What DoYou Do When You Retire?

| October/November 1993

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.