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Author Topic: Brass Mongering
Ed Bommer

Posts: 393
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 13, 2017,
Quote

Besides making and using patterns, I also make use of a punch list. It helps to list the various parts and kinds of work still needed, lest something is overlooked, forgotten, or done out of turn. By that I mean something being worked upon that would need to be undone to do what should have been done before.
A punch list needs to be made up on a regular basis, to keep it accurate. Especially with detail work.

Here's the Forney with its punch list from last Saturday.
Image

The Forney has the front steam line and vacuum brake line installed. They are secured to a boss on the right side of the cylinder block casting. The front ends of the pipes have a small clamp and nut/bolt detail which pins them to the pilot beam. That way, the cylinders can be removed from the frame with the pipes intact, when it becomes time for painting. I also made new lubricator lines that fit between the boiler jacket and the top of the valve casing, because I lost those I made last month. Yes, 'it' happens to me as well!
Image

Similarly, the whistle was fitted with a closer to prototype rod and beam linkage, rather than the awkward bent wire Gem used. The prototype whistle was operated with a pull-down handle in the cab. That in turn pushed up the linkage in front of the cab to open the whistle valve. A return spring on the whistle and weight of the linkage shut it off. The linkage was made with .019" diameter brass rod with loops to hold a .010" x 1/32" brass strip drilled on each end for the lift beam.
/Image

Just stalling I guess, before hacking into a sheet of .010" brass to make that end wall . . .

Ed Bommer

Ed Bommer

Posts: 393
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 24, 2017,
Quote

Well, it's been a while since the last Forney message. With a stretch of warm weather here last week, I used the time to catch-up on yard and outdoor repair work on the house and shop building. Now it's cold again, with some snow and ice yesterday.

I've been avoiding the back wall for the cab. Made another pattern for it and tinkered with the door and window arrangement. So instead, some fussy detail work was done.

Waist sheets were made for the back end of the firebox. These are plates that support the boiler on the frame. They are sheet steel plates riveted to brackets at about mid boiler and at the back end of the firebox, which in turn are also riveted to the frame with brackets.

They are designed to allow the boiler to expand from the steam chest rearward. Heat generated for running expands the boiler, sometimes expanding it enough to make the cab sit at a slightly tipped-back angle! That effect can be seen in some steam power photos.

On this model, these back end waist sheets fill lower corner openings on each side of the back head.
Some .010" thick brass sheet (cut from an ancient brass boxcar side with humongous rivet detail) supplied the material and my NWSL arbor press riveter helped make the blot head details for them.
Image

Each sheet was custom fitted to its location, due to slight variations between the right and left sides.
Image

Then, sweat-soldered into place after tinning the contact surfaces.
Image

Ed Bommer

John-
Wubbel

Posts: 72
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 24, 2017,
Quote

Ed,
I have been following your beautiful work in brass. Thank you for posting the detailed photos.
John

Ed Bommer

Posts: 393
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 24, 2017,
Quote

The next item was making fire box side extensions. These were made from the same .010" thick brass. However, the stay bolt pattern on them had to match what Gem had on their parts. This proved to me more difficult than expected. The spacing of them on the Gem parts is of course metric. The spacing side to side and top to bottom is almost but not quite 3/32".

After making and tossing aside two efforts, the third was closer, done with mincing counts of the riveter's table adjustment wheel: - two full turns ahead, three marks back, keeping track of that point on the wheel before continuing to the next impression. I eventually used a strip long enough to impress the bolt heads for both sides, then cut them to fit. Here was "effort two", when trying to make them separately.
Image

A flange was bent so the bottom edge could be soldered to the motor-mount floor. The bottom edge of one end was cut away to fit over a frame cross member. The sheet was cut so that the bolt head detail matched the original sheet at a butt joint. That will be backed with a strip of .005"sheet brass sweat-soldered to join both. The butt seam face will be cleaned to minimize the visibility of the joint.
Image

I kept the height of the firebox extensions the same as the Gem, even though its about 1/8" below the bottom of the cab floor/deck. That gap will largely be unseen after the loco is painted black. It will also provide some ventilation for the motor, which is otherwise enclosed inside the cab's boiler casing.

Making haste slowly . . .
and also wishing all a very Merry Christmas holiday and all best wishes in the coming New Year,

Ed Bommer

Robert

Posts: 378
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 25, 2017,
Quote

I missed following your project for the 11 day gap. But your back and making progress again. Merry Christmas to you as well Ed.

Robert

Ed Bommer

Posts: 393
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 28, 2017,
Quote

At long last, making the back wall for the Forney cab underway.

To make certain it fits the wall will be checked against the cab opening many times. A necessity because the cab was not perfectly squared when put together by Gem back in 1972.

Here the cardstock pattern is fitted into the back of the cab. The brass wall when done must follow the arc of the roof and meet flush with the inside surface of both walls. There will be a slight gap at the cab floor for the doors on each side. The back wall also wraps around the back head, which extends slightly into the firing deck.
Image

The back wall will be made with two sheets of .010" thick brass. They are cut square to the widest measurement between the inner sides of the cab. They will be soldered together with seams along the top edge and both sides. The first move will be trimming along the curved top edge and fitting the wall into the opening.
Image

Next The bottom edge will be cut away for the back head opening. That will be done by drilling a series of holes around the opening's edge. That will be done after carefully re-measuring the distance between the top of the boiler casing and underside of the cab roof as well as between the sides of the boiler casing and the cab side walls. Then at last, cutting away the center of both sheets at the same time. The fit of the back wall blank must be as accurate as possible, because it will be soldered to the removable boiler casing.

More to follow!

Ed Bommer

John-
Wubbel

Posts: 72
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 29, 2017,
Quote

Thought I was the only one that has trouble making things square. How many times trying to be careful, measure twice cut once and still a piece is not perfectly square. Don't try to fix it that never works out for me. I usually throw the object in the brass junk box and make a 2nd one. In your case the only alternative is to make the card stock pattern to try and compensate have patience and work it out. Nice work by the way.

John Wubbel

Ed Bommer

Posts: 393
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 30, 2017,
Quote

The Cunard Line with its regular as clock work trans-Atlantic ocean liner service used to advertise "Getting there is half the fun."

So to with work on the Forney. It's been an interesting challenge to see how close I could bring a 45 YO 1880's Illinois Central Forney model to a Staten Island Rapid Transit 1890's loco.

Now the back wall for the cab is on the bench, the last major part I'm making for this model.

The two sheets of brass were edge soldered along the top and both sides. Just enough to keep them together while cutting out the opening for the boiler casing/back head. That opening was scribed on the brass wall sheet and a series of 1/16" holes were drilled around the inside of its perimeter.
Image

Then, the opening cut away using a pair of Xuron nippers between the holes on both sides, because it's two sheets of brass being cut at the same time.
A Dremel cut off wheel was used to carefully grind away the material up to the scribed line. Half round files were used to smooth the opening and dress the edge to fit neatly around the back head.
Slow and somewhat tedious, but I got there, always keeping in mind it's easy to remove stuff, but impossible to put it back if too much is taken away.
Image

The back wall fits snugly into the cab end. I found that two tabs I made for the back wall to be soldered to the boiler casing were too far back. Thee need to be tweaked inward to get the back wall flush with the cab sides. There are six windows and two doors with recessed panels to cut out. That work will be shown later.
Image

All the parts for this Forney fit snugly. Because of the alterations made, it's more complicated to disassemble and re-assemble. I will be writing up an instruction manual to go with the loco, as well as provide a few specialized tools for that.

But that stuff is at the end of this voyage, after celebrating the painting striping and lettering to come.

Ed Bommer

Robert

Posts: 378
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 31, 2017,
Quote

That's an interesting point...an instruction manual for the future as well as specialty tools that only you know about as the builder of this masterpiece. Your a thoughtful fellow Ed. Whoever owns or will own this beauty is most fortunate indeed.

Robert

Ed Bommer

Posts: 393
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: December 31, 2017,
Quote

The back wall of the cab now has windows!

As with the opening for the back head, the areas to be remove had holes drilled along their perimeters. The material was nipped away and he openings filed to size.
Image

To help with removal, I also used a milling bit in the Dremel tool, to bring the rough openings closer to their scribed lines. Two fine pattern needle files were used - one was flat, the other triangular. The triangular file helps make a very neat, squared corner with few deft moves.
Image

When filing, helps to draw the file only two or three times on the work then check the progress. Slow as that might be, it enables greater accuracy and avoids removing too much material.

It was important that the windows be precisely located, in line and squared up. Since the cab body is slightly skewed because of factory assembly errors back in 1972, this became a game of "let's see how close we can get here."
Image

These window openings are the size of the glazing. Recall that I made this wall with two sheets of brass soldered along their edges. Next, they will be separated and the window openings on one sheet will be made 1/32" larger on all four sides. This will represent window framing when put back together. That sheet will also have two more openings cut into for the recessed door panels to show.

Lastly, two door handles and two hand grabs on the outer sides. Getting up into the cab from the firing deck is a two-step proposition, along with a rather narrow door to open and get through. A judiciously placed hand grab for each door would be big help!.

Ed Bommer

Ed Bommer

Posts: 393
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: January 2, 2018,
Quote

Moving ahead on the back wall for the cab, after the windows were cut out and filed to size, the two sheets were separated. The face sheet windows were cut 1/32"wider on all four sides, to create sashes for them with inner wall sheet. They were filed to size, doing all that fussy window work over again. Working on top of a block of wood with the files helped.
Image

Every thing was checked again, to assure the openings were square, in line, and when the outer sheet is laid over the inner sheet, the window sashes were even in width, top and bottom side to side. Next, openings for the lower door panels were cut into the outer sheet, using the same method as for the windows. They are the same width as the full window opening, but somewhat shorter in height. The inner sheet which models the panels was scribed with four lines on each lower side for the door paneling on both sides.

Engraving tools would be much better than what I used. But I do not have any. I made the panel groves by first marking the opening edges for the panels on the inner sheet by scoring a single edge razor blade around the openings. The crosswise areas for the door panels were scored with four evenly spaced lines. This replicates the 'scribed' paneling of the cab's front doors and sides.

The scored lines were deepened by scraping them beside a straight edge with an old small screw diver with its tip ground to a sharp edge. This is done slowly, taking care NOT to get off the line! The groves were cleaned up using a dental pick, moving it back and forth and clearing away the loosened brass debris. Very fine emery paper and 0000 steel wool was used to clean the area. It took a few more 'round trips' with the screw driver blade and dental pick to deepen the grooves enough to show reasonably well.
Image

Now the two back wall sheets must be soldered together again, taking care to keep them perfectly in line with each other. Added details will be door handles, grab irons and a small shelf above the back head for an oil can or two, maybe even a coffee pot? Following that, the cab's back wall will be soldered to the boiler casing to become a single, removable unit.
Image

Ever Onward!
Ed Bommer

Robert

Posts: 378
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: January 2, 2018,
Quote

If I understand correctly you scribed what amounts to a "V" shape groove first, and then "squared" it using that custom ground Screwdriver tip...is that correct Ed? Just how wide are the finished grooves? Nobody can accuse you of taking the easy route in this build.

Robert

Ed Bommer

Posts: 393
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: January 3, 2018,
Quote

Oh, the grooves are still "V" shaped since the screw driver blade corners meet at the altered tip in a "V". The bottom of the blade is no longer flat. The blade leaves some roughness in the groove, which is scrapped away with a sharp pointed dental pick.

The grooves I made are narrower than those GEM did on the cab sides and front doors but the scribed boards are about the same width. It was a spur of the moment decision to make those grooves. I did not care for the plain sheet look of the door panels. After all, its an 1890's all-wood cab.

The back wall area around the back head also being wood, was not scribed. It may have had sheet metal applied over its wooden sheathing because off flames that could shoot up when the fire-door is opened. Well, that's my story about it!

I ran into a snag yesterday when trying to re-solder the two back wall sheets together. Some how they slipped a bit. Less than 1/64", which sounds trivial. But it affects how those 1/32" window sashes look!. Expansion from heat as well as maybe too much solder creating 'float,' likely caused the misalignment.

Instead of tinning with solder stripes along the sides, I will try tinning as 'buttons.' That may reduce the likelihood of 'float' on liquid solder between the two sheets. Also, the application of heat needs to be done carefully so that everything is smooth and even across the back wall, with no expansion humps. I will need to improve the jig that holds the two sheets in alignment for soldering. No heat creep!

We shall see . . .
Ed Bommer

Ed Bommer

Posts: 393
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: January 3, 2018,
Quote

OK< here's the Forney cab's back wall, now in one piece again. I added the door handles and hand grabs (.025"diameter brass rod) after getting it together.

Two small shelves will be attached as well.
Then, it gets attached to the boiler casing / back head.

Tomorrow!
Ed Bommer

Image

Ed Bommer

Posts: 393
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: January 4, 2018,
Quote

The wall is finished at last! Well, the back wall of the Forney's cab, that is.

With some tinkering with a strip of scrap brass, two little shelves were made for the back head.
Image
Getting them made to the same size is tricky!

Then they were soldered to the wall, just above the back head and below the two middle windows.
Getting them aligned and equally spaced was a little tricky. Each took a second of third miniscule move after heating with a resistance soldering tip to adjust their positions.
Image

The oil can will be buffed up with steel wool and cemented into one of the shelves after the painting is done. I may add a second oil can. What about a coffee pot? It would be kept hot there!
Such stuff would not all that easy to see, yet something to catch the eye of anyone looking closer. . .
Image

This concludes all the major brass work.

There are a few little things left, such as covers for the gear box. Also installing a Precision Scale bell and working over the whistle lever linkage again as I've grown unhappy with it. That happens more than I let on.

Then too, mulling over how to make two Eames vacuum brake cylinders and their linkage, which fits under the cab and along the frame. A vacuum brake cylinder is smaller than an air brake cylinder. It looks somewhat like a low, squat ice cream cone, in having a half-round head and tapered body. It works by pulling upward on the lever and linkage to apply the driver brakes. The more I look, the more things I find to do!

Disassembly, cleaning, inspecting, painting, striping and lettering are coming around the next bend.

Ed Bommer

Robert

Posts: 378
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: January 5, 2018,
Quote

The more detailing you do, the more you want to do. What you've completed already would stand alone as exceptional work. But I understand the pursuit of more and certainly this particular loco is going to be scrutinized by many and is representative your workmanship so you want to make it special...as your doing. If you think a coffee pot would add to the model then go for it but no need to add coffee Ed.

Robert

Ed Bommer

Posts: 393
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: January 10, 2018,
Quote

"I'll bet you can't eat just one!" was a famous line for selling Lays potato chips some time back.
For me, detailing work is very much like that!

In essence, the Forney is now ready for the paint shop.
All put together, sporting a new PSC bell, brake and steam line hoses on each end along with emergency and bell cords, what else could there be?
Image

(Sigh!) Wellllll - there is no hand brake for the loco. How would it be tied down and made secure without one? It would be on the front right bulk head of the tender body to secure the brakes on the trailing truck. In all likelihood, it was a simple post and lever set up with a ratchet and dog, like that on a open platform car.

Then, how are the driver brakes applied?
More chips to munch on here.
Image

Enlarged photos of SIRT Forneys show an Eames vacuum brake cylinder in the shadows, tucked under the cab on each side.
A pull rod reaches straight down to a brake lever which is pulled up to apply the brake.
That lever runs parallel to the frame, with a short bell crank at the end for pulling the brake shoes against the drivers.
There is also a bail, or safety strap to hold the rod up from the ground, should it become detached from the pull rod.

Also, the Eames brake cylinder looks like no other.
There is none in 1/4" scale that I know of. Scratch building is needed.
The top is a rounded head, almost hemispherical that is about 18" scale in diameter.
The lower end is pie-pan like, a cut-off cone out of which the pull rod extends.
A "Y" shaped pipe joins both parts with its tail leading to the brake valve in the cab.

This device hangs from brackets under each side of the cab.
Look for the 'mushroom' in this photo of SIRT 21.
That's the Eames vacuum brake cylinder, with its pull rod, bail and lever.
Image

Ah, sounds so simple!
Ed B

Robert

Posts: 378
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: January 10, 2018,
Quote

What a remarkably nice photo of the prototype! I've been around small steam at the old Edaville, MA railroad. Those were 2ft narrow gage...but this is reminiscent of those engines.
The "mushroom" is mounted just forward of the steps. Is that right?
Painting this beauty will be a task for sure...and your easily up to it Ed. Avoid the urge to rush as some might.

Excellent Project indeed.

Robert

Robert

Posts: 378
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: February 3, 2018,
Quote

I watch this thread almost every day for a paint job update. Ed, are you the painter for this or has it been handed over to someone else perhaps?

Robert

Ed Bommer

Posts: 393
Post Re: Brass Mongering
on: February 3, 2018,
Quote

Well, I got stalled with other projects around the house. Wall board repairs, painting, putting up shelves and fixing the wall behind the washer and dryer which previous owners had done hack jobs fitting in their appliances. Since my 8th decade arrives soon, I want to get the house into better shape in case another move is needed.

The Forney is all in pieces. All parts have been check over again, joints cleaned where needed, washed with lacquer thinner and denatured alcohol. Air-dried, they sit in a plastic tub with a cover to keep dust out. I lost one of the parts several days ago - the cinder dump pipe. It's small, made with three sizes of brass tubing and a thick brass washer cut down as a flange. It finally was found at 8 PM last night.

The next step (after painting the inside of the pantry closet and shelves this AM) will be making jigs and platforms to hold small parts while they are air brushed. The painted (and trimmed where needed) loco parts will be re-installed on the painted boiler/cab unit and frame. Sort of like a classic car restoration done the correct way!

Will have a few photo shots of the process as it develops.
Thank you for your interest.
The next step after the Forney is done, will be building some Pullman Palace Plan 70 coaches for it.
These 'china cabinets on trucks' can be seen as the last two cars in the prototype photo at the beginning of this tread.

Forward!
Ed B

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