View Full Version : New flash! Richard Carlstedt is the 2009 Metalworking Craftsman of the Year winner

01-05-2009, 12:34 PM
Here is the press release about Sherlines 2009 award winner.

Richard Carlstedt of Green Bay, Wisconsin is the 13th winner of the Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship’s top annual award. As a manufacturing engineer, precision metalworking has been a part of his life for many years, and in his own home shop those high standards carry over into his personal projects.
As a kid he built model airplanes, once building six straight stick and balsa models of the WWI Spad biplane fighter until he got it just right. At age 11 he built a powered model of the Union ironclad ship the USS Monitor. Interest in that ship would follow him through life, and that early determination to get it “just right” has paid off in a world class project.
A little about Richard Carlstedt’s career
Richard studied pre-engineering in high school and worked as an apprentice machinist at Ford Aircraft to make money for college, hoping to get an aeronautical engineering degree. Once in college he changed that to mechanical engineering when he was told only graduates from MIT or Cal-Poly actually end up working in the wind tunnel. Finances eventually ended his college days and he went to work in construction to support a young family. He went back to the metal working trades and worked his way up from mechanic/machinist into management. During this time, he continued to attend night school with aspirations of a degree. On assignment in Canada in 1971, he met some friends who were live steam addicts and joined the Ontario Sun Parlor Lines steam club where he built his first steam engine—a Stuart Turner 7. He returned to Chicago four years later and joined the Chicago Model Engineers where he learned from experts like Emery Ohlenkamp, and Roy Ozuf as well as his own father-in-law, a retired tool and die maker.
After working for ten years in Northern California in a manufacturing engineering capacity he returned to Detroit to take the Society of Manufacturing Engineers test, which he passed to become certified as a manufacturing engineer. He continued working with metal dies and machinery and was eventually transferred to Wisconsin, where he resides today.
Over the years his hobby interests involved model airplanes and later, live steam engines. His Hypocycloidal Pumping Engine, based on an original on display in the Ford Museum was selected as the featured engine at the 2005 NAMES show.
Building a model of a historic ship engine
His early interest in the USS Monitor was rekindled in the early 1970’s when he read an article about the ship in National Geographic stating that the sunken wreck had been discovered and work was planned to recover it. He had also seen a pattern model of the engine on a trip to England in 1977. He vowed that someday when he was retired he would like to model the engine from that historic ship. In 1997, the US Navy started recovery of that ship, and he began several years of research on the engine. This took him to many museums and archives in the US and Britain, but eventually between these archives and consultation with the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, VA he was able to piece together details on the original engine, no complete drawings of which were ever published.
Years before, a medical restriction on lifting had cause Richard to move from heavy model steam railroad projects to smaller stationary steam engines that could be built on a tabletop. This in part helped determine the chosen scale for the Monitor engine of 1/16. The engine was completed in 2007 and displayed at the North American Model Engineering Society show among other places. Richard plans to gather all the research data he prepared in producing the engine and publish a book on it to further the understanding of this unique engine among historians.
The extensive research involved in this unique engine and the uncompromising level of quality to which it was produced brought Richard to the attention of the Joe Martin Foundation. Richard’s intention to make this information available to others in a book is also a factor in the decision to name him the Foundation’s “Metalworking Craftsman of the Year”. This award along with a check for $2000 will be presented at the North American Model Engineering Society Expo, April 18-19, 2009 in Toledo, Ohio. Several of Richard’s engines including the Monitor engine will be on display at the Foundation’s show booth, and Richard will be there to discuss the project.
A page on Richard with photos of the engine, his other projects and his shop can be found at www.CraftsmanshipMuseum.com/Carlstedt.htm. A video of the engine running can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWn8gQ9Ykpk. (Be sure to select “View in High Quality” to better appreciate the fine workmanship.) The video is also liked from his museum page. You can also learn more about the Joe Martin Foundation and its goals at www.CraftsmanshipMuseum.com. The foundation was established by Joe Martin, owner of Sherline Products Inc. to honor the "best of the best" in the field of metalworking at the small end of the size scale. The foundation is approved as a 501(c)(3) organization and contributions of tools, projects or funds are tax deductible under US Tax Code.
For further information contact Craig Libuse, director. 1-760-727-9492 or craig@craftsmanshipmuseum.com.

Ian B
01-05-2009, 12:45 PM
Beautiful model of the engine!

Anyone know how he managed to make those perfect-looking brass pipe 90 degree elbows?

Unusual design on the rocking spindles at both ends - the bearing cap bolts look like they take the full thrust of the cylinder.


01-05-2009, 12:46 PM
well deserved Richard, congratulations!

01-05-2009, 12:59 PM
Congratulations Rich, I can think of no one more deserving.

01-05-2009, 01:10 PM
Beautiful model of the engine!

Anyone know how he managed to make those perfect-looking brass pipe 90 degree elbows?

Unusual design on the rocking spindles at both ends - the bearing cap bolts look like they take the full thrust of the cylinder.

He did an article with lots of pictures in a recent issue of one of the VP mags, Cant seem to find it at the moment. Either Live steam in the last couple of issues or HSM the name sake of this board. maybe somebody can give the exact issue and title.

Mark Hockett
01-05-2009, 01:26 PM
Congratulations Rich, You earned that one, the Monitor engine is a work of art.

01-05-2009, 01:28 PM
Rich had an article in a recent HSM on the elbows, he also posted the method here;


In the writeup in the Craftsmanship award, it mentions it took Rich 12 months and 168 failed castings to finally arrive at the finished manifold.

George Bulliss
01-05-2009, 01:29 PM
Congratulations Rich on the well earned recognition.

The article about the pipe elbows was in the November/December 2008 issue of The Home Shop Machinist. Much of the article appeared here first in a thread started by Rich. The magazine article does have a more in-depth description of the process of making the pipe, along with a few extra photos.


01-05-2009, 01:32 PM
Again, well deserved. The commitment to accuracy and the quality of work are at the top of the game. That piece is destined for a museum for sure.

01-05-2009, 01:38 PM
WOW, what beautiful work !

Thanks a lot Richard, now I am all depressed over my crap again, another trip for me to the garden to eat worms I see.


01-05-2009, 01:39 PM
Congratulations Rich! The Monitor engine is stunning!! :D I hope someday to approach that level of skill/craftsmanship!

I was also glad to see the Monitor get the recognition it deserved in HSM Magazine!

01-05-2009, 01:43 PM
He did an article with lots of pictures in a recent issue of one of the VP mags

It was the HSM magazine, two issues back.

Rich posted a very detailed thread with many pictures showing the whole build here:

Model of the Monitor Engine Finished (http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=27572)

and his very clever method of hollowing the bronze engine manifold is here:

Producing an Internal Bore Around Corners Without Tooling (http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=27587)

01-05-2009, 01:44 PM
Not at all surprised. But congrats on the win, you deserve it!

01-05-2009, 01:50 PM
Thanks to the internet I've been fortunate enough to see Rich's craftsmanship before.
Definitely a well deserved recognition of extraordinary skill as a master craftsman.
Here's a couple of "Atta Boys" Rich, well done!
Hopefully I'll be lucky enough to see his work in person one day.

Bruce Griffing
01-05-2009, 02:35 PM
Congratulations on a well deserved award!!! And thanks for sharing it (your work that is) with us.

01-05-2009, 03:24 PM
Many huge Congratulations Rich!!!

One thing that came to me, as I watched the video of the engine running, was another whole level of genius that Rich has achieved, which takes his accomplishment to a whole unique level, way above any previous winners of this award...

Comparing the engine running in the video with the pictures Rich posted of the original engine underwater, it's obvious that he's had to re-create the design of the engine almost from scratch, with virtually no original plans to work from. If you look at the artists rendering, you can see several points where the artist got it wrong, yet for years this was the only print to be found. It's almost inconceivable that anybody could produce such a beautiful and accurate piece of work based on that barnacle covered chunk of metal.

So hat's off to you Rich, for not only being a brilliant inventive machinist, but also for your superb meticulous research that made this all possible.

Richard in Los Angeles

Liger Zero
01-05-2009, 03:33 PM
Yikes! Here I am congratulating myself over fixing the mailbox with a home-made nylon bolt. Time to come back to reality.

Congrats Richard!

J Tiers
01-05-2009, 09:59 PM
Saying it is more than well-deserved seems to me to not indicate enough enthusiasm.... but I can't find better words so they will have to do.....

01-05-2009, 11:06 PM
Congrats on a job well done Rich!:)

Rich Carlstedt
01-06-2009, 02:36 AM
Wow, thanks fellas !
It is sort of mind numbing (have that anyway !)
Your reactions are very kind .Thank you !

It didn't start out to be what it turned out to be ..If thats understandable?
Took one step at a time. I have to say, and that a lot of folks have helped me on this journey. My friend Ray Hasbrouch helped point my nose in the starting direction around 1995. Encouraging comments by the likes of Glen and Jim H sure helped keep me focused along the way
As RPM said, the few drawings available were a disaster for both accuracy and they had no dimensions. So the detective work was more demanding almost than the machining in may cases.
I guess I was either nuts or in love with the engine.
I actually hesitated starting it, because of the challenge, but had a picture of Cal Ripken on my dresser at that time , (the famous pitcher who played in over 2600 games) and it had his motto....." Just Do It "
My two year probable time stretched to 6 because of health issues (PC) and the more I found out about the engine, the more determined I was to show its unique qualities and function. None of these type engines (20 ~) exist today, except for the very first one, which was recently pulled off the ocean floor, and that I think made it all the more important to display, and to run.

My current project is to get all the drawings in order for publication and to write a book about the engine. No data has ever been printed about it and I figure the many pictures I have of parts will come in handy when shown next to the prints in the book

I have had a few unusual setups and hope to get them written up for George Buliss and HSM to consider.
I also thank Sherline and Joe Martin for the recognition and appreciation of work done by home shop machinists like myself. It is truly noteworthy that someone cares about our projects and encourages the improvement of our skills, and does so honorably without strings being attached. It sincerely reflects the character of the many fine people in our hobby and on this board, where help and committment to improved skills occur everyday

Thanks to all for the comments !
I will be at the Cabin Fever on January 16 and 17 th in York PA with the engine. Please stop by and say hello, or catch me at NAMES in Toledo in April

Thanks to All

01-06-2009, 03:35 AM
One thing that struck me about that engine is the lack of a flywheel, and while the propeller could be thought of as a flywheel, it has other forces it is dealing with besides inertia, and it is coupled by linear to articulating to rotational translators. A very complex power train. This lack of a fly wheel can be seen in the operation of your model as the pistons move to and fro. The speed of the connecting rods is continually changing. So my wonderment is how much of that is damped out by the wetted propeller?

And you did an amazing job recreating that engine!

Can you identify the purpose of the wedges in the connecting and articulating rod ends? They look like they were probably done for maintenance.

01-06-2009, 03:45 AM
Very neat! That is a well deserved award. Well done and congratulations! That takes more skill than I have.

01-06-2009, 08:15 AM
I've seen your amazing work before Rich...I'm very happy that you have such great recognition for it now!
When I see work like that I just shake my head. This kind of craftsmanship is just way over the top! Thanks again Rich, for sharing!

01-06-2009, 08:36 AM
Those of us that attended NAMES last year could see it in person, and looks
in my opinion, flawless . While looking at it Rich was there and would answer questions , so i asked one, the next thing i knew he was taking something off to show me, I tried to stop him, his reply was "this comes off easily and you can see it better" he was correct in a few seconds, part in hand he was explaining to me how the throttle vanes worked. Congrats Rich on a job well done.

Rich Carlstedt
01-07-2009, 12:10 AM
Hey Dennis
Let me congratulate You !

You are the first one to comment on the lack of a flywheel or propeller.
And you are correct, getting a steam engine to run without a flywheel gets pretty tricky.
Having a Propeller would help a great deal to smooth the engine, although it does run pretty well now.
Timing is not adjustable on this engine. All eccentrics were keyed as was the real engine at the factory settings.
It made me nervious as hxxx to know that if it didn't run, I was in big trouble.
but it ran out of the box as they say.

A couple of comments. This engine is the only 2 cylinder engine I have seen with unbalanced events.
Because of the nature of the crank centerline being above the rocking lever shaft centerlines,
you get into some wierd mechanics.
In the case of the Monitor, the events are 80 degrees and 100 degrees ( instead of 90,90 )
This also makes the sound different put,put..put,put..put,put and forces the main crank to lope a little
as the pistons reach the end of their stroke in uneven stride.

The bearings are bronze caps held together by whats called a "Gib and Cotter". both the gib and cotter are match tapered which means as the gib (long taper pin ) is forced down, the cotter which grips the bearing, moves out, tightening the bearing. As the bearing wears, the caps are removed and filed by hand -back to running clearance- and then reassembled and the gib is then driven down further .
The long gibs on the model are scale and thats the way the real engine is, and was standard construction for that day. Having a very long gib, meant many bearing rebuilds before replacement .

And thanks fellas for the kind words !

01-07-2009, 12:46 AM
Rich, have you considered offering your services to one of the National Maritime Museums, or NOAA?

With all the interest raising pieces of the Monitor generated, I'd imagine there's at least a couple of dozen more maritime mysteries for you to practice forensic model engineering :)

Where's the Merrimack? The CSS Virginia for you Southerners :)

Rich Carlstedt
01-07-2009, 01:29 AM
I am a volunteer resource now for the Mariners Museum in Newport News Virgina.
I gave a lecture to the Staff and Curators there last May on the construction and operation of the engine, using both my model and photos of some parts.
Some of my research has already helped them with some instruments recovered from the wreck, and the manner in which the engine is fastened to the bedplate, and "what all those tubes /valves are "
My original reason for writting a book was to help the museum "dissect" the engine down the road.
Then NOAA requested a dulpicate one, and I thought maybe I should do more books because of the interest in this unusual engine. I have met John Broadwater, NOAA's man who was on all the dives and history channel programs . Right now I am putting together some data for NOAA about "erronious" information that has been published about the engine. For instance, the bore is 40", yet some important Historical books report it as 32" or 36 "
I can validate the Bore based on close study of the engine timing drawing and material from the National Archives. One side note, They thought that the cylinder heads had 20 studs, yet my work showed 22. And I couldn't work anything but 22 into my drawings
As a machinist I thought that 20 is a nice round number for a dividing head and 22 was really weird....but they didn't use dividing heads back then, and Engine designers used surface area to determine number of studs.( simple !)
Since I have never touched or seen the engine out of the water, I requested a (grave stone) rubbing of the 3 missing studs barely visible on one end of the cylinder (the entire rest of the engine and heads is thickly covered with barnicals) from the museum. They did it and when I chorded it, it showed 22.
Hot Dog!
Back then, machinists used dividers and would step off the spacing around the bolt circle. If the divisions were off, they reset the calipers/dividers and did it again until they hit the target. They did not use angles,rotabs, or fancy layouts.
Part of the detective work is understanding the methods used back then.
That is a story unto itself.
thanks for listening, and the question lazlo

01-07-2009, 12:43 PM
Congratulations, Rich, for this well-deserved rceognition! I've saved every word and every picture you've posted about your masterpiece. Every now and then I'll go back and re-read, re-look and re-admire.

Best regards,