How-To: Watt-style mechanical governor

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

2399 Articles

By Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

2399 Articles

Governor.jpg

Adam Richard Cooper built this hand-cranked model of a classic mechanical governor–which, as MachinistBlog succinctly put it “regulates the speed of steam engines by acting as a negative feedback system”–and made the dimensional drawings and build notes freely available for download at his site. I like the idea of a hand-cranked governor model, particularly, because it provides tactile feedback of the device’s purpose: You crank it faster, it gets harder to crank.

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