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This week I made the Gakken Stirling Engine Kit from the Maker Shed. I have always wanted to make a Stirling engine, and the Gakken kit is a great way to learn more about how they work. Stirling engines are finicky by nature, but this kit went together really easily and worked great the first time I fired it up. I took a few pictures of the build to show you the major steps in making this kit. I hope you like it.


You don’t even need any tools, they are all included.


I like to sort all the little pieces into these plastic trays. This way I can easily find anything I need.


First step is building the base. It goes together really fast.


The car is starting to take shape.


The next part is adding the piston. It is made of several different materials and is beautifully crafted.


I really like the gear mechanism that allows you to turn on and off the LED, fan, and drive train.


All the gears are built, and the piston is connected. This part is tricky, make sure to follow the instructions carefully. It needs to spin freely.


This part was really cool. They supply a little battery pack to plug into the generator. This allows you to make any adjustments necessary. The piston needs to have very smooth action.


The glass tube, safety shields and fan are now attached. It’s time to fire it up.


It takes a few minutes to get heated up. But once it does, the motor really works well.


It’s really hard not to love this kit, especially when you first fire it up. I have a few more adjustments to make and I am going to try and run it off the stand. I wonder if the generator will produce enough electricity to run other accessories? I’ll keep you updated.

In the Maker Shed:


Gakken Stirling Engine Kit

  • http://SearchG6PJE David Bull

    A year after receiving this Gakken car, I have just got it to work. After 5 weeks of trying last year , I broke the tube. It has taken a year to get another.Not From Gakken, they dont supply spares,so beware, I had to have them specially made.Seems the piston was a bit too large and had to be polished , and the cylinder inside polished. It works reliably when it decides to, but does not have enough power to run the fan or other extras, which I have removed.Seems it can be a very tricky unit when it wants. Runs one day and not next without further twiddling, and I have 50 years of electronic and mechanical engineering. Certainly regret buying it.