Chuffing Jenny

Self Inflicted

My junk assemblies never benefit from design, I simply cobble together whatever random items I come across that might be adapted to perform some vague engine function.
Working without design allows full freedom of expression but brings huge time consuming changes. I start with a couple of items and fix them together – fine! Then a third bit needs attaching, necessitating taking the first two apart to allow some new holes to be drilled.
Then later another component wants putting on, so the fabrication has to be taken apart yet again!
Many drilled holes would have been better positioned had I known about the next stage.
My engines have been assembled, taken apart, modified and reassembled many times by the time I stop playing, in fact some bits start to show signs of wear by then.
Most fits are made adjustable to enable final alignment to achieve smooth running, this avoids high precision manufacture but then gives rise to lots of adjustments on final assembly – too many !
Each one dependent on a previous one… or several!

Sometimes I wonder about actually sitting down and drafting a proper design but that would spoil the fun of junk sales (or skips!) and I would need expensive new metal in specific sizes.
The 2020 Covid lockdown has stopped boot sales, my main source of components and ideas. Buying new metal just isn’t the same and anyway it would force me to plan ahead. I much prefer to adapt and work with whatever comes to hand although there are still finds to bid for on Ebay!

Some parts of this new engine came out of my birthday box, a very random collection of metal bits and pieces gathered up by Jane. The broken can opener isn’t much use, but the brass candlesticks… time to get to work.

Wednesday 17th Feb and the latest engine runs! Now the adjustments begin…
Getting things perfectly in line and concentric is important for smooth low pressure operation. It’s not too difficult to get engines to run fast but achieving a gentle tick over proves many things.
Getting the flywheel to run true is the first thing that one sees during operation and this one runs just a few thou out of true. An annoying shame but I’m going to live with it as the mainshaft runs nicely.
This one is quite powerful compared with my earlier efforts and I’m wondering if it could just about power a bike…

Puffing Jenny starts!
Not a bike but at least an old bike dynamo… the light is on!

There are three stages to each project: Initially proving the engine will run. Tidying up the assembly by adding anything that the engine will power and finally ‘gilding the lily’ by adding extra features such as shiny brass and copper pipe fittings and even painting some parts.
Engines sometimes qualify for a nameplate!
But what to call the dynamo engine?
Built early 2021 during covid lockdown, powering a flickering lamp… Dynacove, Dynalight, Genny Covagen … Flicking Genny…
Chuffing Jenny!!

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