Zip Eaton A Star Of Broadway

| January/February 1993

Zip Eaton

Zip Eaton, retired jeweler who has one of the best equipped and maintained home workshops we've ever seen, is a star of Broad way he lives at 1605 Broadway, Helena, Montana.

His latest achievement is the construction of a two inch scale working model of a 65 HP 1915 Case steam traction engine, which can serve as an example to others who would undertake a similar venture.

Zip, who is a reader of IMA as well as Home Shop Machinist, earlier built a small steam engine that ran on compressed air, as well as hit and miss gas engines, and a four-cylinder gasoline engine from castings bought from Coles. He did the machining himself.

'I remember the J. I. Case as a kid,' he told us. 'My father was a grain buyer and had done some threshing when he was a kid. He was a personal friend of the chief of the board and the CEO of J. I. Case Company.

'I bought the castings and plans from Coles. I made a lot of wheels and made the spokes for the wheels with reverse castings. I made the governor myself. The castings are for the main parts but everything had to be aligned and honed and reamed. I had the small gauges.

'It took 1,000 to 1,200 hours. I enjoyed it so much it didn't make a lot of difference.