Before doing any cold fusion experiments, I thought I should experiment with some other forms of energy conversion. Since cold fusion results in excess heat, I thought I should build a simple steam engine first. I used modified plans from Professor Nial McCabe of the County College of Morris Engineering Tech Department, Randolph, N.J., found at the first website listed below.
(I modeled the engine using 3DS Max to make the animation above, see other animation experiments here.)
I made a piston out of a piece of copper pipe. To make the top of the piston, I cut a piece of pipe with tin snips, flattened it out on the anvil of my vise, soldered it to the copper pipe and sanded it smooth:
I drilled holes through it for a pin, made from scrap brass rod. The cylinder is a piece of iron plumbing pipe. I honed the inside of the cylinder with a drum-sander attachment on a drill press.
Here is the engine running on compressed air from a 12V auto tire compressor. It is very similar to Professor McCabe's Mark-Zee engine described here from his website:
I soldered brass washers or nuts to the crankshaft to keep the piston push rod and valve connecting rod in place. I added a bead of solder to the piston pin to keep the push rod in the center of the pin.
I wanted the engine to run on steam, so I made a boiler from parts in a kit by R. W. Machine, see the second link below. Click on the picture below to see a short Real Video of the engine running on steam.
See my second steam engine here.
Steam engine links:
http://npmccabe.tripod.com/steam.htm In the words of the website author, "these pages are designed to provide plans, ideas and inspiration to would-be steam engine enthusiasts."
http://members.iquest.net/~rwmachine/ This company sells model steam engine kits. They are very reasonably priced, but very simple in design. I bought the Factory Horizontal Mill Engine/Power Plant, used parts of it to make the boiler for my steam engine.
http://www.tinypower.com/engines.htm These are nice to look at. I didn't order anything from this company.