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   Live Steam and Ride on Scales
   Post reply ( Re: Edumakashun )
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Topic Summary
Posted by: pockets Posted on: Mar 18th, 2007, 11:41am
I have been pondering the opening of this can of worms for quite some time. The deciding factor has been the, apparently, high percentage of new comers to the hobby.
Every piece of every machine, tool, car, track or locomotive has a name. On entering this hobby, you have undertaken two, or more, disciplines that are woven together to create the whole. They may consist of:
   Civil Engineer
   Mechanical Engineer
   Foundryman and a host of others. We haven't even touched on rairoading, yet.
Each of these has it's own language and/or vernacular. For the, seemingly, simple process of intelligent communication, it is incumbant upon each of us to become conversant in these languages. I have heard so many examples of made up names, for objects and processes, that it boggles the mind. An example: We went around and around, for several days, because the "experts" at the club didn't know what I was talking about when I said "side bearings" when referring to a diesel truck. (They still haven't been fixed)
I'm not advocating the study of these languages to be "cool", or conspiritorial or to enable you to impress your unknowing friends with your new found knowledge. That's all just the icing on the cake. The important aspect is that you will be able to intelligently and succinctly be able to communicate with others in the hobby and the proffessionals that you will seek out.
We are fortunate, on this board, to have three members (that I'm aware of) with prototype experience. There are several talented builders, here. There are glossaries all over the WWW. Seek them out and make use of their knowledge.  
As long as you pursue this lifestyle, you will be a student. It can be maddeningly frustrating, but if you have a creative bone in your body, the rewards can be beyond your ability to measure.  
Welcome to my world. Enjoy,
Greg B.
Posted by: moose_the_caboose Posted on: Mar 24th, 2007, 11:29am
hi all,
this edu....adu....adum....this learning thing is very important.   this is a test!!!!! what is the most important part of partaking of the live steam hobby?  anybody know?
don't fail this one!
moose the caboose
Posted by: pockets Posted on: Mar 24th, 2007, 2:55pm
The late Bill Fitt put it in every issue of his magazines, " Safety First is Rule 1, in Live Steam."  
It's been so long, since it has appeared in print, that you are either an old timer or a STUDENT of the Hobby.
Greg B.
Posted by: ErieAtlantic7597 Posted on: Mar 25th, 2007, 10:11am

   Well, my friends, I'm sure my choice of words will be considered "harsh" by some that venture through this thread, but, as those that know me will attest, I don't  
BS or pull puches.  
   In this hobby, it is my contention that if those who are serious about furthering their knowledge in live steam, it is much better to, LISTEN , rather than TALK.
Never be afraid to say," I don't know". Thats how you find stuff out.
   Many years ago, 1966 to be exact, I had a "boss" at General Electric in N. Jersey, who liked to say,
"Some people have ten cents worth of authority, and they become millionaires".
Well, in the live steam hobby, if one  changes the word "authority" to " knowledge",  
or " expierience" and you have the many who profess to be the "be all" and "know all" in the live steam hobby of today.
   Stay away from the " hot air bags", and the guys that "talk just to hear themselves talk", they useually are "legends only in their OWN minds". Of course, they do have followers, who hang on every word that they issue. This only increases their "lengendaryness",,,in their OWN minds even more.
   As I've said so many times, LISTEN to the guys that have equipment runing, and running well. Hour after hour. And that don't make a lot of noise about their accomplishments. These are the fellas that you will get the best  
"edumakashun" from in this end of the hobby.
   Well,  this may sound harsh, but it is factually honest. Comeing from Paterson, NJ, I don't know any other way to be but straight forward honest.
Posted by: dgmarklin Posted on: Mar 26th, 2007, 4:25pm
yup, i know nothing basically, so i shut my self up and listen mostly      
thats all i got to say, short and sweeeeeeeeeeet
Posted by: Baldwin_feeder Posted on: Mar 26th, 2007, 5:04pm
Well still young as I am, I atleast hope I will still be learning 60 years from now and beyond.  I tend to ask more questions as far as I am aware, and I strongly believe  those with expeirence tend to have the best knowledge since they have dealt with real live situations rather than just on paper or by what they hear.  Trains in general keep safety in mind because big or small you can still get hurt, especially when live steam is involved and never be affraid to ask somebody a question if your not sure, it never hurts to ask.  From my own experience worse case, if you are talking to somebody who has years of expeirience, is that you might learn something new.
Posted by: ErieAtlantic7597 Posted on: Mar 26th, 2007, 5:05pm

   You will end up with a lot of knowledge with your practice of listening. This knowledge you can pass on, later in life to others. Thats what I always tried to do myself.
   Greg made a very good point with this thread in this regard.
   As you already know, I have a great deal of respect for your endeavors. It is guys like yourslef, Dean, and a hand full of other young guys that I've had the honor of working with that will keep this end of our hobby alive, long after my contemporaries and myself are gone. BTW, there is'nt a time that I fire up either my own engine or have the opportunity to operate one the belongs to another guy, that I don't learn something. We, none of us, know everything !!!
   Take care,  
Posted by: moose_the_caboose Posted on: Mar 31st, 2007, 1:44pm
hi all,
there's a lot to this education thingy.  the people that i learned and continue to learn from are doers.  i like watching people do things, not talk about them.  yes, we are talking about things here because it is necessary for this method of communicating to work.
railroading is a blend of purpose, methodology, and technology.  it is also built on the collective genius of whole rather than the one.  railroading (by extension, the live steam hobby) isn't based on one single industry or technology.  as pockets pointed out, it takes all the trades and industries to create a successful system.  our modeling is a direct reflection of that.  our personal libraries should also mirror that and our skills should be guided by that.  hmm, i did say libraries didn't i?  why a library?
no matter the media, (whether it is printed, digital, imaged, incised, or oral) it's a knowledge storage and delivery system.  if you were to take a gander at the libraries of some of the originating engineers and mechanics, perhaps you wouldn't find a how-to-book on building a steam locomotive.  what you would find was a rich tradition of passing a collectively gained knowledge on to others.  no it wasn't about trains, but about trades that would be needed to support the technology of a new transportation system.
sorry...got to go, will finish my thoughts later tonight.
moose the caboose
Posted by: pockets Posted on: Mar 31st, 2007, 3:49pm
Okay, George and I have both mentioned personal libraries. A number of people have replied, to me, that they have computers for research and the forums to answer specific questions. They are relying on technology and the magnanimity of others.
Large Scale Railroading is a technology based hobby. Some of the most used words are repair, fix and mend. Why? Because it BREAKS!
As to the forums; The absolute day that it costs too much or doesn't meet the site owner's needs, it's gone. Especially the corporate based ones. I view these as VERY tenuous data repositories.  
I download everything that might be remotely of interrest to me, or my friends. I filter it and dump it into files on my D-drive. When enough of a given topic accrues, I burn it to a disc. Voila! An addition to my library.
I haunt the used book stores, flea markets and "thrift store" book sections. Sometimes I get lucky.
Obviously you will want every printed word and photo, of your chosen prototype, but what else might be useful to the new builder?
Machinery's Handbook: Contains a wealth of information on materials, fasteners and processes. Try to get an older one, say from about 1950 up to the early 70s. The technology is more in line with what we do.
The U.S.Navy's machine shop course is available on line. There's another couple of discs for your library.
If your plans include wood, get a book, or two on fine furniture building and a couple on wooden boat building. They will cover every type of joinery you will need.
There's 100 years of Model Engineer and over 40 years of Live Steam out there. Get as many as you can.
This is just the start. I have a little over two hundred books just for THE HOBBY and the collection keeps growing. Sooner, or later, you will get into welding and brazing, physics and thermodynamics, history, mathematics and a whole lot more.
Welcome to my world. Enjoy,
Greg B.
Posted by: pockets Posted on: Feb 18th, 2008, 11:03pm
George and Bruce, you can yell at me if you want to. I bumped this up, because I thought it might mesh with another currently active thread.
Greg B.
Posted by: moose_the_caboose Posted on: Feb 19th, 2008, 8:52pm
hey pockets!
this thread works better for the topic of learning, gathering sources and  decision making than the '1" vs 1 1/2" scale' thread or any scale for  that matter.  thinking about moving the entire thread here.  the only yelling i'm going to do is at me for not thinking of it myself.
moose the caboose
on Feb 18th, 2008, 11:03pm, pockets wrote:       (Click here for original message)
George and Bruce, you can yell at me if you want to. I bumped this up, because I thought it might mesh with another currently active thread.
Greg B.

Posted by: pockets Posted on: Feb 19th, 2008, 9:20pm
As you know, I just finished three years of research on the locomotive at the bottom of this post. In the Jan/Feb Live Steam, I talk some about research and sources on the editorial page. Not tooting my own horn. Just demonstrating how near to my heart this subject is to me.
Greg B.
Posted by: pockets Posted on: May 13th, 2008, 7:50am
This bump is for Stephen.
Greg B.
Posted by: pockets Posted on: Jan 2nd, 2009, 7:12pm
Just about the time you get to feelin' ten feet tall and bullet proof, something happens to keep you humble.
Quick, show of hands..... How many here are familiar with the Westinghouse air  brake system? Which one? How familiar?  
The little engine at the bottom of this post has become my nemesis. I will defeat it! Having had a conversation with Marty Knox, about where Baldwin may have hid the main reservoir, I went back to my research library and the photos of #15 and her sisters. Tucked up under the cab, on the fireman's side of #11 is a small reservoir. What the heck is that for? Way too small for a main reservoir, even for the independent. Another email to Marty.... It's an equalizing reservoir. Back to the books. Don't want to look like a COMPLETE IDIOT to Marty.
The edumakashun never ends!
Greg B.
Posted by: SteamHeaton Posted on: Jan 2nd, 2009, 10:44pm
Greg how about the back of the tender, just above the coupler? Didn't some narrow gauge  bumble bee's have one back there?
Posted by: pockets Posted on: Jan 3rd, 2009, 12:09am
Thought about that a while ago. Not enough room back there and there is no photographic or Baldwin drawing evidence to indicate it.
We have to be careful, though. The purpose of this thread is to tout the learning processes in the hobby and I don't want to get moderated again.
Greg B.
Posted by: Marty_Knox Posted on: Sep 20th, 2009, 9:53pm
I never let school interfere with my education!
Posted by: moose_the_caboose Posted on: Sep 21st, 2009, 6:45pm
hi all,
marty:  that's a great line!  i may have to steal it...and besides, it's true!  some of the best lessons are learned one misteak at a time.
on Sep 20th, 2009, 9:53pm, Marty_Knox wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I never let school interfere with my education!

Posted by: moose_the_caboose Posted on: Nov 25th, 2010, 10:58am
hi all,
for those interested in baldwin steam locomotive specs, the degolyer library at smu, has made available a treasure trove of company records.  see the main index guide summary of record types at the address below:
the pdfs shown in the listings aren't the actual drawings, but handy indexs to help you find the actual erection drawings.  and yes, there's more!
going to the digital collections via 'baldwin' brings you to:
but the real gold is the actual erection/spec index:
you can download all the pdfs...have fun, it will take a while...
if baldwin built the locomotive, it's listed there...more information (but not complete) than typically found anywhere on the www.  be sure to thank and support the degolyer library for making this information available online and without charge.  other sources want big bucks for resource material given to them to by held inperpetuity and for public good.  i personally don't disagree that they need support to maintain their collections, but i wish they would be more forthcoming with it.
enjoy and happy researching!
Posted by: pockets Posted on: Nov 25th, 2010, 12:24pm
The link, below, is an awsome resource. They have most years of the Locomotive Cyclopedias and Car Builders Dictionaries. All for free download. There are engineering manuals for all disciplines as well as some of the very early live steam related publications.
Greg B.
Posted by: moose_the_caboose Posted on: Dec 8th, 2010, 6:22pm
hi all,
in the time that i've been researching archive material from American Car & Foundry (ACF), i've run across a posting of original drawings that are being housed at the st. louis museum of transportation.  the website states that the drawings being presented were sold and as such are posted here. please take the time to thank the website owner for their kindness.
the drawings are primarily details for a 'modern' galley car.  this is a treasure trove for you standard gauge folks.  among the details are drawings of centersill, diaphram, and bolster specs.  need a more detailed example of 'modern' car construction?  here's your example.  happy downloading....make sure you have the time and space?!!
Posted by: moose_the_caboose Posted on: Jan 9th, 2011, 7:38pm
hi all,
got to stumble on a neat photo site that you might find inspiring...our australian brethren have about as rich a railroad history as anyone.  want to see how some of our early railcar construction was done?  sometimes, you've only to look into the photo archives of our international brothers.  check out the link below by chris drymalik.
chris has included photo archives of his own and fellow rail photographers.  if you use his photos, please give credit and do say 'thank you'!
hope you enjoy and find something to inspire you!