Building the 2.5" Scale Shay

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Pontiacguy1
Posts: 936
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:15 am
Location: Tennessee, USA

Re: Building the 2.5" Scale Shay

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:14 am

I have used that Alabama coal a lot... Got a free load of it from someone that I know back a long time ago, mine was in central Alabama around Jasper somewhere. It does indeed burn hot, but people will accuse you of burning rubber tire chips as it produces lots of black smoke that hangs in the air for a while. It also produces a lot of ash and clinkers. I would have to brush out my flues about every 4 hours of operation, so at least a couple of times during the day, and would also have to rake out clinkers every so often to keep air flowing up through the grates. Lots of sulfur too. Sometimes if you were trying to bank it up, the smoke coming from the stack would indeed be yellow. However, I did run my locomotive on it very well for several years, it was just a lot more work and cleaning. I bought the West Virginia stuff and it burns just as hot if not better, and I can run the locomotive all day and into the night without having to brush the flues. With the Alabama stuff, if the stack went clear or near-clear, you'd better be adding some quick. With the Pocahontas coal, when you stoke the fire it will give off smoke for about a minute, and then go clear.

I have also tried the TSC anthracite coal that I suggested earlier. My initial trials have been pretty good, but I was only pulling 3 or 4 cars, not trying to load the thing up and really work it. More trials are needed for that.

Soot n' Cinders
Posts: 783
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:24 pm
Location: Marietta, Georgia

Re: Building the 2.5" Scale Shay

Post by Soot n' Cinders » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:56 am

Pontiacguy1 wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:14 am
I have used that Alabama coal a lot... Got a free load of it from someone that I know back a long time ago, mine was in central Alabama around Jasper somewhere. It does indeed burn hot, but people will accuse you of burning rubber tire chips as it produces lots of black smoke that hangs in the air for a while. It also produces a lot of ash and clinkers. I would have to brush out my flues about every 4 hours of operation, so at least a couple of times during the day, and would also have to rake out clinkers every so often to keep air flowing up through the grates. Lots of sulfur too. Sometimes if you were trying to bank it up, the smoke coming from the stack would indeed be yellow. However, I did run my locomotive on it very well for several years, it was just a lot more work and cleaning. I bought the West Virginia stuff and it burns just as hot if not better, and I can run the locomotive all day and into the night without having to brush the flues. With the Alabama stuff, if the stack went clear or near-clear, you'd better be adding some quick. With the Pocahontas coal, when you stoke the fire it will give off smoke for about a minute, and then go clear.

I have also tried the TSC anthracite coal that I suggested earlier. My initial trials have been pretty good, but I was only pulling 3 or 4 cars, not trying to load the thing up and really work it. More trials are needed for that.
The coal I’ve tried and sourced is northern Alabama coal, the mine is around Brilliant, AL if I remember correctly. It is indeed smoky but I have seen worse and the shay consumes a lot of it while running. I haven’t run it long enough to find how long it takes for it to soot up the flues.
The West Virginia coal is good stuff as well, but it’s such a drive for me to get up there. I’d rather deal with the work of chopping wood rather than making the 10hr one way drive up there.

Anthracite has been fickle in my experience, but I have not tried it in the shay. It’s great as long as there’s plenty of draft, but if the firebed cools down it won’t recover on its own. Maybe I was firing wrong with it, but might be worth a shot too. Same for mixing the anthracite with the Alabama coal.
-Tristan

Projects
-2.5" scale Class A 20 Ton Shay

Soot n' Cinders
Posts: 783
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:24 pm
Location: Marietta, Georgia

Re: Building the 2.5" Scale Shay

Post by Soot n' Cinders » Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:40 pm

Lots more rivets are set now, almost throw the first batch of 950 rivets with another 1000 on the way.
The sides are almost done with just the upper row on the engineers side left to go. Then I’ll go in with flux and solder and seal up the vertical seams. Interestingly enough, I’ve found that tinning flux has done much better on the glavanized than regular plumbers paste flux.
Once the sides are sealed, I’ll start riveting the bottom on and preparing to seal it up as well.
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Coal sheets
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Rear fireman’s side
-Tristan

Projects
-2.5" scale Class A 20 Ton Shay

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gwerhart0800
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: Loveland, CO USA

Re: Building the 2.5" Scale Shay

Post by gwerhart0800 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:27 am

I am about to start the "solder sealing" step on the water legs of the tender I am building and wanted to know, do you use a big soldering iron or a torch for heat?
George Erhart
Loveland, CO
https://lovelandcreatorspace.com

Soot n' Cinders
Posts: 783
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:24 pm
Location: Marietta, Georgia

Re: Building the 2.5" Scale Shay

Post by Soot n' Cinders » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:35 am

gwerhart0800 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:27 am
I am about to start the "solder sealing" step on the water legs of the tender I am building and wanted to know, do you use a big soldering iron or a torch for heat?
I used a torch for heating. I use a butane micro torch for most stuff since it’s easier to control and keep from burning the flux, but occasionally I have to use my big MAPP torch
-Tristan

Projects
-2.5" scale Class A 20 Ton Shay

Soot n' Cinders
Posts: 783
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:24 pm
Location: Marietta, Georgia

Re: Building the 2.5" Scale Shay

Post by Soot n' Cinders » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:04 pm

No pictures tonight, but all of the side rivets are in and the bottom is held in place with some screws and nuts. One side didnt line up like I thought it was going to, but nothing a drill bit cant fix. I also need to drill the holes for the 3 sides of the coal bunker.
In addition to that, I found the tank wasnt stiff enough with the top off, so I soldered in some braces to support the top end while the tank top is out and make reinstalling the top easier.
-Tristan

Projects
-2.5" scale Class A 20 Ton Shay

Soot n' Cinders
Posts: 783
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:24 pm
Location: Marietta, Georgia

Re: Building the 2.5" Scale Shay

Post by Soot n' Cinders » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:12 am

Finally have the tank where it'll hold water! Took two tests, the first one showed two of the vertical seams had pin holes but they were quickly fixed by reflowing the solder with some flux. After that the tank was filled to the brim and left for 20min, showing no signs of leaking.
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tank filling
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tank full
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tank on deck
Next steps with the tank are cleaning out any remaining flux residue and the finishing the tank top. From there I'll take it out for a road test and then it'll come back for paint. Im also working on a seat set up to replace the milk crate and old pillow I was using before. I bought a metal pan seat from Tractor Supply for the shay. Its a surprisingly comfortable seat and was more affordable than any of the padded ones. Now I just need to work up a design to mount the seat so it can pivot and rest decently low to the tank top. Only other thing the seat needs is a coat of paint, the stock paint isnt the nicest color...
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seat mocked on tank
-Tristan

Projects
-2.5" scale Class A 20 Ton Shay

Soot n' Cinders
Posts: 783
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:24 pm
Location: Marietta, Georgia

Re: Building the 2.5" Scale Shay

Post by Soot n' Cinders » Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:07 pm

Work continues on the tank. The stand pipe for the siphon is now complete and attached as well as the siphon steam line plumbed. Both injector water connections are finished as well. Gaskets for both are made from some soft rubber used for toilet valves. The screws that hold the water line flanges also have neoprene backed sealing washers between the head and the tank floor to prevent the threads from leaking since the stainless screws I use have threads that dont seal completely.
The tank top is now done as well complete with a "soup pot lid" for the top of the fill hole. All thats left before paint is half round beading on the verge board, hand rails, and brackets for the coal boards. Im thinking about a rear headlight as well but Im still undecided on that.
Other things Im working on are a design for a bracket to hold the tractor seat I got and I am remaking the valve block for my brake valve. The original block was bronze sliding on a bronze base and they already show signs of galling, so Im making a new block from cast iron and thinking of finding away of impregnating the iron with some steam oil so the valve does not require constant lubrication. If all goes well, I'll drag the shay out next saturday to test all of the things Ive done over the winter.
IMG_0854.JPG
tank
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tank lid
-Tristan

Projects
-2.5" scale Class A 20 Ton Shay

rkcarguy
Posts: 1167
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:33 am
Location: Wa State

Re: Building the 2.5" Scale Shay

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:51 am

Looking good! It's great you were able to solder the plated steel, I wasn't sure how that was going to work as my "hot" experiences with zinc plated and galvanized steel have been less than wonderful.

Soot n' Cinders
Posts: 783
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:24 pm
Location: Marietta, Georgia

Re: Building the 2.5" Scale Shay

Post by Soot n' Cinders » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:22 pm

rkcarguy wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:51 am
Looking good! It's great you were able to solder the plated steel, I wasn't sure how that was going to work as my "hot" experiences with zinc plated and galvanized steel have been less than wonderful.
It wasn’t too hard as long as the heat was kept low. I used tinning flux and regular plumbing solder and heated things with a butane torch. I found my MAPP gas torch put a little too much heat in and made things hard to control
-Tristan

Projects
-2.5" scale Class A 20 Ton Shay

rkcarguy
Posts: 1167
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:33 am
Location: Wa State

Re: Building the 2.5" Scale Shay

Post by rkcarguy » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:12 pm

That's good to know. I think between that and some epoxy paint...if you wanted....on the inside and that tank should last a long time. By the way, if you have any corrosion worries, adding a freshwater boat anode (I think they are aluminum for freshwater) might serve you well. Most exchangers and tanks we build these days have some sort of sacrificial anode(s) designed in.
That pink seat needs some help lol :lol:

Soot n' Cinders
Posts: 783
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:24 pm
Location: Marietta, Georgia

Re: Building the 2.5" Scale Shay

Post by Soot n' Cinders » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:19 pm

I’ve thought about the anode, definitely something to keep in mind as well as the possibility of doing some home electro plating. But those are idea for down the road.
And I think I’m going to keep the inside of the tank bare metal. Then there’s no coating to crack and let water get behind and eat the tank
-Tristan

Projects
-2.5" scale Class A 20 Ton Shay

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