A Flag Display Box #6: Turning a Page...

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Blog entry by littlecope posted 02-26-2010 04:28 AM 1437 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Hinges begin and a Closure Part 6 of A Flag Display Box series Part 7: Surprise!!! »

The Bad News is I’ve done virtually no work on this project of late…but the Good News is I’ll be getting the Lexan to continue this project sometime this weekend!! The work should proceed pretty quickly after that…
In the meanwhile, I thought I’d share a little of what has kept me so busy.
It seems the latest “Maladie du jour” the shrinks have “discovered” is called Hoarding. As usual, they’re late to the party, our Grandparents could have told us about this thing. With a certain amount of disdain in their voices, they would have described some neighbors or friends as “Pack Rats”. We’ve all seen them, or are them…
For myself, I’m now a third generation Pack Rat. My Grandparents and my Father before me were the same. So it is that I’ve been going up to the Parent’s House at every opportunity to try to make some rhyme or reason of all the Stuff that my Dad had accumulated over the years.
Some of it, only God and my Father know what it’s for, but I found a few things that I thought would be of some interest. Dad’s fascination with Metal Work began as a small boy, watching the Steam Locomotives going by. He had a life-time love of Steam Engines, making four of them and finally producing a Live-Steam Locomotive.
In cleaning out the cellar, I came upon some of his Wooden Patterns that he had made to produce the castings. They were filthy dirty, but cleaned up rather nicely…Wooden Patterns for Castings
The large round one in the back is readily recognizable to you turners out there, it’s a Face Plate for holding work on a lathe. Dad didn’t like the price of the store-bought ones and made that pattern, which was cast for him and he then machined.
Some of the Patterns, because of their shape, needed an upper and lower segment for the later castings…Halved Wooden Patterns They were indexed with Brass pins.Halved Wooden Patterns showing indexing
They were finished, so as not to stick during the molding process, some with paint, a few with Varnish. Of course, this particular Wood working was a means towards an end.A couple of Dad's Steam Engines
The small one on the left was his first, finished around 1966. The one on the right was the one he had made the castings for and he finished that one in the mid-70’s. It’s my understanding that these are of his own design, although garnered from his studies of them and his own experiences…
If you’ve read this far, I just wanted to add a word or two… If I seem to be belaboring stories of my Dad, it’s truly not because I’m looking for sympathy. He was a very interesting Man is all, and I hope there are some who have found stories about him remotely interesting too. I’m not trying to promote him for Sainthood or anything, but in his life he produced a prodigious amount of work, and I feel a need to share some of it with you, my Friends. :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

13 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3300 days

#1 posted 02-26-2010 05:03 AM

mike…i feel honored to know about your dad…i can only say he was a very smart man and accomplished some wonderful things…one of them is you…you do your dad proud and i love seeing the things he made…any time you want to share what he did i would love to see it…he was amazing in my eyes…thank you so much…grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3338 days

#2 posted 02-26-2010 05:06 AM

i can’t think of a better way to honor him .

i thank you for sharing this with us .

you have all the right in the world ,
to know him further ,
through his interests ,
and his works .

any old pictures of him with his pack rat buddy’s ?
dino , frankie ,joey ?

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 3717 days

#3 posted 02-26-2010 05:39 AM

That is amazing. It reminds me of the great things my father has done, and that I should call him. Thanks for sharing.

-- christopheralan

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3752 days

#4 posted 02-26-2010 05:46 AM

Your pictures remind me of a neighbor of mine- long since passed away. Like your Dad, he loved steam engines. He had a small scale steam locomotive- small compared to the real thing but large enough to haul the neighbor kids around. He was also a machinist and an inventor. I learned so much by just standing in his shop and watching him “invent”. I’ll bet your Dad and Raymond are swapping stories in heaven, now.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3188 days

#5 posted 02-26-2010 08:41 AM

That’s great, don’t mean to sound stupid but those are steam engine’s, where’s the boiler part??? On the big one I can make out the piston, but not really on the small one…..So can you get the boiler part and then get one of them fired up so we can see a video of it working?

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3429 days

#6 posted 02-26-2010 01:44 PM

These are amazing. How wonderful to find these… they are like a gift that is waiting for you to discover them!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 3306 days

#7 posted 02-26-2010 01:58 PM

That is very cool Mike. I love finding old things like that. Even better is when it belonged to a love one who actually made it. Thanks for posting.

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3331 days

#8 posted 02-26-2010 02:09 PM

No need to apologize for showing us your father’s work Mike. It is wonderful stuff to see and fitting he should get some recognition from your friends for some of the things he has accomplished. Personally, I’m really impressed that he could make stuff like that from scratch. There must be a lot of different skills involved there. Thanks for showing us this and please post more if you find it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3196 days

#9 posted 02-26-2010 02:58 PM

Apparently we all enjoy the projects of other people, Interesting stuff.
Thank You for Sharing
P.S. we all like a good story too.

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3765 days

#10 posted 02-26-2010 08:24 PM

Mike, everyone thinks their parents are the best in the world. You do not need to apologize for sharing with us your love. I enjoy what you have to share. I had a lot of stuff to go thru after my dad was gone, but now all that stuff is gone. Lost in a fire years ago, but the memories will last forever.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View webwood's profile


626 posts in 3247 days

#11 posted 02-26-2010 09:22 PM

those things are so cool mike – i don’t even have a picture of my dad – hang onto stuff like that!!

-- -erik & christy-

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3499 days

#12 posted 02-27-2010 03:42 AM

You Folks are all so very kind!!
David: I haven’t got any pix of his “Pack Rat” buddies, but I found this old thing in the Archives. My Dad at 16, perusing one of his favorite magazines (a magazine that very likely is still in their house!)My Dad at 16
Lew: My Dad made a Locomotive too. It never saw track time…He had a hellaceous time building the boiler for it. I only learned in the last 2 months that he did actually “fire it up” in the late 90’s. I’m bummed that I missed that! I was going to photograph the Locomotive too, but it’s stripped down to its Chassis again… I’m guessing that after he made steam in it, he then took it apart for cleaning; and never reassembled it again…
Bob K.: The boiler question is a good one. For his first one, the little one pictured, he put together what looked very much like a pipe bomb, a length of galvanized pipe with caps threaded onto either end. It had a coil of copper tubing attached and was filled with water. I remember him heating the water on our old Gas Range and powering that thing right in the kitchen! It went like Sixty!!
To power the larger one, he made a sort of mini-boiler…but it was a boiler complete in every way. He would break up chunks of coal into very small pieces for its tiny Fire Box. I haven’t yet seen that, but it’s probably in the garage somewhere…
As far as firing them up, it’s easier to demonstrate their operation by using compressed air. Filling them full of Steam is fine, if they’re used all the time, but when they’re steam powered once, and only for a few minutes, the water afterwards can cause untold damage inside. Indeed, Dad said that even compressed air will have unknown amounts of particulate matter, that can cause corrosion…
Thanks again Everybody, for your interest and encouragement… :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3188 days

#13 posted 02-27-2010 09:03 AM

FYI on Jay Lenos Garage he has a stanley steamer and it is quite a dangerous looking car they fire it up and drive it…..Just go to NBC link jay leno tonight show and it has a link to his garage on line.

Mike, seems like you know how to fire up the little one…GO FOR IT!!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

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