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.

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

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

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

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The car is starting to take shape.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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:
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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.