Friday, January 22, 2010

Book: Making Simple Model Steam Engines

Making Simple Model Steam Engines
I don't have this book yet, but it is most definitely on my wishlist.

From the book description:
A highly illustrated, step-by-step guide to constructing a range of simple model steam engines, aimed at both beginners and the more experienced. This book details the construction of a range of simple miniature steam engines and boilers. The projects, each of which can be completed with only a basic workshop, range from a single-acting oscillator to more sophisticated twin-cylinder double-acting engines and a variety of boilers. A final project brings together engine and boiler for a simple steam railway locomotive. These projects are a perfect introduction to model engineering and an enjoyable exercise for the more experienced engineer or those who wish to pass on their hobby to a younger generation.

Here is a link to the book Making Simple Model Steam Engines.


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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Two homemade steam powered praxinoscopes

Check out this set of steam-powered praxinoscopes. Both of the small steam engines and the praxinoscopes were made from scratch by Adriane and Marc Horovitz over the course of a year.

Here's a toy praxinoscopeand small Jensen steam enginewith which you might be able to recreate this build.




for some of your own experiments.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jensen steam engine model kit

Jensen steam engine model kit
Here's a nice little working model steam engine.

From the product description

Build a real head of live steam in the boiler, ease the throttle open and watch the engine take off. The stationary steam plants have nickel plated brass horizontal boiler, water gauge, whistle, safety valve, throttle, 3" dia flywheel and power takeoff pulley. Our dry pellet fuel model (includes 20 fuel pellets) has a single action horizontal piston engine and comes as a kit. It requires about 2 hours to assemble and mount on its roughly 7" sq base, using simple tools like pliers and screwdriver.

Here the link for this Jensen Steam Engine Model.


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Monday, February 09, 2009

Gakken's Stirling engine powered car kit

Gakken's Stirling engine powered car kit
The other day, the Retro Thing blog drew my attention to this really awesome looking Sterling Engine Car Kit by Gakken.

From one review:
The kit has nice components. The instructions are complete (24 pages in Japanese). And, there are a whole bunch of tiny details to get lost in. The cylinder mount and the gears need to be carefully aligned. This is one of the trickier parts. If you have it misaligned, there will be too much friction for the engine to run. A gauge is supplied to make this step easier.

This and several other hard-to-find Gakken kits can be found at the Make Magazine MakerShed.


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Friday, December 19, 2008

Steam-powered kinetic sculpture made of glass

Steam-powered kinetic sculpture
Just when I think I've got a handle on the bounds of human ingenuity in the domain of automata, mechanical toys, and mechanical sculpture -- my eyes are opened anew. Consider: a mechanical kinetic sculpture driven by steam...and made of glass!

Shown here is one of several "Glass Engines" built by glass artist Bandhu Scott Dunham. The form of power, the various shapes, the smooth motion, the assorted colors, the levels of translucence, the inherent fragility of the material itself.

I may have used the term "astonishing" on this blog before. I don't think I had a suitable frame of reference for the word until now.

Check out the Salusa Glassworks site for more images and QuickTime movies of Bandhu's Glass Engines and a hand-cranked marble track (and WHAT A MARBLE!)


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Friday, November 07, 2008

Precision-made working steam engine model

Precision-made working steam engine modelHere is a handsome working steam engine model that burns special dry fuel tablets. I would love a steam engine on my desk to, you know: blow off some steam.

...ahem.

Hello? ...is this thing on?

From the product description:
Powerful, precision-made horizontal engine with grooved pulley & balanced flywheel for driving objects. Nickel plated brass boiler, polished fittings including oscillating cylinder, safety valve, steam whistle, etc. 7" chimney. No electricity required. Burns dry fuel tablets. Complete; ready to operate. 6" x 7" metal base.

Here's the link for this model steam engine


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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Functioning Wooden Steam Locomotive Model

Functioning Wooden Steam Locomotive Model
Harold Manwaring made this scale locomotive entirely from recycled wood (bravo!) with the exception of a few small metal parts. Everything on the model works, though it does not go anywhere because its driving wheels are suspended slightly above the model track.

The model runs on compressed air that is fed at about 15 PSI to a small stainless steel receiver in the engine's firebox. Lines to the two cylinders are wood, as are the cylinders, and pistons themselves. The pistons are even fitted with wooden piston rings!

The craftsman says of the model:
"I had to use as close tolerances as possible as compressed air does not expand like steam, but also taking into consideration humidity and how much the wood would move. Two air lines run from the cabin valves out to the whistle and one to the valves. The whistle blows at about 2-3 lbs of air and the engine runs really well at about 12-15 lbs of air and stops at 8-9 lbs. It worked on the first attempt, so I stopped and had a beer."

Here is a nice article on the Harold Manwaring and the wooden steam locomotive. Also be sure to check out this video clip showing the wooden locomotive in operation.

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