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Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine


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  #61  
Old 12-22-2010, 11:31:23 PM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

Season Greetings,
It has been a busy time with two major road trips, family gatherings and getting ready for the Holidays, but I have been able to sneak a few hours in the shop to work on the LaFrance engine.
Picture #1 is a front view of the dashboard supports. They were fabricated from 0.015” thick brass sheet and 0.062” diameter brass rod. The pieces were soldered together with Eutectic 157 solder.
Picture #2 is a view of the floor and dashboard looking forward. The strips along the edge are 0.010” thick brass sheet. The hex bolts are 00-90 and were purchased from a local train store. The head was shortened by 0.015” for a lower profile. Washers were tuned from brass bar stock. They are 0.100” diameter by 0.010” thick. The wood is red mahogany and still needs the final coat of satin spar varnish. Clearance holes are in the brass strip and wood pieces. The brass supports were drilled and tapped where the brass rod is soldered to the strips. This generated a blind hole for the bolts.
Picture #3 shows one of the two safety valve elbows that were made from a 0.562” diameter brass ball and a special turned nipple with an integrated hex and shoulder. There will be a copper washer between the shoulder on the brass nipple and the ball and between the hex with shoulder and the boiler for sealing purposes.
Picture #4 – The boiler top cap is finally machined. There were extensive blowholes in the top portioned. A second piece of bar stock with a press fit into the base portioned replaced the bad section of the casting.

I thank you for your interest and support.

I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. God Bless and till later, Larry
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:32:39 PM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

Happy New Year ! I had a chance fabricate the seat pan and support brackets over the Holidays. The construction is sheet brass and rod using my favorite solder "Eutectic" 157. I have some very light weight leather on order to build a padded cushion and back rest. Next will be developing the coal and ash pan for the back of the engine.

Thank you for your interest and support, Larry
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:27:14 PM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

Top notch work as always Larry.
Thanks for taking us along on this journey.

Jim in Minnesota
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  #64  
Old 01-11-2011, 09:46:58 PM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

As a follow-up on my last posting, I have added some color to the pieces in preparation of going to the Cabin Fever Expo January 15th & 16th.

Picture #1 shows how the seat and back rest cushions were fabricated. The wood is 1/16" thick model aircraft plywood. Two strips of 0.010" thick brass sheet were super glued to the plywood to act as nut plates. 0-80 holes were tapped in the brass strips for the 0-80 hex head mounting bolts. The white you see is gauze material from our first aid kit. There are 3 layers to generate the cushion. The leather is 1.5 oz./sq.in. That makes it around 0.030" thick. Super glue was used to glue the leather to the plywood backing board.

Picture #2 and #3 are front and back views of the finished assembly.

Thanks again for your interest and support. Larry
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:32:08 AM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

Larry,

I just stumbled across this thread today...man, what a great job! Thanks for sharing! You are truly a craftsman!

Lawrence
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:28:42 PM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

Greetings from the sunny South, HAHA ! Thought I would share the construction of the front brake levers with you.

Picture #1 shows a flat piece of 0.030" thick brass sheet with the basic contour of the brake lever with three brass turnings on them. They are being held in place with 2-56 brass flat head screws without a countersink hole. The screws will be removed after the soldering process. The screw to the left is holding a 0.032" thick washer in place. This end will be for the clevis on the end of the reach rod that goes to the next brake lever. The washer on the far right is also 0.032" thick and slightly larger in diameter for mounting the steel foot bar that goes between the two levers. These brass washers are to give a little more thickness to the overall lever. The brass turning in the middle is the actual pivot point for the lever. It is 0.125" thick. It is thicker so I can use 00 taper pins to hold the levers to the pivot rod. I am not a great fan of set screws to lock link and levers in place. So I spend a little extra time to pin assemblies. The curved rod is 0.062" diameter brass rod that is being bent to fit between the brass turnings.

Picture #2 shows the bent brass pieces in place and ready for soldering.

Picture #3 shows the assembly all soldered and ready for final cleanup. A little bit of the brass sheet was left around the brass turnings so the final shape could be filed right up to the brass turnings. The completed levers were screwed together back to back. This way the contours could be shaped at the same time.

Picture #4 shows the foot pedal assembly in place.

I am taking all the flat pieces that the original drawings call for and adding pieces like I have described. It is giving the pieces a third dimensional effect and making them more interesting to look at.

God bless and thank you for your support and kind comments.
Larry
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:15:15 PM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

I need some opinions and thoughts and I think I am at the right place.

I have been thinking about the flue tubes for the boiler of the LaFrance. The boiler will be an all welded steel construction except for the flue tubes. What I am thinking of doing is drilling and reaming the holes for copper flue tubes. The reamer will be a #1 taper pin reamer. It has an angle of 1.2 degrees. The semi-hard seamless copper tube will be inserted into the tubes sheets and then swaged into place with a tapered punch.
#1 Will this basic concept work ?
#2 Do I need to anneal the copper tube in the area that will be deformed ?
#3 Do I leave a small portion of copper tubing protruding beyond the tube sheets ?
#4 Do I need to bead the copper tubing over ?
#5 The copper tubing I have on hand is semi-hard seamless 0.500" diameter by 0.062" wall thickness. Is the wall to thick ? There is a 0.032" wall thickness available. I imagine I can get at least 12 tubes in the boiler. They will be about 5" long.


I did a little experiment tonight. See picture. I took a piece of 0.250" thick steel. I drilled and reamed a hole as mentioned above. I made a tapered punch with a straight lead to keep the taper portion centered in the tube. I put some oil on the punch, inserted it into the tube and gave the punch a couple of whacks and low and behold the tube was swaged into place. As I was retrieving the punch the copper tube stayed nice and tight and did not rotate.

So, any thoughts, comments, do's, do nots, suggestions or plain he is out of his mind.

Thanks in advance, Larry
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:07:33 AM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

Hi Larry,
You're right, it gives it a cast look and adds a great touch to the build. As far as the boiler construction, I don't see why your method wouldn't work. I for one have only built solid copper boilers with silver soldered flues so I can't totally give you an answer. It does seem like the .062 wall tubing would be a little heavy. I don't remember what mine was but I have hydro tested it to 125 lbs with no problems.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:10:34 AM
Gil Garceau Gil Garceau is offline
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

Do the plans not specify the correct procedure and material?
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:08:12 AM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

Yes, the drawings outline very well the building of a copper boiler that is riveted and silver soldered. The written portion of the plans also mention that boiler construction is one of those areas where a lot of model builders have their own opinions and ways that boilers should be made.

Gil, I had such a bad experience trying to build a copper boiler of a similar size a long time ago, I was in the mind set to do something different from the very beginning of the build. I have built 4 other boilers from steel PVG materials over the past 20 years with a great deal of success. So I opt to go with what I was comfortable with. The only difference being, using copper tube for the flue tubes. Since I have the opportunity to glen information from you and other model makers on this forum, I though I would raise the questions that I did.

I do appreciate your comment and I think I know what you are trying to say in a very polite way. Follow the drawings, dummy !

Gil, I have worked in a research and development field all my working career. Drawings for me were never the very formal format that most machinist see. They were hand sketches on a piece of paper, a napkin and even the back of a business card one time. Having said that, I have approached the drawings furnished with this model as guide lines to the finished product that I have envisioned in my mind.

Yes, I am a weird duck and love to do "my" thing. That is why I love "Model Maker". Sorry to have rambled on. Thanks again, Larry
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:24:51 AM
Gil Garceau Gil Garceau is offline
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

Nothing wierd at all there Larry!
It should be your personal preference, especially if you have the skill set to do what you know will work well.

I also offer this correction... I am not quite a model maker. I am a decent mechanic and I can restore them but I am not a machinist. I have one small lathe and I use it mostly to clean up parts from projects I am restoring.

Steam on,

Gil

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Old 01-29-2011, 03:11:16 AM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

gbritnell, I took your advice and ordered a piece of 0.500" diameter by 0.031" thick wall type L copper tube. It looks great. I do like the thinner wall. Now I need to make a new tapered swaging tool. I guess my only question right now is; do I need to bead over the ends of the copper tube to the flue sheets ???? Reference to Post #67. Salute, Larry
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:56:08 PM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

Another flue tube experiment ! The first picture shows a piece of 0.500" by 0.032" wall thickness that has been swaged into a piece of 0.250" thick steel that represents the flue tube sheets in my boiler. The second picture shows the assembly next to a punch with the same amount of taper as the hole in the 1/4" stock. Next to the punch is a series of hardened steel balls that I had on hand; 0.625" dia., 0.875" dia., and 1.062" diameter. I used these balls in secession starting with the smaller ball first to flare the end of the tube outward. Then a small ball peen hammer was used to flatten the copper down to the surface of the 1/4" plate. I left 0.100" protruding from the 1/4" plate for this process. The hole taper will be larger on the non-pressure side of the tube sheet. I do believe this process will work for my flue tube installation unless someone has any reservations

The technical hurdle is the punch. It was a bear to remove and I will not be able to remove it the way I did for this experiment when installing the flue tubes in the boiler assembly. So it is back to the drawing board on the punch. I am thinking along the lines of an expandable tool of some sorts

I will not be posting for awhile because of getting ready for steam season. I have a few things I want to do to the 1/3 CASE and sawmill.

Again, my fellow modelers, I do thank you for your interest, support and comments. God Bless and till later, Larry
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:06:01 AM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

I have been able to squeeze in a little time on the LaFrance. I am concentrating on the brake rigging right now. The foot pedal and its levers are done. The first attached picture shows the first transfer lever and the prototype adjustable rod end. The lever was fabricated from brass flat and round stock as described in a previous posting. The second picture is a closeup of the adjustable rod end. I think I was a little too aggressive with the file in rounding the edges. So I will hold back on my filing a little bit. So now I am setting up to make 12 of the little guys. Till Later, Larry
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:04:23 AM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

Since I have the 1/3 CASE and 1/4 Scale sawmill pretty well squared away for a show next week, I have been able to spend a little time on the LaFrance brake rigging.
Picture #1 shows the curb side foot lever and the first transfer lever with a link and rod ends in place. The levers will be fastened to their shafts via 00 taper pins.
Picture #2 shows the rest of the rod ends needed plus a few extra. I need to hand file the radius on the end. I will do that as I need them.
Picture #3 shows a rod end with the shoulder bolt to link it to the lever. The shoulder bolt is made from 1/8" hex brass bar stock. The length of the shoulder is 0.120". The threads are 2-56 by 0.070" long. I still need to make 12 more of those little guys.

Thank you once again for your interest and support.

God Bless, Larry
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:12:27 AM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

case place,

a steam mentor of mine has 2 identical boilers with copper tubes, one is in a launch and the other is on a portable rig. between the 2 we steam them up 5-10 times a year for the past 5 years or so, and niether have ever given a bit of trouble. they are 18" o.d. x 48" high with 56- 1/2" tubes firing on solid fuel (mostly yard waste). vft's are deffinetly quick steamers.

tubes were put in the way you say, with a tapered drift but the holes aren't tapered, not saying they can't be but his aren't. annealing probably isn't a bad idea. my friends tubes aren't beaded.

will you being running your pumper with live steam or air? it'd be great to see a model of that caliber puffing smoke and pumping away!

kudos on the workmanship, Jason
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:21:51 PM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

Hey Jason, thanks for the input. It is greatly appreciated. Here is an update on the direction I am headed. I have been posting on the HMEM forum and in particular the "Boiler" section. A gentlemen guided me to a tube roller that was up for sale on ebay and suggested that I drop down to 5/16" OD tubes. The L/D ratio is still well in spec and the smaller tubes would not hinder firing. The tube roller is for 3/8" OD tube by 17 gauge. The mandrel measures 0.252" diameter.

Bottom line is: I purchased some 5/16" OD by 22 gauge tubes from Coles Power Models. The specs on the tube are 0.312" OD by 0.028" wall thickness. This puts the ID at 0.256".

The drawings call for 3/8" OD tubes, so I will keep the same basic tube layout. I will have to make sure I will have clearance for the tube roller on the outter row of tubes inside the fire box.

I will be eliminating 2 tubes. They are right under the exhaust pipe from the cylinders. I am thinking that would not be a desirable thing to have.

The smaller tubes will give the boiler a little more water capacity, but may lengthen the firing time a little. But that is OK, because I am retired and gives me more time to play with my fire engine. So that leads me to your question, do I plan to fire this model ? Does a cat have a climbing gear ? You bet, my friend. I love to play with my toys. I must say I am putting more time and effort in this model than I had anticipated. I think being newly retired has given me a whole new perspective on time and its value. So I am just enjoying what I am doing and going with the flow.

Again, thank you all for your interest and comments, Larry
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:28:08 PM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

I did receive some copper tubing from Coles Power Models a few weeks ago. It was not what I ordered. I wanted 5/16" OD by 22 gauge (0.028") wall thickness. They sent me what the print called for instead, 3/8" OD by 20 gauge (0.035") wall. So I called them and requested what I needed again and why. I sent the 3/8" tubes back for a refund. I received a package a few days ago with 5/16" OD by 18 gauge (0.048") wall copper tubes. I called again and the lady who takes the orders was highly disturbed to say the least about my order. I can not believe that someone would take tubing off the rack and just blindly cut and send out without measuring first. It boggles my mind

Anyway, the bottom line is; I do not believe they have the exact size I need. I plain to call back in a couple of days to check for sure. So I am planning to use a 0.250" diameter drill through the entire length of the tube (6.0"). I will drill from both ends. Then I will use a Letter"F" (0.257") reamer for at least 1.5" to bring each end to size for my tube roller. The minimum diameter for the tube roller is 0.254"

I am open to any thoughts or suggestions !

I have rough cut the two tube sheets from 1/4" plate. The attached picture show the first one in the lathe. I do something that I call pressure turning. I run the jaws out fairly close to the finished diameter. Then I use the live center to hold the plate against the jaws.

Grace and Peace, Larry
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:45:43 PM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

I talked with the folks at Coles Power Models this morning. They did confirm that they have the copper tubing I have requested twice, but for some reason they seem to be unable to follow through. Since they indicated that they would not be able to sell what I have, if I returned them, I decided to make do with what I have. I will proceed to drill out and ream the tubing to the size I need. I hate to see good materials go to waste. It takes about 1-1/2 minutes to do one tube.

On with the build

Picture #1 shows the results of the turning I started in the last posting. Left to right; boiler top tube sheet, mud ring and then firebox tube sheet.

Picture #2 shows a mock-up with the mud ring on the bottom of the firebox and the tube sheets in their basic location with each other. In the foreground is a drilled and reamed flue tube with the tube roller partial inserted. The outer shell needs to have some tabs welded on it for other attachments. I need to remove a couple of bushings at the mud ring area. They are in the way of the coal bin. Then I need to locate the fire box opening. The fire box will be welded in place and then the hole for feeding the fuel into the firebox will be made in both pieces.

Picture #3 shows the tube sheets in their respective location.

Thanks once again for your interest and support.

Peace and Grace, Larry
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:01:35 PM
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Default Re: Model of American La France Steam Fire Engine

Hi Larry,
Ain't that a kick in the pants! They sell you the wrong material and then say that they can't take it back because they can't resell it. Duh!!
I started dealing with the original Coles back in the early 70's. They were real cordial to deal with and I never had any problems.
Since they sold out to the fellow in Texas I have had to deal with them in regard to my Galloway builds. When I get though on the phone they take my order ok. but then I don't see anything for a couple of weeks and have to recall them. At that point they say that they order is just going out. Coincidence?
I guess I deal with them because of the name but their customer service leaves a little bit to be desired. I buy a lot of material over the course of a year and would like to keep any suppliers going but when they don't try to accommodate their customer base well we know where they're heading.
Anyway let me add more laurels to your build. That is going to be an impressive model when you're through. It's the small details that add up to make a great build.
George
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