Father & Sons build project: Fitchburg Northern (2.5" scale, 7.5" gauge)

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Donhost4449
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Father & Sons build project: Fitchburg Northern (2.5" scale, 7.5" gauge)

Post by Donhost4449 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:13 pm

On August 4th, 2018 I met with my friend, John Bailie, to discuss restarting a locomotive build he had been helping me with several years ago. The build - Fitchburg Northern - originally started in October of 2002. I got as far as the boiler, drivers, axles, eccentrics, bearing boxes, crank pins and was able to press all those together. The work suspended in June of 2005 when I moved away to chase a girl (and a steam locomotive) up in Portland, Oregon. Then came marriage, and babies in the baby carriage. We have since moved back to the Sacramento area, and those babies are now 10. Eli & Paul love love this hobby. John has been teaching the boys how to coal fire a locomotive on his Chloe(s), so naturally they asked if we could have a coal-fired locomotive. Thus, this locomotive build has been resurrected! [NOTE: For those who are wondering, I do have the kids wearing safety glasses when operating the grinder, mill and the lathe. They are also required to wear closed-toe shoes, an apron, and I have shown both of them horribly graphic pictures of when safety gear isn't worn to show them how dangerous this stuff is.] Here are a few pictures - we are moving right along. Acquisition of raw materials, and the kids cutting the pedistal binder material to length. More to come...
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S&K Steel in Sacramento
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Eli cutting the pedistal binders.
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Paul cutting binders, and Eli deburring.
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The finished product. My mentor always taught me to make extra, in case I mess one up...
Building a Fitchburg Northern (build log): www.chaski.org/homemachinist/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=107249

My YouTube Videos: www.youtube.com/user/donhost4449/videos

mikeehlert
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Re: Father & Sons build project: Fitchburg Northern (2.5" scale, 7.5" gauge)

Post by mikeehlert » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:37 am

That is so great. Makes me feel good to see kids actually working with their hands instead of staring at an electronic device. Carry on.
Mike

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NP317
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Re: Father & Sons build project: Fitchburg Northern (2.5" scale, 7.5" gauge)

Post by NP317 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:12 am

Ten Points!
Look forward to seeing more pics of The Project, and your kids working on it.
~RN

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Donhost4449
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Re: Father & Sons build project: Fitchburg Northern (2.5" scale, 7.5" gauge)

Post by Donhost4449 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:21 am

Gentlemen: thank you for your words of encouragement. My boys really seem to be enjoying the work!

Next step was taking the material that had been sawed at home by Eli and Paul to John's shop. There I drilled the pedestal binders for the fasteners that will eventually hold them to the bottom of the frame. In addition to bolts, roll pins will be used - a practice of John's for strength and proper alignment. Slots were cut so the binders can be pried away from the frame once they are pinned together.
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We pinned the two frame pieces together, and John scribed the layout for the frames onto the material using one of the extra Chloe frames he had on hand.
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I milled the ends.
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We discussed the finer points of chain drilling - the method I have employed to open the holes in my frame materials.
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I left John's with a shopping list of materials and tooling to get for my fledgling machine shop at home, and a homework assignment to get the frames roughed out. That is where I will leave this installment of our project - next up is a visit with my friend Joe, and back with the boys get to all that chain drilling at home.
Building a Fitchburg Northern (build log): www.chaski.org/homemachinist/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=107249

My YouTube Videos: www.youtube.com/user/donhost4449/videos

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Donhost4449
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Re: Father & Sons build project: Fitchburg Northern (2.5" scale, 7.5" gauge)

Post by Donhost4449 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:22 am

After leaving John's, my first stop was to Joe's for some bandsaw work. I have a HF horizontal bandsaw that can do some small vertical work, but the frames are a bit much for my machine. Joe's machine with the big table made quick work of some long cuts.
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From Joe's I was back home to begin chain drilling. There was a slight delay, as I needed to purchase a clamping kit and get some drill bits - I used 9/32 screw machine drill bits. Since I hadn't used the mill before, I also needed to set up my work space, position my mill/drill where I wanted it, and level the machine. The machine hadn't been used since I purchased it, so I took several hours to familiarize myself with the machine, clean, and lubricate.

Got the work set on the table, and got going. The frames were still pinned together, so both sides are getting cut/drilled simultaneously.
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Building a Fitchburg Northern (build log): www.chaski.org/homemachinist/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=107249

My YouTube Videos: www.youtube.com/user/donhost4449/videos

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Donhost4449
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Re: Father & Sons build project: Fitchburg Northern (2.5" scale, 7.5" gauge)

Post by Donhost4449 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:35 am

Paul helped with the drilling.
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Eli also helped with the drilling.
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A milestone - one month after the project restarted, we had a good start on locomotive frames!
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Building a Fitchburg Northern (build log): www.chaski.org/homemachinist/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=107249

My YouTube Videos: www.youtube.com/user/donhost4449/videos

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Donhost4449
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Re: Father & Sons build project: Fitchburg Northern (2.5" scale, 7.5" gauge)

Post by Donhost4449 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:58 am

Before heading back to John's, there were a few more things that needed to be done. We had to go back and knock through all the webs between the drill holes. It was a tedious, but effective method for opening the holes.

Eli is seen doing that work.
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And the boys showing the completed knock outs.
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Additional material needed to be cut to length, we switched the siderods to some chrome molly that John had - Eli doing the honors.
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At this point I'm ready to head back to John's with side rod material and frames.
Building a Fitchburg Northern (build log): www.chaski.org/homemachinist/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=107249

My YouTube Videos: www.youtube.com/user/donhost4449/videos

McReef
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Re: Father & Sons build project: Fitchburg Northern (2.5" scale, 7.5" gauge)

Post by McReef » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:59 am

Nothing like a project with the kids. Mine are still young, but I always take the time to explain what’s going on when they have questions, and allowing/encouraging them to help when appropriate. It is just what a good dad does.

I still remember my dad “letting me” crank in the lags on our new docks when I was a kid. My old man has been gone for a few years now, but I still hold a perfect picture in my head of him sitting back with a beer and a smile on his face while I worked. Some of that smile was no doubt from handing off some of the wrench turning on the many 1/2” x 8” long lags, but being a dad myself I now understand where most of that smile came from.

Good on you!
- Dave R.

Always on the lookout for another over-the-top and completely unreasonable project.

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Donhost4449
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Re: Father & Sons build project: Fitchburg Northern (2.5" scale, 7.5" gauge)

Post by Donhost4449 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:25 pm

Thanks for your comment and encouragement, Dave. We are having fun and learning together at the same time.

On the previous post, I neglected to include the photo of the frames as the chain-drilled sections were removed.
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Back at John's, we milled the top and bottom edges of the frames. The holes for the pedestal binders were also drilled on this visit, even though I don't have any photos of that operation.
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Building a Fitchburg Northern (build log): www.chaski.org/homemachinist/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=107249

My YouTube Videos: www.youtube.com/user/donhost4449/videos

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Donhost4449
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Re: Father & Sons build project: Fitchburg Northern (2.5" scale, 7.5" gauge)

Post by Donhost4449 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:48 am

Going to John's results in "homework" for the boys and I to accomplish in our meager shop at home. I have the equivalent of a Grizzly Mill-Drill, a 9" Southbend lathe, and assorted other items that help us in our quest for our coal-fired steam locomotive. Now that the pedestals have been drilled to receive the pedestal binders, the bolt holes also needed to be tapped. We started with the tapping, using a guide that John built.
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Both Paul and Eli had an opportunity to tap several holes.
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Then both boys helped with cutting out the pedestal openings, and the milling operation to clean up the frames.
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Building a Fitchburg Northern (build log): www.chaski.org/homemachinist/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=107249

My YouTube Videos: www.youtube.com/user/donhost4449/videos

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Donhost4449
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Re: Father & Sons build project: Fitchburg Northern (2.5" scale, 7.5" gauge)

Post by Donhost4449 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:10 am

Just a couple more pictures of the boys - Eli milling, and Paul marking out his cut for the pedestal opening.
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Also a picture of the frames halfway through - we separated them (they had been pinned together) for these operations, so you can see one frame that has been cut, and one that has been milled.
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John made a fixture to machine the rods. The Fitchburg Norhtern article/plans don't call for the rods until later in the build process, but we will need them sooner. The rods will be used as a guide for measuring and checking the pedestal openings in the frame with the goal of having the openings .005 over the size of the bearing boxes. More on that later, but here are some pictures of the fixture and John's work machining the rods.
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Building a Fitchburg Northern (build log): www.chaski.org/homemachinist/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=107249

My YouTube Videos: www.youtube.com/user/donhost4449/videos

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NP317
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Re: Father & Sons build project: Fitchburg Northern (2.5" scale, 7.5" gauge)

Post by NP317 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:46 am

Good progress!
I trust The Boys are enjoying seeing those parts and pieces emerging from the stock.
There always seems to be a bit of magic when that happens.
~RN

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