View Full Version : GEARS show report

09-23-2006, 09:00 PM
GEARS was great this year. I was very pleased to see the large turnout.
In the last two years it was sort of looking like the same old engines shown by the same people, but this year I saw lots of new faces and new engines. A case in point is the "Hoglet" V-twin by Randall Cox. A simplified (I think) Harely motorcycle engine that can be built from bar stock. Randall fired it up for me, and we chatted a bit. I don't expect I'll build this engine, but I bought his plans mostly just to encourage him to keep up the good work. A beautiful engine, and a fun project for anyone who takes it on.

Mike Rehmus of Model Engine Builder magazine was there, and I took the opportunity to shake hands with him and let him know how much I enjoy his magazine. He was giving out copies of Alibre Design, a package he was describing as much faster and better than the competition (A**o CAD :-)

Of course I chatted a while with Neil. That's the nice thing about a smaller show like GEARS; I can imagine that NAMES is a real zoo, while it's possible to find a lull in the acction at GEARS to talk with people for a while. Neil is coming out with three new books that all sound like must buys, and we talked about Elmer's Engines and the prospects for getting that reprinted. It's always a treat to talk to Neil, a real gentleman.

GEARS was full of great engines, mostly hit and miss and heat/Stirling types. A few locomotives, but not many. I enjoyed talking to one gentleman who was displaying a W.R. Smith Lyre clock that wasn't quite working yet. He is to be commended for displaying a work in progress, otherwise I wouldn't have had the chance to talk with him about it. I looked at the escapement, which was pretty unusual looking, and we talked about the problems he'd had with it. He's actually given up on the original desihn (SIX adjusting screws! AAAGH!) and has come up with his own ECO for the pallets. ) That alone was worth the price of admission; so few clock makers to talk to.

A local Oregon outfit makes castings, and had castings for sale for a small hand powered shaper. I walked around and thought about it for a while before buying a set. It's a smaller shaper than I'd like, but I couldn't resist. 12 castings, and how else are you going to make those internally toothed gears?

The book selection was pretty extensive; I found a good clock book I hadn't seen before, and ALMOST bought the book on train disasters; very tempting.

I was very pleased to see how crowded the show was (~10:30-12:00 PM)
with several new faces and engines being shown. If you live in the area, it's a must see. If you go and don't agree, I'll be happy to buy you a beer at Bridgeport and discuss it :-)


Jeff E.

09-24-2006, 09:39 AM
this thread is worthless with out pictures! :)

09-24-2006, 09:49 AM
Nice writeup Jeff. This show sounds like a "must see" that sould be on my list. And now it is.


09-24-2006, 01:07 PM
this thread is worthless with out pictures! :)http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/mochinist/thisthread.gif

09-24-2006, 06:50 PM
Thank you Mo, that would be the image.

09-24-2006, 07:02 PM
Jeff; thanks for the report. It sounds encouraging for the show to continue. Hopefully this show and others will survive. It is especially difficult to get attendance at this time of year.

It is enjoyable to meet and put a face to those who you have met only on line or in print. The exchanging of ideas is as much a part of these shows as the display of projects.

charlie coghill
09-24-2006, 07:59 PM
I wanted to go but thing went to H*** with my knee so I am already looking foward to next year.

09-24-2006, 08:29 PM
Nice report, good work. If you could, would you post more details about the small hand powered shaper.

09-25-2006, 09:59 PM
I'm glad you guys found some value in my report. Yeah, pix would
have been nice, but where do you stop? I could of spent hours photgraphing.

I'm just starting to look at the drawings for the shaper; more later.


Jeff E.

09-26-2006, 01:04 AM
The CD comes with a small .txt file that talks about some variations
in how you might fit up the vertical feed and pickfeed. It refers you
to the yahoo shaper group where several people are apparently reporting their progress in construction.

The are a total of 26 PDF files that contain the drawings; some have perspective drawings included with the normal views.

There is also a nice .HTM file that can be manipulated to rotate, pan and a zoom a 3D model of the shaper.

This is essentialy a set of plans; you are assumed to know how to proceed to make the shaper from the castings. You might want to get the Gingery shaper book.

The designer, Jim Pfaltzgraff, also includes his email address and
offers updated info to those who query him.

Like a true numb-nut, I've lost track of the brouchure from the local metal casting outfit who was offering the castings. I'll dig it up.

The shaper is pretty small; about a 6" traverse in both directions. Not really big enough for serious work, but I'm interested in using it for internal gear cutting and other small, clock-oriented tasks. And, yes, I'll admit it, I've just WANTED a shaper for some time; and it looks like a very fun project.


Jeff E.

09-26-2006, 01:22 AM

They don't actually list the shaper on their web page, but drop them a line and I expect they'll be happy to send you info.