5 months by Jaime Acosta


What would it look like if timepiece artisans turned to creating small scale engines instead of wristwatches? It would probably resemble the tiny engine models crafted by José Manuel Hermo Barreiro, a Spanish machinist. With a variety of structures including V-12, W-32, and the W-18, each engine piece is a beautifully made object of art. Although they run on compressed air instead of actual internal combustion, they operate so seamlessly that one can place a coin on its edge atop the running engine blocks. What stunning pieces they are!

This engine is made entirely with a lathe, drill press, grinder, and some hand tools.  There are numerous fixtures, jigs, and techniques needed to get it done, and there is no CNC and no Milling Machine either!

Here is the first video in an 8-part series on making the W-18:

Lots of lathe work to make the crankshaft and engine block for the W-18…

Video Part 2:  Cylinder Heads and Rocker Arm Supports

Video Part 3:  Rocker Arms, Intake, and Exhaust Manifolds

Video Part 4:  Camshafts, Gears, and Distribution Cover

Video Part 5:  Connecting Rods

Video Part 6:  Pistons, Manifold Adjustment, Air Filter, and Air Injectors

Video Part 7:  Ducted Fans, Valves, and Springs

Video Part 8: Final Assembly and Running of the W-18:

If you loved these little engines as I do, hop over to this craftsman’s Facebook page and give him a like.


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