My little 1 /2 size Engine

| September/October 1986

  • One-half size engine

  • One-half size engine

R.R. 1, Box 75 Kirkman, Iowa 51447

Pictured here is a little one-half size engine I have been working on for the last three years. I call it a Rumely, after the 20 horsepower 1915 Model as shown in Jack Nor-beck's book Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engines on page 228. That engine is owned by Dennis Salley of Mason, Michigan, where it has been shown at the Michigan Steam Engine & Threshers Show at Mason. I have never met Dennis, but plan to contact him sometime.

The reason I call it a 1915 Rumely is because, after I located an engine, it had a link reverse and so I had to set the steam dome ahead to make room for the valve gear. The only boiler spec I had to go by was a 65 Case which is quite similar except for a higher dome and set farther ahead.

The engine is a Hyde windless engine made in Bath, Maine, with a 4 inch bore and a 6' stroke. That, too, would be more like Rumely, as Case seemed to keep their bore and stroke in some engines the same measurement or within an inch.

The front wheels are made-over wheels from a manure spreader, the rear wheels from a McCormick grain binder. The front door is a flywheel from a 1957 Ford with automatic transmission. The front mounting and axle, also smoke stack, I made out of material I could find out of a junk pile.

I knew I was facing a challenge when I started. Also, my friends wondered if I could really come up with something that would resemble a steam traction engine. I think I surprised myself as to the way it shaped up it just seemed that everything I needed became available when the time came. I still have the steering gear to install, as well as the drive train.