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Did you make one of these at school or as an apprentice?

TE Haynes Hot Air Engine

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Dodweld02/10/2011 17:07:28
72 forum posts
103 photos

Picked this up recently at a car boot sale ~ Did you make it? or make one like it at school.

The plans were popular with schools and collages in the 70's
After a little clean and oil it ran OK ~ all be it with a lot of heat
Over the winter months I hope to fully overhaul it and clean it

Niloch02/10/2011 19:06:14
371 forum posts
My then head of department made the hot-air engine circa.1968, although, my memory tells me he didn't make the base a cast aluminium one. My memory also says the author suggested some tubing from a scrapped bicycle frame for one of the components. It ran very well and was always a great success at parents evenings especially when many of the parents were hugely skilled personnel from the railway works.  He used a bunsen burner as a source of heat.

Edited By Niloch on 02/10/2011 19:09:10

Alan Vos02/10/2011 19:50:01
162 forum posts
7 photos
Oh yes. At school 1978-79. Just me, not a whole class making them.
We had no casting facility, so decided to mill the base from steel plate. That required removing the rarely-used horizontal arbor and fitting the vertical head. I don't believe it ever came off again, far more useful.
No paint. No burner. Though I just checked and see I did makre the hole for the burner. Also, a smaller diameter flywheel, suspect that was the best fit stock we had.
I have always fancied adding some cooling fins, or water pipe, to the cold end of the main cylinder.
Mine also requires a lot of heat in the right place, exactly what a bunsen burner is good at.
After a long break, back to making engines, about 1/3 of the way through a Stuart S50.

the artfull-codger02/10/2011 19:55:37
294 forum posts
28 photos
I work as a school design & technology technician & looking through our library one day I discovered the steam engine book, I built one straight away for my grandson & some of the lads showed intrest, so I decided to run a lunchtime ''model club'', I made a pattern for the baseplate as opposed to the original folded steel ones & the lads cast them in alloy in our foundry [me pouring of course] & to date we've built 12 of them & they're a really robust little engine. I wrote an article & it was published in the model engineer on 8th april 2009 [& I got paid for it!!!] a colleague built the hot air engine & it runs very well so I made a pattern for the baseplate for that & cast & machined a few of them up & have started to make a couple, apparently Mr TE haynes was still alive a couple of yrs ago as someone wrote to M.E. kindly commenting on my article & informing us, he also wrote one on making an electric motor as well,[ a really good craftsman& writer!!]
Stub Mandrel03/10/2011 21:16:35
4315 forum posts
291 photos
1 articles
Watch it Codger! If the latest ideas get traction kids will be leaving school at 14 to do proper apprenticeships (not jumped up NVQ1s) - they might even let them make real things instead of using a simulator!
the artfull-codger03/10/2011 22:12:55
294 forum posts
28 photos
Now that would be a gr8 idea Neil, I'm all for that, that's what the country's sadly lacking, lads with hands on skills!!

Springbok04/10/2011 05:08:56
879 forum posts
34 photos
Wow does that take me back started school (senior) in 1956 and our teacher taught me the lathe, case hardening and makeing one of these. these were the days before "Elf and safety" struck and the kids now use balsa and prit sticks. SAD........
Ian S C04/10/2011 09:28:40
7468 forum posts
230 photos
Things seem to be coming right here, Govt encouraging trades in schools etc. The local high school have built and raced (and won) grass carts, go-carts raced on grass track. Ian S C
Dodweld14/10/2011 11:21:54
72 forum posts
103 photos

Had it running using a small blow torch, see and gave it a quick clean and polish with some new BA nuts
Found a copy of the origanal plans, so its up for grabs on ebay to fund my next project
Item No 260873071808

Edited By David Dodwell on 14/10/2011 11:22:59

colin hawes14/10/2011 14:19:36
557 forum posts
18 photos
When I was doing metalwork at school and later at a technical college we had to do things like file a square hole to a gauge size and make a square plug to fit it, all in thick steel sheet.We never made anything as interesting as an engine, although we did do beaten copper work which gave me some confidence in boiler making.
Avon04/09/2014 13:53:50
71 forum posts
26 photos

Hi, I know this is an old thread, but I've been searching for this model for ages. I made it for O level Metalwork including casting the base. However it was once in my parents house but has since disappeared. In October I getting a real Manshed built and will install my fathers old lathe and milling machine. I think remaking this project will be a great starter, maybe even casting the base (friend has a forge!). If anyone knows where I can get a copy of the Haynes book 2 I'd be grateful.



Boiler Bri04/09/2014 17:26:22
842 forum posts
199 photos

We did not have teachers that were interested in steam only go karts and bikes.



jason udall04/09/2014 17:38:15
2031 forum posts
41 photos

My teacher was was tge school that was blind..

Btw..not air...

FMES04/09/2014 18:42:56
608 forum posts
2 photos

Yes I made one at school (my parents still have it) and I'm still making them as presentation pieces today.

Peter, If you want a copy of the drawings I would be happy to oblige.


stirling 033.jpg

Edited By Lofty76 on 04/09/2014 18:46:42

Avon05/09/2014 05:21:51
71 forum posts
26 photos

Hi Lofty, looks like a great model - the marble base is certainly an improvement on my original casting! I' ve sent a separate message with my e-mail address as I would much appreciate a copy if the plans.

many thanks.

FMES05/09/2014 18:30:17
608 forum posts
2 photos

As a couple of people have shown an interest in this engine, I've created an album of a build.

All the best


Martin 10030/10/2014 23:52:47
274 forum posts
6 photos

Made one about 35 years ago. Both it and the plans have long been lost, never ever seen the book I just had a dozen or so A4 sheets. Would love to make one again.

Windy31/10/2014 11:49:01
887 forum posts
189 photos

I remember my metalwork classes at school fondly it was a brand new Secondary Modern school with two new ml7 a drill, forge and usual hand tools.

The Teacher had an interest in model engineering and built a Sun steam engine I made an Edgar Westbury Theseus that was the start of my interests in engineering as a hobby.

There seemed to be a lot of common sense in those days not so much health and safety as today.

My rose tinted glasses are slipping again.


Edited By Windy on 31/10/2014 11:51:55

AJS01/11/2014 21:08:09
37 forum posts

I have just completed a version of this engine which was published in Engineering in Miniature Nov 2011 - Feb 2012. It was my first and only hot air engine and I'm pleased to report that it ran at the first firing with a spirit lamp.


Manofkent02/11/2014 08:00:59
141 forum posts
29 photos

I was told recently that engineering apprentices at a local college make stationary steam engines as their project. Part of the judgement of the quality of workmanship is to run the engine on the lowest possible compressed air pressure. The better the build the better it runs.

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