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.
I have steamed it a dozen times or more and have most of the bugs out of it, such as getting the valve set and the injector working good. The boiler has eleven 2' flues and steams good. The best part is the sound. It really sounds like an Advance Rumely with a sharp exhaust that sure puts smiles on the face of a steam buff. Even the ladies call my engine a 'Cutie' imagine that!
Howard Mickelson participates every year in the Greenridge Steam and Gas Show, held the third week in September, which features steam threshing, saw milling, corn shelling, sorghum making, lots of old tractors and gas engines, and a horse treadmill, and more. This year will mark their 10th anniversary and they are planning a 10-year catalog. The Club has a 65 Case traction engine (#33383) and a 50 HP Case portable (#32807) which Howard bought and restored.