View Full Version : Steam engine concept/plans/help

03-03-2004, 11:15 PM
Hey guys,
Im interested in building a little steam engine just for the heck of it, I have searched around quite a bit looking for plans and the concept of them, Im so young I dont even remember totally how they work;) the intake and all Im talking about.

Whatever information and links and pictures you have for me I would be very greatful.

Thank you

03-03-2004, 11:40 PM
Hi Jon,
Just go to Google.com and type in minature steam engine plans, you will get some links of interest.

Im so young I dont even remember totally how they work

They work off steam:D


03-03-2004, 11:52 PM
haha, I did some searching a lot yesterday with no luck, did alittle more today and remembered that at mini-lathe.com there was some links :http://www.good-fellow.net/steam.html

haha yeah I realize they work off steam, I dont understand the valve system and how its timed and all.


03-04-2004, 12:03 AM
Google came up with additional links when I spelled Miniature correctly :) Go to one of these sights, click on the "E-Mail" and aks if their plans explain the workings or if they might know where you can get this information.


03-04-2004, 08:29 AM
Do a search on "steam engines" lucy and you will get good hits The lucy is a very simple engine and you'll have lots of fun while learning

03-04-2004, 08:37 AM
Here's a great place to start PLANS (http://npmccabe.tripod.com/index-4.html)

03-04-2004, 08:57 AM
I'm guessing you want to build a piston engine, not a steam turbine? The steam turbine would be pretty cool, though.

Keep in mind I have no actual experience in building steam engines, these are just my thoughts after a couple of minutes of thinking about it.

1. I think the easiest type of engine to build would be something similar to a 2-stroke engine, with intake and exhaust ports instead of valves. If you know anyone who has an old dead weedeater laying around, take a look at it. It will probably provide a good starting place.

2. If using the above method, you'll probably want the boiler output line to run to a ball valve to act as the throttle, then directly to the intake port.

3. Flywheel. If you're making a single cylinder engine, put a fairly large flywheel on it. It'll help keep the engine running if you happen to have large cyclic variations.

4. Safety would be a nice thing to think about, too. Manual and automatic pressure relief valves would be nice to incorporate into this design. Hot steam can really burn you, so be sure to direct any exhaust steam/pressure relief in a safe direction.

Of course, all of these ideas could easily be transferred to an engine with valves, it'll just be more difficult to make the valvetrain (valves, head, camshaft(s), etc...).

Hope it helps!

03-04-2004, 12:00 PM
And if you preffer turbine over piston.. search for 'tesla turbine', that is really easy to do with a lathe, can work with air and steam, does not require tolerances and is very 'downsizeable'.

you can see an example of a tesla turbine model at http://www.mimecanicapopular.com/vernota.php?n=72
it's in spanish but the images are very understandable

hope it helps

03-04-2004, 04:09 PM
thanx for the info, I saw the one at tripod and coudlnt really make out the pictures very well,

Im looking at a piston engine I also thought about a turbine engine but Ill probably do that afterwords, if it only requires a lathe, Ill probably do that one first as my mill isnt up and running yet.
I will probably run pressurised air instead of steam for the burning factor and I want to make it out of lexan or something cool like that;)

Ill check out the tesla turbine engine..


03-04-2004, 04:55 PM
And a tesla turbine running from air is more tolerant and more efficient -at hobby level- that those that run with steam. Wise guy that Nikola Tesla..

And do not forget posting pictures if you build it :)

03-04-2004, 06:04 PM
Well, Jon, you sparked my interest. It looks like I was on the right track with the 2-stroke engine type ports. That Tripod link has some very easy to build plans on it. I'm pretty sure you could build some of those with nothing more than a drill.

It would be interesting to take a waterblock, place a candle or propane torch under it, and use it for a boiler. Of course, the compressed air is a cleaner overall solution.

Well, perhaps I'll have to build one. That looks like a fun little hobby. If I do, I'll post pics/plans.

03-04-2004, 07:43 PM
Im totally geting the opperation of these now, I was soo confused at first only seeing an inlet and no outlet, I couldnt see how the air escaped and how the valves work, now the one at the tripod link looks a lot better.

I want to make a fixed cylinder one, not a 'wobbler' maybe a 4 cylinder steam engine or something sometime;)

would it be a good idea to use O-rings on some stuff like the piston? if the cylinder is nicely oiled. I think I would use ball bearings too. I have some small ball bearings that would be fun to incorporate into an engine.