Model Traction Engine for a Novice!

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Rugbyears

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Well I have finally bit the bullet and am going for it!!! As a complete novice in 'Model Engineering' terms, I have decided to attempt to build a small model Traction Engine with my 12 year old son. Although I have created some basic rudimentary steam engines and boilers from spare parts, I have never actually machined a model from the beginning. As a novice, it is daunting, but I am wanting to learn and will always the appreciate help and guidance of others. After the passing of my father, I decided there was no better way of spending quality time with my son making memories whilst educating him without him realising (sneaky I know), but I would much rather he engages in this passion rather than sitting playing on a computer or social media.

My workshop contains, a bench grinder, a vintage Drummond roundbed lathe, pillar drill as well as other various small tools. Although I have never machined a model, I am able to read engineering drawings, well most of them and have Fusion360 (Which was a mission in itself to learn). I would be sincerely appreciative of any help as I journey along, I've big enough shoulders to accept criticism, but would kindly ask that it is constructive and appreciate that my young son are both novice. I'm certainly not adverse to making mistake and view them positively as a means of learning. I have tried to equip myself with as much understanding and knowledge as any layman could, however reading the many books does not compensate for all of your experience and knowledge. I've acquired the following books over the years to provide a basic understanding:
- The Model Engineer's Handbook 3rd Ed - Tubal Cain
- Model Engineering A Foundation Course - Peter Wright
- Building Simple Model Steam Engines (Books 1 & 2) -
- Ship Modelling from Scratch -Edwin B. Leaf
- Introducing Model Traction Engine Construction - John Haining

Now for the tricky part, which basic Model Traction Engine do we attempt. Quite honestly, I was going to use the information contained in John Hainings book 'Introducing Model Traction Engine Construction' to creat a rudimentary model, although I would be very interested if others can suggest an alternative.
Thank you.
 

fcheslop

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If you want to build an ultra simple traction engine? My choice would be the Wells or Myfordboys you can see a full build on his youtube thingymabob and he sells the castings and gears at a reasonable price
Camden Miniature Steam Services have just reprinted the Wells book and the finished engine is very like a Mamod
The Wells used castings made in house at the school .I did one and just made it from bar stock
Both nice easy quick builds
cheers
 

Rugbyears

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If you want to build an ultra simple traction engine? My choice would be the Wells or Myfordboys you can see a full build on his youtube thingymabob and he sells the castings and gears at a reasonable price
Camden Miniature Steam Services have just reprinted the Wells book and the finished engine is very like a Mamod
The Wells used castings made in house at the school .I did one and just made it from bar stock
Both nice easy quick builds
cheers
Fcheslop - Fabulous news thank you. I have been trying for a very long time to source the Kenneth Wells books, so much so that I bought one of eBay in January for an extraordinarily expensive price, only for it to never arrive from Australia. With regards to small castings, where possible I am planning on trying to design and print a mould using the 3D printer and then cast them, though I may revise this idea.

I’m delighted with the news regarding the reprints of the old Step by step books, so much so I’ve just ordered it. :)
Thanks
 

fcheslop

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Hi, I have a vague idea that the drawings only no text are available in this forums download section .May have been posted by Tony Muir ?
May give you a head start
Good luck with the build and I hope you enjoy it
kind regards
frazer
 

fcheslop

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Rugbyears

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Thank you for the link Frazer, it’s was very good of you to take the time. I have actually read this thread prior to posting. The drawings are indeed useful, however for the bargain price of £21 I’ve ordered the book. 🙂
 

Edwitney

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Well I have finally bit the bullet and am going for it!!! As a complete novice in 'Model Engineering' terms, I have decided to attempt to build a small model Traction Engine with my 12 year old son. Although I have created some basic rudimentary steam engines and boilers from spare parts, I have never actually machined a model from the beginning. As a novice, it is daunting, but I am wanting to learn and will always the appreciate help and guidance of others. After the passing of my father, I decided there was no better way of spending quality time with my son making memories whilst educating him without him realising (sneaky I know), but I would much rather he engages in this passion rather than sitting playing on a computer or social media.

My workshop contains, a bench grinder, a vintage Drummond roundbed lathe, pillar drill as well as other various small tools. Although I have never machined a model, I am able to read engineering drawings, well most of them and have Fusion360 (Which was a mission in itself to learn). I would be sincerely appreciative of any help as I journey along, I've big enough shoulders to accept criticism, but would kindly ask that it is constructive and appreciate that my young son are both novice. I'm certainly not adverse to making mistake and view them positively as a means of learning. I have tried to equip myself with as much understanding and knowledge as any layman could, however reading the many books does not compensate for all of your experience and knowledge. I've acquired the following books over the years to provide a basic understanding:
- The Model Engineer's Handbook 3rd Ed - Tubal Cain
- Model Engineering A Foundation Course - Peter Wright
- Building Simple Model Steam Engines (Books 1 & 2) -
- Ship Modelling from Scratch -Edwin B. Leaf
- Introducing Model Traction Engine Construction - John Haining

Now for the tricky part, which basic Model Traction Engine do we attempt. Quite honestly, I was going to use the information contained in John Hainings book 'Introducing Model Traction Engine Construction' to creat a rudimentary model, although I would be very interested if others can suggest an alternative.
Thank you.
 

Edwitney

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Hi
I would suggest looking at Myford Boys Traction Engine. Search the Web and you can buy the castings and drawings from him. Optional gears are available as well. I am building one at the moment.
 

justisla

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I know that you have decided on a steam engine, but if you have a lake nearby have you thought of a steam boat. You could chuff it round a lake & your son would have far more fun watching it go. A myfordboy steam engine will get a bit boring once built & a simple steam engine in a simple hull which you could buy as a GRP model would involve bits that he could do. Plus even stick RC in it & extend the range of alternatives that a young lad can follow in his hobby future. .As an example A youngster can build a balsa cabin & paint it all sorts of colours & do a bit of fibre glassing without ruining it whilst dad puts the boiler & engine in it. It is something that you can do more together than him just watching you turn a con rod
 

mnay

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There is another really simple one to build which could be scaled up or down. I believe Village Press sells the book.
 

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Rugbyears

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Good evening all, there are some very good ideas which I sincerely appreciate. I particularly like the one about building a small steam boat. As fortune May have it, we have built two small sail boats previously, in fact my son has built 3, as he build one with his grandfather - Though none of them had an engine, just a simple sail and some string. I must say, I really am captivated by that idea and will attempt it next. As I’ve now purchased the Metal Step-by-Step 3 book, we are going to try this one first. Indeed, we’re even going to attempt to make our castings.
 

Rugbyears

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Well my new little book arrived late yesterday afternoon. It has certainly cheered me up. Now to source the necessary materials. @fcheslop thank you for all of your help thus far with recommend suppliers, it’s been an enormous help. @Myfordboy also has also been extremely helpful regarding castings.

now wish me luck!
 

fcheslop

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Good luck with youre build
Minnie is not a quick build by any means compared to the Wells or Myfordboys engines
Also the staying for Minnie is a bit questionable as is getting the whole lot squared up
cheers
 

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