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Birth of a Cole's 0-4-0

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:03 am
by mattmason
Today was my third child's birthday, a little 0-4-0 from a set of Cole's castings. (The other two were done the old fashioned way, and cost a wee more over the long run.) It has been about 12 years in the making and a dream of 30 years. The first steam up was done on a bench and went relatively well. Some minor fixes and figuring out the injector problem sum up the work for running. I'll have pics and video with the story later, but just had to brag a bit on such an accomplishment.

Re: Birth of a Cole's 0-4-0

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:17 am
by jb bergman
Happy Birthday!
JB Bergman

Re: Birth of a Cole's 0-4-0

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:33 am
by Dick_Morris
Congratulations! Looking forward to the baby pictures.

Re: Birth of a Cole's 0-4-0

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:21 am
by Postwarbob
Matt Congrade. Much easier to control than humans , but you do a good job as a Dad with your boys! Bob...........

Re: Birth of a Cole's 0-4-0

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:23 am
by slick95
Congratulations Matt.

I'm very interested in your forth coming pictures and video as I'm building the Coles' switcher also.


Re: Birth of a Cole's 0-4-0

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:52 pm
by fresnojay
Congrats Matt. That is totally awesome and I look forward to pics, vids, and info.


Re: Birth of a Cole's 0-4-0

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:47 pm
by steamerdan
Will you be taking your new engine to the meet this weekend?


Re: Birth of a Cole's 0-4-0

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:26 pm
by mattmason
Yes, the engine will be there. Now if its running or not will be the question. You know new steamers.......

Here are two real bad pics of the lokie from yesterday. More to come over the next few weeks, but I got to load up for tomorrow.

Re: Birth of a Cole's 0-4-0

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:37 pm
by rwmorris
Awesome.... Can't wait to see more!!!

Have fun this weekend!


Re: Birth of a Cole's 0-4-0

Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:35 am
by slick95
WOW, very nice Matt,

Look forward to the rest of the pictures, video and story...


Re: Birth of a Cole's 0-4-0

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:59 pm
by mattmason
So, there has been some talk that no 1" scale building was going on, so I thought I'd bring the story of my own Cole's 0-4-0 to life.

The loco project started as an aside from my friend Stathi Pappas saying he had been offered a 1" scale 0-4-0 for $250 that was running on air. I had just bought a Pacific that was 80% complete, but at this price I just couldn't let it go. The casting alone were $220 at the time, with another $40 for the plans. Even if the engine didn't turn a wheel, I was still ahead in the game. So I called the gentleman who said he was going to be in the City (that's San Francisco for you east coasters who think the City in somewhere between Hoboken and Rye) in two weeks so I wouldn't have to pay for shipping. That was January 2001.

I never did test it on air. In the second picture you can see a set screw that held the wheel on and "quartered" the wheels. The drivers could literally be wiggled on the axles they were so loose. The axle boxes were not dog eared and were square, but the pedestals were not filed square, meaning there was no springing to the loco at all. And then there was binding of the combination lever because (as was found out later) the holes were drilled wrong. You can see the notch milled out in the picture. Needless to say, they loco I told my wife would be running in a year ("It just needs a boiler and plumbing!") was not going to happen. But fret not, the whole reason I built this loco first was as a learning loco, and I sure got my money's worth with it.

More to come tomorrow.

Re: Birth of a Cole's 0-4-0

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:45 pm
by mattmason
I kept finding more and more that needed fixing: needed new axles, there was no cross equalization on the engine, no oil holes in the rods or axle boxes, piston rings needed ordering and valves machined to fit, there was binding in the crosshead guides, some sort of valve packing needed to be made, setting the valve gear, machining the wheels to have a taper tread and rounded flange, all just to name a few. There is NOTHING on this "running on air" engine that I haven't redone. But hey, I got it for less than the castings themselves.

So I fix all of the problems above and get ready to set the valve gear. The eccentric crank won't work right. But wait, the crank can't work must be the eccentric rod. So I make an LBSC adjustable rod and by trial and error I got the right length. Then off to make two new rods.

Yea, I get to test it. It turns, but is lame. get the idea. Must be the valves themselves. Yup, sure enough there is a .040 exhaust CLEARANCE. Exhaust clearance for those that don't know is to facilitate used steam to expel out the cylinders in high speed locos. But this is an 0-4-0 switch loco, not a Pennsy T1, which had an exhaust clearance of 1/4". Scaled down, that scales out to .021. That's half as much of my switcher's clearance. So I redesign the valves and finally it works great.

Now that the engine runs, I need to plumb it for steam admission through the cylinder castings instead of the top of the steam chests. Why? Because I like the clean look of no piping into the top, and that is where I decided to put the snifter valves.

Tomorrow we'll talk about the boiler and its design.