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Who has built the Sophie beam engine from Bengs (Germany) ?

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Brian John16/04/2014 06:47:38
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Has anybody built the Sophie beam engine from Bengs (Germany) ?

**LINK**

I have never used a lathe before and I was thinking of making this my first project on my new Sieg C2 lathe (once I get it out of the box). Does anybody have any thoughts on the suitability of this as a first time project for the lathe ?

JasonB16/04/2014 07:11:13
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It looks like a lot of the work that would be done on the mill has been done already so the construction will mostly be turning and drilling so something that can be done on the lathe and drill press. Even if a part does not come out right first time you should be able to buy some replacement bar stock locally so more suitable than a kit that uses more castings.

You may want to just do a simple wobbler or finger engine first just to get the feel for the lathe before doing teh beam engine.

J

Oompa Lumpa16/04/2014 08:14:57
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I would echo Jason's thoughts. An engine such as this is a bit ambitious as a first project. I am not for one second suggesting you are not capable but I would hate to see you make mistakes and get despondent because you may have been a little over ambitious. As Jason said, a little "Wobbler" could be a good first project. Plenty of plans out there for free and it will give you an opportunity to see what the metal suppliers are like nearby. I notice you are in Australia (I think() and there was a comment on here not so long since that there was a bit of difficulty obtaining material from one of our Australian members so could be a worthwhile exercise in any event.

Brian John16/04/2014 10:54:32
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I often buy from the UK or the US anyway as it is often cheaper, even when postage costs are included.

Ian S C17/04/2014 11:51:51
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Brian, as suggested start with a simple wobbler, and also now is a good time to make one or two die holders, tap wrenches, and maybe a tail stock die holder, these will help you get the feel of the machine. On the tools, even if the dimensions are nominal, chose a figure, and work to that with your micrometre, get into a habbit of work accurately, the handle of a tap wrench does not matter if it's .010" under size, but try to get within .001" or .002" if you can.

Ian S C

Edited By Ian S C on 17/04/2014 11:52:16

Brian John18/04/2014 05:10:02
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When I get the lathe set up, my first job will be to make a spindle handle. I thought all lathes came with such a thing but it looks like you have to make them yourself. It is such a useful thing for drilling and tapping etc.

I really want to build a beam engine but of course I will start with some scrap bar stock to get the feel of the lathe. There are also some pulleys and flywheels from PM Research in the US which are quite cheap.

http://www.minicastings.com/acatalog/Flywheels-3.html

Edited By Brian John on 18/04/2014 05:14:18

JasonB18/04/2014 07:22:03
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I don't think any lathes come with a handle, I have managed for 30yrs without one, either pulling the chuck round buy hand or turning the tap wrench by hand. Last few years since I got a Variable speed lathe I run that under power when using the tailstock die holder. The Die holder would be a more useful first lateh project. A handle will not be fast enough for drilling on the lathe use power for that.

There are several bar stock beam engine designs on the net, you may be better off with one of those rather than the Bengs kit.

J

Brian John20/07/2016 11:06:57
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I am lining up my next project and it looks like it might be this beam engine. The problem is that it has a 100mm flywheel but the maximum I can turn on my lathe is an 80mm flywheel.

1. Do you think the beam engine would run okay with an 80mm flywheel ?

2. Would you turn the aluminium central support as one piece or three pieces ?

JasonB20/07/2016 11:26:33
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1. provided the smaller flywheel had a thicker/wider rim to com,pensate for the reduced diameter there should not be a problem going down in size.

2. doing it as one is simpler and will keep things all lined up, if you can't get it on the lathe then doing it in sections is not too much extra work.

Nick_G20/07/2016 11:31:27
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Posted by Brian John on 20/07/2016 11:06:57:

I am lining up my next project and it looks like it might be this beam engine. The problem is that it has a 100mm flywheel but the maximum I can turn on my lathe is an 80mm flywheel.

1. Do you think the beam engine would run okay with an 80mm flywheel ?

.

Hello Brian,

Forgive me if this comes across as a bit blunt. Which is always a danger when in an emotion deviod written for rather than an actual conversation.

But you ask a question that is answered by some very capable people with many, many decades of experience between them. They then it seems tell you not what you would like to hear. .......... So you are ignoring their advice.!

Best regards, Nick

Brian John20/07/2016 11:45:05
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Not blunt...just unclear ?

Howi20/07/2016 17:11:19
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Having built Sophie I would not say it is a beginners project per say, it does not help that the instructions are in German. The column should be turned in one piece and is relatively easy to do.

With regard to the flywheel I do not think it would look right at 80 mm.

Although many parts are all ready cnc'd a mill/drill does make life easier. It is a nice looking model when completed.

If you are not sure of your capabilities make a start on some of the simpler parts, as you get to the more complex parts just put it on one side and make something else till you get the confidence.

I made a wobbler from a casting kit and found that harder to get ones head around than Sophie, fortunately having put it aside for a few months, when I came back to it, everything just dropped into place and the completed engine runs very well.

There are a lot of very fiddly parts in Sophie and small screws,nuts and bolts (2mm and 2.5 mm)

Suggest you keep all parts/materials in one box and the finished parts in another. I have spent hours looking for dropped nuts and bolts sad

Go for it, it will give you the incentive to learn what you need.

 

 

Edited By Howi on 20/07/2016 17:12:10

Neil Wyatt20/07/2016 17:26:09
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Posted by Nick_G on 20/07/2016 11:31:27:
Posted by Brian John on 20/07/2016 11:06:57:

I am lining up my next project and it looks like it might be this beam engine. The problem is that it has a 100mm flywheel but the maximum I can turn on my lathe is an 80mm flywheel.

1. Do you think the beam engine would run okay with an 80mm flywheel ?

.

Hello Brian,

Forgive me if this comes across as a bit blunt. Which is always a danger when in an emotion deviod written for rather than an actual conversation.

But you ask a question that is answered by some very capable people with many, many decades of experience between them. They then it seems tell you not what you would like to hear. .......... So you are ignoring their advice.!

Best regards, Nick

Ahem. You might note the two year gap between Brain's original post and decision to reconsider making the beam engine... I thinks he's developed a few new skills during the interval.

Neil

Brian John20/07/2016 17:42:30
1455 forum posts
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Nick : aha, I think I see what you mean now. If you look at the dates of those earlier comments you will see that there has been quite of bit of swarf under the bridge since then (please excuse the mixed metaphor).

Howi : I have built two of the Bengs Stirling engines and one flame eater engine (not quite operational yet). I am not keen on machining the column in one piece as I think it would require the use of a steady which I do not have. I will take note of your advice regards the flywheel : I agree that the smaller wheel might look a bit odd.

I always try to make sure I have plenty of replacement nuts, bolts and bar stock on hand before I start any project. I do not like to be held up for weeks waiting for parts to arrive in the post.

I had intended to build the ''John'' Stirling engine from Bengs as my next project but Mr Sjani from youtube said he found that quite a difficult build ; getting it to pump water was very tricky. You can see from his videos that he is a very talented engineer and if he had problems with it then I think I should stay well away from it !

Edited By Brian John on 20/07/2016 17:43:46

JasonB20/07/2016 18:12:17
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You won't need a steady Brian. The ends can be carefully marked out and ctr drilled in your drill press to allow for tailstock support, the other held in the chuck.

Nick_G20/07/2016 18:49:33
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Posted by Brian John on 20/07/2016 17:42:30:

Nick : aha, I think I see what you mean now. If you look at the dates of those earlier comments you will see that there has been quite of bit of swarf under the bridge since then (please excuse the mixed metaphor).

.

Aha indeed. blushblush

As rightly pointed out by Neil I did not pick up on the dates and the passing of time. smiley

Regards, Nick

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