Month: June 2016

SAM Hit ‘n Miss Ep. 2

As I mentioned in Episode 1, this is not going to be a detailed build log, it will be a pictorial journey from the raw stock to the finished engines.

We started with the crankcase, as this is the central part of the engine.

SAM01 (800x600)SAM02 (800x599)SAM03 (800x579)SAM04 (800x635)

The cylinders where next.

SAM05 (759x800)SAM06 (800x600)

Having the crankcase completed, and the cylinder finished turned, we could already but the parts together to get an idea of how the engine will look like when finished.

SAM07 (800x598)

The work on the cylinders continues on the milling machine.

SAM08 (800x751)

In this operation, the cooling fins are relieved to make room for the governor weights.

SAM09 (800x600)

The cylinder and the cast iron cylinder sleeve are ready for assembly.

SAM10 (800x600)

The sleeve is an interference fit in the cylinder. Heating up the cylinder, to let it expand, the sleeve could be easily inserted.

SAM11 (800x748)SAM12 (800x722)SAM13 (800x791)

The last operation on the cylinder was to lap it to size. This will make an accurate cylindrical bore, and create a very smooth surface finish. To note is the cling film on the lathe bed, to protect it from any drips of the lapping compound.

SAM14 (800x600)

And to finish this episode; a picture of the lap we used. The slot and set screw allows it to be expanded to adjust for the increase in size of the bore while lapping, and to compensate for the wear of the lap itself.

SAM15 (673x800)


Thank you for visiting my shop.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.


SAM Hit ‘n Miss Ep. 1

In this project, I will feature two engines my brother and I build back in 2011. We built the engines in my brother’s shop in Switzerland during one of my visits. I was visiting for 10 days and we both felt it would make a great project to tackle together. My brother had asked for time off as well. That’s what I call spending quality time with my brother… In the workshop! Even though we spent a lot of time in the shop, there was plenty of time to sit with Mom and Dad and the rest of the family, at the kitchen table, chatting and drinking coffee.

We decided to build two engines at the same time so we both could have one.

As for the engine, we decided to build a vertical hit ‘n miss engine designed by Bob Shores, called Silver Angel. As always, there were a number of changes made to the design. The main change was an enlargement of the whole engine by about 25%. This gave us then, a bore and stroke of 24 mm and a flywheel diameter of 100 mm. I also incorporated other changes and simplifications throughout the engine, such as, changing the shape of the crank case, building up the crankshaft, and more… frankly too many to list and especially remember since it has been a while since the engines were built.

As the engine is called Silver Angel and we built it in metric, we named the engine SAM (Silver Angle Metric).

I modeled the engine in CAD earlier as I was teaching myself 3D CAD. This project offered lots of practice to learn the software.  Below are two CAD renderings.

SAM Assembly 1SAM Assembly 2

This will not be a build log as usual; we took pictures as we went along, and that’s what I will show here. I’ll be trying to put it into a build log format but there will be some gaps. I will call this series “Impressions of Building Two Engines”.

This was a very special project for both of us. It is one of those special memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life and I’m sure my brother feels the same way about it. Writing this blog and reliving those days brings it all back again.

In the next episode we’ll be start to make parts.


Thank you for visiting my shop.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you.


Harrison 10-AA Lathe

This is the story of how I ended up owning a Harrison 10-AA Lathe.

I purchased the machine trough an eBay auction. The listing was what I would call very poor, with a grainy, dark picture and no real description as of the condition of the machine. With that, the interest for the machine was rather small. It was also a big risk, as the condition could not be determined by the pictures in the listing. With the machine being in Connecticut, I wasn’t interested in driving all the way there to have a look and inspect the machine either. So I decided to roll the dice, and risk some money, knowing very well, that I might be buying a heap of rust and crud. But if the price is right, I felt it’s worth the gamble.

After the auction ended, I was a proud owner of Harrison lathe for the price of $600.-

When I arrived at the sellers shop to pick up the machine, and walk up to it, I felt my heart sink. What have I done? This looks awful!

Then, I started to look at the machine a bit closer. It was filthy! Covered in thick layer of crud, but hardly any rust. Well, there might be a lathe underneath after all.

This is a picture of the lathe, still on the trailer as I got it home:

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I spent the next few weeks scrubbing and cleaning. I disassembled some of the bigger parts to gain access.

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There was a lathe under all that crud after all.

The lathe put back together:

2013-10-18 17.04.45 (1024x768)2013-10-18 17.05.00 (1024x768)

I fabricated a splash guard, as the original one was missing. An Aloris BXA size quick change tool post was also mounted.

The lathe in its final position, ready to do work.

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I feel very lucky to have scored a very nice lathe for very little money.

For more information and the history of these lathes, see:


Thank you very much for visiting the shop.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.