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1st Class Pirate
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody!
Well the pirates are getting restless! Now they have stolen, I mean acquired a 1912 C-cab Ford oil tanker. Who knows what they are thinking! They'll probably want to build a small fast hauler to get their "ill gotten booty" to the hideout in the mine.

I decided a while back that I really wanted to build a C-cab railtruck. Goes back to my hot-rod and drag racing roots. Anyway I started collecting parts for this at Diamondhead in January. The truck is a 1/24 scale die cast bank I found on E-Bay. I plan to use the cab and front fenders only. Here is the basic truck.

And here are the parts I will use.


The original idea was to use a Midwest Heritage boiler and engine that I picked up as a kit at the flea market at Diamondhead. I put the kit together and talked to several steamers about it. While it runs good and is kind of fun, it just does not have the power I am looking for. I got a lot of advice from Harry Wade about the boiler and decided to leave the kit intact as a stationary engine.

So I built my first boiler, actually as I write this, I am building my first boiler. I am waiting for a few supplies to arrive before I finish the boiler. It is a vertical boiler about the same size as the one in the Midwest kit, but is much thicker materials. I used 2 inch type L tubing for the body. Using the post from Larry Herget on his coal-fired Ruby construction, (found in the "Informative Threads Index" here in My Large Scale under Live Steam) I formed the flanged ends from 1/16 thick copper sheet. I turned a hardwood former for this and used a c-clamp instead of doing it on my lathe. I decided to add "hedgehog spikes" to help the heating process. I did the boiler work late nights after working all day and did not take pictures while building it. It is all soldered with 70% silver solder. (1275 F melt) I will be building a gas burner for it and will try and take pictures as I go.
So now I was needing to decide on the power for the truck. I had these two 10mm Ruby cylinders left over from the Mason project. (I upgraded it to 1/2 inch cylinders) Problem was, I had no valves for them. I thought about building a valve for one of them and using a single cylinder for power. I looked hard at whether I could machine a piston valve accurately enough to work. On the advice of a friend I called and talked to Dave Hottmann about this. On Dave's advice I called Cliff at Accucraft and checked on getting a valve. I now have a complete valve assembly coming, both sides and the reverser valve. This of course started me thinking about using both cylinders and having a truck that could pull a car or two. Hmmmm. So this is where I am right now.

What to do? As you might guess by now I am not planning this thing at all. I have no prototype, no pictures and no drawings. Seems to be more fun this way. Don't know yet what wheel arrangement or wheels or anything else yet. More to come !

redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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Larry,
Ya thinking of putting the cylinders vertical?
 

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1st Class Pirate
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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Bruce,
Cylinders Vertical? HMMM Next you'll be asking about gears...................
Larry

jtutwiler,
Thanks,
In my case I think its impatience that fuels me........or is that fools me? Anyway it's got to be fun!
 

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Larry,
You have become addicted to the small and unique, a fine group to be sure.

Another Larry
 

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1st Class Pirate
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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Bruce,
Don't know if you will see this before you take your "timeout" but after I spoke with you I decided against mounting the cylinders vertically. I am also pretty sure I am going to go with two drive axles.

Hi Larry,
Thanks for the comment, I think I resemble that remark. I definitely march to a different piano than most. As I said earlier the whole idea for me is to have fun in my shop but away from my work. I hope to have this one and possibly another engine ready for Diamondhead. As well as some rolling stock for the pirates to pull.

Howard,
You can be sure I have been following your log. I kind of felt odd starting this while yours is going on, but there really was no direct influence. Except that I also saw Sonny Wizelman's "Matilda" article and knew that I was going to build a truck. My design is still floating about but is beginning to gel. Since I am pretty sure that I am using both Ruby cylinders, I am probably going to build it so that it can haul some cars around. I am very pleased with how your truck is looking. Let's both keep "truckin"!

Anyway here is how my thinking is going today.


But all of this could still be tossed out if something else pops into my head. More Later!

redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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1st Class Pirate
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707 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Hey Howard,
Thanks! I guess you could call it a cab-forward.......but I think Dwight might argue that point! hehehe
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956

Hey Gerald,
Hmmm........an oil tanker..................don't think the pirate railroad uses much oil!
Good point, but what I am looking for is to have enough space in the truck bed to at least imagine something being hauled back there. Thats why I decided against mounting the cylinders vertically above the axle, used up too much of the cargo space. The suggestion is good....imagine a small tanker car behind a small loco with no boiler..................oh no not another idea !
Thanks for the comment, having too much fun!
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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1st Class Pirate
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Discussion Starter #11
Next installment!
I built the burner out of copper tubing using the basic layout from the plans for "Idris" by Dave Watkins. This is found on a link from Vance Bass. http://www.nmia.com/~vrbass/steam/drawings.htm
I did not follow it but used it as a basis.

I turned a jet from brass stock and soldered it directly to a piece of 1/8 inch copper. I figure I won't be changing it! Here are the parts finished;

and here is the burner putting out some heat!

This is as far as I can go with the burner until I make the boiler base and mounts. I am still waiting on a couple of fittings for the boiler, so the tuning of the burner will have to wait.
More to Come!

redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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Hi Larry,
Cool project! I have a similar ring burner and vertical boiler in my "Vermod" (http://wegmuller.org/trains/live_steam/vermod/index.html). See the last picture at the bottom of the page. I am very happy with this burner: it is quiet and economical. The Ruby gas tank I use is good for at least two boiler worth of water. Each run lasts between 15 and 20 minutes.
 

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1st Class Pirate
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Discussion Starter #13
Hi David,
Thanks for the comments!
I looked over your Vermod page, pretty cool!I have a feeling I may be setting myself up for a disappointing performance. Several friends have e-mailed me to let me know my boiler is too small for the two Ruby Cylinders. At this point I will probably continue and see what happens. I built the mounts for the truck cab today. Here is a picture of the cab mounted;


As to the boiler situation I'll just worry about it for now and keep moving.
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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1st Class Pirate
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Discussion Starter #14
I started on the truck bed last night and finished almost all of it this morning. I left the rear edge open as I have not yet laid out where the fuel tank will be. Right at the end of the bed underneath looks like the best location, but I have not decided yet. I needed to get the bed firmed up and mounted so I could build the boiler mounts. Here is the bed from the topside;

And here it is from the bottom;


Onward we go!
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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1st Class Pirate
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Discussion Starter #15
Today I built the mount for the burner. The bed will have a large hole underneath the burner to supply air for combustion. This will be bored the next time I take the bed off the truck. Here is the burner mount.


I also finished the boiler itself, so I built the mounts for the boiler also. The tape around the boiler is in place of a brass band that is not made yet. I still have not decided if I am going to wrap the boiler with wood. So the boiler bands are waiting for that decision to be made. I want to fire everything first and see how hot things get before I decide to stick some planks on the boiler. I have seen a few blackened planks on gas fired vertical boilers! Anyway here is the boiler mounted.


I will have to put this aside for a few days and attend to the real world before I get caught! Much more to come!
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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Hi Larry,
From the last photo it looks like you are adding a water gauge, plus I have notice a few extra holes in the boiler top? I found out that the fill bushing that comes with the boiler kit is threaded on the inside the same thread as the Wilesco safety valve,(it is also the same thread and fitting as a lampshade retainer).
Regards,
Gerald
 

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1st Class Pirate
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707 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Hi Gerald,
I think you may have missed that I decided against using the Midwest engine and boiler. The boiler in the picture is one I built from much heavier materials. I decided to use butane to fire the truck and the consensus was that the Midwest boiler was not heavy enough for gas firing. I am using a water gauge on the boiler, and the four fittings on the top are safety valve, goodall valve, throttle (steam outlet) and gauge. So if I read your post correctly, the water fill bush on the Midwest boiler is the the same thread as a Wilesco safety valve? That could be a handy thing to know.
Thanks,
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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1st Class Pirate
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Discussion Starter #18
Hi everybody!
I would say that I'm back, but I didn't go anywhere. I had to tend to some house repairs that were left over from Ivan. Still not quite finished but I needed to get back to my train bench and try to get things moving again. I have been at a slowdown because I needed to machine a throttle valve. I have not run a lathe for about 20 years, and needed a little refreshing. But I have made my throttle valve this weekend. First picture is the needle during machining. It is turned from 1/4 inch brass hex stock.


Next picture is the needle finished with o-ring.


Next is the body of the valve. It was made from 5/16 inch brass hex stock.


And finally the finished valve temporarily threaded onto the boiler.


Threads on the needle and inside the block are 3/16 x 40. Mounting threads are 1/4 x 40. Hopefully I can do an operational mock-up now to see if the boiler will run the two Ruby cylinders.
Onward we go!
redbeard AKA Larry Newman SA #1956
 

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Hi Larry,
I guess running a lathe is just like riding a bike: one never forgets! The throttle looks sharp, can't wait to see the truck fully plumbed...
 
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