Building a locomotive from erection drawings

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flyguy
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Building a locomotive from erection drawings

Post by flyguy » Sun May 01, 2016 3:42 pm

Hi Everyone,

Some time in the future I would like to build a Northern Pacific A-3 4-8-4 in 7.5 gauge. The good news is this locomotive is almost identical to the SP&S 700 up in Oregon. The bad news is, so far I have only been able to find erection and section drawings for this locomotive. I contacted the president of the SP&S 700 group, and although they do have some drawings (not sure which or how many), they were very reluctant to allow me any access or reproduction of them. So that leads me to my main question. How feasible is it to build a locomotive completely from erection and section drawings? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

James

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Highiron
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Re: Building a locomotive from erection drawings

Post by Highiron » Sun May 01, 2016 3:50 pm

James

Sounds like a neat project, there are 2 guys out in California that are using my big ALCO Northern chassis and parts to build a engine that is close to the 700, they are making there ouw kink girders and other valve gear parts but are using our tried and provien prints and chassis components as well as tender trucks

contact me at Little Engines if you need more information

Mike

Mark Landgraf
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Re: Building a locomotive from erection drawings

Post by Mark Landgraf » Sun May 01, 2016 4:45 pm

James,

It can be done. I'd recommend 3d CAD. That said, you would save a considerable amount of time and money by using available parts from the many vendors that support the hobby. Incorporate them into your 3d work.

Alco Historic Photos should be able to supply you with builders photos and maybe Paster cards

The Northern Pacific Historical Society has a downloadable spreadsheet of the 485 assorted drawings in their collection

Jerome Simon - a member on this group - is doing that same thing you are attempting to do - only for BLW Frisco 1522. He used to have a nice web page up - but I can't find it now. The site detailed how he sourced all of his cast parts prior to making any chips.

Warning - even if you had the several hundred drawings you'd need to build the real loco, a lot of the smaller parts - and a bunch of the bigger parts - just don't scale down that well. Many of the smaller parts are not even used by live steam modeler.

Start figuring out what items that alco used on other locos and then beat on those sources. Look at other 4-8-4s made by alco.

Most of the societies are more cooperative. Heck NYC and UP and others offer the drawing sets of CDs.

Please contact me off site at mark_landgraf at yahoo dot com I can point you to some other resources.

Mark

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Bill Shields
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Re: Building a locomotive from erection drawings

Post by Bill Shields » Sun May 01, 2016 8:21 pm

question:

have you built a model steam locomotive?
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

flyguy
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:28 pm
Location: Santa Clarita, CA

Re: Building a locomotive from erection drawings

Post by flyguy » Sun May 01, 2016 8:59 pm

Bill,

I have not build a locomotive before. I understand this is a very complex locomotive and that it will add to the difficulty. I also understand by not building from a kit it will increase time and difficulty as well. However I only plan on building one locomotive, and I would like to build the one I want. This will be a long project.

Thanks

James

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Builder01
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Re: Building a locomotive from erection drawings

Post by Builder01 » Sun May 01, 2016 9:56 pm

What happened to your 3.5" gauge little engines 4-8-4?

LocoJerome
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Re: Building a locomotive from erection drawings

Post by LocoJerome » Mon May 02, 2016 8:32 am

Jerome Simon - a member on this group - is doing that same thing you are attempting to do - only for BLW Frisco 1522. He used to have a nice web page up - but I can't find it now.
My site is temporarily down. The webhost company had something go wrong with their server and I think my site was lost in the fray. I just noticed it this morning. Hopefully it will be back soon. I have everything backed up so I'm not worried. To note, I had to set the project to the side while I am doing some basement reconstruction. I hope to be back on the project by mid summer.

I would second trying to use as many parts off the shelf that you can find. It will almost assuredly save you time, money and headaches. Plus you'll be supporting the vendors which is probably the best reason of all. If you can use some of the Little Engines parts I would definitely use them. Mike is great to work with and extremely helpful. If I was unable to secure the parts I was looking for in order to build the Frisco 1522 I was ready to order his ALCO hudson parts and to build CP2816.

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LVRR2095
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Re: Building a locomotive from erection drawings

Post by LVRR2095 » Mon May 02, 2016 8:43 am

flyguy wrote:Bill,

I have not build a locomotive before.
James, even though you have not built a locomotive before....do you have experience with machine tools? You will need some skills in precision metal working. If you don't have that background, you should look into a night school or meeting with club members who might be willing to teach you.
My second piece of advice is to build the tender first. The tender project will give you experience in machining, sheet metal work and working to a design. It has the added advantage of allowing you to test your locomotive once it has reached the stage where it can run. It is no fun to have started building the locomotive first and getting it to a stage where you can test run it....and then have no way to get fuel and water into it!

Best of luck!

Keith Taylor

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Highiron
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Re: Building a locomotive from erection drawings

Post by Highiron » Mon May 02, 2016 10:51 am

James

here is a picture of an ALCO Northern chassis built from off the shelf castings
you would need to make different girders and link hangers but that is easier than trying to build from dead scratch

Mike
Little Engines
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DSC00472.jpg

flyguy
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Location: Santa Clarita, CA

Re: Building a locomotive from erection drawings

Post by flyguy » Mon May 02, 2016 4:53 pm

Hi Everyone,

I am definitely planning on modeling the locomotive in a 3D CAD program to make sure everything fits as it should. And I will definitely use as many off the shelf parts as possible. Just a little more background information, I am currently taking some machining classes at a local college. It has been very informative, and although it can't possibly cover everything involved in locomotive production, its a good start. After I finish with my machine shop classes I will go on the hunt for some decent machines. I will be looking for a full size mill and a good sized lathe ideally 14" or greater.

I would like to make the locomotive as detailed and prototypical as possible. My thoughts were to start off by getting the Little Engines Alco Northern plans and thoroughly reviewing them. I will try to incorporate as much of that design as possible. One of the things that has always been a mystery to me is determining the appropriate clearances. I would assume the prints would help clarify some of this.
Builder01 wrote:What happened to your 3.5" gauge little engines 4-8-4?
Builder01

The engine definitely needed some work. Its coming along nicely though. Ill update my original post about it soon.

Thanks everyone

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Bill Shields
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Re: Building a locomotive from erection drawings

Post by Bill Shields » Mon May 02, 2016 4:59 pm

Mike...

GASP....is that a drawing board with a Drafting Machine I see in the background?

Giggle....
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

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Highiron
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Re: Building a locomotive from erection drawings

Post by Highiron » Mon May 02, 2016 5:02 pm

...Why yes it is Bill...thats Paulies 2D MAD (Manuel Aided Design)...LOL

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