Sunday, January 31, 2016


Friday I got the loco frame, pedestals and the coal car back from Samson's.  They welded the coal car and loco for me and laser cut the pedestals.  

Saturday I did not feel good so I stayed upstairs.  I did spend some time sorting my machine screw collection by diameter and pitch while watching season 6 of Dr Who.  What was three boxes on my shelves is now thirteen but it will take me less time to find screws when I need them.

Today I moved the guts of the pedestals from the Eaton Engineering aluminum to the Samson cut steel ones.  The advantage is the wider top with slots so I can tighten the chains.  

I also trimmed the end of the axles, and cut and drilled 1x1 angles for holding the pedestals.  Jon watched me deburr everything.  I also drilled the coupler pin holes in the engine and the brake flat, filed the loco frame that overhung the edge, and cleaned up the shop a little.  

The flat has groves for flanges on top.  I plan to park the loco on top of the flat during travel and the groves will help center the loco.  I expect the top of the flat to get torn up pretty quick.  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Almost the last of the deliveries

Received two more deliveries today.  First was all the Clippard parts for the air brake system.  Anna and I set it all out and I have what I need complete.

Second the charger came in for No2.  This thing is heavy.  It will be mounted above the motors so it will only take an extension cord to charge the train anywhere.   After two years of running these trains I am confident that the less loose parts the better.  The SBT has the two tops, the separate speed and amp box, the controller pendant can be unplugged, we disconnected the batteries, the large battery cover, frequently took off the couplers for travel, Tad & Mike, the charger, and soon the radio control with it's batteries and charger.  The less spread out this stuff can become the better.   Soon I will make a tool tender to run with the SBT to hold it all.  Also I have stopped running the SBT with the big batteries.  This makes the extra top, and large battery cover unnecessary.  A high quality radio control will make the pendant redundant, it will be either onboard or radio control.  Last time I ran I forgot I had onboard control.  I hand pushed the loco back to the loading bay.  I could have switched control source and played some more.  I guess the fear of watching your 2 year old being taken away by a 12 MPH train stops logic.

Tonight I took the time to drill the holes for coupler pins.  I drilled them at 1/4" dia, through the 1x2 tube as well as the base plate.  My reasoning is that after the two parts are welded I will enlarge to the proper size, and they will be perfectly aligned.  I also deburred the ends of all the  C Channel that makes the side and end sills.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bottom Side Of Frame

Tonight I cut and placed the four end sections of the end sills.  I have yet to deburr the parts.  I also need to drill the holes to mount the pedestals and the coupler pockets.  
In other news I cut two groves in the top of the flat car for the flanges of #2, just deep enough to guide but not that deep.  We also started putting wood putty in the holes of the flat in preparation for black paint.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Frame Parts

 I received the frame parts from the laser cutter.  It was definately worth having them bend the motor mounts.  But I did find an error, they bent them with left back and my drawing has them with right back.   I fixed it, turning over the base plate lined up the holes.

 Next time when I assemble the parts I will turn both motor mounts 180 degrees.  This will move the motors outboard more, giving slightly more room by the other door.
The bottom C Channel is nicely lined up.  Held in place with a couple of magnets.  Same with a coupler pocket.  Next step is to cut the four endsill parts, drill holes for the couplers.

The charger, motor controller, and some other parts are on order.  I need to pick up some 1/2 bolts for holding the jackshaft.  I may use carriage to provide a smooth underside.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Ride On Train Remote Brake System

Searches of the internet has proven it is difficult to find a well specified remote brake system for a ride on train.  There are a few pictures, and advice the Tom Bee or West Bend will sell a system, but no clear directions.  No list of parts.  No drawings like this: 
First the green, yellow and red dots indicate to myself whether I have the part, it is ordered, or I need to order.  Yes the implication is I have not yet made the unit to this design, read later blog posts to see how I fair.

The pump is a Viair 92C.  I choose this over a cheap harbor freight model for hopefully longer lasting more quiet ride.  Advice is 50/50 on cheap vs expensive model.

The pressure gauge is a non adjustable 65PSI Clippard unit.  Note that most people use Clippard parts, which helps with the hose fittings.  My needle and solenoid and gauges are also Clippard parts.
The solenoid valve I am using here is a EVO-3-12, it is two position, 3 port valve.  In one position (0V) it blocks pressurized air and the output vents to atmosphere.  In the other position (12V) pressurized air is sent to the output and the vent is blocked.  This would be used for a spring return cylinder.

The trucks are Tom Bee, with Tom Bee brakes and his cylinders, which have springs to return them to the off position.  Some people say these are cheap and do not last, others say they are cheap and work well.  A system with a Clippard cylinder could be developed.

The remote control unit is a 4 channel unit, I got one with two key fobs so an engineer and brakeman can have control of the brakes.  Look for one that will send out a constant signal until the next press of the button.  0 volt signal, valve closed.  12V signal valve open.  The one I am getting is programmable; send a signal only when button pressed, on-off, or one button for on, another for off.

While waiting for parts painting of the box continues.

Monday, January 04, 2016


Yesterday I tried a few of the paints present in the house to see if any were a good railroad brown.  Decided none were.  Took the kids to Menards for way to long for a gallon of cheap paint in a railcar red brown color.  

I am applying washes each side a different method.  All are of the variation of red at the top, diluted black at the bottom and a wash over with a stiff wet brush to blend top to bottom or bottom to top.  Red on first, black on first, equal amounts, more red, mostly red.  I was told that it will go on bright and darken as it dries... that is true, it went on way too red but after an hour of searching the net about air brakes it is starting to look much better.