Case Steam Engine Drawings

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Left side of Bruce Babcock's 1911 45 HP Case. Detail of piston, connecting rod, hand controls, and associated plumbing.
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Right side view of Bruce Babcock's 1911 45 HP Case showing traction driveline.

Instead of sending photos of one of my engines, I thought I might do something a little different and send you two drawings I made of my 45 HP J.I. Case engine, No. 26550.

The steam engine drawings were made from the engine. What I mean is that I used a tape measure and a dial caliper to take the measurements directly from the Case engine. To create the drawing, I made a free-hand sketch of a detail (I started with the wheels), I measured all parts of the detail, used those dimensions to add that detail to the drawing, printed out a rough copy, sketched in another detail, measured it – I simply repeated this process over and over until I had a drawing of the entire engine. Needless to say, this got a little tedious and sometimes there were long gaps between the small bursts of sketching, measuring and drawing

I enjoyed making these detailed steam engine drawings, but they have also served a very important purpose for me. I have very little experience with steam engines. I inherited this engine from my father three years ago, and I have not yet put a fire in it. Because I lived far from him, I didn’t have many opportunities to work with him and learn from his experience. The drawings required that I touch every part of the engine and examine every detail of it. I even made a drawing of the inside of the firebox; so I could get the information needed to make a drawing of the grates; so I could make a pattern; so I could have a foundry cast new grates. After making the drawing of the firebox (so that I could make a drawing of the grates, so that I could build a wooden pattern, so that a foundry could make the castings), I was told by Emanuel King at Cattail Foundry that they carry grates for my engine in stock! Needless to say, the process of making the drawings has certainly increased my awareness of the components and their arrangement on my engine.

I have gone through this same process to create drawings of my 1898 Peerless portable engine and my 1 1/2 HP Economy hit-and-miss engine.

Bruce E. Babcock is a regular contributor to Iron-Men Album. Contact him at: 11155 Stout Rd., Amanda, OH 43102

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