One good thing about the engine: two of the gaskets are quite good.
May 22, 2017 7:30 AM   Subscribe

Spend twelve soothingly critical minutes with English engine enthusiast Keith Appleton as he tears down, and explains the issues with, a small steam engine. Lots, lots more on his website,
posted by cortex (8 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
That accent... old technology... making broken things work... this is like video xanax for me.
posted by gwint at 8:25 AM on May 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

It's lovely. You will never hear somebody so reassuringly annoyed with poor craftsmanship, nor so calmly angry about what passes for quality control these days.

I've never been in Yorkshire in England, but I've had the pleasure a couple times of being in the company of mechanics and engineers so unflappable that I have to hang on their every word to grok the severity of the problems they're discussing. And frankly it's a demeanor that more people (self included, I'll freely admit) should aspire to -- we don't have to run around screaming half as much as we do when that energy could've been put to use fixing the things.
posted by ardgedee at 9:03 AM on May 22, 2017 [5 favorites]

I don't know who started the trend around here of "posting videos of people with interesting accents and lots of knowledge taking things apart" but let's please have lots more of it.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:29 AM on May 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

This is the best thing.
posted by 1adam12 at 12:19 PM on May 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

How is this so boring yet so incredibly fascinating at the same time?
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:37 PM on May 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Wow, no wonder he didn't care to specify the "internet auction site we all know and love."

But I don't get why, after pointing out all the parts of two different paint colors and the disparate drillings of the cylinder heads, he didn't come right out and say it was a Frankenstein's monster, reassembled from parts of at least two dead engines and badly reanimated.
posted by jamjam at 3:52 PM on May 22, 2017

That accent... old technology... making broken things work... this is like video xanax for me.

I get the same feeling viewing videos on the repair and assembly of the tiny self-contained universe that is a mechanical watch.

Even if for just a brief while, everything is ordered and in its rightful place, with ambiguity and moral relativism and compromise not merely absent but blissfully irrelevant.

Then, when the balance wheel fires up and everything starts turning as it should, and the tiny self-contained universe comes to life,... sigh. :)
posted by Pouteria at 7:00 AM on May 23, 2017

This was a nice find after recently watching mrpete222/tubalcain's latest series of building a Stuart Progress steam engine model from raw castings. He made it pretty clear that to arrive at a working model you really need to be wearing a machinist's hat, and be very careful with certain dimensions. It echos a lot of what was mentioned in this video, specifically the folly of "if it binds, just run it in." I'm guessing that that's the story behind most of these auction finds, that someone attempted a kit build that was above their current skill level and the result was not pretty.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:55 PM on May 23, 2017

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