Advise request for first IC engine build

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I’ve completed 4 steam engines and one stirling and feel I’m ready for my first IC engine. Perhaps ready is not the quite the right word, anxious might be a better one.

I own the plans, and have carefully looked them all over, the Tiny I.C. Engine by Putputman, the Upshur vertical single, the Bob Shores Little Angel, the Kerzel hit and miss and the Webster. I also have the castings and plans for Bob Shores Little Herc but want a bar stock build before I tackle that one.

Now the fly in the ointment, I only have a Sherline mill and lathe so I think that already disqualifies both the Kerzel and Webster.

As a relative newbie, I’m finding things I don’t understand or find lacking in all the plans I have so I’ve decided my only option is to dive into one of the engines and start making chips. Then I can try to solve problems or ask for advice as they arise.

I was leaning towards the Little Angel but could find nothing in terms “build” threads online. I suspect the Tiny I. C. is a bit too advanced as a first IC engine and I’m not 100% sure the Upshur can be completed using Sherline sized equipment.

I do want to jump into one of these builds and put in a materials order online. Can anyone advise on which model might be the best way to start?

Thanks, Harry

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GailInNM

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Harry,
Welcome to the world of IC engines.
With the smaller machine tools that you have I would go with the Tiny because there are many members on HMEM that have built them and can offer advice and mentoring if necessary. I think that most of the builds are variations of the original design by Arv (PutPutMan) but are essentially the same engine. Some of the changes are just to suit personal taste, some to simplify construction and some to give better performance with out increassing complexity.
I have built about 20 of them, depending on ho you count, but all of them have been upgraded to more complex Hit and Miss style engines. All are air cooled and have other changes, however the first one I built was almost true to Arv's specifications. Most of them hve been put to work powering things including 10 gauge one locomotives.
Looking a your engines photo about the only new machining skills that will be required are thee double ended crankshaft and the valves. The spark plug scares some people, but even there a few simple changes can make it easier..
Gail
 

minh-thanh

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Harry !
Looking at the pictures of your engines, I think you don't need to worry about IC engine, and with my little experience: the stirling engine you did is even harder to get it to run than the IC engine .
 
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Thanks for the encouragement and advice. Gail, it was through reading many of your posts on the “Tiny” that my interest in the engine was first stoked. The crankshaft doesn’t really scare me (although perhaps it should) and I’m anxious to try to build a couple including silver soldering one together. What does scare me is the valve seating but if you think that can be accomplished by an IC neophyte I’ll certainly give it a try.
Thanks again, decision now made! Now off to a thorough review of the plans, a materials list and some rereading of forum posts.
Harry
 

GailInNM

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Harry,
I think you will have a lot of fun building Tiny and am sure that it will be a runner.
Being in Canada, are you going to build it to imperial dimensions as in Arv's plans or change over to metric dimensions to suit more available stock sizes?
Don't be afraid of making changes to suit your own preferences as long as the basic operational dimensions remain the same. If you want, post your proposed changes here on HMEM and some one will be sure to discuss them and their suitability.
After you get started making chips you might want to start a new thread in the Work in Process section. That way we can all follow along.
While you are making up yur materials list I would suggest that you consider the following items.

1. Ball bearings on the crankshaft will make opoerations much smoother. I use FR156zz on my engines. AVID RC is a good supplier if you are ordering from the US. Good products, good prices and good service, and they ship to Canada.

2. If convenient, use aluminum 2024 for the connecting rod. Other grades a re OK if you have it on hand, but 2024 will have less wear on the big end. If the big end enlarges it is no problem and the engine will still run fine. It just irritaters me to watch it flop around on the crank journal when turning it over by hand.


3. Ignore Arv's valve springs specifications. He used scrap box springs and they are much too stiff which makes adjusting the valves difficult. I wind my own springs using 0.009 and 0.012 inch music wire. If you need some I have big rolls of both and can drop some in an envelope and mail i to you. Guitar strings are also a reasonable source.

4. Use a free machining steel for the crankshaft. It will make life much easier. I use 12L14 or 1144. 12L14 machines easier. Nothing to fear on the crankshaft. If made in one piece just be sure to turn the lathe over by hand before using power when turning the crank pin.

5. If you have some Corian available for the spark plug insulator go head and use it. If not I can suggest an easy to obtain alternative that machines easier.

Getting the valves to seal properly is a bit of an art. You may want to practice on some scrap a few times before trying on your head. I am playing with a new technique that looks promising for small valves such as these, but even if it does not work out traditional methods work. Just more playing around. Lots of time before then.
Gail
 

Brian Rupnow

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Harry--Thousands of us have built the "Webster" i.c. engine. I always recommend it as a first i.c. engine. The plans are free from the internet, and there are hundreds of build threads on it.---Brian Rupnow
 
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Thanks Gail, that information is golden!
I just ordered the ball bearings and will try to source the materials you suggested. I‘ve got all the K&S music wires left over from my RC and robotics days but unfortunately the smallest is .015”. If I can’t find any locally I may take you up on your generous offer. I have quite a number of different plastics, also left over from my robotics days, but have no idea what they are. Much of it machines well and I suspect a bunch is delrin. I’m now putting together a materials list for each of the small models I’ve mentioned above and will put in one larger order. I’m starting to understand you can never have too much metal laying around in this hobby.

Brian, I had taken a long and hard look at the Webster and it was my first choice as an ideal initial IC motor project. Unfortunately the size limitations imposed by my Sherline equipment eventually got me looking at smaller models.

Harry
 

minh-thanh

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Harry !
, I had taken a long and hard look at the Webster and it was my first choice as an ideal initial IC motor project. Unfortunately the size limitations imposed by my Sherline equipment eventually got me looking at smaller models.

Harry

Make the engine smaller no problem
With my little experience, if the engine has good compression it will always run ( perhaps I say redundant because it is the principle of internal combustion engine :D )
If possible , take some pictures !
 
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My metals order shipped today so by early next week I should be the proud owner of a “Tiny” engine in the rough!
There were a few items I couldn’t get but I should be able to get around most of the omissions. The 2024 aluminum for the connecting rod came in at $60Cdn for a 6” square piece so I passed on that and 12L14 or 1144 steel wasn’t avaiable for the crankshaft so I ended up with what was available; hot rolled 44W. Hope that works.
Thanks to those who offered tips and other options! I’ll start up a build thread as soon as I make some progress. Any help, suggestions or criticism will be most welcome!
Harry
 

Harglo

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My metals order shipped today so by early next week I should be the proud owner of a “Tiny” engine in the rough!
There were a few items I couldn’t get but I should be able to get around most of the omissions. The 2024 aluminum for the connecting rod came in at $60Cdn for a 6” square piece so I passed on that and 12L14 or 1144 steel wasn’t avaiable for the crankshaft so I ended up with what was available; hot rolled 44W. Hope that works.
Thanks to those who offered tips and other options! I’ll start up a build thread as soon as I make some progress. Any help, suggestions or criticism will be most welcome!
Harry
Harry
Re using Alum ---
7075 Alum can be used with out an bearing material inserts have use it for con rods an holds up same as other metals. It machines nice.
Harvey
 

GailInNM

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Harry,
Looks like yu are well underway,
The 44w HRS will be just fine for the crank. Just a little bit more work in machining it. No problem with using some other alum for the connecting rod. II used 6061 on my first engines. The bi g end did get a bit sloppy, but not until I had 100 or more hours running time. You may never reach that much time but even if you do the rod is simple enough to machine and change out a replacement. And even if you do not change it out the engine will still run fine.

Gail
 
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7075 Alum can be used with out an bearing material insert

Thanks Harvey, good to know.

Gail, thanks for letting me know my materials should work. I’m just now starting to try distinguish between the various alloys and find these tips very useful. I doubt very much that I’ll put any significant hours on the engine if I do indeed get it running. I’ll likely just start on another project and put the finished motor on my “ finished engines trophy shelf”. 🙂

Harry
 

Bentwings

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Harry
Re using Alum ---
7075 Alum can be used with out an bearing material inserts have use it for con rods an holds up same as other metals. It machines nice.
Harvey
Top fuel engines use a pinned insert shell. Maybe you could add a bronze insert and pin it with a bronze pin just as they do . Should it fail you could make a new insert and bore it in place if necessary . I did this in toolmaker class as a project for my Briggs mower engine. It ran and loads of nitro . Eventually the crank broke wiping out everything the rod was the only survivor. Top fuel aluminum rods at made of even tougher 700 series aluminum Star Trek tri lithium alloy .LOL SHOW US PROGRESS AND PICTURES. I’m always interested in model engines . I just got a note from my son that a guy has made a 12 cyl 60 deg model airplane enging similar to Merlin and Allison for he big inline Rc Warbird planes it’s a bill it block and heads . Apparently quite powerful
Byron.
 
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Thanks for the latest comments folks! I’ll build the con rod out of 6061 since there is no way I’ll ever run the engine as much as Gail runs his.
On another front, my metals order delivery has been delayed to next week by Purolator. If I didn’t have bad luck on this initiative, I’d have no luck at all. 🙂
 

Bentwings

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Materials have really gone up in price and shipping and deliveries are up too. My turbines took over a month to get I want another but it’s almost two months out now . I’ve got almost everything I need to set up my new hobby including electrical stuff. My sister/ care person is going to have a fit when she sees how much I’ve invested but it’s my hobby and my money so I’ll do as I please for me and my kitty . I even got a lighted magnifying glass on an arm so I can see things better .
If this is your first model engine there is a wealth of information here , you just have to ask. I get a lot of materials and parts from mc master Carr as they have good service and shipping . You can get a variety of metals snd plastics in small quantities too online metals is also good. The Rc model sites often have usable stuff or can help find it .
Good luck to you have fun.
Byron
 

Bentwings

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LOL, magnifying glasses and large hobby expenditures are part of my life now too. Nice to see that I’m not alone.
Harry
ive been looking at some expansion but I shacked my head with newspaper to get back to reality . I already have a large pile of parts and equipment just to get started. I’m going to wait untill I get the engine I ordered and hopefully finish the boiler. I have a bunch of things for the steamer to operate . Even hooking it all up is going to require some creativity. I’ll order the 1/4-40 TPI me tap and die set tomorrow. At least I’ll be able to make or modify various fittings to get it hooked up. I’d like to use AN4 hose and fittings with stainless braided hose. The price has gone out of sight for this stuff since I built my Streetrod. I had about $300 in gages for my dashboard and it looked like an airliner cockpit . A digital temp and pressure gage with fitting can Barry be purchased for that now. Even the tap and die is $50 . Good thing I have others for the boiler stainless braided hose is $6-7 per foot now. I may go with mini manual gages for now just to get operational. I really don’t want 2-1/16 diameter gages as they will take up too much space . I like to keep this as a table top model I just don’t have a lot of room I’m using a spare bedroom so I have a limited area. My sons shop is 60 miles so it’s a whole day when ever I go out there. They will do some machine work as I need it but there are still expenses I’ve spent most of today just learning about this stuff I have .
Byron
 

Basil

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LOL, magnifying glasses and large hobby expenditures are part of my life now too. Nice to see that I’m not alone.
Harry
I also find when machining small parts, what you thought was a well lit area suddenly becomes like working in a cave. The joy of adding a mega lighting system to a frequently used machine is hard to beat.👍
 
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