Working glass steam engine

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Glassblower Michal Zahradník built a working, blown glass model of George Stephenson's steam engine. I don't know anything about glass blowing, but I'm guessing that was no mean feat. Below are comments that accompany the YouTube video:

  • The crankshaft is glass. The piston is glass. The counterweight that makes the wheel spin evenly is glass. Imagine that everything is made out of glass.
  • There are no sealants used. All is accomplished by a perfectly snug fit. The gap between the piston and its compartment is so small, that the water that condensates from the steam seals it shut!
  • Notice the elaborate excessive steam exhaust system next to the piston.
  • The piston is the most arduous part to make due to to extreme level of precision needed. Its parts have to be so accurate that no machinery is of use here. The piston and its cylinder must be hand sanded to perfection, and they are very likely to crack in the process! On average, three out of four crack.
[via Bored(ish)]


    Knucklehead said...

    I am always fascinated by glass blowing. Creating fine blown glass is no mean feat. This machined, however, is far beyond that. This is a clear case of a master's work.

    ambisinistral said...

    Yea, that is one of the most absolutely amazing things I've ever seen. I can't even begin to imagine how it was created.

    I've never visualized a steam engine as being fragile until I saw that clip.

    OMMAG said...

    That is truly a thing of beauty...

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