Scale Case Steam Engine: Loyd's No. 1
Fascination with steam leads to the purchase of a 3/4 scale Case steam engine
Paul W. LePage on his 3/4 scale Case – the first firing after restoration, June 2000.
This is the tale of fascination – a fascination for steam engines. All my life I've been amazed by them, by the steam and the heavenly puff/chug of their single cylinders, although I can barely remember when they were used for threshing. But I always knew what they were, and I've wanted one all my own for nearly as long as I am old. The unexpected opportunity came in 1999, when I finally became the owner of a 3/4 scale Case steam engine. To me, Case is the ultimate engine. If I wanted one of the large engines, that's what I'd have.
The engine I have was built by a retired welder and expert machinist named Loyd Musick of Elston, Missouri. Loyd had worked with steam engines most of his life and had restored a 15-45 Case steam engine back in the '50s. After working on the scale for five or six years, he completed her in 1975. After ten years, Loyd sold her and I lost track of the engine. In the meantime, Loyd built another engine, completing it in 1989. It was quite a bit bigger, and after Loyd's death in 1990, his widow offered it up for sale. I let that one get away because it was a little bit bigger than I was looking for.
After searching for several years, I located the first Case steam engine which Loyd had built, and in 1999 the owner called and offered to sell her to me – I wasn't going to let her get away again.
I bought the engine knowing that it was in dire need of some serious TLC and much needed repair. But before I bought her, I took Senior Steam Engine Consultants Leonard Bruns and his son, Leonard Jr., along with me to check her out, and I bought her on their appraisal.
I ran this engine at the 1999 Missouri River Valley Engine Association's show at Boonville, Missouri, in September. Knowing it needed a lot of repairs, I contacted my expert plumber, friend Ed Rost of Jefferson City, Missouri, who in turn invited Rick Enke, another plumber, to help with my engine's restoration.
Early in 2000 we took the engine to Ed's shop and completely repiped her with schedule 80 steel pipe. Every valve was taken apart, cleaned and repacked. All the check valves were replaced, and Ed got the crosshead pump working.