I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Wednesday 13 October 2021


 A few years ago I posted about Tensegrity furniture. I worked and worked on them for a lassie that wanted a cast iron one making. Cast iron was a non starter as she had a budget of 3/6d and although easy on the eye she wasn't easy enough to persuade a foundry and machinists to create her a wobble table. She was doing a course in summat arty in Glasgow. I eventually persuaded her to do her design in ply wood, spend a week polishing and finishing it and it could not only look like cast iron but be good enough to get her first prize or whatever it is one gets at art college. She didn't win but was happy, I less so as I'd spent some of my decreasing brain cells pissing about on a non starter.

She polled up again about three weeks ago. She is now working for a company with a very posh laser cutter doing the instructions for it. She's grown up now and understands that all machines cost a fortune and have to earn their keep and they pay her a wage as a bonus. Being young she has been looking to set up a small shop in her dads shed to produce interesting things. She showed me this. It's a two stroke engine designed and built by a Dutch chap called Jan Ridders.

I was fascinated it sucks fuel at the top and exhausts at the bottom of it's stroke. Hardly efficient and neither is the evaporator carburettor but what attracted her was seeing it run in the dark. See from about 2' 30". I like it as an ornament. It has a glass cylinder and a graphite piston. She wants to design and make one that looks like a piece of jewellery for folk to start after a dinner on the table. She is going to find several problems. The first is that the glass has to withstand both thermal shock and high temperatures. Not a problem as borosilicate does this. The problem is getting tubing to tight internal tolerances. I'm working on it but when I tell manufactures I only want a metre they get a bit snotty. I guess that I'll have to diamond hone to fit. Fine unless the daft bat sells a hundred then I'll teach her to diamond lap cylinders.

She then said how do you make a spark plug. I replied you don't you buy them and make sure your design will accept the smallest available. I have made them but it's not cost effective.

On a different tack I fuelled up this morning at BP. 2p difference between the silly bio 10% fuel and proper stuff. I guess that car drivers have sussed that low MPG fuel is a waste of money and BP have cottoned on and still have proper petrol to sell. You can't beat them it's all 10p dearer than it was before they ran out..... Bastards they are and we never ran out here.

Have fun.


  1. Sounds like she's keen if nothing else. Perhaps she might like to have a go with an old Meccano set and a magneto.
    In the scramble to blame Brexit for the disappearance of 100,000 drivers one night in September the rise in Brent Crude has gone largely unnoticed. The lies of BP have been heralded as a triumph by Remainers and the BBC.

    1. Rachel, she is a master in the art of getting folk to do the work for her. A cheerful soul so most folk don't mind.
      That Brexit appears to have affected the whole world.

  2. Fascinating. Looks good. What is the fuel? Petrol or would something like Meths. On the safety angle (possible explosive fumes escaping) I don't think I would like to run one indoors but then I was always a belt and braces type who sees problems where that may be none.

    1. John, it will be a highly refined petrol, Coleman fuel as used in camping stoves would be fine. I wouldn't run it on fabric surfaces and having a fire extinguisher would be prudent.

  3. I remember how that girl kept you challenged for a couple of weeks. You loved every minute of it. Obviously she was happy with the results if she's back with another challenge for you. Have fun!!

    1. Pauline she works for a company I know so I see her from time to time. I can usually ignore her hairbrained schemes but this one I like. We'll see if anything comes of it.