Greetings from the Center of the Universe

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Jan 5, 2013
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Now that scientists have decided that Nibiru, our sun's twin star, probably doesn't exist, I feel much more secure here in the center of my universe. Zoom in from the big universe picture and there is my shop, full of equipment I don't have time to use. A closer look reveals several model engines in various states of completion and a box of plans for new projects.

I am not sure how long I have been trying to build models but I do remember when we got electricity on the ranch, father bought a 1/4" electric drill. By holding it with my knees, I could file on a spinning chunk of 60D nail and make neat things. Now, a half century later, my tools have improved much more than my skills.

I spent far too many years traveling the country as a consultant to Nuclear Power Stations. I did visit many interesting places, saw countless engine shows and incredible engine collections, all the while adding to my pictures and sketches engines that needed to be replicated in scale, but of course missing my shop.

In the early 1990's I had the opportunity to measure and sketch the 1895 Double-acting, Six-cycle MERY Explosive Engine. This finally became a casting set so others could build this fascinating engine. There is a beautiful picture of one on this site.

Members will also be familiar with some of my other endeavors: The Quarter Scale GADE Model C is an exact scale replica of an engine I have and The Modelbuilder Vise featured in a couple build articles is shown more beautifully than any pictures I could take.

I am the Morrison in Morrison & Marvin Engine Works. The arrangement is for Marvin to do all the work and I get all the credit. Our website is and it is seldom updated, it is more fun to make chips. We do carry the full line of Rimfire Spark plugs.

Recently I took Lester Bowman's patterns of the Pacific Gas or Gasoline Engine and replicated them in epoxy and mounted on matchplates so they could be cast in iron. The loose wood patterns Lester made were beautiful but not rugged enough to make many sets of castings. Note there is a great build article in progress using one of the first sets of these castings.

I have hesitated to join HMEM because at an early age, a misguided old crone den mother, rather than teaching me to "Be Prepared" taught me to "Never Join Anything". However many of my friends are members so I will give it a try. The skill exhibited here is impressive and I hope to learn a lot. Please understand I may not spend much time writing or answering.

I have often heard "the better the craftsman the fewer tools he needs". Believing the opposite to also be true, I have packed my shop with every tool I can afford. My shop equipment, except for my Colchester lathe, is used. I prefer the older machinery made in USA but I do have an import grinder, a Deckel SO that is good quality. Equipment includes a Hardindge HCAT Chucker, Hardinge UM Universal Mill, Gorton P1-3 Pantograph, Bridgeport with Universal Quick Switch, Partner II CNC, couple of surface grinders, a couple of shapers, DoAll vertical saw, Marvel Series 8 cut off saw, a B&S 00G that needs someone to set it up and various other necessary tools. No wood working tools except a chain saw, I avoid wood except for toothpicks and campfires.

There is a local fab shop I consider an extension of my shop where there is a 75 ton press brake, a 12' shear, a CNC punch, Ironworkers, welders and some lathes, the smallest of which is 28" . The big spindle hole is handy. There is also a HAAS TL3 but it & I have a language problem. I work there occasionally on difficult machining projects and train their machinists so I can continue my retirement.

One project Marvin & I have going is a Quarter Scale 1903 Kansas City Haypress Balanced Engine. The MERY Explosive Engine is a two (2) cylinder engine with one (1) piston. The KC Haypress Balanced Engine is a one (1) cylinder engine with two (2) pistons. We don't model common engines.

I will attach a picture of our prototype Lightning engine so you can see the details. The crankshaft has three (3) throws. The center throw connects a rear piston via a straight conrod and the outer throws attach to a yoke that moves the front piston so the pistons meet in the center of the cylinder where the valves and igniter are located. All the castings are investment cast in silicon bronze or iron. It is four-cycle gearless and has a complex, six (6) position ratchet mechanism to determine when to fire. The only thing simple about this engine is the cylinder head which does not exist.

There are other projects but I have neither time nor inclination to explain them now. Perhaps at a later time if requested by members. I work on several projects consecutively so can't write a build project from start to finish because I don't work that way.

Thanks for letting me be part of your group.

This is the prototype Morrison & Marvin Quarter Scale 1903 Kansas City Lightning Balanced Engine.

Hi Roland,

Nice to see you here, and I do like the post on your engine build. It has to be said though, that as your skills increase and you can cut down on your tools further, I'm quite happy to store your Colchester or Hardinges... ;)

Hi Roland and welcome.

I am an avid follower of Dave's Pacific build. Very nice castings if I may say.

From the edge of the universe ;)

Hi Roland

Welcome to the group; now I really need to be careful what I say, but it is great to have you along.

That reminds me I still need to fix all the broken picture links for my MM vise build.

Does the center of the universe have anything to do with the location of that Big laser thing??

Hi Roland,
I am glad to see that you have joined HMEM. You have a lot of great information to share with the people here (like me!). I am sure lots of people will like to pick your brain. I know it can be time consuming but any help you can give will be appreciated.

Pat Wicker

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