6-14-08 ... Can't believe it! ... Finally delivered today!!! Only 2 years
late .... So now we can finally get around to using our summer to finishing
this one. Starting first on building the stack and bringing the exhaust
up into it. Then the cab, electrical, light, sand dome, etc.
The trailer was not quite parallel with the track .... had a partial derailment ... needed the Handy Man jack and "Big Blue" my trusty tractor! ... But ... All's well that ends well! ...More photos and day by day happenings a ways below.
9-22-08 Update ... Started cutting sheetmetal 16 gauge with plasma cutter I
bought ... wasn't powerful enough .. took it back and got one that will cut
1/2" steel. Want one to cut out track flanges, etc too when building switches.
Is a lot handier than a torch and doesn't heat the rest of the metal and warp
it. Rear door finished and built in seats for me and fireman finished .. pix
shown below show the metal seats down and folded up hidden inside the frame.
Dave Moeller and I have about 12,000 square inches of sheet metal to plasma
cut next. We are going to put it up with large self tapping bolts.
The tender will have the flared sides at the top.
Even when both seats are down there is almost 2 feet of room between them.
8-29-08 Update ... I took Thursday the 28th off yesterday and worked on "The Brute" by myself
for about 8 hrs. finished extending the frame to a total of 8 inches and finished
framing in the engineer, fireman and front windows. When I quit it was 110 degrees.
Today on the 29th Dave Moeller and I put in another 5 1/2 hrs. Finished building the box
around the forney attached tender. The 1/4 pipe for the rear corners really
finishes it off! Tomorrow we will put the 4" middle risers on for the roof
centers and bend the flat bar to bolt the sheet metal to. Also have the
hinged top and back door for the tender to build along with the fold down
in frame seats. Had to order an additional 60' of 1 1/2" tubing and it and
the two 5' x 12' x 16 gauge sheet metal also came in today.
8-26-08 Update ... Took in our 4" pipe for Gerlinger to section into forths with their plasma cutter for the rear corners of the cab yesterday .. should be done today .. for us to weld in Thursday morning. Dave and I have finished 70 percent of the cab it's self ... doorways and windows almost framed in in steel of course. Wood and glass doors at the very end. No photos till roof and all is framed in. Is very impressive, I have designed in frame steel fold down seats for engineer and fireman. And there is enough room for 4 additional adults to stand in this cab. Over 50" wide, 72" high, about 7' 6" long. The entire engine with out a tender is 17 feet long. I ended up deciding to widen and lengthen the frame of the cab by 8 more inches. Dave & I will also cut all the sheet metal with a ceramic saw. This way I am not dependant on a plasma cutter. This project will take longer than we thought ... but it is worth it.
8-22-08 UPDATE ... TODAY IS OUR 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF STARTING OUR LAYOUT
And .. Today for the first time in 12 days Dave Moeller and myself spent half a day finishing the main cab frame, 2" and 1.5" square tubing, cutting, drilling and bolting in the removable X-member so the water tank can be removed if and when needed.
We will spend more time tomorrow getting door ways and windows framed. Plus we still have the forney tank area to frame up and the roof to build.
8-10-08 Update ... We have the cab now well underway .. after a mock up I decided to go an additional 4" wider .. so cab will be 50" wide and still 72" tall inside. This gives us a little more room inside and looks a lot better too. It is good to be chop sawing and welding again. I am taking photos as I go .. will post them one of these days.... 8-14-08 ... I have finished designing removable cab X-members so the water tank can be removed intoto for service or repair because upon closer inspection the threaded components were locked into the frame as per Melvin. But this is what makes this so much fun .. solving a one off all original creation from scratch ... this is like taking all the models you ever built as a kid and rolling all that fun into one!!! Like the switch Dave & I designed and built in the middle of a curve, etc. that we were told couldn't be done!
And as another note .. emails we receive like from Chris Walker in New Zealand who has now learned to weld and create and design his own layout .. this is what this is all about.
Update 8-8-08 ... We were out of town last weekend and now have Bryan our 13 year old grandson with us now for the next 10 days ... Have all the steel and design done for the cab .. will start on it a little this morning .. should go very fast when Dave Moeller and I get a couple of mornings to put in on it full time.
Below is a photo of all 3 engines I took on this mornings walk since I had them all out for Beck's Cousin, Linda, family, Bryan and Kathy, Rob, Sydney and Shelby to ride.
Update 7-27-08 ..The only change you can see in the photo below is of the bumper and flag holder we installed above the pilot (Cow Catcher) .. I also built most of the rear hitch and welded it on. I also ordered all the steel for the cab Saturday.
Update 7-20-08 ... Mike Rumrill delivered the funnel stack that Becky wanted made for "Big Brute". He did a marvelous job! The stack will look better size wise when Dave & I get the large Forney syle cab finished in the next two months or so.
Udate - 7-14-08 .. Finished putting the copper bands on the engine today, also the measurements for the exhaust steam hose ... will pick it up later this week. But here are 2 photos I just took this evening. I would like to thank Timberline Heating and Air for cutting and donating the 3" bands for this engine as they also did for our other two engines. We have used Timberline for all our home and business for years.
6-21-08 Update to my build sheet and journal.
I removed the old school bus seat, will have the doors at the back where the seat was and we will make fold down seats closer to the controls for the engineer and fireman.
I have done a lot these past 2 days. More painting, brass out of the cylinders into a Tee and gate valves to adjust steam up the stack or out the side. Drilled holes thru the 1/2" floor and re-routed hoses thru the floor into the cab. Fabricated brackets and placed bolts thru the floor to hold hoses, etc in place below the floor. Cut 3" angle iron (scavanged from the seats) clamped and ready to weld tomorrow ... Mike brought me some aluminum diamond plate for the floor area above the back truck and where the doors will be. ... I will install it tomorrow. I also made brass to go up 9" and into the stack on both sides. Made a template for Mike to contour the sand dome and stack bases to fit the boiler with his plasma cutter.
10/28/07 Update ... Melvin lost one full year trying to develop 1st a liquid propane burner and then a kerosene burner ... He finally did just what we had talked about in the beginning like Little Bubba has with a tried and true vapor propane system. Melvin had also started a steam car for himself and used my engine to test his theories out on as he can't run vapor propane in the car. But that's just Melvin ... the crazy genius ... can't push these guys.
The fantastic news is that it works way better than any of us had ever dreamed possible ... It will start in the middle of a 6 % grade .. steams up in 1 hr and 15 minutes. And the 2 burners he had already built from scratch work absolutely perfectly with huge BTU's in the larger tubes. I had found a 35 gallon propane tank and it is not freezing up as the 2 burners only have to run on low ... even with just the pilots on the pressure only drops about 40% in 4 hrs. of just sitting there.
So ... Now Melvin has to finish up the mechanical feed pump and a few other things so when I get delivery we can finish the cab, put in the Penberthy lifting steam injector, electrical, paint, etc. etc. ... was supposed to be my last summers project ... oh well ... will have next spring and summer ... I usually move very fast weather permitting. I also have to route the exhaust up and build the stack. It does sound very very good as it is. Melvin is afraid to change the draft as it is so perfect now ... but should not be a problem as I can build adjustable vents in the bottom of the stack. I have to have the stack talk too! .... Oh .. and this engine has huge hydraulic disk brakes off a truck! .... one finger pressure to stop it ... Plus .. We also have brakes on the caboose too
Now ... Back to our Forney .... Below see how a sliding steam valve works ... see the top cut precisely down. Mel Harris of Harris Locomotive Works and Ray Bennett another friend are shown below .. Without Melvin we couldn't have done our live steam layout.
This new engine will be able so seat 3 average sized adults side by side in the cab or 2 very large adults.
Most of the above photos are older ones when we started this project .... The following ones are the newer ones since we finally got back on track with this project. Below are photos of the nearly finished boiler. The outer shell is a full 1/2 inch thick. To show the size of this one I had Dave Moeller stand behind it.