CPR G5C Class 1246 Pacific

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thunderskunk
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CPR G5C Class 1246 Pacific

Post by thunderskunk » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:48 pm

Hey folks,

I am beyond excited to start this project. I've been dreaming of building a live steam loco since I was in the single digits, which is not an exaggeration. There was a VHS of PVLS in Massachusetts that I used to sign out from the library that got me hooked. My interest in steam but lack of funds got me into blacksmithing as a reenactor, then going to school for mechanical engineering. Somehow graduated by Grace, then worked as a grease monkey in the Burlington VT locomotive shop for VTR Systems. That was awesome, but we couldn't afford it. After a leave of absence at Fort Lost in the Woods, MO, I found work as a CNC machinist, which has been eye-opening to say the least. The closest I've ever been to seeing live steam was stopping in to help the Saint Louis Live Steamers, and even then it wasn't a run day.

Enough of the boring stuff. I'm building the G5C, specifically the 1246, which is a Canadian Pacific... Pacific, with some of the top-of-its-class features on the prototype. I really enjoy the look of a light pacific, and this particular engine hits close to home.

I took a trip to Ingenium in Ottawa (another post in the general forum) and ordered the erection drawings copied. And.... wow this thing is big. I thought the J-size drawing was going to be bigger than the actual engine I'd build and.... well, it's the same size. These things are huge!! I've never been so motivated by a piece of paper.

SO! I need some help.
  • I could really use a mentor. I live out near Cabot, Vermont (as in Cabot cheese) and if anyone is out here willing to talk steam, I'd love to get together.
  • I'm going to start by ordering the parts for the frame, 1018 CR flat stock by Mr. Nelson's recommendation. If this is a really dumb idea, by all means call me out. I've sifted through the forum and haven't seen a consistent starting point for most projects.
  • Is it unheard of to use a bottom slotted dry pipe instead of a vertical one? I didn't think it was possible until I saw the size of this thing on paper.
  • How often, if ever, do live steam modelers use forgings instead of castings? I've got a set up for propane blacksmithing and a plazma cutter, so most of what I do will be dictated by what I can make stock look like using those tools.
I'm expecting to be at this for a while, and probably only post when I'm in a jam, but you've all already been a huge help.
Front end smaller.png
"We'll cross that bridge once we realize nobody ever built one."

Harold_V
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Re: CPR G5C Class 1246 Pacific

Post by Harold_V » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:04 am

thunderskunk wrote:[*]How often, if ever, do live steam modelers use forgings instead of castings? I've got a set up for propane blacksmithing and a plazma cutter, so most of what I do will be dictated by what I can make stock look like using those tools.
In my opinion, not commonly done, if for no other reason, most folks don't have a power hammer which would be invaluable in forming the desired shapes, nor dies to do the same thing.

Another thing to consider is that some components are best made of cast iron (either gray or ductile), neither of which lend themselves to forging.

There's a lot to be said for using forgings where it's possible. In general, they'd have greater strength and would reduce the amount of time spent machining, with an added benefit of starting with much smaller pieces of material, thus saving some of the expense. I'd be interested in reading of your attempts, and the degree of success achieved.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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PRR5406
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Re: CPR G5C Class 1246 Pacific

Post by PRR5406 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:06 am

Having seen all of the survivors of this class of 4-6-2, I can only say that I feel your pent up energy. These are gorgeous locomotives from every perspective. My personal favorite is/was the ill-fated 1278, which now resides at AOS Roundhouse.
Please don't hesitate to post your pictures!
"Always stopping my train, and risking my ankles, with American made, New Balance sneakers."

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Fender
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Re: CPR G5C Class 1246 Pacific

Post by Fender » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:37 am

thunderskunk wrote:
[*]I'm going to start by ordering the parts for the frame, 1018 CR flat stock by Mr. Nelson's recommendation.
Most people cut the frame from A36 (hot-rolled) plate rather than 1018 (cold-rolled) bar, because of reduced distortion. Ideally (but not necessarily) cut by waterjet.
Dan Watson

Moron
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:56 pm

Re: CPR G5C Class 1246 Pacific

Post by Moron » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:26 am

Huge fan of this locomotive! These were some of the best Pacifics built. In my opinion you should do a water jet frame if you can afford it. But as you will see there are many ways to skin a cat.

Mountaineer
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Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:45 pm
Location: Canada

Re: CPR G5C Class 1246 Pacific

Post by Mountaineer » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:24 am

Also my favorite Pacific. Should you need detail pics, there are two close to where I live. PM me if/when you need.

Cheers,
Mountaineer.

Ps- hotrolled A36, waterjet and Blanchard ground is the cats meow for frames... :P

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LVRR2095
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Re: CPR G5C Class 1246 Pacific

Post by LVRR2095 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:20 pm

I would suggest a starting point of building the tender first. It will get you used to working on a project of this magnitude and when you finish the locomotive you will already have a tender!
Keith

rrnut-2
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Re: CPR G5C Class 1246 Pacific

Post by rrnut-2 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:17 pm

I would say come on down, but it is a 3 hour drive to my place from Cabot. On the other hand, if you don't mind the drive, give me a shout, just to make that we are here.

Jim B

Harold_V
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Re: CPR G5C Class 1246 Pacific

Post by Harold_V » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:40 pm

rrnut-2 wrote:I would say come on down, but it is a 3 hour drive to my place from Cabot.
Chuckle! Those words from the guy who thinks nothing of driving across the nation in three days, along with his good wife!

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

rrnut-2
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Re: CPR G5C Class 1246 Pacific

Post by rrnut-2 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:49 am

Gotta see the country and people somehow.

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Builder01
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Re: CPR G5C Class 1246 Pacific

Post by Builder01 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:35 pm

In your excitement, I think you did not mention gauge or scale. I assume you are building a miniature, not a full size locomotive!!

thunderskunk
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Location: Vermont

Re: CPR G5C Class 1246 Pacific

Post by thunderskunk » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:58 pm

Builder01 wrote:In your excitement, I think you did not mention gauge or scale. I assume you are building a miniature, not a full size locomotive!!
Haha, fairly intentional actually. I bounced between 7 1/4 and 7 1/2, even asked about gauge adjustment on another thread. I've decided on 7 1/4 with no major effort to have the ability to change gauges. A few excel spreadsheets have left me to believe 1.5" scale is the best fit for having an 8" and a 9" pipe as my boiler courses (9" pipe being expensive, but I did find a source). My question on that is there's the missing 0.04" worth of scale between the 7.25" gauge and 1.5" scale, which comes out to 3/16" between wheels. Do most guys put this on either side of the saddle? Do they just make the rods a little thinner?

I also like 1.5" because it's the exact outline of the J size sheets I got, which makes life easy in some ways.
LVRR2095 wrote:I would suggest a starting point of building the tender first. It will get you used to working on a project of this magnitude and when you finish the locomotive you will already have a tender!
Keith
It was my original plan, but after going back and forth I decided to start with the engine. This is decisive as my father has been looking at getting a sheet metal brake for a while; I'd bet by the time I'm ready to do the cab, tender body, running boards, etc. he'll have purchased one. Still not sure why he needs one, to be quite honest.
Fender wrote:
Most people cut the frame from A36 (hot-rolled) plate rather than 1018 (cold-rolled) bar, because of reduced distortion. Ideally (but not necessarily) cut by waterjet.
I'm taking the A36 route then. I've not dealt with much 1018, but I imagine it's more expensive. Probably not waterjet though. I think I can get away with my setup OK. Nothing a few days with a file won't fix.
Harold_V wrote: In my opinion, not commonly done, if for no other reason, most folks don't have a power hammer which would be invaluable in forming the desired shapes, nor dies to do the same thing.
I'm really good at starting projects that will never work, so bear with me. We're going to try a hydraulic press. Not a pump one for pushing bearings, but one powered by an HPU. My idea for the drivers would be to rough cut a plate with a slit between every spoke. Probably use one die for the counterweight and another to make the spoke corners. Anything else would be cut on the lathe or with a dremel. In the end, it might cost me more because I might need too much stock on the back of the 'forging' to make those corners, and die making is an art all in itself, but I think it'd be cool to try. I've also got a rolling mill for things like tapered rods, ovals with squared sides, and I can turn rollers to match a few different patterns. Doesn't do a whole lot for me, but it does somethin.

Right now I'm still bent over the drawings, figuring out material sizes. Already quoted some of the bigger parts just to see where I might run out of money.
"We'll cross that bridge once we realize nobody ever built one."

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