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Author Topic: Brass Mongering
Ed Bommer

Posts: 377
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: November 28, 2017,
Quote

Posting error!

Ed Bommer

Posts: 377
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: November 28, 2017,
Quote

Posting error again- the pictures did not show up!

Ed Bommer

Posts: 377
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: November 28, 2017,
Quote

Before re-installing the cylinder casting (and correcting a misalignment on one side with a.035" thick brass shim in one corner), holes were drilled through the right side brace for the front vacuum brake and steam lines. They are made of.040" and .032" diameter brass rod, bent and tweaked to fit on the front pilot deck. A clamp will be fitted to hold down their ends by the pilot. Hoses will be fitted later.

With the cylinders back on the frame and the running gear re-assembled with the wiring harness in place, it was time for a track test. Here the mechanism is rolling along at half-power, at about a scale 25-30 MPH. Look closely and you can see that the worm is spinning! A slip on cover will be made for the worm, to minimize any lubricant throw. The main gear on the driver will also get a cover. It will be soldered to the bottom plate of the transmission case.
Image

After a few minutes of running it back and forth on that 3' hunk of 1936 steel track (from General Electric's employee O scale layout at Schenectady, dismantled after WW-II), I set the super-structure (without the boiler weight) and the tender body on the frame for a few more runs. Other than a slight gear growl, it runs quietly and smoothly.
Image

At 12 volts, it moves at nearly 50 scale MPH! The boiler weight will bring that down some, I am certain. One can see the top of the motor, the back-head and boiler top line. The motor fits with 1/32"clearance at the top corner. So the boiler casing for the cab should fit The wiring touches the back-head, but it's all covered as are the motor's terminals.

This may well be the farthest this little Forney has ever run since it was built, 45 years ago!
Ed Bommer

Robert

Posts: 399
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: November 28, 2017,
Quote

It's a handsome little locomotive Ed. Certainly has been treated to best workmanship available, and it's no surprise it does run nicely. Will you be responsible for painting it or will it's owner be doing that? I bet it did you good to see it run so well after all your efforts to perfect it's mechanism. Nice project for sure.

Robert

Ed Bommer

Posts: 377
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: November 29, 2017,
Quote

Robert and all, I will also be doing the painting, striping and lettering for the Forney. The Staten Island Rapid Transit became a B&O subsidiary by 1890. It owned stock in the two Island railroads, SIRT of 1883 and the Staten Island Railway of 1860. It bought into them in order to gain a foothold in the growing New York freight market, being the largest seaport in the US at the time. It was THE place to be in the late 19th-early 20th Centuries. B&O bankrupted itself to reach for it, Yet it remained in the NY Terminal rail freight market until the B&O was dissolved as a corporation by CSX in the 1980s.

As such, B&O practices for locomotive painting, striping and lettering for post 1885 (when B&O revised and standardized its earlier schemes) will be followed. While not all that colorful, it features elaborate striping in gold and silver.

The thinnest stripes are 1/2" silver. The smallest I can get from Micro Scale are 3/4". The thin, narrow stripes decorate the head lamps. There are four triangles (with a curved hypotenuse) around each headlamp bezel and four side panels which have stripes around their edges with either a Greek key or inward curving corners. It would be good if I can find a silver ink pen and draw the devices for the headlamps on decal stock, rather than fitting them up with tiny bits and pieces of decal.

Driver spokes each get 3/4" silver striping and a 3/4"silver stripe around the tire as well. Each stave of the pilot also gets a 1/2" silver strip centered on it, with a 1" stripe along the bottom edge. The cylinders get wider silver flake striping around the valve casing. The cylinder front and back ends are finished with silver flake paint too. I actually found some at Hobby Lobby! It dries to a slightly mottled all silver finish. Bright silver or Testors chrome paint will be used for the headlamp reflectors.

The lettering and other striping on the cab, tender body and domes is in gold paint - not gold leaf or bronze gold or Dulux imitation gold. Cab window and door sashes were dark red. Cab interior, medium green.

The smoke box, stack, cinder dump pipe and firebox sides were finished in stove blacking of the period. It dries to a very flat black finish. My Grandma would rub down the dried blacking applied to her kitchen wood stove furiously with cotton rags to a sheen, when I was a kid. The railroad would simply leave it be as applied. The rest of the loco including the wheel faces, is painted in black locomotive enamel. When freshly done it has a high shine. I will do it as a satin finish with exception of the cab roof. It was wood with a canvas covering. As such it will be dull, flat black. The seams of the canvas roofing will be modeled with 1/32"striping tape before painting.

Polished brass will be on the front ends of the handrails along the boiler, the rim of the smoke box number plate and the bell. Other exposed brass weathered to a greenish-brown tarnish would be the whistle, safety valves, sand dome lid handle and flag stanchions.

Lettering on the tender sides is to be centered on two lines in 9" letters: S. I. R. T. on top, with R Y. C O. below. For B & O, it would simply be just that! There will be a 1" gold stripe running just below the canted coaming of the tender top sides and a 1 1/2" gold stripe about 4" up from the bottom edge of the tender body sides.

The locomotive number will be 8" centered on the cab sides with a numeral on each side the center board dividing the panels. 1/2" gold striping centered on the wood boards outlining the lower cab sides frame the number. Another 8" number will be centered on the back wall of the tender, under the headlamp.

The steam and sand domes each get two 1/2" gold stripes, separated by about 16 scale inches or so. An 8" gold number is centered on each side of the sand dome. Last, a gold number for the round plate on the smokebox.

When new, rods were polished. On the SIRT rod wipe-downs seem to have been infrequent by the 1900s. Maybe some light weathering with some grease stains at the bearings.

Not really a slap-dash, hurry-up process, but it will be accurate for the 1890s.
If this sounds elaborate, B&O pre-1884 paint schemes were a lot more involved!
Ed Bommer

Tom-
Dempsey

Posts: 99
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: November 30, 2017,
Quote

Ed, perhaps a visit to a local automotive paint supplier for a pin striping kit might be helpful.

Robert

Posts: 399
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 1, 2017,
Quote

It sounds like it will be quite nice with the striping details etc. I suspect your fastidious enough to pull this off Ed. I hope the owner of this beauty will appreciate all the effort you into it. Whenever I go to Michaels I rummage through all the specialty paint brushes. There's one called a liner which is a long narrow design...it might be helpful to you.

Robert

Ed Bommer

Posts: 377
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 1, 2017,
Quote

Odd you should mention Michaels, Robert! I was there yesterday and I think I found something that may give the narrow width in silver that I need. I'm hoping to get it to draw narrower than 1/64" for 1/2" in O scale.
(In O scale, 1/16" is 3", 1/32" is 1 1/2" and 1/64" is 3/4"). I also got a bottle of permanent silver ink. I may have a narrow pen nib. Will need to work out something.

Back to brass: The boiler casing and back head was done.
Image

A strip of .010" sheet brass 1 15/32" wide was cut, a flange added and rolled around some steel pipe to curve it. It did take quite awhile to coax the brass into the radius needed to match the boiler. The part was rolled like dough, using decreasing diameters of round stock on a hard, flat surface, which gradually tightened the curve. The last was a small X-acto knife shank, then some fussy tweaking to get it to fit snugly around the back head.
Image

Then, bend a flange for the opposite side. Here is its fitted into the cab, over the motor.
Image

Next comes soldering the casing around the edge of the back head casting, then adding some cab details.
Later,

Ed Bommer

Robert

Posts: 399
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 2, 2017,
Quote

That's a nice piece of work Ed. That back head is quite appealing...nice early steam power detail. Overall the locomotive has plenty of eye appeal I'd say.

Robert

Ed Bommer

Posts: 377
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 2, 2017,
Quote

Got the boiler casing soldered to the back head.
Not quite so easy as I imagined. No real way to clamp the shell and back head together and having tinned the surfaces to be joined, it was all the trickier.

After a few fumbles, I tack soldered the two only at the very top, letting the rest of the casing remain loose.
Then I put the back head bottom in a vice. With a resistance iron and a wooden block as a follower (to keep the heat from undoing the top joint) I slowly set in the edges, first on one side from the top down, then the other side. A few tweaks of heating and pushing got the two parts into alignment.
Image

That done, it was time to add the cab details.
This will not be a super detailing job, but enough to suggest the 19th century controls inside. First was the reverse lever, then the vacuum brake stand. They are soldered to the flange on the lower right. The brake stand has a bracket which was soldered to the side of the boiler casing a well. A set off gauges and some piping that leads to the vacuum brake vapor ejector canister on the roof was also put on.
Image

Next will be installing the throttle. It has four parts to assemble: The throttle lever, a throttle rod clevis, the throttle rod tube to the steam dome (which a shut-off valve) and a small quadrant with notches which in real life holds the throttle in a position when set. Very tiny parts here!

The throttle assembly has a boss upon which it's soldered to the boiler top. The tube will extend forward to slip into the exterior tube leading to the steam dome. While it might help align the casing to the boiler, I will also add two brass finger extensions to the casing. They will fit inside the boiler for that job, minimizing stress on the throttle's very small solder joint.

Ed Bommer

John-
Webster

Posts: 20
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 3, 2017,
Quote

For your striping you might consider drafting pens. They have tubular nibs fed from a reservoir in the pen body and will use any ink or paint you can get to flow through the nib. Many nib sizes are available, you might want .25mm (.010"). The nibs are long enough that you can use them with a straightedge.

I am enjoying your tutorial on brass mongering.

Ed Bommer

Posts: 377
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 3, 2017,
Quote

Thank you for that, John.
I've been looking for something like them. But the only ones I've seen so far are the cheap pre-loaded black pens which also go down to .25mm. Hard to find any manual drafting stuff around Tulsa. I may need to do a web search.

I still have my drafting tools from the 1950's, including the ancient, adjustable bow pens.
They are quite tricky to use! My technique was marginally OK back then.
In inking a drawing all, would be fine until the last line or two.
Ed Bommer

Ed Bommer

Posts: 377
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 3, 2017,
Quote

At last, he boiler shroud for the motor is done! Well, at least as far as I am going with it. Once inside the cab, most of the details will be difficult to see anyway.

Here is the detailed engineer's side, left to right:
Tri-cock on back-head. It's used to determine the water level in the boiler (absent a sight glass - I may add one). Valve and wrapped steam line for car heating. Steam pressure and vacuum gauge. Top mounted throttle. Vacuum brake valve. Piping detail that includes a line for the vapor ejector canister on the cab roof. Reversing lever.
Image

Of course the real loco had more controls. There would be a right side injector valve with related piping, the cylinder cock lever, the sander lever, a tallow pot with lube lines to the right cylinder (under the boiler jacketing, brackets for the oil can and lantern. Above, hanging from the cab ceiling would be a lever for the whistle and a bell cord.

The left side would have some details too, but they are not on this part. Basically, the left side injector valve and its piping as well as a tallow pot for left cylinder lubrication. Both would be below the cab window sill level on each side. The whistle lever would have a pull down on that side, as well as the bell cord, which like the whistle lever, would be "Y" shaped so it could be pulled on either side of the cab.

But to stuff all that detail inside and cover it with the end wall of the cab makes that work in vain. So what's there is basically what one sees, peeking through the cab windows.
Image

I did not put seats in the cab. First the space is very narrow. Second, given all the engineer had to do on a 5 1/2 mile run with 8 station stops and 15 grade crossings covered in just under a half-hour, there would be precious little time to sit!

Even at the end of a run, the cab crew was busy checking over the loco, oiling around, cleaning out the ash pan and topping up the water besides running the loco around the train to couple onto the opposite end for the trip back. They worked a 10 hour shift back in the late 1800's.

Oddly, that same run today between the St. George Ferry Terminal and Arlington on Staten Island is covered by an MTA city bus. It consumes a little over an hour along the Richmond Terrace route, given the many stops and congested traffic along the way. When SIRT ran its electric MU cars, the St. George to Arlington trip by rail was covered within 20 minutes, end to end.

Ah, progress!
Ed Bommer

Robert

Posts: 399
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 5, 2017,
Quote

Your knowledge of the prototype helps so much in bringing this special model to the stage of completion seen here now. The magnification feature on this forum is an excellent aid when following such an interesting project too. When I look at what you've built so far I myself no longer have any hesitation when considering a brass project. I may not build one this special, but my soldering equipment has a prominent space in my workshop and the recollection of what and how you did all this will stick in my head. I'm looking forward to the paint work, it should be very informative.

Robert

Ed Bommer

Posts: 377
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 8, 2017,
Quote

Posting error

Ed Bommer

Posts: 377
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 8, 2017,
Quote

A few more steps along the "Way of the Forney."

I decided to add a water glass, which shows the level of water in the boiler. It's on the engineer's side and has two shut off valves, in case the glass gets broken. These little locos operated at about 150 PSI. Not terribly high, but high enough to be dangerous if the glass broke, with steam and scalding water jetting out under pressure.
Image

The short tube represents the metal casing in which the sight glass is mounted. I filed a flat face on it which represents the sight glass. Since it can be seen through the cab window, the face will be painted silver for water and white for steam. It is aligned with the tri-cock on the back-head.
Image

Then, a patterned deck for the gangway between the cab and tender. It was made from scrap salvaged from a badly damaged Loco Workshop UP DD-A-40X I rebuilt and repowered for a friend in the early 1980s.
Image

Ed Bommer

Ed Bommer

Posts: 377
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 8, 2017,
Quote

Here is the gangway plate in place on the firing deck.
Image

It will be attached using Barge Cement. That way, it will be set in to fit close to the base of the back-head. The amount of heat needed to solder it to the deck would undo other small parts soldered on in that area. Also, aligning the close fitting part would be more difficult.

In case you are curious, here is a photo of the Locomotive Workshop UP Centennial I rebuilt for my friend in 1982.
Image

It was powered with two 9xxx series Pittman motors, each driving a truck having a set of Central Locomotive Works gearboxes on each axle. I had to build an under frame for it.
I also designed and installed compound articulation for the coupler mount on each end, a enabling that very long loco to traverse a 72" radius curve. It had constant/directional head and marker lights, as well a working strobe light on the cab roof.
My friend passed away a few years afterward. The family sold his models. I don't know where the UP loco went.

But this little 0-4-0-T, which I also rebuilt for him after it ran of his layout and crashed to the floor, appeared on e-bay a few years ago.
Image

Ed Bommer

Ed Bommer

Posts: 377
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 11, 2017,
Quote

Back to the shop and more work on the Forney.

The project is winding down. Only a few more things more to make for it. Only two are of any size. They are the back wall for the cab and the fire box sides under the cab.

The back head extends slightly beyond the end of the cab. I had to do some creative filing of the casing end where it meets the boiler, as it was slightly off center.
Image

A cardstock pattern was made to fit into the end of the cab and around the back head. It is for the inner sheet, which outlines windows in the wall and doors. An outer sheet will be made with those opening slightly larger, as well as lower panels for the doors. It will provide some depth for recessed window sashes. Each sheet will be cut from .010" thick brass. The assembled wall will be soldered to the boiler casing and have small screws in the upper corners to secure it to brackets under the cab roof.
Image

Here is the pattern, fitted into the end of the cab after some fussy trimming and fitting with a razor blade and some files. The wall of course is largely guess work on my part, from peer though the cab in that Arlington 1900 photo. The doors were open in that photo, but the middle windows stood out better. I put double sashes in the end doors but might take them out since the front cab doors do not have them.
Image

The remaining work is largely small, fiddly stuff: rigging the whistle correctly with rods and a lever, installing the front end steam and vacuum brake lines, checking the seating of the steam and sand domes on the boiler to minimize gaps and setting up the bell and bell cord (which are removed for painting the loco).

Ed Bommer

Ed Bommer

Posts: 377
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 11, 2017,
Quote

Well that last photo did not 'take'!

Here it is:
Image

Robert

Posts: 399
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 12, 2017,
Quote

Patterns are a good aid to getting proper fitment. I learned about making useful patterns when I worked in a sheet metal shop...that was long ago but seeing your use of the technique reminded me of those days. A bell cord is a detail I've never added so I will be studying your approach to it.

Robert

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