12" working railroad

Discuss park gauge trains and large scale miniature railways having track gauges from 8" to 24" gauge and designed at scales of 2" to the foot or greater - whether modeled for personal use, or purpose built for amusement park operation or private railroading.

Moderators: Glenn Brooks, Harold_V

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Topics may include: antique park gauge train restoration, preservation, and history; building new grand scale equipment from scratch; large scale miniature railway construction, maintenance, and safe operation; fallen flags; track, gauge, and equipment standards; grand scale vendor offerings; and, compiling an on-line motive power roster.
Harold_V
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by Harold_V » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:05 am

Thanks. I have much to learn. :-)

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

rkcarguy
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:37 pm

Harold, what are you welding with as far as a machine?
I have found the #1 thing with TIG is not to be timid. Dive in with the torch, hit the pedal, and get moving and stuffing rod. The added rod cools the weld and moving quickly keeps from overheating the part. I really don't even use my AMP dial anymore, I just run it up around 180-200 amps so I can get started quickly and control what I need from the foot pedal.

rkcarguy
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:32 pm

I found a website for a railroad supply company(full size) that makes all the hand brake wheel assemblies. Looks like the prototype diameters are mostly 18" 20" and 22". Think I'll scale mine for 22" being it's still got to work with full size hands, will still be under 4" in diameter.

Harold_V
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by Harold_V » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:40 am

rkcarguy wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:37 pm
Harold, what are you welding with as far as a machine?
I use a Lincoln 300/300. I don't have much experience with TIG, and we touched on it briefly when I took a welding class back in the early 90's. I do not consider myself a weldor---but I am able to get things put together. Recent project was to repair a pair of broken hinges for the dump door on my Simpson muller. They're cast brass, both were broken, deformed at the break. I made a fixture from asbestos that held them in acceptable alignment and used heli-arc and silicon rod to put them back together. I was really impressed with the outcome, as I now have functional hinges, and, quite frankly, they look pretty good! :wink:
I have found the #1 thing with TIG is not to be timid. Dive in with the torch, hit the pedal, and get moving and stuffing rod. The added rod cools the weld and moving quickly keeps from overheating the part. I really don't even use my AMP dial anymore, I just run it up around 180-200 amps so I can get started quickly and control what I need from the foot pedal.
One of my problems is the ever dipping of the tungsten in the puddle. It doesn't help that I'm getting older, and my vision leaves a little to be desired. Still, I trudge on.

My original purpose was to get to the point where I could weld a boiler. To that end I managed to pass an x-ray vertical up test with 7018 rod on 5/8" thick plate. Took two tries, but I was successful. That, or course, was a long time ago. Now I need to start over as I've lost what little skill I once had.

Thanks for asking. Didn't mean to drag your thread off topic.

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

rkcarguy
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by rkcarguy » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:20 am

Harold, I'm pretty shaky, so I have a huge collection of remnant tubes blocks and the like to help prop my hand on. Also, a auto darkening helmet is a must have in my opinion for more intricate work. I'll arrange them so I can slide my hand down a block for an entire weld if possible.
It sounds like you have plenty of welder, so you shouldn't have any problems there. Most commonly people don't use enough power and have to wait too long for a puddle to form, then by the time they reach the end of the weld the whole part is too hot.
I have an old late 60's Miller 430A that came out of a shipyard, It's a 500amp beast of a machine, I used it once to blow a hole through some 1/2" aluminum plate lol! My current shop doesn't have the power to feed it unfortunately, but once I get set up at my new place I'll be good to go. It doesn't weld aluminum as nice because it's lacking all the fancy aluminum settings of the newer machines, but when I attach my smaller torch and use the tiny cups and 1/16 tungsten I can lay down some really nice tight beads on steel and stainless.

Harold_V
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by Harold_V » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:51 pm

rkcarguy wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:20 am
Harold, I'm pretty shaky, so I have a huge collection of remnant tubes blocks and the like to help prop my hand on. Also, a auto darkening helmet is a must have in my opinion for more intricate work. I'll arrange them so I can slide my hand down a block for an entire weld if possible.
The tubes and blocks seem like a good idea! I'll explore that in the future. Getting my hand steady without fatigue is part of the problem.
I have never used an auto dark helmet, and that is also part of my problem. When I flip the helmet down, I often lose location. I also lack the necessary coordination between my two hands, dipping and moving at the right time. Funny, I managed to get reasonably good with oxy/acet welding, but I haven't managed to transfer the skill to TIG. I need more practice! :wink:
but once I get set up at my new place I'll be good to go.
That's pretty much where I am now. Just getting my shop in order after spending an eternity building it and the house. I hope your project goes faster than mine did. I've grown old in the process. I should have been doing this 20 years ago.

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

rkcarguy
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by rkcarguy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:22 am

I'm 43 and starting early I guess, my "fab shop" is going to be a 20' freight container so it will just be a matter of wiring it with some lights and power for everything. My last house had a good sized shop and I loved it, but so did the tax assessor. Nothing like tossing away a new car payment every month in property taxes. This time the vehicles are going under a simple carport and the fab shop(and it's associated sparks, grinding dust, etc) will be confined to the container so I think it's a win-win-win. I really didn't occupy that much space with my fabrication area when it was in the shop anyway.
Harold, you'll have much better luck using some props to guide your hand and good auto darkening helmet. I bought a good helmet when I was welding for a living so it has adjustable sensitivity and shade, which is nice because for small intricate beads I can set it to a light shade so I can really see what I'm doing, and then darken it up for large bright welds like on thick aluminum. The only downside of these is that they take batteries and if the batteries die on you and you don't realize it you can get your eyes flashed. I ended up buying a more basic non-battery non-adjustable auto darkening helmet for MIG and dual shield and then kept my other helmet for TIG work.

Harold_V
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by Harold_V » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:11 am

I have a couple of those 20' containers, set side by side on a common foundation, and I've added a roof to them. That worked so well I added a roof to the solitary 40' one I also have. I've added exhaust fans to them to help control residual moisture, and that has worked exceedingly well. I used them to move from Utah, and they've proven to be a valuable asset. I have an old, very tired and worn out Toyota lift truck in one of them, and our old and our Kubota 6100 tractor in the other. They're inclined to start leaking as they age, so the roof eliminates that problem, plus it allowed for adding some insulation so they stay a lot cooler. I heartily endorse their use.

Thanks for your thoughts on the auto dark helmet. I'd like to get one in the future, when I'm finished with getting the shop in order. I still have a lot to do, and welding isn't a big part of it, so it's on the back burner for right now.

Out of curiosity, do you have an opinion on the one from HF? Cheap enough, but that worries me a little. No sense getting something that doesn't work as it should.

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

Glenn Brooks
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by Glenn Brooks » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:31 am

Harold, Our local welding supply store sells Miller auto darkening helmets for $100 bucks. They are cheap these days and good quality. I wouldn’t waste my time with anything from HF.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

rkcarguy
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by rkcarguy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:32 pm

I have a older large opening Miller weld helmet as well for TIG use. It's about 15 years old and was $220, they are less now. I think my MIG and Dual Core helmet is a Pro-Star, the brand that Praxair carries and it was about $100 at the time.
I'll work with select things from harbor freight, but I would read the reviews carefully before buying a weld helmet from them. The concept is pretty simple, the same way a calculator displays it's dark numbers on a screen, a solar panel activated by the weld flash turns the lens dark.

The newer containers have a slightly curved roof, and vents in the lower "opening" end and upper closed end to promote flow. These hold up better to rust, unlike the older ones which could pool water on the roof and weren't well vented and would mold inside. I have one on my property now and it hasn't had any moisture or mold issues and is still wind and water tight. If I can find a good deal on another one, it may become my train shed. The 20's are sub-permit size in my county and I could probably squeeze in 3 tracks wide and be able to fit 8-9 units inside.

Harold_V
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by Harold_V » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:51 pm

Thanks for the comments on auto dark helmets. I was unaware of the reduced cost. I'll explore what's available here in Lewis County. We have a couple of welding supply stores.

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

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steamin10
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by steamin10 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:27 pm

If the HF is the same as what I bought, it is good for about 5 years. Then the battery cell dies and the change rate has to wait for the cirrcuit to charge. This makes the change time too long. The batteries are those button cells and are sealed into the unit. Just my thoughts.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
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