Plane Pieces’ drink coasters are a great gift for aviation enthusiasts. They’re made using authentic Pratt & Whitney gears from WWII radial airplane engines. Each one is encased in clear resin, surrounded with a machined aluminum outer ring, and has a protective bumper underneath. Sold individually, or in sets of four.
THE BEST Engines
Charged with moving the pistons in and out, a crankshaft is like the beating heart of an engine. While crankshafts need to be finished by machining, they start by forging and stamping steel, then twisting the molten metal to form the journals and counterweights that comprise this critical car part.
Old school Mazda fans will immediately recognize the Dorito-shaped rotor in the image here. For everyone else, what you’re looking at is an approximation of a Wankel rotary engine, built by LEGO machine maker Akiyuki. For a lesson on how the real engine worked, Car Throttle has a nice simple explanation.
Ian Jimmerson shows off an impressive wooden model he built that demonstrates the inner workings of a 9-cylinder radial engine, like the ones used on some older airplanes. It’s really amazing how stable it is as it gets up to speed. Check out his in-depth explainer videos here and here.
While stuck at home with some free time on his hands, car enthusiast Brian King aka AWDcutlass decided to rebuild a full-size GM LS V8 engine inside of a transparent acrylic shell. It’s pretty wild to see all the parts moving inside of it, and it looks especially awesome when he turns on the LED lighting. See Part 1 of the build here.
You could have a steam train, if you’d just lay down your tracks. Russian railroad enthusiast Pavel Chilin took Peter Gabriel’s advice literally, and built himself a working steam train engine that runs along a set of narrow-gauge tracks in his backyard. Additional footage here.
What you’re looking at here is a teensy, tiny, fully-functional steam engine that’s so small that its base is an old copper penny, and some of them have a flywheel made from a shilling coin. The miniature engine can run on steam or compressed air, and was built by Phil Gravett.
JohnnyQ90 shows off a sweet miniature gas-powered stirling engine. It’s powerful enough to spin a propellor to nearly 2,000 RPM, so keep your fingers away. While Johnny made the turbine fan, he’s quick to point out that you can buy the engine itself from Banggood.
Did you break the tip on your pencil again? You could go for one of those fancy mechanical pencils, or you could rig up a pencil sharpener like the one Giaco Whatever hacked together – using a 1000cc two-stroke engine to spin the sharpener up to speed.
After showing us what it takes to rebuild a couple of V8s, Hagerty Classic Cars captured the restoration of a V-Twin Ironhead engine from a 1957 Harley-Davidson XL sportster motorcycle. The time-lapse condenses what was surely days of work down to just 5 minutes.
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