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Projects ... A3 Switcher   Tender Tank  4/16/07, 9/12/07, 12/10/07, 5/24/08

This page covers the fabrication of the Tender Tank ... Section 5,6,7,8 and 9 pages 29 thru 63.

New things to learn... bending square stock, bending flat sheets, copper and brass forming, soft soldering, handrails making and embossing ... lots of stuff. And as always, making fixtures so that the parts are made to fit all the other assemblies. This where I got a lot of use out of my surface plate and height gauge. Really recommend getting both ... it doesn't have to be expensive just something to let you know how the parts measure out ... a real time saver.

First I want to say thanks to Robert Sigler ... I was having trouble understanding how to fabricate the Verge Board (see page 37 paragraph 5.5 and figure 5-14). So I emailed my questions to Robert and he promptly replied not only with how to make the Verge Board but he also sent a template and 4 drawings in pdf format. With his drawings I could rotate them to see all the prospective angles. After studying them for a while it became clear on how to proceed. He has also answered other questions and provided several informative tips. Thanks Robert.

Robert hangs out at  Discover Live Steam  forum, if you are not a member you will need to sign up ... a lot of information is there just for the asking. There are a lot of other members that are very helpful. See Contact and Links for other sites on the A3.

Each picture below is a thumbnail so it can be enlarged to get a better view ... back arrow to return.
My neighbor made the former and backing plate for me. Checked the dimensions with the surface plate and gauge ... perfect! The Copper sheet is .04" and the 260 Brass 3/32" is for the floor.
  The height gauge is sitting on a pair of V blocks which measured 4.905". Now cutting the copper sheet to the required dimensions was easy. I used my bench sander to smooth the edges and make the radius.
Same neighbor has a table saw with a carbide blade ... cut through the Brass plate very easily and was amazingly square. Then I used his 4 foot edge sander to smooth out the edges and the basic floor plate was done ... ready to drill all the holes. But I am going to drill selective holes ... I want everything to line up correctly! 

  The copper side plate is ready to be annealed, it looks funny here but it is actually symmetrical.
Annealed and I have started to form it ... this turned out to be a lot easier than I thought. Just lightly hammered the edges using my bright orange soft plastic hammer.    This picture really shows what not to do ... I should have started closer to the rounded edge then hammer the straight edge. It worked out okay as you will see later. I annealed the straight edges twice and corners 3 times before I was finished. 
To ensure a perfect fit I attached the floor to the frame then center drill, counter sink, drill and tap without removing the assembly. Each hole was done the same way.    Nice to have a vice that will clamp the whole frame. 
This is my fixture that I used to bend the horseshoe braces ... multiple uses! Just change the aluminum cylinders and I had a different radius. This bending was done without annealing the Brass rod. As you can see it snapped. I emailed Robert to find out if this was normal. Yep ... annealing required.
  Tried again ... this time I had annealed the Brass to a dull red ... bending was so much easier. I annealed it again to reduce some of the spring back ... I think it helped a little. Those two screws prevent the bar from bowing out ... keeps it straight.
Each and every counter sink hole was done with the mating part attached, that way all mounting screws were located exactly in the correct spot for re-assembly. Took more time, but was well worth the effort.
  Closer view of the bottom horseshoe.  
Top Horseshoe getting the second bend ... same fixture just different attachments. Be careful on this radius ... Kozo provides the outside radius ... here I needed the inside radius. Makes a big difference when trying to get everything fitted. 
  This is the template that Robert sent me for the Verge Board... glued to the brass sheet. Just cut it with band saw and formed the curves with the table belt sander.
This arrangement provides the correct position to obtain the 15 degree tilt for the Verge Board. The block of Aluminum has a cutout with about a 11.6 degree slant. We want the corners to be vertical at the center of the bend.    I again used the bending tooling for the Vertical Board only with much taller columns. I thought about trying using Kozo's method using sandwich plates for bending ... just didn't think I could do it ... so I used my fixture method. The next step is to assemble the parts using 1-72 screws. Here I'm making sure everything fits just right before I start drilling holes!
Update 9/12/07
Well it has been a long time since my last update (5 months, where does the time go?!). A lot has been done ... it's just that some of the work is very detailed and takes a lot of time. Plus I acquired some new equipment and that took away from the A3 project. Also I took a Welding course at the local college ... to expend my capabilities.
Above I am taking some last measurements before I start soft soldering the side plates. As you can see the Coal Bunker has been assembled and secured with 1-72 screws. So it is also ready for soft soldering.
  Side panels soft soldering ... completed. Looks messy and has too much solder. I used Oatey Solder and H-2095 Water Soluble Flux so it is easy to clean. The only problem with this solder is that it has a diameter of 1/8". I have to get better at soldering before I start on the Top Plate.
More soft soldering ... think I am getting better!

And better! Look at the bottom not the top!
This is my embossing set up. The back guide is used to keep the panel straight and set the distance from the rivet head to the panel edge at .078" or 5/64" consistently for each and every rivet.
A closer look ... I tried to set the diameter of the die to equal the spacing, but couldn't. So I ended up using the surface plate and height gauge to scribe the location of each rivet ... time consuming but it worked great. My spacing ended up at .1325". I used this number so I would not end up have cutoff rivets at the corners.

For the curves I made a drawing and pasted it on the Top Plate ... no back guide here. I also set the depth of the die so that the rivet height is about .025". I got that from Kozo's Building the New Shay.

Finished embossing for now ... here cutting out the rectangular hole for the manhole assembly.
The mounting flange for the manhole ... came from the Top Plate cutout. See below for fitting ...
  The beginning of the manhole cover ... a suggestion ... pre-solder the plate and then the cylinder. Then heat together ... it works much better than trying to heat the whole thing!
I could not get the manhole assemble on the 9x20 chuck to cut the flange to size. So I used a mandrel instead, also used it as a former to get the tube inside diameter the correct size.
  Here is one of those little hinges ... the radius must be very close to .078" (5/64") otherwise the door won't open/close all the way.
Well I put the soldering off as long as I could ... in spite of its looks, I am very please with the results. I was able to control the amount of solder so that it did not overflow too much on the top surface.

  The Tender Tank really cleaned up nice!
The finished Manhole assembly. Notice the rivets ... Kozo does not show them on the drawing for the plate. But they are shown in the various pictures. I like the looks as it maintains a continuity on the Top plate. Close up of the Coal Bunker.
Notice that solder came through just a little on the mounting screws. By the way ... that little hole in the bottom plate ... an earlier mistake. Later on I will fill the hole so that no one will ever know it was there!

  Almost done!

What is that in the background?

Still have lots to do on the tender...

Dummy Side Plates

Coal Stopper


Handrails and Handholds

Then I can move on to the Hand Pump and the Piping...
That copper and brass really shines nice.
Although I still have lots to do on the Tender Tank I am looking ahead to the Driver Wheels. In fact, I'm taking a Fabrication class at the local College. There I will get some additional experience in the machine area and CNC. I hope to make the Driver Wheels using CNC. I have some machinable wax and 12" of 12L14. The big thing is they have a Haas VF 1, 2, 3 and a new VF 4. This ought to be fun!!

Until next time ....
Update 12/10/2007
Since my last update I've spent most of my time has been writing the G code for the Drivers. I had a opportunity to use a Haas CNC machine at a local college so I jumped ahead. So here are a few pictures showing what was done on the Tender Tank: Dummy Side Plates, Coal Stopper and Handholds.
I used a print out from the Cad program to correctly size the Dummy Side panels. There are actually two panels sandwiched together so that the dimensions and curves will be the same for both sides. Not much to see here ... just the Coal Stopper and part of the Dummy Side panel. I wonder if the Coal Stopper is high enough, maybe I will go back a make it higher when in actual use.
Pictured above is a 1/16" strip of sheet brass soft soldered to a brass bar . The line in the blue layout ink is to locate the Y coordinate on the CNC machine. These will be placed in a vice and machined using the Haas CNC.

Just finishing the last Handrail Support ... total 8 pieces of the 3 hole and 6 of the 2 hole. Took all of 5 minutes to run ... won't say how long it took write the program ... but it was my first hand written program ... no CAM software. Just straight G code.

                  Still have a little more work on the Tender:

Handrails to bend and mount.

Machine the Handholds .... wonder if I can use the CNC lathe they have ... that would be nice as I need four of them!

Mount the Steps.

The Hand Pump and Tender Piping\.
A better view of the Dummy Side panel, the embossing was the same shown before just a lot more ... glad I'm done with that for now. The Steps still need to be finished and then mounted.
Update May 24, 2008
Time does fly when you are having fun!! This update covers the remaining build for the Tender, except for the Headlight and Painting. These things will be done when the Engine completed (a few years from now!). There are a few minor items that I may change ... I will point out these later.

Note that all photos are thumbnails ... click on them to enlarge then "Back arrow" to continue.

The handrails and stairs were not all that difficult to make ... mounting them on the Tender was a bit more difficult. The hole placement has to be just right. This seems a little extreme ... but it did work! I didn't want to tilt the head too much so I adjusted Tender some. I found out later that a friend had a right angle attachment. With that I would not have to re-tram the head.
Same idea, but for the Stairs and Handrails not so much of a tilt. Once I got the 1st screw in place I would drill the counter sink, then the hole for the tap, move the Y axis over 0.531" and repeat for the next mounting screw. Remove Stairs then tap, move back and tap that hole.

This tap is for the Handrails pads. Used the same sequence as I used for the Stairs.
Keeping things straight.   This is one of the Handholds that was machined on the Haas CNC Lathe. Although the program was simple and short ... the setup was not. After many trials (see next photo) I found that I had to use the tailstock to support the long thin hex rod. The extra material was needed because the tool had a be a certain distance away from the tailstock.
Sample of the trail and error results along with the almost finished Handholds. As expected ... all four came out the same.

A close up ... not all of the machining was done on this CNC. After this I took them home to finish them.
Getting ready to turn the diameter for the threads. Here I'm setting the tool for the correct position. Once that is established I changed to the other cutting tool. Simple enough ...
And finally the rounding tip ...

Putting it all together...
Getting closer...   The Tender Pump along with Link and the Lever (these were done on the CNC). I had a real hard time with drilling the column ... had to replace it 2 times (stupid errors). But once again I prevailed!
For some reason I was not able to fit the pump body in my lathe to drill the valve top seat and the bottom hole. So I set it up on the mill and used the co-ax indicator to find the center of the column.

I did a lot of turning on the opposite side with the lathe in reverse. It was a lot easier to turn the taper .
Turning round stock into hex.
  Parting off the small parts.
The collection of the Tender Piping. Notice I used the 5/32" tubing from a local hobby store. The Suction Strainer ... I just could not soft solder the brass screen. So I made it different ... not sure that I like it just yet ... but it does work. Since I found Ed Hume's "how to photos" I may try again.
To make a right angle bend in the small tubing I filled it with Cerrolow a metal that melts at 117 degree F. I didn't use all of the billet ... just a small section. I also made a holding fixture with a small hole to let the air out while filling. And a funnel that turned out to be too big and heavy. I will slim it down next time. I only had ONE volcano eruption.
The finished pump, piping and handle. Notice the suction screen is also not soldered. The removable screen idea is actually from Kozo's Building the New Shay as an alternate way of securing the screen. It works for me!
The pump works pretty good, the pressure drops down from 300psi to 150 real fast then very slowly to 90. I think the spring may need to be a bit stronger.

This is what the undercarriage looks like. I will finish the brackets for the rubber tubing later when the Engine water line are installed ... at that time I will know more of what is needed.
It's finally done, well almost. I'm very happy with it ... only a few things I might re-due.

Soon I will be ordering parts for the frame, finishing the drivers etc.

Hope you have enjoyed the journey.

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