During the summer of 1999, one of the subjects under discussion on the Stationary Engine Mailing List was the American publication, Gas Engine Magazine. It came in for a lot of criticism, but the discussion concluded several things.

First of all, as GEM is a magazine which positively welcomes contributions from its readership, it was up to those readers to improve the content. Also, on the
SEL (internet mailing list), the members are spoiled by the knowledge available and the speed with which it can be accessed. Gradually the suggestion surfaced that each month, someone could take one of the "threads" of discussion and turn it into a regular column for GEM.

Just how the finger came to point at me to achieve this, I'm not sure, but I realised that if I did not take up the challenge, the apathy would spread. How the idea came about seemed like a good starting point for the first article, which was easy enough for someone of my limited technical knowledge, but one of the requests had been for more in-depth information for experienced engine restorers. For this, another list member, Chuck Balyeat in Texas, offered his services to check my completed articles for technical content.

The GEM Articles

GEM How it all began

Paint Preparation Tips on how to prepare and paint engines

Gib Keys Various methods of drilling out stubborn gib keys

Stud Removal How to remove rusted in steel studs

Cold Starting Starting and running engines in below zero temperatures

Crankshafts To make new or repair the existing one?

Flywheels Repairing cracks and safety issues

Show Displays Ideas for working displays at shows

Honing Suitable lubricants and general advice on honing

ATIS What the Mailing List is all about

Piston removal Removing a seized piston

Bearings Using JB Weld or babbitt for bearings

Portland 2000 The greatest show of the new Millenium!

Loading Tips Tips for loading engines to transport to shows

Show Heaven Restored or "as found"? Everyone's got an opinion!

Making Gaskets Tools and advice to help

Belt Dressing How to stop belts slipping

Barn Fresh Is it still possible to find a genuine "barn fresh" engine?

Cast Welding Fixing a crack in a water jacket

Cranks To crank or not to crank - the argument rages on!

Shows Some tips to consider when organising an engine show

Castor Oil Can an alternative lubricant damage your engine?

Show Snobbery What about shows where "common engines" are discouraged?

Degreasing What is the best way to degrease an engine?

Cooling Tanks Setting up a tank cooling system

Plugs and Tanks Cleaning fouled plugs and dirty fuel tanks

Slow Running World preferences and advice on engine running speed

Cracked Hubs Repairing a cracked hub with a sweat ring

Mufflers Ideas for homebuilt mufflers

Officialdom Tips on what to do when your collection arouses the attention of local authorities

Governing Hit & Miss vs Throttle Governed - a mammoth discussion!

Shims Materials for replacement shims

Webster Mags Expert advice on repairing magnetos

Warning Tales "Been there, done that" safety warnings

Paint Finish Various questions about paint, filler and decals

Draining Fuel Advice on draining or preserving fuel over a period of time

Wife Do-Nots Keep your engines AND your wife!

Winter Painting Overcoming the problems of a cold, damp working environment

Fuel Levels How do you know how much fuel you've got, without a gauge?

Moving & Loading The safest ways to load, move and unload engines

Cylinder Jackets How to clean out years of deposits in a cylinder jacket

Cosmetic Tips Various suggestions for maintaining the appearance of engines

Cylinder Repairs What to do with a damaged cylinder

Old Ways How do original handbook methods shape up today?

Magnetos Magneto tips - the definitive collection

Cooling Tanks 2 Cooling tanks to save water AND do their job

Hopper Rust Preventing rust in cooling tanks and hoppers

Timing Marks Timing an engine to prevent oil flinging!

Flat Belts Flat belt tension

Built Up Cranks Major crank shaft repairs

Valve Guides Different ways of repairing valves

Show or Stow Which engines to take out to shows, and what classes as hoarding!

Brass, Bronze or Babbitt? Using the right metal for the job

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