Since the 1930s Mamod has been producing a range of model steam engines and continues to innovate to this very day.
For years it has created a multitude of steam toys for its customer base satisfying all tastes. One of the products that made Mamod the company it is today is the SE4. This stationary model was one of the first ever to come off the Mamod production line and remains popular throughout the decades. While mobile engines will always be in the heart of many collectors, stationary engines are Mamod's bread and butter.
In full flow stationary engines are a sight to behold and generate a significant amount of power depending on the specific product purchased. Mamod makes a plethora of stationary models all with varying degrees of capability. They can form the basis of a workshop which collectors can put together and then spend hours perfecting.
So how can you get started with building your own workshop? Here is a guide to setting one up yourself.
Which engines should I choose for my stationary workshop?
Mamod has a range of engines that would be perfect for powering a workshop. Engines such as the SP8, SP6, SP5, SP5D and SP4 will all do a good job at running the workshop but if you want to go something more impressive then consider either the Showman's or Showman's Special engine.
The Showman's has long been a favourite for Mamod collectors and is a trusted option when setting up a workshop. The bigger piston and cylinder makes it simple for the engine to run and both of these can be be increased for 8mm to 9mm to help increase power.
For those of you wanting an upgrade on the Showman's then why not try the Showman's Special? This is the perfect engine for running a workshop however the flywheel on this engine only has one groove. This means that it is only capable of running one drive band at a time, either the dynamo or the workshop.
While any of these engines would be perfect for running a workshop, this capability is simply beyond the SP2 which does not have the power to operate a workshop.
What do I need for setting up a stationary workshop?
There are numerous workshop tools available through Mamod which you can pick up to get started. The company stocks grinders (£63), hammers (£63), polishing mops (£63) and power presses (£63) while full Mamod workshop are priced at £114.75. You can also opt for ferris wheels and fairground items, pulleys and cranes and even musical instruments.
But how do you put all these parts together?
With many Mamod workshops the parts come pre-assembled so there is no need for screwdrivers, all you'll need is a sturdy, wooden board which is not too thick. Mark out a base then screw straight through board so the screws are protruding through the top of the board. Then place the board over the top of the screw which will secure it in place, making it flexible and easy to store.
Each workshop will come with two drive bands which will have tapered and non-tapered ends. Twisting them in different directions and then connecting together will result in one long drive band. Thread this through the flywheel then hook the drive band on to the pulley. Make sure there is sufficient distance between the steam engine and the workshop, too much tension or slack will prevent the engine from working.
Firing up the workshop
So everything is in place, how do you get the workshop going? As with every other Mamod product, make sure the boiler is filled up to the appropriate marker with distilled water and that all moving parts are sufficiently oiled.
Let the boiler pressure rise to operating levels then remove the drive band from the flywheel and flick it to get it spinning. Once this has got going pull the drive band back over the moving flywheel and release it into place, watch you don't get your fingers caught on.
What to avoid
There are a number of common mistakes made by people setting up a workshop. First of all, make sure you have the drive band in the right place and that they have the right level of tension otherwise the workshop simply won't work. There can also be problems if the drive band is not placed around the workshop before joining the last two ends together.
Oiling is an absolute necessity and should be done prior to every use. You should never fire up without oiling. The same can be said for not letting the boiler getting up to pressure before trying to run it.
Remember, never to try and run the workshop in reverse. It only works one way and the hammer could jam if it is run in reverse.