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Old 12-06-2017, 03:01 PM   #1
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Default How to Start?

I'm acquiring a few machine tools (and skills) and am toying with dipping my toe in the model engine pool to learn how to use what I've acquired. I've got a 10" x 31" Logan lathe, drill press, and assorted hand tools and measuring devices. I don't have a mill (yet).

What kits or plans would you recommend as good introductions to the hobby?

Thanks,
Evan


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Old 12-06-2017, 03:45 PM   #2
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Try getting a \n engine using bar stock components before spending cash on parts that might be too expensive to replace.


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Old 12-06-2017, 05:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcostello View Post
Try getting a \n engine using bar stock components before spending cash on parts that might be too expensive to replace.
What's a "\n" engine?
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:55 PM   #4
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I just ordered a couple of Tubal Cain's books on building steam engines, as well as Making Simple Model Steam Engines
By Stan Bray. Seems like a decent way to start?
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACHiPo View Post
I'm acquiring a few machine tools (and skills) and am toying with dipping my toe in the model engine pool to learn how to use what I've acquired. I've got a 10" x 31" Logan lathe, drill press, and assorted hand tools and measuring devices. I don't have a mill (yet).

What kits or plans would you recommend as good introductions to the hobby?

Thanks,
Evan
First, fundamental question:

Steam engine or gas engine? (or do you care, you just want to build something)

If steam, Look for plans for a simple oscillating engine made without castings.

this one is by Elmer Verburg. He has a LOT of plans for relatively simple engines, this one is one of the easiest. I've built it, nice little engine.

http://www.john-tom.com/ElmersEngine...blerBoiler.pdf

Here's a few others I found via google for "oscillating steam engine plans"
http://www.steves-workshop.co.uk/ste...impleoscil.htm

http://npmccabe.tripod.com/index-4.html

And this is from this forum (link is to a pdf, it may download automatically)

http://www.homemodelenginemachinist....0&d=1342622275

Good luck. If you're looking for gas engines, I'll let other's answer, I got no clue there.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
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First, fundamental question:

Steam engine or gas engine? (or do you care, you just want to build something)


Good luck. If you're looking for gas engines, I'll let other's answer, I got no clue there.
I'm just looking to build something, ideally something that looks good as a conversation piece in my office and offers an opportunity to practice CAD and machining skills. Doesn't even have to be an engine--something with a crank, pistons, flywheel that could be moved by hand and built of brass and painted steel would be great. I've read here and elsewhere that steam engines are a good way to start, so that's what I was thinking initially, but if someone has plans for an executive desk toy that would be great.

I've checked out your links and they look very approachable. Thanks!
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:36 PM   #7
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Is the main reason for avoiding castings cost?
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:49 PM   #8
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For a first "Getting your feet wet" experience, build one of the "wobblers" (oscillating) steam engines by Elmer Verbourg. Steam engines are simpler to build than internal combustion engines and can be ran on compressed air, so you don't have to mess around with boilers and steam. If you are successful with a "wobbler", then move up to a single cylinder single acting steam engine, either vertical or horizontal. If that works, then build a single cylinder double acting steam engine. You can then build a "walking beam steam engine". Acquaint yourself with the terminology and the technology of these engines. After your first half dozen steam engines, you will be ready to play with internal combustion engines. Build a Webster single cylinder horizontal engine. After that, you will be ready for anything. I have built a total of 24 engines in the last seven years, and have built all of the above mentioned engines.---Brian
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:51 AM   #9
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Thanks for the ideas. I may start on a wobbler.

This finger engine looks like a decent starting place as well as a fun thing to display. I'll start noodling on it and dump it into Fusion 360. Should be fun and a chance to practice.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:06 PM   #10
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An /n engine is what You get when You don't type an "e".


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