2007 - Volume #31, Issue #6, Page #22[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Mini "Hit & Miss" Engines Really Work
Customers from all over the world appreciate the miniature engines as much as Dickey did when he first saw them at a steam engine and gas tractor show several years ago.
"I was just fascinated," he recalls. "You can see the open crank and connecting rods, the backside of the pistons, everything moving. It's just wonderful to watch."
Though the retired military man had no machining skills, he ordered a casting kit. Finishing the engine was a frustrating experience but he figured it out and then contacted the editor of Gas Engine Magazine and offered to write a series of articles about his experience. The five articles became the basis of a book called, "How To Build A Red Wing."
In addition, he bought the blueprints and molds for the engines.
Most customers purchase the $450 (plus $30/shipping) kits, and complete them in about 150 hours. Other customers want completed engines, which Dickey sells for $2,400. The engines burn gasoline and are about 12 by 12-in. and weigh 40 lbs. Both the 1/3- and 1/4-scale engines have 8-in. diameter flywheels.
Some customers use the engines to power things such as ice cream makers, tiny balers or rock crushers. Dickey says his customers are often older men who once owned full-sized hit and miss engines, which are now too heavy for them to move around. Other buyers are retired machinists looking for a project.
"We're going to keep hit and miss engines alive," Dickey says.
Dickey has shipped casting kits and engines all over the world, including Europe, Japan and New Zealand. He also sells parts and related items on his website.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Richard Dickey, Red Wing Motor Co., P.O. Box 581, Lead Hill, Arkansas 72644 (ph 870 436-3921; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.redwingmotor.com).
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