Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dirk Pitt had it right. I need a loft over a hangar to fill with big toys and treasures from my adventures. Sadly, I have money for neither the treasures nor the hangar, but that doesn't mean I can't have any fun hobbies. My personal weakness is model railroads, but for those who enjoy somewhat more functional models, the world of miniature steam engines is open to pretty much anyone who can fit a lathe and milling machine into a corner of the garage.

The complexity of these models is often quite astounding. Here (below) is a model of a compound Corliss engine. Like the real thing, steam is used in the smaller cylinder before it is exhausted to the larger cylinder. Both cylinders provide power to the crank and flywheel, which move the linkages needed to control the four valves in each cylinder.

If you don't want to waste time with a boiler or compressed air system to run an engine, there is another alternative. Stirling cycle engines don't need a pressure source, they just need a temperature differential (usually provided by an alcohol burner)

If you're interested in model engines, check out one of these websites for more information.

PM Research

Stuart Models

Lutz Hielscher


At 7:03 PM, Blogger Brigid said...

I know when I get that eventual retirement house, the garage will be bigger than the house.

Thanks for the links.

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Mr. Engineering Johnson said...

Sounds like my kind of pad!

At 5:31 PM, Blogger DirtCrashr said...

Somebody needs to invent a combustion-cycle engine that operates on dynamite, or something! :-) Oh yeh they have - it's a single-stroke, sometimes multi-cylinder machine that works at various calibers...

At 5:21 AM, Blogger Mr. Engineering Johnson said...


Possibly a single cylinder multi-piston design that uses the energy from the last stroke to load more dynamite and another piston. I like where this is going.


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