Another Engine Saved FROM THE GRAVEYARD

| May/June 1994

RR 3, Shawville, Quebec JOX 2Y0

In the fall of 1991 my good friend Ken Barber of Renfrew, Ontario, said he was going to the steam show at Milton, Ontario, and I said to him, 'Bring me back some brass grease cups and some drip oilers when you are up there.' Well, Ken's always scouting around at some of the shows and he met Mr. W. R. Scott from Owen Sound, Ontario, who said he had a steam boiler for sale. He said it was a small boiler and was off a Sawyer-Massey portable steam engine. All he had was the boiler. Well, Ken came home and told me and I phoned Mr. Scott. As it turned out, I bought the boiler from him; Dr. Bill Burwell from Renfrew, Ontario, and I went for it in December.

At the Imbleau foundry in Renfrew, Ontario, one of the oldest businesses in Renfrew. Owner Bob Imbleau, right and Eric Campbell, left, discussing pouring the large bull gear.

We brought it back to Shawville, Quebec, a distance of 350 miles. I cleaned it up and he tubed it that winter, and made it ready to put on my traction engine. The next fall I took the old boiler off my Sawyer-Massey traction engine, and all the castings, shafts, levers, and all the gearing, wheels and platform. Then we had to take out the stubs of bolts from the other boiler. The engine had been removed from it years ago. Here is a little tip for you fellows removing bolts from a boiler: Never screw them out of the boiler, for you will spoil the thread in the boiler. Instead screw them into the boiler. Cut them off tight on the outside and drill a hole in the center of the bolt. Then put in a square easy out and turn the bolts into the boiler. This will leave a clean hole for the next bolt to go in and it will make a steam-tight-fit. Well, we leveled up the boiler every way and started to put on the castings. There were a lot of bolt holes that had to be drilled and taped for new bolts.

This being a boiler of a portable engine it was short of a lot of bolt holes. The gears were in bad shape, too, so I had to clean them up and make patterns out of them; then take them to the foundry in Renfrew and have them poured. It took two new differential gears, two new bull pinion gears, one new bull gear 33 x 3' face, and a new stub axle for side gear on the boiler. I also rebored the rear road wheels and made new oversize axles for the rear wheels. I also rebuilt the water tank and tool box. Also new shafts main and bottom and a new smoke stack were needed and a new platform and frame for it. Another little tip for you fellows is: the big jib keys like in the belt wheel and lower main shaft. I drilled the ends of the keys and threaded the hole. Now to take the keys out all you have to do is screw a stud in with thread on each end and pull out the key without damaging the key any. You can do this at the pinion shaft, as well.

It sure makes for a lot of work to put a portable boiler on a traction engine, but we were lucky in everything. Reach rods all turned out the same length, too. So the engine was easy to get in time again and that helps a lot, too. The foundry that I am close to is a very old plant founded in about 1845, so they did not have too much trouble to pour the gears for me and they used me very well also. I have now got my engine running again. I fired it up on the second of July, and I am planning to thresh with it this fall. If I do, I will have three engines and three threshing mills all going at the same time. I will let you know how it all turned out after the threshing is over.