Do you Get Pressure (to run one of these motors) without Making Steam?
There are several choices
regarding “steam pressure without steam”.
The overwhelmingly best thing to do is to buy a small compressor (and
I’m assuming you don’t have one). Wal-Mart sells a very nice little
Campbell-Hausfield compressor (with 2 gallon tank) for only about $99. This may
seem like a big chunk of money for “hobby use” but the reality is, it can be
used for lots of other things. I bought a small compressor (similar to this one)
five years ago and I’ve used it for endless projects. (Northern Tool also has
a 7 gallon air compressor in their print catalogue for around $107…..it’s
not listed on their website at www.northerntool.com
but a print catalogue can be ordered online). Since any purchased compressor is
a commercial product, no one (at shows or displays) would question it’s safety
and it has the added bonus of having a pressure regulator (to adjust engine
speed). I advised others to buy a ready-made compressor (instead of building
something) and they told me later that it was the best thing they could have
done…….allowed more time for actual building of motors and less time messing
around with haphazard pressure supplies.
Use one of those small air compressors that plug into an automotive
cigarette lighter (the kind used to fill a flat tire). I’ve run my motors on
one of these on occasion. Mine was bought (on sale) at K-Mart for $9. I’ve
seen them for $15 to $20 at Wal-Mart. They’re VERY noisy, but you could built
a sound-deadening box around it. Power could be from a 12 car or motorcycle
battery. You could use a variable resistor (Radio Shak) or household dimmer
switch (for house lights) to regulate voltage (and thus pressure…..probably
keep the noise down too).
Buy a compressed air storage
tank (~$20 at Wal Mart). These will work, but only for a few minutes (you could
also run you engine from an automotive spare tire…..same idea).
A small steam engine could be run by a small motor (such as a sewing
machine-type motor) and this combination could serve as a compressor/air source
. Since the air would simply cycle in and out (of the intake and exhaust ports
of the steam engine), one would need a check valve. Easiest thing to use would
be an automotive PCV valve (~$3) which is a simple check valve (usually must be
oriented vertically and not upside down). A
check valve could be also built by doing the following:
Take apiece of 3/8 steel rod 1” long.
Drill a 9/64 hole ¾ deep
Drill a 7/64 hole the rest of the way (you will now have a through hole
that is “stepped”)
Place a 1/8 ball bearing in the 9/64 hole
Place a small spring (like a ball point pen spring) into the hole so that
it lightly presses the ball against the step.
Pinch the rod in a vice (slightly) at the 9/64 end so that the spring is
trapped in the hole (or use crazy glue to secure the spring)
Using rubber hose, connect the 7/64 end to the exhaust port of a small
steam engine that is turned by the small electric motor. The 9/64 end would be
hooked up to another steam engine intake port…..this engine would run if
sufficient air was pumped through it.