Author Topic: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread  (Read 175280 times)

Alan Downey

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Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« Reply #345 on: March 27, 2015, 06:04:54 AM »
One of the reasons why I enjoy pattern making so much, is that you often have to come up with unconventional ways to deal with unconventional shapes. For the most part, our efforts for #11's patterns are guided in two ways- completing major component groups, and starting from the ground up. Since it doesn't make sense to start a locomotive from the sand dome, this has lead to the fabrication of component groups such as the drive wheels and counterweights (finished), the front truck (finished), rear truck (in progress), frame components (finished), and valve gear(in progress). But every once in awhile, the difficulty of undertaking a pattern starts to feel like something of Baldwin trying to challenge our capabilities. The smokestack was exactly one of those sorts of patterns. When I get caught by a bug like that, the easiest way to deal with it is just lean in and see where it goes.

About a year ago, I started wondering how we as a group would make such a large turning. The stack pattern itself is 40.5" tall (without core prints), and 15" in diameter at it's largest. No available pro-sumer wood lathes are large enough to accommodate such length, and our heavily modified Harbor Freight lathe couldn't handle the swing over it's bed even if it wanted to. Secondly, making the pattern out of solid wood would eat up a massive amount of material, and be highly unwieldy at best. I've had this post sitting on the back burner for a few months, but here's how it all happened.

The second problem wasn't too hard to solve. I've had the fortune of watching two cedar stripped boats be put together, and I've seen barrels. So I figured that if I could make a barrel out of cedar planks, it would be economical to make, and light enough to be easily maneuverable once it was assembled. I got started on this whole process within a week of getting back from Maine, last summer. Firstly, I made three hexodecagon stations, designed to come apart in the middle. The hole at the center of each station was dual purpose...


It took a few tries to get my jig to work correctly...

 
In order to get some clean staves that would turn easily, I rummaged through a stack of cedar at Home Depot with my Dad, to find 9 perfectly clear 2x4's, which was surprisingly easy. I cut them down, and planed them to about 1.25", and cut the first bevel on each piece.


The stack tapers outward towards the top, by 1 degree. So I had to make a second jig to cut the taper, and the bevel simultaneously.


After multiple test fittings, I glued everything up with epoxy, and cargo straps.


And later added on the stock for the upper lip of the stack.

While the swing over the bed of our lathe is only 10", we can rotate the head stock 90 degrees, and turn "outboard". Usually, this is used to make very large diameter, but "flat" sorts of objects. The eccentric patterns were turned as a unit in this way. Turning something as long as the stack requires that it be supported on both ends. To do this, I decided to run a pipe through the length of the pattern, to be picked up by a pillow block mounted to the workbench. The pipe was fitted into the head stock face plate which had been bored out to fit, pass through the holes in the plywood stations, and make a tight fit with a wooden face plate  on the other end, before fitting into the pillow block.


Also shown, is the tool rest that I rigged up. I would need at least one tripod to support a standard tool rest. But I had anticipated that the turning would take a day or more, and I didn't want to be limited to turning 12" at a time before having to move the rest around. So I made a second tripod to support a 40" tool rest. It turned out that I only needed turning tools on the body of the stack for a couple hours. The vast majority of the time was spent bringing everything to final diameter with 60 grit sandpaper. I had the dust collector running big time to keep things manageable. I filled the pockets and imperfections with epoxy after the first day.


And turned the lip the following morning.


And gave everything a coat of epoxy to seal the outside.


Since August, (when work on #9's whistle started), the stack has sat mostly idle. It still needs core prints, and a giant core box. I also worked on the valve chest and cap, and spent so much time filleting them that I came to despise them. And compared to the stack, they are pretty tame. While I originally hoped to bring the stack up in the back of a car- once the core prints are added, it will be exceedingly difficult to transport. So the stack will probably stay in Texas until the cylinder saddle duties have been divided up and completed- then bring all of the giant patterns up in a truck load.
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Bernie Perch

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Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« Reply #346 on: March 27, 2015, 10:48:35 AM »
Alan,

You guys are totally unbelievable!!!!!!!!!

Bernie

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« Reply #347 on: March 27, 2015, 12:05:28 PM »
Fantastic work Alan, the stack pattern is a work of art.  Thanks for the update.

Start

Wayne Laepple

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Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« Reply #348 on: March 27, 2015, 12:54:22 PM »
I am just absolutely gobsmacked at the ingenuity you and your dad use to solve problems, Alan. You two make it all look so simple!

Mike Fox

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Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« Reply #349 on: March 27, 2015, 01:10:35 PM »
Nice work
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

Dave Buczkowski

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Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« Reply #350 on: March 27, 2015, 01:23:05 PM »
Alan;
I am in awe! Your work should be in a museum! Oh, wait, it will be...
We are so fortunate to have you as members. I look forward to seeing you and your father in Sheepscot again.
Dave

Dave Crow

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Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« Reply #351 on: March 27, 2015, 01:26:17 PM »
Awesome piece of work!  You guys have been so clever in figuring out how to make the patterns; the castings should be much easier!

Dave Crow

James Patten

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Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« Reply #352 on: March 27, 2015, 02:02:00 PM »
Really nice.  The photo of the unturned barrel looks like a gatling gun.

Stephen Hussar

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Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« Reply #353 on: March 27, 2015, 02:26:35 PM »
Phenomenal!! Really enjoying seeing these different items take shape, thank you!!
SH

Ira Schreiber

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Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« Reply #354 on: March 27, 2015, 07:40:45 PM »
Absolutely awesome.
I could not assemble a balsa wood airplane without the wings falling off  !

Philip Marshall

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Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« Reply #355 on: March 27, 2015, 10:10:24 PM »
Wow, I'm impressed! Absolutely beautiful work, Alan.

By the way, coopering a set of staves and then turning the hexadecagon/octagon/whatever down to a tapered cylinder on a big lathe is exactly how wooden masts are made for tall ships. Your intuition led you to the right answer!

-Philip Marshall

Alan Downey

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Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« Reply #356 on: March 28, 2015, 12:13:44 AM »
Thank you for the compliments! I hope these posts that we do aren't too wordy. Some of my favorite posts to read on the forum are the ones about the creative solutions people come up with for the wide variety of problems that come up at the museum. I also just like to show that as weird as pattern making seems to be- it's not magic. And I hope that seeing some of the problem solving might encourage others to give it a try.
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Paul Uhland

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Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« Reply #357 on: March 30, 2015, 04:17:22 AM »
Alan...absolutely amazingly first-rate design and work, the usual for you, and your dad.
IMHO you can explain and show your processes all you want. 
Bravo!  :D
Paul Uhland

Carl G. Soderstrom

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Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« Reply #358 on: March 31, 2015, 05:19:44 AM »
Is this where I suggest that a full size outline of #11 be erected painted somewhere and the
beautiful patterns mounted in their proper locations?
It should be where it can be seen by the public and the huge amount of work appreciated.
(Buy a piece of a pattern?)
If the pattern is to be used more than once it will have to be in a climate controlled environment?
This may be something down the road but I think it would make money if it does not cost too
much to  set up.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2015, 02:59:02 PM by Carl Soderstrom »

Bill Baskerville

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Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« Reply #359 on: April 01, 2015, 11:39:47 AM »
Perhaps an air tank could be put in side the pattern locomotive Carl is speaking of so it could be powered by compressed air.  It could then shuffle around the yard.  Just a whimsical thought.  The patterns you and your dad make are true works of art.  I enjoying looking at them and marvel at your accomplishments.
B2

Wascally Wabbit & Gofer