Allen models Fitchburg Northern build by first timer

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mcjustis
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Re: Allen models Fitchburg Northern build by first timer

Post by mcjustis » Fri Oct 22, 2021 9:02 pm

Got the cylinder backs done today. Also got the brass pin block #2 done today.


Loving every minute of it!

Martin
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cylinder backs.jpg
pinblock2.jpg

mcjustis
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Re: Allen models Fitchburg Northern build by first timer

Post by mcjustis » Thu Nov 11, 2021 2:05 pm

I got the brass links silver soldered onto the spring steel suspension parts and was able to put the springs onto the frame in the back at least. Also need to get some more nuts n bolts to hold the springs on. For some reason I didn't have any 1/4-20 bolts anywhere in the shop.
suspension.jpg
Took the day off work yesterday as it looked like the last day of nice weather we're going to have for awhile. Once the wife and kids were all gone I was able to do a 7 hour marathon in my shop. I got both of the cylinders finished. I found a problem with one of the cylinders that I was hoping someone could help with. In the steam port that is cast into the part there were small wires that I'm assuming held the sand core in place while the casting was being poured. On both sides of one cylinder and one side of the other those wires simply pulled out with no problem. I have one wire that seems to be stuck and I'm not sure if it's stuck with core sand or some iron got into there and stuck it in place. Is there any way chemically to break down the sand binder and get it to release? Other than that I may have to get some small burrs and picks and just have at it until it clears up.
cylinders.jpg

I also found another error in the frame that I made. When I drew up the cad for the frame, which is about 15 different parts on the print, I somehow made the mounting area for the cylinders about 1/16" too small. No big deal other than I have to take the frame apart to fix it. At least it was smaller than needed and not bigger, so it can easily be machined out. Good times for sure.

Still enjoying the journey,
Martin

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NP317
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Re: Allen models Fitchburg Northern build by first timer

Post by NP317 » Thu Nov 11, 2021 4:05 pm

Nice progress.
'Makes me miss making parts in my shop.
RussN

Mike Walsh
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Re: Allen models Fitchburg Northern build by first timer

Post by Mike Walsh » Thu Nov 11, 2021 5:26 pm

Hi Martin,

Great work!

I suspect that they used wires to hold cores together. Might be able to get in there with a chisel to simply snip it flush with the port surface.

I do see a concern - it looks like your ports may not have cleaned up sufficiently, or are they just not machined yet?

I had same issue with the porting on my Mogul cylinders. I wound up machining 1/8-3/16", I can't recall, off the surface of the valve deck, then loctiting on cast iron blank plates, then machining those to proper height, then machined the valve ports accordingly. It's not in steam yet, so I can't say if this fix works. Allen Models simply wanted to replace the casting, after I was this far along in the process before I found the core porting issue, and it was very difficult for me to want to just throw away the castings and re-do all of this hard work again. It seems they have eliminated porting moving forward and will instruct builders to drill their own passages. Might be best until a better process or shop is found.

If you have cleaned up your ports and still have cast surfaces, might be worth looking into this process. Send me a message offline and I can share what I did with you.

Keep up the good work!
Mike Walsh

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milwiron
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Re: Allen models Fitchburg Northern build by first timer

Post by milwiron » Thu Nov 11, 2021 7:38 pm

Same cylinder castings, same situation a few months ago. I ground out one of my stuck core wires with a small carbide burr. I saw no residual sand in mine.
If the cast-in ports don't clean up exactly to print make your valves to fit by adding or subtracting from the print numbers as necessary and keep the contact area between the bronze valve and cast iron cylinder the same. Talk to Steve at Allen Models, that's what he'll tell you.
After clean-up my ports were a few thou different between left and right so I have left and right valves. Drives me nuts to do that but the options aren't so pretty.
Denny
"Measure twice, curse once."

mcjustis
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Re: Allen models Fitchburg Northern build by first timer

Post by mcjustis » Fri Nov 12, 2021 2:59 pm

On the blocked passage, the wire is stuck in there and the port is full of something. Not sure if it's a sand/ iron mixture or just iron, but I guess I'll just have to get it out with a small burr bit as Denny suggests. Not the funnest thing I can think to do, but if it's the only way I gotta do what I gotta do. I've been building engines for a while and knew about the plate on the steam chest face fix. I didn't want to have to do that. I guess that's a worst case scenario though and can do it if need be, but I may just square them up a bit as the valve is still larger than the slots so I should have plenty of room. I wouldn't want to start over on the cylinders at this point either. With the exception of the two issues, they are very nice castings and machine very well.


Martin

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Bill Shields
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Re: Allen models Fitchburg Northern build by first timer

Post by Bill Shields » Fri Nov 12, 2021 7:29 pm

Try a needle scaler to break the port clear...
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

mcjustis
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Re: Allen models Fitchburg Northern build by first timer

Post by mcjustis » Sat Nov 13, 2021 1:34 pm

Thanks Bill. I think I have one at work I can try.
Martin

mcjustis
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Re: Allen models Fitchburg Northern build by first timer

Post by mcjustis » Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:56 am

I got the wheels all pressed on the shafts so with that I was able to get the frame up on wheels. Also was able to put some of the suspension on the back end . Everything is looking pretty good.
frame.jpg

I got the lower end of the smoke box pedestal done last night. I still need to get the smoke box radius cut into it. I put it into the frame just to see how it looks. It looks good. I might get some shop time this weekend and get this part all finished up.
front end  .jpg

I took it to my first local club meeting Saturday for show and tell. On my way back home I had to stop at the club track and see if it rolled. It did.


So some questions. Where do you guys go to for all the little accessories such as globe valves, drain cocks, safety valves, water sight glass, and any other things I'm sure I'm not thinking of. I know there are plans for most of these parts available, but some things are just easier to buy. Any other things I need to buy that I can start sourcing.

Last one for the day. I'm leaning toward running on propane. Is there any reason to run on coal other than the nostalgia of it. Also, I can get propane at any number of places within five minutes of my house. I have no idea where to get coal from.

That's all for today.

Thanks,
Martin

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NP317
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Re: Allen models Fitchburg Northern build by first timer

Post by NP317 » Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:38 pm

US suppliers that come to my fading mind include:

LocoParts.biz
(You may need to phone owner Jeff Dute to get access to his parts lists. (Website being rebuilt)
Everything from valves, plumbing, whistles, and more)
(LocoParts also offers propane burners to fit your engine's firebox.)

PM Research (valves, fittings and more)
https://www.pmmodelengines.com

https://www.eccentricengineer.com
Injectors (Some of the best available.)

https://www.keimsteampump.com/Home_Page.html
Pumps and more

https://californialocomotive.com/collections/all
Details

http://livesteamsupplies.com
Maxitrak based supplies (USA)

https://discoverlivesteam.com
Information central and more.

I'm sure others will add many more useful suggestions.
RussN
Last edited by NP317 on Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NP317
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Re: Allen models Fitchburg Northern build by first timer

Post by NP317 » Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:44 pm

I am a fan of propane firing of my two live steamers.
Some of the railroads I operate at are propane only, including Train Mountain in Southern Oregon.
I have no desire to get smoked and sooted up after doing that on full-sized locomotives for several decades.
Maintenance on my steamers is much simpler using propane.
Just my personal preference.
RussN

mcjustis
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Re: Allen models Fitchburg Northern build by first timer

Post by mcjustis » Tue Nov 23, 2021 1:41 pm

Thanks Russ,

I did order an injector from EE a few weeks ago and it should be here in January. I have some PMR stuff, but I wasn't sure their valves were up to use on a loco. Some of the others I'd never heard of. I appreciate the help. I've been around enough coal fired old machinery that I am leaning heavily on the propane. I also am an admitted procrastinator, so cleaning up the engine right after running would be put off probably to the point of permanent filth on the loco. I hate to think of all the work going in to this for it to always look like a filthy mess.

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