Build a small steam engine - part two

Build a small steam engine - part two

Although daunting at first, it is fairly logical if tackled a small step at a time. The use of a lathe is desirable but with a little lateral thinking it would be possible to make it without one.
First the cylinder is made from a short length of 12 mm round brass rod. Mount this in the three-jaw chuck of your lathe and face off one end. When turning brass it is necessary to grind the tool with a negative rake (see diagram). Brass is extremely brittle and the point of a tool bit with a positive rake would bite and snap off, being thinner and weaker.

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Building a small steam engine - part one

Building a small steam engine - part one

Originally devised as a plaything for young boys, they quickly became the sort of toy that a lad was only allowed to play with on special occasions. They returned for a brief period of popularity during the 1960s and 1970s but even then were more adornments for a bookcase rather than well-used toys. This was probably due to the exorbitant cost of the product rather than any regard for safety.

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