R.R. 13, Box 209 Brazil, Indiana 47834.
Since my father and I acquired our Nichols and Shepard 20-75 double cylinder rear mount engine we have been gradually restoring it. After refluing, replumbing, retanking, and rebunkering we decided the next work would be on the smokestack. The old stack had been knocked off several years ago and put back together as best they could.
The old tube was thin enough to see through at the seam with the main problem being the cast iron base was missing several large pieces which could not be found when it was broken. After Dad removed the old stack it was apparent that we needed a new base. We decided to get a new base recast by using what was left of the old base to make a pattern. We knew this would probably be an expensive proposition but there was not enough of the old base to rebuild.
I was later discussing this problem with my brother and he remembered seeing an ad in the Steam Engine Magazine some time ago advertising stack parts for Nichols and Shepard engines. After locating the telephone number I made a call to Marten's Machine Shop in Fairview, Oklahoma, and talked to Paul Marten. Paul had stack tops in stock and could roll tubes with no problem. He had already thought about getting some bases cast but would need to get over to the foundry which was several miles away. After a period of patient waiting on the foundry man, Paul finally had a new cast base ready to ship to me.
In less than a week, the UPS man delivered a nice shiny tube and two boxes containing a base and the bottom half of the stack top. After about four hours of marking, center punching, drilling and trying the parts for fit I had everything assembled and ready to weld the tube seam. If you think this is a long time to assemble, remember the parts are all cast iron which need five large holes drilled and several smaller ones. You can't take back a drilled hole!
After putting down some furnace cement, Dad and I hoisted up the stack and bolted it down. In case you are wondering about the furnace cement, Nichols and Shepard used the same base for 20 and 25 HP engines. My new stack bases actually fit better than the old one. The stack tube is cone-shaped with both ends being a different diameter. I was very pleased to find my new tube fit the top and bottom castings exactly. All parts are shipped undrilled so you can match up the new parts to our old parts. For example, you would not want to redrill your boiler to mount a new stack base. The stack top or mushroom head consists of two parts: the top half and the bottom half which can be purchased separately.
Paul says occasionally someone will call about parts and then gripe about the price. All I have to say is that they surely don't need the parts very bad. I feel the stack base I purchased was worth at least twice the $105.00 I paid for it. If you need stack parts for your Nichols and Shepard engine give Paul Marten a call and he will do his best to help out his fellow steam enthusiast.
My next project for the Nichols and Shepard is to cast some new rear lugs. I already had some wooden patterns made. If anyone has done this before please drop me a line.