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Published on Mar 17, 2010
The "first pop" of a model internal combustion engine is a big moment for the builder. In this case, over two years of work by builder Tom Boyer was put to the test. The build of this engine, which was designed by the late Jerry Howell, has been documented in still photos at www.CraftsmanshipMuseum.com/HowellV4.htm. The Internet Craftsmanship Museum is a project of the Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship, and Tom Boyer, a retired toolmaker and expert machinist is employed by the Foundation to host the museum and also build projects so visitors can see metalworking tools in action. With the exception of the cast intake and exhaust manifolds, the entire engine is machined from solid billet stock. The block is made from 7075 aluminum and has over 200 hours of machining time in it alone. The design is a V4 with fork and blade rods, built-up crankshaft, twin camshafts and overhead valves with exposed pushrods and rockers. It has a single carburetor and hall-sensor ignition with tiny sparkplugs by Rimfire. It displaces 30 cc. The radiator is machined from 8 pieces of 1/2" square brass stock with an upper and lower tank soldered to them. The first try on March 16th was technically a success, although run time was limited to about one second or so at a time. Tom spent that night going over each part of the engine in his mind, made a few minor adjustments the next morning and on the 17th it finally fired up for a good, continuous run. (This takes place at about the 2:30 mark of the video if you are in a hurry.) The founder, Joe Martin was present for the first pop on the 16th. Museum director Craig Libuse did the filming. The engine is now on display in the Craftsmanship Museum at 3235 Executive Ridge, Vista, CA 92081 and can be seen by visitors M-F, 9-4. Tom is always happy to start this engine and our first project, a 14 cc 4-cylinder in-line engine called the "Seal." The museum web site is www.CraftsmanshipMuseum.com.