Back in the Game

Showing Sign of Being a Junkyard Engine, this 1913 60 HP Case Gets a Deserving Restoration to Bring it


| September/October 2002



Machined plate

Machined plate accurately fitted in piston bore and 3/4-inch shaft running squarely through center.

Joe Steinhagen's 1913 60 HP Case before he started the engine overhaul. A clean and nicely detailed machine, its engine was ready for some attention.

The first thing to come off the Case was the non-original canopy. With no provisions for removal, Joe had to cut the canopy from its mountings to free it from the engine.

Prelude

It's hard to explain how I got involved in the steam game, but I guess it started when I went to the Threshing and Heritage Festival in Rose City, Minn., with my old wrench collection. After I get all my display boards set up there really isn't much to do, so I started hanging around a steam engine trying to figure it out.

I was, at the time, a stranger to this type of machinery. There had been steam engines in my family on my pa's side, used on the family farm years ago. And an uncle with whom I share my name collected engines, owning six of various makes at one time. The most I remember about his engines was once when visiting his home he had one of his half-scale Kittens steamed up and running and he gave us kids rides. He sold most everything before he died, but he kept the two half-scale Kittens. Pa told me he tried to buy one from his widow, but she wouldn't sell anything to any relatives, so they disappeared for 20 years. A couple of years ago I was able to track down most of his equipment. It is now dispersed from Ohio to Oregon.

Getting back to my story, the people running the 65 HP Case (which belongs to Norman Grant) at the Rose City show , were kind enough to show me the engine and let me run it some. Ray Erickson, now deceased but the chief engineer on that engine at the time, suggested I take the steam school at Rollag, which I did in 1990.

The first day of school we learned basic theory, operation and safety, and it was great to learn what makes them go. The second day of the school they fired up a 50 HP Case for us to operate. After that, I thought my desire to know any more about steam engines would be taken care of. Well, my good friend, Scott Erickson, knew that I went to the school, and in 1992 he spotted a 60 HP Case steam engine sitting in the back row of a used car lot in Glenwood, Minn. He told me about it and, since it never hurts to look, we went to check it out.