3 hour timer for fire

while 'true'
date +%I:%M:%S:%p && sleep 3h && mplayer ~/"alarm.mp4"


Steam Engine Castings and Machining Progress

I figured I would do an update, it’s been forever and anymore, I just record the stuff on making the steam engine and anything that Im really tinkering around with, then upload it to youtube. Its easier to just say and show the stuff than try to explain it through pictures and such. Here’s the address for the youtube page:


Here’s a bundle of pictures that I have so far.

Steam Engine Paterns Update

I figured I would upload this since the patterns are all finished and ready to be cast when the weather gets better. Ive almost finished the flask for the main frame since it’s bigger than any flask I had. Just need to add some screws so it’ll never come apart, make some waterglass, and refill my co2 tank to make the core for the engine cylinder.

Here’s the pics.


The patterns are smooth as glass, and the sand just falls right off of them, so they’ll be a piece of cake to mold. (famous last words, lol) There’s around 15 parts to be cast out, and around 5 of them will be done in bronze, rest will be done in aluminum for now to get a prototype made, then will be cast in iron.

Steam Engine Update

After much deliberation and driving myself nuts about the amount of steam needed to run a dual cylinder design, and trying to figure out how to make a mold for the O&S, I decided that I would just take a bunch of designs and piece them all together into a single design. I am going with a 3″ bore, 2 1/2″ stroke (faster engine but slightly less torque), and I decided not to do the box frame. I figured if Im going to make the engine, Im going to make it completely how I want it, and give me a good size and everything for building the O&S. I made it into an oversquare engine mainly due to a slight miscalculation in the patterns, but it works out better this way anyhow.

The part on the corebox is a pattern for the piston, which will be turned down to 1/2″ thick, that should easily give me enough room for two piston rings. I added a ruler next to the base pattern to show the size of it.


New Steam Engine

With the vise completed and working great on the shaper, I figured I would go onto building patterns for the next big project, a steam engine!

It will have a 3 inch piston, 3 inch stroke, and around a 5-6hp rating. I also plan on building a 2 HP, single cylinder engine based off of an O&S orr & sembower engine (no idea if thats the right spelling, but is is the one david richards uses on his youtube channel), which will also be the same piston/stroke length later on when I finish this one. With everything in my shop running from lineshaft, it would be neat to at least have it set up with a little lineshaft setup of it’s own, and with the amount of power that this thing will have, it’ll easily be able to run everything in my shop if I really wanted to, lol. Also as much as the power is goes out around this area, not needing electricity to run the stuff sounds like a really nice idea, (even if it’s just a pipe dream) just have it hooked up to an alternator with 12v lights.

I have the cylinder pattern finished now, just need to get the steam chest, core box, and steam chest cover made next, which then I can use the same pattern for all future engines. They are big engines, but with the new shop being built and most of the stuff being built in the 1920s, they would fit right in. Also with various steam shows around this area, I plan on taking them to shows and such later on in the future.

Here’s the progress so far on cylinder casting, rest of the castings should be much easier from here on out.

That water putty stuff is awesome stuff, Im used to using bondo when making patterns, and usually if it’s thicker, it’ll want to crack and you have to go back and keep fixing it, that stuff does not and it’s much more resistant to being beat on with the sand rammer. It still needs a few coats of laquer put on it to really seal it up and make it waterproof, but most of the hard part is done for the most part.¬† Its covered in dust from sanding on it, which is why it looks all white atm, when I go to seal it up, it’ll change the way it looks to make the pattern lines and such much more visible.

I might have to make a core bit to drill the hole for the core box, but that’ll be a quick job for the lathe really if it comes to that.

Shaper vise clone and shaper restoration finish

Well, the shaper is finished as is the vise, everything is mounted together and all that is needed is just to make a pair of replaceable steel jaws for the vise, and it’s ready to be used full time again.

Most of the machine itself was done on the shaper to clean up all of the castings, and a few modifications were made to the patterns to make them easier to cast and less work for machining.

The leadscrew and front nut were welded together and while still orange hot, I forged the welds into a dome shape to match the original profile of the original vise. The leadscrew nut was made out of some brass sprues that I had left over from casting some things from brass in the foundry.

Here’s everything all together:

The jaw can be rotated and locked to handle any angle of objects and compltely turned around to hold round objects like having a vertical V block built right into your vise, which is extremely handy for alot of the projects I plan on doing.

The paint looks extremely glossy, but with a little oil on it and a bit of use, the shine will go away pretty quickly.

Shaper Vise Clone update

After machining the parts and slowly piecing them together, I finally started to assemble the vise, machined it up up as a whole on the shaper, and cut the slot in it for the nut, It needs a little more cleanup work but as soon as the nut and everything are put together and finished, the vise should be ready to be fitted with some steel jaws and used.

The shaper leaves a mirror smooth finish on the cast aluminum parts, and is smooth as glass.

If you look at the wrench sitting on the vise body, you can see the reflection of the wrench in it, thats how it comes right off of the machine. As slow as people say the shaper is, I find that it has it’s slow moments, but usually I can do parts on it faster than I can do on a bridgeport, and defenitely comes in its prime¬† when doing the odd jobs like custom profile grooves and such. Just grind a blank piece of HSS bit, and your good to go rather than having to send out for a custom cutter, which will get quite expensive, very fast.

Spin Indexer Plate Calculator (python)

I did up this program to calculate out the amount of divisions that a spin indexer could do, and calculate out the degrees that each needs. I designed it because If you have custom plates, you’ll get different values for everything, and this program will calculate everything out for you, with the degrees needed to achieve each division. Just change num to whatever you want to get the divisions and list of degrees to get those numbers.

num = 360

for i in range(1, num + 1):
    if num % i == 0:
        print'\n', i, '\n'
        while True:
          if j==num:

If you dont want to mess with it, and only want the 360 degrees printout, I have it here:


I had mine start at 0 and removed the 360 to make it easier for my indexer.

Rhodes Shaper Vise clone

I recently had gotten an old 7 inch rhodes shaper/slotter combo, but never had a vise on it, so for now, ive been using a drill press vise to machine my castings down, but it has it’s limits. So I searched around and tracked down a set of blueprints off of the original shaper vise that came on the shaper, so I made a pattern, and cast a new one out.

Ive only machined the swivel base so far and the jaw roughed out, but dont have any pictures of the jaw, and was just going to machine the vise body itself on the shaper to get it dead true to the machine once it’s all assembled and in use.

Soule Steam Festival Day2