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Jet Engine Made Out Of Empty Beer Cans!


by LetsBuildOne on August 30, 2008

Table of Contents
Jet Engine Made Out Of Empty Beer Cans! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Intro: Jet Engine Made Out Of Empty Beer Cans! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Step 1: Gather the materials and tools you will need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Step 2: Disassemle your Hairdryer/ blower unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Step 3: Start cutting up your cans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Step 4: Make Your Fuel Injection Ring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Step 5: Make Sure No Flames Come out The Back . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Step 6: Make Your Ducted Fan Adapter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Step 7: Make A Stand For It . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Step 8: Test It . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Advertisements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

Author:LetsBuildOne Let's Build One


I'm a Mechanical Engineer currently working for Jaguar Land Rover in the UK. I enjoy problem solving, designing and building things in my spare time. The
more difficult, exotic or dangerous the project the more it entices me to have a go. Projects involving high voltage, high pressure, high temperature and high
velocity are my staples ranging from steam turbines and jet engines to high voltage magnetic projectile acceleration. I am always happy to help and answer
any questions I can. Please get in touch if you think I may be of any help to you. It's always worth asking right?

Intro: Jet Engine Made Out Of Empty Beer Cans!


_
Build a functional jet engine out of empty beer cans and an old hair dryer. Minimal tools required.
I had always wanted to make a jet engine, then, one day i realised i had the parts available to do it. So, I did!
It was made out ofSTEEL beer cans, copper hydraulics tubing and an old hair dryer.
It producted measurable thrust which was only briefly tested on a rig that utilised model train tracks and 4 boggies.
More information is on my website at: http://letsbuildone.110mb.com/
I have a video of various tests in the development process and it in action on my website and below:

Url:http://www.revver.com/video/1142038/beer-can-jet-engine/
I Appologise for the poor quality pictures that were taken on my old phone and unfortunatly the engine has been ravaged for parts by my brother so i cannot take new
photos but, i am planning to rebuild it soon and i will take plenty of new photos when i do.

Step 1: Gather the materials and tools you will need


I had wanted to do this for a long time then one day I noticed I had the part available to make a crude Afterburning Ducted Fan (aka Motorjet or Thermofan) engine from a
coke can, an old hairdryer and some copper pipe I had lying around. This is not the instructions on how to make that but rather the instructions on how to make the
refined version that I completed in college before I went to university.
Mark II is currently under construction and should be completed shortly with a full write up and videos.
Materials Required:
@ At least 4 Steel cans, specifically the taller ones and bigger ones are better.
@ Copper or steel thin tubing, hydraulics tubing from a scrap car will do.
@ Some flexible plastic fuel hosing long enough for you to be comfortably far enough from a running miniature jet engine, 1m did me, I got some from my local model
shop used for nitro cars.
@ An old hair dryer or other air moving device, leaf blower could work, or a ducted fan/propeller.
@ A variable resistor or potentiometer, I used a scalectrics controller then upgraded to a dimmer switch of a Light after the scalectrics controller started smoking.
@ A length of wire as long as your rubber hosing at least, two wires needed to power electric motor for your fan.
@ Really small drill bits and a drill, 1mm or less for fuel nozzles.
@ Tape, adhesives and solder would be helpful.
@ Insulation tape
Tools Required:
@ Sand Paper
@ Soldering Iron possibly
@ Possibly a screw driver
@ Drill
@ Sharp knife
@ Scissors
@ Pliers
@ Relevant Safety equipment, gloves, goggles, fire extinguisher and COMMON SENSE.

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

Step 2: Disassemle your Hairdryer/ blower unit


Open your air moving device, preferably old hair dryer, cheep ones available at supermarkets in the value range. Obviously make sure it is unplugged first and you have
relevant safety equipment.
Take out the electronics and examine it, you do not want the heating coils of the hair dryer, coils in series with the motor act as voltage dividers, removing them may burn
out the motor.
Cut the wires to the motor and lengthen them.
Take your variable resistor and put it in series at the other end of the long cable coming from the motor, if you use the dimmer switch then it can replace the existing
switch. Solder where possible and cover connections with insulation tape.Put the finished electronics in a project box or other non conductive container.
If possible use a battery rather than mains power as mains power is very dangerous and make sure you get a qualified electrician to check your work, this was easy for
me as my brother is a sparky.
You should now be left with a power source connector, a box with a variable resistor in and long wires that are thick enough to handle the current leading to your what
effectively now is a ducted fan.

Image Notes
1. Heating Coils in series with the motor are still in, i will cut them down if the hair
dryer isnt blowing enough.

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

Image Notes
1. Dimmer Switch

Image Notes
1. "kettle Lead" Attachment I Had Floating Around

Image Notes
1. Random Clear Plastic Box I Found That Happend To Be The Right Size

Image Notes
1. very well organised wiring, there is a colour code that means something

Image Notes
1. The Back Panel
2. Power in from external source
3. power out

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

Image Notes
1. switches that engage powerpack sources
2. where one of 3 batteries was mounted

Step 3: Start cutting up your cans


Get your STEEL cans,
make sure they are steel because aluminium will melt and disintegrate in seconds if you try to use it.
Dispose of the contents and use a can opener to cut the top off.
Use a metal file or a sander or something to sand the bottom until the indentation in the middle drops out. if you have the tools then use a core cutter to cut the bottom
dent out instead, it will most likely be faster. (The aim of this step is to cut the end off like you did with the top but obviously a can opener won't work on the bottom as
there is no rim).
You should now be left with a can you can see straight down the length of. You can use some pliers to make the flange on the bottom neater.
On another can cut the top and bottom off on the flat not tapered bit, then slit its length so that you are left with a flat piece of thin steel. Repeat with a second can.
Then finaly on a third can cut out the bottom of the can like you did on the first one and cut the top quater to one third off and put a slit down its length about one inch
deep.

Image Notes
1. Top Cut Of With Can Opener

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

Image Notes
1. Tubular!

Image Notes
1. Sanded Of And Pliered Flat/Perpendicular/ Consentric

Image Notes
1. reminants of melted aluminium can, use steel

Step 4: Make Your Fuel Injection Ring


Take your copper pipe or hydraulics piping and cut a length about three times the diameter of the cans you are using. They should be the standard diameter drinks can
so you will need around a half a meter.
Crimp one end of the tube then bend this end into a circle just small enough to fit inside a can. Mark the last 190mm and bend it so that it fits the internal diameter of the
can in a ring.
Drill a hole in the bottom of the can you just cut the top and bottom off, right on the rim at the very bottom. Crimp the end that you are bending so no gas can come out
and thread the pipe into the can, if you use copper it should be easy to bend it in and out without crimping the pipe accidentaly.
Flatten your tube which is now shaped like a "p"just on the round bit, not totally but just enough so that you can drill the previously round surface.
Mark around 8-16 places around the circle in even increments and drill the smallest holes you can in so when you blow through the tubes open end it has 8-16 jets of air
perpendicular to the tube effecively out of the face of the "P"
Thread the round bit with the nozzles inside the can with the nozzles facing towards the far end of the can. Now wrap the excess piping around the outside of the can
concentric with the internal counterpart, which should leave you with about 100mm of tail off away from the can.
This is where you attach your rubber hosing to so take this bit with you to make sure you get the right diameter fuel hosing, it must be a very tight fit.

Image Notes
1. fuel resistant plastic/rubber tubing

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

Image Notes
1. Copper Hydraulics/ Brake Pipeing From Garage/Scrap Yard.
2. Pipe Cutter Makes Life Easier

Image Notes
1. Copper Pipe Fuel Ring With 13 Tiny drilled holes in

Image Notes
1. How it looks from the outside after many hours of use

Step 5: Make Sure No Flames Come out The Back


Take the can with the top third cut off and slide this over your first can from the bottom so that your copper pipe is popping out of the slit and the two open bottoms are
about 25-50mm apart and the can walls are concentric.
Get the sheet metal from the flattened can and roll it into a small diameter tube, put this tube inside the two cans and let go so that it settles to the right diameter.
Use some Duct tape to secure the tube in this diameter. cut off any exes and staple in place with a strong stapler. If the stapler isnt strong enough, make the holes first
and then use pliers to bend the staples or a paper clip into the right place to secure it.

Image Notes
1. Gap Between Cans

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

Image Notes
1. Can With Slit Slid over the back with cone on instide of gap between cans

Image Notes
1. This is a photo of the mark 1 engines combustion chamber, in this one i used
staples to secure the tube and just cut it to the right size.

Step 6: Make Your Ducted Fan Adapter


Take the other piece sheet steel you made and roll it into a tube/gentle cone around your ducted fan unit. Secure this end in place with tape.
Take the other end of your sheet steel tube and put that into the cone coming out the back of your engine. Secure this end in place with tape. Then use a stapler as
previously described to secure this end, Duct tape cannot take the temperature.
***Note, most of the pictures in this instructable were from my mark II jet engine hence the hole in the cone which shouldnt be there in this version, and the combustion
chamber with no copper tube input. unfortunatly these are the only photos currently available but i will replace them asap.***

Image Notes
1. Not Suppost To Be There, This Hole Is Used For The Version 2 Jet Engine.
2. Ducted Fan Unit, yes made of plastic but chemical set plastic so it scorches
and doesn't melt as such. not that it matters because it is on the cold side of the
engine
3. Duct Tape which wont melt because it is on the air cooled cold side of the
engine
4. End Of Rolled Metal Cone

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

Image Notes
1. Blower Unit Slides Into Back Of Back FireProtector On The Back Of The
Combustion Chamber.
2. Version 2 Jet Engine Combustion Chamber, Same As Version 1 But Without
The Fuel Ring

Image Notes
1. View Down The End Of The Blower Unit

Step 7: Make A Stand For It


You have the main body of your engine constructed,
I now got two small jubilee clips and threaded them over two large jubilee clips.
I then took two pieces of about 12mm copper pipe and bent each into a "U" shape.
Threaded these two pieces through the small jubilee clips.
Put the engine's combustion chamber through the two large jubilee clips.
Drilled 4 holes into a piece of MDF.
Put the ends of the copper pipe "U"'s into the four holes drilled in the MDF.
Finally tighten the jubilee clips to secure everything in place.

Image Notes
1. Jubilee Clip
2. Jubilee Clip
3. Copper Pipe
4. 2nd Copper Pipe Horse Shoe.
5. High Density Fiber Board Base, MDF Will Do
6. Copper Fuel Inlet
7. Poly fuel Hose
8. UnModified Hair Dryer
9. Butane Lighter Gas
10. Adapter from lid of lighter fuel squeezed in end of poly fuel hose

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

Image Notes
1. Empty Stand Missing 3 jubilee clips that were "borrowed" by my brother

Image Notes
1. I Know its not neet but it was the only matterial available and that high density
fiber board is very very hard and a real pain to cut through, even with a jigsaw

Step 8: Test It
It usually takes two people to operate, one on lighting and fan speed and the other on fuel injection:
@ Turn up the fan to get some gentle wind going through.
@ Second person opens valve on a lighter gas canister to feed Gas to the engine, squeeze one of the plastic adapters in the top of the can into the end of the poly fuel
hose.make sure the can is the right way up otherwise liquid butane comes out and the engine will flare and blow out.
@ First person uses long ended lighter or blowtorch, safety glasses and gloves to ignite the gas and start the engine.
@ If it goes out the fan is on too high power, if it goes the wrong way and flares out the fan there is not enough fan power.
@ Then fan power is slowly increased to a point where the flame is invisible but still there, or if it is dark you may be able to see the blue cone out the back.
@ If butane is not already on full power it is turned up and balanced with fan to retain blue cone until full power is achieved, if your feeling adventurous experiment with
slowly inverting the butane to trickle liquid butane into the engine, if done right you can boost the power.
@If the engine body glows brighter than an orange or something goes wrong: the butane is shut off, the fan can be restarted for cooling purposes and man on standby
with co2 fire extinguisher runs in to rescue.
@ Take a video and send it me at LetsBuildOne@Live.co.uk, id love to see other peoples attempts! the good the bad and the catastrophic.
Further Details Similar Projects And Videos Of Mine In Action Are Available On My Website at: http://letsbuildone.110mb.com
Thanks For Looking

Image Notes
1. start up Flare

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

Image Notes
1. Blue cone from back
2. Train Tracks

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Comments
50 comments Add Comment

kgaurkhede says:
hey any ideas for ignitor
& here r some pics of my next jet the "turbojet"

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

view all 124 comments


Apr 14, 2011. 11:11 PM REPLY

person% says:

Apr 25, 2012. 12:16 AM REPLY

nice pictures. you just gave me an idea of how to secure the central shaft.
here's my improved design

danprima says:
looool same i didnt know how to do that....

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

Feb 22, 2015. 8:25 PM REPLY

person% says:

Apr 24, 2012. 11:11 PM REPLY


you can use a spark generator from one of those lighters where you have to push a button. just dismantle it without puncturing the gas store and extend
the wire between the spark gap and the generator (if there is one). it would be like a spark plug.

LetsBuildOne says:

Apr 15, 2011. 2:58 AM REPLY

Looks interesting, what are you using for bearings?


As for the ignition, the standard solution is a spark plug that screws into a boss welded onto the side of your combustion chamber, you would need a coil
pack and a decent 12V source like a lead acid to run it though. Another option is to use the spark of a disposable lighter, extend the wire into the can and
set the wall gap right. You could also use two bolts that are screwed in from opposite sides of the combustion camber with a small gap between them
and discharge a camera flash circuit through them to give a nice beastly spark.

hazza the gun says:

Feb 20, 2012. 2:19 PM REPLY


I finished it! i made a video of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPvhfkExAlU&list=UU6q74pDLeZFgsPFzckC0MOQ&index=1&feature=plcp

LetsBuildOne says:

Apr 25, 2012. 10:03 AM REPLY

Nicely done! I managed to wedge bits of mine together and use jubilee clips to avoid the smoking tape issue.
It looks like you either aren't putting enough fuel in or the fuel ring isn't spraying evenly, to solve this you can try drilling more holes in the fuel ring or add
turbulators to the part of the engine the air and fuel mixes to help them mix better.
Keep me updated!
LBO

hazza the gun says:

Jan 19, 2012. 1:17 PM REPLY


most amazing thing i have ever seen done with peoples old crap. I am going to make this for a school project about re-cycling and re-use, any advice about
the type of hair dryer and where i can get one?

LetsBuildOne says:

Jan 22, 2012. 11:49 AM REPLY


Any hair drier will do. The more powerful the better. Power is probably relative to physical size and any power rating though I doubt there is much
between them. you could try your local re-cycling centre.
To be honest an Electric ducted fan is probably cheaper and more effective than a hair drier if your going to buy one. They can be picked up for around
15-20 new. You could try ebay, markets, car boots and similar to find a cheap one. I recently bought a Nitro boat with all radio gear and all accessories
for 40 from a market. A similar EDF plane should be much cheaper.

hazza the gun says:

Jan 23, 2012. 10:08 AM REPLY


ya ty for that i got myself a hair dryer from argos. my next problem, however is finding the pipe used for the fuel injection ring. I went to B&Q at the
weekend but the only 5-8mm copper pipe they had was 22.60 a roll! what a rip we dont have any at home and the DT department at school has
none either. Where can i get a foot length of 5-8mm copper/steel/brass tube before wednesday?

LetsBuildOne says:

Jan 23, 2012. 11:54 AM REPLY


A scrap yard will have some, it's what they use for brake pipe on cars. They usually let you clip off a few feet for free. Though this may be steel
and harder to bend. If you go to a garage then they usually have a roll that they may give/sell you a foot of.

hazza the gun says:


ya does it have to be 5mm cuz i found some 8mm cheap and bought it.

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

Jan 24, 2012. 8:40 AM REPLY

LetsBuildOne says:

Jan 24, 2012. 9:01 AM REPLY


That can work... You may have trouble bending it tight enough so you might want to bend it so it;s central in the can, seal the end and drill
your holes around the circumference. similar to my M2 engine but without the aluminium part.

hazza the gun says:

Jan 24, 2012. 9:11 AM REPLY


ok ty the jet is awesome im going to start building on the weekend when we can get an replacement hair dryer from a charity shop or
pawnbrokers (mine was modern and had a circuit board, and when i tried to re-wire it, it blew up).

LetsBuildOne says:

Jan 24, 2012. 9:18 AM REPLY


Yeah, they often have the heating element in series with the fan so if you remove it the fan gets over volted and blows up... In
future leave the heating element in. If it has a cold air setting then I'd follow the wiring and isolate it. Alternatively you could always
leave all the electronics in and not re-wire it?

mr kit says:

Sep 17, 2011. 3:14 PM REPLY

is the throttle of the engine controlled by the switch on the hair dryer

LetsBuildOne says:

Sep 20, 2011. 2:06 PM REPLY

No, it uses a dimmer switch off a light. This was a bad solution though and PWM or a speed controller would be better.

mr kit says:

Sep 17, 2011. 3:11 PM REPLY

if your testing this enjine somewhere like the beach where should i get my power source for the hairdryer.

LetsBuildOne says:

Sep 20, 2011. 2:05 PM REPLY


You could use a lead acid battery and an inverter. alternatively, if you remove the heating coil you can run the electric motor off a few batteries in series.
You will need 24-50v though.

adrian09 says:

Jul 27, 2011. 12:01 AM REPLY

how much thrust is there?

LetsBuildOne says:

Jul 27, 2011. 1:34 AM REPLY

Around one or two pounds, (500g-1Kg).

adrian09 says:

Jul 26, 2011. 11:59 PM REPLY

best way to deal with MDFs and Plywood - use a hand tube saw

kgaurkhede says:

Mar 27, 2011. 4:39 AM REPLY


can you give me any instructable for building a pulse jet for mounting on a rc car or a plane n can u tell how to increase the speed of a motor

LetsBuildOne says:

Mar 27, 2011. 5:57 AM REPLY


I have never built a pulse jet as they are illegal in my country. I think you can increase the frequency by making the tail shorter and or thinner diameter
but you need to be careful as those dimensions are crucial to the engines operation. Higher power from a bigger engine, higher frequency (speed of
running engine?) from smaller engine in general terms.

steveastrouk says:

Jul 19, 2011. 10:36 AM REPLY

Where do you get the idea pulse jets are banned from ?

LetsBuildOne says:

Jul 20, 2011. 3:34 AM REPLY

I'm not sure to be honest. Maybe scrapheap challenge? The noise is apparently too much for the British public.

kgaurkhede says:

Apr 18, 2011. 12:17 AM REPLY

are the blade designes for my compressor and the turbines are okay or not?
i also have a old insect slayer would it give out some beasty sparks for ignitor

LetsBuildOne says:

Apr 18, 2011. 2:34 PM REPLY


You're blades aren't ideal as they have no aerofoil section to them and both the ones labelled "1" look to have too much camber on them but I would
speculate that they may do the job. Also the relative diameters and numbers of blades look a bit off but they should still work.
We don't have a big problem with insects in England so I have never come across an "insect slayer" before and as such couldn't comment. Give it a go if
it'll cost you nothing though because then at least you can tell the rest of us whether it'll work!

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

kgaurkhede says:

Apr 16, 2011. 11:52 PM REPLY

hey have any idea about making this type of ignitor without using disposable camera
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSvDZok-zdM

LetsBuildOne says:

Apr 17, 2011. 3:29 AM REPLY


Yes, it can be done but it seems a bit complicated for what it does. It would be much easier and simpler to go to a film development shop and ask for an
old disposable camera. They give them out free and are ready built and ready to go.
If you really want to build one like that then you probably want to look at building a step up buck-boost converter using a transistor with a secondary
output from your transformer coil to trigger it. It's a lot more work and probably won't do the job any better though.
If you want a beastlier spark than the flash circuit gives add two or three AA batteries on your camera flash circuit. This will step your voltage up from just
under 400v to over 1000v. Your flash cap will probably die though as they're only rated to 330v so you'll want to take that out or, if your feeling lucky, put
another cap in series with the original one for each of the extra battery you use to split the voltage.
Be careful when messing with these high voltage circuits as they give a nasty shock and CAN KILL if you get shocked across your heart. Wear some
rubber gloves and insulate everything before you connect the power source. This isn't worth dying over some simple safety precautions.

kgaurkhede says:
hey any ideas for ignitor
& here r some pics of my next jet the "turbojet"

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

Apr 14, 2011. 11:11 PM REPLY

kgaurkhede says:
hey LBO i have sm pics of my thermo jet engine

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

Apr 12, 2011. 8:32 PM REPLY

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

LetsBuildOne says:

Apr 13, 2011. 2:00 AM REPLY

Hey kgaurkhede, Thanks for the pictures. Do you have any of it in action?

kgaurkhede says:

Mar 27, 2011. 4:35 AM REPLY


hey LBO i have just made my own beer can jet engine but not using the beer can its actually hard to find here! ( coz i live in INDIA )
so i've used empty deodorant cans instead n some small steel cans
and for air flow system i've used a simple 12volt dc motor with a fan but there is one problem, i cannot get much speed from this motor. can u help me out with
this? and ha the motor is taken out from a toy car!!!
for fuel i used another deodorant but it was almost empty!
so when i ran the engine so it lasted for only 10sec now i will try other alternative fuel ( maybe using acetone )
hope you would feel happy

LetsBuildOne says:

Mar 27, 2011. 5:44 AM REPLY

Hey Kgaurkhede,
Empty deodorant can's are a perfect replacement. If you overvolt the 12v motor you will get more speed from it as the rpm is proportional to the input
voltage. It is usually safe to over volt by 50% so 18v would be a good place to start. I have however overvolted a 12v motor to 48v previously to no ill
effects so it's down to how brave your feeling as to how much extra. Be careful though, the higher voltage you put in the faster it will get hot and the
hotter it will get, if you put too much voltage through it for too long you will cook the engine and it will no longer work.
Deodorant would be a good fuel source, they usually use propane or butane as a propellant so it is as good as using a can of butane or propane. They
even come with a decent atomising nosel on the can! The downside is they are low capacity and you have to press the button up close to the intake of
the engine which is dangerous and makes RC control difficult. Acetone would be a good alternative fuel. You just have to pre-heat it before it gets into
the combustion chamber and use an atomising nosel to disperse it into a fine spray so it will burn efficiently. This will require a pressurised fuel system
you'll have to work out by yourself.
Thanks for building one! Please can you send me some pictures or a video?
All the best
LBO

kgaurkhede says:

Mar 18, 2011. 3:20 AM REPLY

hey can i use ceramic coated aluminium cans instead the steel one

LetsBuildOne says:

Mar 18, 2011. 2:01 PM REPLY


I didn't know you could get ceramic coated aluminium ones? The Ceramic would be fine but the aluminium will probably melt although it depends on the
composition. Try it and find out? Please tell me how it goes.

Anupam bhattarai says:

Oct 17, 2010. 2:17 AM REPLY

thank you very much

Wesley666 says:

Dec 28, 2009. 8:03 PM REPLY


This still doesn't work 100% of the time. I used steel cans and they still melted. I am trying a new design with purpose made parts. I have most of it
machined out but I wanted to do this right so I wanted to have the exhaust fan driving the compressor fan at the front but I wanted to know, would the
bearings seize up? I was going to enclose then is a metal tube but will they still heat up and seize?

LetsBuildOne says:

Dec 29, 2009. 8:00 AM REPLY


Really? I'm impressed! Did you run it for an extended period of time like five minutes or more? I used to run mine for no longer than a minute or two at a
time because I was worried it was going from glowing orangey white hot to molten. Are you using Butane? Some other fuels burn hotter than butane.
I found that Mine distorted less when I wrapped a second can around the first. The Videos for my mark II Engine aren't uploaded yet but when they are
you will see my augmenting nozzle and how it acts as a heat spreader for the combustion chamber. Maybe adding some kind of heat sink is something
to consider.

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

As for your question on bearings, yes. A normal ball bearing ring race would seize at the exhaust temperature so you have three options;
First use ceramic bearings that can withstand a higher temperature but you need to make sure they can hold up at several thousand and potentially tens
of thousands of rpm and they are expensive and relatively difficult to get hold of in the size you want.
Secondly shield your exhaust bearing in a jacket. Essentially having a 1/2" tube down the center of your engine that the bearings sit inside of, maybe with
some cold airflow from the compressor blowing down it.
Your third option is to use two or three bearings before the combustion chamber and leave the exhaust with no bearing. This relies on the stiffness of
your central axle to hold the exhaust turbines blades central with a restraining ring as a safety. This is my plan and by far my favorite of the three options.
Good luck and keep me updated,
LBO

Wesley666 says:

Dec 29, 2009. 5:04 PM REPLY


I was using gasoline and this happened in less then 20sec. It melted very quickly. I thought it would have held up better. Fun to watch though... : )
I was thinking of doing as you said, having the bearings up front and having a sturdy axle for the exhaust fan. I was still going to enclose them
anyhow for added security because the are regular bearings which I wanted to use cause I have lots of them (FREEBIE!). I have a metal shell for the
engine, it happens to look like a metal version of a glass bottle Coca Cola, but I was going to make a second shell, just a metal tube to direct some
air flow over the actual combustion chamber in hopes that it will stay cooler. The combustion chamber is made of steel but is at least 5x thicker then
beer cans. Still working kinks out of the fuel sprayer, and I would like to find a small fuel fuel, but I don't think they have one as small as I would like.
Most jet engine that they use on planes force the air around a central...thing...I think its usually the shaft that turns the compressor and exhaust, but it
has to inject the fuel in a ring. I designed mine so that the air is compressed into a central space and injected with fuel from only one nozzle and I
hoped that would make the fuel system easier to construct. I added a picture of a drawing of an actual jet engine and even though its 2-d and cut
away you can see it has 2 combustion chambers which would actually be a bunch all the way round. Do they do this for a reason? The second
picture is my first rough draft of what I was thinking about and it only has one centralized combustion area. Do you think that one will produce more
power or operate better?
Thanks
Will keep you posted, and I might make an Instructable if it goes good!

LetsBuildOne says:

Dec 29, 2009. 8:05 PM REPLY


Thats strange, thermodynamics says that Gasoline burns at a maximum theoretical temperature of approximately 2500F. The melting point of
soft steel is about 2500F... So it is possible but I'm surprised it happened.
They use multiple fuel injectors on a comercial jet engine to ensure equal combustion through the combustion chambers cross section. They can't
use a central one due to the prop shaft being there. The breadth of the combustion chamber and thus the diameter of the spray cone from the
nozzle at combustion point dictates that in order for the whole cross section to maintain balanced combustion, several nozzles are need around
the perimeter. Your design is fine, the central combustion chamber is ideal and as long as your nozzle is capable of delivering enough fuel to the
engine then you will not need multiple nozzles.
I like your design, I can't fault it, having said that my only concern is that you are being too ambitious about the compressive capabilities of your
fan. That is a very large throttle on the exhaust so I may be worried about getting flash back.
I'm curious, how did you make/where did you aquire your fuel nozzles and are they aspirating or atomising? Also if you use a fuel pump what is
it? my next engine should be gasoline powered but I'm having some difficulty with the affore mentioned issues, any experience or insight you
might have would be really helpful :).
Thanks
LBO

Wesley666 says:

Dec 29, 2009. 8:52 PM REPLY


How hot does Premium burn, any different? I have a bunch of gas cans I might have put premium in by accident. There is a slim chance it
was diesel, but I don't think I would have made a mistake like that.
The fuel pump I haven't got yet, I wanted to find a very small one. I was going to see if I could build one, I want it to be the right size for the
job. I wanted a small one because I wanted to fit it at the front of the engine under a third shell that was going to be purely aesthetics, that
way I could remove the whole engine from said R/C car and mount it somewhere else and all I would need is another gas tank and some fuel
line. Probably will go with an automotive one though when I do get to that point and I will turf the aesthetics shell. As for fuel nozzle I want an

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

atomizing. I was planning on using the really thin copper tubing to get the fuel there, I think its 1/8th inch, as small as it comes, but the nozzle
I haven't figured out yet. I was going to see if I could solder a .22 or similar shell and drill a tiny hole not all the way through, or sand it down
real thin, and use a pin to put the absolute tiniest of holes in it. The problem with that I thought was the solder will melt, or it won't deliver
enough fuel. I thought about just whacking the end of it with a hammer. But I thought that seemed primitive and over all not going to work. I
was going to see if its possible to buy an end cap for that size pipe that uses brass fittings to screw on. I will tell you if I find anything that
works for that.
The fan I was using was made of plastic in my first mock up and if it melted the steel can you can imagine what happened to it. The electric
motor I was going to use was fairly hefty and ran at about 18 000 - 21 000rpm. I thought that with a fairly generous fan would do it. I am not
sure about it now having it driven by exhaust and what not. The drawing isn't to scale it was a rough draft because I didn't want to forget
about it. I was do some research to see if I could find sizing for anything, or if there are key ratio to certain parts.
I will keep you updated on progress if I find anything that will help you.

LetsBuildOne says:

Dec 30, 2009. 7:47 AM REPLY

Here are the stats for the relevant fuels:


87 Octane Gasoline
MJ/L=32
MJ/KG=44.4
Premium grade petrol MJ/L=?
MJ/KG=43.5
Diesel
MJ/L=38.6
MJ/KG=45.4
Butane
MJ/L=27.76 MJ/KG=49.5
You could use a Tesla Turbine as the fuel pump and power it via attaching it to the prop shaft. They are easy to make and can be made
very small. If you want any details on them I have ALOT of research.
I used a tiny drill bit less that 0.5mm diameter to drill the 16 ish holes in my 5mm copper tubing fuel ring. It worked fine for gaseous butane
but they did not atomise liquid petrol like I wanted. The nozzle is self cooling since the petrol going through it should be cold thus is
shouldn't melt. Mine often got condensation or even froze on the outside. You can make atomising nozzles, I have attached some
examples.
As for your exhaust turbine, I have the same issue, that is presisely what's stopping me from building one.
Good luck
LBO

Wesley666 says:

Feb 7, 2010. 7:07 PM REPLY


Finally found the fuel pump I'm gonna use. I bought a few of them from Princess Auto, I found them in the surplus section. They are
very small and run off a 9v battery, but they produce a good steady stream, it looks like a water fountain actually, but It will do the job
for sure.

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

LetsBuildOne says:

Feb 8, 2010. 1:54 AM REPLY

That's good, 9v is convenient. Keep me updated...

Wesley666 says:

Feb 8, 2010. 6:01 AM REPLY


Can do, and here are some photos of the mini pump. Also I checked out the company that makes these...according to the
sticker anyway, and these are actually diaphragm air pumps, but it doesn't leak so I'm not to worried.

Wesley666 says:

Dec 30, 2009. 10:35 AM REPLY


I thought of what would be perfect for the nozzle to atomize the liquid fuel! The picture is one of those pesticide sprayers that you
hand pump and spray on weed and what not. As far as I can remember the older ones like I have all have a metal nozzle on them
and would be perfect for this use. I haven't tried this yet because I want to find a cheap one rather then hacking my nice one apart.
Thanks for the data on fuels as well. I think I will try using an electric fuel pump, if that works I may make a second one with a Tesla
Turbine.
Thanks

Wesley666 says:

Dec 29, 2009. 5:09 PM REPLY


Also, if its any consolation, I have wanted to build a Jet Engine because...well, one its fun and two because I want to make a Jet powered R/C car.

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

delinquentyouth717 says:
....and this is the reason why i stopped drinking entirely hahahaha! anyways good job!

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http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Origional-Beer-Can-Jet-Engine/

Jan 23, 2010. 2:18 AM REPLY