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    Default The Goldenfab Story

    I started reading though the B&A Precision thread. It was really inspiring so I thought I would share my story. To begin with is a lot of backstory hopefully someone finds interesting. If not scroll down a bit and hopefully it gets better...

    This all stared when I got my hands on my first screwdriver. I don't remember how old I was but probably not long after getting out of diapers. I would take apart everything I could get my hands on. Of course if it worked before I got a hold of it, it was now ruined. I remember I had boxes upon boxes under my bed where old VCRs and the like went to die. I grew up on a farm and ranch where everything we had seemed like it was at least 20 years old and always broken. I was home schooled and had a lot of free time on the farm so naturally I learned how to fix things and keep them going. I rebuilt old dirt bikes (and blew them up) and gained a lot of hands on experience on the farm with mechanical devices and working with tools. Another big thing that shaped me was building an flying model airplanes. To say I was big into this was an understatement. Turns out this actually benefited me professionally, more on that later.

    In high school I got a job in town busing tables at a restaurant. One of the guys that worked at the restaurant and I liked to talk cars like most country boys do. One night after shift we were hanging out in the parking lot by our four wheel drives he was telling me about an article he came across in a magazine that had a design for rotary valve heads for a small block ford with some impressive claims, more on this later. While busing tables I quickly noticed that the waitstaff made considerable more money than I did. Only problem was I was the award shy home-schooled kid who didn't like talking to people, and had a fear of writing down orders. My handwriting was probably as good or better than anyone else working there but I was insecure about people judging it for some reason. I finally decided these two deficiencies were not going to get me where I wanted to go. One morning during the breakfast rush we were understaffed so I picked up some tickets are started taking orders. My boss saw what happened and put me on the schedule as waitstaff that week. I remember a guy that came though from out of state state offered me a job at his auto parts store. He said he saw how I worked and if I ever needed a job he would hire me on the spot. I quickly learned treating people good can make you decent money and opens up doors. About a year later I wrote a check for $6,750 for my first truck, a '92 F-150 4x4 super cab with 117,xxx on the clock. It was just the one I wanted and I still own it to this day.

    I remember when taking career placement tests in high school having very strong results showing strong spikes in the engineering, mechanical, and science areas. When it was time to figure out what I was going to do after high school I didn't really question it. I was either going to fly jets or design mechanical things. Both of them required a degree so that is what I was going to get. Neither of my parents went to college but I had everyone's support. I started off at a community college and applied to the Air Force Academy, I was not accepted. During the process of applying someone mentioned if you don't get in check out ERAU. I did and graduated with a BS in Aerospace Engineering. I did mediocre grade wise but went all out in everything I could get into. In fact I was the team leader of our senior design project and graduation class speaker. Remember the part about being the award shy home schooled kid? Well not much has changed but I have fooled a lot of people.

    During my time in college I got a job in the machine shop as a 'Lab Monitor'. I was mostly there to yell at people before they did something stupid but I got my feet we in machine work. I started off on a smithy table top mill and small bench top craftsman lathe. I later got checked off on the knee mill and bigger lathe. After getting a taste of machine work I was hooked. Also the idea of a rotary valve head never left me. I would periodically spent long hours at night searching the end of the internet looking at rotary valve head designs and checking on the latest developments of that company. For one of my technical electives for my degree I managed to talk the school into letting me do a directed study for which I would design a rotary valve cylinder head for 2 credit hours. I went out and bought 4hp horizontal shaft engine and designed a rotary valve cylinder head for it. Then for Structures and Instrumentation class where we needed a final project I talked my group into making an engine dyno. We designed and built a engine test stand dyno for the engine. Working in the student machine shop at the school I was able to get most of the machine work on the new head design done but was not able to get it finished before I graduated.

    I graduated in 2009 which was not a good time to get a job. In fact after going back to visit my school a year later supposedly there were only two of us out of out senior design team of 13 that had jobs. I was hired by a government subcontractor as a “Test Engineer” for air delivery systems (parachutes) but it was really more about running the test range than engineering. I married and rented a typical 3 bed two car garage house. During this time I exchanged some emails and phone calls with the company that had the rotary valve head design. I was very interested in being a part of bringing the technology to market and eager to work with them. I told them I wanted to see a working prototype I could test out and they were not interested in that. They told me non-exclusive US only patent rights was going to be on the order of several million dollars. After a few more emails with them trying to get them to work with me I gave up on them. Personally I think the whole company is a scam but I was still intrigued by the idea of rotary valve. Not being able to satisfy my taste for engineering or machine work at my day job and still wanting to finish the rotary valve project I bought a used small Grizzly knee mill that was converted to CNC and a manual lathe. I bought Alibre Design that came with a CAM plugin and taught myself CAM. After much work I had a prototype that started and ran but left much to be desired.

    Next thing I know my wife has a thing going on with her co-worker. I'll spare you the details but needless to say there was nothing keeping me in town and the sooner I could leave the better. I took some time to re-evaluate life and what is important. The model airplane experience landed me a gig flying UAVs for the military overseas. I sold everything but my truck and machine equipment, tools and some personal items and put them in a storage unit paid up for a year and left the country. I read the Bible cover to cover twice (2nd time minus Psalms), decided what I had been doing before was not working and decided to live a life honoring Christ. I also decided I wanted to make a go of making a rotary valve engine or start some kind of business that included engineering or machine work. Two different co-workers I made friends with convinced me the 4G63 engine would be a great candidate for such a design. I took their advice and bought a used cylinder head off of ebay, had it shipped over and spent the next year drawing up the stock head in CAD and the new rotary valve head design.

    I get back to the States a year later and start a new job in Phoenix as a Systems Engineer for a major company working on Flight Management Systems (software side) in business jets. Another year later I marry my now wife. I was a bit more selective this time! We move up near Prescott which made it over an hour drive commute for me. Another year and a half later and our son is to be born. I had a good job and my wife had a better job in Prescott (pharmacist). I tell my boss either I'm going to work part time as will my wife and we'll take turns at home or I may be resigning. Working sometimes as much as 50 hours a week and commuting 2 ¼ hours every day I did not deem good for a new family. I talked everything over with my wife and she was supportive. I had a garage, a plan, savings, and we had our wife's part time income which was enough to keep us afloat. The stage was set and I was going to go on my own!

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    Leading up to this point I had been working on my rotary valve design here and there. Bought a knee mill and more machine tools but I didn't have the time to get anything useful done. My wife and I agreed I would take a year and work on this rotary valve full time with the goal of a running prototype that would hopefully be sound enough to start think about taking it to market. If this does not work out my plan is to transition into doing design work and machine work from home. I quickly got to work and created Goldenstein Engineering and Fabrication LLC. First project was to convert my knee mill to CNC and gear up for sand casting (something I had never done). With much struggle fighting a very steep learning curve I learned to make sand casting patterns and battled for months getting a successful casting. After many failed attempts and what seemed to be the trial and error by brute force development method I solved my casting defect one by one until I managed a usable casting.

    cylinder_head_molds.jpg

    During this time I also bought a used car for the donor engine and built a test stand and started on a water brake for the dyno and the electronics for the dyno instrumentation. I have a lot of plans for the valve material (this is the top technical problem that needs to be solved if this project is going to be successful). One of my plans included PVD coatings like that on machine tool cutters. I started getting things together to make my own PVD setup: vacuum chamber, industrial vacuum pump, diffusion pump, RF sputtering electronic equipment, etc. By this time however I was getting short on time and didn't have any more time to spend on building my own PVD system, in hindsight I should have just outsourced the PVD stuff. Additionally the more research I did the more I learned PVD coating may not be the way to go. I change gears and decide to first test powdered metal parts with a lubricant in the matrix. I start off with a metalized graphite material marketed as a dry bearing material. Now everything for the engine has been made (with exception of the dyno brake and data collection electronics). I proceed to start the engine for the first time and the first combustion cycle blows out the seals. I fiddle around with it a bit more but at this point I ran out of time and my year to do this is up. Here is a video of the first last attempt at staring it, for now.. Rotary Valve 4g63 - Start Attempt #2 - YouTube

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    When I first stated the business when I resigned from my day job I setup a website and listed my business with google and yellow pages. Time to time I would do someone would find me and I would do some simple machine work here and there but I wasn't looking for work and was focusing on the rotary valve project. Since I blew through my year now was the time to see if I could make things happen else it was back to a day job. My first project was boring out and broaching a key-way in a hand wheel for some equipment for a small business in town. Nothing special but they has been a repeat customer with similar type small jobs. My next job I agreed not to say what it is but my customer was ok with my sharing these pics. Was a bit tricky par with multiple setups for a green self taught "machinist" (in the making that is) but it turned out ok and I have got more work refereed from that customer.

    custpart001.jpg
    custpart002.jpg

    My next job was making some electronics enclosures for some industrial laser marking equipment. This one gained me a lot of experience. Tried some 6061-O and 6061-T4 to see how they bend as I knew -T6 could be a problem. I never want to mill -O ever again! Also I don't ever want to do any more sheet metal work without the right equipment. The bends were made using some diy "dies" I made to be used with my harbor freight H frame press. It turned out really well after scrapping a few parts but never again! You do what you have to do to get things done working with what you have and the budget you have I suppose. My customer sent me some pictures of the final product after anodizing and it looked really sharp. Unfortunately they were on an old phone that died. These ones are ones I took at my shop before I sent them out.

    custpart_01.jpg
    custpart_02.jpg
    custpart_03.jpg

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    custpart_04.jpg
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    custpart_05.jpg
    custpart_07.jpg
    custpart_08.jpg

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    Everything up until this point is pre 2017. Here are some pics of my humble shop setup. I have a 3 car garage. The third bay is separated with a wall and I have managed to still be able to keep cars in the 2 bay portion. Most of the work happens in the 3rd bay but the lathe and some other equipment gets kept in the 2 bay. Doing just about anything requires moving stuff out to make room to move around and work.

    lathe.jpg
    kent_mill.jpg
    welder.jpg
    taz_3d_printer_3.jpg
    shop.jpg

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    I land my best customer. I see a post on facebook from a guy I met years ago looking to get some machine work done. I talk to him and turns out he is prototyping some aerospace cockpit instrumentation. I end up making some miscellaneous electronics enclosures for him.

    custjob001.jpg
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    A guy finds my business online and I design and machine some custom car emblems for him.

    custjob004.jpg
    custjob005.jpg

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    I've enjoyed your posts. Nice work. Keep em coming.

    Jeff

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff76 View Post
    I've enjoyed your posts. Nice work. Keep em coming.

    Jeff
    Thanks for the feedback. I have a little way to go to get to where I am today and still a long way to go from where I am wanting to go.

    I buy my first "big" order of carbide. This stuff is expensive! But I am done with end mills made from chinesium.

    carbide.jpg

    At some point during my time working on the rotary valve I had an "intern". I put an add on craigslist looking for some free help. In turn I would get their feet we with basics of CAD/CAM, machining and metal casting. I had a guy that had a good seasonal job and was looking for something to do. It worked out great and he worked a few days a week working on the rotary valve project with me. One of his projects was making a mister for the mill. I showed him the ropes and then gave him the drawing and he machined, drilled and tapped the little mixing block.

    mister.jpg

    I get another big job for me I was really proud of but unfortunately I cant show much about since I signed an NDA. It was right at the edge of my capability using my Harry Home Shop CNC conversion mill. For the record I bought real ball screws for it that costs more than the mill. Anyways the stock used for the part was something like 2"x5"x36" and was all 3D machining with a final part weight of about 4lb. Lots of thin walls and somewhere over 100 1/16" holes. Also the part was longer than the travel of my mill so it took additional multiple setups across 3D surfaces that needed to blend. Tolerances were not a factor but looks were. I bought two pieces of stock knowing I would screw up the first try but somehow I still have the second piece of stock in the shop still and the customer is happy with what he got.

    chustjob009.jpg
    custjob010.jpg
    custjob011.jpg

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    Now THAT is some serious "back-story"!


    Sounds real interesting!

    I'm sure that you know that Rotax used the rotary valve during the 90's on their twins, and likely only went to reeds on the SerIII simply doo to electronic reverse - normally not possible on a 2 stroke with hard valving (rot valve) or a 4 stroke, but the one thread in the anti-que forum about a motor in a boat or sub - had some kind of double valve set-up that did allow for reversing the 4 stroke motor, so it IS possible with hard valve train I guess... (just VERY bulky)

    But on the 2 stroke - I wouldn't think that they would be looking anywhere near the 150psi pressure, so their sealing method likely isn't near what you are needing. But have you looked into ceramic? May be a lube issue with that tho? But at least it could take the heat...


    On a side note, did you see the new concept "double opposed" (my term - not theirs) 4 stroke that combines 2 stroke and 4 stroke techs?
    It could easily be the next big thing. That guy used a reed I think.
    It could effect the market for a slightly better induction system for traditional ICE's?

    I think that I may have posted a link recently to the new design?
    If not - I think that it was in SnowTech magazine a cpl months ago.
    Note - not targeted towards snowmachines, just that those guys are gearheads that watch new patents.


    Edit:

    Yeah, maybe I just mentioned it in another thread somewhere. I may not have linked it - simply b/c I doubt that I could link to that magazine since it is a subscription mag, and not a free trade journal. IDK?

    Anyhow - it is kind of an updated version of the old "twingle" motor, but should have much more HP/footprint/pound.
    Not to spoil your fun, and it may never happen, and your work could even possibly be incorporated - IDK, just to make sure that you know as much as possible about competing techs out there...

    The guy is from Michigan if that helps your search.
    Possibly the Grand Rapids area?

    Edit II:
    Note that this is NOT the 2/4Sight motor design.



    -------------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Model Airplanes:
    I've always thought every kid should build and fly model airplanes. Builds real world life skills, teaches project management, follow thru, systems, etc.
    Not to mention working with wood, mechanical design and engineering, blueprint reading. Oh......and aerodynamics.

    Your story sounds similar to the beginnings of Gail Banks and Banks Engineering.
    Now all you have to do is:
    Perfect the rotary valve head.
    Build an engine with maximum HP using that head design
    Install engine in some sort of vehicle
    Take vehicle to Bonneville, set land speed record in any category you can
    At that point, you're most likely 'in'. Customers will seek you out.


    The rotary valve idea goes way back, with most if not all designs being less than successful.
    Here's one design of many you have seen before.
    1911 Reynolds Rotary Valve 4-Cyl. Engine - Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed

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    I had a rotary valve 2 stroke Kawasaki dirt bike once. It might still be at home somewhere?

    All I remember about it was that it was the coolest sounding 2 stroke engine I ever heard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    I had a rotary valve 2 stroke Kawasaki dirt bike once. It might still be at home somewhere?

    All I remember about it was that it was the coolest sounding 2 stroke engine I ever heard.
    Yea, I had one as well. It was a KE-100. Little enduro bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    Now THAT is some serious "back-story..."
    Yeah a bit long winded at first but thought I would give you guys the bigger picture, that and it gave me an excuse to talk about the rotary valve thing so as to get some insight from others and maybe learn about something else I didn't know about it. I Hope to get working on the project again some day but right now I'm building a new shop. I'll catch you guys up on the new shop later. I need to be out working on it now... I have heard of Rotax but not the double valve stuff, going to check it out thanks for mentioning. The easy thing about doing a rotary valve with a 2 stroke is you you can make use of the 2 stroke oil lubrication. There is a guy on youtube that made a rotary valve head for his BMW car that appears to use oil for the valves that gets burnt during the combustion cycle. From what I could find out peak cylinder pressure I would need to seal are close to 2,000psi. I'm hoping to stay away from burning oil as I think the market has dictated the days of oil burners is over with all the emissions requirements. This is why I was thinking something like a powdered metal seal that had a dry lubricant in it. This may never work for reasons I don't yet know but its on my to do list to test. I have seen some designs having different cycles than the conventional 4 stroke but I don't think I have ever heard of the "double opposed" design you talk about. I'm going to check it out.

    Ceramics the way to go? I have been thinking so. I just don't know much about them and even less about making ceramic parts. My prototype right now that is sitting in the garage has cast aluminum valves that I hard coat anodized since anodized = aluminum oxide = ceramic. Well sort of anyways. I know it in reality is kinda a crap idea, its a thin eggshell that is probably going to gouge and rub off either right before or right after the inside melts. But it is something I could fab up on my own with little cost as my capital and time was diminishing. I learned you can ceramic coat thing via PVD hence that is why I starting to make a sputtering machine. Maybe the better route would be to make a solid ceramic part. Maybe buy some green ceramic material, machine and then fire? Or just bight the bullet and outsource the whole part. Anyone have any experience making a ceramic part start to finish? I'm open to learning new tricks If I could pull it off.

    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    Model Airplanes:...
    Met too! I can't wait until my son is old enough to get into model airplanes!
    That is a great plan. I'm only 2% there! But really that was basically my plan. Worse comes to worse this project gave me a bunch of experience to help me get the foot in the door doing machine work which I really enjoy. Yeah a lot of rotary valve designs out there. I didn't realize until I started doing some digging. There are a lot of patents. Much of them are very old. My line of thinking is they obviously didn't work (sealing issues and longevity) that great or else they would would be common place. However maybe with the advances in materials available today something could be made to work well enough, at least for the performance market that isn't concerned as much with time between overhaul as power. I had seen similar designs to that but not that engine. Thanks for sharing.

    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    I had a rotary valve 2 stroke Kawasaki dirt bike once...
    I had a '74 Suzuki RM125 (piston valve). Thing was a screamer, all topend power. Couldn't keep the silencer on half the time so I rode it without it most days. It was deafening loud at umteenthousandRPM!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    Model Airplanes:
    I've always thought every kid should build and fly model airplanes. Builds real world life skills, teaches project management, follow thru, systems, etc.
    Not to mention working with wood, mechanical design and engineering, blueprint reading. Oh......and aerodynamics.

    Your story sounds similar to the beginnings of Gail Banks and Banks Engineering.
    Now all you have to do is:
    Perfect the rotary valve head.
    Build an engine with maximum HP using that head design
    Install engine in some sort of vehicle
    Take vehicle to Bonneville, set land speed record in any category you can
    At that point, you're most likely 'in'. Customers will seek you out.


    The rotary valve idea goes way back, with most if not all designs being less than successful.
    Here's one design of many you have seen before.
    1911 Reynolds Rotary Valve 4-Cyl. Engine - Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed
    I worked for a place that we used to make custom clutch plates/flywheels?(not a car guy..?), and they would test them there.

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    Good story! Curious, since you ended up in Prescott, is that where you attended ERAU? Or Daytona? I did Prescott ERAU in the early to mid 80's, probably should have stayed there, but for some stupid reason went back to Tx. Prescott was small back then compared to where it is today. Lots of good memories, motorcycle rides up to Jerome, frissbee golf in the dells, and friday nights on Whiskey Row

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    I responded to much of that in a new thread as I wanted to display the new tech anyhow.

    O/T New Internal Combustion Engine Design


    As per the ceramic, I am only inquiring. I don't know enough about it to recommend.

    I did use an outfit in Cincinnatti to dismount, remount, and grind in some ceramic seal on a rotary union that I redesigned, but I haven't gotten that project finished yet. I could maybe find their name if I look, but I just found them in Thomasnet.com I think. I pinged a few places to find one that was interested in my needs. Whether they would be able to help you or not - I wouldn't have a clue.


    --------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    Yea, I had one as well. It was a KE-100. Little enduro bike.
    I'm guessing you got real good at wheelies. I could never seem to ride one for more than 20 feet or so no matter how much I tried.

    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    Good story! Curious, since you ended up in Prescott, is that where you attended ERAU? Or Daytona? I did Prescott ERAU in the early to mid 80's, probably should have stayed there, but for some stupid reason went back to Tx. Prescott was small back then compared to where it is today. Lots of good memories, motorcycle rides up to Jerome, frissbee golf in the dells, and friday nights on Whiskey Row
    I went to Prescott but I did do a summer semester in Daytona just to mix things up. Ditto all those things but the frissbee golf, had some friends that were bit into it but I never gave it a try. The Jerome rides were some of the best times. I left Prescott when I graduated for a job in Yuma. Several years later I'm back up here

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    So sometime in 2017 the second guy that I had done some electronics enclosures for asked me about doing backlit aircraft instrument panels. Not knowing how to say no I agree to make some samples. The first one I did I machined a part from lexan, painted, then engraved the paint off to reveal text with and small end mill. He was very happy with the work and the back lighting worked very well but there was not enough definition without a back light.

    panel01.jpg
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    panel03.jpg

    Next I work with a couple different laser engraving shops and do a bunch of different tests with different paint layups and laser settings. After a lot of trial and error I end up with a process I am happy with that engraves off a top layer of black paint reveling a white base paint without going through but thin enough to show a back light. Here is one of the first panels I did with this new method. In the second picture I have a flashlight behind the panel.

    panel04.jpg
    panel05.jpg

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    A little off topic. I'm out working on sheeting the new shop yesterday (more on that later) and my 4 year old son keeps talking about how he is building a skateboard. I say sure buddy that's great. I encourage him but inside I don't take him seriously. While I'm working he assumes ownership of one of my cordless drills, some scrap lumber and a metal bracket. He asks for help here and there sinking some wood (some of them he gets by himself. Today we are back out working and I notice he found some caster wheels (must have been at out house) and brings them out to the new place. He tells me he needs a drill bit and needs help drilling some holes. He marks out where he wants them with a sharpie and I help him with the drilling and next thing you know he has a skateboard! He came up with this all on his own, worked on it for two days, had the foresight, planning and follow through to actually make it. Sure am proud of the little guy.


    skateboard1.jpg
    skateboard2.jpg

    skateboard3.jpg

  27. #20
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    Gotta say - I think I'm pretty proud of him too!

    You got quite a little engineer going on there!


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    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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