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Elmer's Engines/downloadable plans

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  • Elmer's Engines/downloadable plans

    This is relevant to the recent request for downloadable steam engine plans:

    Ever since seeing references to the book 'Elmer's Engines', and getting reprints of MODELTEC to have some of his steam engine designs, I've been looking for this book. It has 50 engine designs in it, plus an appendix full of other designs and shop tips. Extensive Web searches show no book stores having it, used or new. One site ( led me to an inter-library loan search, which show a handfull of libraries in the US that have a copy. Turned out it was as easy as having my local library ask for it (from the San Jose CA library system); 5 weeks later, it arrived.

    Some folks have scanned book chapters or MODELTEC articles and posted them on some of the Yahoo machining sites; rummage around in the LittleEngines1 Files section for a couple of examples. I've seen a few other scans of Elmer's designs from time to time in various groups.

    For more sources of downloadable engine plans, do some searching in the Yahoo groups.
    There's are groups called STEAMENGINEPRINTS and plansandblueprints that have plans on line.

    Here's the info if you want to try obtaining a copy of Elmer's Engines via inter-library loan:

    Elmer's Engines
    Elmer Verburg
    ISBN 0-9621671-0-X
    Old Orchard Publishing Service

  • #2
    Anybody who is scanning Modeltec articles should have his ears handed to him. That is copywrited material. Many, if not all back issues are available from Modeltec.
    They list several books by Ed Warren with plans and offer packages of back issues with plan series.
    If people like Modeltec and our host, Home Shop Machinist, Machinist Workshop and Live Steam get ripped off by scanners, they will eventually fold up, and another great resource will be lost to us. Do your part and patronize the original authors.

    [This message has been edited by JCHannum (edited 10-14-2003).]
    Jim H.


    • #3
      JCH: You'll note I didn't offer to scan anything and post it. Such is probably a violation of the "fair use" language of a copyright. As far as harm to the copyright holder: MODELTEC is apparently defunct; I haven't received an issue in over 6 months (which is a bit much for them, even given their irregular delivery schedule) and their web site is gone. That being said, I am NOT defending anyone's scanning of images and making them public.

      What I'd LIKE to do is find who owns the publishing rights to Elmer's Engines (Orchard Press is apparently defunct too; not even Google can find any references to it) and find out how much capital would be involved in getting some printing house to run off a minimum order of books. Since our web host is in that business, I guess I'll start with Neil.



      • #4
        jeastwood, sorry, I was not referring to you, just to people in general who feel it is ok to scan and upload copywrited material.
        Too bad about Modeltec, I know they have been on hard times. I did access their site 3 times last night to verify the links in my postings, now I cannot access it.
        It is a shame to have lost this resource to our hobby. First Strictly IC, now Modeltec.
        All the more reason to patronize HSM etal.
        Jim H.


        • #5
          No problem, JCH. I didn't think you were trying to give me grief; I just wanted to make my position clear.

          That's interesting that you were able to access the MODELTEC site so recently; I've tried periodically during the last few months with never any success. Perhaps they are still around, with server problems?

          HSM and Machinist's Workshop are great magazines; it would be nice to think there is room for even more such publications. I'll subscribe to just about anything that will print interesting projects (I even tried some of the British mags for a while.)


          • #6
            how about an addy for STEAMENGINEPRINTS and plansandblueprintsonline ????


            • #7
              I saw George Broad (Modeltec Editor)last April , and Modeltec was planning at that time to reprint the Verberg book.
              I don't know what the situation is at this time, but hope they can do it.

              Respect for copywrited material is expected from all, or as JCHannum put it, we will all lose.


              • #8
                Sorry; figured all you guys knew how to get to the Yahoo groups. Here's how:

                1) Go to

                2) Type a name into the search field. Type in 'machining' and you'll get links to many of the machining related groups. Other useful keywords for searching out groups:
                7x10, mill, lathe, Sherline.

                3) Some groups are "Public", meaning you don't have to register in order to look at postings. Others you have to join, but this is free and not onerous. Make sure you choose your settings appropriately (no email, etc.)


                • #9
                  Hi, I too am looking for a copy of Elmer's Engines. I also started down the same path you did in looking for Old Orchard Publishing Service and finding that it is gone. I did a little hunting for elmer Verburg the author without luck. Can you tell me if you ever found a copy of the book? Did you have any luck in finding someone interested in reprinting it? Do you know of any way I can get a copy? Please email me at [email protected]. I'm not sure what a post to a thread this old will do. I'd love to hear from you. Thank you, Bill
                  [email protected]


                  • #10
                    Modeltec is gone as of last April. If you were a paid up subscriber you should have got a letter from federal court up in Milwacki last year. George was not only the editor but him and his wife owned the mag and publishing company.
                    Nation builder books
                    You can contact them and see if he has any of the model tech stuff left.Bought all the books and disks with plans that george had. as of the last info I had all subcribers are out of luck as unsecured creditors. Problem with somebody buying and restarting Modeltech magazine they would have to pick up and honor all the magazine subscriptions outstanding. For good will and advert purposes, not because of any law. Modeltech and maybe George went bankrupt. The copyright laws have nothing to do with the magazine as such. but are money in the bank if somebody wants to reprint the articles in books form.

                    Been there, probally broke it doing that
                    Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
                    I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
                    All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only


                    • #11
                      I ordered a copy of 'Elmer's Engines'at my local library through the inter-library-loan.The hard cover copy came from a library in Michigan. I could have it to read for 3 weeks and only cost me $3.00.It was worth much more!!


                      • #12
                        <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by George Hodge:
                        I ordered a copy of 'Elmer's Engines'at my local library through the inter-library-loan.The hard cover copy came from a library in Michigan. I could have it to read for 3 weeks and only cost me $3.00.It was worth much more!!</font>
                        Your darn right it's worth more,about $392.00 more in fact!

                        Sticker shock in 5 4 3 2 ....


                        [This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 01-23-2006).]
                        I just need one more tool,just one!


                        • #13
                          Copyright law is a bit ludicris,once a book or magazine has been out of print for a few years it should be legal fair game.

                          Elmers engines is a good example of why,$395.00 a copy and it's not even the Magna Carta.

                          I just need one more tool,just one!


                          • #14
                            I copied about 50 "Elmers" plans a few years ago from a Yahoo group.

                            I would always prefer a book, but it was out of print, not available 2nd hand, and apparently worth a lot of money. Plus, they aren't that great anyway....

                            I downloaded those drawings with a clear conscience - what else can you do?


                            • #15
                              lots of laws are ludicrous, what you thought there was a connection between the law and right/wrong, morals, ethics, etc?

                              I wouldn't copy it if in print, not because of the copyright laws, but because it’s wrong to cheat the owner of the $$$. if it’s not a print, technically the copyright still applies and protects the material, which is still an asset of the owner. However if its not in print I’d be pretty Machiavellian about it and download it too – snooze you loose, sort of like a mining claim; work it or loose it.

                              Personally, if it’s long out of print and being shared on a hobby non-commercial basis, I fear neither falling asleep at night or the sanction of the law