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A cool little engine

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  • A cool little engine

    This was a fun project:

    This is a Phil Duclos design, his "Hula-hula"
    engine from "Steam & Stirling Engines You Can Build" vol. 2. I changed the decorative design on the cyclinders a bit.

    Such fun to see it finally running!

  • #2
    Real nice! Excellent job. What equipment did you make it on?

    Bad focus, you hoser!


    • #3
      Nice job.I built that one and enjoy watching it run.It will really go fast. You can also run it by just blowing in it with your mouth. Santa mite bring a dig. camera and I will post pics.


      • #4
        I like it! Those square finned cylinders are cool.
        To invent, you need a good imagination - and a pile of junk. Thomas A. Edison


        • #5
          Beautiful!! Nice work. Thanks for sharing that, I really enjoy looking at pretty much anything home built.



          • #6
            Very good looking workmanship.


            • #7
              Very nice. I'm going to build an engine or two in the next little while. That one looks like fun.
              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


              • #8
                Looks great!


                • #9
                  Aw shucks, you guys are making me blush!
                  Good thing Thrud is around to keep me humble (I left that one pic. blurry because I was getting tired of trying different resolutions and compressions and cable swapping. Think of it as a nice impressionistic effect, yeah, that's it!)

                  Equipment: Sherline 4400 for all lathe work but the flywheel, which was done on a 7x10.
                  Prazi 400 mill.

                  J King: I wish mine was so low friction as to be able to just blow to run it! I'm not that good of a machinist (yet). Please post your pix; be nice to see 'em.

                  A note for those who might want to build one: Mr. Duclos' comments about drilling down into the steam ports with a 3/32 end mill and being careful not to allow said holes to go oblong are well taken. I found this to be quite a challenge, and ended up with a few oblong holes anyway. You might consider changing his order of drilling operations, drilling the short 3/32 holes first, then drill the long steam passages along the length of the cyclinder mounts.

                  Have a good holiday everybody,



                  • #10
                    Nice job. I like the fins too.
                    I certainly don't see anything wrong with your machining talents. Sit it in a corner and let it run for a few hours, it will loosen up. Be sure to use an airline lubricator.
                    It is always a kick when you finally get them running and can stand back to watch.
                    Jim H.


                    • #11
                      very nice craftsmanship, and good tips also.


                      • #12
                        Thanks again for the nice comments. It's easy to look at one's own work and find the flaws.

                        The airline lubricator sounds like a great idea; I'll have to make or buy one.

                        It was interesting running it in; I plugged three of the steam holes and got it running on three cylinders at first. You could actually see it getting gradually faster and faster. It's another lession leraned: don't give up! It's discouraging when something you've spent so many hours on doesn't work perfectly the first time, but then it's kind of a fun challenge to debug it and gradullay remove the various sources of friction, binding and leakage.

                        That's right, I forgot to say: it leaked like a sieve when I first powered it up! I finally plugged all the steam holes in the cylinder mounts and verified that there was major leakage between those mounts and the round body of the engine. I made paper gaskets and that helped a whole lot. After that it was just running in, lubrication, and one binding pin to fix.

                        There's nothing wrong with Mr. Duclos's decorative touches to the cyclinders, but it looked like an awful lot of work making those little punch marks. And, I thought it would be kind of cool to make it look more like an aircraft engine, hence the slotting.
                        Interesting that noboy has commented that cooling fins are the LAST thing you want on a steam engine cyclinder!


                        • #13
                          Great job! Yes, fins could be counter-productive.
                          I've just started R. Kouhoupt's 2cyl. compound, reversable. Will be my first, hope it doesn't take over 10 yrs!


                          • #14
                            I got my camera and now I think I can post a pic of my hula engine. Jim
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                            [This message has been edited by j king (edited 12-27-2003).]


                            • #15
                              Another well made engine.
                              Is that the lathe you made it on? Proof that you can make small items on large machines, but the reverse is difficult.
                              Jim H.