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.