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Discussion Starter #1
I have a LGB Sumpter Valley Mallet that I converted to a 1:20 loco some time back. It's no longer a SV Mallet, now its a smallish narrow guage mallet. At any rate, I never was a big fan of oil burner's so I decided to start converting it over to a coal hauler.... I forgot to take a real before pic, so here's pretty much what it looked like to begin with.



Here's the frame to hold the boards



The boards in place (for now)



The back wall of the bunker. You can also see the sockets for the electronics. The switches change frequencies for the air wire the silver plugs are battery jacks and the gold plug is the interface for the phoenix card.



I have to make a run to the hardware store tomorrow morning for some supplies. I'm going to try to make a removable coal load like Kevin did in Garden railroad magazine.
I'll post more pics as I go.

Terry
 

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Terry,
Does your SV have the original LGB sound/decoder? If so, did you have any issues installing airwire? Can you provide any pictures / narrative about the airwire install?
Thanks,
JimC.
 

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Terry,
That is looking neat. I don't think I have ever seen a conversion going that direction before.
I convert all mine the other way.
Later
Rick Marty
 

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What are the dimensions of the coal load? I have a couple cast loads for the MDC ore cars here (3-3/8 x 7-7/8) they could be cut a bit if needed, painted black and have a thin layer of fish charcoal or something glued to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jim, I had a friend who wanted the LGB sound so I totally removed it and installed the phoenix P5. I'll open the tender up and give you some pics of the airwire install. Originally I had the speaker in the loco but when the double chuff would really get going the small speaker would distort really bad. I think the Watts on a P5 are a lot higher than the LGB sound board. I gave up and put a large speaker in the tender, it made it sound so much better.

Rick, where I grew up, I only knew of coal burners until I was a teenager. Then I thought why would anyone use anything but coal? I have just never cared for the look of the oil burners, good thing we all have different opinions or trains would look pretty boring. :)

Mik, I appreciate the offer but I think I'm gonna try my hand at a home grown coal load. Kevin's article was interesting and it seems fairly straight forward.
 

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Terry,
Do you still have the oil hatch? I could use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sure do. Contact me off line.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I got some more work done this morning

Front frame painted and boards installed.



Detail of the back. It's amazing how bad a camera makes a little dust look. It's hardly noticeable to the naked eye....



Overall picture from the back



Finally putting in the ground work for the removeable coal load. This is the glue soaked paper towel that the coal will be attached to. Thanks again for the idea Kevin.





Waiting for the glue to dry pretty much shuts me down for awhile. I'll be back with more pics when everythings dry.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here's some more progress. I checked the glue soaked paper towel this morning and it still wasn't dry. My patience (of which i have none) got the better of me and I made a shelf out of 0.10 styrene. I split it so it would slope down towards the front.

[/img] I put some blue foam in the front to fill in the gap.

[/img] Plastic in and ready for the coal

[/img] I pounded the coal in a heavy zip lock freezer bag. I used roofing tar to hold the coal down, then dribbled white glue on top to secure it. When thats all dry, I'll mist it with more glue and put coal dust on it.

[/img]

[/img]
 

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Hope your fireman is a BIG boy. Some of those chunks would easily weigh 20 pounds each! NOT trying to pick on you. I've seen a lot of other modellers do this, too....... Fresh mined coal WAS in big irregular chunks like that. However large pieces simply do not burn efficiently. So it would then be crushed and screened by sizes. Hand fired boilers could use chunks up to about as big as your fist, too small, though and it would just fall through the grates. Stoker equipped ones (and most mallets were too big to hand fire) required a size similar to kitchen or "nut" coal -- about the size of a hazelnut or acorn -- to keep it from jamming the auger. Many more modern applications even use stuff the size of your fingernail or smaller so it burns more quickly and efficiently. Except for a few two bit operations, or where the RR superintendant was a jerk, back in the day railroads tended to get VERY good coal for 2 very good reasons. 1. They used a LOT of it, so were a big revenue source for the mine owners, and 2. The mine owners were pretty much dependent on the railroad to get their product to market.

Just some useless trivial that I've picked up over the years that I thought I'd share. Offered free and probably worth about that as well
 

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Discussion Starter #11
They are a little big, but that is mostly fill. Once the first layer dries I'll sprinkle smaller stuff over the top and reglue. But you bring up a good point, my railroad is a two bit operation so maybe I should leave the coal a little big.
Thanks for the info.
Terry
 

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If your Super or division manager was a jerk, and tried to squeeze the mine owners too hard... then they'd send him the fines, the mixed stuff that fell off the conveyors, and boundary area stuff, like cannel coal, which is a pain to fire with. That made for unhappy, overworked firemen, who made for unhappy engineers, who made life miserable for the mechanics by being rough on equipment... Sometimes the owners caught on and fired the guy who actually caused the problem. Other times the new hires and misfits got stuck in that division because word always gets around and anybody who could transferred out as fast as they could arrange it.

Transition era, and shoestring shortline managers often tried to cut costs by cutting quality (which cost more in the long run) -AND/OR- tried to make steam look as ineffient as possible so they could get the boss to purchase dismals sooner by inflating the cost and labor savings figures (which probably worked)....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Failure.

While it killed me to wait for the sealant to dry, I did. I found it strange that it wouldn't set up for me. Then I read the tube of sealant I used, and I quote "will not shrink, crack or HARDEN". The glue set up nicely on top but if I pull the plastic wrap out the sealant just oozes slowly to the sides sealing the load to the tender wall. So, I went back to the hardware store and got Black tub and tile caulking which will set up. The other thing is I got a few emails and a post on the coal size being too large. I pretty much have to agree so I'll do that over. Thanks for the tips on that I really do appreciate it. I'll be back with more pics after York. :)
 
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