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Bradford Engine

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Bradford Engine

Post by RAB on Sun Sep 27 2009, 15:37

Details to follow

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by iansw on Sun Sep 27 2009, 22:12

Thanks guys for your support, don't take the pis* i have a bad finger, here look

This engine i bought from Croyden, it's a Bradford 5hp and i was told it was made in 1933, don't know a lot more about it, apart it eats fingers

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by mike d on Mon Sep 28 2009, 22:50

that's why the fella sold it

did he have any fingers missing lol! lol! lol! lol! lol!

i bet that took you a time to travel there and back from your place ????

does it charge well ?????

to big for me now,trying to down size

not having much luck tho in selling my engines

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by iansw on Mon Sep 28 2009, 23:01

Mike, it wasn't to bad traveling, up and back in a day no problem, he told me it had been stood for three years under a cover in his back garden, he did have all of his fingers, but it could have grown back in that time. lol!

It will run quite well charging at about 40 amps, but it hink there is a problem with the engine, i think its coked up and the timing is wrong.

I think i might sell it to Holley if i can get a nice hit and miss, that will make Adam's van smoke with that in the back

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by mike d on Mon Sep 28 2009, 23:24

you guys have some smart engines down there

us dorset boys will have to come down for the day and have a meet

mike d.

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by iansw on Tue Sep 29 2009, 08:30

Mike, it would be good to see you Dorset boys down 'ere, i would be quite happy to come up some time, we are going to Benz's do early next year so we could meet you there

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Bradford enclosedcrank.

Post by metalmagpie on Sat Aug 11 2012, 16:06

I have just bought one of these off ebay. It is not badged,as a Bradford just "made in England" cast into the crank cover. It has a number 974260 on a brass plate on the cylinder but this says Avon Power Saw. The guy who sold it said it had never been used on a power saw so maybe it was one of a contract which was not needed. It has a huge compression, but I have not started it yet.
Anything you know?
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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by JONESEY on Sun Aug 12 2012, 00:13

Photos would be nice Martin I have an Avon drag saw down the barn with a Bradford engine on it
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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by stationary stu on Mon Oct 01 2012, 10:25

This is my Bradford 1 1/2hp enclosed crank built in the late 40's

[img][/img]

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Got you you little b######

Post by Darryl Ovens on Thu Dec 12 2013, 04:50

Reminds me of last season;

A friend of mine got one of these Bradfords mid season, (ex deceased estate).  Been restored but hadn't been running for awhile.  Usual problems; dry bore and petrol evaporated and gummed things up plus the EK Mag (like the one above) was a bit sticky.  So we cleaned out the "carb" fuel line and tank, oiled the bore and freed up the mag.  But had a lot of trouble starting it.  Occasionally we'd get a good strong back fire, two of us had sore arms after that, so fuel was Ok but we found it's ignition timing was way too early by 1st principles, but to late going by the marks on the flywheel? Re-timed it by 1st principles and that got it going.  But now we were chasing it around the shed.  It had a strange "trolley" with only one axle in the middle, so we figured that was the problem.  It was by now getting dark, so we left it at that.  Next opportunity to try it was at a show, so took the wheels off and sat it down on it's runners.  Started Ok but now we almost had to run to catch it and it took two of us standing on it to hold it down.
Didn't start it again that day, but there was lots of head scratching.  Removing the crank cover again and turning it over we noticed that the counter weights in the flywheels were not opposite the big end.  In fact they were near to inline with it!  No wonder it jumped around, but these are on keys in key-ways, how could they be wrong?  Then we remembered one of the other friends whom also had a Bradford had been looking on the opposite flywheel from the one that had the mark, and the penny dropped.  Next day we came back to the show (two dayr), armed with wedges and wheel pullers etc. to swap the flywheels.  This put the counter weights opposite the big end and now the ignition timing mark made sense.  Bit of a problem getting the keys to fit the opposite keyways and now the pulley would not fit on, as one wheel has a longer hub than the other.  Still ran a bit strange (8 stroking) but we found it needed a heavier spring on the inlet valve as it was opening too far and blowing back through the carb before it shut again.
By the end of the day we had it running quite well and had given the public a big demonstration things not working straight away and of "fault fixing".
Amazing how that always draws a crowd!

We wonder if the previous owner had ever run it or just given up on it after so much work restoring it?

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by StewartH on Thu Dec 12 2013, 11:51

You have some fault finding skills there Squire - nice find and fix - and whats better than a crowd watching to put you under pressure  Very Happy 

I'll remember those titbits of info for my own if you dont mind - all useful stuff!

best

Hamish

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by metalmagpie on Sun Jun 15 2014, 18:26

I was at the Oswestry Vintage show this weekend with the Bradford. I met a really interesting chap who had a Bradford: but it wasn't! it was an Amanco sold by Bradford.
He told me that Bradford didn't make engines, just factored them and that they were nearly all Amancos.
However I know of three or four "Bradfords" which are most definitely not Amancos.
Mine has "Made is Britain" cast on the crank case cover and and"M" cast on in the water hopper.
A number on the crankcase is 14260.
Now I know it is not an Amanco imported by Bradford and merely factored to "Avon" for a drag saw but never fitted out.
I know it was made in the UK and by someone called "M". But further than this I cannot get.
Has anyone any ideas? I have a photo of my engine but don't know how to add them.
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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by metalmagpie on Sun Jun 15 2014, 18:28

Correction: the number 14260 is on the crankshaft, the number on the crankcase is quite different and is stamped on an "Avon" plate!
Sorry
Martin

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by blue cat on Sun Jun 15 2014, 19:37

Fact: Bradford did make engines.
Fact: Bradford made the horizontal enclosed crank "British" Amanco engines (they were not made by Amanco or imported).
Fact: Bradford made the horizontal enclosed crank Avon engines for drag saws.
I suspect the "M" is a casting mark, it is not the manufacturer.

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by metalmagpie on Sun Jun 15 2014, 19:43

Thanks, That sounds more logical. The "M" is very prominent, around 2 1/2" high and raised. I must now sound out the serial number, it's much easier knowing that it was manufactured by Bradford.
I wonder if this engine was left over after Avon ceased manufacture.
Bradfords history would make fascinating reading.
Thanks for you information
Martin

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by blue cat on Sun Jun 15 2014, 19:47

If your engine is a Bradford made Avon, then the serial number will be outside the normal range of serial numbers used by Bradford. It cannot be dated using Bradford information. Unless you have any other information then all that can be said is that it dates between about 1932 and 1950.

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by metalmagpie on Sun Jun 15 2014, 20:31

There is an "Avon" number on a brass plate on the crank case but there is a number on the crank shaft itself, stamped on. This is the number 14260. I hoped this wa a Bradford number and might identify the engine. The other similar engines I have seen differ in detail. Some have wet sump with a filler on the end of the crankcase. Some have two oilers and two greasers for the main bearings, others have only one oiler. Mine has two oilers and a breather at the crankshaft end of the cylinder. I had thought out a logical sequence for this engine (assuming that Bradford had manufactured this engine for customers other than Avon). I thought it logical that the oilers would be on Avon engines as this configuration would be better for use when the engine was tipped up. The "M" on the hopper casting appears to be rather prominent for a mere casting mark but I have not seen it on any of the other engines.
Sorry to go on about this but I began to feel I was getting somewhere when I was talking to this guy at the show, now I believe that he was wrong...
Martin

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by blue cat on Mon Jun 16 2014, 18:34

Martin, I've had another look at this. There is a possibility that the serial number 14260 could fit into the Bradford serial number range.....   at the very very end. That would make your engine about 1950 ish. Does that make sense ? Were Avon still operating at this time ?. Two oilers would be correct for an engine intended for a drag saw application as most Avon engines were. Still no thoughts on the large "M" on your engine. I will think a bit more about that.

edit
OK, here's a bit more. Canavon Partners Ltd of Avonmouth, Bristol were formed around 1925. They specialised in wood cutting equipment amongst other stuff. Their subsidiary company, Canadian Importers Ltd, imported such equipment from Canada and USA. This included Witte engined drag saws. WW2 put an end to importing drag saw engines via this route, so they sourced engines in Britain from the Bradford Gas Engine Co Ltd of Shipley, Bradford, and also T. L. Smith & Co of London, perhaps better knows as Teles. The Bradford engined drag saws were badged as "Avon", which was taken from a contraction of Avonmouth. The Canadian Importers Ltd business was wound up in January 1948 and all assets sold, Canavon Partners Ltd continued after this time. This now narrows down the dating for your engine to 1940-1948. I still suspect from the engine number 14260 that it will be the latter date. If your engine was sold as the assets were dispersed then it is possible that it never got around to being fitted to a drag saw.

Canavon Partners Ltd continued trading until sometime in the 1950's selling among other things Villiers engined two man chain saws produced under the Teles name.


Last edited by blue cat on Mon Jun 16 2014, 19:52; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : lots more info added)

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by metalmagpie on Mon Jun 16 2014, 20:09

That's amazing, it certainly would fit so far as the engine not being fitted out as a saw is concerned. Bradford Gas Engines was still functioning ( as J Robson) until as late as 1980 Their records are in the Bradford Archives.My daughter is a librarian in Leeds so I will try to get her to look for me.
There is a Bradford mentioned in the Saltaire World site, numbered 11979 and described as pre 1946.
I will look for Canavon Partners as Avon returned very little information.
Thanks so much for your help.
I have just found that Canavon was wound up on 30th January 1948. So maybe the engine was left on Bradfords hands even tbough it has already been badged to Avon.
Martin

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by metalmagpie on Mon Jun 16 2014, 20:44

Looking again, I find that we were both referring to the same document, the 1948 winding up of Canavon Partners.
However there are papers in the Museum of Rural Life in Reading which might help. The Catalogue of papers from an R&J Reeves Ltd includes a number of leaflets from Canavon. These include a "leaflet on Teles Direct Drive D77 Power Saws". The Museum acquired these in 1961 so Reeves must have been extant then.Quite a number of the leaflets are shown with dates as late as the '60s.
The address for Canavon is given as West Down Road and Portway Avonmouth.
I shall try to obtain some more details.
Martin

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by metalmagpie on Mon Jun 16 2014, 21:11

The "Avon" was still being advertised as late as February 1952. It appears on an entry for the "Farm Implement and Machinery Review"

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by blue cat on Tue Jun 17 2014, 12:33

The Bradford at Saltaire World is dated correctly, as it is 1945.
Canavon Partners Ltd was not wound up in 1948, that was Canadian Importers Ltd a subsidiary company of Canavon Partners Ltd. Canavon continued at least into the 1950's.

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Re: Bradford Engine

Post by metalmagpie on Tue Jun 17 2014, 17:39

You are correct, the winding up of Canavon Partners was held in the offices of Canavon Partners Ltd.
I have ordered a copy of an advert from The Farm Implement and Machinery review dated February 1st 1952 so Canavon was still functioning then, and producing drag saws.
I have not found anything further about Canavon, or Bradford Gas Engines in the later period but Canavon may well still have been ordering the engines into the 1950's.
I will let you know when I find anything further. Meanwhile, thankyou so much for making the connection to Canavon for me.
Martin

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Re: Bradford Engine

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