This 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 engines.


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



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