Thursday, April 15, 2021

Pioneer chainsaw NU17

I'm not really a fan of old chainsaws, much like old outboard motors they're fun to look at but when I pull that cord it has to start and run. I'm not going to put up with cantankerousness, and with a non-starting outboard out on a lake there's not much option to walk home.

 But saws of a certain age, like this 1961 Pioneer NU17 belong in the so-far-fictitious Museum of Die Casting, being made up of multiple beautifully diecast aluminum parts. This model saw was made in Peterborough, Ontario by Pioneer, another long gone manufacturer. Previous post here.

Looking into the specs of the saw, the engine is 90cc, horsepower unspecified but it was supplied with blades 16-20 inches in length. The weight, though also unlisted in the specs here, is substantial.


Learn to fly with a Herring Curtiss aeroplane


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

I miss swapmeets


AJW V twin

AJ Wheaton was a book publisher but between 1928 and 1939 he also designed and built motorcycles. Starting at his fathers printing house in 1926 he made two motorcycles.  He chose an 1000cc Anzani V twin as the powerplant and welded a frame out of tubes. Sporting a sky blue tank, the resulting motorcycle attracted much interest and the next year he built twenty. 

 This is what Brough Superior was also doing in larger quantities- with better promotion- and this limited the sale of AJWs. By 1930 they were priced the same and John Wheaton realized he couldn't compete head on. 

He tried making Villiers powered lightweights and when the Rudge Python engines became available in 1931, a series of 350 and 500 cc motorcycles were offered, while the V twins were discontinued.

 In 1933 Rudge stopped selling engines, but production carried on using various engines from different suppliers. The depression was further hurting sales and when WW2 arrived the company called it quits. Some estimates say only about a dozen AJWs of all types survive.

Below the 1932 letterhead featuring the logo for the single cylinder Flying Fox. 

More here.


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Stoval Mfg. Quick Grip wrench

thanks, Ski!

This is an interesting idea for multiplying clamping force in a wrench/pair of pliers. I expect it didn't catch on, I've never seen them before. Stovall / Stovall Mfg. Co., Pt. Angeles, WA

 "Quick Grip" wrench / patent 1361923 granted to William M. Stovall, Dec 14 1920
More here.


Raleigh delivery van

 On display at the motorcycle show at Olympia in 1933 complete with milk bottles, this milk delivery vehicle featured a 600 cc single under the triangular cover, which the driver sat astride. Certainly a stylish device for the urban milkman, but keep it light, most of the load seems to be located behind the rear axle.

Packard Electric

In 1895, Packard Electric purchased the property known as “Neelon’s Mill” in St. Catherines, Ontario and converted it into a factory for the manufacture of transformers, later expanding into electric meters, motors and incandescent lamps. Here two men inspect the lighting product line. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Villiers V four

Oct '91 Classic MotorCycle
In the early 1960s a man named Bill Hindes saw the new(ish) Villiers 250 twin which in turn was based on the earlier single cylinder 1H engine and decided it would be a good base for a four. His concept was to make a 90° V4 using a single crankshaft with longer crankpins to accommodate two rods. This required the machining of new crankcase halves. If you are familiar with two strokes, you're beginning to realise that the crankcase is not getting pressurized even if all four cylinders use a common crankcase. Mr Hindes' solution was a chain and later belt-driven supercharger to keep a positive pressure in the crankcase. The pressure produced is not recorded but the idea was not to supercharge the engine. The actual intake plumbing does not show up in the drawing above. I suspect the engine would need several kicks to pressurize the bottom end but the article stated the bike had no real vices. The engine was fitted into a Douglas Dragonfly chassis.

Villiers bought the bike from the builder for study and only came to light years later when the premisses were being cleared after the company closed. It is now part of the Sammy Miller Museum. Below are some of the 2T engine parts that would have been part of the build,