Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

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Harlock
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Harlock » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:28 am

To go with the pictures in the last few posts, here's a quick video using John's camera at Train Mountain. For the running shots, I grabbed the camera while he was running, never managed to get myself on it, as usual :) It's got the single note hooter whistle on it at the moment, which is being over-blown a little bit in the video. I also have an RMI 4 chime that I can put on it as well.

San Lorezo Flume & Lumber Co. #2 - "Felton"
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Harlock
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Harlock » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:08 pm

Hi folks. been a while since I talked about the MEG. We have been very busy taking it to meets such as Bitter Creek and Portola Valley & Alpine and making various improvements to it.

After train mountain we worked on it a bit until the Bitter Creek Narrow Gauge Meet. A low profile hatch was cut into the center of the roof to allow for visibility of the steam gauge, and a number of other small tidbits were addressed.

It ran well at Bitter Creek (photos from there can be see on the BCWRR NG meet report:
viewtopic.php?p=252048#p252048 )

and I did some double heading there with Robert Morris' "Chu", a freelanced item that is a mash-up between a MEG and another European switcher from a magazine build series entitled "Call Me Elda". Chu is now owned by Phil Tucker.

Whilst double heading, an incident happened which has caused some revision to the reverse quadrant. I was drifting back down a hill in neutral, and as we leveled out I went to put the reverse in reverse to add power for backing up. When I pulled the J-bar back, the valve motion grabbed the lever out of my hand and jammed it all the way back, locking up the valve gear and rotating the return crank 15 degrees on the crankpin. I got towed back to the bays and I set the return crank correctly again, but it was then evident that stops would be needed to prevent the lever from going far beyond the normal range of travel.

As it turns out, a reverse quadrant connected to Hackworth is much more directly impacted by the motion of the rest of the gear than say Stephenson or Walchaerts. The latter two utilize the radial expansion links to set the valves, while Hackworth uses the slide, which is more vunerable to being pushed around by the combination lever when there is slack in the system. If you disconnect the reverse quadrant from a stephenson system for example, the radius links will just drop down and the locomotive will stay in full forward gear. If you do the same with a hackworth setup, the return crank will cause the combination lever and slide to just go bonkers.

I took the locomotive home and made two changes to the reverse quadrant. I added two stops that stop the advance of the J-bar when it travels 1/16" beyond the last notch in either direction. I also beefed up the plunger rod for the die block that goes into the notches. At 1/8" diameter it had become bent from the forces involved and is one of the reasons why the valve gear got away from me - the die block was stuck in the up position and the spring did not automatically return it down into a notch before traveling past all the notches and jamming up.

Next I tackled the fitting tree on the dome. The area available for ports on the dome cap is very small due to a very poor design of the dome and it's bolt pattern. Thus you cannot fit two safeties and a good sized whistle each in their own hole. The safeties end up being up against the whistle. A tree of fittings was made to branch two safeties out of one hole, but it ended up becoming ungainly. I replaced it with manifold that is also used for water fill. The manifold is hidden below the dome cover, and I lowered the whistle and replaced the not-very-controllable whistle valve with a ball valve that utilizes a rod to the cab for control.

The last thing that there was time for before the PV&A meet was to add some detailing and lettering.

I have a vinyl cutter and I designed and cut and assembled all my own graphics, same story as the boxcar. The gold color looks exactly like goldleaf from more than a foot away, I'm extremely pleased with it. I also used a deep red to get a victorian color scheme going for the letters. The "2" was based on a railroad roman #2 found on an 1800s locomotive at the California State Railroad Museum and the San Lorenzo logo is my own that I made up for the boxcar. (the company was a real company that operated in the Felton / Santa Cruz area of Northern California, but they did not leave a logo behind.)

The locomotive was a big hit with its new duds and improvements, and I have since switched it over to running australian char. It steams like a witch and easily keeps pressure up the long steady climb at PV&A, and loves drafting up the grades. It's very easy to make more steam than you need.

We did however come across a whole new set of slack problems in the valve gear, and now it is my dad's turn to have the engine between meets and he is taking the next tasks of shoring up the valve gear to get rid of the clanking resulting from spacers that are too loose, and a reach rod from the cab that needs a dog leg rather than a long spacer at one end to connect to the J-bar.

We are also still fiddling with the timing and may be making some adjustments to the valve outside and inside dimensions to make them the correct length for the spacing and travel at hand.

Water: It turns out that the water in the 11 gallon saddle tank is all you need even for train mountain. At TM I was able to easily go down the hill for a few hours and come back up without once taking on water and not using the additional 5 gal tank in the tender. At PV&A I could go at least half a day without filling the saddle tank. The result is that we will plumb both injectors to the saddle tank and eliminate the tender tank. Since it is a tank engine, I am going to eliminate the current riding tender cart this winter and build a more suitable ride car that is something gondola in nature. This should help the aesthetics quite a bit and will also allow more than one person to ride directly behind the engine. I have ordered a second truck from Steve Easlon as I currently only have the one on the tender-dolly.

The ball valve as whistle valve works well when I use the single note whistle, which I did on Sunday. This is a very unique and loud whistle and I will be leaving it on the engine full time from now on. My other whistle is an RMI 3 chime.

Here are some photos from PV&A and some work photos. See the descriptions for more information.
Attachments
12-08-25_PVA-invitational-8091.jpg
Here's the locomotive as it currently looks.
12-08-25_PVA-invitational-8044.jpg
First time live steamers and old friends Denise and Bill and daughter enjoy my engine and train at PV&A.
IMG_2559.jpg
Good friend Eugene and again first time running a steam engine of any kind. You can see the roof hatch clearly in this photo.
12-08-25_PVA-invitational-8093.jpg
A close up of the tank lettering.
12-08-25_PVA-invitational-8103.jpg
Here I am in a sea of colorado black.
Last edited by Harlock on Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
San Lorezo Flume & Lumber Co. #2 - "Felton"
Live Steam Photography and more - www.mikemassee.com
Contributing Editor, Live Steam Magazine
Webmaster, Allen Models of Nevada

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Harlock
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Harlock » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:13 pm

Here's some behind the scenes with the decals.

Applying them is the fastest part, using a special front side backing that is then peeled off once the decal is applied. Weeding the excess vinyl out of the vinyl sheet is the most time consuming part. Multi-color decals such as the number also have to be manually aligned. Sorry I don't have more step by step photos but you can at least see what they looked like on their original backing sheet after they were weeded.
Attachments
IMG_2553_resize.JPG
IMG_2552_resize.JPG
IMG_2551_resize.JPG
IMG_8002.JPG
IMG_7989.JPG
Last edited by Harlock on Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
San Lorezo Flume & Lumber Co. #2 - "Felton"
Live Steam Photography and more - www.mikemassee.com
Contributing Editor, Live Steam Magazine
Webmaster, Allen Models of Nevada

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Harlock
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Harlock » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:15 pm

A few more of the tank, and then on to the reverse quadrant improvements.

The orange peel on the saddle tank paint is due to using POR-15 paint with california solevent. It doesn't work. We may repaint it at some point. I bought out the remaining stock of xylol and MEK from the local hardware store so we have some. You can't get either in California anymore. How crazy is that?
Attachments
IMG_8006.JPG
IMG_8013.JPG
IMG_7943_resize.JPG
Improved reverse plunger.
IMG_7945_resize.JPG
Rear stop clearly visible. It is a press fit onto one side and slip fit into another, so the quadrant pieces come apart as before.
IMG_7941-sm.jpg
Quadrant plunger re-bored for 1/4" dia piston.
San Lorezo Flume & Lumber Co. #2 - "Felton"
Live Steam Photography and more - www.mikemassee.com
Contributing Editor, Live Steam Magazine
Webmaster, Allen Models of Nevada

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Harlock
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Harlock » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:20 pm

Completed new dome plumbing as visible from outside, and behind the scenes.
Attachments
IMG_7955.JPG
IMG_7956.JPG
IMG_7958.JPG
IMG_7963.JPG
plunger for whistle actuation. the knob is a drawer knob from the hardware store, complete with burnished copper finish.
San Lorezo Flume & Lumber Co. #2 - "Felton"
Live Steam Photography and more - www.mikemassee.com
Contributing Editor, Live Steam Magazine
Webmaster, Allen Models of Nevada

DJSteamer3017
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby DJSteamer3017 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:36 am

Mike,

Your work continues to amaze us!! The decals and paint look incredible, plus it gives off a cool Disney-esq. vibe, it just works really well. The new J-Bar Plunger looks better, and Its going to look great, and will definitely fulfill it's purpose lots better and will look great if it's turned into like an 0-4-2 like the Chloe. All that's left is put those injectors and put those Steam Chest Lubricators, once they are reworked. Keep up the Good Work and we hope to see "Anny" run soon too ;)

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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Fred_V
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Fred_V » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:23 am

i had a similar problem with the Marshal valve gear on my ride in cab engine. i think the swinging links shifted on the weight shaft and over stroked the valve. it ripped the valve stem out of the D valve and tried to jam it back in but couldn't. that caused the return crank to shear it's pin on the crank and bent the radius rod and it all locked up.

with Marshal or Hackworth you have to have roll pins on every part that can slip and as you say stops on the quadrant.
Fred V
Pensacola, Fl.

Ray Cadd
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Ray Cadd » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:10 pm

REALLY looks nice, Mike.
Ray Cadd

2.5" scale Allen Chloe saddle tank
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Phil Tucker
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby Phil Tucker » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:17 pm

I may steal your idea of using a ball valve to control the whistle, making it a bit easier to "play." The graphics turned out great, by the way.

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cbrew
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby cbrew » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:28 pm

Phil Tucker wrote:I may steal your idea of using a ball valve to control the whistle, making it a bit easier to "play." The graphics turned out great, by the way.


it sure does, I have been using a ball valve for ~8 years
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sabin
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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby sabin » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:24 pm

It just keeps looking better and better, a real MEG jewel.

Jim

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Re: Restoring a MEG steam 'Wendy'

Postby DJSteamer3017 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:48 pm

Mike,
I really enjoyed the Gallery dedicated to the construction and its service of the MEG. This recent pic of yours at Sagebrush looks great, I love the new whistle and love the touch of the New Zealand Flag looks killer. Kudos on putting back the Steam Chest Lubricators. Keep it up Mike!! Have you ever thought of one day having a Jack Bodenmann throttle like the one on A&C #9? Keep on Steamin' My Friend!!

David


P.S. to everyone reading this here's the link to the gallery.

http://mikemassee.com/gallery/v/liveste ... /megwendy/
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image.jpg
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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