Up one level Neidrauer Adventures Photo Album » Building a Live Steam Locomotive - the Mikado Project » Section 9 - Locomotive Brakes
Section 9 - Locomotive Brakes
Completed! Locomotive Brakes. Brake cylinder, brake hangers, brake shoes, connecting links and beams. Jan - Feb 2008 The Brake gear was welded in August. I have received three replacement brake hangers and we completed them June 2009.

 15-Mar-2014 After only two operating sessions, the steel ball in this automatic blowdown has rusted away to non-functional. I replace the ball with a stainless one and now this drain for the train brakes works properly.  25-June-2012  Fabricating a Steam/Water separator for the brake cylinder.  copper/brass assembly silver soldered together.  A hollow cylinder, capped at both ends; automatic drain at the bottom, steam connection for the brake cylinder at the top, mounting bracket to bolt to brake cylinder. To be added: steam inlet pipe in the middle of the cylinder, position to be determined when cylinder is positioned within frame. Highly recommend adding this  15-July-09  Now with twice a many spacers per bracket to assemble in a space Bill and already have trouble getting our fingers into, holding all these parts without dropping was extremely difficult.  Quick solution: Use the pins as alignment guides and with a touch of super glue, adhere the spacers to the bracket. Once assembled, a quick rap of the hammer on the spacer breaks it free.  15-July-09  Although we had finished the spacing washers earlier to print, upon assembly we found the clearances between the brake hangers and side rods just too close for comfort.  With everything new and tight, there was only 1-2 thousands clearance.  Surely they will interfere after the axle boxes and rods wear in and loosen up.  We decide to make new spacers (1/8  Drilling the holes, with care not to snag any of the unsupported parts and snap them with the drill.  Spotting the brake shoe pin and hanger holes  Milling the pocket for the brakeshoe.  We also had to hand dress the bottom of the bracket to allow the shoe to drop/tilt/droop without binding.  With very thin parallels hold the bracket in reference, another fragile clamping setup is made to mill the brakeshoe pocket.  24-June-09 Cutting the hanger boss to size. Note this clamping arrangement is not the best. The vise is pinching the hanger boss, the other end is not actually clamped but 'jammed' into jaw ends.  With the backside cut, the hangers are bolted to the table and the brakeshoe support tab (front of picture) is machined to correct overall thickness.  17-June-09 Having received a replacement aluminum brake hanger to replace the broken one, we take a break from the smokebox to finish this section.  The supplier has since changed the pattern to use a lost wax and not sand casting, so I picked up this aluminum 'old stock' casting.  5-Sept The finished Brake Rods, ready for paint.  5-Sept-08 Using the clevis pin hole in the end of the brake rod as a stop against the side of the vise, I mill the slots into the brake rods.  As expected, once the 1/4  1-Sept-08 After welding the brake rods at my friend Tim's with his MIG welder, I have cleaned up the welds and drilled the connecting pin holes.  Since the big Bridgeport mill was in use with a rotary table setup, I use the little Rong-Fu mill.  Needing to drill a hole 9 and 29/32 inches away, but not wanting to hand crank the table each time counting the dial (no DRO), I set up a stop and drill the holes.  What a pain working with a small table is! After getting it all set up I had to break the whole thing down again and slide it over because I did not have enought travel in the table to indicate the pin on the right.  Setting up vice stop to drill the first hole in the six ends of the brake rods.  After welding the pins into the ends of the beams with my friend Tim's MIG welder, I finish machining them to size and drill the pin holes in them.  4-Mar-08 The setup for machining all the brake shoes - A vice stop in the center, a black line on the fixed and movable jaw to line the edges up, and using the edgefinder to move over from the center of the shoe to locate the retaining hole.  27-Feb-08 Using a ground form tool to put the 1/8  Cutting the taper - a lot of cross-compound handle turning!  Shop Tip: How do you know when you are at the finished diameter on a taper?  We previously bored the diameter to the smallest portion of the taper, so by marking it with a black marker, we progressively removed more and more until we were just barely cutting the black away.  27-Feb-08 Running the lathe in reverse, we use a sharp tool to cut the taper on the inside of the brake shoes.  27-Feb-08 With the outside grove successfuly cut using the 1/8  27-Feb-08 The cutoff tool in action - working MUCH better!  The chips are coming off in little curls, not digging into the work and cutting cleanly. Yeah!  27-Feb-08 After having so much trouble with the custom-ground 1/4  With the inside and front ground, a lot of grinding remains to narrow the tool to a width of .250. The bucket of water is nearby, and we spend an hour grinding the tool blank to the shape we want. And we only took one short break to view the lunar eclipse of the moon that occurred tonight.  Look at those dark red sparks coming off that hard High Speed Steel tool steel. So much different from the bright yellow mild steel with sparks like a fourth of July fireworks display.  20-Feb-08 Grinding a custom lathe tool.  End view of the slot we are cutting in the brake shoe ring with the custom tool.  Several times the cutter dug in and stalled the lathe, causing the belt to slip off. The slipping belt is actually becomes a safety feature, saving the lathe and motor from damage that might occur with a direct-drive system. But it is still quite alarming when it happens. Even with everything a tight as we can get it, the tool, lantern style toolpost, cross-slide and compound all are flexing a bit, giving us trouble. Also when the cutter digs in the part spins or shifts on the chuck, insuring this operation will not be highly accurate, but probably just acceptable.  With the custom tool mounted in the left-hand tool holder, gibs tightened down on the compound and cross-compound, we plunge into the end of the ring of shoes to take a 1/4  A different rake on the tool, and cutting while backing out from the inside to outside produces a better finish we find.  We have rough turned the inside smooth so we can chuck on it in for the next operation.  Here we are using a large vernier I borrowed to measure it.  Facing the back of the casting for a reference surface.  20-Feb-08 We start work on the engine brake shoes, using the big lathe since it can swing the 8.5  13-Feb-08 A box of finished brake parts. The brake cylinder/piston has had the O-ring installed, lubed with plumbers pure silicone grease, gasket cut and installed.  A tight Squeeze - Holding a Brake Beam Link for drilling. The thin brass parallels are held apart with small springs to keep them from falling over when the vise jaws are opened.  Fly cutting the brake beam links down to the finished size.  13-Feb-08 The vise stop is set up for 'mass producing' the 12 Brake Beam Links. Step one is to trim them to length.  The Finished Brake Equalizer.  6-Feb-08 Finished Brake Levers.  6-Feb-08 Single-point threading a 1/4-28 connecting brake rod.  Except the first piece I threaded was 5/16  After pilot drilling holes in the ends of the 1/4  View from behind of the set up.  9-Feb-08 Using the vertical compound on the vice to drill the brake beams.  I've been looking for an excuse to use this tool since I got it with the lathe.  The rear brake hangers in the upper left are finished, the rest are partly machined. And one got broke during one machining operation. Not everything goes to plan.  If my supplier will co-operate, I'll get a replacement, otherwise I will have to pay a welder to join the two aluminum pieces back together.  Bill worked on the hangers while I cut the brake beams and connecting link stock with the band saw - some 45 pieces in all.  2-Feb-08 My usuall Saturday work session at the club track got snowed out, so we worked on brake hangers down in the shop instead.  30-Jan-08 Turning the Piston.  Need to turn a 1/4  30-Jan-08 Well, this picture is a really odd perspective, but I couldn't move the camera closer since Bill was in the middle of threading the stainless steel brake actuator arm. I learned he only takes a few 'thou every pass when threading. And a nice, sharp cutter also helps. The 1/4-28 threads look nice.  Finishing the cylinder - drilling, then tapping the cover holes.  Not pictured was drilling the cover through holes.  After seeing the angle-plate set up, you may wonder why the cylinder is in the vise. After finishing the mounting boss, we started drilling the four mounting holes only to have it shift. So here we are indicating the boss insuring it is square in the vise so we can finish drilling and tapping the mounting holes.  23-Jan-08 Cutting the mounting boss on the brake cylinder using the angle-plate and c-clamp setup. The finished height of the boss was based on the centerline of the cylinder. now how it is possible to clamp it and measure the centerline at the same time?? It seemed like a simple set up - make the inside of the cylinder the same height as the top of the angle-plate and calculate the height from there. The alternative was to turn a close-fitting boss mounted on the angle-plate, indicate the centerline of the boss, then press and clamp the cylinder onto the boss. A bunch more work the second way.  16-Jan-08 Time to turn the brake cylinder cover.  After boring the cylinder to finished size, we drill and bore the guide cylinder at the bottom.  measuring the diameter is tricky since the bore is at the bottom of the 2  Turning the cylinder around and re-chucking in the 4-jaw, we complete facing the cylinder to size and prepare to bore the inside.  16-Jan-08 A new year and a new Section to start! Chucking the Brake Cylinder casting up in the 4-jaw, rough-indicating center on the casting body to start machining somewhere.