A Beginner with a Plan

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DJSteamer3017
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A Beginner with a Plan

Post by DJSteamer3017 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:51 pm

My Fellow Live Steam Colleagues
Below is a top view of the Boiler of a 1" Scale Coles 0-4-0 I want to Build. May seem crude, but drew up this plan. Im doing my homework and it's on going. I'm going to start purchasing valves and piping as a start very soon. Im basing my 0-4-0 on Matt Mason's Coles 0-4-0. I want to learn how to Build, maintain, and operate a steam locomotive, and most importantly have fun.
Planning on using a variety of brands for the fittings
PM Research
Locoparts
A&K
I'm no machinist, but I love putting things together. I welcome any suggestions and criticism. Thanks.
Keep on Steaming' My Friends
David
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The 1" Scale Junkie ... But steam of all sizes is cool with me!!
"If you can dream it, you can do it" - Walt Disney

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FLSTEAM
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Re: A Beginner with a Plan

Post by FLSTEAM » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:18 pm

First things first. Do you have any idea how much the machine equipment and tooling is going to cost you? Or maybe your next door neighbor has a machine shop..........

I got ahead of myself...Do you have a ball park figure on how much you are going to spend on the project? BTW your sources for fittings are all good...but I think I would be getting the materials and/or castings for your project first. You won't know what kind and size fittings you will need until you get an engine/boiler ready to pipe.

My 2 cents worth.

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

DJSteamer3017
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Re: A Beginner with a Plan

Post by DJSteamer3017 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:30 pm

FLSTEAM wrote:First things first. Do you have any idea how much the machine equipment and tooling is going to cost you? Or maybe your next door neighbor has a machine shop..........

I got ahead of myself...Do you have a ball park figure on how much you are going to spend on the project? BTW your sources for fittings are all good...but I think I would be getting the materials and/or castings for your project first. You won't know what kind and size fittings you will need until you get an engine/boiler ready to pipe.

My 2 cents worth.

John B.
Thanks John,
I'll have a budget of about 5,000. Unfortunately I don't have access to a machine shop, but I'm going to see how much it will cost to build a boiler and get the chassis running on air.

David
The 1" Scale Junkie ... But steam of all sizes is cool with me!!
"If you can dream it, you can do it" - Walt Disney

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Bill Shields
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Re: A Beginner with a Plan

Post by Bill Shields » Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:41 pm

the 5" copper pipe for the boiler OD shell will cost you $300 in the UK + shipping. (you cannot find it in north America unless you are VERY LUCKY).

The remaining copper and silver solder....ball-park price - figure $1000 worth of materials for the boiler.

plus assembly labor $$

as John says, you are putting the cart before the horse.

purchasing all of the fittings etc: before you even have one part for the chassis or an idea of what is involved is not the way I would start.

A little 0-4-0 is a good way to start, but you are a long way from spending any $$ on anything until you have a full set of drawings from which you can plan.

This hobby is a LOT of fun, but failing to plan is a sure route to failure and disappointment.
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

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Builder01
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Re: A Beginner with a Plan

Post by Builder01 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:14 pm

I purchased my boiler materials kit from Blackgates in England. The entire cost of the materials kit including shipping was $600. This did not include the materials for the bushings, this was just the copper for the boiler, nothing else. The main boiler barrel, but the way, is 5" in diameter and about 19 inches long. Priced separately, it would be about $100 without shipping. This is bit less than what Bill has quoted, but, it is still not cheap by any means. I have also not included the cost of the silver solder or the torch kit. Check out the price of silver solder at McMaster-Carr, it ain't cheap!

Also, thanks to Bill and others for the help on picking out a torch to get the job done. I have already made a few of the first silver solder joints on my boiler. Things are looking good.

I agree with Bill, you must first start with a set of drawings. Locomotives typically are built from the bottom up. Frame, axle boxes, then wheels and axles. Connecting rods and then cylinders and valve work. If these parts cannot be constructed, there is no need to ever purchase any fittings for a boiler.

Everything from the running boards down is pretty much finished on my locomotive. I am only now starting on the boiler.

David

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Bill Shields
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Re: A Beginner with a Plan

Post by Bill Shields » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:04 pm

I am a little surprised at that low $$ because a month ago I brought home 24" of 5.5" (1/8" wall) copper from Reeves and it cost me $100 / foot + VAT = $275....and I hand-carried it home on the airplane.

This was 2 days after BREXIT and the pound was at an all-time low to the $$.

The last time I priced Blackgates, they were within a few % of Reeves..and Reeves is 'down the street' from our office, so it has been a no-brainer.

GLRKENNIONS.CO.UK is selling 5" for 85 sterling / foot which is in the same ballpark ($112 / foot). If you are making a 1" boiler, they (GLR) sell 7/16 OD copper tube that is just right for 1" coal fired fire tubes.

I have built 3 copper boilers for 1" locos in the past 6 years and they all cost out for all materials (including the solder) at right around $1000. You have to add in copper for steam domes, throttle, mud-ring, fire-door, stays...it all adds up

Yes, you will have a couple of $100s in soldering and support equipment which is cheap compared to the other machinery.

Heck, to put together a copper boiler using an oxy-acetylene torch assist, I usually budget $100 worth of gas (all 3) as part of the cost.

Image

what you see is $1000 worth of raw materials in a boiler I delivered in May.

yes...sometimes you need to use some ingenuity to ensure that all the drilled bushings / fittings are perfectly square with the barrel and in-line AFTER they are soldered in place. Nothing worse than handrail standoffs that are crooked - especially on a 50 year-old loco!

Image
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

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Builder01
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Re: A Beginner with a Plan

Post by Builder01 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:53 pm

Bill, yes, you are more correct than I about the Blackgates cost of 10 gauge 5" diameter copper tube. It is about $10 per inch, so, my 19 inch piece was really about more like $190! I guess I resisted wanting to think about this cost! I just checked the catalog. I certainly stand corrected.

In total, $1000 is probably about right for the materials for the average 1" scale boiler. I just don't want to be reminded about this!

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Bill Shields
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Re: A Beginner with a Plan

Post by Bill Shields » Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:31 am

hey....if you worry about $$$, then this is a hobby that you want to seriously consider not doing.

your chassis looks really cool (what I can see of it in the little pix)
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WJH
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Re: A Beginner with a Plan

Post by WJH » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:12 am

And this is why most of us financially strapped go with an electric powered Diesel

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Bill Shields
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Re: A Beginner with a Plan

Post by Bill Shields » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:44 am

no argument - this is not an inexpensive hobby.

I could purchase a new house with the value of machines / tools in my basement.
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James Powell
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Re: A Beginner with a Plan

Post by James Powell » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:03 am

Cost it per hour, and all of a sudden, it becomes much more affordable. So, lets say it is $1000 for the materials for the boiler- probably a fair guess. Now, lets do some math for interests sake: 5-6 hrs to make bushings (less if you are quick, more if you are slow), plus 2 hrs/former (smokebox, firebox front, firebox rear) (6 hrs), and a couple hours each piece to form them (say another 6 hrs), and then cutting off the tubes (lets say 2 hrs), and turning them to length/cleaning them (2 hrs), then stays- lets allow 30 min/stay, and 10 stays/side, plus 20 stays on the crown) 60 stays, so 30 hrs for the stays (holes/ect), then foundation ring (probaby 2-4 hrs to make), and even before we get to adding heat, we are up to 30+18+4- or 52 hours of work before you apply heat to the boiler. So, something like $20/hr for by single piece expense, the most expensive part of the loco. (& all of that assumes you are reasonably quick, have the proper tooling, and have done most of it at least once before and can remember what worked last time...) I'd guess there is ~60-100 hrs work to get the average boiler ready for silver soldering, so that would bring its cost up here in the great white north to be less than going to see movies in a theatre, and at the end of the day, you have something for it. (way less than most concerts- even at cheap seat prices, the concerts here at our local high school are ~30/hr or so...and an evening of drinking @ the bar will set you back $150 or more...)

Expensive? No, a different investment of your time than drinking it/smoking it/listening to that devilish rock & roll music :).

James

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