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Old 11-07-17, 03:16 PM   #1
Georgineer
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Default The Boy's Own Model Gas Engine

As I said in the New Members' thread, I have a long-standing ambition to build one of these. It was the subject of a series of five articles published in the Boy's Own Paper in 1895, lavishly illustrated with engravings, and a drip-feed of further information in the correspondence columns as late as 1899 (though I have read as far as 1902 to make sure I haven't missed anything...).

It was described as being much smaller than any other practical engine on the market, and was an original design by HF Hobden, who contributed many practical projects to the BOP. It was designed to be made entirely on a 3 1/2" back-geared lathe with a gapbed. A set of castings was available for the sum of 2 10s, and a full-size working drawing was available for a further five shillings. Oh, how I wish I could find a copy! I'd gladly give seven-and-six for it, in real money too.

Briefly, the specification was:

Power: 1/8 H.P.
Bore: 1 1/2"
Stroke: 2 7/8" (though later given as 2 13/16" and 2 3/4")
Flywheel: 10" diameter, 13 lb weight
Ignition: hot tube
Inlet valve: automatic, located in air and gas valve
Exhaust valve: in centre of cylinder cover; lever operated by a reduction gear.

[to be continued]
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Old 11-07-17, 04:03 PM   #2
danthetangye
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I'm sure someone with a better memory will recall for definite, I think that this series was reproduced in the Stationary Engine magazine several years ago.
A set of Tom Senior castings from the Engineers Emporium would be a good starting point.
Dan

Last edited by danthetangye; 11-07-17 at 04:04 PM. Reason: Another thought!
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Old 11-07-17, 05:50 PM   #3
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I definitely remember that Dan, it was some time ago but I can't find it in the indexes up to end 1997 (the last time a collected index was published I think).

NHH
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Old 11-07-17, 08:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danthetangye View Post
I'm sure someone with a better memory will recall for definite, I think that this series was reproduced in the Stationary Engine magazine several years ago.
A set of Tom Senior castings from the Engineers Emporium would be a good starting point.
Dan
It's interesting to learn that the BOP articles have already been re-published; that would explain why so many enthusiasts I speak to have heard of it but never seen one! As you may guess, I already have the originals, but I would be most interested to read any discussion or further information that resulted from re-publication. Thanks Nick for trying to track them down.

I looked at the Tom Senior castings at the Engineers' Emporium, but they are for a very different machine, and it's the BOP engine I particularly want to build. However, I have fired off an e-mail to them to see if they have any castings in an unidentified pile somewhere. I suspect that small stationary engines are the equivalent of the bird-watcher's 'Little Brown Job' (or LBJ) - small, numerous and difficult to identify, but I shall keep looking. In the meantime I'm preparing working drawings to create my own replica.

George

Last edited by Georgineer; 11-07-17 at 08:31 PM. Reason: added a bit
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Old 11-07-17, 08:32 PM   #5
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Early small power open crank engines are not that numerous and always seem to fetch strong money despite the indifferent build quality of many. You are right about the difficulty in identification though - many different casting sets sold by even more retailers plus builders with a tendency to go 'off-piste' to incorporate their own ideas!

NHH
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Old 11-07-17, 10:35 PM   #6
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The articles in the SE magazine on the subject of the "Boys Own Paper" engine can be found in Issue 369 (Dec 2004) Page 5, Issue 415 (Oct 2008) page 14 and Issue 425 (Aug 2009) Page 10. Can't find any "serialised" articles.
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Old 12-07-17, 07:02 AM   #7
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The Boys Own series was run in 1984/5 I think. No idea of the issue numbers though.

Dazzla
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Old 12-07-17, 07:36 AM   #8
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Re my comments in the 'Newbies introduce yourself section' did anyone else see the early gas engine sold on ebay about 18 months ago that looked almost identical in design to the Boys Own Engine - or did someone on here buy it?
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Old 12-07-17, 11:46 AM   #9
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Found them!!! Serialised in Issues 122 to 126 (April to August 1984) under the heading "Small Power Engines".
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Old 12-07-17, 11:54 AM   #10
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Well done Charles - I looked under model engine, gas engine and boy's own - but nto 'small power'! Am I right in also thinking it mentions the Petter connection or perhaps that was in one of the later ones?

NHH
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