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$2,352
pledged of $12,500pledged of $12,500 goal
19
backers
26days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, March 13 2019 11:05 PM UTC +00:00.

$2,352
pledged of $12,500pledged of $12,500 goal
19
backers
26days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, March 13 2019 11:05 PM UTC +00:00.

About

What do you get when you take a grizzled Aviation Professor with a lifetime of amateur woodworking experience, give him access to laser cutter, and ask him to make art?  Really awesome iconic engine inspired kinetic sculptures designed to hang on walls.  The first two models are ready for production, and are being introduced to the world in this Kickstarter.

www.MorrisModels.com

Prototype Radial Engine
Prototype Radial Engine

The first model I would like to introduce is a 7 cylinder radial engine.  It is inspired by the famous engines that powered Lindbergh across the Atlantic and America to victory in WWII. The art-deco styled cutaway (standard sized) is nearly 14 inches in diameter - large enough to look good hanging on most walls.  It is full of authentic working features - including a classic master and slave rod system.  The pistons and valves move accurately enough to be used as teaching aids in a University classroom.  When you spin the prop flange, you can clearly see how a three lobed cam plate can operate the valves to seven cylinders without missing a stroke.    The original prototype is shown below.

Only a few minor changes have been made since building the prototype.  The only change you will be likely to notice is that the numbers on the cylinders were reversed to go around the opposite direction.  The production models will have this and other tiny changes, and perform even better than the prototype.  Careful waxing during construction will make it sound less like a duck call.

The second engine model I would like to introduce is a V-Twin.  It is inspired by the legendary Harley Davidson (R) Sportster engines from the late 50's.  Legend has it that this engine is actually a radial engine with all but two of the cylinders stripped off.  This certainly makes sense, as the radial was still the powerplant of choice for bombers and airliners when this engine was introduced.  My representation prominently features four individually geared camshafts, a genuine blade and fork piston rod arrangement (like the Merlin engine in a P-51 Mustang), parallel valves, a cog-belt primary drive, and an operational three speed transmission that actually shifts.  

Prototype V-Twin Engine
Prototype V-Twin Engine

The V-Twin prototype engine also went together well.  The video below shows it running.  The only changes I have to make to it are the profiles of the pulleys between the engine and the transmission.  This is why the transmission is not moving in the video.  I have not been able to re-cut the pulleys, as the laser cutter is waiting for parts.  (See the challenges section).

If you would like to view the plans to build this engine, they can be downloaded here, or you can see them in video format here.  They are "PDF"ed in double size, so that that you can zoom in and see extreme detail.

By now, you should be aware that these are advanced kits.  They each feature hundreds of small and large parts, all of which have to be glued together and fitted.  You will have to trim, sand, and glue to tight tolerances if you want the engine to work when you are done. Assembling the engines requires attention to minute details such as timing marks that must be properly aligned.  Some of the gears must be glued to dowel rod shafts without allowing glue to touch any other parts.  This link shows a computer animation of the radial engine going together.

Half of the parts required to build the radial engine
Half of the parts required to build the radial engine

I do not recommend using a motor to spin these engines for more than a few seconds, as they do not have bearings and will wear out quickly.  It took me about 10 hours to assemble each of the the first prototypes.  

Finally, I am offering these kits in standard size (as shown in the videos) as well as in larger sizes.  You will be able to learn more about these and future kits at www.MorrisModels.com after this Kickstarter concludes.

Some of the sub-assemblies for the V-Twin
Some of the sub-assemblies for the V-Twin

Baltic Birch and Oak never looked so - technical.  If you like kinetic wall art and engines, please share this with your friends.  In order for these kits to be available to the public for affordable prices, we need to sell enough kits to buy a laser cutter.  Otherwise, the project will be cancelled.  This is a project that is bigger than any one person, so please share it with your friends!

I do need to give special thanks to Mike Flemming, who allowed me to cut the prototypes on his laser cutter.  Here he is with the the first partially punched cut plate. 

Risks and challenges

I have built working prototypes out of my engines, and have no issues with quality or functionality. Where I do have issues is with the laser cutter. I need to purchase a 80 watt plus unit in order to cut quickly and consistently through the plywood. Cheap made-in-China cutters cost about $3000. Good quality made-in-USA models that meet my needs are closer to $12,000. I hope to buy used, but that may not be possible or practical, and that is the reason for the high cost of the kickstarter.

The next risk I face is the ability to complete the kits. Each kit I make will take a little over two hours on the laser machine. I will have to pace myself to maintain my real job while I fill orders. If the machine I buy breaks down, this could farther delay order fulfillment. I have given myself several extra months to allow time for multiple break-downs and repairs.

My final challenge is to supply the non-laser cut parts. Each model requires a few "bits and bobs" that will need to be purchased in bulk. These include valve springs, the V-twin belt, and a few fasteners. It also includes a complex stepped shaft in the V-twin transmission. All of these will have to be gathered or fabricated. Again, this is part of why the time frame to fulfill orders is as long as it is.

Let me finish by assuring people that I am no "spring chicken" - I have a long history of fulfilling orders and packaging and shipping items all over the world. If this Kickstarter is fully funded, you will receive your product on time, and probably early.

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    $10 Gift Certificate

    You think the world needs Kinetic Wall Art, and you can't wait to see what models launch next. (I'm working on a Flat Flathead, and scheming about an American 4-4-0.) For each gift certificate you buy, you get a $10 gift certificate to spend at the future "Morris Models" web store when you see fit. Certificates are valid for up to 5 years, and can be spent on any models offered at the store. There is no limit on how many you buy, but they cannot be used to pay for shipping and handling and they cannot be used to reduce store item prices by more than 50%. These will not be usable until after all models purchased through the Kickstarter Campaign have been shipped (hopefully by August, 2019).

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    Rotating Assemblies for Both Engines

    You have heard that the Harley Engine is really a radial engine with all but two of the cylinders removed. Show the world why your opinion on the matter is right! Get parts to build the Radial Engine Crankshaft, Master Rod, and one piston. Also get parts to build the V-Twin Engine Crankshaft, Fork Rod, Blade Rod, and two pistons. All cut from 0.125 (3 mm) Baltic Birch plywood in standard size - the same as shown in the videos.

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    Double Sized Rotating Assemblies

    Size does matter! Get parts to build the Radial Engine Crankshaft, Master Rod, and one piston. Also get parts to build the V-Twin Engine Crankshaft, Fork Rod, Blade Rod, and two pistons. All cut from 0.25 (6 mm) Baltic Birch plywood at 200% the size shown in the videos.

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    Standard Radial Engine Kit

    The half priced kits are gone, but we still have 33% discounts available. This is a standard 7 cylinder radial engine kit cut in 0.125" (3 mm) Baltic Birch plywood, and it builds the same engine as seen in the videos.

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    Standard V-Twin Engine Kit

    The half price kits are already claimed, but we still have 33% off kits available. This is a standard V-twin engine kit cut in 0.125" (3 mm) Baltic Birch plywood, and it builds the same engine as seen in the videos.

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    Pre - Buy Radial Engine Kit

    Still offered at a Kick Starter Discount off the list price of $150. This is a standard 7 cylinder radial engine kit cut in 0.125" (3 mm) Baltic Birch plywood, and it builds the same engine as seen in the videos.

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    Pre - Buy V-Twin Engine Kit

    Still offered at a discount over the list price of $150. This is a standard V-twin engine kit cut in 0.125" (3 mm) Baltic Birch plywood, and it builds the same engine as seen in the videos.

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    Both Kits Discounted

    The early bird price for both kits isn't available any more, but you can still claim a discount. This is a standard 7 cylinder radial engine kit cut in 0.125" (3 mm) Baltic Birch plywood, and it builds the same engine as seen in the videos. It is also the standard V-Twin engine kit, cut in the same materials.

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    Assembly Service (Kit not included)

    You really want one of these models, but you don't think you can assemble the kit. As we have demonstrated, we can. This is for a standard sized kit only, and includes upgraded shipping to make sure it arrives in one piece. Limited availability. Do not order without also ordering a standard sized single model kit.

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    Double Sized Radial Engine Kit

    The same radial engine kit as shown, except that the parts are cut at 200% scale in .250 inch (6 mm) Baltic Birch plywood. Makes the engine kit go from 14" in Diameter to 28" in Diameter. Note that the assembly videos and instructions will be the same as for the standard sized models. You will have to adapt.

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    Double Sized V-Twin Engine Kit

    This is the same V-twin engine kit cut in 0.25" (6 mm) Baltic Birch plywood, making a double sized engine and transmission. This makes the engine larger than life, at about 27 inches tall by 37 inches long. The piston bore and stroke go from a delicate 2 inches each up to a whopping 4 inches each. Note that the instructions file will be the same as the normal sized one - you will have to adapt.

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    Tripple Sized Radial Engine Kit

    The same radial engine kit as shown, except that the parts are cut at 300% scale in .375 inch (9 mm) Baltic Birch plywood. Makes the engine kit go from 14" in Diameter to 42" in Diameter - nearly the size of a WWII Wasp Jr. Note that this kit will need to be cut into additional parts in order to ship for affordable prices. This will include a supplemental page of instructions along with the standard sized kit assembly instructions.

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    Monster Sized Radial Engine Kit

    The same radial engine kit as shown, except that the parts are cut at 400% scale in .5 inch (12 mm) Baltic Birch plywood. Makes the engine kit go from 14" in Diameter to 56" in Diameter - significantly larger than real life. Note that this kit will need to be cut into additional parts in order to ship for affordable prices. Ideal for museums, restaurants, etc, where it can be hooked to a visitor-operated crank handle to make an interactive display. This will include a supplemental page of instructions along with the standard sized kit assembly instructions.

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    Early Bird Radial Engine Kit

    You are one of the lucky few to get the kit at half price. This is a standard 7 cylinder radial engine kit cut in 0.125" (3 mm) Baltic Birch plywood, and it builds the same engine as seen in the videos. See item descriptions for more details. Includes link to building videos and instructions, both in American English.

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    Early Bird V-Twin Engine Kit

    You are one of the lucky few to get the kit at half price. This is a standard V-twin engine kit cut in 0.125" (3 mm) Baltic Birch plywood, and it builds the same engine as seen in the videos. See item descriptions for more details. Includes link to building videos and instructions, both in American English.

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    Early Bird Both Kits

    Even if the other early bird kits are gone, you can still get the same price if you buy both kits at half price. This is a standard 7 cylinder radial engine kit cut in 0.125" (3 mm) Baltic Birch plywood, and it builds the same engine as seen in the videos. It is also the standard V-Twin engine kit, cut in the same materials.

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