Sunday, September 29, 2013


Today I took a bit of time and tapped the 8 holes that hold the pedestals to the pedestal spacers.  Then I screwed together that part of the assembly.  This is the first time I get to see the pedestals in their actual position relative to the side frame.  It is quite deep under there, not quite sure I did good with the rivet placement on the side frames that simulate pedestal mountings.

I also took the time to grind and file the hole in the second frame end for the coupler pocket.  Lots of time and just when I was about to stop for the day the coupler pocket slipped in.  Now I just need to make the second coupler pocket.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Arbor Impressive

Today I was happy it was raining, that let me spend a long time down in the workshop without feeling guilty.
Work continued on making the end step supports.  I bent the last one, after making a contraption to try to bend it, breaking two C clamps in the process I ended up using the arbor press once again without any extra setup.

I also made the seat today, it is out of the same oak as the end steps I drilled a hole in the middle, used the bandsaw to rough it to shape then finished it using the bench grinder.  By screwing the seat to a longer board I was able to let the seat spin and become perfectly round and smooth.

The last thing I did today was cut the end step brackets to length.  I used a C-clamp and a piece of wood to make a stop.  Measure once cut three times.  Next is to drill the holes in the brackets for mounting the end step and mount the brackets.

Friday, September 27, 2013

With some help

Today I bent 3 of the 4 end foot board holders.   It took some help from guys at work.  We had an old bend tester for checking welds.  I was able to get it and have one of the guys at work cut it in half for me.  Another person helped me out by welding a bar onto my die for the arbor press.  I then cut two 45 degree angles and had two more guys help me remove the weld.  With another couple helping me carry the heavy thing it ended up with 6 coworkers helping me today.   


I also planned the last bracket, it is the one that holds the seat.  I worked backwards, measuring the mannequin and brake wheel position to figure out where the seat needed to be.  His arms are quite short.  Tomorrow I will bend that one and cut all of them to length.

Monday, September 23, 2013

making a jig

Today I started making the jig for bending my end step pieces.  I got a piece of square stock rounded.  Next I will put a point on it.  I also have to make the other half of the fixture.  I also returned the extra steal today.  I have to watch out and not make mistakes.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

IMSE and More Coupler Pocket

This weekend I did my first real show and tell with the Jeffrey.  Brought it to the Iowa Model Steam Engineers fall meet.  It was fun, got some good advice from those that have drilled and milled before.  The good news is I am on track and like me people can not wait to see it running in the spring.  
 There were 7 steamers, 4 gassers and 3 electrics there.  Here is a pair of gassers that John made a while back, one pulling the train I am on the other in the lead on the bridge.  The blue engine is electric.

 I took a photo of the ballast car, very utilitarian trucks, but they look like what I need to have for my long flat cars.  Laurance also brought his archbar trucks, said the design is from a very old Live Steam magazine, good news is I have it, not sure what issue...
 Sunday after doing a lot of relaxing I started in on the second coupler pocket.  Made good progress.  So far I have used 8 dremel blades.  I only have three left of the heavy duty ones, I may have to go buy more.  Reminded I need to buy a new tapping handle and a 1/4-20 tap.
Today I also cut and set aside the steel that I will not be using.  I went to an online vendor that sold in 12 foot lengths to estimate the costs, I am keeping some of the small stuff, but not all of it.  Giving more back than I want to, but it will save me money.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Coupler Pocket Part 2

Yesterday I sorted my three decades of Live Steam magazine, now it is a little less random when I pull them out of the box.  Definitely worth the average 40 cents each I paid for them.  Much better content than the 25 cent each Modeltec I had bought earlier this summer.  I disagree with Jeff, it is not better to wait for the book for a construction article.  There is so many small tidbits that will never make it into a book.  Plus I paid less for these magazines than the three Kozo books that are duplicated within.  Definitely got more content for less money.

Today I finished my first coupler pocket.  I am 99% satisfied with it.  If coupler pocket #2 turns out better I will make a third, if #2 is worse looking I will rethink things.   I also spent some time measuring the computer screen and doing math with Anna to determine that I will use .5x.25 material to hold the end steps, not .75x.25 material as I was planning.  The real material was somewhere inbetween, maybe 2.5" and I am choosing 2" over a planned 3".  There are other deviations in the model to make it look better.  Makes me glad to not have blueprints to work from, my Jeffrey will be just as much art as science.

Tomorrow and Saturday I am going down to Mt. Pleasant to interact with members of the Iowa Model Steam Engineers club.  Using my points to get a free room at Holiday Inn Express.  Bringing a bunch of parts of the Jeffrey to show it off.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Starting the Coupler Pocket

Today I started shaping the coupler pocket.  Got the corners cut off.  Now a bunch of grinding to make a nice smooth radius.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Square hole #1

Other than the pedestals, which I had laser cut, I think making the coupler pockets will be the worst part of this model.  They consist of a 1x2" 1/8th wall tube able to accept a Tom Bee or other coupler.  But I am rounding the ends and extending it through the end frame members.  Today I spent 8 plus hours making the rectangular hole on one endsill.  A long day of drilling, grinding, and filing but I am done with #1.  I should have counted but I am pretty sure I used 12 Dremel cutoff disks.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Measure 5 Times Drill 4

Today I started setting up for the hole in the end plate for the coupler pockets.  First time I measured wrong by just measuring from the left side - the width was not per print.  The next three times it was not getting much better.  I finally got it, centerdrilled and drilled the four 5/16" holes and set the part in place.  That is when noticed I had somehow flipped the part over, the top was the bottom, the bottom the top.  To fix it I just filed off my little T, made it a B and put a T on what was formally the bottom.  Now I need to connect the 4 holes with straight lines to make a 1"x2" rectangle for the coupler to fit into.

I am designing the coupler pockets to look like the prototype riveted on angles but to be able to hold a Tom Bee coupler should I choose to install one.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Quick Drill

Took and hour this afternoon to centerdrill and drill the other side frame.  Then went and chamfered all the holes to clear a fillet found on each rivet.   Now it is time to run off and attend a CVAST board meeting.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Grandpa's Collection

After Grandpa died I had asked mom if I could have his wooden clamps, the ones he used to hold together the chairs he repaired that are in our dinning room.  I got those, as well as his collection of screws, nuts, washers, bolts, and other small fasteners all in three small wooden boxes.  It took a long time, many winter evenings were spent sorting them out while the television was on.

Today I used four bolts from that collection.  I needed something to hold the bars that hold the 4-bar motor stabilization mechanism in place.  The 8-32 bolts I bought were too small, the 1/4-20 bolts I bought were too big.  Having sorted out previously I found a film container with 12 10-24 bolts.  I only needed 4.  I used to figure out which size drill I needed, my calipers to search through the drills I have (bought a toolbox for $5 that had many drill bits and other lightly rusty tools in it about a year ago, cleaned everything up and have used many of the tools.)  I found what I was looking for, drilled, and then because this was in the 1.125 thick metal that I broke the 1/4-20 tap in earlier I counterbored from the backside with a 1/4" drill bit.  Then I hand tapped the 4 holes, 1/2 turn forward, 1 turn back, 1.5 turns forward .5 back... 4 successful mounting points.

As I had time this evening I made a drilling fixture for my spring buttons, which also is a locating fixture for the pedestal mounting rivets.  Now the rivets are purely for show but I wanted them evenly spaced.  while centerdrilling the pedestal mounting rivet holes I thought why not locate and drill all the other for show rivets at the same time.

Anna came down and helped me.  We used the end rivet locating jig to scribe a mark of horizontal for each hole and then looked at the CAD drawing and used the calipers to measure how far each hole was from the end.  Marked the hole with a centerpunch and a mark from a magic marker.  Centerdrilled many holes, then drilled many holes.  Last because all the holes on the left side line up with the right side we matched the parts up and used the transfer punches to mark the locations on the second piece.

That is when bedtime snuck upon us.  Hugs and kisses and cleaning up the shop, a photo of the progress, the centerdrilling and drilling of the right side will have to wait for Thursday.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Counterbore in order to tap less

This afternoon I added the counterbore to the pedistal spacer,  now after I get a new tap I will only have to tap 5 or 6 threads.  I also made a 1/4" thick spring rests that go on the inside of the journals.  I did not start the holes with a centerdrill because these parts will not be seen.  Note to self, centerdrills help, use them.  

I should also note how good of an idea it is to have all the equipment on casters.  Being able to easily move around the bandsaws, toolboxes, and arbor press / grinder is well worth the effort it took to make the bases.  The next thing I should do is run power to each of those machines.  As it stands I plug into an outlet by the dryer and run one extension cord to what ever tool I am using.  This is good for the drill press as I really like having it unplugged while I change tooling, for the other tools it is not as fun, especially if I am using several different tools in a row.

I am now going to make a jig that will be used to locate the springs and use the same spacing for the rivits that appear to hold the pedestals in place.

morning fix

Took an hour this morning to cut & layout the holes and drill 8 holes for the pedestal spacers.  Later I will do the counterbore and after I buy a tap, tap.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

two steps forward, one tap back

Made some nice progress today.  Cut all the parts related to the journals and pedestals.  I started drilling and tapping the 1/4-20 holes in the pedestal spacer bar shown on the front edge of the toolchest.

On hole #3 of 4 for the first side I broke off the tap when 3/4" in.  I knew I was skirting trouble by tapping so deep.  I bought 1" bolts, and the pedestals are 5/16" deep.  Robb suggested I drill the backside wider so I only have to tap 5 threads deep.  I will do that after I get a new tap & a new handle.   I thought I was being smart buying a 60 piece set from Menards for $25.  The handle stripped out within the first few turns of the first hole.  I was using a vice grip from then on.  My bad, I got distracted and torqued sideways.

I lifted the frame onto the batteries to get a better sense of how it will look when complete.  Also purchased the wood for the end steps, seen in front of the O scale train.  The end steps is 1/2"x3" for a scale 2x10.  The deck will be twelve 1x3" for scale 3x10s.

In other news I mounted the bench grinder today on the table behind the arbor press.  I wanted it far away from the O scale railroad, don't need metal dust on that track or in the engine.  Drilling a 1/4" hole through that 1" plate with a hand drill took a long time.  I took lots of breaks while doing it.

And for a parting shop here is a photo of a journal - pedestal assembly.  Brass buttons will keep the springs in place, need to have Jeff or Robb (or use of a lathe) to machine those.  Also the journals are 3 parts screwed together, none of the holes are drilled on those yet.

Friday, September 06, 2013

What to cut first

I received the last of the needed steel today.  Only metal left to is some brass that will be cut to holders for the springs.  I also need to purchase the wood deck material.   I got lots of choices in what to cut.  I cut the pedestal spacer, need to drill and tap the mounting holes for the pedestals. I also cut the brass glides for the journals.  And the center part of the journals, that is when I confirmed a fear I had last night, I did not account for clearance so the journal can slide up and down.  I will have to trim the pedestals so the brass is out a little so the journals can slide.  Note to self, update the drawing so there is clearance.

Monday, September 02, 2013

This weekend I made and used a template for rivit hole placement in the 8 corners.  Then used a 3/16" transfer punch to mark, a spring punch to deepen the hole, a center drill to start the hole and then a 3/16" drill to through hole 40 holes in the corners of the 1/2" thick bar stock. This is slightly less than half the holes needed for rivits.

The weekend was not without problems.  I was drilling the centerdrill too deep and eventually broke it off in the hole, both ends of the 1/16" - 1/4" style one.  I was told that I had my drill speed too slow.  I maxed it out to 3200 RPM and used a 1/8th" centerdrill to start rest of the holes.  Then at the advice of the manual & chat I keep the speed high to drill my 3/16" holes.  Burned up two drill bits on the first two holes.  Good news is I was able to clean out the holes no stuck drill bits.  Using my last drill bit I tried lowering the speed to 1500, 1000, 750, then 500 RPM.  The last two worked well, drilled the last 35 holes at 500 RPM. 

I also set the control board in place, I have to cut the ears of the motor mounts so it will all fit.  I am so worried about getting something bad into the motor and ruining it.  I guess I could have increased the length of the machine an inch or two to have more room.  It all fits in CAD, it should fit in real life.  Also at Nancy's urging I have started estimating how much of the steel stock I will keep.  The supplier is willing to reshelf any I do not use, charging me only for what I keep.  Their advantage is not cutting, mine is not paying to cut.  I am going to wait to do more until the pedistals they are cutting for me arrive, do some things like go for a bike ride.  I did turn the garden compost pile and play a game of tag with the kids in the front yard after dinner.