Two Years of Spare Time Became a Little Traction Engine

Traction Engine

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1125 Brookline Avenue Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54703.

This is a picture of a little traction engine that took two years of spare time to make and was completed in 1991. The frame is made of angle iron bent and welded. The wheels are off a horse drawn manure spreader. I don't know what make it was but would like to find another one just like it. The fenders are made of 10 gauge sheet iron and rolled in an old stove pipe roller. The water tank is an expansion from a hot water heating system and the water gauge on the side takes the guess work out of how much water's in the tank. The steering box is from an old Ford truck and I fabricated the drag link. The steering wheel is from a Case separator.

The engine itself is quite interesting, in that is has a variable cutoff governor mounted in the flywheel. I haven't seen another factory made engine that small with that type governor before. I think it was made by a company named Payne.

A friend used it to power his shop by line shaft and flat belts. I got it at his estate sale. It has a 2 x 3 bore and stroke and 2-3 HP.

Because the governor is in the flywheel, the engine can't be reversed. A transaxle from a garden tractor solved that problem. It does about 2 HP in high, which is fast enough, since it was built with the kid in mind.

The boiler is 18' around and 32' high without the firebox and carries 125 lbs. It's Wisconsin certified, and from a cold start to full head of steam, it only takes 45 minutes without crowding the fire. The whole thing fits nicely in a standard pickup box, which makes hauling quite nice.

The picture was taken at the Eau Claire Show in 1991 by Ray Ebling. This show's always the second week end in August. Maybe we'll see you there.

With the passing of time, it seems there's fewer of the old folk around that I grew up with, until this year, I think I could count all the familiar faces on one hand. What a sorrowful thought that would be but, through faith in our Lord, we may yet meet on another shore for a different kind of reunion.