Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Second Battery Tray

Today I started grinding the other end of the pedestal spacers.   This was after taking a while off to be sick, entertain grandparents of my children, make and use a trommel, send the journal parts to Jeff to be milled and go for a few bike rides.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Battery Tray

Today I took the time to grind the pedestal spacer back for room for the battery tray thickness.  Then I formed one of the battery trays.  This one with a bump on the backside between the wheels for a little more room.   I don't think I will do the other end the same way, that end will be flat across.

Last night I took the time to see how the machine looked with the manequine.  For a few moments there before I stood it next to the truck I thought the truck was horribly oversized.  Now I am thinking it looks good.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cutting day

Today I went and got the wood for the top and cut it to length.  After reading a white page article that oak is the highest acidic and mahogany is the lowest I was going to buy some mahogany for the top.  But looking at the grain it just reminded me of wet cardboard.  The oak has life to it, there is a reason high priced furniture is made from oak and cheap luan plywood is made from mahogany.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Planning day

Today I spent the time to plan how I am going to make the battery trays.  I have the option of having the inside edge by the axle flat, or to have a one inch bump out to  give more room in the battery tray area.  Not sure if it is unnecessary busy work or a needed feature.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Today I filed all the sharp edges down.  I went from this:
To this:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Got the frame welded today.  Only one rivet backed out, and it is a tiny bit out of square.  The pedestal holding fixture worked well, the pedestals are all parallel, it is just the outer frame that is off.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ready to weld

Today I lined the pedestal spacers to the outside frame, clamped them to each other and then drilled them with 0.185 holes so they are pinned in position for welding.  I am slightly scarred to have this thing welded up.  It is a scary hard to reverse step.  What if something is wrong and I do not know it yet?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Productive Procrastination

Yesterday the weather was really nice, and I had some trepidation about making the fixture to hold the 4 pedestals during welding.  I used my time to make a fence behind the garage between our compost pile an the neighbors.  They had some plastic lattice tied to a piece of rebar stuck in the ground, it was slumped over quite unatractively.  Also the neighbors behind us had 6 ft tall fence atop a 3 ft wood wall.  The fence was leaning into their yard, soft dirt from the backfill of the wall.   I took a piece of 2x2 angle from work, attached one end to the 6 ft tall fence post, the other to the back of our garage, it is level and the fence post is now plum.  I then added in a couple treated 2x4's to hold the lattice.

Today, after going to the Hampton train show, and taking a nap I cut and filed a 1x12 to hold the pedestals in position.  It will work quite well.   The next step is to drill 4 holes to match the pedestal spacers to the outside frames.  This will make everything line up neatly for the welder without much fit and fuss.  If we are lucky the 1x12 will catch fire during the welding...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

drill 8 times...

and the holes still don't line up.

It took some time attach the 4 coupler plates.  I made the holes in the plates 0.185  and the holes in the end frame 0.171.   The rivets are 0.184 in diameter.  so I had to grind them down to 0.173 for the frame.

The next step is to weld it all together.  But the question is, how do I do it and keep the pedestals in alignment and square to each other.  I am thinking I will need to make a fixture to hold the pedestals while the frame is welded.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

a movie and drill press

Today I watched a movie on Hulu while working on the Jeffrey.  Productivity was way down, I only made the 4 parts that go above coupler pocket.  Cutting, grinding smooth, marking & drilling 8 holes.   Not much progress, but progress all the same.

I also spent the time to install 3/4" plywood shelves on the lower two levels of the wall so I will now worry less about stuff falling onto the railroad.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

End step brackets installed

Today I drilled and tapped the holes for mounting the end sills brackets.  A very satisfying operation as it adds a lot of detail to the machine.  I just need to drill 12 more holes and the frame will be ready for welding.  A session on Monday, one on Thursday it should be ready to go.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Rivets Installed

After trying to use the proper method to install rivets of damaging the back side to make them stick and having 3 out of 4 fail I decided to use epoxy to hold the rivets in.

First I made a fixture so I could use the bandsaw to cut the rivets in half.

Then I mixed up small batches of epoxy, hammered in a few rivets, wipe off excess epoxy from the front side.  Repeat.

 I had left the rivets long so i could peen them over, so the last step was to grind the backside smooth with the dremel.

Thinking ahead, I am worried that the epoxies low melting point will make strange things happen when the machine is welded together.

Friday, October 04, 2013

coupler pocket done

Today I finished the second coupler pocket.  They are not perfect, being hand ground instead of made on a mill.  I guess if I want that perfection someday I can grind out the weld and make new ones.  

My next question is what to do about the plate above and below.  See at the ends how the coupler pocket is 1/4" from the side frame. and see how at the corners it is rounded.  The blocks I have on top should have a bunch of metal removed to next neatly around that joint.  Is that worth doing?  Could I just dab some epoxy in there before I paint?

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Second Piece of Scrap

Today I made my second official piece of scrap.  Pretty amazing given the amount of pieces I have made so far.  Working on the coupler pocket one of the drill holes wandered off where I had marked it.  Not sure if it was the center drill or the drill that shifted.  It has to have been the centerdrill because on the second one the drill did a great job of lining up with the centerdrill mark.

I started forming the end of the centerdrill, a slow process that uses lots of dremel cutoff blades.