Building My 2.5" 20 Ton Shay

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

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littleevan99
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Building My 2.5" 20 Ton Shay

Post by littleevan99 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:07 pm

Just like with my CliShay I wanted to do another build log for my next locomotive, and this one is much bigger than the last one. Back in December of last year I purchased my castings from John Buckwalter to do my Shay, and they've been sitting on a bench ever since. Recently, I got the steel so that I can start on the trucks, and the channel iron for the frames. I cut off the steel for the frames, and some of the steel for the trucks so that I could get the bars to fit in the storage tubes. It's going to be a slow process, but it'll get done eventually.

Now, what I want mine to look like in the end. I'm planning on sticking to how John has it laid out in the plans just like I did with my CliShay with a few tweaks here and there. I like how his Shay looks, and that's probably what mine will look like in the end too. I would like to add an air compressor to it, but I'm not sure if it's worth the expense and or the headache if it doesn't work reliably if I'm only ever going to pull a few cars at a time. I do however what a duplex steam pump on it as I've always thought that they were cool to watch. I'm thinking that a Southworth 8" duplex pump would look good mounted to the running boards on the engineers side ahead of the engine. Aside from the pumps I was planning on going to a round oil burning headlight like the real ones had, and I've seen a kit that's being developed for those that would look good. Other than those few things the only other details that stand out that I would like to change or add would be to add the two sandboxes to the rear tender tank as I have a drawing for them that I can scale down.

Currently I'm trying to figure out how to bend the 1/4" x 3/4" CRS bars for the trucks. I tried bending one in the press, and it bent in about 3 different spots so that's not gonna work. On my grandfather's Shay trucks he slitted the bars and with a torch used a jig to bend them, and they all turned out looking the same. I'd like to bend them without doing that, but it worked for him so I may try that technique.

Anyways, here's what I have so far:
IMG_7044.jpg
IMG_7043.jpg
1.5" scale CliShay
2.5" 20 ton Shay under construction
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/littleevan99

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Harlock
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Re: Building My 2.5" 20 Ton Shay

Post by Harlock » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:16 pm

Don't be afraid of the torch! Get a MAP gas torch (yellow bottle) from Home Depot, heat the material up to a dull red. Or if you have access to a oxy-acetelene torch, you can use that as well, which would be much faster. Heat makes it so much easier to bend solid round and square stock. Especially with something that thick.

A fixture or jig really is the way to go for making identical items, especially when you're dealing with material that has to be worked hot or with a lot of strength. Some of those corners look a bit sharp from photos that I can find, so pre-slitting them on the inside of the bend to remove some material may be necessary, but to be avoided when you don't have to do it as it could weaken the part unless you fill it in or fuse it back together a bit later via gas welding. A fixture also can round a part without thinning out the round excessively, just like a tube bender.

The other way if you don't want to fixture is to bend it over solid round stock in the vice, gently hitting the heated material with a heavy-headed sledgehammer, rounding it over the radius. For a piece with multiple bends, you can measure what the distance should be between two bends and set it in the vice accordingly for the second bend. Sometimes the vice itself can interfere with the second bend, and it can be hard to get complicated parts right each time, and hard to fix if you mess up. A good old fashioned anvil can also do the trick, blacksmith style. You can keep heating it to tweak it until it matches your first reference part. The trick with these two techniques is keeping it all straight. Also, the more you work a bend, the thinner it will get, you only get one shot at the main bend.

I would take some extra material and practice heating and bending it. You can get cheap hot rolled stuff from the hardware store to practice on. This is a great opportunity to learn some new techniques. :D

I made the coupler release lever for the MEG using the vice technique, except with a tube bender to get a radius, and I had a helper to hold two MAP gas torches to the material at the same time to heat it up. I have a small oxy-acetelene setup now that I can use for heating.

You can also make bends on separate pieces of material and then weld the pieces together for greater accuracy between bends.

Tooling the tooling (making fixtures) is no fun compared to making actual parts, but sometimes quite necessary and a time saver in the end.

-M
San Lorezo Flume & Lumber Co. #2 - "Felton"
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Soot n' Cinders
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Re: Building My 2.5" 20 Ton Shay

Post by Soot n' Cinders » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:31 pm

Welcome to the 20t club!
I bent mine in my 20 ton press. The bars arent perfect, but they were close enough. Personally, I dont think making a jig is worth it for two trucks. If you were batch making freight car arches, thatd be a different story.
-Tristan

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-2.5" scale Class A 20 Ton Shay

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littleevan99
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Re: Building My 2.5" 20 Ton Shay

Post by littleevan99 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:28 pm

Tristan, I chose 1018 for the bars for the sharp square edges, but I traded ease of bending for final looks! The jig my grandfather made was very simple. It’s a block milled woth the proper angles for the bends with proper spacing, and is bolted to a heavy steel plate. I can probably re use his with a different block for mine. I’ll have to sketch it up to see how big it will be.

Mike, I’m thinking of trying the oxy-acetylene torch with the jig. That’s how my grandfather did his. I’ll make a few test pieces, but I think that will be the best route. Of course I’ll have to fill in the slotted area with welding wire or with bronze brazing rod. He used the MIG welder, but it is harder to get it to look natural so I want to try the brazing rod.
1.5" scale CliShay
2.5" 20 ton Shay under construction
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/littleevan99

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FLSTEAM
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Re: Building My 2.5" 20 Ton Shay

Post by FLSTEAM » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:28 am

" He used the MIG welder, but it is harder to get it to look natural so I want to try the brazing rod. "

You would be surprised how nice welds can look after a little grind and touch up with a flap disk on the 4 1/2" grinder.

John B.
http://www.ngshay.com/
Shay drawings and castings

AwPinales
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Re: Building My 2.5" 20 Ton Shay

Post by AwPinales » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:46 pm

Cant wait to see this beauty come together!
AwP

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Soot n' Cinders
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Re: Building My 2.5" 20 Ton Shay

Post by Soot n' Cinders » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:52 pm

littleevan99 wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:28 pm
Tristan, I chose 1018 for the bars for the sharp square edges, but I traded ease of bending for final looks! The jig my grandfather made was very simple. It’s a block milled woth the proper angles for the bends with proper spacing, and is bolted to a heavy steel plate. I can probably re use his with a different block for mine. I’ll have to sketch it up to see how big it will be.

Mike, I’m thinking of trying the oxy-acetylene torch with the jig. That’s how my grandfather did his. I’ll make a few test pieces, but I think that will be the best route. Of course I’ll have to fill in the slotted area with welding wire or with bronze brazing rod. He used the MIG welder, but it is harder to get it to look natural so I want to try the brazing rod.
Ah, I just used A36. With a nice coat of black paint and grease, they blend right in.
As for the jig, some new blocks may be all thats needed. Heating with an O-A torch will definitely help, steel bends nice and easy once it hits a dull cherry red.
-Tristan

Projects
-2.5" scale Class A 20 Ton Shay

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littleevan99
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Re: Building My 2.5" 20 Ton Shay

Post by littleevan99 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:06 am

I hope to get a few things done every week even if it's something small. A little bit of progress each week will mean that it gets finished eventually! This weeks little snidbit of progress was doing a dry run on the frames to see how I'm going to go about welding them together. I think I have it clamped down pretty well, but I still need to cut more scraps of wood to use to clamp it up with as it is still flexing in a few spots, and to add clamps pressing down on it to keep it flush with the table. Then of course I still need to groove it out every 8"-12" if I remember correctly to get proper weld penetration.
IMG_7124.JPG
One thing I forgot to mention(more like forgot I even made it) in the original post was the 8' cart I built for the Shay back in December when I first got the castings. Currently it has the electric engine my grandfather and I have been building for my dad on it, and I hope to have it finished and off of it soon to make space for the engine that belongs on it!
IMG_7126.JPG
Aside from that I do have a question that pertains to the crosshead guides on my Shay. On my grandfather's Shay he has been tinkering with the engine, and he has made a jig for boring the crosshead guides like this:
IMG_7132.JPG
IMG_7133.JPG
I wonder if a setup like this would work for my Shay? I would like to use it because we already have a very long carbide insert boring bar that would be perfect for my crosshead guides. Albeit, his crosshead guides are about half as tall as mine. He thinks that there may be too much stick out doing mine like that, and he's even a little suspicious with his because he couldn't fit the steady rest around the jig.
1.5" scale CliShay
2.5" 20 ton Shay under construction
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/littleevan99

Harold_V
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Re: Building My 2.5" 20 Ton Shay

Post by Harold_V » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:14 am

littleevan99 wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:06 am


I wonder if a setup like this would work for my Shay? I would like to use it because we already have a very long carbide insert boring bar that would be perfect for my crosshead guides. Albeit, his crosshead guides are about half as tall as mine. He thinks that there may be too much stick out doing mine like that, and he's even a little suspicious with his because he couldn't fit the steady rest around the jig.
I suspect it would work just fine, but I'd recommend you add two more bolts, so you have one @ 90° intervals. That should provide additional rigidity. You'll have to be careful when they are all tightened, so you don't cause the crosshead to lean, or that it is loaded to the point of deflecting, but it should work if you make the setup properly.

H
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Soot n' Cinders
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Re: Building My 2.5" 20 Ton Shay

Post by Soot n' Cinders » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:06 pm

Id get the steady rest on there personally. For my crosshead guides I milled the bottoms flat and drilled the lower mounting holes, then I had a faceplate for the lathe with the same bolt pattern drilled and tapped in it. From there I used a live center in the tailstock to hold the casting steady so I could turn the upper ring to size. Then I just ran the steady rest on the iron of the crosshead guides and didnt take too heavy of a cut while boring. My boring bar is 3/4" diameter and takes triangular carbide inserts
-Tristan

Projects
-2.5" scale Class A 20 Ton Shay

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littleevan99
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Re: Building My 2.5" 20 Ton Shay

Post by littleevan99 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:05 am

Argh! I feel like I can never get anything done that I want to get done on my days off! Spent all day chasing down issues with a 6kw generator so that we can sell it, and that ate up most of my day. Once I got that paperweight working I had some time to start welding the frame rails together, and so far the one that I have half way there is looking perfect. I started out with two pieces of channel that are cut an inch oversize so that I can mill the ends square when I'm all done welding them. Then, I clamped them to the welding table to mark out where the grooves for the weld beads to lay into. Grooved those out, and clamped them down again.
IMG_7185.JPG
After that I skip welded half of the grooves on the top side, then took them outside to sand down the welds so that it would sit flat on the table for welding the other side. Repeated that process on the other side, and here's what I got.
IMG_7188.JPG
This one came out nice and straight with no bows or kinks in it, and I'd say the thickness of the material helped there. As well as moving from end to end to keep the heat from building up in one area. Hopefully, I should be able to finish both of them tomorrow if time permits.
1.5" scale CliShay
2.5" 20 ton Shay under construction
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/littleevan99

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littleevan99
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Re: Building My 2.5" 20 Ton Shay

Post by littleevan99 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:09 am

Wow this is going to be a big engine! Didn't realize it until I stepped back and saw that the frame rail almost runs the length of the welding table! Anyways, so far I figure it takes about 3 hours to fabricate a frame rail, and that's mainly going at it slow so it doesn't get hot and start to look like a banana. I should have enough time tomorrow to make the other one, and enough time to mill the ends square and equal with each other.
IMG_7191.JPG
1.5" scale CliShay
2.5" 20 ton Shay under construction
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/littleevan99

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