Small engines, no, make that REALLY small engines, are so cool I just want to get a lathe and start turning metal. Of course, I haven’t done any machining so I would trash the casting in short order but there are a surprising number of web sites showing what time and lots of skill can do. Gasoline engines about 5 or 6 inches long, some even smaller, designed and built from scratch. That means they draw up the plans, some guys cast the metal, machine it and the result is a little marvel that runs.
I’ve come across a number of these sites and this one, Bob Shore Small Gas Engines, is an excellent example of the breed. He has several different models, some 4 stroke engines, some of the hit and miss variety, and all very tiny. Even the little spark plugs work just like the real thing and he’s even written a book on miniature coils and magnetos.
I wrote before about small radial engines which completely amaze me and this is one more group of guys out there with a fascinating hobby. I like it.