How I Got Started

I grew up on a farm in southeastern Mass. It was a small dairy farm that switched over to raising hay in the mid 70's when milk became unprofitable. All the equipment we used every day would be considered antiques today (Farmall H tractors and lots of other stuff from the late 40's and early 50's vintage.) We also had an old hit & miss engine, a 1 1/2 HP Fairbanks Z hooked up to a Meyers spray pump for spraying fruit trees (though it hadn't been used since the 1920's.) About the time the cows went, the old barn that housed most of the real "gems" fell down, exposing most of the old stuff to the weather and passers by. And so it was with the engine, a friend of the family spotted it and bought it for $25 on the spot. We had no idea that these things were worth anything back then, never mind that anybody (or even me) would collect these things.

I never gave it another thought until about 15 years later when I was at a farm auction when he spotted me. To make a long story short, I was able to buy the engine back, get it running, and start my way down the long path of being a "collector" that so many of us have traveled. But like certain potato chips, you can't just have one. A so it was with me.

Today, I have nearly 40 stationary engines and half a dozen tractors or more. And that doesn't even count the rest of the tractors I used as a kid on the farm that are still there in use just waiting for a fresh coat of paint.

But while I was restoring that Fairbanks Z, I came across an obstacle that I couldn't easily overcome without some help. It was of course the magneto. The AB-33 oscillating mag looked nothing like the H-4 mag on Farmall tractors and did not work despite countless hours of disassembling, reassembling, and general staring with a puzzled look. It was then that a good friend of mine taught me how to fix mags (it helped that I was an electrical engineer, so it wasn't too much of a stretch.) And it was a good thing, because the backlog of my engines and tractors with mags (and I could only assume they needed work too) was getting pretty deep.

And so I learned to fix mags. I set up at shows working on other peoples mags, hopefully making them better (maybe making a few worse, I hope not....) and have fixed quite a number over the past few years. I still do plenty of mag work and have done more than I can remember. Never did get to that backlog of my mags though.....

The parts you see listed here are the outgrowth of my mag business. Most of these are parts I have used to repair mags, others are listed because they are parts I needed when I restored my "collectors items" And I hope that you will find some of these parts useful too. And if you know of a good source for some parts that other collectors might be able to use, let me know and I will add them to the list. I am always looking to grow the business (so I can buy more "collectors items" of course!)