1 / 3
2 / 3
3 / 3

Rte 2, Sumner, Iowa 50674

Seeing Mr. Fred Fox’s paragraph ‘Regarding My
Roller,’ in his R & T show report in the January/February
issue prompted me to write a short article about the Dake square
piston engine.

My first acquaintance with the square piston engine was through
the Smolik brothers and their 40 HP Reeves compound engine. The big
Reeves uses a Dake engine as the power steering device. As engineer
of the engine I took it upon myself last fall to remove the Dake
and restore it back to operating condition. (Prior to that time the
Reeves was guided by hand.) The engine was pictured on the cover of
the September/October 1979 IMA.

Basically, all that was required was a good cleaning to remove
the surface rust that had accumulated on the internal parts and to
resurface the controlling valve. Upon assembly and after hooking to
live steam it ran smoothly and noiselessly with no dead centers,
and reversing instantly upon changing the position of the control

The engine steeers the Reeves well at any pressure over 100
p.s.i. which says a lot for the power of it, as the Reeves weighs
27 tons. I would guess the little Dake to be
11/2 or 2 HP, with a
1/2 inch steam inlet and
3/4 inch exhaust. It weighs approximately 100

The Dake engine pictured is a 31/2 HP size
which I purchased last summer at the Owls Head consignment auction
at Owls Head, Maine. The first picture shows the ‘square
piston’ in place, and the internal surface of the cover with
parts exposed. (Proper clearance at this point is critical as this
determines the end clearance of the piston itself. Therefore
attention must be paid to the thickness of the gasket used.

The center photograph shows the opposite side of the engine with
crank shaft and cover. And the bottom snap shot shows the engine

We would enjoy hearing from anyone who has had experience with
one of these engines as we believe they are quite rare. By the way,
they were manufactured by the Dake Engine Company of Grand Haven,

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment