Up one level Neidrauer Live Steam Locomotives Photo Albums » A small locomotive - 'The Crab' - The first locomotive out of the Neidrauer Shops
A small locomotive - 'The Crab' - The first locomotive out of the Neidrauer Shops
2018: Installed new exhaust pipes because the old steel ones developed leaks. 2011: The modified grease fittings work great! The Crab has some lettering on it (NYC), the riding car is working fine and the new NYC Gondola works well as a two-person passenger car. Time to burn some more coal! Winter 2011 - The Crab is readied for the summer season. We are experimenting with modified grease fittings as cylinder cocks. August 2010 - a mild overhaul was completed. Pulled the cab, bunker, boiler and chests, remade the ash pan, eliminated the troublesome axle pumpt, added a new handpump and steam injector. May 2010 - The water pump ram is jamming in the pump bore, causing the wheels to lock up. It will be replaced with an injector. Also the graphite string piston rings will be replaced because they are leaking. August 2009 - Improvements to the water pump and riding car made. *** November 2008 It's Done It Runs!! *** First steam up ever during the Thanksgiving holiday and it ran great! I am so happy!

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 22-Oct-08 Modifying the hand pump to accept 1/8 NPT fittings and not Model pipe taper fittings. Here we are actually cleaning up the ball check face because a previous drilling operation nicked it.  3-Oct-08  I learn how to bend copper tube, sort of. The main plumbing is completed except for the water glass and the hand pump.  10-Aug-08 A shakey setup to mill the door latch tab on the boiler.  This really was not a good setup. I wanted to clamp over the boiler, but my table is not big enough (the boiler covers the t-slots), and I did not have a really large vee-block to clamp with if I turned it perpendicular.  26-July-08 How cool is this? A fire door for the loco held together by just rivets.  Based on a design by  22-June-08 The cab sides have been primed  2-Apr-08 Doing a water test on the tank before gluing the last side on.  It did not leak, no need to put silicone cauking on the seams like the plans call for.  3-Apr-08 The finished water tank test fitted into the cab.  3-Apr-08 The finished water tank. I chose to shorten the fill pipe so it does not stick up through the cab roof.  I also drilled a hole in the side of the fill pipe for the bypass return instead of drilling and tapping another elbow fitting.  30-Mar-08 The coal bunkers after my attempt to TIG weld them.  The welds are not pretty, but the sides stay together.  I had to modify the design to put the sides and back on the  30-Mar-08 Gluing up the water tank.  I used the 18  30-Mar-08 I had to shorten the inside side by 1/8  1-Mar-08 Putting a smooth surface on the top of the welded boiler to provide a better air-tight seal.  Using a large piece of all-thread rod, and bridging the soft copper flues, the boiler is lightly held down to skim the top surface smooth.  The clamping setup for the boiler was interesting - there are pipes protruding below the bottom of the boiler so we could not bolt the boiler to the table flush.  We had to use riser blocks, then add shims because the welded bottom was not smooth.  17-Feb-08 Trial fitting of the water tank, still clad in the brown protective paper. I've got to figure out how to hold it during the gluing process.  Dad said that when cutting the plastic the ships get everywhere and to wear a hat/mask...I'd recommend a full tyveck jumpsuit with face mask.  Or a fancy overhung dust collector over the saw blade. That plastic is worse than cast iron. I don't have to pick that out of my belly button when I'm done working with it....  17-Feb-08 After 8 hours of fiddling around with the table saw, making a zero-clearance insert (see the wood piece), and making a replacement part for the fence, I can get back to the task at hand: cutting the plastic sheet to size and making the 6 sides of the water tank.  3-Feb-08 Plodding along on the chain gang. Cutting, Drilling, Tapping and finishing the 10 angle-brackets into identical parts is as close to production machine work as I've ever done. It took me a couple of hours to finish them, with plenty of time before the Super Bowl started.  The completed brackets to assemble the cab.  3-Feb-08 While picking up some stock for the Mikado at the Metals Supermarket, I had them shear the cab pieces from the single sheet of 1/8  29-Jan-08 The folded ash pan, ready for welding.  29-Jan-08 The folded ash pan.  In the background is the curved-bent cab roof.  29-Jan-08 The ash pan ready to be bent in the brake.  After two years of design ideas, the simple 'box' design seemed best.  Paper mock up of attempt #3,254 (or so it seems) to create an ashpan.  The ashpan unfolded.  This is the sheet metal layout plan.  I enlist the help of my friend Ted, who tries to explain the elevation and plan view techniques for sheetmetal layout work.  My sketches of the ashpan. Now, how to make it in sheet metal.  28-Jan-06  Prototyping the ashpan space.  The drawings provided to not include the ashpan, so I have to make them myself.  28-Jan-06 Top view of mock-up.  More long-distance ashpan design work.  A picture is quicker than words.  Here is my design thoughts for the ashpan.  I can make a cone out of sheetmetal easy enough, but how do I put a rectangular opening on it??  16-Jan-06 Weldbutchery on display.  The fitted grates and brackets on the bottom of the boiler.  16-Jan-06 Grate brackets welded in place.  16-Jan-06 Some ugly, but functional Stainless Steel welds.  15-Jan-06 The freelance grates.  14-Dec-05 The temporary steam line used to run the chassie on air.  I later found out the fittings I bought were for plastic tubing, not copper tube, and will have to be replaced.  14-Dec-05 In the past year the new side rods, cranks and crank pins have been completed, along with the valve chest and valve motion.  I have to do some work to get the binding out when everything is tight.  Here's how the Crab looks as of 14-December, 2005.  The chassie is done and the running gear has been run on air.  I start experimenting with plumbing layouts.  Cutting a slot in the cylinder cocks.  These are a scaled up version of an original design by W. Van Brocklin, Jr, from  Two chest covers, drilled and ready to be cut apart.  The valve chest approaching the finished size.  Having drilled all the outside hold-down holes in the chest, I drill pilot holes on the inside to quickly remove material.  Drilling the holes for the hold-down bolts in the steam chest.  July 2005, machining the valve chest to size.  5-Mar-05  The sacrificial table is back on the mill table and the new side rods are being machined.  Small cutting passes and slow speeds made doing one side a long process.  From setup to completion, the first right side rods took 10 hours to complete.  I hope the left side goes quicker.  3-Mar-05 The valve chests mounted.  This was the first real progress on this engine in over 2 1/2 years.  3-Mar-05  The finished cylinder and valve chest mounting plate.  This was fun to do--simple milling, drilling and tapping thanks to my Digital Read Out.  27-Feb-05  The finished valve chests.  I am really happy with how they came out.  27-Feb-05  Tapping the Valve chest bolt holes.  These cast iron valve chests were machined at Joel's shop on his big Cincinati Toolmaster mill.  I could take 50 thou cutting passes on his mill, whereas on my lighter Bridgeport I only take half that amount (25 thou), so his machine saved me half the machining time.  The right equipment can make a difference!  19-Feb-05 I discovered there was still binding when the wheels rolled, even after I re-made all new crank arms and side rods.  Feeling frustrated, I took the frame apart, pinned the left and right sides together to find out what was going on.  And I  19-Feb-05 I didn't like the design of the original crank arms, so I'm make six new ones with a different design.  Here I've drilled and reamed three out of a single bar. I will cut them apart in a later step.  28-Nov-04 Nice shiny brass stuffing boxes for the valves.  It was 3-day holiday weekend and the big mill was tied up, so I looked around for a lathe project. All four parts only took about four hours of shop time, with no scrap parts...maybe I'm learning....  15-Aug-04  The cut, trimmed and radiused deck plating ready for bolting onto the frame.  I decided not to overhang the deck over the cranks.  15-Aug-04  Cutting the boiler profile in the deck.  Since I do not have tiny bandsaw blade that can swing a 4.5  17-Nov-02  Milling a keyway slot in the spur shaft.  With the table cranked all the way over to the  17-Nov-02  Milling a keyway slot in the spur shaft.  The shaft is 12.50 inches long, and the table is cranked  17-Nov-02  I discovered the spur shaft provided by the locomotive company was off-spec.  Way off.  One-half inch short and when the tolerances are in the thousanth of an inch, that spur shaft is not even close.  So here I am clamping the shaft to the Mill table and using a dial indicator making sure the shaft is parallel so I can machine a slot in each end.  With the wider deck, I can have a bigger coal bunker area.  2-Nov-02  More ideas on how to model the crab.  Here I have widened the deck so it hangs over the wheels, added a small square water tank and 'railing' (the red wire). 2-Nov-02  27-Oct-2002.  Alternative layout for the water tank.  The plans call for a square, windowed box to simulate a modern cab, which doesn't look right to me at all.  Here I've fashioned a rounded tank that hugs the boiler.  I think it would look really  27-Oct-2002.  I started prototyping the coal bunkers and water tank for the locomotive.  I'm not happy with what the plans call for, so I will probably do something of my own design.  I started working on the water pump assembly.  Shown is the pump ram made from brass, and follower roller in steel.  Waiting with layout blue ends is the pump body.  Based on the drawings, I will scribe lines in the layout blue showing where the cuts and holes need to be.  Oct-2002.  September and October 2002 were all about lathe work, brass and stainless steel.  Here are the cylinder assemblies, two each.  The stainless steel work was on the pistons and rods.  The cylinders were bored out to 1.375  Machining the Yokes out of aluminum. Aluminum is fun to cut compared to steel! It is easy to machine and more forgiving if you are using a not quite sharp cutter. I'm actually making two parts out of one piece of aluminum and in the final step of cutting them apart.