Union Pacific Big Boy 4012 in 1.5"

Where users can chronicle their builds. Start one thread and continue to add on to it.

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DanSmo
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Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:54 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Union Pacific Big Boy 4012 in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:07 am

After numerous requests from other forum members I've run out of excuses, so here it is... my build log.

I'm Dan, I'm currently 27 years old, I'm a Boilermaker by trade and I live in Melbourne, Australia. I've loved trains my whole life and my true passion is steam to diesel transition-era Union Pacific. Since I saw my first pictures of Big Boys in books and magazines I've loved them, so I decided I would build one. I bought my first lot of castings from Roger Goldman when I was 19 in 2008, but with other interests, fast cars, girls etc. the castings sat in their box until 2014 when I again found the passion. Since then I've steadily been making bits, pieces and details while I save and purchase the rest of the castings.
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

redneckalbertan
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Re: Union Pacific Big Boy 4012 in 1.5"

Post by redneckalbertan » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:16 am

Looking forward to the build log!

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DanSmo
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Union Pacific Big Boy 4012 in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:25 am

I figured the best place to start is at the front with the distinctive cast pilot. With no casting available I rolled out the drawing and went about fabricating it as accurately as possible to the original including all the internal structures and reinforcements.
Attachments
1458959_10151728677055222_1574137331_n.jpg
Cutting sections from sheet
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20140129_223159.jpg
Welding the internal structure
20140322_130731s.jpg
milling the face before welding the cover
20140324_184446s.jpg
Cover welded on, ground smooth, primed ready for marking and cutting the slots
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

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DanSmo
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Union Pacific Big Boy 4012 in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:28 am

Once the seams were welded and ground and all the slots were cut I had this. Fairly happy with the result.
Attachments
10250074_10152051124395222_3214586997631100985_n.jpg
10259930_10152051124425222_4117796376503985335_n.jpg
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

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DanSmo
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Union Pacific Big Boy 4012 in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:29 am

I decided I like the appearance of the Big Boys the best when they were at the end of their careers. With their solid bulbous front coupler cover, radiator piping moved to below the headlight and chain driven front lubricators. The next piece I started on was the radiator piping assembly. These radiators were moved from up on the front deck to below the headlight and behind the front numberplate for some reason after a few years of service. I'm not exactly sure the reason why this was done but when the UP ordered the second series of Big Boys they came with the same "Wilson" style radiators as the Challengers in the low position. 4012 is from the first series so this is how I made the assembly. I actually made 2 sets, one for myself the other for Matt Jahn.
Attachments
20140527_163011s.jpg
To make the 180* pipe bends I welded 1/4" bolts to the edge of a plate, heated them with the oxy/acet and bent them over. The thickness of the plate makes for consistent pipe centres.
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Components for the assemblies laid out
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Pressing on the individual fins was a tedious job. There's approx. 750 on each radiator assembly
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

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DanSmo
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Union Pacific Big Boy 4012 in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:35 am

Here is the second radiator stage, this unit sits right behind the two louvered doors you see at the front of all the Big Boys. The tanks at either end are solid brass. I used the same construction method as the first radiator and pressed on over 1000 shim washers. I swear I'm never making miniature radiators ever again.
Attachments
2015-12-01 18.13.10s.jpg
2015-12-01 18.13.44s.jpg
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

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DanSmo
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Union Pacific Big Boy 4012 in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:52 am

The next component on my to do list was the air compressor mount. On the full size locos this was part of the one piece cast bed. In Roger Goldmans Challenger design it is a bronze casting and although all of the critical dimensions are the same as the Challenger piece the Big Boy one has different openings and cut outs. I therefore decided to fabricate again, this time using .250" brass. I followed this with the Compressor Mount to Front Deck support which includes the headlight mount.
Attachments
2015-04-10 17.14.21s.jpg
Before brazing
2015-04-10 17.21.16s.jpg
Assembled with air sump tank in position
2015-05-06 19.07.10s.jpg
Brazed assemblies bolted together with round head fitted bolts that I had to make from scratch
2015-07-08 23.15.55s.jpg
Front deck assembled with handrails, steps and headlight
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

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DanSmo
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Union Pacific Big Boy 4012 in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:17 am

One of the most distinctive parts of a Big Boy (or Challenger for that matter) is the Air Pump Shield on the front pilot. I'm determined to get all the details in this area just right, so that meant two louvered doors. I'd never tried making any type of punch tooling myself so I was heading into this project with just an idea. I started off with some 400 grade steel bar and began shaping it to the form of the louver minus the material thickness and left a sharp cutting edge which would punch the initial slit guided by dowels in the die. Initial results were good and after some shimming and different pressures I had results I was happy with.
Attachments
2015-07-05 15.01.37s.jpg
Louver Punch
2015-07-05 14.56.53s.jpg
Finished door
2015-07-31 05.50.23s.jpg
Assembled doors mounted on the Air Pump Shield viewed from the back
20150813_221905s.jpg
Assembled Air Pump Shield
2015-08-13 22.17.59s.jpg
Front on view
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

kvom
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Location: Cumming, GA

Re: Union Pacific Big Boy 4012 in 1.5"

Post by kvom » Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:56 am

That's some masterful work right there!

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Pipescs
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Location: Lester Alabama

Re: Union Pacific Big Boy 4012 in 1.5"

Post by Pipescs » Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:35 am

Truly Beautiful Progress....

Keep the passion going.
Charlie Pipes
USMC Retired

Current Projects:

2.5 Baldwin 2-4-2/2-4-4/0-4-4 Conversion (What ever)
Little Engines American Restoration
Bobber Caboose

rrnut-2
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Location: New Hampshire

Re: Union Pacific Big Boy 4012 in 1.5"

Post by rrnut-2 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:10 pm

Beautiful work!

Jim B

Rwilliams
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Re: Union Pacific Big Boy 4012 in 1.5"

Post by Rwilliams » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:38 pm

Hello Dan,

Spoke with Don Yungling yesterday while delivering some parts to encourage his future caboose build. He was mentioning his communication with you in regards to your arrival on Chaski with the DV-7 lubricator project and now the incredible Big Boy project. Seems like you have things well in hand with what it takes to make such a project happen.

Donald and I have been friends and builders in the hobby for many years and encourage each other all the time. Just wish he lived next door instead of 2 hours drive on some traffic infested roads.

He mentioned to me that you have been informed of the Nathan terminal check valve castings which I have made the master pattern for and have some castings buried somewhere in the shop. Not many have shown interest in the seldom seen or modeled detail. They are a nice addition to the Nathan lubricator which most neglect. My father worked the first ten years of his engine service with the SP with steam and the transition to diesels. He never did mention the terminal check valves. I only discovered what they were a few years ago while researching at a museum. Much of the knowledge of steam is rapidly fading as the old timers pass on.

It will be great to see your Big Boy build as you show all of the tricks of how you make the parts. Certainly encouragement for the rest of us builders that need some visual stimulus to head into the cold winter shop.

Long ago in the early 1950's, my parents took a cross country trip from California to Nebraska through the heart of UP big steam country. Dad was always impressed with the Big Boys and shot a photo of one working in the high plains. The tenders were equipped with a special water spray head to wet down the first few cars in the train lest the wood roof tops catch on fire from the ash falling from the exhaust plume of the stack. The image he shot that day show the water spray in action no less. In the later years as steel roofed equipment became standard, the water spray device was often not needed. I have only seen a few photos showing the device in action over the years. Be a nice touch to include in your tender when you get that far.

I will have to dig into the photo files and see if I can locate the photo of the Big Boy from long ago.

Keep up the great work,

Robert Williams

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