Hi all! Glad to have found this site through a combination of internet searches and word of mouth from a project super who's into hit&miss era engines (which I'd like to eventually get to).
Anyway, a bit about me. I like all things old. I started off as a kid into small engines as my late paternal grandfather worked on them as a hobby after retiring from the Navy. I took his correspondence courses and had a nice little 3 horse horizontal shaft Briggs I'd tear down and put back together. That evolved into going to the local "large item disposal day" at the local elementary school in the spring, loading up our van with lawnmowers and after pouring out the gas that inevitably sat in them all winter and putting maybe $5 parts and a bunch of elbow grease and paint into them, selling them.
Fast forward 40 years, I'm a geologist now. I also like prospecting and treasure hunting/metal detecting. I specialize in parks, demolition sites and old yards for the most part and between the odds and ends I'd come across hunting for gold or hitting a building site going in over old ground I started finding stuff that piqued my interest in getting back into older small engines. It was reinforced when I got a large tract of mountain land in the west and decided that in some fashion what I put there will attempt to be all approximately pre 1920.
Of late I have a 6S I got off of EBay (April '53 manufacture) and last weekend I picked up a model A (December '44 manufacture). I'm done with the 6S cleaning just about. I'll definitely have some questions on that one as I'm a bit rusty.
On a spectacular note though, I just picked up an entire set of small engine rebuild tools yesterday from a Craigslist listing from a retired shop teacher ($45!), so I wont have to do stuff like fashion a ring compressor out of a Campbell's soup can and a hose clamp
It came with 2 valve spring compressors, bore gauge, ridge reamer, ring removal/replacement tool, collet tool for valves, and a couple of the piston ring groove cutter/cleaners and a ring compressor.
I'll also be in for larger motors, namely Wisconsin. My other grandfather was a machinist and the machine he used to tow us up and down the mountain in VA for near 60 years is a home built 4WD vehicle powered by a 4 cyl Wisconsin engine. It's been off line since he passed in 2013 (just missed 101 and never in facility or hospital and we were all there at end, you don't get to check out much better than that) and it is a goal of mine to get that back in service. At his place there is a full machine shop, it is stocked with essentially all 1930's-60's equipment/tools. I'll probably need a graduate level course to use 1/4 of it...
I hope to be able to contribute here and vacuum up the wisdom of the guru dudes!