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The sides of the beam were made on a simple jig. The distance from the main pivot to the centre of the bearings at each end is 2.5 inches.
The jig was made by drilling 5mm diameter holes in two pieces of MDF with the 2.5 inch spacing (sorry I swap systems of units the whole time, whatever is most convenient). These holes are then a snug fit for the IKEA assembly bolts - you always get spares with their furniture and they are worth keeping.
Once the beams were set I removed them from the backing MDF plates so that I could sand them to shape. The finish is quite rough at this point and as you can see there are some gaps - filling required.
This shows the pair of beams split apart. The finish is very very rough at this point and I was worried that I would get the look and feel, lots of work to get this looking OK.
Once the wood was filled I formed some very thin plywood around the beams and pulled it taught. Then it took some time to sand the surfaces down to give an overall beam thickness of 5mm.
The main bearings are steel spacers with large steel button countersunk washers on the outside.
The spacers hold the two beams at a 10mm spacing.
If you have made a similar engine and would like to share your experience we would love to hear from you - ed.