Readers of MODELTEC, the premier magazine for those who enjoy metalworking, machining and building models of all kinds fondly remember the engine designs of Elmer Verburg. MODELTEC is no longer published but about 50 of his engine designs and a dozen or more of his clever workshop tools survive in the book Elmer's Engines. The book is hard to find and commands a high price because it was published in very limited quantities.
Bill Fitt and Elmer Verburg were both friends of mine. Bill was the publisher of MODELTEC and also the owner of Old Orchard Publishing. Sadly both Bill and Elmer have passed away now. I have fond memories of visiting them both. Bill was proud of giving rides on his backyard railroad winding through the woods behind his house and Elmer delighted in bringing out all of his engines to demonstrate them to me. One of my favorite books is a copy of Elmer's Engines that he autographed for me during one of my visits.
When I started DIGITEK BOOKS to provide digital replicas of model engineering and technical books, Elmer's Engines was always very high on my list of things that I wanted to offer. In order to do a good job of a digital book it needs to be disassembled and my autographed copy had too much of a personal value. So when I found another like-new copy I bought it and "bit the bullet". I disassembled it and made a digital copy to make it available to other model makers.
Printed copies of Elmer's Engines start at around $200 and go up from there. I have seen them advertised for sale for as much as $2,000. The book is a pleasure to own and read but has one disadvantage. Unless your shop is as clean as a surgeons operating room, if you take the book out to your shop to build one of his engine designs it is almost impossible to keep it from getting dirty and that would be a shame.
The digital copy has a big advantage. You can print out just the pages you need, take them to the shop and the original is just as good as when it was new. The other advantage is of course, the price. At only $60 you won't want to let this one get by. Put it in your shopping cart now and learn why every hobby and professional machinist wants one.
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