Up one level Neidrauer Adventures Photo Album » Building a Live Steam Locomotive - the Mikado Project » Section 12 - Smokebox
Section 12 - Smokebox
Completed! February 2015 - Running Boards and ladders. Finished enough to Run! The 'face' of a locomotive. Front-end work in progress - Throttle, petticoat, blast pipe. Custom smokebox support stays completed (Frisco used 4 stays, not the 2 like the USRA models), throttle modification and installation, a custom flaring tool - Winter 2011. Smokebox front, smokestack, headlight bracket, hinges, bell. February - June 2009. Plumbing May 2011 - finished Nov 2011.

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 9-Feb-2015 Using the bandsaw to rough-cut the rear running board.  Cutting a long stip like this releases the internal stresses of the cold-rolled 1018 causing it to bend and warp.  9-Feb-2015 Preparing to finish machine the tapers on the rear running board.  9-Feb-2015 Cardboard template of rear runningboard. I used it to rough saw cut the stock before machining.  9-Feb-2015 Using table stops (round aluminum dowels vertically in the slots) to position the rear running board, Bill machines a true edge on the stock.  2-Feb-2015 The different brackets bent to support the running boards, with matching curved radius for each course of jacketing. The brackets nearest the bottom are for the front, top for rear; Engineer's side on left, fireman's on right. They will have to be cut to length and holes drilled.  2-Feb-2015 The many marks of trial bends on the bend stop.  2-Feb-2015 Bending the bracket at an angle for the tapered jacketing course.  2-Feb-2015 Trying to figure out how to make the bend on the bracket to make it square to the running board. This bracket is on the tapered course of jacketing, the 90 degree bend must be at an angle.  2-Feb-2015 We start working on the rest of the running board brackets. The running boards on the Frisco 4166 are a bit different than the USRA design, so we cannot use the drawings for placement. We start by putting the end of the bracket material in the roller to match the jacketing radius.  19-Jan-2015 Glamour shot of engine with steps installed.  19-Jan-2015 We start working the Engineer's side running board. We will have to do something about the lubricator location, which now interferes with the running board.  19-Jan-2015 Match drilling the running board bracket holes in the running board, using the pre-existing holes in the brackets.  We previously clamped the brackets in position on the running board using machinist clamps; luckily they are spaced just a little bit wider than the vise jaws, allowing us to clamp the running board, upside down, for drilling.  19-Jan-2015 With the running board bolted to the stairs and leveled at the other end, the running board brackets are clamped to the running board to match drill the bracket mounting holes. Note the steel plate bolted to the stand next to the wheels; The  19-Jan-2015 We have the stairs installed and the running board leveled, now we can locate where the brackets need to go on the smokebox. Since we did not pre-drill the holes years back before installing the smokebox (and the prints are not very clear on this point), we now have to figure out how to drill the holes with the cylinders and valve motion in place!  19-Jan-2015 Now that we have assembled stairs, we will know the actual height of the front running board.  19-Jan-2015 Assembled stairs!  19-Jan-2015 Using 1/16  19-Jan-2015 Machining the stair treads to size  12-Jan-2015 Bent ladder bracket; ready for drilling  12-Jan-2015 We fuss with how much should stick out before bending to make the stair brackets end up the correct width. We use the combination rule as a depth stop.  12-Jan-2015 To bend the ladder brackets, the finger brake fingers are set back 1/32  5-Jan-2015 Ladder bracket material ready for bending.  5-Jan-2015 Squaring up the Ladder Brackets  5-Jan-2015 While Bill is machining the stair sides, I cut a piece of stamped model diamond plate off for the stair treads.  I think I bought this brass sheet from RealTrains (I think) some 7 or 8 years ago.  5-Jan-2015 Drilling the holes in the stair sides.  5-Jan-2015 With the stair side in the vise, the vise is swiveled around until the stair end (bottom or top) reads zero when measuring the Y-axis (front to back).  A stop has been set up to repeat the setup for all four parts.  After setup, the end is machined square per print.  5-Jan-2015 I spend an hour or so lerning how to calculate cotangents so I can translate the drawing dimensions to be from a 0,0 origin point instead of from a relative reference.  3-Jan-2015 Machined stair treads ready for bending.  3-Jan-2015 Machining the stair treads together in a stack.  3-Jan-2015 Stair sides rough cut.  3-Jan-2015 While Bill works on the running boards, I set up the band saw in vertical mode and saw cut 0.101 steel sheets for the pilot steps.  3-Jan-2015 Bill uses a roughing mill to chew a rough slot for the running board steam supply slot.  3-Jan-2015 Using a roughing mill  3-Jan-2015 Setup to machine the running boards; cutout for the steam supply shroud. Start with a small, hole, working our way up the finished size.  3-Jan-2015 The bracket which is wrapped around the rusty piece of steel is the one being bent by the shop press and a piece of round stock. The other bracket on the right is just a spacer.  3-Jan-2015 Our solution to putting a raduis on the front brackets: use the shop press and a piece of metal to bend the bracket.  3-Jan-2015 We started the front running board brackets several years ago, but were stumped on how to put the radius on portion which bolts to the smokebox/boiler. It's such a small piece of metal to hold, and the bends in the bracket get in the way of any holding fixture.  3-Jan-2015 We begin working on the running boards; front ones first. Start by squaring up the stock, cold-rolled 1018.  3-July-2012 The fabricated stantions installed on the smokebox.  3-July-2012 The new, shorter, handrail stantions after silver soldering.  2-July-2012 After looking at pictures of Frisco 4150, I decided that the vertical handrail stantions were too tall--the prototype has the handrail much closer to the shell. So I fabricated new handrail stantions, turning brass stock and threading it, also drilling brass balls I purchased. The handrail is stainless steel.  23-June-2012 The front end gains some character! My new Frisco road number plate from Robert Dustin has been mounted, along with the headlight and handrails!  23-June-2012 Machining the bottom of the headlight casting flat, then drilling mounting hole through feet.  Held upside down in the vise with the, I used theback of the headlight as a reference for square (see the parallel).  Even though these are good bronze castings, the feet are not smooth.  16-Jan-12 The front end is getting closer to being finished! Hinges riveted on, braces complete and shroud fitted.  16-Jan-12 an amusement for me: I have been looking for these rivets to rivet the hinges to the smokebox for several months now. I have been scouring boxes on shelves and drawers without any luck.  Resigning myself to purchasing more, I had Bill measure up what I needed.  7-Jan-12 I pick up the main steam supply shrouds which have sat for many months and fit them for final assembly. The bottom profile needed to be adjusted to fit onto the cylinder jacket.  I used my bench 1  14-Nov-2011 The finished piping in the smokebox.  15-June-2011 Alignment check with the stack, petticoat and blast nozzle/blower ring assembly. Looks Good!  An air test with the blower also felt good, moving a feather around in the airstream showed a nice conical shape, all contained within the petticoat, with no negative eddy currents.  When we did one air test with the assembly off the blast pipe, the assembly generated a vacumn at the bottom--10 lbs of air would hold a plastic bag to the bottom!  15-June-2011 A piece of threaded black pipe was turned down and threaded into the exhaust header.  15-June-2011 Water spray test outside after polishing the inside and outside blower ring openings with 600 grit sandpaper.  It has a nice even ring of water with no tangents. At low pressure the water spray height was 4 feet, at high pressure over 10 feet.  15-June-2011 Water spray test at high pressure showed some streams off at an angle, and a 'dead' spot right where the water enters the assembly.  15-June-2011 Water spray test at low pressure. The assembly is upside-down for the test.   15-June-2011 Using 400 grit, then 600 grit sandpaper to put a polish on the blower ring body after water tests revealed an uneven distribution.  Close examiniation with a magnifying glass showed tooling marks which made the spray uneven.  The finished blower/blast nozzle assembly.  8-June-2011 Drilling and counterboring holes in the blast nozzle ring.  It is sitting on a piece of sacrificial aluminum since the holes must go through the part.  31-May-2011 Drilling and tapping three 5-40 holes which will hold the assembly together.  With both the top and bottom of the blast nozzel finished in the lathe, we bolt it down to thetable to drill some holes.  With the cross-compound set over 90 degrees square to the lathe axis, he is able to take accurate amounts off the end of the part for the final thickness.  A quick check with the dial calipers for the current thickness. We'd use a micrometer if we could get on between the part and the chuck.  After drilling, the part is turned around and chucked against parallels temporarily put in the chuck. This allows us to measure the thickness of the part without having to unchuck it.  31-May-2011 Drilling the upper half of the blast nozzle.  Without a taper attachment, all the taper boring is done with the cross compound set over.  Turning an inside taper for the blast nozzel. We picket 8 degrees taper for the one inch of length.
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