Up one level Neidrauer Adventures Photo Album » Building a Live Steam Locomotive - the Mikado Project » Assembly
Although there is no 'Section A' in the prints, I need a place to record the assembling of the locomotive. 2014: Tender, Tender Trucks, Fuel Tank, Air Tanks, Cab Roof, Numbers and Letters. Fall 2013: boiler accessories including jacketing, handrails, domes. Winter 2011: Boiler Fit, Remove, Fit Remove, Ashpan installation, firedoor, front-end work. Winter 2011. Chassis Timing - December 2009. Started July 2009

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 19-Apr-2014 After modifying the front and rear tender bumpers to make the drawbar and coupler heights correct, another trial fitting and plumbing check is performed.  19-Apr-2014 After modifying the front and rear tender bumpers to make the drawbar and coupler heights correct, another trial fitting and plumbing check is performed.  15-Feb-2014 Trial fitting of tender tank on the frame on the assembled trucks, rear view. We discover the frame is 1.5  15-Feb-2014 Trial fitting of tender tank on the frame on the assembled trucks  30-Sept-2013 We need to install the air tanks on the top of the engine to complete the Frisco look, but ran out of shop time before we had to bring it out of the basement for a test fire-up. We end up working inside the trailer two days before taking it out for the scheduled SLLS public run.
  We need to blind drill and tap eight holes through the jacketing to the boiler pads underneath to mount the air tank brackets.  Without accurate locations, we miss the pads and end up with a couple holes in the jacketing. A frustrating development, we really wanted the 'big reveal' to include the distinctive Frisco air tanks, but we decide to stop before making more holes. We will install the air tanks over the winter in the shop.  16-Sept-2013 Front view of the engine sporting the bell, handrails, builders plates, jacketing and domes. At last she is starting to look like a complete Frisco 41xx locomotive.  16-Sept-2013 The jacketing is installed! We thread the handrail down the length of the engine from the cab to the front, and put the two bends in it like the Frisco 41xx series had.  16-Sept-2013 In the process of using a nylon ratchet strap to snug down the jacketing on the boiler (my boiler bands are too short to do this when the jacketing is not compressed), I manage to bend over one of the handrail stantions. Arrgh! I have to take that piece of jacketing back off, unbolt the handrail, straighten it out and re-install. Two hours of shop time lost.  September 2013 The Cab piping, backhead and cab floor got a coat of paint. After re-assembling the brakestand the floor was reinstalled. The steam valves were painted red, the oil valve yellow.  September 2013 The pilot deck, pilot braces, bell, handrails, builders plate and steam supply shrouds had been painted and installed.  August 2013 I weld a plate into the sand dome to help hold the lead I am going to pour into it. The blueing on the rim is from fitting it to the jacketing.  August 2013 The jacketing is trimmed to fit, the sand dome fitted, boiler bands tightened. We test handrail placement.  The 0.101 thick jacketing sheet metal is stout!  10-Sept-2012 Boiler tag placard welded on backhead. The tag reads:
Line 1: MAWP: 125 (Max allowed working pressure)
Line 2: TSTWP: 300 (tested pressure)
Line 3: BLT: JUNE 2002 (built)
Line 4:  T  O  C  S    (Top Of Crown Sheet)
Line 5:  a heavy line extending from left to right
 21-May-2012  -- Ready for first fire up!  More plumbing work - designing the axle-driven water pump bypass valve handle extension.  Plumbing connections using a borrowed tender, engineer's side.  Plumbing connections using a borrowed tender, fireman's side.  A busy look at the plumbing from the borrowed tender tank to the engine.  May 2012 - a borrowed tender will substitute for now.  19-Sept-2011 The smokebox & boiler are bolted to the cylinders for what I hope is the final time! After tightening the model hex bolts down all around we realized drilling the steampipe shrould holes is going to be a problem....  Tightening the smokebox / cylinder mounting nuts. There is copper anti-sieze on the threads, it may help one day (long time from now!) when the shell needs to come off.  19-Sept-2011 Exhaust pipe is put in place and tightened for installation.  With the boiler lifted off, the chassis rises 3/8  17-Aug-2011 Smokebox mounted to the boiler, on last hook to pull the boiler, install the firepan, check over the chassis for missing pins, nuts, etc., drill the water checkvalve holes in the side, paint and remount for the last time!  Just a shot of the frame height with the boiler on the chassis.  December-2010 It's starting to look like an engine!  27-Oct-10 The firepan installed on the boiler.  27-Oct-10 I've welded a mounting ring onto the bottom of the boiler with drilled an tapped holes for the 10-32 stainless stell studs which will hold the firepan in place.  I've run some high-temperature gasket around to seal it.  24-Feb-10 Fine-tuning the engine chassis.  Based on Charlie Docksiders valve motion computer simulator, Bill makes some small adjustments to fine-tune the chassis.  9-Jan-2010 Timing the engine. Using dual dial-indicators on the front and rear of the crosshead guide bar, we are confident we know when front dead center and back dead center events are occuring. This allows us to adjust the eccentric crank to the correct position. We have already centered and set the Valve spool and Pistons at this point.  9-Dec-09  It's Alive!! The engine chasis runs on air on its own for the first time.  I am soo happy!  Problem found!  The firemans side valve crosshead guide does not have enough travel in it--the crosshead jams against the cast wall.  Not wanting to tear the running gear down and machine the .100 inches of additional travel, we grab a small round rotary bit and remove the offending material.  Interestingly, the engineers side needs only the slightest adjustment.  The Valve spools have been centered in the valve cylinder using the inspection holes in the cylinders.  Locking the tumbling shaft down with machinist clamps, we roll the wheels over by hand and see how things feel.  9-Dec-09 Tonight, the last shop night of the year before I take holiday for three weeks, we begin timing the engine. We block the axle boxes up with 1/4  5-Dec-09 Another five hours of work today and all the valve motion is installed!  Bill worked on one of the valve crosshead guides to make sure it moved without a stiff spot.  A check of the Expansion link with a couple rods verified that at neutral the tumbling shaft levers were perfectly in link with each other.  Chocolate syrup on the hands? No just old fashioned steam oil which has been spread on the piston and valve cylinder walls, also worked into the cast iron rings for installation.  The ring gaps have been positioned 180 degrees from each other. Thanks to a generous chamfer on the liners, the pistons and valve spools slip right in.  5-Dec-09 It's a Saturday and 20 degrees outside. I decide to work in the shop instead of out at the track today, along with Bill. We have tightend the piston on the rod, and the nut on the piston.  Not trusting Locktite to hold in the steamchest temperatures, we stake the threads with a small prick punch to keep the nut from coming off if it loosens up.  2-Dec-09 At the end of the night, all the rods are installed on the engine. Things are starting to move when the chassis is rolled!  Bill uses a bushing to pull the crosshead pin out of the crosshead.  There was a slight burr from drilling the roll pin hole which made it hard to pull out. We put the main rod in and proceeded to spend the next hour trying to line the pin up with the drilled roll pin hole.  We made marks on the next one to show orientation before pulling the pin, it went much quicker.  The main rod with decorative bolts installed  The rods have been sandblasted, thanks to the use of a benchtop blaster from Tim M.  I then used an abraisive finishing wheel (like a grity sponge) on my Dremel to polish the rods and all the motion structure. They were then cleaned and bolted together, with Loctite on all the nuts. They are installed for what I hope is a long time.  2-Dec-09 Bill drills the decorative bolt holes in the main rod while I cut the bolts to length.  25-Nov-09 After putting flats on the pins, we dry fit the rods we discover we cannot assemble things - there is not enough clearance in the half-slot to put the pin in.  We originally put both crossheads together and drilled the half slots in one operation.  To enlarge and deepen the slot, Bill put a ball mill in the mill and both widened and deepend the slot to provide clearance.  24-Nov-09 Drilling the holes for the roll pins one more drill size larger.  The 3/32  18-Nov-09 The finished valve gasket set.  What do you do with your old computers hard drives?  I take mine apart and keep the polished aluminum disks for scrap parts.  Here Bill is bolting one to the faceplate to bore out for a valve gasket template.  18-Nov-09 After assembly we saw the front and rear rods ends were a paint thickness away from striking the brake hangers. We know things will loosen up as the wear in, so we removed .030 from the backside of the rod end, shortened the bolt in the lathe and smoothed the sharp corners with a small belt sander.  While Bill was working on the bushings, I enlarge the Tumbler Shaft Pillow Block mounting holes by one drill size.  With the original close fitting holes the Tumbler shaft would bind, we needed more clearance to 'float' the pillow blocks until the shaft ran smooth when the bolts were tightened. No fancy set up here, just use two squares against each other to set the block level to the table.  11-Nov-09 Using a piece of aluminum to rough align the Brackets while loosely bolted. Then we tighten the bracket bolts and line-ream the bushings to size and to be in line with each other.  While aligning and reaming the Link Support bushings, yet another bushing broke loose and spun out, so we had to make another new one.  We think the Telescoping Bore Gage I have gave a false reading on the bushing hole size, resulting in a too-small bushing the first time.  11-Nov  Here you can see the outline of the .060 thou aluminum shim we had to put between the link support bracket and link support bars. I'm using socket head cap screws (stronger) instead of scale model bolts mostly because I don't have any #6 model bolts to use.  28-Oct-09 Using a 1940's Brown & Sharpe Test Set, which I just learned how to use, Bill takes measurements on the crosshead guide bars to find out why the crosshead is 'sticky' in spots.  Conclusion; The guide bars are warped.  This is where a press would come in handy to straighten them out, but we make do with what's in the shop.  Fitting the .064  I probably shouldn't show this photo.  Using the quill of a mill to unbend metal really is the wrong tool.  This is where a press would come in handy to straighten them out, but we make do with what's in the shop.  3-Nov-09 After an evening of making the Support Bracket shims, we proceed to position the Link Support Arms to their final position. With the bolts tightened down, we can finish line reaming the Eccentric Link bearings to their final size in line with each other. We left them undersize earlier to insure they would end up parallel when assembled.  Unfortunately, the machinist who made them (me) made one too far out of spec (loose) and the reamer just spun it out of the hole. One replacement coming up!  20-Oct-09 Getting the hole layout and punching the holes in the gasket is a two step process. First, using the aluminum template from the previous step, the gasket is placed under the cylinder cover and the cover placed on the close-fitting template.  We just needed to get the cover off the bench, so it is sitting on a piece of pipe.  Using a 7/32  The cylinder gaskets ready for screw hole punching.  We took an aluminum plate from an old hard drive which nearly had the correct ID, bored it out in the lathe to the correct size and used a sharp x-acto knife to follow the ID profile, creating a nice fitting gasket.  20-Oct-09 Using a divider to lay out the cylinder gaskets.  I would have prefered to use a gasket cutter, but don't have one, so we will use the pencil and scissors route, at least for the outside dimension.  My divider does not have a lock on it, so we put a small machinist clamp on it to make sure it does not move.  14-Oct-09 The motion structure temporarily in place.  We need to shim the whole assembly .065 forward from the mounting brackets, but before we can do that we have to make the read cylinder head gaskets and install them.  14-Oct-09 The motion structure temporarily in place.  Machining the ends of the crosshead guide bars because the side milling operation left them tapered.  During the machining operation, inherent stress in the cold-rolled metal is exposed.  Here you can see the sliver of light between the two bars which have warped at the ends.  A few minutes in the vice bent them back to where they belonged.  Our first attempt to machine the taper out of the crosshead guide bar ends.  The black marker helps indicate the cut.  We expected the cut to start at the end, where the taper is, but the cutter marks are across the complete bar, indicating something is not right.  We take the guide bar out, check to see if the reference surface on the parallel in the vice is true and find it is not, and find the end of the bar is bent from relieved stress.  During the motion structure assembly we were puzzled why things were not lining up, and why the crossheads would not go in between the cross head guides when assembled.  Checking the crosshead guide yolk and the crosshead size showed everything to print, yet the opening was wrong.  Taking the guide bars out and measuring them revealed a .007 thou taper!  The guide bars moved during the machining operation due to releaving the internal metal stresses.
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