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Micro Machines: An Interview With The Ex-Naval Mechanic Who Builds Tiny Engines

“I have no patience at all,” says José Manuel Hermo Barreiro, who also goes by the name “Patelo”. “I’m a very impatient person; I do this because I love it.” It’s not the sort of statement you’d expect from a man who builds unbelievably small, fully-working engines from scratch. Surely it takes more than just passion to see such intricate creations through from start to finish?

Apparently, love is all that’s needed for the elderly Patelo, who strongly believes in keeping the “art” of repairing and building alive, to see something and understand it on a level so fundamental that you can just make the bits you need and assembly them into a living machine.

The interview, conducted by Lainformacion, is in Spanish, but features English subtitles for the linguistically challenged. In it, Patelo’s dedication and desire come through clearly. Having spent 15 thousand hours (by his reckoning) on his hobby, it’s hard to deny the guy is addicted to his craft. But it’s a good addiction to have.

Last week we featured a clip of another tiny mechanical marvel being constructed — an air-powered V12. It’s difficult to determine if the builder in this clip is Patelo, but the YouTube channel it appears in does contain several videos of Patelo’s engines.

[En el taller de Patelo: 'Nunca pensé que mi motor daría la vuelta al mundo', via Instructables]


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