Product: Musical Instrument: String
Stirling engine powered hurdy-gurdy   (+11)  [vote for, against]
That's it really

I recently built (from a kit; see link 1) a model Stirling engine. It's very pretty and whizzes around with much gusto, but doesn't do anything productive. It has a pulley so it could be used to power a dynamo or such, but basically it's a toy.

I also recently found a video tape of my 40th birthday party (all those years ago) which featured (if that's the right word) a guy playing a hurdy-gurdy. (See links 2 to 4 if the item is unfamiliar.) The limiting factor in hurdy music is that you only have one free hand to play a melody because the other one's winding the handle. (According to David Munroe, the hurdy was originally intended to be played by two people, one winding and the other keying, but this is rarely done now.)

It's entirely possible to use an electric motor to power it but for the sake of combining two fairly pointless technologies I propose the use of a toy Stirling engine to operate the wheel of a hurdy-gurdy.
-- angel, Mar 28 2008

My Stirling engine http://www.nautical...rm_model/95176.html
[angel, Mar 28 2008]

[angel, Mar 28 2008]

[angel, Mar 28 2008]

And again
[angel, Mar 28 2008]

Nonverbal hurdy gurdy educational video
Mentioned in my anno. Guy shows you how to play the hurdy gurdy without speaking. [notexactly, Apr 16 2018]

//the hurdy was originally intended to be played by two people, one winding and the other keying, but this is rarely done now//
Union rules, probably.
-- coprocephalous, Mar 28 2008

I'd have one.
-- skinflaps, Mar 28 2008

+ great +
-- xandram, Mar 28 2008

Haha, magic!
-- calum, Mar 28 2008

How do you operate the "chien" if both hands are on the keyboard? You need a way to adjust the speed of the engine. Perhaps a pedal?
-- daydreamlab, Mar 30 2008

You get a bun just for thinking of the most useless thing that a stirling engine could power.

Mrrrrooooooow meeeeaaaaaaaaooooooommmmmm brrrooooooaaaaaaooooommmm...
-- wagster, Mar 30 2008

Donovan didn't think it was so useless.
-- AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 30 2008

Yes, but he was Welsh.
-- wagster, Mar 30 2008

Pretty motor. It's a good thing I don't have one on my desk; I'd never get anything done.
-- elhigh, Mar 31 2008

See video: [link]. You don't necessarily want the crank to turn at a constant rate; it's one of the things you can vary to control the sound. (I assume there are musical terms for what I said, but I'm not a musician (yet).)
-- notexactly, Apr 16 2018

random, halfbakery