Box 36, Beulah, Colorado 81023
My six year search for a model steam engine ended in Wichita, Kansas, the airplane capital of the world.
I am retired from the C.F. & I. Steel Mills in Pueblo, Colorado and live in Beulah, Colorado.
Last year after a most enjoyable time at the Midwest Old Settler's & Thresher's Reunion at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa (this was my sixth year there), I drove south the length of Missouri to see the Ozarks, and then I drove north from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I stopped at Terning Automotive, Wichita (Kechi) Kansas, having seen his ad in the Iron Man Album Magazine.
It was September 12, 1974 when I stopped there. Tom showed me a 1/4 scale size of a 65 H.P. Case steam engine that he had for sale. It lacked almost two weeks of work of being finished. It was a good and well built engine, and I wound up buying it.
I had to come home to get in garden stuff, and take care of other matters. Then went back October 1 and stayed at Tom's place two weeks, and I helped him what I could to get the engine finished.
Tom's business is automobile restorations, mechanical and cosmetic, had Rolls Royces all over the place to restore, and he builds model case steam engines.
He has built about a dozen scale and 3 scale engines.
Tom, his wife Lois, and their son, little Aaron, are all interested in the shop work. Little Aaron, almost 4, even helped run the cut-off band saw.
They had two conscientious worker's, Karen Doran, a neighbor woman, and Earl Waldo, that quietly worked helping to restore and remove the old paint from the antique cars. I could see it required a lot of patience. The cars looked beautiful when finished.
Tom was 13 years old when he built his first crude steam engine. He graduated from a two year course from the Spartan School of Aeronautics, Tulsa, Oklahoma, with an A & P license (Air Frame and Power Plant), Government certification for working on airplanes.
He learned about the ventur effectBernillis' principal. It has to do with air flow, draft, etc. which has stood him in good stead in designing his steam engines for better draft.
He has worked in several different machine shops all his life. Now he has his own machine shop. He now makes his own castings.
Tom is able to get little clevis's rod ends, and high strength aircraft bolts, from an air craft salvage place, which is quite a help in certain places on the engines.
In my search for a model steam traction engine, it seemed that either the ones I found for sale were not in first class repair or the ones that were in fine mechanical repair or condition were priced above what I could effort to pay.
In Wichita I got an engine I consider to be in fine mechanical repair or condition, and the price was right.
From my experiences and observations in life, it is my opinion that Tom Terning is one of the finest mechanics, and machinists, that it has been my privilege to know.