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home : columnists : columnists October 22, 2017


9/29/2017 4:00:00 AM
Sweet sounds of small engines
The Times photo by Betsy ReasonRoger Reichenbach, 83, Noblesville, demonstrates a gas-powered miniature engine that he built and hooked to a buzz saw that cuts little sticks of wood. His engine and others will be on display Saturday during a miniature engines show at Noblesville Tractor Supply.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason

Roger Reichenbach, 83, Noblesville, demonstrates a gas-powered miniature engine that he built and hooked to a buzz saw that cuts little sticks of wood. His engine and others will be on display Saturday during a miniature engines show at Noblesville Tractor Supply.

By Betsy Reason
Editor


Roger Reichenbach smiled as he demonstrated a miniature gas-powered engine that he built and hooked to a buzz saw that cuts little sticks of wood.

"This is the way we used to cut our firewood before we had chain saws," said the 83-year-old Noblesville man, who raised his voice over the clacking sound of the small engine.

"These are just like the big engines -- used on the farm back in turn of the century before they had electricity -- but they're miniature," he said.

He uses battery power to spark the engine, which runs for an hour on 3 ounces of gasoline.

This Saturday, he'll display and demonstrate the engine, plus other miniature engines that he's built, during a miniature engines show he's coordinating at Noblesville Tractor Supply, where he works part time.

"Roger's Crew" is made up of "a group of fellows," he said, who show their engines at various tractor shows around Indiana as well as the nation.

One guy brings an engine hooked up to little balers and makes miniature hay bales. There's another fellow with a display of stirling cycle engines that "run on heat, no fuel," he said. One guy brings miniature jet engines. Another fellow has steam engines. And somebody else brings an engine that is hooked up to a little cement mixer and "works just like the big ones."

With all of the little engines running at once, the noise might be pretty loud, he said. "It's hard to tell; I've got quite a few people said they'd come."

The store allows him to organize the miniature engine show, which will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the Noblesville store, 2375 Pleasant St. Admission is free.

It's the "third or fourth time" he's coordinated the show and is hoping to attract everybody who visits the store, plus anybody who hears about the show.

Reichenbach said the fun is watching the miniature engines run, being that many of them "are hooked up to something to power." All of the engines are small enough to be displayed on tables. He said, "It's something that you just don't see everyday."

He started building, collecting and showing miniature engines about 20 years ago. All of the engines are small enough to be displayed on tables.

"I'm a motorhead. I love engines, and love to make them work," said the retired tractor mechanic who owned his own shop, Alroco Power Equipment, in Fishers for nearly 15 years.

At Tractor Supply, his job to "assemble just about anything you see." He puts together log splitters, tractors, spreaders and other equipment, and has been working there four years.

The miniature engines show is among many local events offered from time to time at the Noblesville Tractor Supply. The store is currently seeking farmers, crafters and artisans, free of charge, to sell homemade and homegrown goods at its Farmers Market on Oct. 7, in tented areas near the storefront. Nonprofit organizations and food trucks are also welcome to register online at www.tsceventpartners.com/. Also, the store will collect monetary donations Oct. 4-15, during a Paper Clover campaign, for in-state scholarships for the 4-H youth program; Reynolds Farm Equipment will have a John Deere compact tractor show on Oct. 14; and there is also an antique tractor show that could happen in late October.

Contact me at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.





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