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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was recently inspired by the live steam railtruck that was built by Sonny Wizelman and which competed in the 2008 drawbar contest at Diamondhead...and won it's division, I might add.

I started looking for 1:20.3-scale plans for an early 1900's Model-T truck as the basis for my scratchbuild. In the August 2004 issue of Garden Railway Magazine, a Ted Stinson plan set was included for a 1927 Model-T Oil Truck and will be serving as my underlying design for the Model-T Railtruck. This scaled drawing is available from Sidestreet Bannerworks. I also found that Northeast Narrow Gauge (nemodel.com) makes model kits in its Tin Lizzy line that has some of the more difficult parts, such as, radiator, steering wheel and headlight castings for the 1927 Model-T.



Although I was able to find documentation that Model-Ts were used as Rail vehicles, what I want to do won't be prototypical. I want to power it with a propane-fired boiler and steam-motor. But I want to stay close to the Model-T dimensions. The trick was going to be finding live steam components that'll stay within the dimensions of the Model-T vehicle. My initial searches didn't turn up any candidates until the last weekend's steamup, where Sonny gratiously brought his railtruck. It was obvious that staying within the confines of a 1927 Model-T truck was going to be difficult , if not impossible without making major extensions to the truck bed. But, lo-and-behold, Sonny's next live steam project required a small steam motor, boiler, and propane tank. Sonny had acquired the steam components for a "Pepper" locomotive but had since decided on a different solution and was about to return this little German made steam motor to Lutz Hielscher at www.hielscher-dampfmodelle.de. Size-wise, it looked to be just what I was looking for, so we made a deal. I now have a small steam motor, boiler, and propane tank hat will fit very nicely into the Model-T truck design requiring only about 3/4" overall extension to the length of the truck.


Steam motor/Boiler/Fuel tank dimensions/specs:

Overal motor size: 2" tall x 1" x 1/2".
This wobbler engine is geared 40:1 to the main drive axle thru an integrated gear train.
The flywheel is 1/2" in diameter.
Piston diameter is 3mm.
Stroke is 5mm.
The final drive (integrated axle) is 2.5mm in diameter.



The single-flue boiler is 35mm in diameter & 56mm tall.
The chimney is 26mm tall x 12mm in diameter.
The boiler water capacity is about 30ml.
Steam outlet pipe w/feed-thru lubricator is .080" diameter.
The burner is an external blow-torch type aimed at the L-shaped flue.



The butane fuel tank is plastic 2 3/8" long x 1 1/8" x 7/8".
w/built-in needle valve and on/off lever.


Here are the steam components assembled.


The initial "will it all fit" drawing shows the placement of the all essential running gear.


The initial testing I did was to see how the burner performed. Like most needle valves, it has a very small range between all-on or all-off.


The basic frame will be made from .032" thick brass plate and 5/16" square oak truck bed beams. The drive
wheels (rear) will have external ball bearing journals to minimize friction. The front wheels will also have ball bearings, but the journals will be on the inside of the frame.


Once I get the frame made and the steam components mounted, I will test to see how much weight this little beast will
hustle down the track. According to Lutz, this steam motor and it's gearing should have no trouble.

Any and all feedback will be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Posted By steamboatmodel on 05/05/2008 6:42 AM
Fantastic idea! How long does the motor run on a tank of fuel?
Regards,
Gerald

Gerald...
I haven't tried testing run time yet, but the literature says about 15 minutes of run time can be expected. As soon as I get the undercarriage built, I'll give it a time test. I'm still looking for micro-miniature ball bearings (2.5mm inside diameter)for my journals...hopefully that'll help squeeze more run time by introducing a minimum of axle friction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Posted By Jerry Barnes on 05/04/2008 8:49 AM
Neat idea, look forward to the story. Might submit it to Steam in the Garden, Ron is always looking for articles. No pay for them, but you don't get paid here either! Jerry

Jerry....that's a great idea...I might just do that. Thanks:)" border=0>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Posted By norman on 05/06/2008 10:24 PM
Hi There:
Here is a factory model of a Stanley steamer automobile. I don't know what the wheel gauge is. The mechanical components may be usefull for your project.
http://www.ministeam.com/acatalog/Hielscher.html
Norman





Thanks Norman....the steam engine/boiler/burner/tank I'm using all came from Lutz Hielscher at www.hielscher-dampfmodelle.de. Apparently www.mimisteam sells his stuff stateside.

Of course, I'm not going to have to convert automobile running gear to run on the tracks, so I don't have to mess with steering, etc. The hardest part I have is designing and making the wheels/journals and undercarriage. The cab and hood should be pretty easy.

Again Norman, thanks for putting me onto another Hielscher product source.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have worked out some of the detail planning for making the undercarriage, which includes Front Pivot Bolster,
Journals & Wheels, Rear Journals & Wheels, the brass Frame and the hardwood truck bed supports.
I've located the miniature ball bearings from www.bocabearings.com and have them on order (they actually
shipped today). Also ordered the 2.5mm & 6mm drill & reamer for making a snug home for the bearings in my
journals and for drilling the wheel hubs for the 2.5mm axles.

Anyway, here's my working drawings, so far.





Still have to do some adjustment to the brass frame drawing once I receive the radiator casting.

Since I'll be using modified "Ozark Miniatures" fully sprung Journals, part#1010, with an axle that is integrated
directly with the gear train and steam cylinder, I will have to mount the little engine in a way to handle the range of movement allowed by the sprung journals.

Now I need to find a source for 4 of the 10 or 12-spoke wheels...outside flange diameter is 1.563" If someone
knows of a source for machined wheels, I'd appreciate getting a contact.....but if I have to machine them myself,
then so-be-it. It's just that I'm in the process of machining 16 wheel castings for my Class A Climax project and I'm sick of wheels right now./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif

More later!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I received my bearings from Boca Bearings....boy are they little ones 2.5mm x 6mm. The
Tin Lizzy kit arrived from NENG, so I'll be using the radiator, headlights and
steering wheel castings. I got some wheel castings from Diana and Tom at
Sulphur Springs. They aren't quite the size I wanted, but I'll be able to machine
them to close to the size I want. They are cast iron.....my first attempt at
machining this stuff... any tips will be appreciated!!

I made the frame from .032" thick brass sheet and will attach the 2 Oak deck
beams (5" x 21/64" x 1/2") using hex head screws. The truck's bed decking and
cab floor will be 1/8" thick mahogany plywood scribed to represent individual planking.
The initial mockups of the truck's cab and hood/radiator was done and redone to get a fit. Particular attention was paid to the clearances needed for the butane tank & burner, since they will have to fit under the hood and pass thru the cab. The cab and hood/radiator will be made as a single removeable (lift-off) assembly. This should allow for easier refueling The cab will be made of .015" thick brass sheet.

I've decided to give a try at making a working hinged hood, like the real Tin-Lizzies. Here's my first attempt at a practice hinge. It'll take 3 hinges. Also shown is the radiator casting.

The hood pattern shows the placement of the 3 hinges. 1/16" brass wire will be soldered to the end-most edges of the hood. The upside-down Us are the front and rear hood supports. They are 1/8" brass U-channel into which the hood's soldered end wire will fit when closed.




I'll be using real glass (microscope slides) for the front windscreen. The lower half will be fixed, while the top half will swing out on a brass pivot at each end of the top edge.
Once I get the wheels machined and know the dimensions, I can finalize the design for the journals and I can machine them.
More later!!
 

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Hey Howard,

Have you ever run across the following article, take a look at how Marc made his wheels...

Tin Lizzy
By Marc Horovitz
 

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Howard, Looking good, I really like the idea of a steam powered truck. I was looking at your front axle design, does it swivel? If so how is it steered? With only 4 wheels and a very short wheel base I think it would work fine with a fixed axle. My little rail truck has two fixed axles and has no trouble with curves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Posted By placitassteam on 05/24/2008 9:43 PM
Howard, Looking good, I really like the idea of a steam powered truck. I was looking at your front axle design, does it swivel? If so how is it steered? With only 4 wheels and a very short wheel base I think it would work fine with a fixed axle. My little rail truck has two fixed axles and has no trouble with curves.



Thanks Winn, for the inputs.
Interesting that you should ask about the steering:) As you can see I've designed-in axle bearings.....the idea being to reduce as much friction as possible since the steam motor is low powered. A swiveled bolster was to also help reduce drag in a turn, but I hadn't thought too much about fixed axle drag. Thinking more about the need for steering I'd recently had moved the bolsters pivot point forward of the axle and added a swingarm in order to add a centering spring.

I'm still considering making a separate axle for each front wheel to even cut down friction a bit more. This may be way beyond what is needed, but I do some of these things just to see if I can do it/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Posted By SteveC on 05/24/2008 2:11 AM
Hey Howard,

Have you ever run across the following article, take a look at how Marc made his wheels...

Tin Lizzy
By Marc Horovitz

Steve...I had seen this article awhile back but had forgotten about it....thanks for the reminder and the link.
 

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Hi Howard: That looks like a fun little project. And a nice job on it to boot.

Those cast iron wheels should turn fairly easily. If they are the same quality as a Stuart-Turner engine kit, they will turn like a dream. Turn cast iron at a much slower speed than other metals. The first cut is very critical. Run the lathe at the slowest speed and take a somewhat deep cut. You are trying to get under the outer scale of the casting on the first pass. Once you are into clean metal, the rest of the process is pretty much as you did on the bronze wheels for your Climax.

Once in a great while cast iron develops a hard spot. It is called "chill". Chilling happens when the iron cools too quickly in the mold. Chilled spots are impossible to machine. Ask to casting supplier for a replacement.

Looking good, Bob
 

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I understand someone had and Accucraft "Goose" at DiamondHead that had been converted to live steam.
Do you know what Live steam engine they used and would the little "PEPPER" engine work.
Just looking for someway to use the "GOOSE" since I have trouble getting the "Sparkie" pickups to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Bobs...your comments are always appreciated. I read somewhere that the first...break-thru-the-outer-scale-cut...should be with a carbide tipped cutter. After that, HSS cutters are sufficient to finish the task. We'll see how it goes real soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Posted By gibs035 on 05/26/2008 4:57 PM
I understand someone had and Accucraft "Goose" at DiamondHead that had been converted to live steam.
Do you know what Live steam engine they used and would the little "PEPPER" engine work.
Just looking for someway to use the "GOOSE" since I have trouble getting the "Sparkie" pickups to work.

I wasn't at Diamondhead, but the rail truck that got me started on my Model-T rail truck was at Diamondhead. It's sorta resembles a "Goose", but isn't. Sonny Wizelman, the builder, used a Graham Industries http://www.grahamind.com/hm1.html HM1 Horizontal steam engine kit and a Heritage vertical boiler converted to butane.
As for using the "Pepper" steam motor, I'm not to sure if it's strong enough to propel it down the track, since the Goose locomotives all appear to be larger and heavier than what I'm building. My Model-T Railtruck is just 10 inches long.
Another problem converting a Goose to live steam would be the plastic material it's made from....that won't mix well with the burners heat.
 

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Posted By maculsay on 05/26/2008 10:05 PM
Thanks Bobs...your comments are always appreciated. I read somewhere that the first...break-thru-the-outer-scale-cut...should be with a carbide tipped cutter. After that, HSS cutters are sufficient to finish the task. We'll see how it goes real soon.




If you use the proper carbide cutter you can do the whole thing with it.
Regards,
Gerald
 
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