Who are these strange fellows?

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Manbench Industries; Purveyors of general mayhem since 1994, a blog to follow the crazed, possibly deranged projects and emotive musings, of an undergraduate engineer, and an apprentice organ builder who have always felt they were born in the wrong age. Follow us as we, re-write history, learn lost skills, discover strange new worlds, break things, rant at things, mend things, make new things and generally find ways of passing the day instead of doing "proper work" !

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Stirling Engine II

Had a chance today to put all the Solidworks drawings into the laser cutter...and this popped out...

I made the holes in the supports undersized for a tight press fit for the roller bearings I am using.

I am taking it home this weekend to manufacture the displacer and power cylinder, so disassembled it, leaving me with a flat pack hot air engine!

The Engineer.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Stirling Engine

Been quite busy with other things recently, but thought I had better post something, a university project for a change.

Since the start of the course, we have been working on a design for an eco-friendly boat (not by choice...don't get me started on the lack of interesting engineering occurring these days!) and have elected to go for a bio-gas powered Stirling engine as our main power source with waste heat recovery from a thermo-couple. Anyway, we have a presentation day towards the end of the year where we set up a stand, we get marked and visitors from industry come and view our design proposals. It was decided we needed a working Stirling engine on the table!

Here at MBI, we aren't big fans of planning our projects, but with the laser cutter at my disposal, some degree of planning had to be done! I started doing the frame components in Solidworks for putting into the laser cutter - it's not a proper assembly of components, there are no axles or bearings and the cylinders are missing, but as these will be made by hand, I didn't draw them! The assembly was really just to check all the tabs and cut outs lined up correctly.

The Solidworks drawings should be fed into the laser cutter tomorrow, and a kit of parts for a Stirling engine should come out!

The Engineer.

Friday, 15 February 2013

An iMEADiate success?

Ayup chiefs the mead is done!! The good news being it doesn't taste half bad, it's not an overly sophisticated flavor I'll admit, but what can one expect for a bung-it-in-a-jar beginners recipe. It has some depth of flavor to it, you can deffinatly taste the orange that went in, as well as that classic mead taste.

Overal a great success me rekons! Some nice bottle labels and heat shrink caps finished off the job nicely. I think I may make two batches next time!

May your belly be warm and your flagon empty, until next time...

The carpenter.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Unusual Methods of Clamping VI

Another thrilling instalment in the Unusual Methods of Clamping Saga!

This was mending some pirate themed chess pieces, of which I'd managed to break the bases off. I'll admit now, sadly not through hardcore chess playing, The set is really more of an ornament in my room, and I think I dropped a wheel I was carrying on it...

Anyhow, I stuck the bases back on with some industrial strength super glue, and employed this cunning balancing act to hold them in place for the few moments until the glue had fully cured.

Long story short, these guys have returned to pillaging the oceans the ornamental chess set, and we all enjoyed another Unusual Methods of Clamping story! Smiles all round. 

The Carpenter. 

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The 'New-kulele' Saga p1.

Heres something KOolis acquired recently, and will be on the Manbench for a nice restoration once a few ongoing projects and work get off it....

This is a 'Dulcetta' Banjolele, circa 1910. Ill do some more research as work commences on the instrument, as well as add some posts of the work itself, and it should be a nice example come the end. I dont actually know how to play the ukulele but I'm sure I'll pick it up once this is in playable condition!

The Carpenter

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Emma I - A Memorial

It's been over a year now since we lost our trusty workhorse Emma I, and whilst Emma II has proved a worthy supplement, MBI will never forget the charm and all round fun of the Emma the first.

From her humble beginnings in "red and rust", we soon transformed her to a noble military beast.

Sadly her age caught up with her, and when disaster struck I couldn't spend the time to repair her myself, or afford to pay for someone else to. Still hopefully she can now bring someone else the joy she brought us.

Emma I was a noble and reliable workhorse for us at MBI serving as transport for our ridiculous projects on a number of occasions! Many a good time spent in her, as well as tinkering with her. (hopefully that doesn't sound too weird!)

 A moment of silence to remember a truly great friend.

She was the boy. Chief. 

The Carpenter.

Friday, 1 February 2013

What do cows listen to, ... MOOsic!

Something I've been messing about with in the odd five minutes I've had free here and there, a little new music, some interesting themes in this!

The Carpenter.