Up one level Neidrauer Adventures Photo Album » Building a Live Steam Locomotive - the Mikado Project » Section 17 - Tender Trucks
Section 17 - Tender Trucks
Usable! Tender Trucks. 2014 - The trucks have been finished, assembled and painted enough to be runable. We did not design and fabricate the dozens of small parts to put operation brakes on them. We will do that later. Happy to report the trucks work great and have not given any issue running over the track. July 2013 Axle box machining in progress. June 2013 Back from being welded into a contiguous piece, Bill finished the machining of the Frames. Construction Started December 2012! I picked up a set of 3-axle commonwealth trucks in November 2008 which I will use instead of the supplied USRA bettendorfs. One problem: the homemade castings do not have an engineering print with them. I had to make prints and Bill had to figure out how to machine them.

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 4-Nov-2013 The bottom of the bolster is skimmed with a light cut deep enough to break through the skin and give a starting surface to start machining from.  4-Nov-2013 After some dicussion, we decide to clamp the bolster to the angle plate and take  skim cuts on the bosses sticking up in the picture. After cutting this side and flipping over to cut the other side, the bosses are measured to try and keep them the same thickness on each side.  Ideally, we would measure from the (non-existant) kingpin hole in the center of the casting, but we haven't put that in yet. So we use the relative left and right sides of the casting for reference.  15-July-2013 Bill machines a test axle. We need to heat the ends and see if it will harden so the bearings can run on the bare axle.  15-July-2013 The finished set of axle boxes.  15-July-2013 The tabs of the axle boxes are machined with a taper on each side of center. This allows the axle to move up and down on uneven track without binding on the boxes.  8-July-2013 With the 1  8-July-2013 Using the Sunnen pin hone with a mandrel borrowed from his buddy Rick, we make the bore holes truely round, without taper, and the same size to each other, +-0.0005.  8-July-2013 Finish pass machining the boxes to width.  1-July-2013 The row of roughed to width axle boxes grows throughout the day, as does the pile of chips on the floor.  5-July-2013 A full work day in the shop! Bill has his hand on the X-axis table feed to power through the remaining 10 axle boxes (two test ones were previously finished) machining to width.  1-July-2013 Setup for finish-pass machining the axle boxes to width. We will machine this one side, then flip the box around the mandrel and then machine the other side.  1-July-2013 Two axle boxes roughed out, with spring pockets recessed into the top, for a trial fit into the frames.  1-July-2013 We also decided not use the alignment mandrell for the roughing passes as we were having trouble making all the sides parallel with each other. Using parallels, we could put a lot more box down into the jaws, and seat the box against a solid surface.  1-Jul-2013 Rough cutting the axle boxes. We use the round alignment mandrel to revolve the part around the centerline of the bored hole for each cut. Here the first rough cut is finished, the vise loosened and the axle box rotated 180 (the machined cut now faces down) and the (now top) new roughing cut is made to the same depth. If done correctly, the cuts are exactly the same depth from the centerline. We were removing 1/4  24-June-13 Machining the axle box openings to size. No, we are not pounding on the frame with the deadblow hammer. Bill is holding it against the frame to deaden the 'singing'/chattering of the cutter.  17-Jun-2013 Last machining operations for this frame - milling a pocket for the axle spring, Drilling and tapping 6-32 holes for the pedestal binders, and milling away 1/16  10-Jun-2013 Picture of the TIG welds on the topside of the truck frame. The welder was not happy with the quality of the welds, but I was. The castings are soft, porous, with lots of impurities including sand which makes welding difficult.  10-Jun-2013 Picture of the welds on the underside of the trucks.  10-Jun-2013 Lacking tiny inside micrometers, Bill uses adjustable parallels to fit the opening and measures across it with the 2  10-Jun-2013 Machining the pedestal jaws to finish size.  10-Jun-2013 The castings are back in the shop after a being out for a month at a friends shop who TIG welded all the joints creating a solid one-piece frame from six individual pieces. First order of business is to clamp it up and see how much warp the welding has introduced. We are pleasantly surprised to find almost none.  6-May-2013 I have spent more quality time with the bandsaw, cutting the cast aluminum axle boxes in half.  We will not use these as axle boxes, but are trying to figure out how we can use the cover detail with our steel boxes.  6-May-2013 ?Why machine a mandrel? We will put the mandrel through the boxes and rotate them around the center for the next machining operations, insuring all our cuts are relative to the bearing centerline.  6-May-2013 Bill turns a mandrel between centers to a close fit for the axle boxes. Here Bill is moving the tailstock over to remove the taper from the cut, using a dial indicator to observe the movement. Use micrometers to measure the shaft diameter at several points to find the taper.  29-Apr-2013 Another couple of weeks later, we have a complete set of bored axle boxes.  22-Apr-2013 Several weeks worth of machining produce one set of bored axle boxes.  15-Apr-2013 Knowing the exact dimensions of the bearings, we bore the axle boxes to a -0.0005 press fit. Bill uses a bore gauge to check dimensions.  15-Apr-2013 The needle bearings for the axles arrive.  8-Apr-2013 After making one clean up cut, the block is rotated in the vise with the machined surface against the fixed jaw, and the next surface is skim cut. Now we have to square machined surfaces to start our machining from.  1-Apr-2013 First step in machining the axle boxes is to make a clean up cut of maybe 0.010.  1-Apr-2013 Latest drawing for the axle boxes. I put the cut-off bandsaw to long duty and cut twelve pieces of 2x2x2 steel. We will use steel instead of the cast aluminum pieces.  25-March-2013 I was so excited to see the truck frame bolted together after three years of pondering and designing!  25-March-2013 We decide to match drill the bolt holes of the end brackets into the frame. Drill and tap one hole, insert bolt and tighten, then remove the clamp and match drill the second hole.  25-March-2013 Trial fitting of the end brackets. It looks good!  18-March-2013 Milling the pocket recess for the end bracket, showing the clamping set up. We have clamped over the machined surfaces of the pedestal faces. We indicated the frame left-to-right on the ends of the pedestals to make this cut square to the frame.  18-March-2013 Milling the pocket recess for the end bracket.  11-Mar-13 One drilled and milled end bracket.  11-Mar-13 The finished clamping fixture with drilled and tapped clamping points, end bracket in place.  11-Mar-13 Step one in making a fixture: get a flat surface.  11-Mar-13 On to the next puzzle: how to the end brackets attach? And how to machine the curvy end brackets?  4-Mar-13 The drilled frame spreader casting. The holes outside the swing link pins will be for brake rigging, another puzzle to figure out.  4-Mar-13 Lacking blueprints for these castings, we use dividers to measure the cast-in dimples (which are not very visible) distance for the swing link pins to get a dimension.  25-Feb-13 Drilling the holes for the swing link retaining pins. We had to mill a small clearance recess in the end of the casting to drill the holes.  18-Feb-13 After drilling and tapping the mounting holes, and the brake hanger holes, we machine the Key bosses.  11-Feb-13 Checking the results of our work. The frame spreaders came our pretty close, within two thou and with no more than two thou taper across the ends.  11-Feb-13 The clamping setup. The holes in the edge of the angle plate are so we can bolt the piece of tool steel to the other side, giving us an inside angle plate.  11-Feb-12 We have bolted a machined tool steel block to the side of the angle plate, giving us an inside corner. Now we can clamp the 9  4-Feb-12 As I did not have a large enough angle plate, Bill borrowed one from his friend Rick. We clamp it an inside angleplate and true up the edges.  28-Jan-13 Using adjustable parallels to measure the slot (  28-Jan-13 Checking the depth of the pedestal jaws for a finish machining step.  21-Jan-13 With the set of drawings I have created, we machine the frame mount points to the finished height.  14-Jan-13 Having machined two flat surface, the top and the two bosses on the side, we strategize our next move - how to machine the ends.  14-Jan-13 We start on the frame spreaders. Step one, machine a flat surface onto the bottom for the first reference surface. We have a spacer block between the vise jaw and the casting since we cannot clamp on the odd shaped and uneven casting itself.  7-Jan-13 We machine the frame spreader mounting points to the same height.  7-Jan-13 Machining the reference surfaces into the trucks.  7-Jan-13 The start of a new year, and we start on the other set of partly machined trucks.  17-Dec-12 With dowel pins in the table slots, the casting is bumped against the machined flats giving us a consistent measurement for each pair of trucks. We machine the ends of the axel box openenings to length, and remove the casting material between the box openings.  17-Dec-2013 Using the drilled and tapped frame holes, the pair of frames are bolted together and bolted down to the table. Next we will machine a reference flat on the top of the frame, at the ends, for the next operation.  17-Dec-13 The other side of the frame after drilling and machining.  17-Dec-13 Using the pointed wiggler and a magnifying glass to pick up our reference mark.  17-Dec-12 With each pair of castings a known length (both are different since one set was partially machined), and with a machinined surface on the end, we can consistantly machine each left-right pair of trucks. We clamp the frame down on top of pieces of plastic so we can drill the assembly holes in the frame. Not shown is the time spent indicating the frame along the end, and on top, moving the clamps around to remove the twisting action they impart on the frame when tightened.  17-Dec-12 Last shop workday of the year. A couple of keys are put into the table slots and a pair of frames are bolted together, then bolted down to the table for the fourth cut - trimming the ends to length and a known dimension.  10-Dec-12 A lot of set up for two small marks. (black arrow pointing to scribe mark next to right toe clamp.)  10-Dec-12 Third cut: flip the casting back over onto the machined surfaces to rough mill the axle box openenings, rough trim the casting ends to length and set reference points for the axle centerlines and the bolt holes we will use to connect the frame together. Lacking any reference on the rough casting that would match the other casting, Bill has put two round dowel pins in the slots of the table and bumped the casting against them as a stop.
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