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Old 04-20-2011, 11:37 AM   #1
syrtismajor
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Default 3.5" gauge live steam locomotive (first build!)

Ok, first post here for me. Been a long time browser and lurker but thought I'd finally take the plunge and post something!
This is my first proper model engineering build and is being a steep learning curve. I have never had any training in engineering (other than a 'A' in design technology at school) and my further education and work line is all laboratory based.
This all started four years ago when I was into model steam (Mamod, Wilesco, Jensen etc) and I was tinkering with them. I managed (successfully) to make a double acting slide valve cylinder for a Mamod traction engine using nothing but a drill, files and pure determination.
I was then sold an ageing Emco-Unimat SL1000 (the motor promptly blew and was replaced with a sewing machine motor!) and I started making proper chips.
At that point, someone offered me a project. A LSBC designed 3.5 inch gauge (3/4 scale) American Virginia steam locomotive. All that he had was some part turned driving wheels, part machined cylinders and some rather uniquely dimensioned (read 'slightly not to drawing') frames.
To cut a long story short (and it is a long story!), this is where I am now using my trusty Unimat and a friend with a lathe who bored the cylinders and tread-ed the wheels:



(forgive the clutter)

And here are some components in various stages of manufacture:



The boiler is commercially made (Cheddar models UK) which I bought second hand but unused with certification for 1/4 the cost it should have been. Other than that I have made everything you see there other than the two domes (I got with the boiler), the treads on the wheels and the cylinder bores. The frames were the ones cut by the previous owner but I have reshaped them and they do have a few erroneous holes (but they're well hidden).

And the best bit about all this so far? The chassis runs on air! (well, from a bicycle pump. One pump give about 2/3 turn of the wheels.

My next goal is to find an engineering club and get the boiler properly tested and fired up! And maybe finish the tender...



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Old 04-20-2011, 01:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: 3.5" gauge live steam locomotive (first build!)

Wow. I am still at the basic steam engine stage (built one so far) but im looking forward to following this build. Good luck and heaps of photos please



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Old 04-21-2011, 06:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: 3.5" gauge live steam locomotive (first build!)

very nice looking build,i haven't got there yet! i'll be watching this one
keep on posting pics and progress reports.

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so... do you do this alot?

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Old 04-27-2011, 12:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: 3.5" gauge live steam locomotive (first build!)

That's looking really nice, and you are making all your own fittings rather than go out any buy them.

What is the purpose of the jig?

I'm looking forward to seeing more

Pete

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Old 04-27-2011, 02:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: 3.5" gauge live steam locomotive (first build!)

syrtismajor,
First let me commend you on a nicely turned out, crisp and workmanlike first attempt. Well done so far. I also note with great interest that Cheddar used the same dodge I have used on a couple of occasions to avoid the bother and expense of making the middle boiler course of a traditional truncated cone. That dodge being to dispense with the tapered course and run the barrel tube straight into the smokebox. Far easier (and less expensive) to do and although this can't help but reduce steam and water capacity a bit, if all else is well done the overall effect will be negligible and an argument could be made that a boiler so made will be stronger.

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Old 04-27-2011, 09:30 PM   #6
syrtismajor
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Default Re: 3.5" gauge live steam locomotive (first build!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herbiev
Wow. I am still at the basic steam engine stage (built one so far) but I'm looking forward to following this build. Good luck and heaps of photos please
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoprat
very nice looking build,i haven't got there yet! I'll be watching this one
keep on posting pics and progress reports.
Many thanks!
I will try to post plenty of pics! I haven't taken many so far and have a habit of not stopping when I'm going so I normally forget the camera until after I finished the part I was making

Quote:
Originally Posted by doubletop
That's looking really nice, and you are making all your own fittings rather than go out any buy them.

What is the purpose of the jig?

I'm looking forward to seeing more

Pete
I chose to make my own fittings as practice due to my lack of experience with a lathe. It also helps me understand how they all work. The own thing I will buy however is the injector just so I know it works when needed!
The jig? I assume that you mean the large metal frame in front of the engine in the first photo? If so, that isn't a jig but the tender frames and two bogie (truck) frames. The whole thing is upside down in the picture. I've recently moved on with one of the bogie's and looks like this (with some in progress parts):



LBSC says to make the tender frame by bending two lengths of steel into long 'c' shapes and riveting them together. That didn't sound strong enough to me so I just used two lengths of steel bolted onto two 0.5" drag bars (all made into the same dimensions).
He also says that the bogie frames should be brazed together from eleven parts in one go! My small butane blowtorch was not up to that so the top frame was cut from a 6x7 inch 3/16" steel plate rather than fabricated and the horns silver soldered on one by one by eye without the use of a heat sucking jig.
I've also gone against convention by part maching the wheels, fixing them to the axles then finishing the tread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GWRdriver
syrtismajor,
First let me commend you on a nicely turned out, crisp and workmanlike first attempt. Well done so far. I also note with great interest that Cheddar used the same dodge I have used on a couple of occasions to avoid the bother and expense of making the middle boiler course of a traditional truncated cone. That dodge being to dispense with the tapered course and run the barrel tube straight into the smokebox. Far easier (and less expensive) to do and although this can't help but reduce steam and water capacity a bit, if all else is well done the overall effect will be negligible and an argument could be made that a boiler so made will be stronger.
Many thanks for your kind words!
The boiler has been made to LBSC's specifications (other than the use of bushes for the fittings rather than threaded holes in the copper and copious amounts of plumbers mait!).
It is odd however that Cheddar have not taken into account the errors in the drawings. When made to drawing, the boiler will not fit in the frames if equalised springing for the driving wheels is used (that was a good few hours wasted machining the cast springs etc). Secondly, there is hardly any room for the blow down valve. The bushing is practically the same plane as the rear axle and only gives about 3/4" clearance . That is a problem (challenge) for later on though! I'll be sure to consult these forums for advice when I decide to tackle it.

I should really say now that my old Unimat has finally killed its motor and has been sold on to a local tool merchant to be repaired and re-sold. Its replacement is a Clarke CL250M http://chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/Clark...tal-Lathe.html since I do not have space in my shared and rented flat for anything bigger! So far it seems to be up to the job and making progress much easier.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: 3.5" gauge live steam locomotive (first build!)

Thanks for the update, it obvious now you explain its the tender frames. It looks like you are doing a great job there with what sounds like constrained condition's to work in.

Next question, how did you do the Virginia name plates? A friend recently did mine on his CNC'd X3 mill and that turned out to be bit of a journey itself. (They only are 30mm long)



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Old 04-27-2011, 11:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: 3.5" gauge live steam locomotive (first build!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by doubletop
how did you do the Virginia name plates?
The name plates are just simple castings. I got them with the boiler, no idea what supplier they are from. I only machined one to see what it would look like and isn't of the best quality. The Virginia name won't be used anyway since I'm going to name it one of the following:
'Jack 'O' Lantern' or 'Jack Skellington'
These American loco's always seem autumnal to me for some reason (maybe because some burned wood?) and wanted the name to follow.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: 3.5" gauge live steam locomotive (first build!)

OK thanks. There aren't many DIY ways of doing these as far as I know, CNC if you've got access to the equipment or etching PCB style, although I've seen some of those and they aren't up to much either, and I suppose there is casting but then making the mould must be another equal challenge. Otherwise its commercial.

Pete

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Old 07-08-2011, 03:12 PM   #10
syrtismajor
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Default Re: 3.5" gauge live steam locomotive (first build!)

A minor update
I haven't been able to do much recently as the loss of the Unimat has handicapped my progress as I am now lacking even a basic milling machine. Funds are also not present to buy the milling attachment for my new Clarke lathe.
Anyway, I have managed to make the number plate! It is a little rough but I think it will add character to the engine. it was made from 1" brass rod parted off 1/8" thick and 1/16" plate for the numbers. These were drilled, filed and sanded to shape over three hours. They were then silver soldered on, flooded with red paint and the front faced off. The red paint will most likely be replaced nearer to the completion of the loco to a darker shade.
Here it is mounted onto the smoke box door:


Since I completed the number plate, I though I would move on to a part of the loco's voice (no matter how quiet it will be!) and started work on the bell:


(ignore the swarf )
Well that's all there is for now, I'll be sure to post more when something more exciting appears!



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