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Tamper84
10-03-2012, 08:13 PM
Well school for me is going great! I love it! The research that I have done on here and the internet has lead me to dive into the live steam hobby. I would really like to get into it, the trains are awesome.

Anyway, I have been thinking of what sizes of machines a guy would need to build a locomotive. Obviously more is better :rolleyes: but if you were just starting out what sizes of machines should I be looking at? Also, besides a mill and a lathe, what else would I need? Again to just start out, more will be added to later!!:cool:

Thanks,
Chris

shawnspeed
10-03-2012, 08:51 PM
I would think that a good 10" lathe, with a milling attachment, and some inginuity will get you a long way...just my 2c...Shawn

NzOldun
10-03-2012, 09:10 PM
Well school for me is going great! I love it! The research that I have done on here and the internet has lead me to dive into the live steam hobby. I would really like to get into it, the trains are awesome.

Anyway, I have been thinking of what sizes of machines a guy would need to build a locomotive. Obviously more is better :rolleyes: but if you were just starting out what sizes of machines should I be looking at? Also, besides a mill and a lathe, what else would I need? Again to just start out, more will be added to later!!:cool:

Thanks,
Chris

Get one of the small, cheap, power horizontal bandsaws!! You will appreciate it, especially when cutting any reasonably thick material - which I characterise as anything over 1/8 in thick.

Also buy a spare bi-metal balde (HSS teeth), for when the el-cheepo carbon blade they are all fitted with, gets blunt

NZoldun:p

oldtiffie
10-03-2012, 09:18 PM
Why not ask the forums for steam/locomotive etc. activities?

They have first hand knowledge which should suit the OP.

Forrest Addy
10-04-2012, 03:31 AM
What size locomotive? Gotta scale the equipment to the project.

If you're gonna whip up a 1:1 scale monster like an Alco Big Boy ...

Well, let's be practical. Machining the drivers side rods and cylinders would dictate machine size. A 10" Lahe and a turret mill will build the machined parts for a 1/12 scale steam, loco (not a common scale live steam track gage probably.) It would be maybe 8 or 9 feet long IIRC not counting the tender and weigh maybe 3500 Lb. With a little ingenuity and a lot - a LOT - of time a skilled live steam modler could build it.

Let me rant a little bit. The real problem won't be the machine work; it will require a safe, functional, boiler, piping and controls. A steam boiler is a fired pressure vessel and its design, construction, and licensing is a legal matter requiring inspection and witnessing the trials by competent state authority. If all is well they will certify it for one year.

There's good reason for this level of fuss and feathers. A quart of water boiled to make 300 PSI steam contains the explosive energy of a pound of high explosive. A 1/12 scale loco may have 30 gallons of water in the boiler.

Ever see the MythBuster episode where they overheated a water heater until it burst?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rXwcDkobUY

Just so you know.

vpt
10-04-2012, 08:01 AM
Yeah, I don't think I would use Zamak for the boiler.

I also agree the scale to be built needs to be known before machines can be decided.

justanengineer
10-04-2012, 09:19 AM
The smallest size lathe I could ever see myself realistically buying is a 12x36, unless I bought one of the smaller super stiff ultra precision lathes like a 10ee. The 12x36 Clausing I have now is quite alright for many things, but about once or twice each year I need to go searching in my vintage machining texts or do some head scratching for tricks to make the lathe "bigger" than it really is (usually length).

Personally, I would go 12x36 lathe, standard Bport or one of the similar 2/3rd size/1+1/3 size (slightly smaller or bigger) turret mills to start, and maybe either a shaper or surface grinder later on. As mentioned, there are quite a few other "machines" that you will likely want such as a press/arbor press, bandsaw, A/O torch etc etc....if you dont have them already.

Glad to hear school is going good for you thus far. Be sure and pay attention to as many of the "lil" things as you can such as how the school machines "feel" and operate. Ive had several people I know go through programs and comment that their personal home machines needed a bit more love than they thought previously bc they didnt "feel" right.

Dr Stan
10-04-2012, 09:50 AM
What size locomotive? Gotta scale the equipment to the project.

If you're gonna whip up a 1:1 scale monster like an Alco Big Boy ...

That was my first thought. Probably need a 60" vertical turret lathe and a great big Lucas boring mill with a 6" spindle just for starters. :)

Gunsmithing
10-04-2012, 10:42 AM
Back in the 30's 40' & 50's most use a 9 or 10 lathe with mill att. This still works day to fit in garages & movers will move the lathe for you. Some will say the size lathe they is the best and or brand. Try to say with USA lathes for your first lathe. The China lathe all most all way need work even new. If you move try say under 800 pounds some movers will move upto 1,000 pound with out cost extra.

Good luck
Dave



Well school for me is going great! I love it! The research that I have done on here and the internet has lead me to dive into the live steam hobby. I would really like to get into it, the trains are awesome.

Anyway, I have been thinking of what sizes of machines a guy would need to build a locomotive. Obviously more is better :rolleyes: but if you were just starting out what sizes of machines should I be looking at? Also, besides a mill and a lathe, what else would I need? Again to just start out, more will be added to later!!:cool:

Thanks,
Chris

The Artful Bodger
10-04-2012, 03:12 PM
Yes, I bought a new 12x36 as my first lathe and have never regretted the choice, I had a little bench top Adept shaper to start and have since bought a small turret mill, new.

Both the lathe and mill are Chinese made and they both worked right out of the box.

loose nut
10-04-2012, 07:12 PM
For the most part, same here.

loose nut
10-04-2012, 07:26 PM
The real problem won't be the machine work; it will require a safe, functional, boiler, piping and controls. A steam boiler is a fired pressure vessel and its design, construction, and licensing is a legal matter requiring inspection and witnessing the trials by competent state authority. If all is well they will certify it for one year.

There's good reason for this level of fuss and feathers. A quart of water boiled to make 300 PSI steam contains the explosive energy of a pound of high explosive. A 1/12 gauge loco may have 30 gallons of water in the boiler.
.
Forrest, there have been literally tens of thousands of live steam boilers made by amateur builders around the world and the failure rate is near zero. Magazines like Live Steam and Model Engineer publish many well designed plans for these as well as books printed just for this subject. As for licensing, I don't know about other countries but in Canada as long as your boiler is limited by certain rules Gov. involvement is not required.

Diameter - 10" Max,I believe
capacity IE: water - ???? Imp. Gallons
operating pressure, - 100 PSI max.

These limits make a small to medium sized 1 1/2" gauge loco possible with no license or government inspection required, most clubs do require a club boiler and safety inspection. Our local club as well as many others have adopted the "Australian model boiler code" as it's Guide. It is quite comprehensive and well thought out.

I'm not trying to down play safety for boilers, they must be treated with respect but it isn't something to be afraid of doing.

Tamper84
10-05-2012, 11:49 AM
Thank you guys for the information. Scale size, Im not sure on yet. I just wanted to make sure I didnt end up buying too small of machines and be outta luck! And no it wont be a full scale locomotive. It would be cool though!!:D

On the boiler subject, I do have an ASME high pressure pipe cert, and weld every day. Im not to worried about making the boiler. Thank you for the tips though. Now the hunt is on! :)

Thanks,
Chris

wern
10-05-2012, 12:55 PM
I have found a good vertical band saw and vertical belt sander, with
a solid table very useful.

Werner

Rosco-P
10-05-2012, 01:37 PM
Thank you guys for the information. Scale size, Im not sure on yet. I just wanted to make sure I didnt end up buying too small of machines and be outta luck! And no it wont be a full scale locomotive. It would be cool though!!:D

On the boiler subject, I do have an ASME high pressure pipe cert, and weld every day. Im not to worried about making the boiler. Thank you for the tips though. Now the hunt is on! :)

Thanks,
Chris

Before you put the cart before the horse, is there a live steam club with a track in your area? I know more than one guy who started building his own "steamer", bought machines and material, only to find that there was no club within a reasonable distance and that the cost of rail, ties and the tons and tons of ballast necessary were beyond his means. Not to mention the extra work maintaining the "right of way".

camdigger
10-05-2012, 01:53 PM
Before you put the cart before the horse, is there a live steam club with a track in your area? I know more than one guy who started building his own "steamer", bought machines and material, only to find that there was no club within a reasonable distance and that the cost of rail and the tons and tons of ballast necessary were beyond his means.

Also think how tragic it would be to build a classy model only to find the scale doesn't fit any of the local tracks...

Tamper84
10-05-2012, 02:50 PM
Yup there is there is 2 tracks within driving distance of me. Mill Creek central in coshocton and north east Ohio live steamers. Mill Creek operates on 7 1/2 gauge I do believe and NEOLS I forget lol.

Chris

Weekend_Scientist
10-05-2012, 03:37 PM
As far as tools go, I'd have to recommend an angle grinder. It doesn't make pretty cuts but it cuts pretty much everything. Save your band saw blades for soft stuff and use a two dollar abrasive wheel to cut the hard stuff.