Gallery, Projects and General => The Design Shop => Topic started by: Spen50 on August 28, 2009, 03:02:29 PM

Title: Got the urge !
Post by: Spen50 on August 28, 2009, 03:02:29 PM
Having seen aermotor8's 1/4 scale galloway gas engine model  :thumbup: I have the urge to have a go at building my first engine.
So what I'm asking all you experienced folk is:

What would be a good starting point?
Title: Re: Got the urge !
Post by: bogstandard on August 28, 2009, 03:18:38 PM
The first thing we have to ask, have you any experience of making more than two bits that fit together?
Can you read a drawing and make a part from such a thing?

If the answer is yes to both of these, then you will have no trouble making an engine.

But if you are a bit of a beginner, I personally would go for a little oscillator.

There are three reasons for that, the first being is that it doesn't take too long, most probably a weekend for a basic type. The second is that if you can't get one of those going, you are in trouble, and the third, when you do get it running, it gives you such a buzz, you feel like you can take on the world.
Then you make some sort of intermediate engines, before progressing onto something that uses fuel and sparky things.

Basically, start easy, and progress gently from there.

Too many jump in with both feet projects end up in tears, either ruined castings or just lose interest because it is too difficult.


Title: Re: Got the urge !
Post by: Spen50 on August 28, 2009, 04:09:30 PM
Thanks Bogs.
I have no problem in reading and following a tech drawing, but defiantly a beginner ( I have no problem in starting from the bottom as it were).
As for "little" just how little? as my eyesight isn't what it was.
Title: Re: Got the urge !
Post by: rleete on August 28, 2009, 04:28:26 PM
Wobblers can be made just about any size you like.  The larger ones need a larger volume of air to keep going, but anything with a bore less than 1/2" can be made to run fairly easily.

Go here:    and find something simple.  Elmer's engines are a great starting point.
Title: Re: Got the urge !
Post by: Stilldrillin on August 29, 2009, 03:33:47 AM
Have you seen the little rocker engines we`ve all been building?   :D

Stew started it all.......   :thumbup:

Lots of help available, from everyone, if necessary.  :scratch:

If I can do it, anyone can......  ::)

I`ll post my story, when I get a .9mm allen key.......  :bang:

David D
Title: Re: Got the urge !
Post by: sbwhart on August 29, 2009, 04:54:40 AM
Hi Spen

The little rocker engine is a smashing little engine to build, not to complicated but not to simple if you get my meaning, what I liked about it that at first inspection you say "how does that work  :scratch: where are the valves it can't work without valves", only when you build one does the penny drop and the shear genius of the design comes through.  :smart:

If you follow some of the threads on here you will also see that you don't have to blindly follow the drawing exactly, you just have to get the key features correct, which in itself is a great learning experience, and you'll end up with a little engine that will wow your friends.

Have fun

Title: Re: Got the urge !
Post by: Spen50 on August 29, 2009, 03:16:28 PM
Thanks guys

That's just the positive info I needed  :clap:
I've now got some plans, just need to decide which one and get some brass.
Title: Re: Got the urge !
Post by: bogstandard on August 29, 2009, 04:01:14 PM

No need to go with expensive materials when you are just starting out, use almost anything you like, as long as it isn't ali runing in ali (it tends to gall or weld together if it runs dry), everything should be just fine.

Just nail or glue the bits together and get it running, it doesn't even matter what it looks like, the first engine is the most important one that you will ever make. Get it running, and you will be hooked for life.

Good luck on your journey.

Title: Re: Got the urge !
Post by: Spen50 on August 29, 2009, 04:14:50 PM
It just so happens that I have some steel and ali bar in various sizes in the cupboard, so it looks like I'll be Ok.
I also have a shed load of M3 & M4 screws kicking around.

So it could so be all systems go - soon.
Title: Re: Got the urge !
Post by: chuck foster on August 29, 2009, 05:29:39 PM
spen, the galloway castings come in 4 different scales and they start around $300 to $350 and up.
i would do as others have suggested and start on a bar stock engine. if you make a mistake you just grab another piece of bar stock and start again.

if you really want to build a gas engine might i suggest the webster, the plans are free and it will test your skills without killing you bank account.

if you follow this link it will take you to a website that has the plans and a build log

i have not built this engine myself but lots of other guys have and it runs very nice.

chuck :wave:
Title: Re: Got the urge !
Post by: Spen50 on August 29, 2009, 06:48:24 PM
Thanks for the link, they look very interesting but I feel it'll be a while before I attempt anything that advanced.

So I've rummaged in my cupboard and have found a fair selection of stock bar and a fair sized slab of dural plate that'll do for bases etc.

So tomorrow may be the day  ::)
Title: Re: Got the urge !
Post by: bogstandard on August 30, 2009, 12:08:58 AM

For real easy engines, a lot of the time made from bits of junk, you can't beat the ones on here.

The McCabe Runner or EZ really show what can be made very simply.

There is nothing stopping you making them to a better quality.

Title: Re: Got the urge !
Post by: raynerd on August 30, 2009, 11:20:52 AM
My first engine was Dave Goodfellows - Brassy Babe. It is a little wobbler/oscillator and it was a fantastic first build primarily because the instructions and write up are so good!

My build thread is here:

The engine plans are here:

I`m quite new to this as well so just my recommendation. I then followed this with Elmer #25 which both I and Tim (spudevans) did a build log for:  & mine:

Another excellent engine and was simple and "quick" to build. I wouldn`t have changed the order I built them in. I have also built a running rocker a short time ago but haven`t finished it yet but also a great engine that everyone has been building so plenty of posts to follow.

Good luck whatever you choose!

Title: Re: Got the urge !
Post by: arnoldb on August 31, 2009, 02:20:15 PM
Spen, I have not built many engines yet - just a rocker and Elmer's Fancy, with another home-brew design in progress.
The rocker ( was my first, but I'm sorry I didn't do a basic version of the Fancy ( as the first engine; the rocker was slightly fiddly.

I can really recommend the Fancy for a first build; you don't have to "bling" it like I did and it uses fairly common tools and is not fiddly.  Elmer's build instructions are nice and clear as well.

 :beer: Arnold