2' bore without castings.
If anyone comes for a holiday to New Zealand, you are welcome to view my engines and models. My wife will make you a cup of coffee. She's a keen machine knitter as a hobby, so we are not in each other's way she's in the home and I'm in my workshop, and through the intercom she calls me for morning tea.
I will finish for now with best wishes and greetings.