Gallery, Projects and General => Project Logs => Topic started by: roconnor on February 17, 2010, 06:04:14 PM

Title: 1st Project Paddleduck ??
Post by: roconnor on February 17, 2010, 06:04:14 PM
Hi All,
This is my first post and would be grateful for your advise.
I have just bought a minilathe and drillpress and and I am now looking to learn how to use them both.
I came across John Somer's 'Start Model Engineering' website and he enthuses about the Paddleduck engine.
I wondered whether this would be something a complete 'newbie' such as myself could manage, and would like to hear from others considering their first foray into this wonderful hobby.
Best wishes,
Title: Re: 1st Project Paddleduck ??
Post by: Dean W on February 17, 2010, 09:20:03 PM
Hello roconnor;

If you have never made an engine of any kind, then you may be better off with something of fewer parts.  The Paddleducks looks like a nice engine, but one with a minimum of operations will probably help you reach the goal of a runner, while also helping you with the basics for your machines. 

Some practice in the basic machine operations using scrap stock with an eye toward safety and hitting your marks will go a long way toward building experience for your first build.  Concentrate on keeping all your fingers and eyes while just feeling out your new machines to see what they will do.  Then try a simple single cylinder air engine.  An oscillator or spool valve engine would be a good choice, imo.

Ask specific questions about machining operations.  Safety, safety, safety.

Title: Re: 1st Project Paddleduck ??
Post by: sbwhart on February 18, 2010, 02:28:00 AM
Hi Roconner

That's good advice from Dean start out nice and simple its all too easy for guys to become disappointed and give up there are plenty of plans her for a newbie engine that will get you learning to use your tools safely.

Have fun


Title: Re: 1st Project Paddleduck ??
Post by: spuddevans on February 18, 2010, 03:53:50 AM
Hi Roconnor :wave: welcome to the club.

I too wanted to build the paddleducks engine as my 1st engine, but like you have been, I was advised to make a simpler engine 1st which I did  here (

I think it was the best thing to do as it gave me a brief taste of what processes were involved in making a little engine, but also was simple enough that I could complete it fairly quickly and have a working engine at the end of it.

Having finished that I am now in the middle of making the Paddleducks engine here ( and am glad for the experience gained from building Elmers #25 as my 1st engine build.

I would reccomend the same as the rest have said, try a more simple engine 1st and get the un-wipe-offable grin and feeling of satisfaction that comes from its first run :thumbup:

Oh, and dont forget to take plenty of in-progress pics as  :worthless: :D

Title: Re: 1st Project Paddleduck ??
Post by: roconnor on February 18, 2010, 08:45:02 AM
Hello again,
Just a short message to thank you all for your advice. I will most definitely be looking at the little Elmers engine as suggested by spuddevans.
Walking before running seems to be the general concensus here  ::)
Thank you again.