Miniature Steam Engine

One of my favourite acquisitions is a miniature steam engine. Believed to be from pre-1880's, it is 95% brass, the only parts that are not are the crankshaft and con rod. It was generously given to me by some friends, and was in a bad state. I obtained replacements for all of the screws, nuts and bolts, as most of the old ones had corroded away. The original seals and piston rings were made from pig hair string, however I have replaced them with Teflon (PTFE) and nylon.

Note the barrel - style cylinder

Note the detail in the cast flywheel

Top layout view


We believe that the engine may have been a prototype for a full-scale version somewhere in the world, as the workmanship was excellent, and no-one has been able to supply me with any information on it. The smaller flywheel is cast with leaves and both ends of the cylinder are removable. It runs like clockwork on about 13psi, but although it doesn't use much pressure, being a double-acting engine, it uses a large volume of air.

My next step on this engine is to build a boiler.

If anyone has any information on this engine, or would like more information on it possibly leading to an identification of it, or has suggestions for a cheap boiler, please don't hesitate to email me.

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