| November/December 1957

  • Ralph Fuller
    A remarkable engine built by Ralph Fuller, Minneapolis, Kansas.

  • Ralph Fuller

Minneapolis, Kansas

(Some may not like this type of Model Engine. I just wish I had the skill and know-how to do as well. -Karl)

HAVE BEEN a Subscriber to your fine magazine for some years and would like to say it fulfills a long felt want that no other reading matter can do. It brings back those wonderful, unforgotten old days of threshing time. To us who have owned and operated those smoking monsters of the grain field, it brings a great thrill to our hearts. I owned several of my own as well as being a throttle puller for many others. When a boy of 15 I took a course from The Clark School of Engineering, by correspondence, of Madison, Wisconsin. I still have my diploma and my books.

I am sending you a picture of my baby Nichols & Shepard just finished. It took somewhat over 300 of my TV hours to build. It is made entirely of scrap and was not an easy matter especially so because I had neither welder or lathe to work with. Only a small backyard, 6x10 feet, with a file, electric drill and hacksaw as my main tools. Here are some of the details:

Boiler made from 4' steel pipe, has eleven ? ' flues and is conventional in every respect. Front wheels sawed from the pipe same as used for the boiler, with nails for spokes drilled into steel hubs. Rear wheels from bands from old wooden wagon wheel hub with large nails for spokes also drilled into steel hub. Crank disc and shaft were made from a gas tractor valve, flywheel from the head of a lawn mower reel, large differential from an old adding machine, governor is active and from a time clock, bevel drive gears from a typewriter, steering gear and worm from a banjo, cylinder from a hydraulic auto cylinder, and cross head guides from a tractor bearing. Slide valve from aluminum from an aeroplane, throttle from the spray control of an industrial ' aeroplane. Only parts bought were some of the boiler fittings, bought from 'TINY POWER'. Throttle is not shown in picture but is now installed. Engine has reverse and operates fine in both motions. Flywheel clutch has wooden shoes and is adjustable and works perfectly, and with 50 lbs. steam it travels at a lively little pace about the room. 28' long, 11' wide, 16' high, weighs 50 lbs. Have had lots of company to see it. Have fired it both on coal and L.P. Gas and like the gas the best for so small a fire box. To me this is a beautiful little piece of work and I get a barrel of pleasure from it.

Tomorrow I will be 65 and expect to fly my Cub plane as usual. The only thing wrong with the ALBUM is: It takes too much patience awaiting the next issue.


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

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