The Double Scotch

by George Carlson

Rear View of Engine






In browsing through my copy of Elmer's Engines, by Elmer Verburg, I ran across a steam engine he named "Scotty". This engine used a scotch yoke to translate the reciprocating motion, of the piston to the rotary motion of the output shaft. The engine had a one single acting horizontal cylinder. A sliding support was necessary at the opposite end of the connecting rod from the piston. Another feature was that the crank-shaft was used as a rotary valve. A neat little engine, but we need MORE POWER. Instead of using a support for the connecting rod, this design uses another piston and cylinder. In place of the rotary valve, my design uses a spool valve driven by another scotch yoke. Two scotch yokes, one converting reciprocating to rotary, the second convert rotary to reciprocating, hence the name "Double Scotch".

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The engine is very smooth and will run on air as low as 1 PSI. Operation of the engine is simple. Air or steam is introduced through the INLET at the top center of the engine. The 3/16" passage-way through the FRAME ducts the steam to valves at each end of the engine. The disk of a valve either directs steam into the cylinder from the passage way, or releases steam from the cylinder into the atmosphere, at each end of the engine. Timing for the valve is generated by an eccentric on the backside of the flywheel.

Most parts of the "Double Scotch" are made from 6061 Aluminum. The ball bearing is quite small, 3/8" diameter with a 1/8" bore. A bushing made from bronze or brass would also work well. Notes for the construction of the "Double Scotch" are given below:

Construction Notes

  1. MAIN BEARING - Turn from brass or bronze. Bore or ream to fit available 1/4" drill rod.
  2. CYLINDERS - Two cylinders are made as opposites. The cylinder for the left side (facing the cylinders) is shown in the drawing. The cylinders are made from 6061 aluminum. The bore can be drilled then finished with an end cutting endmill to a depth of 1.062". The diameter is not real critical because the piston can be fitted later. The hole must be smooth, round, and have straight sides. The small hole used to allow steam into the top of the cylinder is first drill with a 3/32" drill bit to a depth about 0.030" full diameter. The 1/16" hole can now be drilled at an angle suitable to come through into the cylinder, just about center. This is not too critical. The two 4-40 threaded holes are drilled and tapped to a depth of 3/8".
  3. PISTONS - The pistons are turned from brass. They should be made after the CYLINDERS so that they may be made to fit. About 0.001 to 0.002 undersize is good. Cut a few shallow oil grooves in the outside of the piston to aid lubrication and sealing.
  4. CRANKSHAFT - The crank is made in two pieces then silver soldered together. The disk is made from mild steel, the shaft from drill rod. Make the disk a little thicker than final size to allow for facing after the silver soldering.
  5. FLYWHEEL - The flywheel is made from 2" diameter mild steel. Because part of the flywheel is the eccentric to operate the valves, it is not a good idea to use aluminum. Face the disk and layout the center of the flywheel and the eccentric. Place the blank in a 4-jaw and adjust to make the eccentric center runs true as well as the face. Cut the eccentric 0.500" diameter and .094 wide. Set the blank so the flywheel center runs true as well as the face. Cut the 0.031 step then drill and ream the 1/4" hole. Reverse the blank and make the cuts on the front side of the flywheel. These cuts are mainly cosmetic. Drill and tap the 6-32 hole for the setscrew.
  6. FRAME - The frame is made from 3/8 aluminum. The steam passage should be carefully drilled from each end with an under size drill bit, then reamed to 3/16 all the way through. The hole for the inlet is drilled and tapped to a convenient size. I used 1/4-32. A fine thread is necessary, 10-32 would work OK. Drill the other holes as indicated, be careful to locate them accurately.
  7. MAIN SCOTCH YOKE - This is a neat little part made from aluminum. The profile on the outside is not critical, but the inside dimensions and the shaft mounting seat are critical. The two 2-56 holes are drilled and tapped through.
  8. VALVE YOKE - Start out with a piece of aluminum 3/8" x 4" x 1 1/32" and cut away 90% of it. One tip: cut the part to thickness first, then cut the oval cutout, then cut the profile on the outside.
  9. PISTON ROD - Turn from 3/16 mild steel. Spot face the two holes for #2 socket head screws.
  10. SPOOL VALVE ASSEMBLY - This could be made from the solid, but it is much easier to make it up from a piece of 1/16" brazing rod and some small disks. Make the disks from brass 3/16" diameter, 3/32" thick, with a 1/16" hole in the center. Measure your 1/16 rod, mine was a bit smaller, so I drilled a little smaller hole in the disks. Use a piece of 1/16" brazing rod a little longer than what is needed. Soft solder one of the inside disks into place. Mark the shaft 3.125" from the first disk and solder the second disk. Use the VALVE YOKE to hold the 1/16" rod while the two end disks are soldered in place. The will help assure a snug fit from the yoke to the valves.
  11. CRANK SCREW - Make this small screw from drill rod or mild steel. Cut the 0.125" shoulder so that it will be a light press fit into the ball bearing. If you do not have a bearing, make one from brass on bronze. The dimensions are: 0.375" diameter, 0.156" thick, bore 0.125"+ for rolling fit.


Assembly Drawing


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