1800s Pilot Construction

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

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Mr Ron
Posts: 1590
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Vancleave, Mississippi

Re: 1800s Pilot Construction

Post by Mr Ron » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:34 pm

Since the frame is steel and the staves are aluminum, how did you attach the staves to the frame?
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

daves1459
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:58 pm

Re: 1800s Pilot Construction

Post by daves1459 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:18 pm

Mr Ron wrote:Since the frame is steel and the staves are aluminum, how did you attach the staves to the frame?
Each end of each stave is held in place with a 5-40 socket head cap screw. The heads are counter sunk into the upper and lower frames. The top screws are concealed by the pilot beam. The lower screws are out of sight. The bottom of frame is smooth with no projects so in the case of a derailment the pilot will slide along on top of the rail, hopefully anyway.

I'm trying to decide whether to paint the pilot as an assembly or individual pieces then assemble. Any ideas?

daves1459
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:58 pm

Re: 1800s Pilot Construction

Post by daves1459 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:50 pm

Harold_V wrote:
wewilliams wrote:I gotta say - that mill is a thing of beauty as well.
Heh! Guess I'm not the only one who thinks so.
Such machines aren't commonly found in the home shop. How nice it would be to have a well tooled #3 universal horizontal mill at my disposal. 8)

H
A friend of mine gave it to me about 35 years ago. It is actually a #2, the photo angle makes it look larger. My friend was a mill wright and scraped in all the ways and reground the lead screws. I made new nuts for the lead screws and did the mechanical fitting. He already had a horizontal mill and I had a shaper he wanted, so we traded. It came with a slotting and a vertical head. It is very accurate, I used it often, and I take very good care of it.
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999 cylinder machining 001.jpg
999 cylinder machining 004.jpg

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Dick_Morris
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 2:09 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

Re: 1800s Pilot Construction

Post by Dick_Morris » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:46 am

how did you attach the staves to the frame]
Mine is very similar to Dave's - two #6 countersunk allen cap screws at each end of each stay. It makes for a very rigid assembly.

I agree, that's a really nice mill, especially with the accessories you have.

Harold_V
Posts: 17020
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:02 pm
Location: Onalaska, WA USA

Re: 1800s Pilot Construction

Post by Harold_V » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:36 am

daves1459 wrote:A friend of mine gave it to me about 35 years ago. It is actually a #2, the photo angle makes it look larger.
The #2 size for the home shop makes a lot more sense. Yes, indeed, I was fooled by the picture.
My friend was a mill wright and scraped in all the ways and reground the lead screws.
I thought it a bit unusual the face of the column was so well scraped, or at least flaked. Judging from the very nice flaking, my hunch is this guy was very good at what he did. Last time I saw flaking like that was on a beautiful new Fosdick jig borer.
He already had a horizontal mill and I had a shaper he wanted, so we traded. It came with a slotting and a vertical head. It is very accurate, I used it often, and I take very good care of it.
Must have been a very nice shaper, as the mill is something one dreams of, especially so well equipped.
I still have regrets for passing on a virtually unused, albeit old (WW II era), K&T universal. It was small, a model H as I recall, and sold at auction for only $900. An unbelievable amount of tooling was included, with a huge quantity of gear cutters. It was sold by the Jordan School District when industrial arts programs were eliminated from their curriculum. I was in the machine shop for two years and never saw the machine operated.

Your machine reflects the good care you claim. The additional heads make it a real treasure. What a beauty!

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

Mr Ron
Posts: 1590
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Vancleave, Mississippi

Re: 1800s Pilot Construction

Post by Mr Ron » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:37 am

daves1459 wrote:
Mr Ron wrote:Since the frame is steel and the staves are aluminum, how did you attach the staves to the frame?
Each end of each stave is held in place with a 5-40 socket head cap screw. The heads are counter sunk into the upper and lower frames. The top screws are concealed by the pilot beam. The lower screws are out of sight. The bottom of frame is smooth with no projects so in the case of a derailment the pilot will slide along on top of the rail, hopefully anyway.

I'm trying to decide whether to paint the pilot as an assembly or individual pieces then assemble. Any ideas?
Thank you for your reply and that is a beautiful mill. One can only dream owning one like that.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

daves1459
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:58 pm

Re: 1800s Pilot Construction

Post by daves1459 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:51 pm

Below shows the finished results. It was an interesting project. I had not previously done any helical milling. There was a lot of preparation before any milling was actually started. There was a lot of calculation and a rather complex set up plus a special fixture that I'll never use again. Even with all the hazel the net result is rewarding.

With regard to the design of the pilot I found that there was actually a purpose to the helical shape of the staves. It turns out that they were designed to throw any "road Kill" up and away from the locomotive. If the cow, or what ever, what hit dead center the pilot was designed to capture it so it didn't splatter all over the front of the loco and held until it was convenient to peal it off. If you study the top vertical view you'll see that the combined effect of all of the helix faced staves resembles a snow plow. Then there is the black object in the top center that the coupling shaft is attached. The New York Central called this device a "pilot horn". It's purpose was if Bambi's mom happened to be standing in the middle of the track she would be impaled on it and held until removed.

Back to the milling machine: The flaking you see on the column was done by hand as was all the scraping. You'll notice the flaking is very straight, consistent, and parallel. I watched my friend do it on a Reid surface grinder several years later. He used an Anderson scraping tool that was about 24 inches long. The cutting tool bit had a radius on the bottom and front. He grasped the scraping tool with both hands near the tool bit and rested the end of the handle on his shoulder then leaned forward while wiggling the tool bit across the machine way. It takes a lot of strength, control, and skill. I tried it and could never do it.

daves1459
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:58 pm

Re: 1800s Pilot Construction

Post by daves1459 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:09 pm

For some reason the pictures did not post. i'll try again.
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