How did you get into stationary engines.

Gentlemen,
I have asked this question on the IF web site so lets hear from those of you
who don't look there.
Martin P
Reply to
campingstoveman
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who don't look there.
Many moons ago my interests were mainly old radio and electrical equipment items. I used to keep my eyes on scrap yards for equipment of interest. An apprentice of mine said he wished to buy a stationary engine to show at traction engine rallies and could I keep my eyes open for one for him. When visiting a scrap yard that I knew I spotted two 3HP Lister Juniors connected to air compressors that were ex-navy and had never been in use. I bought the two for about £20 and sold one to the lad for £20. He was delighted. I took the Lister off its base and fitted it with a wooden base and ex-fire engine wheels and visited the last Burtonwood Traction Engine Rally (1978) to see what people thought about it. See
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my amazement the man at the gate saw the engine in my van and directed me onto the showground even though I hadn't booked in or even had the engine running. I enjoyed the company and the show and that was enough to get me into the hobby. I have owned nearly a 100 engines over the years but now I only own about 5 full size engines and my Sterling collection. My arthritis now makes spanners very hard to use. Lets see some more tales on this subject to enliven the winter!
Reply to
Dave Croft
"campingstoveman" wrote in message news: snipped-for-privacy@bt.com...
By owning a moving one that stopped working ???
As an aside I used to be into agricultural machinery, but switched to domestic appliances. I am now an extractor fan...
Mike
Reply to
Muddymike
Many many years of being willingly dragged to vintage shows by my dad, I think :-) Found this group in about 2002 when I was living in NZ and working on Wrights Hill's Ruston 4VRO and 6VCR. I fell off the group again for a few years and I'm not quite sure how I ended up back on here ;)
Oh, I keep passing a pile of what might be "big stuff" sitting amongst a yard of junk on the outskirts of the nearby town - I'm not sure if it's an engine or just a big compressor or something at this stage though (it has what looks to be one large and one smaller cylinder, and a very large 'flywheel' to it, but the flywheel's grooved* which has me curious).
Problem with being in the US is it's hard to just casually wander into someone's yard without getting shot ;)
*
the grooves are the reason for thinking compressor, as it may have been belt-driven from something that's long-gone...
cheers
Jules
Reply to
Jules
On Mon, 7 Dec 2009 20:26:29 -0000, "Muddymike" finished tucking into their plate of fish, chips and mushy peas. Wiping their mouths, they swigged the last of their cup of tea, paid the bill and wrote::
I'd been involved with bus and trolleybus preservation, but a beautiful young woman and marriage intervened.
I later decided to "get into" agricultural preservation, but decided that tractors were too big and beyond my limited abilities, so I looked out for a suitable engine and acquired a Bamford EG1which was a non runner. I was given help to "lash up" a fuel tank and spent the whole of one Rempstone weekend taking the head off, filling the hole in the head with Belzonia Molecular Metal and re-assembling it. It attracted more interest than all the other engines put together, and there was one hell of a cheer when it eventually ran at Sunday lunch time.
I rang Bamfords on the Monday morning and ordered an exhaust, a petrol tap, tank and straps. The spares arrived COD on the Wednesday and a week the following Saturday the restored engine went to Cromford!
The Bamford was put to a milking setup........... Then I acquired a reverse rotation Lister D which was put to a sludge pump - bloody heavy, that was............. I had a Petter A for a while, but that got passed on fairly quickly. I also rallied a Lister Junior for a time - the one "failure" was a 2-stroke round-top Petter which I never got to run well - I suspected it needed some work on the mag.
Eventually they all went, but in my garage at the moment is an unrestored pre-war D with a Lister magneto - must get something done with it..................
Brian L Dominic
Web Site:
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Newsgroup readers should note that the reply-to address is NOT read: To email me, please send to brian(dot)dominic(at)tiscali(dot)co(dot)uk
Reply to
Brian Dominic
While dropping a 2 cylinder petter into my daughters boat, I found by asking at different garages who said OOO i don't know but ... 1: a farmer who amongst his sheds had a drawer full of fuel filters for an old engine and 2: an old guy who was rebuilding old stationary engines which his son or son in law would buy for him to fettle. good times and now I am tied to a Lister fr. which I rebuilt from sized and mank. which is pushing my narrow boat..
Reply to
vic the barge
W-e-l-l - he said, drawing his chair closer to the 'pooter - it was in the early 1970's. I was very much into bikes, especially vintage ones, but any sort really. Andrew was quite small, so probably in 1976, we all went to a steam fair at Donnington Park & there I came across a line of stationary engines and was immediately captivated. It was the hit & miss stuff I liked - it seemed such an improbable way of controlling an engine to me, brought up as I was on modern high speed engines.
I asked around and quite quickly found an Amanco Chore Boy in the back of a car garage in a local village. He demonstrated it, we dickered and off I went with it in the back of the form's pick up. It was a bitch to start & examination revealed that the carb needle had been roughly filed up from a bolt - I was stunned that it worked at all. I ran in for my mates & in the garden on nice days just for fun, but I knew no-one else who was interested.
I discovered others, first of all a Villiers WXII (must be the racing version as it has a bronze head) and then a very complete air compressor set that was also WXII powered. It started & ran just fine, but would not pump up the tank. As the pressure rose, so it petered out & died. Sticky rings, I think. I did discover that if I ran oxygen off the welding set into the carb, it ran a lot better & pumped up the tank til it cut out at 80psi!
And there - with no-one to share it - the interest waned, the engines were shoved to the back of the workshop and there they stayed. Yes, they are still there!
In 1999, I was on my way to London to see a client & dropped into the newsagents at Temple Meads to find something to read on the train. I found SEM and on the back was a Petter "Little Pet" with a rugby ball tank. That did it, I was back! Then followed Lister D, Wolseley WD series, Crossley 1075 et al until I found out that there were LOTS of flat twins about & really, that got and maintained my interest.
Regards,
Kim Siddorn
Reply to
kimsiddorn
The VERY first engine I owned myself was a Trojan Minimotor & it clipped onto the back of my pushbike. It was OK in the dry, but I know now that it should have had the smooth roller with the industrial sandpaper finish, not the grooved version designed for desert use ;o))
In the dry, it whizzed along and the good Lord alone knows how fast it went going down hill! One time, I was going down a long hill, concentrating on hiding behind the steering head nut and enjoying the frantic "eeeeeeeeeee" from the exhaust - wasps in coke tins were nothing on this thing - when the freewheel locked up & the pedals suddenly started to go round.
I wish I could have witnessed it from the safety of the pavement as the rather corpulent, totally inexperienced and bewildered motorcyclist suddenly found himself aboard a device possessed of the Devil incarnate. We arrived amongst the traffic like an act of God, feet flailing, machine wobbling and engine screaming (never thought to shut the throttle) eventually the brakes took hold and I managed to grind to a halt. The roller was slipping on the tyre by now & clouds of noxious smoke arose from it. I pulled in the clutch, lifting the engine off the wheel. The howling engine note rose & fell as points bounced and induction tried to keep up with exhaust. Finally, I thought to close the throttle & sat there in the blessed silence, a quivering wreck.
"Beep"! Went the car behind me as the lights changed. Would it start? Of course not. Later that afternoon, my dad took the plug out & looked mystified at the melted centre electrode. "Need a harder plug in that" he said - and thereafter it oiled them up for a pastime.
If I'd known then a tenth of what I know now about Mr Day's engines, my life would have been so much easier.
Reply to
kimsiddorn
kimsiddorn wrote (snip):
Reminiscent of my first and only foray on to powered two-wheelers, a VeloSoleX - not so good given my location in the Chiltern Hills. Engine assistance was zero in the wet and I never progressed from a provisional moped license. If only my father had taken the same attitude as his and insisted that such small engined devices were downright dangerous - dad's first 'bike was a thoroughly clapped SS80!
NHH
Reply to
NHH
Similar story but from slightly different perspective. My father is a long time vintage vehicle enthusiast and during the late 60's and 70's we would regularly go 'en famille' to local steam fairs. While most were admiring the shiny traction engines, I could usually be found hanging around the almost apologetic little row of popping, spitting 'barn engines. Not sure what the fascination was, but it has never left me.
NHH
Reply to
NHH
On Tue, 8 Dec 2009 18:37:12 -0000, "kimsiddorn" finished tucking into their plate of fish, chips and mushy peas. Wiping their mouths, they swigged the last of their cup of tea, paid the bill and wrote::
Thanks for that, Kim - as a Solex owner I can sympathise but that NEVER got out of hand, but it was a sod to pedal up the hills at either end of the road I live on - the bottom of a valley is NOT the place to have a Solex!
Brian L Dominic
Web Site:
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Newsgroup readers should note that the reply-to address is NOT read: To email me, please send to brian(dot)dominic(at)tiscali(dot)co(dot)uk
Reply to
Brian Dominic
--Trip to Kew Bridge Pumping Museum in '82; fascinated by engines that work without rotary motion..
Reply to
steamer
I have been interested in old cars, steam engines etc for most of my life, in my youth visiting local steam rallies, where I was first introduced to stationary industrial engines. In the mid 70s I moved from my native Staffordshire to Hampshire, taking with me my "restoration project" Sunbeam Talbot convertible. The lack of space and facilities soon made me give in to the nagging to get rid of the rusting heap of metal under the tarp in the back yard. Having done so, I had space to erect a double garage. Now, with the space to work on a project but no project to work on, I was in need of some sort of relief. I popped round for a cuppa with the neighbour who was browsing a local advertising mag he indicated an advert asking me what it was about. It was someone selling a Lister and a Wolseley WD2, for £10 each (non-running) No sooner had I explained what they were than we were in his van driving down the road. The seller was an elderly gent who had suffered a heart attack. Under doctors orders he was reluctantly selling some of his projects - the Lister had already gone, but the Wolseley was there in bits. The cylinder which had been cracked had been stitched and repaired professionally. He assured me it was all complete, he even had a photocopy of the handbook. Thus money and scrap iron changed hands and the engine was deposited in my new garage. I managed to get most of it reassembled before my wife decided she wanted a second car and a Wolseley 1500 was purchased. Of course this needed some TLC and it had to be the main priority. To cut a long story short, the WD2 got left and moved house three times with us, without any further work being done. I continued to buy and restore classic cars and in 1999 (I think) we were at a local autojumble where I saw a little stationary engine on a stall with a price tag of £5. The only things I knew about it was that it was a Douglas (evident by the name on the side) and it was missing the magneto (equally evident by the gaping hole in the side). I convinced SWMBO that it was too good a bargain to miss (and as I had made around £100 selling spares on my stall, she couldn't argue that I couldn't afford it) so a second stationary engine came home with me. In 2002 I suffered a stroke, resulting in partial paralysis of my left arm and leg, which meant I had to give up restoring cars. Ultimately this also resulted in us moving to a bungalow, relinquishing my four-car garage for a single. My son-in-law was living in a house without a garage although he had a good-sized brick shed, and wanted something "oily and mechanical" to play with, so I donated the WD2 to him, he has now stripped it and is completely rebuilding it again. I recently decided that I could handle the Douglas engine once it is on the bench. It transpires that it is also lacking the complete cowling and thus the id plate which would have been on it, so I set about trying to identify what model it is, which in itself has been a very interesting exercise, which also led me to realise that there is very little in the way of support groups or parts for these engines, so I set up a website as a "focal point". It transpires that my engine is a VS25 250cc vertical single cylinder side valve engine, probably built in the early 40s. I have also been gathering Wico A magnetos with the intention (hopefully) of making one good one from all the bits (as I am an electrical engineer, I find that particularly interesting). Thus my stationary engine has proved to be a varied and interesting passtime, through which I have already made regular contact with a number of interesting people. For my birthday, my wife has bought me "another pile of rusty metal" which is a virtually complete Douglas SV engine and for Christmas she is buying me a set of wheels for a trolley for the VS25, so she has accepted that I now have a new hobby!
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THE DOUGLAS STATIONARY ENGINE RESOURCE (admin)

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