Lyle & Brad Kelley’s 1903, 9 horse power, J. I. Case traction engine. There were approximately 950 engines of this size made from 1900 to about 1924. We believe there are about 40 of this size still surviving with about 15 certified boilers in working order.
The problem – A 500 pound 40 inch flywheel is attached to the shaft by a ¾ X 6 inch key that will not come out.
Heating, beating, and hydraulic presses could not be used due to the fragility of the cast flywheel and the rarity of the tractor.
Various attempts were made to remove the key over a 2 month period. Drilling, tapping, and attaching a slide hammer all failed.
CBG, using a portable machine set-up in our shop, disintegrated a ½ inch round hole in the ¾ inch square key.
In under an hour, the key was disintegrated and removed, and the flywheel separated from the shaft for the first time in 106 years, without damage to the shaft or the flywheel.