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Building The 1920s 'New Shay' - In 3/4" Scale
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 Posted: Fri May 21st, 2021 05:50 pm
41st Post
Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 1041

That does look great.  I picked up a saw at the local hardware (Ace) store. 
It looks pretty good and the first cuts were satisfactory. 

But it is one of the "adjustable" for 12" or 10" blades.  I never use 10" blades. 
I have not had long term good luck with adjustable hack saws.

It will hold me for the time being, but we shall see.

I note a garage sale in the community with a sign that says "man stuff". 
I am going to go check that out.


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 Posted: Sat May 29th, 2021 07:27 pm
42nd Post

Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5897
" But it is one of the 'adjustable' for 12" or 10" blades.  I never use 10" blades. 
I have not had long term good luck with adjustable hack saws "

Hi Reg  :wave:

Gee ! ... You made me think ...  L:

... Have I ever even SEEN a 10" hacksaw-blade ?  ???

Once ... maybe ...  :old dude:

... I think it might be the one mounted in my 'frameless handle'.  :)

All the 3 previous hacksaws I have used ... 

... were all adjustable, using either a hinged-frame, or sliding-frame.

:java::moose: :dt:



' Mysterious Moose Mountain ' - 1:35n2 - pt.II

' M:R:W Motor Speedway !!! ' - 1:32 Slotcar Racing Layout
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 Posted: Mon Jul 12th, 2021 08:55 pm
43rd Post
Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 1041
Another enforced absence. 

On the day my wife received the news,
that she needed three-way bypass heart surgery,
I came down with shingles.  

I have been unable to work in my shop for over two months. 
And the pain is not over yet. 

I will be back... I just don't know when yet.

I am thinking I will present some information on my vertical mill.


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 Posted: Thu Aug 12th, 2021 01:40 am
44th Post
Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 1041
I have not been defeated by shingles. 
Miserable ? Yes.  Still suffering some nerve pain ? Yes. 
But I am not going to let it keep me out of the shop for very long.

The current project is the boiler brackets. 

They are pretty simple, but they are very precise.
The basic shape was machined with the two blanks fastened together with screws. 
I didn't take a photo of that.

But here are the basic pieces freed of their siamese existence.

Pretty simple shapes. 
But the dimensions had to be accurate to +/-0.01mm

I did all of the shaping on the vertical mill. 
Nailed it... On the second try.

"Feet" were silver soldered on for mounting the brackets to the frame. 
I was able to use the propane torch on these parts. 

Are the "feet" fussy to fabricate ?  Oh yes. 
I got the necessary four, out of seven attempts. 

The clearance holes for the mounting screws have to match holes,
drilled and tapped in the frame rails at the beginning of this venture.

Here is a closer look.

The "feet" are a bit tricky. 
They have to be held in place while a great deal of heat is applied. 
The melting point of silver solder is 1,640 F 

Kozo specified using very small screws to hold the "feet" on the brackets. 
The final straw in the first attempt at making the brackets,
was breaking a 1.4mm tap (very small) in one of the brackets.

I decided to pin them in place. 
I had some 2.0mm rod in the scrap box. 
So drilled 2.0mm holes in the "feet" and the brackets.
Drilling holes the same size as the rod, thanks to inaccuracies in drill bits,
almost always results in an interference fit. 
That approach worked perfectly.

Here are the brackets with the truss rods soldered in place.

The all-thread holds everything in alignment while soldering. 

I used oxy-acetylene here, because there was more area to heat,
and the brackets were screwed to the frame.  A great heat sink. 
Without the all-thread, the brackets would probably have warped.  

I had a little trouble with the solder. 

I tried sticking small bits of solder to the flux. 
But when the flux melted, the bits of solder fell off. 

So I went with heating everything up and touching the solder to the joint. 
It can be tricky because it is easy to get too much solder on the joint. 
I got away with it this time.

You can see that I have fabricated two of the brackets,
that attach to the rest of the truss rod system.  They are fussy, too. 
These have not yet been silver soldered.

The most critical dimension is from the bottom of the frame,
to the bottom of the cutout in the brackets. 

Since I am working from a mish-mash of metric and imperial,
sometimes getting the exact dimension is a minor miracle. 
In this case, I nailed that critical dimension.

Well, almost.
What I later discovered, while attempting to remove the assembly from the frame,
is that a couple of the bits of solder that fell off landed on the mounting screws. 
Those screws were hot enough to melt the solder.  

It took me a couple of hours of work to get those screw heads ground off
(they are in an awkward position) and the assembly freed from the frame.

If I am learning something from these mistakes,
I will be the smartest person in the Universe by the time I get this locomotive built.


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 Posted: Wed Aug 18th, 2021 07:25 pm
45th Post
Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 1041
The next challenge... Angles.

The angles called out for the truss rods and the braces
(purely decorative on the model) that secure the end sills to the frame,
include some very specific angles.

Look on your protractor,
and see if you can determine 12.8 degrees. 

If you can, PM me. 
You are super human and can be of inestimable value on this project.


To determine angle accuracy to something closer than +/-1 degree,
one needs a sine bar. 

What is a sine bar you ask ?  Well.  I don't know.
Though I have learned a lot in the past few days.  

The first thing I learned, is that accurate ones are expensive. 
The second thing I learned, is that they must be used in conjunction with gauge blocks.

What are gauge blocks? 
The first thing I learned about gauge blocks, is that they are VERY expensive. 
So there is all of that.

I have wandered through the Internet,
and figured out the basics of determining, or setting, an angle with the sine bar.
I have not figured out how to transfer the information, to the work or the machine. 
I will get that figured out.  

I found out that sine bar/gauge blocks, work in conjunction with trigonometry tables.
I have a copy of the Mechanics Handbook, it includes trig tables.  

I will assemble a tutorial once I have all the bits in hand
(I am starting to sound like my British friends)
and can take some photos.  


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 Posted: Thu Aug 19th, 2021 02:03 pm
46th Post
Ken C

Joined: Tue Jun 16th, 2015
Location:  Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 1048

PM sent.

Ken Clark

Kaslo & Slocan Railway
International Navigation & Trading Co
Kootenay Railway & Navigation Co.
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 Posted: Tue Aug 24th, 2021 06:08 pm
47th Post
Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 1041
I am now in possession of not one, but two sine bars. 

On doing a bit of playing around on how to use these things,
I learned the 5" bar was a bit too long for some things I wanted to do. 
Such as set up a horizontal angle on the mill vice.

So I now own, in addition to the 5" bar, a 2-1/2" bar. 
The shorter bar will fit horizontally in the mill vice,
allowing me to set very accurate angles.

I also possess a set of gauge blocks.  There are a lot of the little things. 
I spent a relaxing evening removing oil paper from each and every one. 

Gauge blocks are graded. 
Grade 0 blocks would be found in laboratory settings,
Grade 1 in inspection facilities, and,
Grade 2 on the shop floor. 

Obviously, I opted for the Grade 2 blocks. 
I don't even want to speculate on what a set of Grade 0 blocks might cost.

I happily set about checking the calibration on my micrometers and calipers,
one of the tasks for which gauge, sometimes spelled "gage",
and sometimes referred to as "Joe Blocks", are well suited.

I was pleased to observe,
that all of my measuring instruments are accurately calibrated.

I am working on mastering the art of "wringing" the blocks together. 
If enough pressure is applied in just the right way,
the blocks can be made to stick together to form a stack of blocks,
whose dimension is accurate to within +/- .0001 inches.  Cool. 
But I am having trouble mastering the art.

Instructional videos on how to use this stuff are available on YouTube,
so I think I don't need to recreate what has already been done.

Right now I am buried in fabricating the far ends of the truss rods. 
These are not particularly difficult parts, but they are small,
and there are eight of them.  I will provide some photos. 

In the nature of things miscellaneous,
I sprung for the little horizontal engine kit from the Little Machine Shop. 
This looks like a fun project.  But a word of warning. 
The ordering information does not (or at least I didn't notice) indicate,
a rotary table is required for the machine work.  I have one, so not a problem. 
But not every amateur machinist has that tool in his/her collection. 
I was going to suggest that it would be a good beginner's project. 
Unless you own a rotary table, it is not.

Another example of being careful purchasing kits, is the PM Research #1 Engine.
This is a great kit (I have one but haven't started it yet) but can be a bit tricky. 
I will follow the methods used by YouTube's "Blondihacks". 
A page put together by a female machinist, who really knows her stuff.

If thinking of becoming an amateur machinist,
I would suggest one of the single cylinder kits from Stuart Models. 
I have their V10 under construction. 

In theory, one can do all the machining on that kit on the lathe. 
There is a book available that tells you how. 
But a vertical mill/drill sure is handy.

Enough musings (especially those slightly off topic),
I will get busy and provide some more pictures.


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 Posted: Tue Aug 24th, 2021 11:20 pm
48th Post
Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 1041
Speaking of tools, I want to repost a photo.

The reason I want to repost this image,
is because I want to talk about a very useful tool. 
The 1-2-3 Block.

Note the two steel blocks full of holes. 
Those are 1-2-3 blocks, called such because they measure 1" X 2" X 3"
They are very accurately machined to those dimensions and hardened. 
All the faces are square to each other. 

Most of the holes are clearance drilled,
some are threaded 3/8" 16.  

They can be used as squares, they can be used to compare dimensions,
they can be bolted together to form different right angle configurations. 

They can be used on the vertical mill in inventing setups. 
They can be used on a drill press to hold parts for drilling.
A couple of these blocks and some C-Clamps,
and the possibilities are endless. 

They are heavy. 
You can use them to hold down glued parts while the glue sets up. 
Great for holding small parts at right angles while the glue dries, too. 

The uses for these things, even in wood and model building shops,
are limited only by imagination.  

In this photo I had just used them in conjunction with my "anvil" bar,
to check the squareness of the boiler brackets. 

I have used them to drive out small pins. 
Just place the pin over a hole and use a punch to drive it out. 
The best way to drive tiny pins out of small parts. 

You can spend a whole bunch of money for a set (like $200+)
but I have found the less expensive ones work just fine for me. 
I got mine at Little Machine Shop for about $20 plus shipping. 

Well worth that cost,
and they seem to work just fine for the work that I do.
Mine almost never get put away.  

Maybe someday I will get to try out a $200 set
(they usually are sold in sets of two)
and see if the difference in price is warranted. 


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 Posted: Thu Sep 2nd, 2021 06:10 pm
49th Post
Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 1041
The truss rods have been very time consuming. 

No one part is particularly difficult, but there are a lot of them,
and they all have to line up to a very fine degree.

Here is the over view:

The big deal, in terms of multiple parts all fitting together can best be seen a bit closer:

That is three rods and nine holes that all must line up.
Two of the rods, that pass through and solder to the boiler brackets,
and the holes in one of the anchor brackets
(on the back side out of sight) must be tapped or threaded.  

Times four.

A great deal of drilling and tapping,
as well as a fair amount of silver soldering is involved.

Speaking of drilling and tapping....

A challenge on this project is the tapping of very small holes. 
I have broken more than my share of the tiny taps. 
The taps are not particularly expensive and I keep spares in my tool box.

But it is most often the case the broken tap cannot be removed from the part. 
If the hole is in a critical location, and they almost always are,
a new part will need to be fabricated. 
That is not a morale booster. 

I ran across a brilliant solution courtesy of Adam Savage, of Mythbusters fame. 
He has a collection of short videos, well some are not so short,
about what he is doing in his personal shop.

Here are the basic tools.  

The first key to successfully tapping small holes, is an appropriate tap wrench. 
Well, after selecting the proper size tap.

I have been using too large a wrench. 
The beautiful Starrett tap wrench is the right size for 2.5mm threaded holes,
and is a joy to use, it is such a quality tool. 
At $30.00 it is not the least expensive wrench of this size, but worth the price.

The second important tool is really fun. 
A steel block with holes drilled the diameter of the shank of the tap. 

Using this shop made tool, one is assured to get the tap started perfectly plumb,
and it prevents side forces on the tap.  A typical cause of tap breakage.

Here is the whole collection at work,
with the part to be tapped held in the mill vise. 

Such simplicity. 
Why didn't I think of it ?  

Yeah, I sometimes use a Sharpie on the vice,
to scribble a reminder of the dimensions of the part being machined.  
It wipes off easily with a little acetone. 

There should be a hole in the block sized for each tap one uses. 
There is only one hole in my block (so far)
all taps in the 1.5mm to 3.0mm range have the same diameter shank. 
Very handy.

One other tip. 
I have been using propane on small parts (silver soldering)
and oxy-acetylene on larger parts. 

For this assembly I tried out MAPP gas.  Wow. 
Much hotter than propane, but easier to handle than the oxy. 
We will see how it works on larger parts. 

That is progress to date.
Next up are the braces for the end sills. 
They promise to be a little tricky.


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 Posted: Sun Sep 5th, 2021 07:37 pm
50th Post

Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5897
Hi Reg  :wave:

:brill:  The truss-rods are looking SUPERB !  :bow:

I am slightly baffled however ...  L:

... at why Kozo would specify a 12.8 degree angle ...  ???

... when a 'straight' 13 degrees would seem to be an option ?  :us:


It looks like it's the angle at which the 2 frame-screws ...

... at the 4 truss rod ends, are set to.

The other end of the angle being already marked...

... I guess, as the pre-drilled holes in the 2 center frame parts.



Attachment: 1.jpg (Downloaded 8 times)


' Mysterious Moose Mountain ' - 1:35n2 - pt.II

' M:R:W Motor Speedway !!! ' - 1:32 Slotcar Racing Layout
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