Beginners LE 4-4-0 American

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Pipescs
Posts: 1949
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:16 pm
Location: Lester Alabama

Beginners LE 4-4-0 American

Post by Pipescs » Sun May 02, 2010 8:34 pm

From the begining I am asking for help as I go along. I would hope to finish this in 5 years

Having been exposed to Livesteam while serving on USMC Recruiting Duty in Denver by Mr. Larry Kombrink in 1985 I have put this off for 25 years. Larry had a LE American that he ran on his track located west of Denver in the Mountains.

Having been bitten I started the frame about ten years ago after I retired from Active Duty. I was working in a plant doing maintenace that gave me access to a Bridgeport at lunch time. Instead of bolting the frame together I bolted two pieces of half inch plate together and milled the frame sides from the single piece of bar stock.

The frame has hung on the wall while life got in the way and my first project was to start removing rust.

So with finding this site I am jumping back in. The shop is cleaned up and I went up this weekend to join the Mid-South Steamers in Columbia Tenn. The club is only fifty miles north so I feel they will become a motivational tool to keep me going along with this web site.
Charlie Pipes
USMC Retired

Current Projects:

2.5 Baldwin 2-4-2/2-4-4/0-4-4 Conversion (What ever)
Little Engines American Restoration
Bobber Caboose

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Pipescs
Posts: 1949
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:16 pm
Location: Lester Alabama

Re: Beginners LE 4-4-0 American

Post by Pipescs » Sun May 02, 2010 9:52 pm

Cleaning Shop

Have spent the last month cleaning the shop and buying tools with my limited allowance.

Contacted both the Penn and California Little Engines which I will talk more on later depending how it works out. I am at somewhat of a risk on parts as I only have the plans, cylinder casting and the word form Little Engines that they will be able to start shipping me parts.

In the mean time I am going to go for it. Figuring I can make it from scratch if all else fails.

Boiler is my biggest concern at this point and LE west says he has two onthe shelf so my play money account is being dedicated to that.

Model 400 Logan that is now cleaned up and ready to use. I have found most of the tooling and parts I needed on EBay.
DSC_0082.jpg
Charlie Pipes
USMC Retired

Current Projects:

2.5 Baldwin 2-4-2/2-4-4/0-4-4 Conversion (What ever)
Little Engines American Restoration
Bobber Caboose

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Pipescs
Posts: 1949
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:16 pm
Location: Lester Alabama

Re: Beginners LE 4-4-0 American

Post by Pipescs » Sun May 02, 2010 9:59 pm

Journal Boxes

To get me going I started o the Journal Boxes. I understand the castings are now aluminum but I found a piece of 2x3x8 Brass on line for the boxes. (The LE American has roller bushing mounted in the boxes).

This called for new tool for the shop as I had no way to cut it. I added a cheap bandsaw from Harbor Freight (I Know cheap and made in China but it fit the budget this month) Original blade broke but with a new blade all worked well.

I have the first two boxes squared up with the sides cut in to fit in the frame. Using a Taig Mill I purchased back in 1984. It is the first time I have used it and I am surprised at its ability.
DSC_0078.jpg
Charlie Pipes
USMC Retired

Current Projects:

2.5 Baldwin 2-4-2/2-4-4/0-4-4 Conversion (What ever)
Little Engines American Restoration
Bobber Caboose

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Pipescs
Posts: 1949
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:16 pm
Location: Lester Alabama

Re: Beginners LE 4-4-0 American

Post by Pipescs » Mon May 03, 2010 4:50 am

Working the third Journal Box Now. Is there anyone out there who has built this in the past.

Lots of Questions!!!!
DSC_0077.jpg
Rough Frame milled out of 1/2 inch cold rolled.
Charlie Pipes
USMC Retired

Current Projects:

2.5 Baldwin 2-4-2/2-4-4/0-4-4 Conversion (What ever)
Little Engines American Restoration
Bobber Caboose

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Fred_V
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Re: Beginners LE 4-4-0 American

Post by Fred_V » Mon May 03, 2010 5:30 pm

looks good so far. keep going. you have found a great web site with lots of good (and conflicting) advice. LOL
Fred V
Pensacola, Fl.

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Pipescs
Posts: 1949
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Location: Lester Alabama

Re: Beginners LE 4-4-0 American

Post by Pipescs » Mon May 03, 2010 7:03 pm

Feeling alot better about my project.
Initially it looked like I had waited too long to get back to the project and that it might be hard to locate casting and support.

Today I got a call from Mike Venezia of Little Engines at work. He sent me a new list of part numbers and we have started a dialoge that I believe will keep me in business over the next few years. I am working up a first order which he will have to have cast as the engine is not in high demand too much anymore and he does not stock parts on the shelf for it.

Another upside was that today I located the Orange Roller Bushings on line that the journal boxes are built around.

Also located a shop in Huntsville that handles Milling cutters, taps and such.

Ordered a fly cutter for the Taig Mill along with tooling to set up a slitting saw on it to do small cutting and slotting.

Figuring this to be a five year project I started a 200 dollar a month allotment into my toy fund (Hidden from the wife) to be able to order a boiler in 24 months.

Over all a good day. Down to the shop to work on Journal boxes.
Charlie Pipes
USMC Retired

Current Projects:

2.5 Baldwin 2-4-2/2-4-4/0-4-4 Conversion (What ever)
Little Engines American Restoration
Bobber Caboose

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Benjamin Maggi
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Location: Albany, NY

Re: Beginners LE 4-4-0 American

Post by Benjamin Maggi » Tue May 04, 2010 10:31 am

Pipescs wrote: Figuring this to be a five year project I started a 200 dollar a month allotment into my toy fund (Hidden from the wife) to be able to order a boiler in 24 months.
The first part is excellent advice! My engine is an Allen mogul and I originally anticipated that it would be a five year project. With the economy and job market the way it is, it is probably now a ten year project. But, I am only 27 so I am still WAY ahead of the curve based on the average age at the local live steam club.

As for the boiler's cost: good for you. Save money for it now. But, you BETTER tell your wife. I can assure you that hiding a big expenditure like that will not lead to good situations. Instead, tell your wife upfront now and let her forget about it over the next few years. Or, buy her something that is equally costly. Or, get to know a good divorce lawyer!
"One cannot learn to swim without getting his feet wet." - Benjamin Maggi
- Building: 7.25" gauge "Sweet Pea" named "Catherine"

leadsled
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:24 pm

Re: Beginners LE 4-4-0 American

Post by leadsled » Tue May 04, 2010 2:50 pm

Hi, We are at about the same point with a 4-4-0.
I'm wondering where you found the Orange Roller Bushings on line ?
Thanks!
Coleman
www.chaski.com

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cbrew
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Re: Beginners LE 4-4-0 American

Post by cbrew » Tue May 04, 2010 3:19 pm

Benjamin Maggi wrote:
Pipescs wrote: Figuring this to be a five year project I started a 200 dollar a month allotment into my toy fund (Hidden from the wife) to be able to order a boiler in 24 months.
The first part is excellent advice! My engine is an Allen mogul and I originally anticipated that it would be a five year project. With the economy and job market the way it is, it is probably now a ten year project. But, I am only 27 so I am still WAY ahead of the curve based on the average age at the local live steam club.

As for the boiler's cost: good for you. Save money for it now. But, you BETTER tell your wife. I can assure you that hiding a big expenditure like that will not lead to good situations. Instead, tell your wife upfront now and let her forget about it over the next few years. Or, buy her something that is equally costly. Or, get to know a good divorce lawyer!
I guess i am lucky, My wife knows and excepts my toy money is mine and does not question it. :wink:
As long as the bills are paid for before the toys are.
Looking great!
If it is not live steam. its not worth it.

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Pipescs
Posts: 1949
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:16 pm
Location: Lester Alabama

Re: Beginners LE 4-4-0 American

Post by Pipescs » Tue May 04, 2010 4:56 pm

ROLLER BEARINGS 7163

Where to get them.

I found them on line at an outfit called RBC

http://www.rbcbearings.com/rollerbearin ... lignSeries

Sent them a request and they hooked me up with a distributer over at Muscle Shoals Alabama. They took my order over the phone and are having them shipped from SC. Should see them early next week., Price was 32.00 each plus shipping,
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Charlie Pipes
USMC Retired

Current Projects:

2.5 Baldwin 2-4-2/2-4-4/0-4-4 Conversion (What ever)
Little Engines American Restoration
Bobber Caboose

User avatar
Pipescs
Posts: 1949
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:16 pm
Location: Lester Alabama

Re: Beginners LE 4-4-0 American

Post by Pipescs » Tue May 04, 2010 7:09 pm

Hi, We are at about the same point with a 4-4-0.
I'm wondering where you found the Orange Roller Bushings on line ?
Thanks!
Coleman
Ledsled. Do you have a thread on your American? If not jump in here. I need all the help and motivation I can get.

As to the wife. We have always kept our play money separated. She doesn't ask me and I smart enough not to ask her. She makes more than I do so I am always nice to her.
Charlie Pipes
USMC Retired

Current Projects:

2.5 Baldwin 2-4-2/2-4-4/0-4-4 Conversion (What ever)
Little Engines American Restoration
Bobber Caboose

User avatar
Pipescs
Posts: 1949
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:16 pm
Location: Lester Alabama

Re: Beginners LE 4-4-0 American

Post by Pipescs » Tue May 04, 2010 8:16 pm

Question on How to Do it.

I am headed for a task that will require me to machine the journals for a .001 pressfit for the bearings. I figure this is also practice for the day the wheels come in the mail.

What is the best way to bore and measure the holes so as not to screw it up and come out .001 too big?

As I say I am a beginner.
Charlie Pipes
USMC Retired

Current Projects:

2.5 Baldwin 2-4-2/2-4-4/0-4-4 Conversion (What ever)
Little Engines American Restoration
Bobber Caboose

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