[OT] Just finished my first lathe turning

I'm just beginning to understand why the turners seem so enthusiastic.
It's not wood, but it came out right the first time!
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Projects/Stirling/InlineV1.html
Photos at bottom of page.
Next up: learning to braze with an oxy-acetylene torch...
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Much like soldering. Distribute the heat where it needs go and the (fluxxed) braze will flow nicely Don't tough the tip to the work! ; ) In my (limited) experience, the faster you get it done, within reason, the better it will look. Incidentally, in one related experiment I did, I noticed the heat caused the the garage floor to disintegrate. That happened 30 years ago, but I suspect garage floors haven't changed that much! :) Probably you already know all this, but I enjoyed writing about it. Have fun!
Bill

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On 5/5/2010 7:51 PM, Bill wrote:

I've watched a number of YouTube videos, and it does look much like soldering. My plan was to hold the long tube vertical in my vise and braze the brass fitting into place - then, before it could cool, stack on the short tube and braze that to the top of the brass fitting. Then, after everything had cooled to room temperature, add the cap to the top of the short tube and braze that in place.
Actually, I hardly know anything at all about what I'm doing - and AFAIK no one has ever built a pump engine like this before. It's a great adventure. If it works as expected, the next version will be solar powered with an operating temperature ~1000°F.
The shop floor will remain safe for a little while longer. :)
Thanks for the speed advice - and for the warning about concrete!
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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The melting point of brass is about 1700 degrees and that of stell is about 2700 degrees (see http://www.muggyweld.com/melting.html ).
That makes your brazing problem much more delicate, I think, than the ones I worked on. You will use a brass brazing rod of course, and I'm sure you will practice with the material before you apply the heat to your good one. Alot like me and my M&T joints..! : )
Bill

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On 5/6/2010 3:19 PM, Bill wrote:

I'm planning to do my practice after the fact. My SO's grandson's father-in-law has offered to let me watch while he demonstrates how it's done.
I'll take along a second set of parts so that I can build a second engine under his supervision.
I figure that all except one of 'em will be beautiful. ;-)
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Pardon my ingorance (even after checking Wikipedia), but just what does an in-line fluidyne engine do? And what's the action of the solar component? Heatin' stuff up?
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On 5/6/2010 6:21 PM, Steve wrote:

A fluidyne is a Stirling cycle (heat) engine whose only moving parts are a gas and a fluid. Previous fluidynes were configured with three vertical water columns, and one of these provides an alternating pressure - typically higher than atmospheric for half of the cycle and lower than atmospheric for the other half of the cycle.
The short answer is that they alternately suck and blow.

Yuppers. Any source of heat will do, but I like solar heat because it's really, really inexpensive. Stirling engines operate on a temperature differential between a "hot head" and a "cold head".
Stirling cycle engines also operate in reverse. If you apply mechanical energy instead of heat, they operate as heat pumps and one part of the engine will get cold while another gets hot.
If you visit http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Projects/Stirling/ and click on the globe image, you can see photos and videos of some of these things working (and sometimes not working).
The in-line fluidyne is my attempt to eliminate two of the three water columns and most of the plumbing to make the engine easier and less expensive to build, and substantially more efficient in operation. My goal is an engine that performs the conversion from heat energy to mechanical energy with better than 50% efficiency...
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Morris Dovey
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I understand the heating part of it, but what provides the cooling? Increasing pressure should just heat things up further (if I remember how Superman turned coal into diamonds), right?
BTW, that parabolic mirror is impressive!
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On 5/6/2010 11:41 PM, Steve wrote:

The cold head is air cooled - so heat is dissipated by convection and radiation.
The temperature, pressure, and volume behavior is described at "Modeling fluidyne behavior"; and pressure is relieved by displacing water (increasing the volume occupied by the air).

Thanks - it works fairly well. The next one will have the mirror turned 90° so that the trough will be ~88" wide and only 48" long - which will allow using the 48" focal tube as the hot head of the engine and should boost the input temperature to somewhere around 1100°F.
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Morris Dovey
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…thereby providing plenty of hot water for long, liesurely showers (provied the cold keeps flowing!).
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How big is that little metal lathe ???
Morris Dovey wrote:

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On 5/6/2010 3:13 PM, Pat Barber wrote:

It's the HF 7x10 (identical to same size from Griz, etc)
If you're thinking of buying a small lathe and can afford to spend just a little bit more (I couldn't), this 7x14 looks like a better buy:
http://www.micromark.com/MICROLUX-7X14-MINI-LATHE,8176.html
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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There are a number of suppliers of the 7x14 (sometimes referred to as the 7x12 - it depends on the method of measurement) and they are sourced from two manufacturers in China, Seig and Real Bull. There are also a lot of tweaks and improvements that can be made. A good site to check out is: http://www.littlemachineshop.com /
Also:
http://www.toolsandmods.com/ralph-patterson.html
Also it's well worth signing up to the minilathe mailing list:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/7x12minilathe (Moderated)
Warning! Tool fever affects those involved with machine tools at least as much as it affects woodworkers :-)
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Yes there is a great feeling of euphoria when you turn your first piece - and the second piece, and.....
There's also the realisation that you can now do a lot of things you couldn't do before but wanted to. All sorts of things in an around the home/workshop/garage where you think "I can solve this problem by just turning up one of 'these'"
You're hooked!
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