Master (Cylinder)Engine Builder

By Staff
1 / 3
Donald Achen took a Dodge truck master cylinder and turned it into the beautiful Sandwich model shown. He says he uses kitty litter or oil dry in the cement mixer at shows.
2 / 3
The little Witte drag saw generates enough electricity to light up little bulbs in the light poles.
3 / 3
This Caloric hot air engine is fueled with propane and is mostly made of aluminum.

Once in a while, I can’t find a model casting
set I want to build. So instead, I’ll freelance one.

My Sandwich model started as a master cylinder from an old Dodge
truck. With a 1-1/2-inch bore, I sleeved it down to 1-1/8-inch,
fabricated a new aluminum piston and made a base from 1/4-inch flat
stock. The flywheels were left over from a Chanticleer (Jacob Haish
Co.) model. I take it to the shows belted to a model cement mixer
made out of an old hand drill. The tin cup had a glass bottom to it
that I broke out, and the inside has a nice taper to it, just like
a drum on an actual cement mixer. The legs are old typewriter keys,
and I also fabricated a little wheelbarrow to complement the whole

The Witte drag saw engine idea came from a photo I saw in Gas
Engine Magazine awhile back when I remembered a master cylinder
from about a 1949 Chevrolet car I had saved. The bronze flywheels
were old stock on hand and turned out about the right size. I
fabricated a crankcase from 1/4-inch flat stock, and the gears came
from a 1/3-scale model engine. These are made ahead about six sets
at a time on the milling machine and dividing head. When belted to
an electric motor, it makes enough electricity to light small bulbs
in the light poles.The bore and stroke on this engine is 1-by-1-1/2

The Caloric hot air engine came from Brad Smith (Franklin, Wis.)
castings and runs quite well off of propane and pumps a lot of
water. With a small diameter piston, long stroke and a well
designed burner, it puts out a lot of heat.

Contact gas engine enthusiast Donald Achen at: 28223 Highway 52,
Bellevue, IA 52031; (563) 872-4249;

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines