How to Build a Stirling Engine

One of the household engines that homeowners can easily make is a stirling engine. The materials that will be used in making this engine are not difficult to find. If you want to know how to build a stirling engine, start with getting all the materials to avoid experiencing hassles while doing the project. Afterwards, follow the guidelines and steps carefully in order to make your own functional and efficient stirling engine.

Tools and Materials

Most of the things that will be used to learn how to build a stirling engine are scrap materials so there is no problem about budget or spending too much just to finish this project. The important materials are four small tin cans, three soft drink cans, straight pins and a balloon. In addition to these, you need high temperature glue, a coat hanger, a bolt, a washer, a pvc elbow as well as a silicon gasket.


After getting all the mentioned materials, start building the ring stand of the engine. To do this, get the soft drink can. Remove the top and bottom portions of the can. Cut the can into two. Cut and bend the sides of the can to make a ring stand. Make sure that the ring has three legs. As soon as the ring stand is ready, start creating the pressure vessel. Get another soft drink can and remove its sides with the use of a knife. Remove the top portion of the can to create the bottom portion of the pressure vessel. To do the top part of the vessel, get the remaining soft drink can and remove the bottom portion. In the center of the can’s bottom portion, cut a hole and insert a pin in the hole.

Use the high temperature glue to attach a small steel plate and a bolt to the pressure vessel’s top portion. The glue is very important to avoid the occurrence of leakage. To make the displacer, just use the same procedures with making the pressure vessel, but use two small tin cans. Be sure that the displacer fits in the vessel.

Build a crankshaft from a coat hanger. Cut two tin cans in the middle and punch holes in the can. Attach the crankshaft to the cans. Glue the crankshaft and the support to the top portion of the vessel. Get the balloon and cut it into a disc shape to make a diaphragm. Connect the balloon to the crankshaft. Afterwards, heat the vessel’s bottom part for 30 seconds and push the wheel. Do not forget to place ice on the top part of the vessel to avoid overheating.