View Full Version : Stirling progress pics

07-17-2006, 11:57 PM
I have been lurking here for a while not doing much posting as I read and used the search button and sort of got to know the board.
I have only been into Home machining a couple of years but was always into metal and fab work. This must be the most addictive hobby I have ever had!

I decided to build the Stirling engine featured in HSM DEC/05 after building the Crusader .60 which ran like crap(not enough compression),
I am using the plans as a guideline and just sort of having fun giving it a different look.
The flywheel is stainless and so is the hot cap. I must say turning the stainless hot cap and flywheel in my little 9x20 import lathe was a challenge but I think they turned out pretty well.I grooved the hot cap flange surface to restrict the heat path area a bit. No idea if it will help but will help the gasket to seal at least.Or if nothing else I got to make some little grooves for fun.
I'll probably tackle the cold end this weekend.



07-18-2006, 01:58 AM
Nice, very shiny. I like shiny things.

07-18-2006, 08:31 AM
very neat work - looks good. what type of ss did you use, something freecutting like 303? it takes a little more to cut than free cutting mild steel, but in in the years to come you'll be so happy with the absence of rust! next engine i start I'm thinking all the bright parts will be in stainless

07-18-2006, 08:37 AM
shiny is good.. WAVY chatter bad.. Very bad.

I just opened a photobucket account and felt the need to take a few pics of something.

07-18-2006, 09:01 AM
very neat work - looks good. what type of ss did you use, something freecutting like 303?
yes it is 303. I have done little parts with stainless but this was my first time doing anything of this size removing this much stock in this material.
I quickly learned about work hardening while making these parts.
I used ccmt inserts for turning and a solid carbide boring bar and end mill for all the machining. Kept it nice and cool using my fogbuster system.
I have my little 9x20 lathe setup with the compound slide removed using a solid tool rest where I can easily cut .125" deep per pass in 12l14 or aluminum, but the 303 stainless I was limited to about .030" for roughing so it took a while to make these. It was not that the lathe would chatter with heavier cuts, the belt would slip.


07-18-2006, 09:56 AM
That looks real good S J H. Keep up the good work and be sure to keep us up to date on your progress by posting more pictures as you get more parts finished. I like these kind of posts a lot, always keeps you wondering what is coming next.

07-18-2006, 11:39 AM
Great job, very nice work. I love the 303 myself, just make sure you are cutting and not rubbing.

07-18-2006, 01:48 PM
As those darn things are so finicky, I will reserve judgment till I see if it runs.:D

It is shinny though.

07-18-2006, 01:57 PM
Very nice looking work! Keep us posted on the progress.

07-18-2006, 06:11 PM
Thanks guys. I'll post update pics.

07-18-2006, 06:35 PM
Nice work. I like to see that you changed it around a little for your own tastes. Good pics too.

07-23-2006, 01:21 AM
I finished up the cold end and hot cap retainer. I had a few issues making a decent grooving cutting bit for the fins which I talked about in this very good thread near the end.
These fins are .125" spaced apart and I did not want to mess with multiple cuts for the main fins so I split the cutting tip which let my little under powered 9x20 lathe cut a full .125" groove x .6" deep on the 3" od stock fairly easy.
Gave it a cone shape and double cut the fins for a little extra cooling area, but mainly because it looks sort of neat.:D


07-23-2006, 01:25 AM
Nice to see that someone else enjoys polishing as much as I do. :D

I too am looking forward to seeing it run.

07-23-2006, 01:33 AM
I too am looking forward to seeing it run.
huh? you mean these crazy looking things are supposed to run? :D


03-18-2007, 06:50 PM
This project was put on hold for a long time. I just recently started to finish it up and have 1 part left to make, the Power cyl retainer. But I was curious to see it run so I ran it with no retainer, just sealer holding the power cyl in place.
It started instantly and looks like it has very good rpm!
Pretty neat for me as this was my first time seeing a stirling engine run.

And here is a clip showing it running. Not the best quality but it does show it running quite well.

J. Tranter
03-18-2007, 09:21 PM
Can you show the way you grind that parting tool? I've been having problems figuring out how to grind parting tools so I'm trying to look at everything I can. thanks

03-18-2007, 10:17 PM
John, I actually ground that tool on the lathe. I chucked up a grinding wheel on a shaft with tail stock support.I then inserted a blank tool bit into the tool holder and shimmed it to be held at an angle and used the compound to set the other angles. Then grind away. It goes real fast on the lathe. I then hand cut the tip notch with a small cutoff disk. I don't remember what angles I used but I think they were typical parting tool specs. I made it for grooving those fins and not really for parting though. But it did cut the fins real nicely.

I since reground the tip of that tool to cut XL timing pulley grooves.

03-18-2007, 10:19 PM
Thanks guys. I'll post update pics.

Not having access to that issue of Home Shop Machinist, I'm wondering what type of Stirling you are building. Does it have a displacer, or is it two-piston? What is the configuration of the regenerator?

A sketch, a link, or a description would be of great interest.

03-19-2007, 12:18 AM
That sure does run nicely. Well done.

03-19-2007, 02:44 AM
Nice work!
Can I buy plans for that?

Your Old Dog
03-19-2007, 06:39 AM
Between you, Lane and Evan I think I'll start storing my camera at the very edge of the tallest shelf I got!! The work makes my triumphs look (I'm gonna go easy on myself here) putrid !! To say your engine is nice would be a gross understatement on my part. I also enjoyed your movie a lot as I've never seen one run under it's on power.

You mentioned using your own "fog mister" for cutting the stainless. Can you elaborate on that a tad more?

Thanks for the post, it very interesting and gives me something to shoot for.

03-19-2007, 05:08 PM
Not having access to that issue of Home Shop Machinist, I'm wondering what type of Stirling you are building. Does it have a displacer, or is it two-piston? What is the configuration of the regenerator?

A sketch, a link, or a description would be of great interest.

This engine was featured in the 11-12/05 issue of HSM and all the plans/specs are included. I just had fun with the design and changed the look of the engine a little and used some different materials.
It has a displacer piston and no mesh type regenerator.

Your Old Dog,
Thank you for the kind words!, but I'm just a relative newbie to this stuff and have a long way to go before I even have 1/10 the skills of some of the guys here!
I use a fogbuster coolant system ,www.fogbuster.com. I use it mainly with my mill but transfer it to the lathe now and then. It's a nice portable system. Sort of expensive though.

Alistair Hosie
03-19-2007, 06:08 PM
I think your workmanship is amongst the best I have seen.Certainly the finish is first rate quality. Very well done my friend kindest regards Alistair

03-19-2007, 06:20 PM
Beautiful!!!! Fred

03-19-2007, 11:36 PM
One cannot watch that video with out a big grin on your face :)

Nice work !


03-26-2007, 08:25 PM
Guys,Thanks for all the kind words.
I thought I should cap this thread with pics of it fully completed.