View Full Version : Snow model engine

12-18-2006, 10:07 PM
I am thinking about building the Snow model engine that is currently in H.S.M, sorry if I did not put in enough information and it was not real clear when I posted the other day. However I got the information that I needed on the radius of .190 thanks. As of now both pedestals have been machined, drilled and threaded, and the holding fixture "A" has been built. I am not having any luck yet locating the leaded steel for the cylinder, I need 1.38" dia. X 6" long and 2.25" dia. X 6" long. Maybe someone can enlighten me on where I can purchase this. I am not set up to post pictures of the progress. Thanks

12-18-2006, 10:27 PM
I am not having any luck yet locating the leaded steel for the cylinder, I need 1.38" dia. X 6" long and 2.25" dia. X 6" long. Maybe someone can enlighten me on where I can purchase this.


You're looking for "12L14", which is leaded, or "Free Machinining" steel. Industrial Metals and Speedy Metals carry it, and there are lots of drops on Ebay:


Good luck!


Mark Hockett
12-18-2006, 10:38 PM
I am also planning on building the Snow engine. I plan to start on it after Christmas.
If you have never machined 12L14 before you will enjoy it. It machines very nice.

If you email me any pictures you have I can post them for you.

12-18-2006, 10:49 PM
Another good source for materials in less than 20' lengths is McMaster Carr; www.mcmaster.com

They offer a wide selection of materials and grades, reasonable prices (not always the cheapest, but what they list is readily available), and fast delivery.

One thing to note is many dimensions in the build articles are merely a result of rounding nominal fractional dimensions. The 0.19 is 3/16" as previously mentioned, 0.38 is 3/8", etc.

The Snow engine is an ambitious project, but it is not something you will see every day. Good luck with it.

12-18-2006, 11:08 PM
Mark, sent you an e mail with picture thanks for the info.

Mark Hockett
12-19-2006, 01:44 AM
this is the only picture that I have that is good Thanks waterworkshoss


I posted this for waterworkshoss, These are not my parts but I wish they were.

Mark Hockett

12-19-2006, 04:56 PM
I posted this for waterworkshoss, These are not my parts but I wish they were.

I haven't read through the Snow article yet (it looks gorgeous!), but the part on the left looks like an expanding mandrel? Is that a specialized fixture you need to build?

12-19-2006, 06:36 PM
lazlo, just a guess but I think that the expanding mandrel is for lapping the cylinder(s). Lapping compound is smeared on it and it is run in the lathe through the bore, then expanded, then repeat. It makes a very accurate sized hole and great surface finish.


PS. Cant find a picture of this Snow model engine, and I dont yet subscribe to any machining magazines.

12-19-2006, 08:52 PM
Here's the cover.

The article.

12-20-2006, 01:03 AM
Yes, the mandrel on the left is a holding fixture to hold the cylinders while you turn and face them. Two cylinders are required for this engine and they need to be identical. I have not started on the cylinder assemblies yet but have located the leaded steel that is recommended. Thanks for the information on the steel. The two cylinders will require a lot of machining and 32 tapped holes. It should be fun and a good learning experience.

01-26-2007, 01:04 AM
I have turned, bored and brased both Cyl for the Snow that I buliding I used cold rolled because I had it in stock. I need to hone the bores to size. Then start on all the facing and holes... I have come up with 2 problems so far.
1. is a source for the poly seals and
2. the sator distributor any Ideas?????

It's going to a fun little engine


01-26-2007, 08:34 PM
I call "Mike" at mjnfabrication today and he said dist are no problem!! he has some in stock.


01-27-2007, 12:39 PM
Water and Scott -- post some pictures! :D

I'd love to try the Snow, but I've got so many other projects on my Tuit list...

03-07-2007, 09:27 PM
Water and Scott -- post some pictures! :D

I'd love to try the Snow, but I've got so many other projects on my Tuit list...

Here is a link to a YAHOO group of builders of the Snow Engine.
I Started the group a while back. Any and everyone with an interest is welcome to job and toss in thier 2 cents worth!!



04-06-2007, 01:12 AM
I'm going to build the Snow engine. It looks like a nice challenge and a very interesting project.
I'm just looking over some of the plans and what I have for material on hand. The plans call for 12l14 steel cylinders and the same material for the cyl case. Then the cylinder is to be brazed to the case which forms the mounting surface for the other parts and the water jacket.
Well I have no problem with those plans. But I don't happen to have 12l14 in 2.25" diam or any steel for that matter in that size. I do have plenty of 6061 aluminum in that size.
I don't see a problem with using leaded steel for the cyl and 6061 for the case and using high strength Loctite in place of brazing. It would also do away with any distortion issues from the heat and the case could be buffed to a high sheen or a nice satin brushed finish.
What I would do is to make a light press fit of cyl to case. Groove the cyl on the outer diameter at both ends slightly. Insert the cyl into the case which would have injection holes to fill the grooves on the cyl. Inject the loctite through the case which would fill the grooves on the cyl and lock and seal it to the 6061 case. It'll handle well over 400'F and this engine is water cooled.
Aluminum engine blocks with iron sleeves are of course common.
However I'm not sure if I might be missing an important reason NOT to build it this way.
Any thoughts?

04-06-2007, 01:31 AM
I'm buliding a Snow. I used CR (no leaded stuff in stock) for both the water jacket and the cylinders and silver brazed them together. It worked real well, after brazing I took the cylinders to a friends shop and used his sunnen pin hone to finish the bores.

The only thing I would think about would be to upsize the screws that would screw into the 6061


04-06-2007, 05:21 PM
It sounds like some of you are getting really ambitious with this model. Nice to see if the pics from HSM magazine are any indication.
Iirc, Rick Rowlands from over on the PM board, (Antique machinery forum) has either salvaged a live Snow engine or was trying to preserve one for future restoration. I think it may have been a blowing engine for a furnace or a large pumping engine....Someone had posted pics of it.
Double acting IC engines are a strange beast....
Good luck, I'm going back to building a power hacksaw....Why, because I found an old bed frame & 2 connecting rods from a Ford Ranger....Must be an HSM...

04-06-2007, 06:02 PM
The engines that the magazine showcases are pretty interesting, but I my opinion the Snow takes the cake. What a conversation piece!

This looks to be a fun engine to built. I am putting it on the "to do" list for a later date as I already have too many irons in the fire. I would be interested to hear about the aluminum substitution and how that works out. I can't see why that wouldn't work.

04-06-2007, 10:10 PM
I think the aluminum case and steel sleeve will work great. Iron for the sleeve would be even better but I see this as an expensive project so I want to use as much of what material I have on hand. Automotive U-joints are now held in place with injected plastic of some sort and no clip. To change them out you heat them up until the plastic oozes out of the injection holes like a snake. Loctite is different of course but IMHO it should work great for retaining the sleeve to case for a little 1" bore water cooled engine.
I'm not to worried about the aluminum threads. I highly doubt this engine has enough power to over tax the holding power of aluminum case threads.

I have a lot to learn about this engine. I see it has rings. I don't understand how they are kept oiled with tandem cylinders? Is oil added to the fuel mix?


04-06-2007, 10:59 PM
I posted this thread with a link to a video of a Snow running, and Orrin was good enough to add an excellent write up with more photos of the engine. It shows the lubricators.


Loctite is a great helper in the shop, and I see no reason not to use it in the manner described.

04-06-2007, 11:15 PM
JCHannum, thanks for the link! I missed that one. Lot's of good information!


04-06-2007, 11:28 PM
likewise, missed this earlier, great link. i can see the attraction of building one those.

04-07-2007, 02:39 AM
Wanted to let everyone know what is going on with my winter project the Snow engine. I got the leaded steel from E bay, got a bunch of cut offs (about 60 pounds). However, it seems that my magazine subscription expired and took a couple of months to get it all straightened out. I lost some of my enthusiasum for the Snow and started another project. A model Fairbanks Morse engine. It is about 50 percent done and I'll post some pictures when I get them back. I am still planning on building the Snow when I get the Fairbanks Morse done, I have been keeping a eye on the plans and they look like it will be fun, as well as a challenge.

04-08-2007, 09:12 AM
A Fairbanks Eclipse like this?


When you get to the carburetor, let me know, a restrictor greatly improves the performance of the engine. I can tell you how I did it.

04-08-2007, 02:10 PM
nice work as always JC.

on that oiler, any hints as to where to get the glass (i need it for my Perkins hit'n miss)? I've looked at lab tubing but its all in metric sizes and is thick walled. I thought of the plastic tubing cutting tools come in, what did you use?

04-08-2007, 03:30 PM
I cheated on the oiler, and purchased it from McMaster Carr. I thought it was the 1167K51, but don't recall spending nearly $30 for it. You might try some of the sources for sight glasses for inch diameter glass tubing.

John C. Ernst and Eugene Ernst come to mind. I think they also have acrylic.

04-08-2007, 07:43 PM
Very nice Eclipse engine J.C. The engine that I am building is the Fairbanks- Morse model N, 25 H.P. horizontal engine and I will post some pictures as soon as I get the program figured out. As far as the oiler glass, go to hitnmiss.com and you should find everything you are looking for.

04-13-2007, 05:33 PM
Hi All,

Yesterday as I was milling away at a long mill job. I was thinking
about the water cooling pump for the Snow Engine. They plans call for
a 12V pump placed in the cooling tank. But I don't really like that
idea to much. So I think I will use some kind of belt driven pump and
add a pulley to the flywheel side of the crankshaft to drive the pump.

So my question for you Guys. Who has seen drawing for a small pump that
might be of use??


04-13-2007, 09:16 PM
Jerry Howell has plans for a magnetic drive centrifugal pump (no seals!) for only $5.00. See http://www.jerry-howell.com/

04-17-2007, 01:32 AM
I finished up 1 cyl and case assembly. I did not find the need to use a mandrel or make a special fixture. I honed the cyl in the lathe using a brake hone with my tail stock lever feed I built a little while ago.
The case is 6061 AL bonded to 12l14 steel.
It's a start.

04-17-2007, 05:52 PM
Steve, great looking start!

I want to try to CNC one of these engines at some point. I've got a lot of work to do before I there though.



04-17-2007, 07:01 PM
Cylinder looks good. What did you use to bond the alum and stl together?? And have you used this before. Also do you know what is best to bond alum with alum?? Thanks in advance and am looking forward to seeing more of your snow engine.

04-18-2007, 01:58 AM
Thanks! I do plan on using my little CNC'd x3 bench mill for a lot of the parts in the future.

Cylinder looks good. What did you use to bond the alum and stl together?? And have you used this before. Also do you know what is best to bond alum with alum?? Thanks in advance and am looking forward to seeing more of your snow engine.

I used high strength red loctite and a .0005" slip fit. I use it all the time instead of press fits for small parts.
The case has shallow internal grooves to provide a little extra room for the loctite to form a solid O-ring type seal and bond to the steel sleeve. Once the loctite sets up, it makes a very strong bond! It takes around 500'F to break the bond of the high strength versions. Loctite will work with most aluminums.