Quantcast

An unusual solenoid model engine and last project

Help Support HMEM:

CallMeAL

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
118
Reaction score
40
Hello everyone, it has been sometime since I was on this site. There several reasons, mainly it has be due much reduced time spent in the shop. I retired 5 yrs ago and almost at the same time was diagnosed to have Multiple Sclerosis. At first, the symptoms progressed fairly slowly so I was able continue on with several projects in my wood shop like a 5 tiered cupcake stand for my daughter's wedding and rebuilding the cabinets in our 1972 VW camper. In the machine shop, in anticipation of reduced strength and mobility from the MS, I devised an adapter to mount a motor drive to replace manual crank handle on the knee of my big old Grizzly mill and a couple of steel articulated shelves attached to the mill base to swing in vices and rotary table to slide them on the mill table without having to pick them up. I even made a scratch built hydraulic lowering cylinder and valve for my 15 yr old Harbor Freight metal band saw. I have documented all these and other projects and will post details if there is any interest in any of them.
After this long intro what I am leading up to is that the main reason I made my foundry and then got into hobby machining was an interest in making model engines of my own design and to learn all the processes along the way. This was to be my retirement hobby. Well plans change and as a result of my declining health I believe this will be my last model. I started making the wood patterns for the castings a year ago from drawings made in Sketchup the previous winter. From several hours a day in the shop at the start to about an hour, if that now, I'm nearing the end of this project. I doubt there will be another for me of this size.
About the engine: I wanted a model that looked and appeared to operate like an old steam or hit & miss gas engine. I wanted something I could display and run in the living room without steam, air or gas fumes. A solenoid engine would work. The sintered iron piston that was cut out of the core tube is guided in a straight line attached to a non magnetic brass shaft much like a steam engine arrangement. In this case, the piston does not touch the sides of the tube. Friction and compression would be bad for this type of engine. The single coil is momentarily energized at just over center on each end of the piston's stroke by the bump cams hitting the center switch button. This allows the flywheel to get two impulses each revolution. These impulses would quickly cause the cause the engine to over speed. Like a hit & miss engine the fly ball governor cuts the power to limit the top speed since there is no throttle. I don't really know what is causing the buzzing noise whenever the coil is energized, it sounds sort like an exhaust note! I think it’s the piston vibrating in the tube? Take a look at the video to see it running. Please forgive my halting,tongue tied narration on this brief demo video. I intend to make one detailing the whole process from pattern making through machining and all the missteps and fixes along the way, but editing videos is the hardest part of the whole process! :wall:
Thanks for taking the time to read this long post - Al


[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ockpmF1n_7k&feature=em-upload_owner[/ame]
 

pickleford75

Active Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
38
Reaction score
46
That is a really nice engine... unique and well made... the buzzing sound is the current spike in the field windings of the solenoid... i think it adds the overall appeal of the engine great job!
 

mjonkman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Messages
59
Reaction score
36
That is a really cool engine. The castings look excellent as does the overall engine. If one didn't listen to your narrative and just saw the engine running, one would swear it was a hit and miss engine. Great job.
 

ShopShoe

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
999
Reaction score
197
That is unique.

It does create quite an illusion of a steam or hit-and-miss engine.

I like the way you thought out the switching to make it behave the way it does.

I wish you well in keeping up with what life throws at you.

Thanks for posting.

--ShopShoe
 

CallMeAL

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
118
Reaction score
40
pickleford75 Thanks for your comment. You are probably correct about the buzz sound coming from the coil. It really helps with the idea that it is a hit & miss engine, but then it really is.
 

CallMeAL

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
118
Reaction score
40
Mark R. Jonkman - Thanks, the castings generally turned out well, but I did have to fix a few things. In the past, I would have redone the castings until perfect but I ran out energy to do any more pours. Flasks full of sand get heavy quick! I am painting these castings for a change of pace and to cover my fixes and some small inclusion fills.
 

CallMeAL

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
118
Reaction score
40
Mark T - Glad you like it and I will post a build video and final photos when it's painted.
 

CallMeAL

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
118
Reaction score
40
ShopShoe - Thanks for all your comments. I do enjoy designing and building my own ideas. It's easier than following the plans of others because I can make mine up as I go along. It is especially rewarding when you can make them work!
 

bmac2

Well-Known Member
Project of the Month Winner
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
1,012
Reaction score
710
Al
What a great engine. Nice work in the castings and it doesn’t look like you had any trouble with shrinkage. I’m with the rest here and can’t wait to see it painted. Thank you for sharing this
 

Cabbagestack

New Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
CallMeAl
Would be rather helpful to everyone if you could post photos of some of your projects, for example the sand muller, and the bandsaw mods, among the many other fine projects you have done. Doesn't do anyone any good if searching through the forums and finding say, one of your threads, but there aren't any pictures. Text by itself without any pictures is practically just about worthless.
 

deeferdog

Well-Known Member
Project of the Month Winner
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Messages
386
Reaction score
349
Location
Gold Coast, Australia
Lovely engine, thanks for the time and effort in posting this. People like you make this forum and I would like to wish you well for the future. Cheers, Peter
 
Top