resurrected an old project 3 cylinder fairbanks (going to be a long build)

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Well good on you Chuck for pushing on through that. I'm sure the end product will make it all worth while.

thanks bronson for the kind words to help me along :)

nothing to report as i have been sick all week end :mad: but as soon as i start feeling a bit better i will be at this model with a vengeance !!!

no work tomorrow night as i have to pick up my new to me pick up............the wife let me buy this truck so i can haul my models
and full size engine to steam shows this summer (i think she just wants me out of the house all summer) :hDe:

ah well off to bed to try to get some sleep...............good night all

What great project Chuck. I can understand your frustration as to the cylinders but Bronson said, good for you for pushing ahead and the final result will be well worth the effort I am sure. Thanks for resurrecting this one though we all know you were really just letting the castings "age" properly :big:

Will certainly be following along however long it takes.

Beautiful job Chuck, I did the same thing not to long ago. Keep the lathe turning and when she hits the first time its all well worth it. Great craftsmanship your putting out there, I wish the castings were still available, I have always had a soft spot for it. Brian ;D
i like your comment bill about letting the castings age :big: and it will be a while before i get back in the shop as i still cannot shake this flu bug :mad:

brian you are right about the castings not being available any more. i heard that all the patterns and drawings were destroyed. if i was really wanting one i would get the drawings and fabricate the whole engine and then get 2 flywheel castings that were close to the original. it would take allot of time to fab. it but it could be done.
i got this set of castings from a good friend of mine who while i was visiting him just handed me a box full of castings and said "good luck"

well thanks again guys and i hope to be in the shop latter this week.

well i got some work done today............all be it not much :p

i ordered the piston rings from dave reed (otto piston rings) and they should be here next week then i will be able to cut the ring grooves in the pistons and finish them up.
just a quick word about otto piston rings, this guy stocks rings from 5/8" dia up to 50 or 60" dia. my dad and i have bought lots of rings from dave in the past for our full size hit and miss engines.
excellent guy to deal with and he all ways has what we want in stock.
any who enough about piston rings.

i figured the next parts to make would be the 3 connecting rods.
the first picture shows the first rod being turned to size.


then i faced off the rod bearing end


the three rods rough turned, to finish off the rods they will have a slight tapper


this last picture shows the start of the rod bearings, they are steel block with brass inserts for bearings.


well folks thats it for today, i am still not fully over this flu thing so off to bed i go.

well i got out in the shop for a few hours today and i managed to do some work on the connecting rods.

i started off by putting them on the rotary table and this allowed me to drill and tap the rod bolt holes

first pic shows the rod being dial indicated and centered


next i center drilled and drilled the bolt holes for #6-32 threads


tapped the holes


all tapped


then i had to make a drive dog that would allow me to drill the con rod and cut a tapper the whole length of the rod and still use the rods center hole


the big chamfered hole is were the headstock center went through and picked up the center of the rod. the other two holes are for the bolts that bolt the rod to the drive dog.
like this


and here it is installed in the lathe and ready to go


finished the taper on the first rod


now all three


then i had to cut the rods to length and then make a cut out for the wrist pin eye. so i made a simple jig to hold the rod and locate the cut out.
i use a 7/16 end mill to make the cut out.


and here is the finished cut out


next will be the wrist pin eyes and then i will have to silver solder the eyes in place and machine them for the wrist pin bearings.
that will hopefully be tomorrow night.

thanks for looking

hello fellow modelers wEc1

i got the con rods finished


as you can see i silver soldered the wrist pin ends on to the rod, after the rods cooled i pressed in the wrist pin bearings (oil lite bronze)


the next part to make is the three big end rod bearings, so i cut out 6 blocks of bronze and soft soldered them together.
after machining them i will melt the solder and have 2 bearing halves for each rod.


thats all for now, but i hope to have the bearings done later tonight.

thanks for tuning in *beer*


well i planed on having the rod bearings finished the other night but family things had to be taken care of first. :)

so tonight i got some work done on the rod bearings ;D

i soldered the block together and had to find the center of the blocks so i could chuck them in the lathe and machine the bearing hole in them.

i did some lay out work and scribed center, then i had to center punch the blocks so i would have a reference to set them up in the lathe.

well my eyes are not that good any more so i got out my trusty optical center punch thingy (shown here)



i won't go into a long and boring how to use the optical center punch lecture, but i will show a few pictures of it in use.

first you use the optical site piece


once you found center you remove the optical piece and you insert the punch and whack it with a hammer to give you your center punch mark.


part all centered up in the four jaw chuck and being faced off


bearing hole drilled and then reamed to final size


the next thing to do is machine the outside diameter to fit the connecting rods. so i had to make an expanding mandrel to mount the bearing.
so i chucked up a piece of steel and turned it to the id of the bearing block, then i drilled and tapped a 3/8" bolt hole in the end then i split the mandrel in half (length wise)


now all you do is thread a bolt into the end of the mandrel and as it turned in it will cause the od of the mandrel to expand.


here is the block mounted on the mandrel


i did not take any pictures of the machining of the bearing so here is a picture of it finished


now all i have to do is heat it up till the solder melts and i will have 2 bearing halves

here is the con rod and bearing almost finished


sorry for the long winded account of my adventures but from the start i thought i would give as good of write up as i could (i wish i could explain things like brian) showing the good and the bad. now if some one see's some thing i am doing and has a better way of doing it.........please by all means step up and let me know as this is just an account of how i do things.
if i have not explained things clearly just ask and i will try to clarify what i did.

thanks and good night folks


Earlier in your build, I think you commented you would like to talk to someone concerning the build.

Bob Bromps sold a kit of the 3 cyl, FM, and other iron cast engines. I am sure he would talk with you.

If you have any questions on building the engines, feel free to e-mail or call me. MY phone no. is 541-388-2513.

Greg R
first off i would like to say thanks to greg r for the offer of help..........i will be contacting you when i get to the lifters.

in my last post i showed how i was going to machine the rod bearings, well the first one worked great but the next 2 did not.
when i put the bearing blank on the expandable mandrel and machined the o.d. of the bearing the solder joint broke due to the expanding mandrel pushing outward.

so i had to come up with a different way of doing the bearings, so i soldered the 2 halves together and then soldered a spigot on to the 2 halves.
the spigot was then held in the chuck to do all of the machining required. the pictures tell the story.

before soldering


after soldering


chucked up in the lathe ready to be machined


o.d. turned


bearing finished and desoldered


and finally three rods all done except for the rod bolts and some polishing


now i can move on and get the pistons finished and fitted to the cylinders.
we are moving along........all be it slowly but surely

thanks for tuning in guys *beer*
Ah, man, I love the Fairbanks 3 cylinder engine. I've long had it on my todo list to build a compressed air version. Can't wait to follow your progress on this.

well first and for most i must say to mr fellows GET BUILDING IT :big: :big:

now back to our regularly scheduled program ;D

i got my piston rings last week end so today i figured i would cut the ring grooves in the pistons. so the first pic shows the piston set up in the lathe ready to have the groove cut.


here both ring grooves are cut (.062 wide x .070 deep)


three pistons grooved and waiting for wrist pin holes to drilled and reamed


now to get the wrist pin holes in the center of the wrist pin casting bosses on the inside of the piston required a little thought.
so i came up with this method.
first i made an aluminum plate that fit tightly between the wrist pin bosses. bosses shown in this picture (inside the piston skirt area)


aluminum plate used as a jig


jig inserted in piston


now the piston gets clamped loose in the vise


by running a dial indicator across the jig you can then set the piston parallel to the milling table then you are able to drill and ream the wrist pin holes in there proper place.


this picture shows the wrist pin bosses


then you just have to center the piston and center drill, drill and then ream the hole


and here are the three pistons with there wrist pin holes in place


another shot of the inside of the piston


the next thing to do is remove that big ugly knob off the top of the piston (used to hold the piston for various machining sets)


i cut most of it off with the hack saw then just faced the piston to length and cut the required 30 degree tapper on the top of the piston.
now we have three pistons all done and we can move on to something else



not sure what will be next but i will have to look at the drawings and get going on it tomorrow.

thanks for tuning in :)


Thanks for showing how you aligned the piston wrist pin bosses. I have to remember that trick when I do my Kiwi piston.

vince i am glad you got some thing use full from my ramblings :)

i didn't get much time out in the shop today but i did manage to fabricate the connecting rod dippers
they will need to be cleaned up before they are installed.


i figured i would install the rods and pistons just to see if they fit.............and here they are :D


next came the cylinders


and i mocked up this last shot just for mr chuck fellows, chuck i hope this inspires you to build a compressed air version :big:


not much from chuck of the north but there is always tomorrow.................i hope.

Lookin great Chuck.... Thanks for the idea on locating the holes for the wrist pins!!!

So much to learn, so little time :)

I'm watching this one with real interest.

Great idea on the piston jig. I am a firm believer in making these little tools to aid building the project. They not only save time, but more importantly, they improve accuracy. I have always used a square ti sight in the piston, centered the drill, and measured in from the open end, but was never able to get the hole dead on. I'll try your method next time.

BTW, does anyone know of one of these kits someone might have and doesn't plan to build? I have been looking for one for about 3 years now, and have come up empty. Sure would like to do this build myself.

Looking very nice, Chuck! Might have to get back to my drawings. My compressed air version will be about half the size of yours. Also have to figure out how to make the crankcase. Are your crankcase castings iron or aluminum?

Thanks for the build log Chuck. Lots of nice tips . Glad to also see the good, the bad and the ugly...
good evening gents :)

chuck: thankfully all the castings for this engine are either iron or brass.

myrickman: i am glad you like this build log ;D
as far as the good the bad and the ugly :shrug:

good....yes some good parts have been made
bad......yes some bad parts have been made
ugly......did i post a picture of me :big:

thanks for the comments guys, it keeps me motivated Thm:


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