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1st Class Pirate
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A while back I found that these brass "Automatic Center Punches" from Harbor Freight had many uses as raw materials for making train parts. There are two sections of threads that are just right for making stacks.




This picture shows the punch disassembled and the sections that I will use.




Using my little Chinese lathe, I cut off the sections.




Using a hacksaw blade, I cut off sections to use as the knurled nuts to hold the stack on.




Here are the parts that I use from the center punch for 3 stacks.




For the curved washer that seats against the inside of the smokebox, I use a brass pipe coupler as it is about the right wall thickness. A. First I file a curve into the end of the fitting. B. I use a socket that is the same diameter as the Ruby boiler for a guide. C. This shows how the curve fits the inside top of the smokebox.
D. Then I cut the fitting end off and start the next curved washer. this shows the fitting with the curved washer and knurled nut installed in the smokebox.




Here I am shaping a copper washer to the curve of the boiler. I clamped one edge of the washer to the socket and tapped down the other edge. I ended up using two washers on each stack so the flange would be thicker.




Here is the copper washer laid on the top of the boiler to check the fit.




Next I cut tubes for the stacks, for these stacks I used 1/2 inch K&S tubing. Then I soldered the two washers and the threaded fitting to the tube. This shows one soldered, and the layout of the parts.




This shows one of the tubes installed in the boiler, and the other two tubes next to it.




That is all for me tonight, tomorrow I will decide what type of stacks these will be and make the upper sections.

Larry (redbeard)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Jeremiah!
Thanks Bob!

Well I did the first one and as I went to take a picture of the stack I realized that I did not photograph any of the procedure. Been that kind of week! Anyway here is a picture of the first one and I will try and remember to take pictures on the next two.






More to come!
Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I had finished another stack before I got the idea to do a thread on making stacks. This one has a turned top on the stack that I made in wax and cast in brass.





This stack is already up on Ebay.
Larry (redbeard)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This will describe my painting procedure for most brass and/or copper components. For cabs and larger pieces I usually bake the paint on, but for stacks I find it makes little if any difference in the durability. (by this I mean that they chip just as readily baked on as not baked on - I think it is because they are usually hot when you chip them) First I put a fairly rough surface finish on using a 3-M style rotary scratch brush or 280 grit sand paper. After this I wash them in dilute dish detergent, dry them with a clean towel, and dip them in white vinegar. (the vinegar gives the paint a slightly etched surface to grab to) Rinse in water and do not handle with your skin any more, (I use wire to dip and hang them) and use heat to dry. I use a 100 watt light bulb for this. Make sure you clean all bolts and screws well as they sometimes have oil on them.





I have been using Krylon rattle cans since I started building and am comfortable with them. Paint with whichever paint you prefer. This stack has a removable top, so I prime the pieces and let them dry, then I paint the places that will be inside with the color coat. (in this case flat black)






After the paint is dry on the pieces, I assembled the stack and paint the outside with the flat black.




And here is the painted stack!




More to come!
Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The third stack will be very similar to the one I built for my Ruby Heisler project, an oversize diamond stack. This stack is made up of cone shaped sections. Cones are made from arcs or sections of circles. There is a fair amount of geometry in determining the shape of the arc to make the size and angle of the cone desired. In this picture A shows the card stock pattern for the lower cone in this stack. This cone has a 5/8 inch radius on the small end and a 2 1/16 inch radius at the upper end. B shows the mandrel I made for forming stacks, I did the first couple freehand and decided I needed a mandrel to get things straighter. C shows the card stock pattern on the mandrel, and D shows the .010 brass piece being shaped around the mandrel.




Now I have a slip-up, when I work alone I often forget to take pictures as things seem to flow sometimes and I just keep on. So I did not get a picture of the soldering on the lower cone. Once I got the brass shaped around the mandrel, I marked the edge where one side overlapped the other using an Ultrafine Sharpie. Then I clamped the piece with a pair of "toy size" vise grips. (these will show up in a later picture) I soldered the seam, cleaned and dried the piece and this picture shows the cone being re-shaped with a small hammer on the mandrel.




This picture shows the "scratch brush" I mentioned earlier in this thread. I used this to clean up the cone after soldering.




This picture shows the clean, soldered cone on the mandrel.




In this picture E shows the lower cone in the approximate location on one of the tubes made earlier in the thread. F shows a sheet of .016 brass marked to make a disc to go at the top of the lower cone. I use a unibit or stepped style bit for thin sheet brass and copper. Note the first hole on the lower edge of the picture in G, I forgot that very thin sheet like this .016, works better if you drill a fresh hole in the wood block under the brass.(drill the wood and sheet together instead of drilling over an existing hole in the wood) In the lower one I used the hole in the wood from the previous stack and the bit chattered just enough to make hole loose on the tube. H shows the disk on the tube with the lower cone.



In this picture I am using a large socket as a weight and jig to hold the disc in the cone. This is where I need the hole in the disc to be snug on the tube. The disc centers the cone and the snug fit keeps in in place for soldering.




In this picture I have soldered the outside edge of the disc to the inside of the cone. Once again I forgot to stop and take pictures, but I removed the cone and disc from the tube, took the tube out of the socket, put the cone and disc back onto the tube and soldered the tube to the disc and the bottom of the cone.




In this picture I am laying out the cardstock pattern onto the .010 brass sheet for the upper cone. This cone is the same angle as the lower but angles in instead of out. This section has a 2 9/16 inch radius at the bottom and a 1 5/8 inch radius at the top.




This picture shows the brass section cut out. It is formed around the mandrel like the lower section.




This picture shows the "toy like" vise grips clamping the section for soldering. Once again I failed to get pictures of the next steps. I cut a 3/8 inch strip of the .010 brass and made a straight sided loop or ring out of it that fit into the top cone section.




This picture shows the upper cone and the ring soldered in place.




I ground off the excess solder and used the "scratch brush" to prep the stack for paint. This picture shows the stack on a Ruby chassis before painting.




This picture shows the stack after painting.




Have to try and sell jewelry this weekend so there may not be any posts till next week.
Larry
 

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Beautifull Larry! I always enjoy watching you create. You come up with the best improves to get around a lack of machinery. Those are gorgeous stacks.
 

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Larry,
nice stacks! We also had to make cones for my Betsy project. David transformed my spread sheet into a WEB based program, which even prints out the pattern. You can find it here:

Cone

Regards
 

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1st Class Pirate
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Randy, Henner and Chas !
I love the cone program Henner, what a time saver! Will that stay online?
Larry
 

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Posted By redbeard on 22 Jul 2011 08:27 AM
Thanks Randy, Henner and Chas !
I love the cone program Henner, what a time saver! Will that stay online?
Larry Yes, Larry, it will.
Regards
 

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Larry,
Very nice work.
Definitely the work of a craftsman.
Now, WHY not sell to the UK?
Is this to get back at the manufacturers over there who will not sell to North America?
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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Larry, As the proud owner of a piece of your railroad artwork I think you've got a limited market. So worthy of your time.... I'd considered asking if you'd consider doing some work for me at some point....

Chas
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I finally got to the fourth stack today. This one is model after a Civil War era 4-4-0 American style locomotive stack. First a big thank you to Henner for the cone program! HUGE timesaver! I printed this cone on card stock for two sizes of tubes.



Next I cut out the pattern, transferred it to .010 brass sheet, and cut out the brass.




Next I formed the cone shape (by hand as this one does not fit my mandrel) and clamped it.




Because this cone is taller and narrower, I am putting three 1-72 bolts in the lap joint on the cone. This picture is espacially for Dwight.....he hates it when I drill holes by hand! (.010 brass easy to bend while drilling)




Here is the cone shaped, drilled and bolted and slid onto the tube.




Next I marked a disc for the top of the stack on .016 brass. Then I drilled the center hole to fit on the tube. I made this disc 1/4 inch larger than the top of the cone because I am going to "dome" it.




Using a jeweler's shaping hammer I hammered the disc into a mild dome shape. Then I formed a lip over a large socket to stiffen the disc edge and give more soldering surface. The dark coloration on the brass is from heating with a torch to anneal the brass.




Here is the hammered top.





Next I fit the top into the cone, clamped and soldered it.




Here is the stack soldered and cleaned up.





Here is a front view of the stack mounted on a Ruby chassis.




And here is the stack painted.




I believe that this concludes this stack thread.
Larry
 

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Hi Larry,
Great looking work.
" Using a jeweler's shaping hammer I hammered the disc into a mild dome shape."
Could you post a shot of the hammer? Is it like a small Ball Peen?
Regards,
Gerald.
 
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