Building the Atkinson Differential Engine (SALE)


If you fancy something really different for your next project, you should consider this or the following book seriously. During the 1870s, manufacturers of IC engines, then in their infancy, were frustrated by the dominant position of the Otto 4-cycle engine and its associated patents. One of the few engineers to design engines which successfully avoided Otto’s patents was the Englishman James Atkinson who patented his “Differential Engine” in 1885. The unique feature of this engine, and his “Cycle” engine which followed it, was their ability to complete all 4 strokes (intake, compression, power & exhaust) in a single revolution of the crank with the whole operation taking place in one cylinder. Atkinson also managed to achieve what no other designer has done since: an expansion stroke double that of the intake. In this brilliant book, Vince Gingery not only describes in detail how to build a model of this fascinating machine, but also gives an insight into the mind of a largely forgotten Victorian genius. Like all projects from Vince (and his father Dave), it starts from basics and assumes you will make your own patterns. However, if you don’t want to do this, the pattern plans can be used to work from the solid - the largest item is the 9” diameter flywheel. You then get step-by-step descriptions of the machining and making of all components, and on setting the engine up to run. All Gingery books are good; buy this and start an intriguing project! 112 page large format paperback, crammed with drawings, sketches and photos. David J. Gingery Publishing. Pictures show a model built by John Crammond in Cumbria, as per book (he even melted the metal in Dave Gingery's 'L'il Bertha' furnace - the only alteration is the straight-spoked flywheel.