Stationary steam engines were vital during the industrial revolution in the eighteenth century. They were vast machines, often two or more storeys high, that pumped water from mines or sewage systems, or they ran the machinery in factories such as mills. So they do a different job from steam traction or train engines, because they are stationary. Today, stationary models are smaller in size, but are still used for similar tasks such as pumping, or as generators in isolated areas.
Our members make small scale models of a variety of stationary model engines, and some of the models pictured here are linked to the Club YouTube site so you can see them in action.
The video on the right, as Steve Reeves explains, “Is some live footage of two of the engines in steam at AMRA exhibition this year. Note the vertical boilered engine, on the left, was built in Australia in the 1940s or 1950s. About 100 of these engines were made. It was give to me in bits by a member of the public many years ago at an AMRA exhibition, who saw my other engines running and thought it would made a good addition to our display.”
Stu Martyn, who built the engine pictured on the left says, “This video is of a somewhat modified type of oscillator engine that I have built. I saw a photograph of a similar engine where the oscillating of the cylinder was carried out, not by the varying angles of the oscillator piston and rod, but by an arrangement where the cylinder oscillation is carried out by connecting the cylinder via guide rods, to the crank. As the crank turns, it also causes the cylinder to rotate about it’s journal pin, via two guide rods.
Rather than using the normal idea of directing the steam at one end of the cylinder by strategically placed steam holes, as is usual practice for oscillators, I added a ‘D’ valve setup which has allowed me to make a double acting steam engine. Steam is fed into a valve box via a hollowed out journal which also allows the cylinder to swing about the journal’s axis. In the steam valve box, the steam is directed to either end of the cylinder by the ‘D’ valve. I also added an expansion link which enables me to drive the engine in either forward or reverse! The engine in the video is running on compressed air, but it works fine using steam.”
Pictured below, an example of a Mini Delux fabricated oscillating stationary model, which featured in The Australian Model Engineering magazine and was built by Steve Reeves in the 1980s.