Coventry Engine - Info Sought

Discussion in 'General Engine Discussion' started by 4156df, Aug 4, 2009.

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  1. Aug 4, 2009 #1

    4156df

    4156df

    4156df

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    Hello,

    Last weekend at an auction, I picked up the following engine castings along with a set of original blueprint type blueprints. The engine is described as a "1 1/4"x 2 1/4" x 1 1/2" Compound Vertical". The drawings were made by an H. J. Coventry of Baltimore, Maryland with the earliest one dated October, 1931.

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    [​IMG]

    Some machining has been done and to my untrained eye it looks to be very well done. Completing this engine is a beyond my current capabilities, but I'm hoping to tackle it some day. Meanwhile, I'd like to find out a little more about it. Does anyone know anything about the company that produced these? Any photos of a completed engine? etc. etc.

    Thanks in advance,
    Dennis
     
  2. Aug 4, 2009 #2

    GailInNM

    GailInNM

    GailInNM

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    Dennis,
    I know very little about this particular engine, but Carl Carlsen had one which he has since sold. I think he is a member of HMEM, but if not I know he is still active on one of the model engine groups. Perhaps someone with a better memory than I can chime in on this, perhaps Carl himself.

    Here is a link to his web site section that has a photo of his engine and is what I think is the engine you have.
    http://www.pbase.com/captain_carl/image/30165238

    Regarding H.J.Coventry. He was a fairly well known model designer in from the late 1920's up to the beginning of World War 2. Over the last 8 years or so I have been assisting a friend complete a Gauge 3 (2-1/2 inch track width) locomotive designed by H.J.Coventry. It had been started in the late 1930's and had been worked on by several owners of the castings in it's lifetime. Not all of them were accomplished machinists, so a lot of new parts had to be made. This was further complicated by the fact that Coventry had released at least three different sets of drawings for the locomotive. They were dated from 1929 to 1933 as I recall.

    Some of the parts had been machined to each of the sets of drawings and were not compatible with each other. And some, because of the level of skill by the machinist, were not compatible with any of the drawings. Some of the valve gear components were to one drawing on the left side of the locomotive and to a different drawing on the right side. I has been lots of fun. Currently it is under steam, but not all the sheet metal work has been done. It runs fine and has pulled a short string of cars around a 250 foot track many times. Work is halted on the project as my friend is moving and does not have his workshop or track set up yet.

    All the castings that I machined for this locomotive were of good quality.
    Gail in NM,USA

    Edit: Small size photo attached. For full size go to the link to Carl's photos


    Coventry.jpg
     
  3. Aug 4, 2009 #3

    Mainer

    Mainer

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    There was a description of the "Coventry Compound" engine in Live Steam magazine quite a while ago. I'm guessing ca. 1978-1982, but no guarantee. Based on my possibly feeble memory, it looks very similar and may be the same engine.

     
  4. Aug 5, 2009 #4

    RonGinger

    RonGinger

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    The Coventry Compound was in LIVE STEAM, starting in the December 1970 issue. It ran in 15 parts, ending in December 1972. The fellow that got Mainer and I into this hobby, Dan Fay built one.

    The photos here certainly look like the Coventry engine. There is an ad in one of the issues for Full size prints for $10.50 and Castings for $135. The seller was Henry J. Coventry, of McAlester OK.

    I scaled it down by one half and made a set of patterns for all the cast parts. It was one of my early attempts at models, and the foundry guy pointed out to me that he could never make a casting better than the patterns. Mine were not well finished and lots of sand stuck to the patterns making lousy castings. I still have all the patterns and poor castings, but never tried to machine them.

    I have paper copies of all the issues, with some marked up dimensions that must have been made by Dan.
     
  5. Aug 5, 2009 #5

    4156df

    4156df

    4156df

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    Thanks guys,

    Gail...that looks like the engine, although I notice that the one I have has a spoked flywheel instead of solid. Also, the heads on mine are cast iron. Looks complicated enough that I'll definitely need to develop a few more skills before I screw it up tackle it.

    Mainer & Ron...I'll track down the back issues of Live Steam. Sounds like H. J. Coventry was in the model engineering game for a long time. Also, wonder if the H. J. Coventry of Baltimore, MD who did my drawings in 1931 is the same as Henry J. Coventry of McAlester, OK in 1970?

    Dennis
     
  6. Aug 5, 2009 #6

    Mainer

    Mainer

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    Well, I just searched my back issues of Live Steam for the article I thought I was remembering and couldn't find it. Ron has pointed you at the original construction series though, so I guess it doesn't matter.
     

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