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Hello from Washington, USA

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Hi everyone. I'm Jon, a filthy colonial who somehow manages to work a lathe. I work for the big boat club (flying chapter) and leave for extended periods. I'm mid thirties and married with kids, so I don't get all the time I need to make chips.

My main piece of equipment is a Grizzly 8x16 mini lathe. I also have much in the way of wood tools, such as a Craftsman drill press, wood band saw, etc. I also have bench grinders, belt sanders, and an abrasive cutoff saw for chopping down long bar stock. I don't have a mill and I'm conflicted between choosing a full sized mill or just getting an attachment for my lathe. Space is an issue where I am.

Although I got started in wood engines (wood engines that worked, mind you), I have built several oscillating engines starting with a couple in the book by Stan Bray. I've also made a couple of Wig-Wag engines and I'm currently working on a PM Research 2A.

In the future I want to make some mechanical loads for my engines such as a dynamo, water pump, and blower fan. I also don't have a boiler yet. My dream goal is to build several Stuart steam engines, but they're incredibly expensive so that might be some time from now. Another lofty goal is a traction engine.

Thanks for letting me into your group. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone is up to here.

Dave Otto:
Welcome to MEM!


Welcome to MEM Jon!  :ThumbsUp:  :cheers:

Welcome aboard, Jon; I think you'll enjoy the time you spend here.

If you're interested in a dynamo load for your engines, I can recommend the PMR kit.  I built it and paired it with a two cylinder engine designed by Elmer Verburg and built from bar stock...


The plans for the engine are in Chapter 44 of Elmer's book.  A downloadable pdf of the book is available here...


The Stuart engines are indeed beauties.  However, building from castings is more difficult than building from bar stock.  You'll get a taste of what I'm on about with the PMR generator.  It does involve machining castings but only minimally (and PMR is good about replacing totally botched attempts).

My recommendation is to develop your skills on a few bar stock engines before taking on a casting set.

I have the PMR Dynamo on the shelf. I also have a couple of motors from cordless drills, which are functionally the same.

I've made five bar stock engines. Two Simple Sam and one Twinkie twin- cylinder engine, and two Wig-Wag engines. All of these have been single-acting oscillators. I need the ability to perform milling operations to do some of the things I've been up to. I should be able to do most of the Stuart operations on my lathe, with a small milling slide for others. That being said, I'm not sure I want to put $200 into a milling slide when it won't get me what a small bench top mill could.

Another engine I want to try is the German upright, the "Stehende Einzylinder Dampfmaschine...". That's another bar stock engine with almost as much complexity as the Stuart 10V. I don't think as many people do that machine as they do the 10V.

I need to build a water pump, and I've considered making an engine driven one that will allow me to test the performance of engines. I could get a 5 gallon (20L) bucket and pump the water out of it. Measuring the time it takes to do that could provide some kind of metric.

Here are links to some of my engine projects:

Engines 15L and 15R together https://imgur.com/gallery/SmBKXqm

Engine 16 - New Flywheel https://imgur.com/gallery/IpKUqbb

Beavis and Butt-Head - two Wig Wag oscillating engines https://imgur.com/gallery/dkmHkvs



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