Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cranky Desk Toy

A Cranky New Desk Toy has just been added to the collection. It has a very soothing effect on "cranky" people, like me.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Half Size Cretors Pop Corn and Peanut Eengine

About a hundred years ago Cretors Co. in Chicago built a line of vending stations from small stationary ones that might be placed in buildings, to larger ones that were mounted on wheels and could be transported to places of public gatherings, like fairs, etc. An illustration scanned from an old Cretors catalog, above, shows a typical wheel mounted unit. These vending units were equipped with small steam engines that naturally drew attention of passers by, but they also powered the peanut roasters and pop corn poppers. Over the years these engines have become very desirable collector items, and popular projects for model makers.

During the early part of January I was able to do a little trading for a copy of a set of drawings, and about 3 weeks later had my own half size Creators model.

I decided to go half size and machine most of the parts from solid material rather than purchase a casting kit, which are rather costly. For a size reference the fly wheel is 4".

I did need to make patterns and pour castings for the base plate, crankshaft support bearings, and fly wheel. Shown above during the pattern making process.

Here are the gears for the governor. Tiny little things. They were machined out of a sprue left over from casting the fly wheel.

And finally shown below is a video showing it doing it's thing---amusing people. It is classical engine, but simple and straight forward as steam engines go. Not difficult at all to build.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Deck Gun

My little 7" x 10" mini lathe was starting to get despondent from lack of not enough use, so in order to cheer it up I machined a ships cannon on it. Kind of small, but that is OK because it does not take up much display space. The tie rods and eye bolts are all size #o-80, which for me requires a 10 power magnifying glass to examine the threads. They were just fine.
Actually I use that little lathe quite often. There are some things it does very well. Holding and threading that size fasteners is one of them.