WTAJ Originals: Clearfield Co. man restores antique engines

Daily Originals

A Clearfield County man has an affinity for turning old junk into something new.

Many people’s trash is another person’s treasure as the saying goes. For one Clearfield County man has spent most of his life building and restoring antique engines.

“Hi I’m Bob Bloom from Clearfield. A lot of people through the years have called me Bob the Builder. I like to build old model engines, steam engines.”

Bob Bloom has built quite the collection of model tractors, boats and trains over the years.

“I’m the guy who will take stuff that’s rusted, busted and broken, I just like to accept the challenge and make it good and get it running again and just enjoy,” said Bloom.

Growing up, he says he always was fascinated by steam power, teaching himself how to build engines at a young age.

“Eight years old, I made a boat, and I made a steam engine,” he said. “I used a brass fire extinguisher as the boiler, I got two pie pans soldered together. And from them days on through, I just kept on going and designing and building.”

Now he has many toys he tinkers on and will even build models like these completely from scratch.

“This is a steam roller modeled after and depicted of when they built highways and roads,” he said. “This is actually an engine that runs and functions. You put water in it and fire it up and it’s got its own little engine.”

Bloom’s collection doesn’t stop with models…he has a garage used for storing plenty of full-sized engines too.

“31 Model A Ford Pickup, I have a 1940 Army International I’m rebuilding, and I have numerous old John Deere tractors.”

And if that doesn’t sound like a laundry list already…he has even bigger plans.

“I’m just a young boy yet, but someday I’m going to try to build something that’s really unique. I’d like to work with the Career and Technology and I’d like to build a real steam boat big enough to have dinner on the river.”

Because no project is too big for Bob the Builder.

“Anything that’s worth the task you give it your best, and if you do that, you’re successful.”

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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