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The Ocalla Tramway
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 Posted: Mon Jan 6th, 2014 04:43 am
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Gunslinger_Fur
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OH MY GOD!!! CAN IT BE!? YES!! IT IS AN ACTUAL UPDATE WITH REAL LOCOMOTIVE CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS!!!1! :glad::glad::glad:
It must be a sign of the apocalypse. (hopefully not)

Yes, at long last I have finally started construction of my proposed On20 shay. A while back I had acquired an MDC HOn3 3-truck shay kit and a Wiseman Model Services Sn3 scale conversion kit (for the MDC shay) to aid in the build, along with a few extra parts and still many to acquire. Here is a view of the model as it is currently.



And here's another with an O scale figure to give a general idea how small it actually is.



More detail and additional photos can be found here on my Blog.
http://theocallatramway.blogspot.com/2014/01/back-on-track.html

I know it's been an eternity, but I hope it's been worth the wait!



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 Posted: Mon Jan 6th, 2014 02:15 pm
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W C Greene
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Glory be! That's going to be a great looking lokie. Just be sure to get the mechanism working right before getting it all together...but then it's your loco and do it the way you want. I have built several of these over the years and currently have one On20 Shay on my little Gila Tram layout which has 15 years and many real miles on her and continues to run great. Have fun and keep us posted.

Woodie



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 Posted: Mon Jan 6th, 2014 05:22 pm
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Gunslinger_Fur
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Thanks very much and I've had a load of fun working on the model. Though I've had my share of frustrations to along the way. I may need to get a new cylinder casting from WMS, the one I have doesn't seem to match what the conversion kit instructions describe.

My biggest worry is the gearbox and the lead truck side frame. Jeff Johnston's book has been an immense help with working on the model. I have all the NWSL upgrades, aside from a new motor. I'm still looking to find one that's suitable, but still fairly small.

The gears in the gear box seem to turn fairly freely, but I think they could still use some work. I've thought about using s toothpaste method to help smooth them out, but I'm not sure how effective that would be on brass gears.



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 Posted: Fri Jan 10th, 2014 07:59 pm
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Gunslinger_Fur
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More updates, YES!!!

Well I've been fiddling with the shay for the past few days in my spare time between daily errands. I have made some progress though, I was able to work out the bind in a part of the cosmetic drive train and fixed the "running" side of the side frames to the trucks. I also ground off the pins that limit how far the trucks can swivel to maximize (or rather minimize) the minimum track radius. My goal is to get the engine to operate on a 9" radius curve as a set minimum.

I then turned my attention to the engine cylinders. I'm wondering if the S scale 2-Cylinder shay engine casting from WMS (Wiseman Model Services) may have been defective as it doesn't match the look and assembly description in the Sn3 conversion kit instructions. I originally intended to call Mr. Wiseman up and see if I could get a replacement, but then I elected to see if I could make it work regardless. I cut off the cylinders with a razor saw and placed the parts on my parts box. (I may be able to use them for another build) I then mocked everything up on the model and set it on the track and took some photos. Though when I did I happened to notice something...

As you can see the I think I have a bit of a clearance issue here. I didn't account for the additional thickness of the WMS casting along with the original plastic part. I've already started working on remedying the problem and I will post pictures shortly. I'll also see if I can modify things to make this a proper 2-Cylinder engine and drive line. Until then I have a few other pictures that I think you will enjoy.

On a whim I elected to pose the say together along with my O scale reference figure, which I have now randomly dubbed "Fred".

Although the caboose fits proportionally, it's actually too wide for me to use for On20, by about a scale foot or so. I decided to have a set Loading Gauge for my On20 models that will make constructing future models a bit easier. In short, I've made some On20 guide lines. The set width I've chosen is 6 scale feet. This width was decided on because of the Arizona Copper Co.'s locos #9 and 10. Both were BIG, for 20" gauge, 0-4-4 types built by H.K. Porter and were the larges engines used on the ACC's 20" gauge network. They may possibly have been the largest 20" gauge engines ever built also! But I don't know that for sure. Anyway, due to that bit of prototype inspiration all my current and future On20 equipment will be no wider than 6 scale feet.

Here's another view of my little Gnomy bobber bash with "Fred" to give an idea of just how small this little caboose is.

Here's one more view of the shay, this time right from the front. The model is sitting on a length of Micro Engineering HO/HOn3 code 70 flex track. The Ocalla Tramway will use code 55 rail, but my On30 Big Thunder & Western will use code 70. When I have the opportunity to actually build a substantial layout I very much plan on having some dual gauge trackage to have fun with. And again, Fred stands next to my little shay as a size reference.

I'm loving how this locomotive is turning out so far! It's going to be an adorable little steamer when she's done! Well that's about it for now, but stay tuned because more is on the way!



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 Posted: Sat Jan 11th, 2014 01:33 pm
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W C Greene
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AJ-looking great! On the 9" radius...with some work, you should be able to get her around. I am running 10" radius on my Gila Tram exhibition layout and although #4 hunkers around them, she stays on track. You will need to work on the drive train to the trucks, the universals will need to be reworked. I used NWSL universal parts and made up the "dog bone" shafts using wire & their ball joints. You will also need to wire the trucks' pickups with some fine flex wire...the stock pickup system is crap anyway. Also, you might need to slightly modify the sliding box shafts also. But you will get there. Good luck.

Woodie



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 Posted: Sun Jan 12th, 2014 03:32 am
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Gunslinger_Fur
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W C Greene wrote:
AJ-looking great! On the 9" radius...with some work, you should be able to get her around. I am running 10" radius on my Gila Tram exhibition layout and although #4 hunkers around them, she stays on track. You will need to work on the drive train to the trucks, the universals will need to be reworked. I used NWSL universal parts and made up the "dog bone" shafts using wire & their ball joints. You will also need to wire the trucks' pickups with some fine flex wire...the stock pickup system is crap anyway. Also, you might need to slightly modify the sliding box shafts also. But you will get there. Good luck.

Woodie


Thanks Woodie! I acquired all the NWSL upgrades aside from a new motor. I also have the MDC Shay Handbook which has been a HUGE help as well! However I've come across a new challenge. I have yet to post pictures, but I was able to modify the engine assembly not only to have proper clearance over the rails, but also to have a more accurate 2 cylinder arrangement.

I had to drill some new mounting holes in the frame to mode the cylinders and crank shaft assembly a little further forward. However on left hand turns, the telescoping parts of the universal shaft are pulled so far apart that the section "Drops Out". Which would not be a good thing when operating.

I think the problem can be remedied by replacing the square metal tubing with identical tubing, but cut to a longer length. And in a way that wouldn't hinder the cosmetic drive line when making a right hand turn. The problem there is I don't know where I could go to find such tubing, nor what "kind" it is so as to search it on the internet. The closest hobby shop is a Hobby Lobby and their selection with anything railroad related is well... "limited" to say the least.

As it stands I still have a locomotive that will run on a strait-a-way decently (once I have a motor and electronics set up) as well as BROAD curves. In the mean time I may focus more on the aesthetics of the locomotive and details. Or fiddle with my neglected On20 porter project.

And speaking of Porters, I had some inspiration a while back for a squat and chunky mining loco inspired by the "Wallis". A 20" gauge mine engine, built by Baldwin, that ran in California prior to the existence of the Arizona 20" gauge.

I had acquired a Bachmann N scale/gauge 0-4-0 with the intend on turning into a more traditional On18 or On20 Porter... but given it's small size I've recently decided to make it into a mine loco. Here is a pen sketch I made (I didn't have any pencils or drafting pens at the time to make it like my other works) of the general idea for the design. For some odd reason it reminds me of a potato so I've named it "Spud".

The other possible option is to make a small compressed air locomotive similar to this.

I may widen the gauge of the chassis for HOn3/On20, or I may keep in N gauge so I can have an 18" gauge engine to work some of the individual mines. Again, these are just ideas and feedback is greatly welcomed!

Sorry for such a long winded reply. But I'll post more current pics of the shay shortly. :moose:



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 Posted: Sun Jan 12th, 2014 04:24 am
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W C Greene
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AJ, is there any way way that you could increase the radii to 10" or so? Lengthing the square shaft works OK going left but right it causes interference and it took some fiddling and cussing to get 10" out of the driveline. The hollow sq shaft material is from K&S, I forget which size but they have it. As it is, the shafts have to be almost ready to come apart to get the tight curves. Be prepared to do some work but it CAN be done.

Woodie



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 Posted: Mon Jan 13th, 2014 01:03 am
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Gunslinger_Fur
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W C Greene wrote:
AJ, is there any way way that you could increase the radii to 10" or so? Lengthing the square shaft works OK going left but right it causes interference and it took some fiddling and cussing to get 10" out of the driveline. The hollow sq shaft material is from K&S, I forget which size but they have it. As it is, the shafts have to be almost ready to come apart to get the tight curves. Be prepared to do some work but it CAN be done.

Woodie


The tightest curve on my track plan is 9", but I may be able to enlarge it to 10". I wish I had a means of making a full scale mock up to fiddle around with that. I've recently turned my attention to working on a Porter or two. I need to find some 1/2" OD piping or tubing for the "Spud", along with some styrene sheet for the cab and water tank.



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 Posted: Fri Jan 24th, 2014 06:52 pm
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Hey all, sorry it's been a while since my last update.

Unfortunately I don't have much to show, but I still think it will suite your interest! As I'm waiting to get replacement parts for my shay I decided to mock up a paper cab to get an idea of proportions and overall appearance.



Pardon for the poor focus in the photo. I drew out the cab in scale on 1/4" graph paper, but done in a way that would allow the cab to be cut out and folded into a mock-up pattern. Once the drawings were done I made a copy of the drawings on heavy printer paper and then colored the drawings by hand with markers. Once the paper was dry I carefully cut out the drawings and then scored certain edges to help when folding the mock-up.



It has surprised me how similar this project is turning out to look like my original concept I drew a few years ago when I first conceived this project! Here is a side view of the locomotive as it looks presently and there drawing will be below it for comparison.




The resemblance is pretty uncanny for a drawing not done to scale, wouldn't you agree? Also as a note I've decided to forego the use of the supplied tender tank(s) from the MDC kit and I'll be using an AHM/Rivarossi Old Time 4-4-0 tender shell for the tank. It's shorter in height than I'd like and not as wide, but I think it will work perfectly for the look I'm going for and it saves me from having to fabricate my own tender flare. Not to sound lazy or anything.

Anyway, thanks for dropping by and stay tuned. As always there will be more to come! Thanks for watching!



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 Posted: Tue Jan 28th, 2014 08:32 pm
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Gunslinger_Fur
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Hello once again, sorry it's been a while. I recently updated the blog on my tramway and I've only just now gotten to update my forum threads. First up.... A Humble Potato.

Okay, I have to admit the title for this one is a bit wierd... but it fits the name of this locomotive I have in progress. This post is about a small mining Porter I came up with while on a trip to Indiana. I was in a class room and I started a VERY rough pen sketch for a mining locomotive inspired by the "Wallis", which some of you other 20" gauge aficionados may know well. It was a small 20" gauge locomotive built by Baldwin and worked at one of the gold mines somewhere in California.



As some of you may or may not know, I tend to have an eye for things that stand out and are odd in the world of railroading. Whether it be narrow, broad, or standard gauge. I loved the chunky and squat proportions of the Wallis and with that inspiration scratched together this concept. Though I prefer the Porter "label" rather than Baldwin. (With no offense to Baldwin fans)



And so I present to you, my humble "Spud". So name because its squat and compact proportions remind me of a potato! I have made some O scale drawings for the model and when I can get a scanner up and running I'll post them here along with a few other things.

For a while I've been debating on whether I should keep this locomotive N gauge and use it on On18 mine tunnels and addits, or to make everything 20" gauge and widen the mechanism to On20. I'm leaning more towards On20... but I'm still questioning what to do. I'm open to thoughts and suggestions.
As for the mechanism itself, I'm using a Bachmann N scale 0-4-0 chassis I picked up from a model train show in Myrtle Beach, SC. It was quite a bargain and it ran very well! Despite some of the things I've heard about the chassis.

Almost nothing of the original locomotive, aside from the chassis, will be left. I'll be replacing the cylinders with a set of old Kemtron HOn3 C-16 cylinders a friend of mine is sending to aid in me in this particular project. Again, thanks Matt!

The boiler I'm fashioning out of 1/2" OD brass tube and the rest I intend to make out of styrene sheet. Here are some shots of the eventual "boiler".





For the front, I'm thinking about ordering the 25.5" diameter smokebox front offered by Coronado Scale Models. Seeing as this tube would be 2 scale feet in diameter it should look just about right. And I can get a headlamp from wither Grandt Line of from Wiseman Scale Models.

However, the problem I'm having is, for one, I haven't found any places locally where I can get the stuff. There's a Hobby Lobby, but I'm not certain if they carry it at this location. Second, without being able to look at the stuff I'm not sure what the best sheet thicknesses would be to fabricate the tank, cab, and other details. I figure once I have the cab walls made that I can use wire or metal rod for the roof supports. Anyway, here are some current photos of the Spud.





It's not a whole lot, more text than anything, but it's something in addition to my shay. Which is progressing nicely.



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