Simple Oscillating Steam Engine For Beginners

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dampfmann
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Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:54 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Simple Oscillating Steam Engine For Beginners

Post by dampfmann » Thu Apr 29, 2021 7:13 am

I am looking for suggestions of simple oscillating single cylinder steam engines with plans as a beginner shop project. I've looked across the internet and there are several examples, but has anyone on the board actually built one of these models? Any tips?

Thanks,

Marty

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rmac
Posts: 283
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Re: Simple Oscillating Steam Engine For Beginners

Post by rmac » Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:45 am

I made an extremely crude oscillating cylinder engine a few years back as an exercise to see what I could do with recycled HDPE plastic. It ran successfully on compressed air right after I finished it, but over time the plastic parts warped enough that it bound up too tight to run.

There's a video of it running here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vhQVH1eITY

As far as tips go, just pick one and go for it. They're simple and easy to get running. (And make it from something other than HDPE!)

-- Russell Mac

wobbler1.jpg
wobbler2.jpg

John Hasler
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Location: Elmwood, Wisconsin

Re: Simple Oscillating Steam Engine For Beginners

Post by John Hasler » Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:23 am

Did you anneal the HDPE?

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rmac
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Re: Simple Oscillating Steam Engine For Beginners

Post by rmac » Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:31 am

John Hasler wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:23 am
Did you anneal the HDPE?
No. I cast it into blocks and then machined the engine parts from them. How would you go about annealing it?

-- Russell Mac

John Hasler
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Re: Simple Oscillating Steam Engine For Beginners

Post by John Hasler » Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:12 pm


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rmac
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Re: Simple Oscillating Steam Engine For Beginners

Post by rmac » Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:28 pm

How about that! Thanks. Sounds easy enough unless some precise control of the heating and cooling rates is critical. My HDPE "foundry" consists of a $10.00 thrift shop toaster oven with a questionable thermostat. On the positive side, it keeps the HDPE out of the oven in the kitchen, which in turn helps to maintain domestic tranquility.

-- Russell Mac

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Steamer Al
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Location: Comox, BC

Re: Simple Oscillating Steam Engine For Beginners

Post by Steamer Al » Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:54 pm

"Making Simple Model Steam Engines" by Stan Bray has some good designs for engines, boilers, and pretty much everything need to get started. Also has good how-to intructions for his designs. I do find some of the stuff a bit crude, but with a little imagination you can take the designs and make something quite pretty.

Alex

FKreider
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Location: Sturbridge, MA

Re: Simple Oscillating Steam Engine For Beginners

Post by FKreider » Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:04 pm

Google "elmer's engines" lots of very simple plans. I just recently completed Elmer's Fancy oscillating design.
-Frank K.

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