View Full Version : Projects/engines

Tin Falcon
05-08-2006, 11:53 PM
Ok guys here are a couple of my engines nothing new to the cabin fever crowd

The first one is a simple single action ocsilator made from corian. It is my own design insired by lucy by Ed Warren


The second one is pattered after PM researches verticle double action ocsilator. When I showed it to Gary at PM I immediatly got a big smile. Hope you guys like it too.



05-09-2006, 12:00 AM
ahhh you're using that new see through aluminum! At first i thought they're not going to run on steam, but then again that corian is tough stuff , what's it like to machine? they look good Tin

Mad Scientist
05-09-2006, 12:32 AM
Beautiful! I really like your choice of materials. Shows some nice out of the box thinking. The clear plastic one is kind of like a “working” cut–a–way model. :)

Tin Falcon
05-09-2006, 07:56 AM
Do not think I would not try steam we use compressed air at the CF/IF show. Corian not bad to machine. Does not tend to gum up or chip out too much it is a plastic though so have to be a little carefull.
Mad :
yes folks like the see through engines.When I first displayed at IF the engines were just on the table, people were practicaly standing on there heads to see Lucy. So here is a photo of my latest display.


It also shows a couple more engines.

Tin Falcon

05-09-2006, 02:07 PM
Corian,Yes it is nice to turn at least.I do Corian pens occasionally,They don't sell well but get a lot of attention.

BTW nice work on the engines.

Mad Scientist
05-09-2006, 04:16 PM

Just a thought. What about a clear plastic two cylinder double acting steam engine, something that could run at a nice “slow” speed so people could watch as all the little wiggly parts are doing their thing?

Weston Bye
05-09-2006, 05:03 PM
Why not a clear glass cylinder, so that the bore doesn't get scrubbed and scratched like plastic does? Piston would be more visible.

Tin Falcon
05-09-2006, 05:25 PM
I am sure it could be done. I have gotten a lot of good Ideas for engines from people .The trouble is there are usualy more ideas than there is time. Afriend of mine wants me to build a lucite version of the Mcabe runner. And I saw crystal on the web, someone built a 2x version of mini-kin the James Senf design.
Rosie: the one inthe center of the display is the wifes engine. We co- designed it and she machined most of the parts. The heart shaped one of pink corian.

Iowolf: Pen/pencil sets is how I got started with the home shop. Made many sets from corian as well as cherry , walnut, mohogany, and oak. Sold quite a few for $25 a set to friends and coleages. Bartered for somenice stuff and gave a bunch away as christmas and graduation gifts. Somthing over a hundred sets over a few years time. Figure they paid for agood amount of my shop equipment.

Wes a glass sleeve could be interesting but a chalenge to machine.

Weston Bye
05-09-2006, 06:01 PM
Quote from Tin: Wes a glass sleeve could be interesting but a chalenge to machine.

Buy the desired ID glass tubing or design around available ID. cut to length plus a little, and lap to exact length. Evan could probably supply the specifics better than I.

Tin Falcon
05-09-2006, 09:20 PM
Wes :was just thinking about your last post an interesting thought came to mind. Build a Huff n Puff type engine with a glass cylinder and a graphite or teflon piston.Add extended blow tube and people could make it run and see how it runs at the same time. Yes would have to clean the blowtube between "demonstrators" or make it baloon powered?
Any thoughts?

05-09-2006, 10:05 PM
This stuff is new terroritory for me, but i remember an old demonstration of how a lung worked. We used plastic "solo" cups with a ballon stretched over the open end and a straw poked through the bottom. (The straw was sealed with some molding clay). Then whenever someone pulled on the balloon diaphragm the "lung" would breath. It actually moved a pretty good amount of air - maybe not enough for one of these engines but with some adaptation i would think you could make something on that principle. Maybe you could use an old bike intertube or something. Just a passing thought

Weston Bye
05-09-2006, 10:20 PM
take a side trip to


Do a search for glass tubing. Then click on oil cup cylinders. They are glass, in a surprising variety of lengths and diameters. The ends are ground and parallel. Build something around a couple of these. The piston could be aluminum and have a ring slot that would be wound with ordinary wool yarn. Many small "steam" engines used graphited yarn, but with a glass cylinder wall the graphite would be unneccesary. you might want to use a little graphite on the rod gland packing. I would find o-rings the same diameter as the glass cylinder and stack the cylinder and o-rings between end plates or blocks with recesses machined into them. The blocks, one plain, the other with provision for the cylinder rod and gland nut, would be held together with tie rods like a hydraulic cylinder.

Mad Scientist
05-10-2006, 12:08 AM
Damn your are getting me to start thinking, this is not good. :)

Out of curiosity I just looked up glass tubing in my McMaster-Carr catalog. Found “oil cup cylinders.” The smallest one is 1 ΒΌ” OD X 1” ID x 1 1/8 lg. “with ground ends” and rated at 190 PSI. Approx. $7.
This could be the beginning of something interesting. Ignoring the time problem, of course.

05-10-2006, 12:17 AM
Highschool shop teacher had a clear plastic Rotary engine to show how it works. I bet you could make one to run on compressed air. Some pretty tight tolerances though and the plastic would gouge like it did on the teachers model.