ONE MAN'S FASCINATION
website is about fascination. In particular, one man's lifelong
fascination with machines: with appreciating machines,
designing machines and building machines, mostly. We affectionately
call this man Mysterelly (among other things). Over the past
few decades Mysterelly's primary machine fascination has been
with miniature internal combustion
"WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THEM?"
That's the most common question out of the mouths
of non-machinophiles when they encounter Mysterelly's creations.
This question is guaranteed to irritate Mysterelly, although
he usually does a fine job of hiding his true feelings. To ask
that question is to fail to understand that projects like these
are mostly about the journey, not the destination. The Myster
(what his employees used to call him during the Ellison Engineering
era some decades ago) is a journey kind of guy.
Of course, some of us have occasionally speculated
on other possible motivations — beyond a pure love of doing.
Back in 1998, some of these speculations were fictionalized in
a birthday short story Yours Truly wrote called Very
Small Pistons. Daring readers can click
on the link, download a PDF file and read this provocative tale
at their leisure.
In the photo to the left, the guy in the yellow is The Myster. He's bracketed here by his two sons: Scott (a software engineer, ideator and author) at left, Yours
Truly (consultant, writer-designer and author) on the right.
I mentioned that Mysterelly enjoys doing. Lots
of different kinds of doing. He particularly likes doing his
doings from from scratch. All the engines you'll see here were
built from raw hunks of aluminum, steel, brass and what-have-you from designs hatched right in the Myster's fertile brain.
Engines like these have lots of parts. Crankcases,
cylinders, pistons, piston rings, crankshafts, connecting rods,
cylinder heads, camshafts, valves, carburetors, manifolds, gears,
pulleys, assorted springs, bearings, ignition systems and buckets
of fasteners. And those are just the kind of parts that a neophyte
like me can remember -- there are actually more. Each one of
these parts gets designed so that they can actually work together
in harmonious fashion like teams of well-trained micro-miniature
horses. And, they do work.
Every one of these little screamers literally screams...even
the ones that wear mufflers. I've heard 'em.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. After exiting
the design works, the drawings and parts lists go into the
machine shop, the Myster's hallowed ground. In this shop the Bridgeport
milling machine and the South Bend lathe are the big guns, but
they exist in a nest occupied by a veritable horde of machine
and tool companions. Oh, and not to forget tooling; each project requires the
design and fabrication of at least one new piece of tooling.
So says the Myster. Mysterelly wields these machines, tools and tooling
with a deft and loving touch. The result — in addition to buckets
of curly, picturesque and aromatic metal chips — are the creations
you see here. Enjoy.
E T Ellison (son the first)
June 2005, updated December 2007, October 2013, November 2016