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Another lurker out of the closet

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  • Another lurker out of the closet

    While I do contribute occasionally in written form, I suppose I'm guilty of
    lurking in the sense that I've never put up any pictures of my work. This post
    is meant to correct that.

    First is a breath-powered, double acting, piston valve 'steam' engine to a
    design seen, IIRC, in HSM years ago.

    I give lectures on the development of prime mover technology at the local
    grade schools and use this engine to involve the kids. They all get a chance
    to blow into it (alcohol wipes sterilize the blow pipe (not shown in the
    picture) between students) and have a ball doing so. The link pins on this
    engine are 1/16" drill rod, turned down to 0.040" and split on the ends with a
    0.005" slitting saw so they can be spread slightly like a cotter pin to hold
    them in place.

    Next is a beam compass from plans by Elmer Verburg. The somewhat unusual
    design of the pencil holder allows it to also hold an X-acto knife for cutting
    circular gaskets. Not shown is an extender that allows it to handle radii of
    up to 24".

    Next is a tachometer I built using a commercially available IR
    diode/phototransistor unit rescued from a card reader. Battery operated, in
    use it's connected to a counter or the frequency reading channel on one of my
    VOMs. With exactly sixty holes in the spinner, the readout in Hz is identical
    to the RPM of the engine being tested so no calculations are required.

    This is a steam engine with no valves from a design in "Model Engineer"
    magazine. The piston is turned through an angle about its axis by the complex
    linkage to the driveshaft during each up-down cycle. This turning alternately
    exposes a flat on the piston to the input and output ports to provide the
    valving action. Since it's a completely symmetric design, reversing the
    engine only requires interchanging inlet and exhaust.

    And, finally, the ubiquitous PMR lathe model in Alistair's favorite color.
    The three ball handle on the cross-slide was made using the PROFILE program on
    my web page (couldn't resist a plug, Evan).

    Sorry for the quality of the pictures. I'm hoping for a digital SLR for my
    Regards, Marv

    Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things

    Location: LA, CA, USA

  • #2

    That is some nice stuff, I like the beam compass and the tach. I don't do the "tiny little engine" thing, but they look great. I have bookmarked you "program" site, but I have always remember it too late, GRRR...I need to store the link where I can find it easy.
    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."


    • #3
      I also really like that compass. I like measuring and drawing tools in general and I prefer plain steel finish like that one. The breath engine is cool too. I can also run the one and only "steam" engine that I built on breath as it requires less than .5 psi. It also can be reversed by exchanging the exhaust and input.
      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


      • #4
        Marv, if you don't mind I am going to copy the pic of your beam compass and make one when I get some time.

        I have a couple of projects that I am working on now. The .6o crusader engine is one but it went on the shelf for a while. I sort of got discusted with it.
        Don\'t ask me to do a dam thing, I\'m retired.


        • #5
          All i've got is: "Wow!" Nice work - especially given the size! I always say i can't work on anything to small to take a couple of good hammer blows when i'm angry


          • #6

            I would like to copy your beam compass as well. Thanks for the pictures...that is some great work!



            • #7
              Another lurker out of the closet

              Absolutely beautiful work!!!

              Iam especially partial to the lathe. I nearly fainted whan I saw the penny.

              Jim (KB4IVH)
              Jim (KB4IVH)

              Only fools abuse their tools.


              • #8
                Wow. I was going to post some of my projects, warts and all, but after seeing your work I'm not sure. Those projects sure blow me out of the water. Maybe I will just keep quiet.

                GUNS Don't kill people
                Drivers using cell phones do.


                • #9

                  That put all us hacker lurkers back in the closet Did you make any new swear words building those............ gotta go my self esteem just took a harpoon.....................


                  • #10

                    Nice work guess I will have to post an engine or two now.
                    Tin Falcon
                    Ad maiorem dei gloriam - Ad vitam paramus


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the kind words, guys. Makes me glad I posted the pictures.

                      Scishopguy: Don't be too impressed by the size of the lathe. That's not a
                      penny in front of it. It's a Sacagawea dollar coin. One of the hardest parts
                      to make on that was the rocker that goes in the dished washer to support the
                      1/16" square tool (ground for threading) in the lantern toolholder.

                      C-ROSS & johnhurd: Please don't say that seeing these pics is scaring you off
                      from posting. That's exactly NOT what I wanted to achieve by posting pics.
                      Be inspired, not intimidated.

                      Obviously, I had Verburg's plans for the beam compass at some point but, after
                      several house cleanings, I can no longer find them. Academic, since I'm sure
                      they're copyrighted and reproducing them would be a no-no. Besides, you guys
                      are clever and can work it out on your own.

                      Below are two photos of one of my self-designed height gages. The first shows
                      the two component parts. On the left is the measuring bar. On the right is
                      the crennalated base into which it fits.

                      In use the measuring bar fits into the crennalated base.

                      The crennalations allow the bar to be set to be 1 & 1/8, 1 & 1/4, 1 & 3/8, ...
                      2" above the surface on which the base rests. A 1/16" step in the bar allows
                      one to obtain all the intervening 1/16" increments. A 1" long rod projecting
                      down from the bar, also with a 1/16" step, provides all 1/16" measurements
                      between 0 and 1". Not shown in the picture is an auxiliary base that elevates
                      the crennalated base by 1". So this unit provides all the 1/16" measurements
                      between 0 and 3" in a very compact unit. Originally built to set cutter
                      projection on my router, it, like Topsy, 'just grew' to become a very useful
                      little tool for all sorts of applications.

                      Finally, my design for a height gage combined with a scale holder. The height
                      gage bar can be rotated to touch the scale so picking off measurements is very
                      simple. The vernier adjustment makes precise settings easier.

                      Regards, Marv

                      Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things

                      Location: LA, CA, USA


                      • #12
                        Modeltec, Aug 1984, New Features in a Beam Compass, Elmer Verburg.


                        Available here for 9.95

                        Last edited by Evan; 05-09-2006, 02:49 AM.
                        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                        • #13
                          Yes, Evan, that's it. I remember that Modeltec published a number of articles
                          by Elmer in which he described special purpose tools he had made to aid in his
                          model making. I built his standoff depth gauge, an internal flange measuring
                          gauge, and several model makers' vises from those articles.
                          Regards, Marv

                          Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things

                          Location: LA, CA, USA


                          • #14
                            Wow that is real nice work with skills like that seems you could make that camera.