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Free Metalworking Project Plans: The Coffee Cup Stirling Engine by Jan Ridders


Material: various

As luck would have it, I came across a site by a fellow from Florida named Ernie. Ernie is an accomplished machinist and hobbiest who will happily share his engine plans with others upon request. I asked Ernie for a set of plans for his internal gear engine and he quickly fired a set off to me via e-mail.

In his email Ernie recommended that I visit the site of a machinist that Ernie considered to be of truly exceptional talent – a man from the Netherlands named Jan Ridders.  Now, I had just finished admiring Ernie’s work, so if there was a machinist out their that produced work that Ernie admired, it was definitely worth a look.

I was amazed. Jan’s website documents several of his projects, most of which are engines, all of which are amazing. And again, as luck would have it, Jan is also willing to share his plans with his visitors upon requets. I quickly emailed Jan and mentioned that I had set up and I asked him if he would be willing to donate a few plans for my visitors to enjoy. He agreed.

Because this site is focused on offering plans suitable for the beginner, I asked Jan for his most simple, straightforward set of plans for each of his 3 categories. Stirling Engines, Internal Combustion (IC) Engines, and Flame Eaters. Obviously all three plans would be considered advanced projects by anyone new to the hobby, and therefor they will all be listed under the “Advanced” category on this site.

Below is the PDF file that Jan provided for his “easiest and most reliable” stirling engine – the Coffee Cup Stirling Engine. Here’s a video of a few different versions of this engine in action:

Be sure to visit Jan’s website for more inspiration!

And if you don’t have enough materials in your scrap bin to build a stirling from scratch, they’re are tons of great kits on Ebay and books on Amazon to get you started. Just look below. Be aware, however, that most kits on Ebay aren’t ready to assemble, they just save you the time of gathering up all the necessary materials. Usually machining is still required to complete the kit . . . which is kinda the whole point.

  Stirling_Coffee_Cup_-_Jan_Ridders.pdf (1.6 MiB, 9,326 downloads)
NOTE: You need to be a registered member (and logged in) to download this file.

  • HOW? You can register using the yellow "Register" link in the upper right corner of the website. If you've registered previously you just need to log in using the "Have an account? Log In" link located in the upper right corner of the site.
  • COST? It's currently free to register and become a member of this site.
  • PRIVACY? Your email address will be encrypted and kept private.


  • BENEFITS? Registering for the site allows you to download plans and other documents. Registering will also grant you forum access, allowing you to log into the forum using the same username and password you used to register for the site.
  • RSS? Subscribing to the RSS feed or subscribing to receive email messages whenever the site content is updated is not the same as registering. If you would like to receive email notifications you still need to sign up for that service. AND WE STILL WON'T SPAM YOU! We will, however, send you an email whenever the site is updated with new content. That's typically about 1 email a month or less.

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About Tyler

Tyler is a hobby machinist and 3D printing aficionado. He teaches computer programming and web development at Highline College near Seattle. Tyler founded Projects In Metal in 2008 because he was frustrated by the lack of free plans available for hobby machinists.


  1. A beautiful looking model. Now I just need to buil one. Many thanks.

  2. I’m glad you like it. Post some pictures of the build once you get started!

  3. I have just finished my Stirling Engine in acordance with Jan's drawings and it works. It wont run as fast as the one in the video but i had it going for 30minutes today. Its not quite 100percent balanced either so i plan to make another one thats even better! So guys from me, it works and its a great feeling when it first ticks over. I had smiles for the rest of the day. Your friends will be amazed!

  4. Awesome! How long did it take? I wanted to make Jan's stirling first, but I was nervious that the tolerances needed would be beyond my abilities so I opted to make his flamesucker instead. It's good to know you were able to make it without much trouble. Will you have time to take a few pictures? Or better yet, video? I'd like to see how it turned out. When I start on mine I'll be sure to ask you about your setup.

  5. I tried uploading a movie but it wont let me? it took me about 40hours to make. I will be sure to take some photos and post them up.

  6. I wonder why it wouldn't let you upload the movie. How big is the file? I upload all of mine to Youtube and then link to them from their Youtube link – that way I'm using Youtube's bandwith whenever someone watches it. Do you have a Youtube account? If not, you could send me the video and I could upload it to my Youtube account for you. Or you could just start a Youtube account. It's free… Let me know. I'd like to see the video.

  7. Here's a link to a nice writeup by MadReptillian on how to make the flywheel:…..gine/#p381

    Hey Mad, did you ever get the movie uploaded to youtube? If not, can you figure out a way to send it to me? I'll post it on my youtube account and link to it here.