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Feedback from customers who have built a Watt's Engine.

14/09/11                                                From Tim (UK) - the first recipient of the new Watts Engine Kit

John - 
 Today a working Watts Engine.  -  not completed but running on puff and compressed   air - a bit erratic but more timing work to come.  very nice action (admired by several family members - which is not always the case!)
I have to be away for a few weeks so here are some interim notes and comments.
It has taken about 50 hours to this point plus a few for reading/thinking. Very enjoyable work. I certainly needed a small pillar drill (Sieg X0) . At my advanced age drilling 1mm and 2.4mm in 3.2 stock freehand  is  a non starter!  (I suppose a jig might make this possible)
Congratulations John - a very interesting and well presented kit.  I look forward to more work on it on October.  I will let you know any final thoughts on completion.
Very best wishes


John -

Many thanks for your reply and comments.
I am back home after some Lake District walking. Usually I  am not allowed to take any engineering stuff away with me, but I smuggled in the Watts Engine instructions and did a bit more reading.  As a result on getting back I quickly did some fine tuning and had the engine running very well on a bicycle pump and small air reservoir.
So well that I was reluctant to disassemble.  So I did some rather limited painting and  finished construction. (Also as the wood stain was rather darker than I meant I did not want much more black paint. I know the brass finish is unrealistic  but the contrast looks good.)
One  final construction comment - a small one.   The  Governor drive belt is a nice component, but I could not get a working grip on the small pulley so resorted to a black rubber band. Not very elegant but works OK.
So -  again  - many congratulations.  A good kit.  Enjoyable to build, set up and watch.   I expect you are fed up with seeing  the engine by now  but I enclose a pic which shows simple pressure drive system.  (I have  a small compressor somewhere   which should do for  display, not to mention some steam)
A final (selfish) question.  What have you got planned now?!
Very best wishes

Tim's Model with Bike Pump and Reservoir attached.

22/10/11 - From C.M. Asselbergs ( Netherlands)

dear Mr. Whitehouse,
I am happy to tell you that my engine is a joy to build. The appearance is awesome and nostalgic and the quality of the materials is OK. 

It is not yet completely finished but running nice and even for two days and nights now on a ordinary aquarium air pump (tetratec APS 400) at 1,3 PSI (!!!!). I put a empty shampoo bottle in the hose to dampen the pulsating airstream. To make it run at such a low pressure, including the governor,

I made the following changes: I made a articulating coupler between the piston rod and the parallel movement to remove any left binding on the piston rod, piston and m6 cylinder head screw. The beam I balanced with 18 gram on the parallel movement side. I polished all the moving parts, especially the flywheel axle and bearings with copper polisch. I used a scale to set the valves wich is more accurate than just feeling. Also I had a few alterations on the flywheel side because the planet wheel has a tendency to wobble. I lubricated everything with a drop of clock oil wich is somewhat tougher but does not attract dust. For my own fun I converted the condenser in such a way that the engine now produces the typical hissing of a steam engine.Next week I will disassemble everything to complete the work.


Although I am very happy with my engine I would like to make the following remarks. The materials are just enough to make the engine but leave no room for making extra parts in case of mistakes. There are no extra screws in case of a loss (where is that damn grub screw?). I did not like the pulley wheels so I made other ones from some scrap material. the use of shrink tubing in the valve gear and parallel movement make me shudder of grief so a made brass bushings.
the bolts of the bearing blocks I did not tighten but the nuts are locked with locktite


I hope I am not annoying you with this long Email and wish you very much success with this nice kit.
with regards, c.m. asselbergs