ABOUT PLANS

Required Machine Tools
Material Kits
Experience Levels

 


About Plans

All of our plans projects are machined from metal bar stock (supplied by the builder) and no castings are required. This is the lowest cost way for you to build as the metals can usually be purchased from metal salvage yards for around $2.00 or so per pound for aluminum, brass and stainless steel. But as can be seen, most of the model engines are designed to look like they were in fact made from castings instead of rectangular blocks and round bars of metal.  

Please note - we do not have any ready to run engines or bolt together engine kits for sale. The plans are for model engines - the engines can be scaled to any size, but no claims of suitability for practical power generation are made.

The Plans Set drawings are high quality computer generated drawings using a professional CAD (Computer Aided Design) program and printed on 8-1/2" x 11" sheets with a laser printer. This permits you to insert them in plastic sheet protectors so they won't get soiled as you use them in the shop. Dimensions are in U.S. inch decimals - no fractions - which makes it easy for you to change the scale of your model to suit your machine tool capacity or the materials you have on hand or have access to. Multiply dimensions by 25.4 to obtain millimeter dimensions. 

Plans do not come with a separate "Bill of Materials" sheet, but Jerry does advise what type of material should be used on each part drawing in the plans.

Generally the plans do not contain assembly instructions.  Jerry always presumed if you were smart enought to build the parts, you would know how to assemble them.  On complicated areas, Jerry does provide cut-away views.  Most all plan sets contain from 1 to 5 pages of construction notes to assist with some machining, assembly, and operation.  The plans are very detailed and complete, and any experienced builder (and most novices) should have no trouble at all.

All drawings are copyright protected and all rights to them are reserved by Outpost Enterprises, LTD. Shop working copies may be made by the purchaser for his own use only. It is a violation of copyright law to sell or give copies away. We will make specific exceptions for educational institutions, please contact us.   Plan sets are not returnable unless we make a mistake and send the wrong one - in that event we will do whatever it takes to make a correction.

PDF Downloads of our plans are now available.  Click here for details.  We encourage everyone to use this method, especially overseas customers.  You'll save money and time.

We offer the complete plans of the Rider Pumping Engine as an example of Jerry's work for $2.00.  Click here.for details

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Required Machine Tools

You will need a lathe and a milling machine with the usual tooling items. You will need a horizontal/vertical rotary table for your mill if you want to duplicate the visual design aspects of some of the projects - spoked flywheels, fluted columns etc. , but the engines will operate just as well without those features. If you are using small equipment, most of my projects can be scaled down to suit - but remember that as engines get smaller, they are usually harder to build and don't run as well as larger ones. If you intend to only build small models that can be held in one hand (more or less), then table top machines with the proper accessory items will be just fine for you and will save you money. All things considered, if you do not have your machine tools yet, try to acquire machines with greater capacity than the projects you intend to build with them and of the highest quality you can afford. Also remember there is absolutely NO SUBSTITUTE for mass in a machine tool because it will dampen vibration and chatter. I am often asked what equipment I use to make my projects. I use a 1968 Maximat-7 (7 inch) lathe, a 1990 Maximat Super 11 ( 11 inch) lathe and two Jet JVM-836 (8x36) knee mills, one of which I converted to CNC in January 2007. Click here if you would like to see them. The Maximat lathes by Emco-Maier had been out of production for a number of years, but sometimes one will come up for sale on eBay.

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Material Kits

Kits are available for some of the engine projects. They save the builder from wasting time running down these items that would be hard to find in many areas, not to mention the problem of "minimum orders" with various suppliers, multiple shipping costs, etc. These kits will save you time and money. Plans sets are not part of the kits as some builders buy the plans and then later on decide to get the kit. Others buy multiples of the same kits because they are building several projects of the same plan.

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Experience Levels

As a general rule, if you are new to machining and have not built any engines of any kind, you would be advised to build a few bar stock steam (air pressure) engines to develop a 'feel' for the accuracy of fit that engines require before attempting a hot-air or internal combustion engine. 

Hot Air Engines from Easiest to Hardest

1. Sideshaft Vacuum Engine
2. Mini Stirling Engine Fan
3. 4-In-1 Vacuum Engine
4. Super Stirling Engine Fan
5. Ringbom Stirling Pumping Engine
6. Vintage Stirling Pumping Engine
7. Duplex Vacuum Stirling Engine
8. Vickie Stirling Engine
9. Beamer Stirling Engine
10. Miser Low Temp Stirling Engine.

Do not let the above stop you though. Many Miser engines have been successfully built as a first project! It all depends on how particular and precise a builder each person is.

Internal Combustion Engines from Easiest to Hardest

1. PowerHouse
2. Bill
3. Farm Boy
4. Plunket Jr.
5. Howell V-Twin
6. Howell V-Four.

Note - The V-Twin and the V-Four engines are for builders who have previously built several successfully running I.C. engines. I do not recommended these for the novice, although some first time builders have completed very nice running engines.

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