A Ghost From A Christmas Past

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Vic, Dec 20, 2003.

  1. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    This really has nothing to do with trains but just thought that I would share it with my friends here.

    The picture below is a REBI "Flame Licker" Hot Air Engine. It was made in Germany shortly after WWII. It works on the same principle as a Sterling Hot Air Engine. It was a present to me from old St. Nick more years ago then I care to remember. It was one of those things from my childhood that got "tucked away" but sadly in a bad state of disrepair.

    Now, thanks to the advice of a gentleman in Oklahoma who is a professional restorer of rare toys I have been able to return it to running condition. Would you belive the parts I needed came from a John Deere grain drill :eek: :D :)

    Now that it's running a good cleaning is next and on the mantel it goes to enjoy for another 60 years!!!


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  2. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Pic #2

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  3. Vic

    Vic Active Member

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  4. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    A lovely machine Vic ... but you haven't told us how it works!:confused: :confused: :)

  5. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Very interesting! But what does it do????
  6. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Lord Errol, Don't ask me what time it is....I'll tell you how to build a clock!!!:D :D :D

    Essentially, Heat from an alcohol burner is sucked into the engine by an expanding and contracting bellows which is linked to a flywheel which in turn by means of a cam opens and closes a valve which allows a partial vacumn to be created and then exhausted thus creating a reciprocating motion by other linkage back to the flywheel. As long as the heat source remains in place the action is repeated over and over at about 250 RPM.

    Do a Google search on Sterling Engines....I think they were invented in Scotland or somewhere close by.

    Now what time is it??:D :D :D :D

    Take Care My Friend!!!:) :thumb:

    Tyson....It don't do nothing but go round and round and go pop, pop,pop!!!:D :D It was one of those "educational toys":D Actually there were some little minature machines such as a saw, generator, drill press, and etc that you could power with it.:thumb:
  7. belg

    belg Member

    Vic I enjoyed your post and just wanted to add that if your looking for the best price if you ever sell it I believe it would be best left in ORIGINAL condition. Maybe check with your toy friend I believe this is true for toys as well as antiques. Pat
  8. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hey Pat and thanks for your input on the matter of cleaning the motor. We already discussed that and apparently in the world of rare and antique toys cleaning is acceptable as long as one doesn't add to or take away from the orginal. Such things as repainting or refinishing puts something like that in the class of a "restoration". Apparently the fabrication of a needed mechanical part from something else is OK too provided such a part is not available any other way and you are "up front" about it.

    Good Heavens!!....Do I see another hobby on the horizon?....I got too many as it is:eek: :D ;)
  9. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    Neat Vic, another entry into 'how things work'. Hmmm, if the flywheel drives the bellows does it need to be 'kick started', given a shove to get it going?

    Now I find it hard to believe that you haven't built something for that little engine to drive. Surely you could transfer that power, by whatever reduction needed, to animate some other antique toy or some other device of mechanical amusment. ;) :D

    Keep that alcohol burner away from the greens on the Christmas mantle..lol
  10. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    HI, TBGF, You hit the nail on the head!:D You have to give the flywheel "a flip" to start it. There's no piston inside of the cylinder, its simply a chamber for the collection of the heat.

    Actually, I'm wheeling and dealing right now on some of the original little machines that the engine was designed to run.

    I may be getting into this too deep!!!!:eek: :D :thumb:
  11. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Vic, this is an interesting little machine. Thank you for showing it to us! :thumb:

    Are there still such scientific toys around today? I don't remember to have seen something like that in the toy shops, not even before Christmas. Everything is computers, computers, computers today (or Barbies :rolleyes: )

    As a kid I had a stationary steam engine which also never got above the state of simply going-round-and-round all by itself.
    One of my cousins had a weird colored wheel which gave sort of psychedelic effects when turned, and he had a model of a windmill, too. Both were thought to be powered with such a steam engine. But he powered them with a Meccano windup motor - and he would NEVER lend me those gadgets. :mad: :curse: :mad:

    Vic, how about powering a sawmill on a logging layout? :D

  12. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Those little stationary engines are a treat to watch, especially hot air and steam...thank you for the pictures of your's. As for giving it something to do, how 'bout hooking it up to a 16v generator and running the layout off of it? Give it a siding marked for "REBI Power and Light" and -viola!- a new customer for your railroad.
  13. zeeglen

    zeeglen Member

    I remember having one of those too. fascinating watching that flywheel spin from the steam.

    Now if only a sterling engine could be built small enough to make a butane torch powered model loco.... did i hear someone say they are looking for another hobby?:D

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