Sunday, December 09, 2018


With the trains at work or stored in closets, sheds, boxes and garages it was time to work on another project.
 This week I took one of the pieces of wood from india that had promising grain (x) and cut it to size for coasters.  First was cutting to width, then in half for the thickness by ripping on the bandsaw.  Then sanding, lots of sanding.  Wore out the paper on my 36 inch belt sander.  I installed a new blade on the table saw and cut to width, more sanding.  Then some test finishes, beeswax, Howard feed-N-Wax, three different stains, and polyurethane.  We are not going to stain the wood as it hides the grain.
We are also working on the base for the trumpet lamp.  We plan polish up the base and the coasters with a really high grit.  The coasters will also get a backing, I think flannel.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Trains at work

A coworker brought in some garland to work and considered it decorating their cube. 
 Nancy and I brought in two mountains, trains in On30, N, and 7.5" eleven rolls of wrapping paper.
 Four little trees, and some other stuff.  To one up them.   It started a full on war, there are now lights hanging all the way around the ceiling, almost every desk is decorated, and there is a festivus pole.
 With pipsqeek at work I started other projects, including wireing up a trumpet as a lamp.
 Making a winter scene in O scale for work.

And searching out articles of 4 wheel tenders for plans.

Nancy also helped me unpack the Sprayberry hopper car. 

For a $675 car it is amazing how much this car is going to cost me.  There is shipping of the car, the trucks, and the detail parts putting the total near $1400.  I have not yet added rivets, riveting tools, paint, decals etc onto the list.  There is a reason finished cars sell for $2600. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Front bumper

Tonight I took off the front end sill of the locomotive and started playing around with how large I wanted the replacement.

I think a 7/8th by 10" by 1-13/16" beam looks about right.  It scales out to 6 inches above the rail and tops out at 2 feet above the rail.  I may add a step at the same 6 inches about 10 scale inches wide. 

By tucking extra steel between the frame I can get the weight of this piece up to 6 lbs.  The cab walls weigh 7 lbs, The roof of the cab 5 lbs.  Lead is 50% more, If I make the beam hollow I can increase the weight to 9 or 10 lbs.  If I use oak and fill with lead the weight would go back down... While I like the wood look I need the weight to balance the cab, and provide better traction. 

So in theory the tractive effort of my loco is 28lbs.  (.85)*Boiler pressure*Bore*Bore*Stroke/Drive Diameter. 0.85*90*1*1*1.5/4=28  The weight on drivers should be four times the TE... 115lbs.  The design loco is 66lbs.  My small boiler I think would be taxed by such a heavy loco, there are inefficiencies that should be accounted for so a final weight of 80lbs will give me a TE of 20lbs.  This is up about 6 lbs from when I bought the loco, and it ran quite well. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Floor frame

 To make the floor frame I decided to repurpose the front floor holder.  I cut it in half and removed the locations other components occupied with a "hand mill."
 Robb meanwhile is considering trading his clishay for this.
 The frame looks good.
 Even better with the floor. Eventually I will get a new boiler that will extend into the empty space.
A sunrise shot on my way into work. 
The propane burner of my locomotive.

Earlier this week I was reaching into one of these dumpsters and felt a pop in my ribs.  It did not feel bad that night but over the next 24 hours it got worse and worse.  Then I rolled over in bed and felt another pop, it is feeling better.
Someday I want to give this machine the attention it deserves.  Currently it has no batteries or control system.
For now I work on the pipsqueek.  No idea why the guy that named it spelled squeak wrong, but they did.
It really did not take all that long to get the floor, this is parallel with the edge to within 0.001 so I am happy with my abilities. 
It fits quite nicely around the johnson bar.
A photo of my hand mill in action.  I have been cutting with my hack saw or band saw and cleaning up with the file. 
Cardboard and cab showing final length.  
A picture of the naked boiler top.

is this another morning or the same one again....
round and round and round it goes
Show me some stop lights
"why not start over?" he asked.
Looking good.
I wanted to build this thing for 10 years, now I have it.
So I am working on this.
So I won't have it for 10 years not running.
Use those muscles.
Spot the differences...
File a little more
Check the fit
yep looks good.
Maybe next year....
still headed in the right direction
It is worth the pain.
The work.
So I can ride the rails.
Into the sunrise.
Behind my own fire propelled locomotive.