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NSW 24 class mogul in 5" gauge


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I have been tearing into the back yard over winter but have also been chipping away at the boiler. I'm going to make all the bushes now and solder them in, before tackling the inner and outer wrappers.

 

The regulator bush has just been soldered in in the photo, that's why the smokebox tube plate is so dirty.

 

It's pretty hard work making the boiler. I'll be pretty pleased when it is done!

 

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Some more bushes done. The gauge glass and backhead regulator bushes are soldered into the backhead and the firehole door ring rolled up from a couple of strips of copper. If i had bronze of sufficient diameter I'd have just turned it, but I didn't want to buy a slice just for this. If the rolled one isn't sufficient I'll get the bronze anyway.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been working on the gauge glass fittings. I was given a drawing and generally followed it. I tried to make it as small as I could which meant a lot of fiddling with the drain valve spindle - there is not much space for it and I was trimming thread off the gland, taking thread off the front of the spindle near the cone to allow it to be screwed right back to the gland, etc. By just looking at the drawings and having my own ideas it has taken me quite a while to make these and there have been some setbacks and kludges along the way. They're tricky little beasts with flat bottomed holes, various threads in close proximity, and all the threads are quite short. But it seems to work so that's a win. Now I can see them in place I'd like them smaller but don't feel like making another set. Still a few nuts (including the tricky flat bottomed ones) and a valve handle to make.

 

Regards, David.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

The inner firebox was soldered together yesterday. My boiler inspector came around and did it for me which was nice.

 

I had a go at the outer wrapper last week with a borrowed former but my end plates were too different and it wasn't going to work. I made a new former based upon my throat plate and backhead and I think the wrapper is close enough now.

 

The backhead is not wonky, I think I tilted the camera while I was holding it high up.

 

I think the next step is to solder bits of the foundation ring in, and when the inner firebox comes out of the acid bath I can open out the flue and tube holes. They were drilled to size but various clouts with hammers have distorted them, and they probably have some solder in them too.

 

I'm only making locos with round topped fireboxes from now on. I would have with this one too, but the designer said only people who made it exactly to his design to minimize questions and hassles would be allowed to get in on the project so I this one is modeled as after it was given a boiler with a belpaire firebox. The 'prototype' model is a good steamer so with luck this one will be too.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Still making progress. A start on the smokebox, the outer firebox wrapper soldered to the throatplate, and the backhead soldered to the inner firebox. I need to get the smokebox roughly in place so I can measure back from there for the clack bushes and dome, and get the boiler level in the frames. A misreading of a drawing means I took too much off the bottom of the outer wrapper but that can be bodged around. The bottom of the outer wrapper sits on the rear hornguides so locating the foundation ring too low is more of a problem than what I've done. I just need to put pads of appropriate height on top of the hornguides.

 

The smokebox is a strangely difficult job and has taken a week of 1 step forward, 3/4 steps backwards to get where it is. Now for the wrapper, which looks hardest of all. That such a difficult component should be so prominent is kind of unfair I think! The ring of rivets around the door have been done twice after I felt I'd flattened them too much the first time, and I neglected to rivet in the pieces of angle on which the smokebox floor rests when I did the bottom rows of rivets, so had to chisel a few off and add the angles after I'd welded the construction together.

 

In terms of how well the engine will run I'm guessing this stuff is less critical than the cylinders and valvegear. But it is really important to how it will look so it's quite nerve-wracking.

 

Regards, David.

 

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The smokebox is coming together. The wrapper is tack welded around on the inside. I'll use some putty in there to seal the join to maintain the vacuum. I'm trying to get it to the point where I can use it to level the boiler in the frames.

 

Regards, David.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Working on the boiler bushes, tubes, etc.

 

The tubes are just stuck in there for effect at the moment to see how it looks.

 

I also bored a hole in the smokebox for the chimney. The smokebox is nearly done now. I'm going to try and make the door from the 5" disk that was cut out of the smokebox rear plate. I've heated it up and hit it very 'ard with a big hammer to dish it.

 

I'm going to make some of the regulator and superheater bits next. The ones that bolt onto the smokebox tubeplate so I can check their fit and spot through the bolt holes before the tubplate is soldered into the barrel.

 

The chimney was done on a CNC machine, and the petticoat pipe screws into it.

 

I marked out the firebox stays today but due to misreading a drawing I think my inner firebox crown is 3.5mm too high and I need to consult my boiler inspector friends to see whether I need to move all the other rows up too.

 

Regards, David.

 

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Looking good, you'll be ready for a hydro test in no time! The boiler build is very tedious, (I know). Keep up the good work.

 

Thanks David.

 

I'm a bit over it now but as you say, nearly there. I bought some cored bronze today to make a part of the regulator and the core is bigger than the copper tube that needs to be soldered into it by about 1mm. While I was looking at it in the metal shop I thought it would be close but hoped I'd get away with it. So back I go tomorrow to get a solid bar and drill a hole in it!

 

There should only be a couple of big heats left before chasing down the leaks, but I don't work quickly. Would be nice to be done by the end of the month though.

 

How many locos have you built? This is my first from scratch. Before this I finished one off that had been taken apart and had most of the bits under the footplate lost.

 

Regards, David.

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I have only built one locomotive. Although it has been running under it's own steam since May, it is not yet finished. I have had a good time this year running it at my club track. For a while, I was even running it with no jacket on the boiler! My project this winter is to replace all of the temporary piping and finish up the side tanks and the rest of the plate work. Attached is the current state of affairs! It is jacked up on it's construction stand.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Looks good David!

 

Boiler work continues on mine. I've made almost all of the regulator and yesterday soldered the tubes into the inner firebox. Today I made the bush that bolts to the main steam pipe to feed the wet header of the superheater.

 

I have to make the blower connections for the backhead and smokebox tubeplate, and spot through some screw holes in the front flanges of the regulator before I can solder the front end of the boiler and the inner firebox to the outer firebox. After that there is the stays and the boiler can probably have its hydro test.

 

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Regards, David.

 

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Looking good! Although, I would have not yet attached the back head until the firebox is soldered in with the tubes attached. It looks like you will have to solder the foundation and the back head at the same time. I would do the front tube sheet last. This way, the tubes can be free to expand and shrink while you are doing the fire box. I left the front tube sheet in place to support the tubes, but not yet soldered, while doing the fire box. I used three small copper screws to hold the front tube sheet in place while soldering the fire box. After the fire box, back head, and stays are done, the final heat up was for the smoke box tube sheet. Keep up the good work.

 

What are you using for a heat source?

 

David

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I’m using oxy/propane for soldering. It’s only in the last couple of years we’ve been able to get oxygen bottles without making an account at one of the gas companies and paying annual rent on a bottle, costing way too much for a hobbyist. Now we can get the gas more cheaply it is worth getting an oxy/propane torch.

 

I pre-heat the assembly using a big propane torch and then bring the oxy/propane in for the actual soldering.

 

I have no opinion on the order of soldering, I’m following my boiler inspector’s instructions. The reason he suggested doing the back head onto the inner firebox so early was to ensure it was easier to get lots of solder around the fire door ring because that soaks up heat and is difficult to get enough solder around and fix leaks. Having done it early we could look around more easily to see if there seemed to be enough solder.

 

Your point about the tubes expanding is a good one and I don’t know what will happen. Apparently we’re going to solder the smoke box tubeplate to the barrel, then the tubes into that, then the foundation ring and back head, all in one heat. I asked why not from the back forwards and he said the tubes will be under tension after it cools if we do that.

 

I’m not worried. This guy has built at least 50 boilers and fixed a lot of other people’s too, so he’s probably tried all different ways.

 

I have to say I’m glad to be back to machining after all that copper bashing and the smokebox wrapper. The sheet metalwork requires too much skill where machining just requires a bit of caution.

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Sounds like you have good help with plenty of experience. I'm sure things will turn out just fine. That last heat up will be a big one with lots to do. For me, as a beginner, I was a bit apprehensive about attempting too much at a single heat up. The fact that you are using oxy/propane will be a big help. I used only propane. Keep us posted. 

 

David

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I can't imagine using only propane! Even with a big propane burner I use for preheating haven't seen the copper get to silver soldering temperature. The oxy/propane is brilliant, you can get the heat where you want it and guide the solder around.

 

I'm very lucky in that my father-in-law has 4 locos so has lots of taps/dies etc that you only use once or twice so I don't have to buy them, and my 'mentor' designed and built locos for other people for years as his job so there isn't much he hasn't come across or had to make many times. He built his first live steam loco as a teen so he's been making them for over 50 years.

 

That's why my modelling moved from 7mm scale to 5" gauge. I don't know any 7mm modellers and have a local 5" gauge club. It's much more fun for me to do what others are doing, showing their interest and getting a lot of encouragement. Having said that, I'll be trying 1/32 scale live steam next, this 5" gauge stuff takes a long time to build.

 

I have great admiration for people who can build one of these things in isolation, I'm sure I wouldn't have the determination.

 

Progress-wise I made the blower bushes a couple of days ago and the inner dome yesterday. Today I'll drill the screw holes in it. I bought a bunch of cheap carbide insert boring bars off ebay and they have made most boring jobs much easier than having a boring head in the tailstock like a I used to do. I recommend them. I also have an upside down parting tool holder from Eccentric Engineering, which if you don't have a screw-on chuck makes parting off a dream. Straight through a 2-inch bar of brass or bronze at high speed with no worry at all. Slow down a bit and more cutting oil and steel is just as easy.

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While the boiler parts are in the phosphoric acid getting cleaned up in preparation for the next soldering operation I put the con-rods back on to give it another run.

 

It ran down to about 8psi which I'm happy with!

 

There is a click somewhere which I assume is related to the wheels not being perfectly square across the frames, despite my best efforts. There is an eccentric bush where the coupling rods join on the left hand side. The wheels initially went around sweetly, then I took it apart and it never ran as well again! Something will wear out eventually and hopefully take the noise with it.

 

Regards, David.

 

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https://youtu.be/I_OcUDOd--c

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I have had the same ,so your not alone,I have stripped an engine for painting,All the main frame work kept together,Once all put back together a tight spot appears that was not there before,and as you say very hard to locate and most annoying, But as you say it does run in,Nice work keep the photos coming , Garry

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These are the regulator bits I've been making over the last couple of weeks. I've just made the body of the blowdown valve this morning so it's in the pickle cleaning up. The weirdest bit is the part that screws into the backhead. It has a 5/8x26 thread to go into the backhead, a 3/8x26 thread inside that for a 3/8 pipe to screw into, and a 5/16x32 thread on the back for a gland nut to screw onto. Getting all that machined in line took some thinking and a fixture.

 

The regulator valve is turned from a 1/2" stainless steel bolt.

 

The inner dome is turned from the solid - expensive but simple.

 

The number of different threads in these bits is crazy. Luckily I could borrow the taps and dies for the rarely used ones.

 

Regards, David.

 

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We soldered the boiler together today so all that's left is the stays and chasing leaks. Really glad to have that done.

 

I turned the blastpipe this morning, and did the snifter valve yesterday. The smokebox floor and a bit of footplate for in front of the smokebox were done a couple of days ago. Here is the inside of the smokebox before it is filled with plumbing. I also need a hole for the inlet manifold in the front left of this photo, and the blower ring to be soldered around the top of the blastpipe.

 

Regards, and happy new year, David.

 

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Today I made the blower ring and a connector for the steam inlet that goes through the smokebox floor. The blower ring is in the acid overnight and the inlet connector is a trivial turning job so no photos yet. I also cleaned a mountain of bronze and brass swarf off the lathe.

 

I also took the boiler out of the acid for a look. The firebox end is pretty clean but the smokebox tubeplate is still a bit dirty so it can soak overnight too. I'll probably start making the stays over the weekend. There are a few stay holes still to be drilled too. There are some in the throatplate, and two that go from the top corners of backhead to the throatplate.

 

You can see the superheater flues through the done bush.

 

Regards, David.

 

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