Mo's Gear

Live Steam boats and lever espresso machines

Marklin / Germany

This was my first steam engine...A unexceptional Marklin from Germany. Everybody doesn't need to do this , but usually does. Get all excited about this "great" looking new thing you are interested in and pay way too much for it...I never even ran it, and was lucky and got back about 75% of what I paid for it ...

Oh well.. I was off and running... well I was, the engines were still not running .... It did have a slide valve and a little oil cup on the steam line. The remnants of a gauge are visible at the left end of the boiler and the smoke stack that was not original made from brass pipe...Onward




Miss England Pop Pop boat

This was the Google search that allowed me to rediscover a memory that had been buried in my subconscious for a long time. A teacher way back in elementary school in Shreveport had brought a small , and most likely Wilesco steam engine to school and powered a small dynamo and light bulb. 

 This nice little boat lead me to some surfing that uncovered my lost fascination with these "old school" toys.It is a very simple design that uses a alcohol burner and a looped piece of tubing. The tubing acts like a small "flash" boiler and it shoots a steam jet out , and quickly sucks a small charge of water back in and the process happens again. About 2-3 times a second..It speeds along very nicely -- the original JET BOAT!! There are many poop pop boats on the market today, most made in India and area just a few inches long, costing /$5.00 or so...I still may own a Miss England one day..




Modeen Twin engine , boiler and burner set ( 1980)

I quickly pounced on my next steam purchase, a compete and never before used Modeen power plant. from about the mid 1980's. Complete with all components right down to the funnel. It was in beautiful shape and arrived in good condition from England. England seems to be where so many steam engines reside. Oh well.. The set is destined for a boat hull- which one is the trick...I have run the engine on compressed air to "run it in" or break it in. It runs very smoothly on about 7 psi and has a reverse valve and lever located on the very top. This also can control speed. It was my first "oscillating " engine. The are no valves per se, only ports that are opened or closed as the cylinder tilts back and forth , admitting pressure in one port and allowing spent pressure to be exhausted out another simultaneously. The fuel is denatured alcohol, or "meths " as it is know n in the UK.

My First US engines, a Jensen 25 and 55

If you buy engines on-line from people - it pays to buy from the right ones. I belong to a great steam website...The Unofficial Mamod  and other steam engines.... a long name but a great site. You will find me, mogogear  there with many many dear friends. A very helpful and playful group form all over the world. 


So that aside taken care of back to my first Jensen.. I acquired her from a prolific collector - Redryder  who has many a rare Jensen in his collection.This Jensen 25 is fitted with the reversing slide valve engine mounted on the signature Jensen blue cast-iron base. The earliest of these bases were more "Robin's egg blue" ... but this little engine will get up and really run!!


 and a closeup of the engine


I did end up later with a nice "little"... twin cylinder version of this engine a 55...Jensen and their great cast iron engine bases!!I can't say enough about them!


 Note the subtle differences .. the reversing mechanism is much simpler on the earlier production 55 and the base is solid wood as opposed to the use of finished plywood on the 25. Same great Jensen quality though!! These were both fun to run!!