Threshing bee

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Rt. 2, Box 3157 Lopez Island, WA 98261

Chuck Thompson is aboard a 60 HP Case believed to be from about 1910. The engine is owned by Keith Sternberg, Rt. 2, Box 3157, Lopez Island, Washington 98261.

The photo was taken on the Sternberg farm in Northwestern Washington in the summer of 1982. The engine is a 60 HP Case and steams real easy pulling the 22x42 Twin City separator #1069. The Case engine shop number is missing but some of the casting numbers and boiler construction details show it to be a 1910 engine.

I bought this engine from Frank Ott in Clackamas, Oregon, and many Western Steam Fiends members will remember the engine pulling his sawmill. Frank bought it from Wallowa County, in eastern Oregon, about 1955. It pulled a sawmill there, too.

The boiler is still like new. I hydro to 180 once a year and set the pop at 110. The old Kunkle pop valve was still set at 140, but we don't need that much for what we do.

Thousands of board feet of logs have gone through the headsaw and the slop in the clutch sleeve shows it, but it's slated for an overhaul soon. Last winter, I overhauled the valve gear, new pins and reverse block, brasses rebored.

Pulling the bundle wagons are Clydesdale geldings Laddie and Rob. A threshing bee without horses just isn't right. We used no gas tractors here and I don't figure on using any.

The fine -scale Case is from Anacortes, on the nearby mainland, and belongs to Elton Hanneman. Elton uses the little engine to buzz wood and shows it at the Lynden Threshing Bee.

Most of my steam experience has been on the water, as fireman and engineer of the compound and triple-expansion condensing outfits, scotch-marine and water tube boilers.

I keep a steam launch in a nearby cove. She burns wood or used lube oil in a water tube boiler and has a fore and aft compound engine with keel condenser. There is no better power than steam and I would stay ashore before I'd have an internal combustion engine in my boat!