"Shop class" is back!  In this class, you will take apart a small engine (100-150cc).  Then rebuild it and run it!  If it does not start, we will diagnose what went wrong.

This class is a great introduction to how the engine works.  I wish I had this class 20 years ago when I was starting to take apart motors to understand them.  My how the time flies.  Looking back, it is amazing to me that I have taught High School Shop Class since 2005.  Now its time to offer this knowledge to you.  This class is open to ages 16 up to 100, by appointment only.

Question: Why do you use a small engine (100-150cc) to teach?

Mr.G: Small engines are the right size project to introduce you to engineering.  You see...  all the dirty stuff...  gears, rust, oil, exhaust smoke...    that is just the outside observations.  Once cleaned off, and dissembled, the scientific ideas of the engineer are reveled.  Behind the machines are people, call them engineers, makers, designers, inventors...  either way, this type of machine was created from a need to rotate a wheel.  To rotate you will need energy.  The "gasoline" engine is really an energy converter.  It converts chemical energy (fuel) into Mechanical energy (rotation).

The 4 Stroke process makes the world go round. Intake (fuel), Compression, Combustion, Exhaust.

The 4 Stroke process makes the world go round. Intake (fuel), Compression, Combustion, Exhaust.

Question: Would a person take this class if they do not aspire to be a mechanic?

Mr.G:  You do not have to want to be a mechanic to take this class.  This class can put scientific concepts into real world context.  Giving a person the experience of assembling an engine could awake a curiosity about the science of energy conversion.

Question: What type of students have you had in the past?

Mr.G:  I have had a range of students.  Here are some examples...  In my first class, I had 3 motorcycle riders take the class together to learn more about how their bikes run.  A high school age student took the class to learn automotive skills.  His school did not offer an automotive class.  Recently a Dartmouth engineering student took my class.  She wanted to get ahead in her engine design class.  See the photo below.

Kimberly and Mr.G half way through the engine build. Kimberly is an engineering student at Dartmouth.

Kimberly and Mr.G half way through the engine build. Kimberly is an engineering student at Dartmouth.

Question:  The state of New Jersey has a high school science standard that asked a great question:  [Can you] "Describe the flow of energy from the Sun to the fuel tank of an automobile."?

Mr.G:  Everything that burns is made by the sun.  Gasoline is a mixture of refined petroleum oil.  And petroleum oil is just stored plant life from millions of years ago.  The engine mixes gasoline(fuel) with oxygen in a contained explosion.  The energy released pushes a crankshaft down.  This motion is similar to a bicycle pedal.  Energy from your muscles pushes on a crankshaft that rotates the gears.

Question: Can an engine burn a different fuel?

Mr.G:  Current plant life burns as well.  For instance a Diesel engine will burn vegetable oil just the same as Design Fuel.  The engine does not care...  it just uses any hydrocarbon made from the sun.

That question from the NJ science standards is great.  I would love to meat the person that wrote that!...  I want to thank them, because that question can set up a person for a lifetime of discovery.  Who knows...  after taking my class maybe YOU will harvest a sustainable energy source.

Question: What fuel will we use in the class to run the engine?

Mr.G: In the photo below you can see us using Denatured Alcohol as fuel.

Question: What is the class agenda?

Mr.G:  This schedule is for my one day, weekend class of 6-8 hours. (Saturday or Sunday)

1. We will illustrate the 4-Stroke Process.  Intake, Compression, Combustion, Exhaust (30-60min)

2. Then each person gets a small engine to take apart, down to every nut.  You may also work in teams.  (1-2 Hours) 

Break for lunch, if it is a one day class.  I am a vegetarian foodie so I encourage you to eat how you feel comfortable.

3. After lunch each of you will assemble your engine and test run it.  (1-2 hours)

Question: Is there a pre-requisite?  What if I have no experience with tools?

Mr.G:  There is no pre-requisite.  The class is designed as a great intro to how the engine works, how the parts go together, and what makes them run.  I basically take everything I would teach my High School students over a semester and compress it into one day.  Most of them start with no prior experience.

Question: Where is the class?

Mr.G:  Depending on availability, the class is held at a space in Northvale, NJ. Or I can travel to you. Up to 1 hour west of GWB (Fort Lee, NJ)

Question:  What does the class cost?

Mr.G: $50 per hour 1 on 1 with a min 3 hour class.

Question: Can I take the class with a friend? 

Mr.G: Yes. 2 for 1. You can split it 50/50

Question: Can I bring more people.

Mr.G: Yes, up to 4 total at $75 each

Question: Is there a deposit?

Mr.G: Yes.  I request a $50 deposit to hold your spot.  (I will take the $50 off your final bill) The deposit is there to make a commitment to the day for both of us.  This way I know you are coming and I can prepare.  I can send you a Paypal invoice to make a deposit for the class, and you can pay the rest in person.

Here you can see examples of the engine parts.

Here you can see examples of the engine parts.

Question: What time is the class offered?

Mr.G:  We can start at 10am on a weekend day, finishing in the afternoon about 2pm.

Question:  What do I bring to the class?

Mr.G:  Just you and your camera.  I encourage you to post up on social media, photos of your work and engine drawings.  Will your friends believe you got the engine to run after taking it apart???

Question:  What do I wear to the class?

Mr.G: Long pants, covered shoes, clothes you don't mind getting some oil on.  I have nitrile gloves for handling the oily parts.  Short sleeve are ok.  If you have long hair, please bring a hair tie.

Question:  How do I get in touch with you?

Mr.G:  Feel free to email or call. 

Email: Ron.Grosinger at gmail dot com

Phone: 917-379-8400