Climax #38 -- 7-1/2" gauge, 1-1/2" scale

This forum is dedicated to the Live Steam Hobbyist Community.

Moderators: Harold_V, WJH, cbrew

Post Reply
paralleler
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:22 am

Climax #38 -- 7-1/2" gauge, 1-1/2" scale

Post by paralleler » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:17 pm

While checking the sales status of a friends locomotive, I spotted a Climax for sale. Photos looked nice and surprisingly, it was less than fifty miles away. I knew members of the Golden Gate Live Steamers (GGLS) had at least six Shay's, I've since learned that two members have Heisler's, but I had never seen a Climax. Did it come with drawings? No. Groan... Was it built in southern Nevada? No, it had come out from Florida in 2013. That was great news to me! Was it less than five feet long? Yes. Okay, it would fit in my truck! During a demonstration, it ran smoothly on about 30PSI of compressed air. And I now have three locomotives...

There had been a bit of speculation that it might have been Bob Reedy's Climax #33. Nope! Two friends who knew Bob straightened me out on that pretty quick. #38 is nice but Bob's #33 is what I'd call a locomotive of distinction. I received a few photographs of #33 and what a handsome locomotive it is! It was also a three truck engine. History has it that Bob donated to his church as a fund raiser; does anyone know where it is now?

Might #38 be made from the Kozo Hiraoka design? I have read in an eMail that the Florida seller did not know. What, there was another builder? #38 is possibly a Kozo but the piping to the cylinders is different and a lot of items appear to be larger (e.g., truck spacing is 990mm vs. 920mm, axel spacing is 176mm vs. 164mm, cylinder length is 89mm vs. 76mm -- generally about 7% larger but there are exceptions).

I'd love to know a bit more of the history of this locomotive. Right now I'm content thinking it could have been built by a rocket scientist -- it came from just south of the Kennedy Space Center! Does anyone recognize and can tell me a bit of the history of #38?

At any rate, hopefully it will be a hoot! Meanwhile I still have a lot to learn.

Climax #38 on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/8lqth5SNuW4
Attachments
DSCN0567.JPG
Climax #38 Where It Has Sat For The Past Five Years
DSC07738.jpg
Climax #38 On The GGLS Turntable
DSC07739.JPG
Climax #38 Back In The Sunshine
P1010051.JPG
Bob Reedy With A Friend Admiring Craftsmanship
P1010059.JPG
Bob Reedy Enjoying The Day

paralleler
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:22 am

Re: Climax #38 -- 7-1/2" gauge, 1-1/2" scale

Post by paralleler » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:47 am

I'm looking for a set of drawings for Climax #38. Per chance are there other 7-1/2" gauge Climaxs out there? Might anyone know Richard "Rick" Steffe of Malabar, Florida? Rick sold #38 to the gentleman I purchased it from and could possibly lead me to the original builder and/or drawings. My seller also recalls Rick saying, "it came from out there." Possibly #38 was built in California.

Might #38 have been built from the Kozo design? Here are three possibly nots. First, the brakes. The Kozo design had cosmetic "dummy" brake cylinders (p. 30, Item 26) while #38 has a diaphragms in place and a functional brake valve to be added; no ejector installed yet. Second, no axel water pump on this locomotive, its got injector, hand, and steam pumps. I think the steam pump is mostly cosmetic because the outlet pipe is pretty small. And third, #38 appears to be 7% larger than the Kozo design. Variations on a theme, a different design, a custom design? Hmm...

A major reason for my purchase was #38 was unique, I guess I got my wish. Still chuggin' along. Many thanks!
Attachments
Climax-left.jpg
Climax #38, Left Side

User avatar
JTolan
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:17 pm
Location: Huntington Beach CA

Re: Climax #38 -- 7-1/2" gauge, 1-1/2" scale

Post by JTolan » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:33 am

Thats a kozo climax, the plans and book on how to build it are availible on amazon.

User avatar
shayloco
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2003 11:00 am
Location: Rhode Island

Re: Climax #38 -- 7-1/2" gauge, 1-1/2" scale

Post by shayloco » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:42 pm

Looks like it was based on a Kozo Climax. Kozo provided scaling factors to build in larger than 3/4” scale. One of these factors was to build to 7.5” gauge, 1.6” scale which would be about 7% larger than 1.5” scale.

Most builders make changes or have preferences when they build a loco. Could be the builder did not like axle pump so it was omitted.

An interesting difference between a Kozo Climax and a Reedy Climax: The Kozo Climax flywheel will turn in the same direction as the drive wheels, as yours does. Bob Reedy did not realize that the crankcase gears were opposite hand to the axle gears, he made them all the same hand. So a Reedy Climax flywheel moves in the opposite direction to the wheels.

I took over a Kozo Climax chassis in 1.5” scale and finished it as a Reedy Climax, making many changes along the way to suit my preferences.

Nice loco you have there.

-Larry

paralleler
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:22 am

Re: Climax #38 -- 7-1/2" gauge, 1-1/2" scale

Post by paralleler » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:07 pm

Gentlemen,

Thank you both for your input. I hadn't heard of the 1.6" scale version, I'll look for more on that. There are a lot of similarities with Kozo's book as well as several differences. Either way, the Kozo book is a great reference. I'm looking forward to getting the locomotive on the rail and am currently working on the brakes.

Take care, Bruce
Attachments
DSC07768.JPG
Climax #38

User avatar
shayloco
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2003 11:00 am
Location: Rhode Island

Re: Climax #38 -- 7-1/2" gauge, 1-1/2" scale

Post by shayloco » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:05 am

Bruce, I sent you a PM, please check your in box.

paralleler
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:22 am

Re: Climax #38 -- 7-1/2" gauge, 1-1/2" scale

Post by paralleler » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:22 am

After five years of sitting in a warehouse, this new locomotive has finally seen first steam. I worked several issues to get it to this point and now have several new items to work. The main issue was getting water into the boiler. This locomotive has three ways of doing this: hand pump, steam pump, and injector.

Testing the hand pump prior to the boiler's hydrostatic test, ten cycles delivered about a tenth-inch of water to the sight glass. When the boiler was pressurized, the hand pump could barely keep up. A union was tightened and a check valve needs to be checked.

A steam pump makes a locomotive sound like a locomotive when it's at rest. But the outlet pipe on #38 is only 3/16" tubing so it's really cosmetic. The steam pump did help but couldn't keep up with demand.

Water to the injector was a dribble rather than a stream so I've got to inspect that line. I have one of Anthony's injectors on my problem child 0-4-0T and will probably purchase a second one for the Climax ( https://www.eccentricengineer.com ).

I have a new list of punch items to work. Step by step... Here's a link to a short video on yesterdays adventure:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/DuBXwreszj0

"To Infinity & Beyond!"
Attachments
Climax Portrait.jpg
Climax #38

Berkman
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Climax #38 -- 7-1/2" gauge, 1-1/2" scale

Post by Berkman » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:25 am

Id think one of the Small size EE injectors would be great for that. That way you can leave it on longer without worrying about dropping boiler pressure.

paralleler
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:22 am

Re: Climax #38 -- 7-1/2" gauge, 1-1/2" scale

Post by paralleler » Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:40 am

Thank you Berkman, sounds like a good suggestion. T.G.I.F.

paralleler
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:22 am

Re: Climax #38 -- 7-1/2" gauge, 1-1/2" scale

Post by paralleler » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:24 pm

Here's a video of the second steam of Climax #38. The first steam followed a hydrotest nearly six weeks ago. Before first steam I had tried the hand pump where ten cycles gave me about a tenth-inch of gain in the water glass -- the boiler wasn't pressurized though! Upon steaming up, I found all three methods to get water into the boiler had failed (hand pump, steam pump, and injector) so obviously I cut the fire. Either by moving or replacing the hand pump check valve, it is now working. A good friend has helped me with machining the steam pump but no joy on its operation so far. During the second steam, I tried the injector at different pressures but again had no success. I have since ordered and received a new injector and have added its installation to my queue.
T.G.I.F. !

Climax #38 -- Second Steam:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/DxsbOZ54Q88
Attachments
Hand Pump Check Valve-01.JPG
Original Check Valve At About 30 Degree Angle
Hand Pump Check Valve-05.JPG
New Check Valve Oriented Horizontally
Hand Pump Check Valve-06.JPG
Profile With Hand Pump Check Valve Replacement
Climax Water Pump-05.jpg
Working On Water Pump In Roy's Shop

User avatar
NP317
Posts: 1439
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:57 pm
Location: Northern Oregon

Re: Climax #38 -- 7-1/2" gauge, 1-1/2" scale

Post by NP317 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:50 pm

Nice to see your Climax under steam and alive.
Be patient working out the defined tasks.
All worth while!
~RN

paralleler
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:22 am

Re: Climax #38 -- 7-1/2" gauge, 1-1/2" scale

Post by paralleler » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:07 am

Especially with the acrylic valve covers and always in the shop, wear your safety glasses! I also used half of the operating pressure to visualize the valve movement.

The original control valve was positioned on the trigger rod with a set screw keeping it from being held against the ports by steam pressure. The new one can. We're still having issues but I'm learning a lot.

My thanks to Roy for sharing a small fraction of his knowledge with me!
Attachments
Control Valve 1.jpg
Visualizing Valve Movement With Acrylic Covers
Control Valve 2.jpg
New vs. Original Control Valve

Post Reply