Building a Kozo

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Weibel
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Building a Kozo

Post by Weibel » Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:48 pm

Straight to the point:

How much would it cost in terms of materials to build a Kozo Shay or Heisler? I have access to a full machine shop that is very well supplied as far as tools. I would like to make it in 7 1/2 inch gauge.

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H&NERY
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Re: Building a Kozo

Post by H&NERY » Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:59 am

That's a tough one to answer, it depends on how much material you have to buy, how good of a scrounger you are, if you are gong to build everything from scratch vs buying some things already manufactured such as safety valves, couplers, or anything else that is available. It could range from a couple hundred dollars to many thousand. I'm not a 7 1/2 inch gauge builder but 3 1/2 inch gauge builder and when you have to start buying material it adds up in a hurry. One area you don't skimp on is the boiler. I don't want to scare you off but that's a hard question to answer. On nice thing about this hobby you can buy what you need as you go.

WJH
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Re: Building a Kozo

Post by WJH » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:34 am

3/4 to 1.5 is double the size, triple the mass. I'd say triple the price too.

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: Building a Kozo

Post by Greg_Lewis » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:45 am

While your question may have a completely different motivation, cost is something I frequently have to explain to folks who don't know much about our hobby. Many look at the engine and think it's an expensive pursuit. But I explain that, per hour of enjoyment, it's cheap. If you spend 40 hours machining a $100 casting, that's only $2.50 per hour of fun. Try getting that value anywhere else. (How much is a round of golf, and what do you have to show when it's over?) I spent 50 cents on a piece of flat bar at the local scrap yard. A week later I had main and side rods for my engine, and seven days worth of fun making them. Right now I'm making a piece of lathe tooling from a bit of scrap from under the workbench. So far I've spent two hours on it and all it has cost is the electricity to run the shop lights and lathe motor.

When you consider that most of the cost goes out in dribs and drabs, you really only spend small amounts and then when the budget allows.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of the dull toolbit.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

ivatt260
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Re: Building a Kozo

Post by ivatt260 » Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:18 am

WJH wrote:3/4 to 1.5 is double the size, triple the mass. I'd say triple the price too.
Rough math:

3-1/2 is 1:16, 1.5 is 1:8

That's twice as long, twice as high, twice as wide. 2 x 2 x 2 = 8.

So, the locomotive will be (approximately) 8 x heavier, with 8x the material in it.

So, my 160 lb (engine + tender weight, dry) 2-8-2 would be 1,280 lb in 1.5" scale, approximately. The locomotive is sitting on top of a bookshelf beside me; if it was in 1.5" scale, it'd be outside under a tarp, rusting! ;-)

John.

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kenrinc
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Re: Building a Kozo

Post by kenrinc » Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:47 am

I think Greg hit the nail on the head. That vast majority of builders can't tell you what they spent because it's spread over such a large time frame. Even if you work fast does it really matter? I've built the Kozo A3 in 1.5" scale. I noted what I spent in raw material for each section so I have a general idea of what the outlay was for me. But sometimes you get material for free or you just get a good deal at a scrap outlet. Lots of latitude. If you were told it was going to cost $6k in materials that's what you would have paid out at the end. You don't need $6k to get started working so what's the point? And like Greg says, at some point it just becomes irrelevant because your just having fun building it. Building for me was a means to an end but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed building it! I urge you to look at each area to be completed and buy what's needed for that section. Complete that section or chapter and move on. Kozo, in most cases, is building in metric and you won't be able to source raw material in his dimensions but even if you could, 99% of the time you will have to prep/thickness the stock to dimension before you can even layout the part so a BOM is basically useless. There are very few areas where you will use raw stock as supplied.

Your going to build the boiler in that scale? If not, then budget for the cost of a boiler for the engine. I purchased a steel boiler with copper tubes. Kozo does describe steel boilers for these 1.5" scale geared engines. $.02

Ken-

daveb
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Re: Building a Kozo

Post by daveb » Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:07 pm

Kozo has a list of materials at the end of the New Shay book. Could be used to estimate 1 1/2 scale.

Dave
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Weibel
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Re: Building a Kozo

Post by Weibel » Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:51 pm

It makes sense on the cost department- I do enjoy the work part of all of this.

I must admit I am at a total loss on picking my first engine- part of me wants to go with 7 1/2 because of my club, part of me wants to do 5 inch because I like British prototypes better- and don't get me started on traction engines, not having to take care of track sounds appealing. Everything has so many pros and cons its a difficult decision to make.

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H&NERY
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Re: Building a Kozo

Post by H&NERY » Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:41 pm

I have a 1/4 scale Case traction engine and it don't get played with as much as I thought it would. There is just something about trains and steam locomotives that are so appealing to me.

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Bill Shields
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Re: Building a Kozo

Post by Bill Shields » Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:10 pm

Scaling up a Kozo book / materials for an estimate may not realistic. Triple the price does not come CLOSE to what it will cost. As suggested 8X the cost may be closer (but probably still on the low side).

As someone with a LOT of money once said "if you have to ask how much it costs...you probably cannot afford it". :P

Consider just the boiler.

Just in general terms...if you have to purchase a boiler for a 1-1/2" loco in the USA...figure in the general neighborhood of $5000 and up.

As I have cautioned many many times....do not overdo on your first loco. If you have never done anything like this then start with something that you can manage and learn on - and afford. Having a shop available and knowing exactly what is needed to build a loco, while not rocket science, may well be beyond your experience level (you did not state such in your query).

As part of the package you need to consider how you are going to build, move around the shop and transport to / from the track -> a loco that weighs #500 or so (I am guessing at a big shay here). Do you have a truck / van / trailer.

Just as an aside....you say 7-1/2" so that makes me think you are in the USA....but also mention 5" gauge for a British loco....which would be 4-3/4 in the States and would require some rework of drawings to keep the wheels on the track.
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

Weibel
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Re: Building a Kozo

Post by Weibel » Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:17 pm

I am in the US. When I consider the factors involved (accessibility of the club machine shop/cost/size of said model etc) it all kinda boggles my mind a little.
It's a hard choice to make.

WJH
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Re: Building a Kozo

Post by WJH » Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:14 pm

Doh! You're correct 2^3 is 8 times, thats what I meant to say!

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