cylinder block.

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cylinder block.

Post by hoppercar » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:17 am

I have seen over the years , several examples of people welding up cylinder blocks for a locomotive out of steel. .I have a friend building a nyc Hudson, who wants me to weld up a block for him?....I have a pattern for a casting I made years ago, that would work, with flat valves, im trying to convince him to use it, and just dummy up the steam chests to look like piston valves. but he wants real piston valves. seems I seen a construction article somewhere one time, with details on how they weldedup the steam passages between the valves and the cylinders? but it eludes me? ...any one have any ideas?

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Re: cylinder block.

Post by JohnHudak » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:06 am

I can't help you with the issue, but I remember seeing an article in Live Steam magazine where someone did that exact thing...
I think it was Fred Bouffard?
Good luck...

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Re: cylinder block.

Post by david griner » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:21 am

Here's the one for my engine.................................
D&H 15 Fab Cyl.JPG
D&H 15 Fab Cyl.JPG (9.1 KiB) Viewed 3262 times
D&H 15 Track Test 2.JPG
D&H 15 Stmg Bay 1.jpg
D&H 15 Stmg Bay.jpg

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Re: cylinder block.

Post by Dick_Morris » Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:46 pm

I have collected several articles about the construction of fabricated cylinder blocks. Send me a PM with your email address and I'll send them to you.

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Re: cylinder block.

Post by Fender » Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:53 pm

One thing to be careful about: Make sure the assembly is made with a known (and suitable) steel alloy. I knew a guy who used some steel from a scrapyard to build a set of cylinders, and the resulting fabrication was completely un-machinable when he finished! It became a doorstop. The second try worked much better!
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Re: cylinder block.

Post by dorin » Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:45 pm

Didn't the last Kozo build series in Live Steam Magazine have a built up cylinder block?

If you weed through here:

On page 67 or so is the article: Fabricated Cylinders by " L.B.S.C."
Which might also be of help.

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Re: cylinder block.

Post by Sandiapaul » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:34 am

I think Bob Reedy did this with his PRR Atlantic. That was a series in LS&OR.

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Re: cylinder block.

Post by Fred_V » Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:05 am

Fender wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:53 pm
One thing to be careful about: Make sure the assembly is made with a known (and suitable) steel alloy. I knew a guy who used some steel from a scrapyard to build a set of cylinders, and the resulting fabrication was completely un-machinable when he finished! It became a doorstop. The second try worked much better!
That happened to me once. I bought a 1.5" plate from a fab shop and had side rods waterjet cut. Material was for bulldozer blades. I was able to machine it but it was quite a job.
Fred V
Pensacola, Fl.

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Re: cylinder block.

Post by pat1027 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:07 am

Fred Bouffard fabricated his cylinders. The July/August 2003 Live Steam has some good photos and a description. The LBSC article Dorin gives the gist of a fabricated block. John Pugh used fabricates cylinders and silver soldered the whole assembly. I believe Fred Bouffard silver soldered the steam passages and used Loctite between the cylinders and the end plates. I have my dad's locomotive with a fabricated block that used steel end plates, iron cylinders and bronze cage in a steel tube for the piston valves. The assembly is a combination of small stitch welds and bolted connections. The steam passages were machines into the cylinder and piston valve cages and with silver soldered copper pipe between them. With a fabricated block there would be no reason to use steel for the cylinders.

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Re: cylinder block.

Post by daves1459 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:19 am

The importance of the steel alloy selection and condition as mentioned above is very important if not critical. For welding low alloy and low carbon are required. Using SAE designations no free machining alloys such as 11xx which has sulfur or 12Lxx that contains lead and no more than xx20 carbon. A good alloy would be 1018. Cold rolled steel tends to distort and move around when welded. Hot rolled is much more stable and machines pretty good. A36 is an excellent choice which is usually 1018 in hot rolled form. Avoid "boiler plate" which is a low refined general construction alloy that can hard and soft spots.

Cylinder construction usually falls into two basic types. I.E.: Whittled out big chunks of steel welded together or fabricated out of a number of pieces then welded and/or silver soldered together. I once made a cylinder block that a friend has with true piston valves for a L E Pacific out of three big chunks welded together that worked out very well. I prefer a combination construction using whittled out big chunks for the saddle area and fabrication for the cylinders all silver soldered together.

Attached are a couple of pictures of the cylinder set I made for my NYC & HR 999 project that Illustrates "combination" construction. A nice thing about silver soldering is it allows the combination of alloys and materials. The cylinder shown has a A36 saddle section, a 12L14 cylinder, and aluminum bronze valve seat. Note that the cylinder O. D. was knurled. This allows the silver solder to freely flow through out the entire joint. You can see the fillet in the port area in the bottom view. The technique is to machine the cylinder .004" undersize, knurl to .006 over size, then finish machine to size. The whole assembly is held together with screws in Kozo fashion then silver soldered with 1140 F solder and white flux using two large rose bud torch tips. It takes a lot of heat but the fillets look better than when welded. .030" stock was left on all surfaces that need machining. After the each half was completely assembled and soldered it was machined. Never finish machine any critical surface prior to welding or silver soldering.

I believe the best liner material is cast Iron. I get all of mine from L A Sleeve in Calif. They have an excellent selection in standard sizes suitable for our locos and prices are reasonable. The sleeve comes finished on the O.D. and is supplied with fit and assembly instructions. After assembly the sleeve I. D. is machined and honed or finish bored. Follow L A's instructions and the sleeve will never move and will last a long time. Avoid bronze or other copper alloy sleeves as they have a higher thermo expansion rate that the steel cylinder and are prone to loosing their press fit after several heating and cooling cycles.

999 cylinder machining 005.jpg
999 cylinder machining 006.jpg

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Re: cylinder block.

Post by SF2900 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:31 am

We cut out pieces of 1/8" steel plate and welded them in place into a roughly square passage from the valve to the cylinder. It was simply sawing, trimming, filing, and sanding each individual piece to get them to fit together. It was fairly low-tech, but entirely workable. I cant seem to find any photos of the work in process but the attached photo gives you the idea. Steel was used for all of the welded up construction and there are bronze liners pressed into both the piston and valve cylinders. Steam passages were also cut into the cylinders and liners. The valve uses 1 1/2" cast iron rings (from auto parts supplier) and the piston uses Teflon rings.

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Re: cylinder block.

Post by kenrinc » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:49 pm

Out west we generally attribute the built up cylinder block to Ed Yungling. Bob Reedy acknowledges this in his LS magazine build articles. But as in everything, it had been done before just not as prevalent. I'd seen pictures of them in early LS magazines and ME from way back. It's funny because a full size cast locomotive cylinder block looks just like a built up block. The amount of outside coring needed to reduce weight, reduced them to their absolute bare necessities in terms of mass. It's easy to see where the built up idea came from just by looking at a full size cylinder block.

Ed's son, Don, shows his built up GS1 block in this post as does SF2900 which I believe Ed is involved with.



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