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Building The 1920s 'New Shay' - In 3/4" Scale
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 Posted: Sun Jan 17th, 2021 04:52 am
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Ken C
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Reg

Excellent comments on acquiring a lathe.

I have a 9x20" myself.

Biggest hassle was getting it down to the basement,
and hoisted onto the stand.

2 500# chain falls came in handy.  :)

Parted with my 6" Atlas,
did hang onto my Unimat though!.

Enjoy your progress reports on building the SHAY,
perhaps one day I may tackle a similar project.




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 Posted: Tue Jan 19th, 2021 11:14 pm
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Reg H
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Ken

I still have my Unimat, too.  I just love the little thing. 
I use it mostly for a sensitive drill press.  

More to come.  The basic drawhead pieces are fabricated. 
I just need to do a little more drilling and some silver soldering.  

Reg




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 Posted: Mon Jan 25th, 2021 04:14 pm
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Reg H
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Progress report...

This week's project has been the draft gear. 

In the 1920s Lima built the Shay with draft gear that could be adapted
to either link & pin coupling, or pinning a knuckle coupler at various heights.  

Here are the basic pieces of the draft gear assembly...





Here they are milled, silver soldered, bolted together, and ready for installation.





And installed on the end sill.





This assembly (actually two of them, one for each end)
was a remarkable success.

Nothing ended up in the scrap box. 
All of the components came out right on the first try.

Perhaps I am learning.

Reg




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 Posted: Fri Jan 29th, 2021 05:42 pm
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Reg H
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Progress is going very well. 
Not much to take photos of at this point.  There will be some soon.

One of the aspects of building a live steam locomotive from raw stock ("from scratch" in our model railroad parlance) is that most locomotives don't have just one of each kind of part.  For instance, I am in the midst of fabricating the foot board brackets.  There are eight of them.   A significant amount of shop time involves doing the same thing multiple times.  Not particularly photo-worthy. 

I posted about acquiring a lathe.  It can seem daunting if one has a dream of someday having a machine shop.  I speak from experience.  I have wanted to have my own machine shop since high school shop class.  That would have been about 1965-66.  There is a photo in one of my high school annuals of me standing at a metal lathe.  It is hard to say, but it sure looks like a Clausing 12", just like the one in my shop today. My shop was finally set up in 2017.  Fifty some odd years later. 

A factor in setting up a shop is not only the big machines, like the lathe, but the smaller tools.  In truth, a great lathe is useless without all the smaller tools that go along with it.  If you have the dream, you can start doing something about the small tools right away, and for a very modest outlay of cash.  

Sure, you can spend years and some money collecting the small tools and never have the ability to establish your shop. 
But it you don't have the dream, it is a sure bet you will never have the shop (or whatever the subject of your dream).  

For a very long time I had no assurance that I would ever have the money and space to set up my shop.  But it happened.  When it did, I already had a cache of the small tools needed in machine work. Some of those tools had uses along the way, some didn't.  But I had a dream. 

In that spirit, here are four tools absolutely essential for any machine shop. 
You only see three?  We will get to that.





The most obvious tool is the small ball peen hammer.   I have had this hammer for at least 35 years.  I have no memory where I obtained it.  I might even have purchased it new.  I don't know the brand.  As you can see, the label is no longer legible. 

You can often find good tools at garage sales and in thrift shops.  I found one of my micrometers, a good one in it's original case with a street price of about $165, at an antique store for $25.  Most of my clamps have come from thrift stores and garage sales. 

A new, good quality, small ball peen hammer is not particularly expensive.  I also have a new one.  It is a good quality, made in the USA hammer.  It was under $20. But it is fun to find nice tools for pennies on the dollar.  For these small hand tools, it is not unusual for older, well cared for tools to be better quality, and more useful, than newer versions. 

Then there are the center punches.  The black one is an "automatic" center punch.  It is spring loaded.  You place it on the work and push down on it and a spring releases to make the dimple.  You want a good one.  The Starrett version of this one is about $45.  Mine is of British manufacture and is at least as good as the Starrett.  I picked it up at a garage sale for $1.00.  

You will want to learn the difference between good quality tools and junk.  If buying new, price is a good indicator.  In the world of machine work, Starrett is usually the gold standard (watch out for the recent Chinese imports, marketed by Starrett.  They are not as good as some other imported tools. Tools made in the USA and Great Britain are your best bet when haunting the garage sales),  but Mitutoyo tools, from Japan, are right behind.  Older Craftsman tools are a good bet, too, and are very common.  I stress "older".

I like the automatic punch for the initial dimple because it offers great control and it has a very fine point.  

Which brings up the subject of the other punch.  The very fine dimple created by the automatic punch is not quite definite enough to insure your drill bit will find the right location.  For that you need the broader point of the a manual punch. 

The "manual" center punch is an ancient Craftsman.  Back from the day Sears marketed quality tools at reasonable prices.   I would not buy a Craftsman punch today.  A good punch has to have a very sharp and very hard point.  A dull point will do you no favors.  

A good center punch, new, will set you back about $10.  Not a bank-buster.  Still, fun to find good stuff cheap.   I've had this punch about 20 years.  I picked it up at a garage sale.  It was in a box of various punches, scribers, and chisels for $5.00 for the box.  

Once I got the box home and sorted out the junk, I ended up with 11 useful tools.  Less than  $0.50 a tool. 
Yes, I know you can get a center punch at the local hardware store for $2.95. 
That would be a waste of $2.95.  Plus the frustration of trying to use the thing. 

The fourth essential tool?  The steel bar on which the punches are sitting.  You need a good "anvil" for a variety of uses.  You can go out and buy a jeweler's anvil, or a small shop anvil, but those are more expensive, and not as useful, as a plain, heavy block of steel.  

I use this one when center punching, when punching part numbers into parts, setting rivets, and a bunch of other tasks.  You really need something solid when engaged in "impact" events.  A wood bench top absorbs too much energy.

This one came out of my scrap box and is left over from another project.   Since I pulled this one out of the scrap box I have noticed several good anvil objects just laying around for the taking.  On some walks I have spotted likely candidates just laying in the weeds. Keep your eyes open.  Over time something will turn up.  If not, you can get a foot of bar stock from Online Metals for a reasonable price. 

If shopping new, your sources for good quality tools can be limited, especially for specialty tools. 
PM me if you want some recommendations.

Reg




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 Posted: Sun Jan 31st, 2021 08:24 pm
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Reg H
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Progress as of yesterday...





The front end sill with the foot boards fabricated and installed. 
The blank holes will house some hex-head bolts.  Purely decorative. 

The foot boards are silver soldered to the brackets.  The circles are the remains,
of screws used to hold things in place during the soldering (actually "brazing") process. 
I was hoping they would not be so prominent. 
The plans specify that those screws not be installed all the way through. 
That didn't work well for me.  I am contemplating a bit of Bondo prior to painting.

There is only one more part that needs to be fabricated for this end sill.  The hand rail.
Then some work needs to be done on the rear end sill.  

There are some parts that attach to the end sills, notably the braces,
that in the prototype, brace the end sills to the frame. 
They are just a detail in the model, but it would not look right without them.

Reg 




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 Posted: Tue Feb 9th, 2021 08:05 pm
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Reg H
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It sure is good to see some other new posts on this thread.  Keep 'em coming.

There will be a brief pause in progress on the Shay.  
My wife and I are engaged in some rather extensive remodel activity. 
I may still sneak in some shop time, but it will be limited.

However, I can continue posting some suggestions on establishing a shop.  My perspective, as stated before, comes from a 50-year history of dreaming of a machine shop and collecting some of the smaller tools along the way.

So often in our society today we lose the sense of delayed gratification.   We want what we want and we want it now.  That attitude often results in some major mistakes.  One of which is settling for lower quality tools.  Good tools will last a lifetime.  Be patient.

Sticking with the basics is also good.  The basics are the basics for a very good reason.  They work.  The lastest whiz-bang gizmo may promise incredible results with no effort or skill, but my experience is that they often are a disappointment.  Having said that, I do have digital read out (DRO) on my mill and I am not sure what I would do without it. 

Another mistake is using the plastic.  I NEVER buy toys on credit.  It may take awhile to save up the cash, but that is the path of wisdom when it comes to hobbies.  If difficult times hit (and they almost certainly will) you don't want to be strapped with payments on something that won't put food on the table. 

In the spirit of collecting small tools along the way, here is another suggestion:





This is what I, tongue in cheek, refer to as my file drawer. 
If you are going to do machine work, you need a good set of files.  

I read once where someone (predictably, in Great Britain) did all the machine work on one of the Stuart mill steam engines with nothing but hand tools.  No lathe, no mill, not even a drill press.  I don't know if that is factual, or not.  In theory it is possible.

There is endless joy in good files, and endless frustration in poor ones.  You want Made in the USA or Great Britain files, in my experience.  There may be some other good countries of origin, such as Germany.  I can't speak to those as I have never had files from other than the US or UK that were any good.  

I have had good luck with Nicholson files.  

The file I use the most, and the file you must have if you can only have one, is the single cut mill file.   The next most useful file is the triangular file.  Following that, in usefulness, is a double cut file for really hogging off material.  There are others, and they have their uses, but those three are "must-haves".  

There are some files in this drawer that I have never used.  There is a file in my collection that is a double cut file with an overlaying diamond pattern.  For the life of me I can't figure out a use for that file.  I also can't remember why I bought it.

Another "must-have" is handles.  Every file in your collection should have a handle.  There are two reasons.  The first is control.  It is difficult to control a file that does not have a decent handle.  The second reason is safety.  You will understand the first time you jam the tang of a file into the palm of your hand.  It really smarts!

Another essential tool for the file drawer is the file card.  The two items that look like brushes are file cards.  They are like wire brushes with very short bristles.  One of mine has a fiber bristle side.  I don't know why.  It was a recent purchase when I temporarily lost the file card I have owned since before Adam took a bite out of that apple.

The file card cleans the files.  Especially working on non-ferrous metals, like brass or aluminum, a file can load up very quickly.  Trying to perform some precision filing with a loaded-up file can be quite frustrating. 

I have found good files at my local hardware store and the "big box" stores.  Handles have been a challenge.  The handles you see here were acquired online (I forget where now, but it may have been McMaster-Carr) after years of dealing with flimsy handles.  One of which is visible under the pile. 


Though all of my files were purchased new, I have seen good files in the thrift stores and at garage sales.  

Reg




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 Posted: Tue Feb 16th, 2021 12:30 pm
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Si.
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Hi Reg  :wave:


It's lookin' like the front of a Shay !  :bg:


Yes ... I spotted  "tool number 4"  in your photo.  :P

I'd never be without my 1 1/2" x 6" dia. steel-blank !


If you're gonna drop it off the bench though ...

... make sure you're not just wearing Super Skates !  :f:


A good set of sharp quality needle, up to large size files ...

...cuts down swear-words & elbow-grease no end.  :thumb:


:java::moose: :dt:


Si.




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 Posted: Tue Feb 16th, 2021 03:32 pm
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Reg H
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Si:

Oh yes. 

Having quality tools in good condition makes everything so much easier. 

There is nothing quite so frustrating as trying to get something done,
with poor quality tools or good tools that have not been cared for.

Reg




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 Posted: Tue Feb 16th, 2021 04:07 pm
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Reg H
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I have managed to get some shop time squeezed in around our home remodel project.

I learned a valuable lesson.  

I got the rear end sill marked out.  Marked out? 
"Marking out" is the task of applying the dye, transferring measurements from the plans to the work,
and center punching for drilled holes.

After I got that done I moved over to the mill/drill to start drilling.  For some reason I was in the "follow the plans blindly" mode and forgot that I was using a different, and smaller, size screw for some of the applications than is specified in the plans.  The reason being that I could not find the specified metric screws with hex heads.  Socket heads would not look right on the end sills. 

I got two holes drilled and tapped before I woke up to my error. 
RATS! Or words to that effect.

The fix for that mistake is pretty simple.  You drill out the hole to a slightly larger size and fix a piece of rod, the same material as the work, into the hole as a plug.   I typically use Loctite to secure the bit of rod.  One can then mark out, drill, and tap a new and proper hole.  If done correctly, the plugs are practically invisible. 

Except it didn't work this time.  One hole was successfully re-drilled and tapped. 
When I attempted to tap the second hole the tap spun the plug.  

So.  Plan C.  Re-drill both holes slightly larger than the first plug in order to insert a second plug.  This time I would silver solder the plugs in place.  I elected to re-plug both holes under the theory, or expectation, that tightening a screw into the first hole could well spin that plug as well. 

Lesson...do not put a bit of flux in the bottom of a blind hole.  Once everything reaches 800 degrees or so, something (air or flux or something) explosively expands in the hole and turns the plug into a miniature moon launch.  It is quite impressive. 

It is inadvisable to allow nearly red hot bits of brass rod to go bouncing around the shop.  Fortunately, the errant plug came to rest in an easy to find location.  The prevention is to ensure that the plug is firmly seated in the bottom of the hole. 

Cleaning out excess flux with a tooth pick from a solid chunk of brass that has been heated with an oxy-acetylene torch is a task to be accomplished with great care if one objects to the smell of burning flesh accompanied by wails of anguish and language best suited to a waterfront bar.  From your own mouth.

In the end, all got done with no personal injury. 
The plugs have been silver soldered in place, the new holes marked out, drilled and tapped.  

All the other holes in the end sill have also been drilled and tapped. 
There are quite a few.

One other thing.  I lied about the front end sill being complete.  I neglected one small item.  Well, actually two. 
The poling pockets.  I will get those done when I reach that step in fabricating the rear end sill. 

I am preparing another episode in my "tools to acquire" ramble. 
Soon. 

Reg 




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 Posted: Tue Feb 16th, 2021 07:35 pm
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Ken C
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Reg

Understand the "rats", although working with wood.

I am scratchbuilding two Central of Peru outside braced 20 foot boxcars in O scale,
had to strip 80 braces off, and then re-apply another 80 pieces of smaller sized wood.

:bang:

However the cars are getting close to adding detail bits,
had to make a trip across town to my LHS to get ladder stock "Plastruct".

Keep up the good work.




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