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Welcome to Bernie’s Engines

… a peek inside the workshop

For 50 years I worked to customers’ specifications, accurately, precisely with no tolerance of mistakes and all to a fixed time allowance. I never even thought about requesting a concession – if the item did not perfectly meet the specification it went into the scrap bin. Now things are different, nothing gets scrapped and no material is wasted. Some bits get made very quickly whilst others take ages. Plain steel takes the place of exotic materials and I utilise junk.
I worked on the world’s finest machine tools but now I have just the opposite, stretching budget machines way beyond their designed purpose.
I don’t do models. I make engines that run, however poorly, based on simple principles, mainly using steel and conventional standard fixings. I cheat unashamedly, holes are off centre and wheels wobble, joints are loose and out of square. I have never had such freedom. Steam or air fittings leak but the engines must run to be acceptable. Some are pitifully basic whilst others are a bit more elaborate. To me, following someone’s detailed design and drawings is like painting by numbers, I just make bits that look sort of right and sort of fit together to my own satisfaction. Like a painter, my productions are never completely finished, another dab always needs adding!
Don’t be critical when you view my efforts, just imagine this old workhorse running free!!

… By the way… apparently the videos on this site don’t always work, depends on the computer web browser you are using – complicated – so if in doubt please use the links to YouTube I’ve added to the pages. Or just go straight there – this is a link to my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7fEyaOGhPJup808FR3fqkg

Latest from the Blog

I’m tweaking my machines and adding photos and videos to this site regularly, so please check back and watch the work in progress…

Chuffing Jenny

My junk assemblies never benefit from design, I simply cobble together whatever random items I come across that might be adapted to perform some vague engine function. Chuffing Jenny is the latest arrival – from brass candlesticks to a chuffing little engine that lights its own way… The full story is under the ‘Engines’ tab…Continue reading “Chuffing Jenny”

Does it drill?

The first job of 2021 was to convert the old ‘gut-buster’ hand drill into an air-powered machine. I did it, but it took a few rethinks to get it right… Read all about it, and see the videos on the ‘Gut-Buster Drill 2021’ page under the ‘engines’ menu tab.

Workshop (I mean studio!)

It seems every model maker wants a Myford lathe. I have no time for those prissy excuses for a machine tool but then you may have noticed I don’t make models and anyway I needed something a bit bigger to satisfy my aspirations. A Myford is a 3.5 inch lathe which means the maximum diameterContinue reading “Workshop (I mean studio!)”