Merle Morse's Rumely Oil Pull, built to about 1/3 scale.
For something like 10 years, Merle Morse was perfectly happy building model engines. Then he discovered that bigger was better.
'I'm a metal shop instructor, and I like to build things,' he says. 'I'd been building models, but then one day somebody offered me a Stover; it really just fell into my lap.'
The 1920 3 hp Stover Model K came with an uncommon option: it was dual fuel, and throttle governed. It was meant to be started on gas and run on kerosene, but Merle now runs it solely on gas.
'Most were not dual fuel, and were probably hit-and-miss engines,' he says. Merle speculates that the throttling governor design provided a more steady power for a particular application, such as running a generator, for instance.
'But I have no idea what this one was used for,' he says. 'I think it was originally used in a mine in Arizona.'
The Stover wears two plates: one from the manufacturer in Freeport, Ill., and one from the vendor: 'Krakauer, Zora & Moye, successors agents, El Paso, Texas and Chihuahua, Mexico.' It gleams now, but didn't when Merle first got hold of it.
'It was solid rust,' he says, 'but mostly complete. It was not in as bad a shape as a lot of engines are, but I had to rebuild every piece.
'The paint job was probably as hard as anything on the restoration,' he says. 'This is just my opinion, but I think engines should look nice and shiny. I do try to duplicate the original colors.'
A later project was a 1919 3 hp Fairbanks Morse, also dual fuel, throttle governed. The two engines are similar in many ways, but the Fairbanks is lighter than the Stover, Merle says, and the Stover's flywheel, cylinder and hopper are all bigger.
'The Stover is a very, very smooth running engine because of the large flywheel,' he says, 'but the Fairbanks Morse probably puts out more horsepower.'