The Internet Craftsmanship Museum Presents:

Doug Kelley

Added to museum: 1/5/2016

A Model Engineer who specializes in building unusual engines

Doug  Kelley at work planning his next engine. (Click on photo to view a larger image.)


Retired engineer Doug Kelley honed his design skills developing large, off-road haulers for Euclid. Today, Doug's design work is on a much smaller scale. He enjoys modeling nearly forgotten, historic, multi-cylinder engines with names like Bruce Macbeth or Bates and Edmonds. Doug is probably best known for his model of the tandem, double-acting Snow engine.

About Doug Kelley

Doug Kelley was born in Harrisburg, PA, and grew up on 3rd Street, a few blocks from the Susquehanna River. From an early age Doug was interested in all things mechanical, though bulldozers in particular were his favorite. He recalls chasing around Harrisburg on his bicycle, looking for bulldozers at work. He would also ride his bike to the nearby International Harvester dealership where Doug says he made a pest of himself climbing on the machines and hanging around the shop. Recognizing Doug's interest in the machines, the mechanics sometimes let him ride along while testing crawler tractors and scrapers.

Doug learned to run a crawler, dragging logs out of the woods on his grandfather's Oliver HG. His interest in construction machinery and experience on the HG, led Doug to summer work at a local construction company during high school and college. He started out digging ditches with a shovel, but kept pestering his foreman to put him on a machine. Eventually Doug got to run an Allis Chalmers HD-6 dozer, but spent most of his time on a 12 ton Huber road roller. Doug had many adventures on the roller including the morning he was told to drive the roller back to the contractor's yard. The route went right past his house and nearing home, it was lunchtime. To his mother's great surprise, Doug parked the roller on the street out front and went in for lunch.

Living close to the Susquehanna and not far from the Williams Grove Speedway, Doug developed an interest in hydroplane and sprint car racing. He was particularly fascinated by hydros running the 48 cubic inch Crosely and the really hot Ford V8 60 engines. At Williams Grove, Doug's favorite driver was Troy Ruttman driving the 220 Offenhauser powered Agajanian #98 Jr Special.

Doug never had the money to build a hydroplane, but he and his friends spent a lot of time on the river. He rebuilt a number of old 2-cylinder outboard Johnson, Elto, and Champion motors which he bought from garages on Front Street. They built wooden boats from whatever they could find and powered them with Doug's rebuilt outboard motors. In addition to the boat motors, Doug bought a Ford 60 engine from a local junk yard and rebuilt it in his parents' basement.

Early interest in engines leads to an engineering degree and a job

As might be expected, Doug's boyhood interest in engines and machinery led him to study engineering at Penn State University. He graduated in 1956 with a degree in Industrial Engineering. After interviewing several construction equipment companies, including Caterpillar, Doug took a job with the Euclid Division of General Motors in Cleveland, OH. Three weeks after graduation, Doug and his new bride Jane, headed west to Cleveland in his 1954 Chevrolet. He worked for Euclid for 28 years in off- highway hauler project design, product development, and marketing. Doug loved the work and the chance to travel the world.

The gift of a small engine leads to an interest in metalworking

In the early 1970's, Doug's father gave him a 1-1/2 HP Hercules engine he bought at a local farm sale. The Hercules was a perfect introduction to the early thinking in internal combustion engine practice. The Hercules led to a modest collection of antique engines. Restoring antique engines led to the need for metal working tools, prompting Doug to buy his first machine tool, a 12 inch Craftsman lathe. An Atlas horizontal mill soon followed as did a Victor oxy/acetylene torch set. Doug enjoyed the antique engine hobby and in time, had collected several very old Domestic engines. A trip to what was to become Coolspring Power Museum in western PA, sparked Doug's interest in large historic engines which would later become candidates for scale modeling.

Full-size engines too big for retirement, leading to a hobby in model engineering

After Doug retired, he felt the antique engine hobby was getting a little too heavy and he began to think about something smaller. He attended NAMES in the mid 90's and found the perfect solution, scale model engines. His first model engine was a cast fin, air cooled Domestic, built from a casting kit he bought from Bob Herder at Cabin Fever. Interestingly, Bob based the model on Domestic engine S/N 624 which Doug had restored for a Domestic engine collector in Philadelphia. From that start, Doug's model building progressed to more complex engines such as the Hodgson 9-cylinder radial aircraft engine, followed by Bruce Satra's flat, four-cylinder aircraft engine.

After building engines designed by others, Doug, being a design engineer, set out to design scale engines of his own. His first was the Snow, a tandem double-acting engine. The May/June 2004 issue of The Home Shop Machinist (HSM) magazine published Doug's article introducing the Snow to the model engineering community. Next came Doug's build series for the Snow, beginning with the November/December 2006 HSM. The Snow has been popular with builders around the world. It's not uncommon to see four or more Snow models on display at NAMES, Cabin Fever, and Paul Debolt's Zanesville, OH, show. Doug's prototype model of the Snow was donated to the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad, CA in 2016 and now can be seen on display by visitors to the museum.

Through the Snow, Doug met Jeff Connor at Cabin Fever and they became good friends. Jeff helped research the future models by taking the photos and making measurements of existing engines. Using this data, Doug designed his four-cylinder Bruce Macbeth, two-cylinder IHC Titan, two-cylinder Bates & Edmonds, and a two-cylinder Nash. All the original full-size engines, except the IHC Titan, are restored and running at the Coolspring Power Museum.

Doug's Shop

Doug's shop currently centers around a 10 x 24 Rockwell quick-change lathe and Clausing Model 8525 vertical mill with a 6-inch rotary table. His old Victor oxy/acetylene torch set still gets a lot of use as Doug's engine designs include fabrication of some parts by silver brazing. In addition, his shop includes a 14-inch Rockwell metal cutting band saw, Craftsman 10-inch drill press, several grinders, and several disc and belt sanders.

In summary, Doug has built fourteen model internal combustion engines, including a fire breathing Hurricane gas turbine. His models, with photos, are listed below. Doug freely shares much of his design work and construction technique in the pages of Model Engine Builder Magazine and The Home Shop Machinist through the nine articles listed below. Doug's drawings are nicely detailed in the old school method of pencil on paper. Doug says "The model building hobby has been good to me. So many good friendships have developed. I'm pleased to be associated with so many fine model builders."

Photo Gallery—Engines by Doug Kelley

(Click on any photo to view a larger image.)

1-1/2 HP Domestic

Doug's first model was this 1-1/2 HP Domestic, built from Bob Herder's castings. This ignitor-fired,  hit-and-miss Domestic, with working governor,  has a  1.00"  bore, 1.50" stroke and 6.12" diameter flywheels.

Hodgson 9-Cylinder Radial

Turning to a more challenging model, Doug built this 9-cylinder radial from Lee Hodgson's plans. Bore and stroke are 1.000" by 1.125" and the engine is 11.25" in diameter.  For a more realistic look, Doug built a  26.75" diameter, three-blade aluminum propeller for the engine. The  blades were machined between centers on his lathe and mill, both manual machines. Doug wrote a build essay for his radial, published in the September/October 2002 issue of The Home Shop Machinist.

Bruce Satra 0-440 Flat Four-Cylinder Aircraft Engine

The Satra has a 0.940" bore and 0.875" stroke. The engine is spark plug fired and has a rear mounted Satra designed distributor.  Doug added a supercharger of his own design. The supercharger is a vane type with carbon fiber blades and develops 4 to 6 inches of water boost, depending on engine rpm. 

Snow and Little Snow Tandem Double-Acting Engines

The Snow is the first of Doug's own designs based on photos and measurements from a full-size engine. With 1.060" x 1.880" bore and stroke, the model is approximately 0.06 scale. Flywheel diameter is 8.5". A distributor takes care of ignition. The coolant pump is Doug's own design which includes a 1.25" diameter impeller and a rubber lip seal on the shaft. The Home Shop Machinist magazine published Doug's build article for the Snow in four issues beginning with the November/December 2006 issue. The build is currently published by Village Press in their Build the Snow—A Tandem Double-Acting Engine 48-page publication. Model Engine Builder magazine, Issue 14, published Doug's centrifugal pump build article. In early 2016 Doug donated his prototype Snow engine to the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum, where it can now be seen on permanent display.

Doug followed the Snow with the Little Snow, scaled to 60% of the larger engine. The smaller engine has  0.625" bore, 1.125" stroke and a 5.375" diameter flywheel.  Drawings for the Little Snow were never published.

Freelance Side Shaft Mill Engine

Doug's mill engine is a side shaft engine of his own design.  Bore and stroke are 1.125" by 1.750". The flywheels are 6.50" in diameter. The ignitor-fired engine has a cross head, side shaft and a functional flyball governor. Speed control is based on the Callahan cam stopper concept.  Coolant circulates to the radiator by thermosyphon.

Miller Two-Cylinder

Doug's two-cylinder Miller was inspired by the 300 HP,  four cylinder Miller at the Coolspring Power Museum.  The engine has a 1.000" bore, 1.500" stroke and 5.00" flywheel. The center shaft, running at engine speed, drives 2:1 reduction gearing which drives a short side shaft at each cylinder. The side shafts drive the exhaust cams and intake eccentrics. The Home Shop Machinist  published Doug's photo essay detailing his Miller in the May/June 2009 issue.

Freelance Opposed Piston Two-Cylinder

Fairbanks-Morse opposed piston, diesel engines were the inspiration for Doug's opposed piston two-cylinder engine.  Bore and total stroke are 0.960" x 1.500".  The twin flywheels are 2.250" diameter.  The black item at the rear corner of the base is a computer water cooling radiator and 12 volt fan. A gear pump circulates the coolant. Doug built a single-cylinder, opposed piston engine to test this design before building the two-cylinder.

Model Engine Builder Magazine, Issues 19 and 20, published Doug's  two cylinder, opposed-piston engine build article.

Hurricane Gas Turbine

The Hurricane turbine was designed by Neville Robertson of Brisbane, Australia and published in The Australian Model Builder magazine. The turbine idles at 60,000 rpm with 120,000 rpm maximum speed. Doug doesn't run the turbine much over 100,000 rpm. The compressor is a 70mm wheel from a Volvo turbocharger. The  66.5mm turbine wheel from Switzerland is cast Inconel 713. Doug had the rotating assembly balanced at 100,000 rpm. The turbine spins on ceramic ball bearings. The combustor is made from 0.025" thick stainless steel. The end caps were formed over a simple die set. Doug made a series of steel and wooden fixtures to hold the combustor pieces in position while he installed the 1/16" diameter rivets.

Bruce Macbeth Four Cylinder

Doug's 1/10th scale Bruce Macbeth is based on the Bruce Macbeth, Shop Number 598 at Coolspring Power Museum.  The model has a 1.00 bore, 1.20 stroke, and 5.38 inch diameter flywheels.  Like all Doug's models of his own design, the Bruce Macbeth is scratch built from steel and brass stock, except for the cast iron flywheels. Careful attention to detail, gives the engine a realistic look and the appearance of being built with castings.

The Home Shop Machinist magazine published Doug's Bruce Macbeth build article in four issues beginning with the November/December 2012 issue.

IHC Titan Two Cylinder Horizontal

Doug's 1/10th scale Titan is based on the stationary version of the 50 HP Titan engine used in the International Harvester Company Titan farm tractor.  Bore is 0.90", stroke 1.40", and flywheel diameter 5.97".  The Titan is another fabricated engine, except for the cast iron flywheels.

The Home Shop Machinist plans to publish Doug's Titan build article starting in 2016. See photo of cover at right.

Bates & Edmonds Two-Cylinder Vertical

This engine is a 1/8 scale model of  the 25 HP Bates & Edmonds at the Coolspring Power Museum.  Bore is 1.00", stroke is 1.187". Flywheel diameter is 6.125". This engine has no camshaft. Eccentrics operate the valves by pulling the rods connected to levers mounted on the cylinder heads as shown in the photo of the engine without flywheels. The generator is a DC electric motor built into a housing styled to give a period look. 

Nash Two-Cylinder Vertical

Completed mid-year 2017, Doug's latest creation is a 1/8 scale model of a 1906, 25 HP, 2 cylinder Nash built by the National Meter Co. of New York City. Doug's model is based on the Nash at the Coolspring Power Museum at Coolspring, PA.

Doug's model is spark plug fired, with cylinders firing 180 degrees apart, as did the full size engine.
Bore and stroke are 1.00 by 1.31 inches. Flywheel diameter is 7.50 inches. The Nash is an L-head engine with external camshaft and cam followers on swing arms, like the full size Nash. The cylinder liners, heads, and exhaust manifold are liquid cooled. Fellow model builder, Jeff Conner, contributed to the design by providing photos and measurements from Coolspring's Nash. The cast iron flywheels were cast by Gary Martin of Martin Model and Pattern. Except for the flywheels, the model Nash was built entirely from bar stock.

With two relatively large flywheels, the little Nash runs slow and runs as good as it looks.

To learn more about Doug's Nash, see the build essay published in the November/December 2017 issue of
The Home Shop Machinist
, pages 34 through 36.

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