SQUARE PISTON ENGINE

By Staff
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5444 Davison Road, Lapeer, Michigan 48446

As a hobby, I have collected and restored the old hit and miss
engines for many years. A few years ago, I saw some model engines
at an engine show and purchased a kit. I thought that these would
be easier to move around and handle while still allowing me to
enjoy the hobby that I have enjoyed for so long. After completing a
few of these kits, I built a couple of my own, completely from
scratch using the knowledge that I have acquired over the years of
the original hit and miss engines.

About two years ago, I got to thinking that if I could build a
model square piston engine that would actually run, I would have
something unusual and unique. So I set out to do just that and the
end product is what you see here.

One of my main concerns was how to get compression. I decided to
make four overlapping pieces to go around each piston to use as
rings. Then I put strings behind each segment to force them out
toward the cylinder wall. By doing this, I got the compression that
I needed to run the engine. The end result surprised me as to the
amount of compression that this gave me and how well the engine
runs. It runs just as well as the original hit and miss engines
with the round piston. I was so pleased with the end result, that I
proceeded to start making another square piston model, this one
having a 1/8 inch larger piston and a
different style. By the time this article is published, I should
have it completed.

I attend several of the engine shows in the Michigan area as
well as the show in Portland, Indiana. I am planning on having both
of these engines on display in the future, so I hope to see many of
you there.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines