Need some speed tips for getting a project done faster.

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shild
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:58 pm

Need some speed tips for getting a project done faster.

Post by shild » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:41 am

I'm not satisfied with the speed I'm making parts. Would take me too long to make the simplest 0-4-0. Looking for advice to machine faster. So far I've done the classic chaining of a drill chuck key to the side of the mill, drilled and tapped the vise for a stock stop, got an Aloris style tool post set and stuck a magnet on the side of the mill to hold the drawbar wrench. What else can I do to get faster?

John Hasler
Posts: 988
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:05 pm
Location: Elmwood, Wisconsin

Re: Need some speed tips for getting a project done faster.

Post by John Hasler » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:16 am

Plan your work.

And buy more tools, of course.

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Fred_V
Posts: 4237
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2003 3:26 pm

Re: Need some speed tips for getting a project done faster.

Post by Fred_V » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:06 am

It costs you 5 times to make mistakes so don't take short cuts. I'll explain that if you ask.

It takes about 1500 to 2000 hours to build a steam engine so that means one year of full time 40 hour weeks to complete. There is no way to speed that up. Over time you will get better at your setups and learn how to maximize your speed and feed settings. If you don't have any patience this may not be the best hobby for you.
Fred V
Pensacola, Fl.

steamingdon
Posts: 445
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:21 pm
Location: massachusetts,usa

Re: Need some speed tips for getting a project done faster.

Post by steamingdon » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:29 am

I agree. hang in there, we are all pulling for ya. If this was easy everybody would do it. :lol: :lol:
steamer

Steve Bratina
Posts: 946
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Cambridge Ontario

Re: Need some speed tips for getting a project done faster.

Post by Steve Bratina » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:58 am

Buy an engine that runs and that you can take down the track and play with. This makes building an engine a lot easier since when you get sick of making parts, you can go out and steam around the track for a break. Also buy a used copy of the video "Live Steam America". Carl Purinton has some great advice about what is really needed in tools to make a locomotive and "having the desire".

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Greg_Lewis
Posts: 1571
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2003 2:44 pm
Location: Fresno, CA

Re: Need some speed tips for getting a project done faster.

Post by Greg_Lewis » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:14 am

As the Roman emperor Augustus said, "Make haste slowly."
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of non-interchangeable parts.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

jcbrock
Posts: 303
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 7:50 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Need some speed tips for getting a project done faster.

Post by jcbrock » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:25 am

I've been working on my engine for 31 years and it's maybe half done if that makes you feel better. But I am still working on it, life just frequently gets in the way. The speed I machine does not make a difference as much as how much shop time I get. If I had made one part a week, I'd have been done a couple decades ago. So, patience and persistence!
John Brock

RONALD
Posts: 526
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 7:27 am

Re: Need some speed tips for getting a project done faster.

Post by RONALD » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:29 am

Some things take longer than others, I started a Little Engines 0-6-0 by buying castings in ~ 1968, and below is a recent photo. It runs on air, but I have yet to finish off the tender.

Of course over those years I worked two jobs at the same time for 25 years, built two homes, and have numerous other projects still going, like laying track and building a bridge for the gorge we put in by the pond.

I may yet get it running in 2018, but I wouldn't bet on it!


DSC_1900_2.jpg

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Comstock-Friend
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:05 am
Location: Sun Valley, California

Re: Need some speed tips for getting a project done faster.

Post by Comstock-Friend » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:44 am

We folks that weren't machinists take awhile to develop techniques to work accurately and quickly. And we have to work around not quite having the correct tool or tools for the task. I have a garage loaded with tools, so loaded that I don't have a real bench! Now I'm retired, I've noted that this is one of the things to be resolved to allow better progress.

Just like eating the elephant one bite at a time, just keep making one more part and making small additions/corrections to your equipment.

This from a guy with too many projects to die!

John

Pontiacguy1
Posts: 853
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:15 am
Location: Tennessee, USA

Re: Need some speed tips for getting a project done faster.

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:45 am

Yeah, making parts is sometimes a slow-go. Minimum time to build a Running 0-4-0 in 1 1/2" scale is probably 900 to 1000 hours for someone who knows their way around a shop and has machining and welding experience. A novice should add about 35% to 50% to that time. Fred is right... Imagine working on this thing for a full 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, for about 10 months or so, and you'll have a good idea of the time involved. Now, say you're like me and you MIGHT get 5 hours in the shop in a given week... That means that building a locomotive will take me about 3 1/2 years, minimum to build, and that would be building something pretty simple. This is also why I personally encourage first-time builders with minimal machining experience to build something small and simple for their first locomotive... (0-4-0, 0-6-0, 4-4-0, maybe a 2-6-0, nothing bigger) Like I've said before: A running 0-4-0 is a whole lot more fun than a half-finished Pacific chassis sitting on your bench!

Main thing is to make SOME amount of progress on a regular basis. Try to put in at least a few hours each week to keep the project moving along. If you keep moving on it, you'll get there in a few years. Try to look at each type/group of parts as it's own project, and work to get them completed accurately. If you run into something that you don't have the equipment or skills to do, you can have someone else do that who has more experience. Just be sure that whoever you get to do any work for you is a competent machinist and understands locomotives enough to know how each part interacts with the next, or you may have issues down the road.

Finally, when it comes time to make a specific part, ask questions about the setup and machining of that particular part. A lot of people know tips and tricks, and if you're a member of a club, someone might just have a jig they'll loan you that will cut down on your time considerably.

Rwilliams
Posts: 883
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:45 pm
Location: Central California

Re: Need some speed tips for getting a project done faster.

Post by Rwilliams » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:47 am

This hobby has never been an instant gratification adventure. Best to eliminate all distractions and plan your work well in advance of going into the shop so all the thinking is done and action can begin immediately.

The German war machine was able to rebuild their military much faster than most of the world realized. Their secret weapon for increased war material production was that of carbide tooling. The use of carbide tooling increased part production many times over that of high speed steel. Even today, the use of carbide tooling can go a long way in making the home shop more productive if used correctly. It may cost more but you get what you pay for.

rkcarguy
Posts: 908
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:33 am
Location: Wa State

Re: Need some speed tips for getting a project done faster.

Post by rkcarguy » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:55 am

You'd have to start subbing out work. I.E. take your drawings and castings to a machine shop and get your wallet out. Where's the pride in that? Might as well buy one ready to go.
I am passing my 4th month since I started my diesel switcher project, and I haven't worked on it as much as I'd like due to being in the hospital and then just not having time around the holidays. My body is a grille frame, grab rails, and final trimming/mounting of it's headlight bezel away from being done. But then again, I have access to shears, sheet metal brake, punch press, and some other tools at work that have helped me cut and form pieces much faster than doing it by hand.

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