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Jul 31, 2020
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I have been out of the small engine hobby for about 20 years... I'm back! I was on vacation and a friend showed me his Stirling engine, one of those $35 Amazon engines. That was enough to wake me up I guess. I purchased one of those Chinesium hit and miss engines that same night. I had always wanted a hit and miss engine and the price was right. I plan on modifying it and using it as a charging station for stuff while camping.

I own a variety of small steam engines and I have run a small live steam "G Scale" engine. (Not a real scale but it's the common vernacular.) I have run a flame licker but they don't really generate enough power for me, just like the small Stirling engines.

I sold most of my stuff but I kept a few items. The largest is a 7.5" gauge CliShay engine, not running right now. I used to belong to Pioneer Valley Live Steamers and had thoughts of re-gauging it to 7.25" for their tracks. A few folks there didn't exactly enjoy having kids around and mine were young back then so I just walked away. I also had a 7.25" gauge electric engine that I built that was more than adequate to pull two adults and two kids around. The ride-on stuff doesn't really interest me right now, but that may change.

I own a South Bend bench top lathe and a little Taig mill so I am equipped to build when I find some free time. I have run larger machines in a previous job. I used to be able to translate metric to standard in my head since our machines used mostly standard and our drawings were in metric. That was about 40 years ago so getting that skill back will be an issue. I am mechanically inclined and I can read blueprints.

My current interest is in IC engines, the Chinese engine will get me some first hand knowledge before I build one for myself. The Webster engine looks like a good starting point but I'd like to see if it could be modified to run as a hit and miss. I'm not quite at retirement age, but getting there faster than I would prefer.

Stan from Western Massachusetts, USA

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