2009 Week 20 in Review
May 10 to May 16, 2009
Back to Illinois
On Monday, it was back to Illinois. I picked up the bearings with the rental car on my way to Quincy, and spent the rest of the week measuring the bearings and cautiously fitting them into the number three engine. There is no one "right" way to fit bearings: so much of it depends on the individual circumstances that it changes often.
This time, I needed to do a lot of extra measuring because the first time around the bearings were wrong (back in Week 17). Then, rather than bluing to fit, I installed each bearing and then installed the squisher tool, then lapped the bearing in a little, and then scrape down the high spots. This process insured that the bearing was the same shape it would be when running. The lapping shows the contact area much better than bluing in this case. It is a little extra work, but I'm getting great results, so I'll continue to do it this way.
On the other hand, the rod bearings are very rigid and so bluing will work well on them.
OTM Inc on KUOW
KUOW, the local NPR station, ran a Weekday program on "field recording" the sounds of everyday life around us. They played a lot of different sound clips, including one from OTM Inc's everyday life: old engine sounds!
The program is archived on the website here. They play the engine sounds clip at about 30 minutes into the program. Take a listen!
Thanks to David for letting us know we're famous.
A Visit to Oblong
On Saturday, I needed to drive to St. Louis to pick up the next set of bearings. On my way, I thought "what's another four hours of driving?" and continued on to Oblong, Illinois to see the Fairbanks-Morse (2) Y semi-diesel at the Oblong Antique Tractor & Engine Show grounds:
The engine is really neat: it was removed from the Mt Erie drainage district pump house in 1990, after 68 years in service. It has two cylinders with a 14 inch bore; it produces 100 horsepower and weighs about 12 tons. Mike met me at the grounds even though they're not open yet to show me the engine and tell me about the Antique Tractor Association. They have about 200 members and a handful of them are very active on the grounds, acquiring and resurrecting engines and putting together working displays of how it all was done in the past.
The Oblong Antique Tractor & Engine Show formed in 1961, but was idle for a while, then in 1987 it picked back up. They partnered with the Illinois Oil Field Museum for a while, but then the Oil Field Museum got big money, grabbed up some old engines, and moved to the other side of town. Now, like bookends, the two museums display their collections: the sterile and seized-up Oil Field Museum to the west, and the open-air tractor show permanent displays to the east. Best of all is the second weekend in August: the tractor show roars to life, running all their engines and more than 200 visiting displays, while the western collection sits, rusted yet funded.
This year's Oblong Antique Tractor & Engine Show is August 7th through the 9th at the Crawford County Fairgrounds in Oblong, Illinois.
The guys in Oblong told some great stories from the last 20 or so shows they were a part of. My favorite was the one about a huge horizontal Superior with an air-starter. Before the owner hits it, he winds a string around the governor shaft and pulls while hitting the air, so the crowed thinks it's like the lawnmower. I love it!
I'm really glad that I made the trip out to Oblong, and I hope that I can make the big summer show someday. Thanks for the tour, Mike!
A new season for the Cape Cross
The 1941 fish packer Cape Cross (formerly the Cape Scott) with the six-cylinder G Enterprise is preparing to get underway. Dan reports that the new owners are working hard to prepare the boat for a season of fish packing and that the Enterprise runs well. This is great news and we are all very happy to hear that the new owners have the patience and boat-maneuvering skill to run the direct-reversible.
That's saying a lot - one must be patient to wait for reverse; observe the boat's motions; and use forethought in predicting currents, wind, and prop walk (and in shallow water, lack of prop walk). One of the best recommendations we can make for these direct-reverse captains is to count your starts or have someone else count them, then log it in the ships' wheelhouse log book and review it occasionally. This way, the measurable goal is to come in with fewer starts as you get better at maneuvering.