1916 Case 50 Continues farm Tradition
(Page 2 of 2)
Over the years since then, I have learned to know and appreciate
John for the many things he does for the preservation of steam in
Minnesota communities. He has been tireless in his willingness to
haul his several engines from one parade to another, and from one
festival or centennial to the next.
Most importantly for me, he taught me how to care for and run
his engines. And, after he was convinced that I was taking it
seriously, he consented to sell me his 50 Case three years ago.
John had owned it for twenty years or so, and believes it powered a
sawmill in Wisconsin at one time.
For the past four years we have threshed here at the farm, using
all our own equipment. Our practice is to invite all the neighbors
and community friends to join us. Everyone is encouraged to
'dress the part' of the old threshing days, and to come
ready to work. Old tractors and equipment are welcome, as well as
teams of horses and grain wagons. At the end of the thresh, a huge
traditional meal is served, with wonderful food cooked on a giant
We use a ground driven John Deere binder which ties perfect
bundles of our spring wheat. Our completely rebuilt
McCormick-Deering 22 inch separator is easily handled by the 50. We
keep her thirst quenched from a carefully crafted wood and water
tender carried on wood-spoked truck wheels we found off an old fire
engine. We fire with wood, of course. Oak slabs are cured and
stacked in readiness for the threshing bee. A rebuilt McCormick
10-20 industrial power unit, belted to a 32 inch buck saw, neatly
trims the slabs to perfect firebox dimension. A 1936 Farmall F-12
on steel serves to pull a bundle rack, giving each old timer a
chance to spin the crank for old time's sake.
Steve Eckman (student) at left, with John Schoenning
(professor), of Independence, Minnesota, on threshing day at the
Eckman Farm, August 1996.
But it certainly is the 1916 Case 50 that gets the most
Most of my work on the 50 has been cosmetic painting,
pinstriping, polishing, etc. I have replaced much of the piping,
and brassed the cylinder tin. All the wood was refinished and the
color brought back to 'generally accepted' original.
John had reflued her, and the inspector gave me 150 pounds on
the last go-round, so we seem to be in good shape. I do detect an
annoying 'knock' when she's working hard with a delayed
cut-out, so I'm going to do some investigating this winter.
Hopefully, there's just some play in various spots that's
adding up to what I hear. Interestingly, old-timers don't hear
the knock but I think that's a product of their hearing rather
than the actual situation. I did replace a leaking cylinder head
gasket, and, while I was in there, I was able to take about a half
a turn on the nut on the top of the piston, so that may have been
part of the noise.
Page: << Previous 1
| 2 |