Here's a preview of a slight deviation from my traditional time-waste. Instead of electronics, it's an Engine now. I've been busy with it for quite a while, building it from a pile of scrap metal pieces. Today is the most memorable day: I made a first test assembly, blown into it and it spun!
Finished work coming soon, complete with technical drawings. As for now, here's a preview picture of its first assembly: exclusive for robots.net readers -- raw and dirty. It's an oscillating type, double-acting steam engine; the principle of operation is best described here. My design is simplier than the most simple versions I could find on the net, at least it must be that for expensive machine tools-challenged people like myself. This version only requires a plumbing torch and a micro-mill. A slightly less pretty version could be done even without a mill, although a drill press is still necessary.
I'm feeling euphoric. This is the first mechanism in my life that I completely designed and built myself from metal scrap (except for the old HDD spindle which is suspicuously obvious, some magnet-hunters might even guess the brand). I'm very proud of it. Even the first blinking LED was bleak in comparison with what I'm at now.
So, steam engine possible without lathe: is it busted, plausible or confirmed? ;)