And now here we are at Rassawek, Part III. Last one, we promise! At least for this year. As you may have noticed in our first post about this event (or if you follow us on Instagram), we were pretty impressed with the steam tractor that drove by our booth a few times each day. So when Brad Kelley, the driver, stopped and asked for some help from the local blacksmith, we were glad to help. He needed two items only a blacksmith could provide: a drink holder and a wheel repair.
Here's a few shots from Brad of Kyle and his assistant Kallen reattaching the skid rings to the front wheels. Click on the images for a larger view.
Last but not least, a little about the tractor itself from Brad. We're hoping to see them again at RVA MakerFest this fall!
Built in 1903 by the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company (now Case International) in Racine, Wisconsin. The proper name is a "steam traction engine" and it was advertised as a 9 HP engine, but actually produces 30 HP at the crankshaft. It weighs about 10,500 lbs empty, but the boiler holds about 150 gallons of water when operating. We can burn wood or coal and are allowed up to 100 psi of steam pressure by VA law. It takes about 90 minutes from cold to start building steam pressure after the fire is lit. Ourengine is the smallest size traction engine built by Case and it is a general purpose farm tractor mainly used to provide belt power to small machinery, but could also pull 3 or 4 plows in the field. The "tender" wagon hitched to the back carries 250 gallons of makeup water and up to a 1/2 ton of coal, or as much wood as we can stack on it.