2705 Steel Road N.W., Dover, Ohio 44622
I am sending some pictures and a story of a project which we recently completed. It concerns the purchase, rebuilding and restoration of a 6 HP Case portable steam engine.
For about 20 years my brother and I have been interested in steam engines, especially Case engines. Soon after the purchase of our first engine in 1979, we became acquainted with many wonderful people. One of those persons owned a small portable Russell of 6 HP size. I thought that engines didn't come any nicer than this one owned by a fine gentleman who came to be one of my closest steam friends, the late Francis M.Young. It was only natural that I would become interested in the Case version of the 6 HP portable.
The remains of the 6 HP Case protable as found by Dan Gregor pushed into a ravine in Kansas. Barrel top and dome was said to have been cut off to make a snow plow moldboard. Note brake shaft bracket and engine wing-sheet torched off. All brass and pipe fittings removed with a sledgehammer.
New barrel riveted in and dome on. John Schrock spent two days with us and did riveting in our shop. Barrel and flue sheet put in just like original.
Six years ago, my wife and I attended the 1991 Case Expo at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. At that show I visited with friends and questioned them about building a new boiler, for a 6 HP engine that I knew of, that needed a complete new boiler. I soon met Mr. Dan Gregor of Dayton, Ohio, who told me he had the remains of a 6 HP Case boiler which he brought along back from a trip to Kansas for other parts. The boiler had been torched up and shoved into a ravine. We stopped on the way home from Iowa and looked at the devastated boiler. The top half of the barrel was torched off, the steam dome and flue sheet were gone. However, what was left, the stay bolts and firebox, looked excellent. How could someone destroy something like this? After talking to John Schrock we decided it was at least a start toward a 6 HP engine. We made our first purchase around Thanksgiving 1991.
Seam we put on new barrel is outside of lap seam cut from old boiler, old rivets were tack welded on backside before we scabbed seam onto new barrel, although new rivets were placed thru strap into smoke box. Butt strap and dome rivets are strictly cosmetic. Barrel is 22' seamless pipe 3/8 thick.
Engine at Tuscarawas Valley Pioneer Power show, Dover, Ohio. A real pleasure to run on the shingle mill. Rebuilt 1' Waters governor is superb.
50 Case #35411 owned by Terry and John Steel and families. Set up for a static display at our farm while hosting 1995 Tuscarawas Co. farm tour.
Time passed and after many trips to visit the prospective engine, I became disappointedly aware that I would never own that engine. I advertised in steam magazines and made inquiries all over the U.S. and Canada, but nothing turned up. All the while, work continued on the boiler and by now a new barrel and flue sheet were fabricated. I want to commend John Schrock for his help. We pounded over 100 ' rivets in all! Riveting the barrel in the throat sheet was quite a test for our enthusiasm. He handed hot rivets in tongs through the firebox and rear flue sheet to me inside the barrel, then out through the new barrel and throat sheet and backed them up with an air buck. I was awful glad to get out of there as the barrel is 22' outside diameter. We spent two days with John in our shop the spring of 1994. During the winter of '93 to '94, I called a friend, Byron Leather man, who along with Bill Raish owned a restored 6 HP Case. I learned that they also owned a 6 HP parts engine which they hoped to complete later. I asked them if they would consider selling it. On June 18, 1994, I received a letter stating their willingness to sell the parts engine.
I was overwhelmed that the project looked more possible than ever, even though the engine was badly worn and missing all brass. The 1' Waters governor had been run over by a brush hog. It was completely worn out and severely damaged. We made plans to meet at the Rushville, Indiana, show and pick up the parts. Since many pieces were still needed, we began making patterns and casting parts which included: smoke box door and ring, fire door and heat baffle, smoke stack, grates, right side main bearing cap, right side main bearing alignment block, oil lids for mains, complete brake system, seat, D-valve and governor ball, main body and governor arms. In all, we ended up using three foundries. We found Emanuel King at Cattail Foundry to be most satisfactory. He did some real wonders on the governor, using only fractions of pieces for a pattern. Some of the parts fabricated were: new governor springs, ash door and frame, tool box, new valve rod and piston rod and packing glands for both. The governor spool was missing so one was made along with stem, and the entire governor was remade new. We also installed a new crank shaft, crankpin, and made connecting rod brasses. The cylinder was bored and the piston was built up with bronze to allow it to be fit to the new cylinder bore and new piston rings. Of course, the main bearings were also repoured.
This engine is made up from parts from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kansas.
65 Case #33830 pulling 5-14' plows on our farm tour day August 12, 1995. Operating the engine are good engineers and friends, Doug Scheetz of Dalton, Ohio, and legendary engineer the late Francis M. Young of East Sparta, Ohio, in straw hat.
Our first fire-up was scheduled for July 28, 1996. It was not a success. The boiler was not sealed tight enough to hold water. After more caulking and a few fires, things finally tightened up. August 5, 1996 we ran the engine for the first time. WHAT A CELEBRATION!!!
This engine has proved to be quite a challenge over the last five years. We have spent countless hours bringing this engine back to life. I might add that a lathe and a fairly complete farm shop have been most helpful. Also, I want to say Thank You to a very supportive wife and family who have stood by me through many, many nights and much free time working on this project. Also, thanks to many, many friends who have lent me tools and parts for patterns or were willing to give their time and expertise to different areas of this engine. Your help is greatly appreciated. I hope we can enjoy many hours exhibiting our engine with my sons Nathan and Clinton and wife Paula.
Finally, thanks to God for allowing me time and breath to meet and work with so many nice people. It has been a real experience. May God Bless You.