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Lamp Post Steam Engine

Nigel Taylor

How many hours do you spend browsing through the internet looking for inspiration for a new model? Well, maybe it is just me. I was looking around and came across Allan Dake′s site Lots of different steam engines and one in particular caught my eye Bodkin 2, what a lovely looking engine. This engine was made by Ben Peake.

Ben′s site has some great images of this engine: Time to stop browsing and off to the drawing board....

Flywheel diameter 77.5mm, width 10mm. The flywheel casting is the 3.5" Stuart Turner one as used on the Stuart 10V engine.

As you can see I machined the flywheel so that it ended up a lot narrower than normal. Also, in the final image you can see that I ended up maching the spokes thinner as well as the rim.

I wanted this to look like a lamp post and so that′s what I machined from steel in two parts.

The base is 20mm diameter and so roughly 60mm in circumference, with a 3mm bullnose end mill this would mean I needed 10 flutes.

I milled the flutes in the lathe using the milling head attached to the cross-slide and with an indexing head attached to the lathe head.

Here you can see the flutes more clearly. They are quite clean and any imperfection will dissappear when I spray the model.

The cylinder was machined from phosphor bronze with 15mm bore and is roughly 30mm long.

At this point I got rather busy and did not take any other images during the construction process.

The finished engine.

The valve pushrod was made with a mild steel outer eccentric ring and then using 2mm square brass tube I solder together this lattice.

There is a small brass bearing in the bottom end of the pushrod.

The valve block itself looks a bit like a whistle.

These valve blocks are easy to make, but be prepared for some time setting it up and getting it working. I had no adjustment screws and so had to machine the valve slightly to get the timing working correctly.

The connecting rod was made from 1/8" hexagonal brass that I twisted - one end in the vice, the other in a tap wrench.

The ends are threaded 6BA to fit the end bushes.

The cylinder, valve block and post are all soft soldered together.

The lower rod through the post that connects the cylinder and valve block was drilled and is the main connection for steam inlet and exhaust.

Must admit that I did not make the globe valve, bought this from Steam Fittings (

The eccentric was milled out using a rotary table - it was rather heavy from solid brass and so needed to lose some weight.

There is a grooved turned in the eccentric and the screw you can see has a point that locates in this groove.

The view from on top. The detail at the top is functional as this is an oiling point for the main bearings.

The piston was machined as a bucket and then the gudgeon pin fitted in blocks that were then soldered with the small end of the connecting rod fitted. I will need to un-solder this if I need to change the small end.

Finally a movie of the engine running, a lot of the noise is from the small air pump (lumber air pump from a car seat).

This has been quite rewarding to make. If you would like to share photos of an engine you are working on or have finished then do drop me a line ed.