Saturday, October 12, 2013


A couple weeks ago I was thumbing through one of my old mechanical books looking for inspiration of something mechanically unusual to build for a next project, when I noticed a simple illustration of a gyroscopic governor. That triggered my memory of seeing one many years ago, at an antique machinery show. Searching my old photographs turned up a single picture of it. That seemed like a suitable project. I've never seen a governor like it before or since. At least it ought to make for a good conversation piece. I have no idea what it was used on, but suspect it was probably some kind of internal combustion engine. The name plate says it was built by Harris Machinery Co. in Minneapolis.

A casting for the governor yoke required making a new pattern, but for the rest of the castings I was able to use on hand patterns and things. I rammed up extra molds so I would not have to make another heat in case of defects, but it turned out I did not need them. I can use the spares for other projects or simply remelt them.

Work on it progress a little bit at a time over the past couple weeks until today when it became a completed model. It certainly works, but perhaps not as smoothly and efficiently as a fly ball or fly weight type governor. Perhaps that is why we no longer see them in use. But for me it is a fascinating bit of history. It deserves a spot on the display shelves.
     Here is a short video. Notice how the control lever moves as the speed of rotation is changed.

1 comment:

John Creasey said...

That is so cool. Your have so many wonderful creations.