Picture of Home Made Small Engine Gasket
If you rebuild any small engine, or even take it apart for repair, chances are you'll need to replace the gasket. You could order a new one or you could make your own. Ordering gaskets can delay any project if it doesn't fit right or can't be found. This is a quick and easy alternative.
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
13, 12:20 AM.jpg
13, 12:20 AM.jpg
13, 12:20 AM.jpg
You will need:
Engine gasket material
(found online or in auto stores)
Or brown paper bags (this will get the job done
But is inferior to the gasket material)

Liquid ink or industrial sharpie

Exacto knife

(Optional) hole punch

Engine (I'm rebuilding a lawnmower engine)

Step 2: Practice

Picture of Practice
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13, 12:20 AM.jpg
I used the sharpie for this demonstration because it is a little more difficult. Basically you're just creating a large stamp out of one half of the engine. I practiced a few timed on looseleaf to prefect the technique.

You take the sharpie and draw over the entire edge of the engine quickly, leaving enough ink for it to be visibly wet. You may need to go around the edge 2-6 times in order to get wet ink on it. Immediately after applying the ink flip the engine half onto the paper ink side down and press hard on the top. Remove it and examine your mark. It may take a few times to get this right.

If you're using the ink, dip a Q-tip into the ink and apply it to the edge. This ink will take longer to dry because of the amount but accuracy and speed are still necessary.

Step 3: Final Press

Picture of Final Press
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13, 12:20 AM.jpg
For the final ink press just repeat you're practice ones using the gasket paper. Remember to cover all the area of metal to get a complete stamp. Small spots that do not stay wet are okay. It is more important to get a full stamp with small parts missing than a stamp with one whole side and the other almost invisible.
oil will break down the gasket way too fast. just goto an auto parts store and get a role of gasket material and do this same method.
CharlesB123 (author) 1 year ago
All of these comments are very useful! And would make this project much easier. O-Budd-1 mentioned that improper gasket size can cause the engine to wear much faster or not work at all. My engine runs great with the gasket I made but I understand how that could go wrong. It's an important thing to keep in mind while doing this build. Bill WW, I like the simplicity of the hole punch so much I tested it and am mentioning it in the instructable
heathbar641 year ago
I've used cereal box gaskets for many years. they work great. I like to use the small hammer to cut it out too, but have never tried to wet the gasket matl. it seems to cut fine dry.
EricHi1 year ago
Never thought of doing it this way using stamp pad ink but it's a good idea. Thanks!
lime3D1 year ago
If the part is small enough to fit on a flat-bed scanner, you could scan the part, and cut the gasket on a laser etcher/cutter.
Garrethwr1 year ago
Hey there, I'm currently building a Lotus 7 Replica and found an easier way to go about this.
Get some luke warm water and wet the gasket paper. (don't worry it will hold together).
Then place the paper over the area you wish to make the gasket for.
Take a medium to small size hammer (one you can easily use in one hand), and whilst holding the paper in place, tap the edges of the object you are making the gasket for.
The sharp corners cut the paper.
Wait for paper to dry again and then bolt it all up.

Saves a lot of time with not having to ink and re ink.

Hope it helps cheers.
CharlesB123 (author) 1 year ago
Thank so much for all your comments! I really appreciate all your complements and constructive help. It will improve the way I make my gaskets
Bill WW1 year ago
Nice work and project.

When I have made gaskets with a lot of bolt holes like your example, I have used a simple paper hole punch for most of the holes.

I understand and appreciate the comments of O-Budd-1 (be careful making your own crankcase gaskets). But if you select a gasket thickness close to the original, you should be OK, and I believe what you used was fine. (60+ years making things work, just like you, Werock).
O-Budd-11 year ago
As an experienced small engine mechanic (50+ years) I suggest you be careful making your own crankcase gaskets.

Many small engines, including the Brigs / Stratton pictured, use the the gasket thickness to set crankshaft end play ... too much end play and your engine wears out faster because the piston doesn't stay in proper alignment with the bore.

Too little and you wipe out the thrust faces of the man bearings and may not even be able to turn the crank at all.

BTW, the engine in the old 1952 Cushman scooter in my avatar is a ported, polished, relieved and balanced 140702 series 7 Hp Briggs with a 0.125" mill on the head to make up for lost compression from the relieving. It's too powerful for the 8Hp rated centrifugal clutch ... gotta go for a CVT drive instead in the future.
marc.cryan1 year ago
Nice! I sometimes use liquid gasket maker like this: gasket maker, but it is messy.   I've tried tracing the old gasket, but it always goes wrong.  I like your way better.
wambs81 year ago
I have done this in the past when I can't find a gasket. You can also use the card board from a cerael box. Just make sure you use sealant.