I have been practicing using my new 7 x 10 lathe from Harbor freight. I am using aluminum round stock to practice cutting. I would like to eventually machine my own 2 cylinder engine design but I need to learn how to use the lathe. Here is a few pictures of an engine valve I did.
thanks for the kind words guys. I have been making more practice cuts trying to get a better finish and it seems some oil and faster spindle speed for the final cut gives a much smoother finish in addition to fine grit sand paper. In my case I was using fine grit sponges.
There is nothing wrong with learning a few basics in aluminum. If fact when i went through USAF trade school that was all we cut. The curriculum call for one piece in steel but for whatever reason my class never saw the steel.
IMHO get a set of plans for a simple oscillator engine. start with the base and make one part at a time and make sure each part fits the one before. If yo make a part that is out of spec make it over. But make it out of the material for the engine. Before you know it you will have a running engine. once you have built a couple oscillators then make an IC. like a H Upshure.
Man can not live by aluinum alone LOL.
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Do a search for "Elmers engines" Elmer Verbourg was a brilliant steam engineer who posted many simple steam engine plans which are well suited to "new guys" in the machining business. The engines can be run on steam, but can also be ran on compressed air which is very handy for the home machinist. His plans are "public domain" and are posted free in a number of places on the internet. I strongly suggest building a few of Elmers engines before tackling internal combustion engines.--Brian Rupnow