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Scratchbuilding a side discharge rotary snow plow

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 11:57 PM

Simon and others,

Thanks for answering the coal vs wood question. I'm glad that it would have used coal because all of the details that I bought for the backhead are for coal fired units. All I have to do now it try to find a diagram of an early backhead so I can figure out what goes where. I'll start with the Precision Scale parts catalogue.

Any input would be appreciated.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, March 17, 2022 12:01 AM

By the way, I just want to clarify the fact that I am not a rivet counter. If it's close, it's good enough, and if it's not close, I'll just run it to the far side of the layout when the experts are visiting.Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, March 17, 2022 5:20 PM

I don't know if it would be of any use to you, but I have several boiler shells for Bachmann's Consolidations.  They're pretty-much complete, except for lacking cabs and the fact that the boiler below the walkways, other than at the smokebox, is not modelled.
Here's one of those locos, with a few added bits...

Here's one of the boiler castings...

Wayne

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, March 17, 2022 6:58 PM

doctorwayne
I don't know if it would be of any use to you, but I have several boiler shells for Bachmann's Consolidations. 

Hi Wayne,

That is very generous of you. Thanks!

I think that the problem with those boilers is that they would be too wide to be housed inside the snow plough body. There will be approximately 10' of clear space between the walls, and the crew has to have enough space to get past either side of the engine in order to operate and service it. In fact, the layout that I plan on using will require the engineer to stand beside the boiler in order to operate it. Most of the controls are located on the side of the firebox. Here is the Precision Scale diagram that I am using as a guide:

I have ordered most of the PSC parts except for those related to the braking system since I am just going to use a manual brake. Some of the detail positioning is a bit difficult to figure out, but, like I said, I'm not a rivet counter so close enough will do.

The backhead that I am using is 68" wide. That leaves 26" on either side, so the space is limited even with the smaller boiler. I haven't been able to find many views of the inside of a steam powered rotary plough, but one that I did find showed the engineer having to turn partially sideways to get past the engine. That suggests that the 26" space is reasonably close to the real thing.

Here is the Precision Scale website. They have tons of neat stuff, and the castings are very high quality.

https://www.precisionscaleco.com/

Thanks again Wayne!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, March 17, 2022 7:48 PM

The diameter of the Bachmann 2-8-0 boiler, minus the running boards,  appears to be about 90" (HO) at its widest point.

Wayne

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, March 17, 2022 9:08 PM

doctorwayne
The diameter of the Bachmann 2-8-0 boiler, minus the running boards,  appears to be about 90" (HO) at its widest point.

Hi Wayne,

I recalculated the inside width of the plough body and it works out to about 116 scale inches. If I were to use the boilers you are offering that would only leave 13" on either side. I'm basing that on the following approximate dimensions:

Outside width of the plough body - 11' (132")

Wall sheathing thickness - 2"ea x 2 = 4"

Reinforcing beams for the inside of the walls - 6"ea x 2 = 12"

Width of firebox - 68"

132 - 68 - 12 - 4 = 48" or 24" per side.

That space will be further restricted by the controls like the throttle and reversing lever etc. that will be on the side of the firebox. The engineer will have to be pretty skinny!

I am guessing at the wall and reinforcing beam thicknesses. The picture I saw showed some fairly substantial beams in the walls as well as in the roof. Logic would suggest that the plough body would have been more substantial than a regular boxcar or caboose. Maybe someone can give me more accurate figures.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by PM Railfan on Thursday, March 17, 2022 9:12 PM

"Maybe someone can give me more accurate figures." - Dave

 

I'd say Olive Oil (from Popeye, not the liquid) might have an accurate enough figure to fit in there Laugh

 

Douglas

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, March 17, 2022 9:17 PM

PM Railfan
I'd say Olive Oil (from Popeye, not the liquid) might have an accurate enough figure to fit in there

That's a great idea Douglas! I could dress her up like an engineer!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, March 17, 2022 11:02 PM

I started a thread on the Prototypical Forum asking what brake system would likely have been used on the plough. Dave H. (dehusman) pointed out that the answer was obvious. The brake system is clearly visible under the door in the picture I posted. He has much better powers of observation than I do!

He identified it as a 'K' type system. He recommended that I have a look at Tichy who have a very nice molding that includes all the parts of the system. I'm going to order one.

If you are interested in reading the brake system thread, here it is:

https://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/13/t/291809.aspx

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, March 18, 2022 5:09 AM

After doctorwayne offered me a boiler, I thought that I would do a bit more work on the one I am scratchbuilding. My first step was to temporarily epoxy the backhead to the firebox. It soon became obvious that it wasn't a good fit. I started to try to modify the firebox but I realized that getting it into the correct shape was going to be very difficult and not worth the effort. So, I removed the firebox entirely and I am in the process of building a new one which hopefully will fit the backhead.

Here is the disassembled boiler. Not much left except the boiler itself:

Here is the new firebox being formed around the motor for the blades. I had originally planned on having an Old Timer style of boiler where the firebox portion was bigger than the front of the engine, but the backhead that I purchased from Precision Scale turned out to be the same size as the front of the boiler. So, the boiler will be the same diameter from the smoke box to the backhead. No big deal. It was easier to make a short addition the the boiler instead of making the whole thing over.

Here is the backhead. I have purchased a ton of detail parts so I hope I can make the firebox end of the boiler look somewhat realistic:

Other minor bits:

I am in the process of figuring out how to mount the stationary front plough blades to the frame. I think that I want them to be removable which will add an additional challenge to the project. If I can get the rotary blades spinning smoothly then being able to remove the front blades may not be necessary.

I had to adjust a couple of the ribs in the vertical stationary plough blade to get everything to line up. I got lucky. The first attempt at getting the ribs adjusted worked perfectly!

When I was studying the brake gear I noticed that the tall ladder did not have simple straight rungs. The rungs are actually 'U' shaped like those on a typical freight car. I have a bunch of ladders on hand but none of them are configured like that. Therefore I have decided to make my own ladder. The photos show that the ladder has seperate rails as opposed to having the rungs mounted straight to the shell. It will be a challenge to get all the rungs straight on a 14' ladder. I'm working on designing a jig to get the rungs straight. The other question is whether I need a ladder on both sides. I suspect I do.

The other thing I did tonight was to cut a hole in the roof for the cupola. That was much harder to do than I thought it would be, and as a result it took the better part of an hour to cut through the rather thick Accurail roof. In the process I managed to break several of the joints where I had widened and extended the roof.Bang Head Thank goodness for styrene cement, except now the workshop reeks of it! 

Here is the roof as it sits now. I happened to have a Kaslo Shops spare cupola which I will convert from its original three front and back windows to the five window version that the plough used.

More later,

Cheers!!

Dave

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, March 19, 2022 5:12 AM

Tonight I managed to complete a task that I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to do because of my shakey hands. I was able to convert the Kaslo Shops three window cupola to five windows front and back. Here is the rebuilt cupola:

What suprised me the most was that my hands didn't shake throughout the whole process. Yes, placing the window frame uprights took a little time (to be honest, a lot of time) but the problems I encountered were related to getting the tiny parts cut to the right length and then positioned properly. The cutting was actually easy once I pulled out my NWSL Chopper II. It was the first time I had used it and I have to say that it worked quite well. Positioning the pieces was a different matter! I had to use CA because the cupola is resin. That meant that the slightest bit of glue on the tweezer tips or on the sides of the uprights caused them to stick to the tweezers instead of the cupola.

I also got the stationary blades trimmed. The next step there will be to figure out how to attach them to the front of the plough. I can't do that until I have the rotary blade drive system built and in place. That will tell me the exact position of the rotary blades so I can install everything around them. I still haven't received the parts from NWSL (Grumpy) so I don't know how long that will take.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, March 19, 2022 9:23 AM

Here is a bit more progress. I managed to attach the vanes to one of the rotary blade hubs. This is very much a work in progress so it looks pretty crude at this point. However, I am a bit pleased with myself in that it went together as planned. Next step will be to put it on a drive of some sort and see how concentric the blades are:

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Track fiddler on Saturday, March 19, 2022 10:40 AM

Good morning

Looks great Dave.  I think that's rather impressive how you got those blades you made to fit the hub so well.  I remember early on in your thread that you bought a new tool just to cut them out and cut slits for the inner flanges to be folded up-right.

Perhaps I missed something earlier on.  I don't know how you figured for the shape of the radius to became an ellipse as the blades angle down around the hub, but you certainly didIndifferent  I realize that was not an easy task my friendBow

If you don't mind sharing how you achieved the correct ellipse shape for the blades to fit around the hub so well, and what did you use to adhere them?

 

Thanks Dave

 

 

TF

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, March 19, 2022 8:58 PM

Track fiddler
If you don't mind sharing how you achieved the correct ellipse shape for the blades to fit around the hub so well, and what did you use to adhere them?

Hi TF,

I certainly do not mind sharing how I do things! That's why I do the threads. Besides, people can get a good laugh out of how crude my methods are!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

This is a case where the picture doesn't say 1000 words.Smile, Wink & Grin What you can't see in the previous picture are the small gaps between the blades and the hubs. These have yet to be filled with solder. In fact, there is a whole lot of work that has to be done to the blades starting with getting the blades straight and aligned with the front and rear edges of the hubs.

I initially attached the blades using 0.015" phosphor bronze wire from Tichy. I drilled two holes in the tabs of each blade, one at the 'front' and one about 2/3rds of the way toward the back. Then I drilled corresponding holes in the hubs and used the wire as a temporary rivet to hold the blades in place while I soldered them. Once the gaps are filled I will grind off the tabs and pins. These pictures aren't the greatest but you can see the pins:

As far as cutting the elipses, I really didn't bother. I cut the blades as close as I could get to the diameter of the hubs and when I installed them I just offset them to get the side to side displacement. It did leave a small gap as you saw in the previous picture, but that can be filled in.

The other thing that I will do is mount the blade assemblies on the drive system, turn the drive on, and then use a steel grinding disc in my Dremel to grind the outer edges of the blades so that they form a perfect circle (or something close). That will guarantee that the blade rotation is not off center. I will have to be gentle of course, but if I take my time it should work.

Cheers!!

Dave 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, March 20, 2022 10:08 AM

A little late to offer a suggestion but for the boiler you could use a stationay horazontal  boiler like those used in logging, they come in so many sizes, another would be a narrow gauge boiler.

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, March 20, 2022 9:21 PM

rrebell
A little late to offer a suggestion but for the boiler you could use a stationay horazontal  boiler like those used in logging, they come in so many sizes, another would be a narrow gauge boiler.

Hi rrebell,

Never too late! Thanks for your suggestions.

I spent quite a bit of time searching for a suitable donor locomotive for the boiler. I was hoping to get something from the late 1800s like this. There were lots available but not for a price I was willing to pay:

Image 1 - RIVAROSSI 1207 OLD TIMER 4-4-0 US LOCO INYO Virginia & Truckee Livery HO Gauge.

 

I am not happy with the boiler that I am working on now. It is the same diameter front to back. I liked the first one with the raised firebox much better. I scrapped it because the backhead I got from Precision Scale didn't fit properly. I think I will scrap the second boiler and go back to the first plan which looked like this. I will have to modify the bottom part of the firebox to get it to fit the backhead:

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Track fiddler on Sunday, March 20, 2022 11:32 PM

Thanks Dave

I've never been any kind of role model when it comes to working with metal.  Could be why I chose to work with wood most of my life.  Did all right with it in auto restoration.  But looking at that little rotor in your fingertips,  I think you're doing very well my friendYes

 

 

TF

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 21, 2022 12:34 AM

Track fiddler
looking at that little rotor in your fingertips,  I think you're doing very well my friend

Hi Kevin,

I'm happy with how things are coming along, but my work is still very crude. When I think of good metal work, I think of watchmakers, particularly those who were making watches 200+ years ago. The precision that they were able to achieve boggles my mind!BowWow

Right now I'm working on getting the parts surrounding the blades to match the blades. The first set of parts I made were close but there were gaps that just didn't look right. Amazingly, the blades came out to the correct diameter. I just have to tune them a bit.

The other thing I am working on is how to mount the stationary and rotary blade assemblies so I can get into the works to make adjustments. I have some ideas but nothing has popped out yet as being a sensational solution.Smile, Wink & Grin

I have also made some significant progress on the third version of the steam engine. I'm much happier with this one.

Thanks for your interest Kevin,

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 21, 2022 5:32 AM

Well, I seem to have cooked my Weller soldering gun! It is totally my fault. I was trying to fill in the gaps between the rotary blade hubs and the vanes and it took forever to get the hubs hot enough for the solder to flow. Alas, the iron seems to be dead. The tip doesn't heat up at all.Grumpy Yes, I was totally ignoring the 1 minute on/4 minutes off rule. My bad.

Oh well, lesson learned.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Track fiddler on Monday, March 21, 2022 6:52 AM

Good morning

hon30critter

 

 
Track fiddler
looking at that little rotor in your fingertips,  I think you're doing very well my friend

 

Hi Kevin, ......

Thanks for your interest Kevin,

Cheers!!

Dave

 
I don't get itHuh?
 
You must know as everyone does, Kevin's been absent for multiple weeks.  
 
 
Things that make you go hmmm???
 
 
 
TF
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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, March 21, 2022 7:08 AM

Well, there you go. 

Dave has now revealed what we have all suspected for some time now.

Track Fiddler is actually Kevin. No, wait, Kevin is actually Track Fiddler.

No, wait. Is this something more subliminal? Is Dave trying to tell us something?

Could Dave actually be Kevin? Or, is Kevin actually Dave?

Laugh   Smile, Wink & Grin   Whistling

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Track fiddler on Monday, March 21, 2022 7:13 AM

LaughLaughLaugh

And now nobody really knows?

Depends on how many computer screens and internet server accounts one has I suppose.

The Mystery BeginsLaughLaughLaugh

 

https://youtu.be/2ZksQd2fC6Y

 

 

TF

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, March 21, 2022 7:44 AM

TF, I am thinking of starting a new thread.

How about, Where In The World Is Kevin.

Or, Will The Real Kevin Please Stand Up. (think 1950s TV quiz show)

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Track fiddler on Monday, March 21, 2022 8:15 AM

LaughLaughLaugh

Post these in your thread to make it more fun but change Waldo to KevinLaugh

Maybe that would be a enough of a Lure to entice Kevin to call the Geek Squad so he can get back to his MR friendsSmile, Wink & Grin

 

 

TF

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 21, 2022 4:36 PM

Track fiddler
don't get it   You must know as everyone does, Kevin's been absent for multiple weeks.  

Sorry TF,

Senior's moment!Embarrassed

Thanks for your interest TF.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Track fiddler on Monday, March 21, 2022 7:16 PM

Evening

It's all good Dave.  We all have one of those once and a whileWink

At the very least you created some fun for Rich and I this morning.  Hopefully you found humor with it as well as Kevin at homeLaughSmile

 

TF

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 21, 2022 7:24 PM

Track fiddler
Hopefully you found humor with it as well as Kevin at home

It was one of those 'smack yourself in the forehead' moments. I'm glad that you are cool about it.

Cheers!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
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  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, March 21, 2022 7:29 PM

Track fiddler

Evening

It's all good Dave.  We all have one of those once and a whileWink

At the very least you created some fun for Rich and I this morning.  Hopefully you found humor with it as well as Kevin at homeLaughSmile 

TF 

Sorry about that, Dave, especially if you were offended. What may seem humorous to the one giving may not seem so funny to the one receiving.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 21, 2022 7:44 PM

richhotrain
Sorry about that, Dave, especially if you were offended. What may seem humorous to the one giving may not seem so funny to the one receiving.

Hi Rich,

No need to apologise. I wasn't offended, I was embarrassed! I had a brain fart, and this one stunk!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,703 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 21, 2022 8:00 PM

I just ordered two new soldering irons to replace the Weller one that I let the smoke out of last night. One is the Weller D650PK 200/300w gun and the other is Weller's SP80NUS heavy duty iron. Now, finally, I have a proper range of soldering tools. I already had a XYTronic soldering station, so the addition of the two new tools will allow me to be able to do anything from fine electronics to relatively heavy duty brass work.

I also ordered a decent pair of small wire cutters. My old hobby sized ones were shot long ago.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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