Cedge Does His First Local Engine Show

Home Model Engine Machinist Forum

Help Support Home Model Engine Machinist Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2007
Reaction score
There are at least two members who have been waiting for me to make this post. I know this because the photos you'll be seeing were supplied by one of them. Both are a little shy about posting, so I guess I'm elected by Hobson's choice.

If you recall, I mentioned this weekend past was the deadline for me to get the little Victorian running. I've been hanging out with a couple of local guys who show their engines at local shows and they managed to convince me to drag my collection out to a fairly large local tractor and engine show for the Labor Day weekend. Admittedly, after a few trips to Cabin Fever Expo, I wasn't all that hard to convince.

We arrived on Friday to set up our display and to spend a slow and relaxing day visiting with others who were on hand to show their own stuff. The show began in earnest on Saturday morning and we were amazed at the size of the crowd. Four of us, John-1, John-2, Bill and myself, brought engines to share with the crowd and, when complete, the display numbered 37 engines crossing a wide spectrum of types. My stuff was mostly steam powered while others brought hit and miss engines, stirling engines and even a scale model of a 9 cylinder radial.

Ralph, a close friend of John-1 always seemed to magically appear when something heavy needed moving, so we quickly formed an impromptu team and things could not have gone any more smoothly.

This photo shows yours truly trying to make a coherent display of the various steam engines and such that I'd brought along. The large Jensen model 51 proved to be a hit with the kids, young and old, when we powered it up and let it steam throughout the show. Many a little fellow made mom and dad hang around between water refills so they could enjoy its magic. The little Victorian did me proud and never missed a beat while running steadily for much of the show.


John-1 brought some of his nicest hit and miss engines and their clean crisp lines were a treat to see in the outdoor sunlight. He only owns 4 of the engines, the fifth belonging to his wife. (I'm not the only one who loses an engine that way... eh?) His engines ran flawlessly and many a comment was heard concerning his high level of craftsmanship.

John was a godsend while I was building the Victorian and his quiet encouragement proved to be essential throughout the build and kept me grounded in more than one tight spot. His sage advice proved to be invaluable when things weren't going quite right. Thanks John!!


Bill graciously agreed to make the 4 hour one way drive to join us for the show. He brought his superbly crafted Hit and Miss traction engine along with a gorgeous group of hit and miss engines from his collection. There is much more to his engines than immediately meets the eye. Bill is the guy I mentioned recently when a new member asked how extensive he'd need to be with his equipment purchases to build his first engine on a tight budget. You see.... Bill uses only a small lathe and a round pillar drill press to build these master pieces.

Bill has two talents that set him apart from the rest of the world. One of them I've just mentioned, while the other is even more rare. Bill has a unique ability to see how unrelated items can be used to form a coherent design that is fully functional, damned near undetectable and often jaw dropping logical. Once you've seen the photo below, I'll elaborate on this a little more.


Now that you've seen the engines, you'll be amazed to know that Bill incorporated bits and pieces from such things as an old sewing machine and a reel type push lawn mower into the design of the traction engine. The wheels were formed around an oxygen bottle and the roof was formed using a bit of wood and his pick up truck.

He brought two hit and miss engines along that were created using the old master cylinders from automobiles. One is made from a 1957 Chevrolet and the other from a Ford. They both look like your typical horizontal Hit and Miss engine until the secret is revealed and you see how smoothly he managed to blend them right into the design. Bill is what you'd call a master scrounger....(grin).

If John-1 was invaluable to the build phase of the Victorian project, Bill was of inestimable help when it came time to get it running. His sometimes gruff exterior belies the patience and natural teaching ability he possesses. I'm sure my rather frequent questions bordered on annoying, but Bill never left me hanging and his faith in my sometimes frenetic efforts often exceeded my own. Thanks to you too, Bill.

If one engine drew more people than any other, it had to be the 9 Cylinder radial that belongs to John-2. This little engine took 3 years of active building to complete. If such things are judged by the complexity of a project, John-2 would probably qualify as the Brain of the outfit. His workmanship is superb and the engine never missed a beat, whether at full throat or at an impressively realistic sounding idle.

John also brought along the one engine (not shown) that seemed to draw the most speculation among the crowd. His "Miser" LTD Stirling Engine spent the day sitting atop a small stack of ice cubes running oh so silently. Many a murmur was heard among the crowd and many walked away feeling as if they had somehow been "tricked" but couldn't quite grasp the joke. Others were just as convinced that the little machine was actually MAKING ice....LOL.


It was 2 days of fun and the crowd was both heavy and steady throughout the whole time we were there. A quick trip to get a hot dog and a few trips to the head were all that broke the non-stop pace of questions, favorable comments and intense interest. We met a few more hidden hobby machinists and a several more who want to give it a try, so there is a potential for our numbers to begin to grow.

The boards, both HMEM and Madmodders will probably see a few new visitors so I'd say the weekend was a success. We also got invitations to display at other local venues, so it looks like we'll be doing more of this in the future. I know I will be.


Thanks for the photos and letting us be virtually there.
I love photos like these but they also make me a little upset as there is nothing like this anywhere near where I live. :'(
Steve :bow: :bow:

Thanks for the excellent Photo's. Your writeup also is superb and really makes your post go over the top with information.

Cheers :)


Excellent display and writeup :bow: :bow: Thanks for doing such a huge favor of visibility to our community. You never know who might have gotten bitten by engine building bug !!

Thanks for sharing your experiences. :bow: The photos put us right there. It looks like you've got a great show right in your backyard.

Wonderful post Steve and great pictures too!! Thanks for sharing your weekend with us.

Thanks guys. I hope I was able to convey a little of the fun we had.

We're inked in for your Dallas show in October and most of the engines seen should be there.

Cedge said:
We're inked in for your Dallas show in October and most of the engines seen should be there.

When? Where? Any links?? ???

Awesome pics!! Would love to go to a show.
Ooooops... Black85vette. Wrong Dallas. This one is a small town in North Carolina, not too far from Denver...LOL


Latest posts