Up one level Neidrauer Adventures Photo Album and Blog » Building a Live Steam Locomotive - the Mikado Project » Section 1 - Frame
Section 1 - Frame
Completed! Frame construction pictures Oct 2004 - Aug 2007

 The locomotive frames as purchased.  October 27, 2004  After checking the blueprint specifications, Bill and I discovered the frames had been machined too thick.  They were supposed to be .812, but were closer to .830.  We could either adjust all the dimensions to the size of the frames, or, as we did, further machine the down.  After bolting the frames down to the table, a fly cutter was used to remove another .015.  27-Oct-04  Here we see Bill at the controls bringing the frame thicknesses a lot closer the blueprint specifications.  This was the first serious amount of work the Bridgeport had performed to date (3 hours continuous running) and I found the upper pulley housing got very hot, but the motor and head were running quiet.  Later I found a bearing preload adjustment and loosened it up slightly, and it has run cool ever since.  17-Nov-04 Now that the frames are at the proper thickness, we check out the rest of the dimensions.  Here Bill is indicating the top of the frame to make it parallel to the table x-axis travel.  17-Nov-04 A close-up of how the frame was 'indicated', which is to say we used a Dial Test Indicator which shows how far + or - 0.0005 (one-half of one-thousanths) the part is relative to another section.  The 'front' of this frame, which actually the top when it is finished, is the reference from which all dimensions are made, and we discover that the holes already placed by another machinist are slightly off.  We'll have to make some more adjustments to make things right....  24-Nov-04  The sacrificial tool plate table has been bolted to the top of the table. Both frames are stacked on each other and have been pinned together to insure  both remain identical during the machining process.  Dec-1 Machining the Axle box openings on the frames.  You're looking at both frames, dowl-pinned together and bolted to the table from the back of the Bridgeport facing Bill.  The ends of the frames, with the screw holes, are actually the bottom of the frames.  Inside each one of the four openings (the cutter is inside one of them) will eventually  house the axles for the wheels.  The center of each wheel or axle  Dec-1-04  Action shot of milling the axle box openings.  This 2  8-Dec-04 Machining the pedestal binder ears to a uniform size. They all will end up small than what is shown on the print, and will different end for end, but will match left and right.  I used a ball mill from a resharpened cutter my brother got for me.  8-Dec-04 Hanging the frames off the vice to complete the pedestal machining.  Once I finish this opening, and drill the tail frame holes, the frames will be complete.  12-Jan-05  A small milestone: All the machining on the frames is complete!  The pedestal binders have been made and bolted across the jaw openings, the frames bolted to the cylinders and the brass frame spreaders (gold 'X's) bolted on.  3-Feb-05  More work on the frame group.  The aluminum rear frame spreader was finished and match drilled in place.  Also the brass frame extensions have been machined and bolted on.  24-Feb-05 Drilling a hole in the brass front frame spreader.  The stringy brass produces long chips.  24-Feb-05   Boring the pilot truck pivot hole in the front frame spreader.  The hole needed to be 1.000 and I didn't have a boring bar big enough.  Bill tried making a cutter from a large two-flute mill by grinding one of the flutes away, but after several tries and re-grindings, we could not make it cut without significant chatter, resulting in a rough, uneven hole.  I had to borrow a boring bar and finish the hole in another session.  3-Mar-05  Putting a flat spot on the large brass tail cradle casting.  The blueprint does not call for many machined surfaces, and we didn't have a way to hold the part squarely without being able to reference a machined edge, so we put one on the bottom.  3-Mar-05  Cleaning up the cab mounting bracket.  With the machined surface bolted down to the table, we were able to come up a square surface.  3-Mar-05  Machining the tail cradle frame mounting points.  Once again, the mighty 'T-Ram' Bridgeport proves its worth.  After we machined the back of the tail cradle, I was able to move the T-ram forward to machine the front without losing the left-right centerline.  If I couldn't have moved the ram, I would have had to unbolt the casting, turn it around and re-find the centerline to do this machining.  10-Mar-05  Squaring the frame extensions in preparation for machining a radiused edge to match the tail frame cradle.  10-Mar-05  Putting a radiused edge on the end.  10-Mar-05  Bill puts a radiused edge on the other frame extension.  Due to the way the casting was warped, we couldn't lay it on the table and securely clamp it like the one.  So we turned it 90 degrees to complete the job.  Using a radius bit to round over the cradle side rail.  A challenging setup, machining the tailpiece cradle.  We are trying to make the 'ears' on this piece parallel and the correct width for the side rails to bolt to.  17-Mar-05 Using a homemade drill extension soldered to a twist drill, we make our own aircraft drill since the spindle cannot get close to the casting where the holes are needed.  7-Apr-05  These brake hanger castings were hard to hold onto, with little reference surface to measure from.  One of the first things to do is skim cut a portion of the casting to use as a reference.  7-Apr-05  A step-block, clamp and shim setup to machine the backside of the brake hanger brackets.  7-Apr-05 Tapping the holes used to mount the brake hanger to the frame.  22-Aug-07 Two years after completing these brake hangers, we discover that the link support brackets, which bolt on above these middle bracket, won't fit because these parts stick up too much. It actually takes longer to lift the assembled frame, drop the number 2 and number 3 wheel sets to access and remove these brackets than it does to machine away the extra material.  The set up used to machine the brake hangers.  They still are difficult parts to hang onto.  22-Aug-07 While looking at the frame, it appeared that the forward frame crosstie bracket is interfering with the spring hanger arms on the #2 wheels.  So two and a-half years (Jan 2005) later, we pull it off and remove a little bit to provide clearance.