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Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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   Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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« Reply #640 on: Feb 5th, 2008, 7:10pm »
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hi all,
 
bobby:  not too worry, i'm back in the shop!  
 
bruce:  i knew the cab was old, but OH MY!  that makes the restoration even more meaningful.   thank you for the opportunity!
 
to all:  over the last week, i had an 'official' visit from some folks that demanded that moose meadows manor and family lean-to get painted.  with the down-turn of the housing industry, my local 'neighborhood nazis' (house-flippers) decided that since my home wasn't in prestine condition...it needed to be so they could sell out and move on to the next place to spill misery in their wake.  my home is half my age and prettier, but wouldn't be considered 'picture perfect'.  lol!  
 
anyway, it got fixed up and painted over the last 4 or 5 days.
 
sooooo...i finally got back into the shop yesterday.  i had to prototype the complete lamp fixture setup for bruce's erie caboose.  in one of the photos i posted prior, you can see what the lantern looks like.  what i didn't have built was the actual lamp fixture.  i wanted 2 things, a lantern that could be removed for safe-keeping and a way to remove the lamp from the lantern in case it needed to be replaced.  at this time, i haven't found a socket that a lamp can readily fit into, but i'm sure that out there somewhere, there is.  for now, the grain-o-rice lamp, cordage and servo connector are an integral unit.  if the lamp burns out, the whole assembly would need to be replaced entirely or carefully disassembled.  i'm still working to improve this part of the apparatus.  bruce's lantern bases have been made to be able to be replaced or modified as i experiment and settle on a method that is simple, easy to change, and cost-effective.
 
here's a look at the lamp assembly.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose...and lean-to painter
 
 
on Feb 5th, 2008, 9:31am, B+MNW21201 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
George Help!!!!!!
 
I am going through a severe case of Moose Caboose update withdrawls.  
 
Where ya hiding amigo?
Bobby



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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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« Reply #641 on: Feb 5th, 2008, 7:38pm »
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hi all,
 
the wiring system isn't completely installed in the erie legacy caboose, but gettin' closer!  the wiring harness for the servo male-sockets are permanently mounted and inletted into the caboose body.  servo harnesses were the smallest connectors i could find.  believe it or not, dollhouse fixtures were too big.  r/c servo connectors require respect when handling, but will  serve quite nicely.  if i find something better, bruce's erie can always be updated.  here's a picture of the wiring 'ported' through the right side of the caboose.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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« Reply #642 on: Feb 5th, 2008, 7:56pm »
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hi all,
 
with the new wiring going in, i still needed to add a control system.  for now, i want to keep it simple so off i went to the parts store.  until i change the system over to white 'leds', all i'll need is a fuse holder and an 'on-off' switch.  later, as it evolves, i'll add an electronic power supply for clean and stable voltage.  here's a picture of how the box will look within the caboose body.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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« Reply #643 on: Feb 5th, 2008, 8:06pm »
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hi all,
 
many thanks for your patience and kind words, it really aids in staying on focus.  i sometimes worry that i'm not going to finish on time, but it is a hobby, er, more of a 'sickness' for a few of us.  there's always something else that i want to add, but fear not, bruce will have his caboose back...shortly!  tomorrow, i want to finish up the most of the electrical work and move on to the wirework.  here's a photo of the testing of the lamp assembly and onboard socket.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


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ErieAtlantic7597
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #644 on: Feb 5th, 2008, 8:48pm »
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   George,
 
   Your workmanship on that old cab is really makeing me feel "inaddequit".
 
   again, many thanks,
 
   Bruce


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #645 on: Feb 6th, 2008, 7:07pm »
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hi all,
 
tonight, the 'b' end wiring is all in and tested!  as pockets and i talked on the wireless pair, the 'a' end will have to wait for another time, but the expansion wiring has been installed.  the battery box will wait until almost the last item to install.  while i had the 'black' box a part, i also installed a surprize for bruce...for the future!
 
anywho, tomorrow i will try to clean up the wiring harness so that it can't be snagged or damaged.  i also hope to make so headway on the wirework.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #646 on: Feb 7th, 2008, 7:43pm »
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hi all,
 
i couldn't find the right size wiring loom material today, but hope to find it at one of the largest electronic flea markets in florida this weekend.  so, i was able to launch into the wirework and get some of the harder pieces cut to shape.  i'm using 1/16th inch bronze-phosphor (brass rod to most folks) welding rod for most of my delicate wire details.  this type of rod is BRITTLE and doesn't like being bent into shape, heating it to a dull cherry red color is a must if you are going do anything but a straight-line shape with it.  do your best to get it right the first time...it won't take much to break it even with re-heating.  as pockets and the rest of the old hands will tell you, metals like brass and copper work-harden quickly.  re-heating is a MUST if you need to continue working a particular shape.
 
in my case, most of my shapes are a variety of s-curves needing several re-heatings along the way.  the work isn't hard, but patience IS required.  i still have a handful of grab-iron shapes to go before i start the hard part, peening the feet of each piece flat so that i can drill a #70 hole in each one for the soldered 'bolts' to go through.  when all that is done and i didn't have to re-create any piece that breaks, i breath a sigh of relief!
 
i'll show you how i do it soon, or you can go back through some of the earlier pages of this thread and see it as it was done on the wm caboose.  the rod can be found at many of the welding supply shops across the country and can be purchased by the pound.  buying it in bulk, gives me the flexibility to practice and get it right.  i'm fairly frugal, so i end up saving my discards to be used on smaller projects.  it isn't hard to do so you might give it a try on your next project.  
 
enjoy,  
 
moose the caboose


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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« Reply #647 on: Feb 8th, 2008, 9:00pm »
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hi all,
 
i wanted to show some of the basic tools i use to create my wire shapes.  it's just as simple as the wire (naturally), a marking tool (a pencil works fine), wire cutting pliers, a small heat source (most propane torches are too large for this small work, ya get your fingers burnt too easily), a small hammer, and patience.  that's it.  being careful to re-heat any shapes that need further work, you can have most of the shapes needed for the average caboose done in a day's time.  remember to practice specific shapes (like ess curves) and learn from your mistakes.  it would be almost impossible for me to tell you exactly what temperature to heat the wire to, it depends on the alloy make-up of the wire.   a dull cherry-red is generally where most wire rods become soft enough to bend.  some rods with a higher phosphorus content are fine when the rod turns silver.  
 
no matter which rod you use, it will work-harden and become brittle again whether you bend it or shape it with a hammering tool....re-heat it frequently!  there's nothing like bending a complex shape to the last operation and breaking it because you were in a hurry.  patience is a virtue and your friend where this work is concerned.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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« Reply #648 on: Feb 8th, 2008, 9:17pm »
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hi all,
 
in the photo above, you can see four of the corner grab-irons used on the erie cabooses.  they've already been shaped and bored to receive the 'bolt' that will hold it on the caboose.  the picture below is a closer view.  you can see that they've been re-heated several times to guard against breakage.  they aren't machine-perfect, but that lends character.  if you are looking for machine-perfect shaping, you're in the wrong era!  from the mid-1800s to the 1920s, railroad car shops still employed blacksmiths to build, repair or replace railcar appliances.
 
if you look close, you'll see that the 'feet' have been gently filed to a more rounded shape than when the excess was cut off.  yet to come, installation of the 'bolts' and final shaping before painting and installation.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


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ErieAtlantic7597
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #649 on: Feb 9th, 2008, 6:17am »
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   George,
 
   As I'm preparing to leave my home and venture over to the BCRR this Sat. AM, I lit up the computer for just a moment and what do I see but these wonderful grab irons. George, I'm getting closer and closer to that plexiglass cover for this caboose.Ha,ha,ha.
 
   BTW, you also know who owned this cab before me. But I'm not sure if John B. owned it new or if he bought it used also. Old Ray G. purchased it from John and I purchased it from Ray. If this is the case, that would make me at least the fourth owner that I can figure. Where it came from before John B. I have no idea.
 
   Thanks again for the wonderful attention to detail your putting into my old Erie caboose.
 
   Sincerely,
 
   Bruce


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
  erie_legacy_caboose_2-11-08_014.jpg - 31182 Bytes
« Reply #650 on: Feb 11th, 2008, 5:18pm »
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hi all,
 
bruce:  i guess i shouldn't show the next photo, so close your eyes and click by this post.  i got to looking at the smoke jack on your caboose and realized it was neked!   most people leave the mcc cars just as the parts come in the kit or assembled.  i've always felt something was missing...so i added a draft collar, draft collar clamp, jack stays, and a stay clamp.  here's how it looks today.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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« Reply #651 on: Feb 11th, 2008, 5:30pm »
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hi all,
 
the steel endsills will be made once the caboose has been returned to its home rails.  to protect the step-units, i needed to make 2 temporary endsills.  they will also allow me to continue to model and place the handrailing and ladders.  here's how one of the endsills looks now.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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« Reply #652 on: Feb 11th, 2008, 5:45pm »
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hi all,
 
one last photo for today.  the wirework continues, it's not hard to do as i've said in earlier posts, but it does require patience.  one of the details generally lacking on most cabooses in the hobby are the grab-irons on the cupola.  i usually do them and slowly, the hobby is catching up to me.  when going over some of my photos of the erie cabs, i noticed a practice used by this particular railroad that most over look.  they used 'shorty' grab-irons over the peaks of their cupola roofs.  most are full length or partials.  here's what one of them (there are 2) looks before it is finished.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


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ErieAtlantic7597
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #653 on: Feb 11th, 2008, 8:19pm »
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   O-M-G,,,,,,I'm going to have to be soooooooo careful with this thing from now on!!!!!!!! I'm going to ask Pete and Bobby if they can construct a little pocket in the car barn for this thing to hide in.
 
   BTW, I think the end sills could be fabed out of channel. It looks like thats what you created in wood already.
 
   George, thankyou,
 
   Bruce


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B+MNW21201
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #654 on: Feb 12th, 2008, 7:21am »
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Oh my! That is a sweet looking smoke stack. Nicely done.  
 
Bruce, I'm thinking the end bay nearest the steaming bays. We put a large picture window and special interior lighting to "display" your NEW caboose in the new engine house.


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
 
« Reply #655 on: Feb 13th, 2008, 7:40pm »
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hi all,
 
to all:  many thanks for the compliments, but this is the kind of work i'd like to see as the rule, rather than the exception.  nothing i'm doing at the moment is museum quality.  that's the journey road that i am trying to get to.  i'm not there, yet.  my current road is taking me to places where i learn new skills and try to learn from my mistakes (eh' pockets?! hehe!).   in another thread, we learned of the passing of another live steam gentleman, don miller.  what i will remember about don was his enthusiasm for talking and teaching newcomers about the hobby.   you couldn't help know that he enjoyed seeing others becoming capable live steam hobbyists.  in my former position as newsletter editor for a live steam club, i had the pleasure of speaking to don on numerous occaisions about what he and the north florida live steamers were doing.  i will miss his august presence on my visits, but hold him in my heart as one who cared and shared his passion of live steam...without reserve.  the lessons that i've learned from all my live steam friends, past and present, is to share my knowledge.  they did it for us.   bruce r, pockets, myself, and the rest of the old-hands here on railfan live steam threads hope that by doing our bit, that it will aid you and those that come behind you.  don m, ben s, john c, julian v, austin b, and all the others couldn't ask for a better legacy.
 
yesterday was the day that all the individual window frames got modified.  they were disassembled, cut, and reassembled.  it's tedious work, but not impossible if you take it slow and careful.  the next step is to modify the individual window panes and cut out the doors, that will be tomorrow's work.  the wooden sections of the windows are now ready for paint.  if it doesn't rain tomorrow, that will happen as well.  
 
today saw the creation of feet of the grab-irons.  they were first heat-treated(3 times...each time between processes), hammered to shape, drilled, filed clean, and realigned for finished shape.  this weekend will see them get their 'bolts' soldered on and painted.
 
that's alot to do...i hope i get it all done!
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
  erie_legacy_caboose_2-17-08_002.jpg - 28455 Bytes
« Reply #656 on: Feb 17th, 2008, 9:09pm »
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hi all,
 
it's been a busy week at work and at home, but the erie caboose has moved forward toward the goal of returning home...shortly!  over the last couple of days, the doors have come together and in a way that i haven't done before.  if you remember the doors that i did for the wm caboose, i tried for raised panel doors, but i wasn't completely happy with the results.  not that the results were bad, just not what i really wanted.  when i began the doors for the erie, i started with the same materials i'd used on the wm doors.  i noticed that the door openings on the wm were larger than the erie, in short, the door lumber looked massive, not the looked i wanted.  it took a little time, but i think the results are worth the extra work it took to bring these doors forward to where you see them tonight.  here's a comparison photo of what i'm talking about.  on the left is the old materials and method.  on the right - thinner lumber and a raised panel insert!
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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« Reply #657 on: Feb 17th, 2008, 9:32pm »
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hi all,
 
i wanted to show how one of the erie's doors come into being.  it starts with 1/2 poplar stock re-sawn into 1/2 inch (4 sticks) and 5/8 inch (2 sticks) stock.  with that done, a 1/8 inch groove (plywood blade saw kerf) was cut in one edge of the 5/8 inch stock(2 sticks), one edge of 1/2 inch stock(2 sticks) and two edges of the remaining 1/2 inch stock.  from my stagecraft days, thats 2 - 1/2 inch stock single groove stiles, 2 - 5/8 inch stock single groove rails, and 1 - 1/2 inch stock double groove toggle.  the two rails and single toggle  are cut in such a manner as to create 'tongue' or 'tenon' that will fit into the grooves of the two stiles.  once glued in place, it looks pretty good!  here's a view of how the pieces were cut and how they fit together.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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« Reply #658 on: Feb 17th, 2008, 10:08pm »
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hi all,
 
so now you know how the door framing was done, what about the raised-panel insert?  i've been doing it out of the same 1/2 inch stock, but it looked a little 'thick'.  i've built real doors before, so i went back to think about what i did years ago.  i was use to using a panel-cutter (special cutter-head on a table shaper), but one day, the shaper was out of service and we had a rush job to do.  with a little head scratching, i set up the largest table saw with a moving fence-clamp and set the blade at 12 degrees of angle.  it worked great!  maybe a little more sanding work than normal, but the job went out on time.  well, back to the erie, why not try that trick in a smaller scale?  
 
working with 1/4 stock, i set the blade at 12 degrees and lowered it to help spare my fingers (please don't try this if you have no experience with power saws....safety, safety, safety) and clamped it to a moving fence.  like the days gone past, it worked!  well, it worked for the long sides of the panel...even i'm not dumb enough to try it on the short sides(longer lengths can be guided over the saw blade 'pit', shorter lengths will fall in).  another solution had to be found.  
 
the finished saw cut left a 3/4 inch kerf/bevel around the two long sides.  i marked 3/4 inch lines in from the short sides for my guide for the next operation.  clamping the panels with the short side facing out on a flat surface, i found that by creating a temporary jig to guide a sanding block with 80 grit paper did the trick.  it takes a little 'arm-strong' power sanding(power sanders won't give a line of demarkation, they vibrate too much), but the results are worth it.  80 grit sandpaper works quickly, so stop frequently and measure your progress.  when you get to a 1/32 of finish (draw a line in the middle around the edges, thats your finish mark for both sides)line, change to higher number grits until 220 or 240 grit is reached.  this is the method i'd recommend you try before ever doing it with a power saw.
 
here's a view of my 'armstrong' sander!
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Building Live Steam Railcars with Moose the Caboose
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« Reply #659 on: Feb 17th, 2008, 10:13pm »
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hi all,
 
here's how it looks in a semi-finished appearance without the 'glass'.
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose


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