Forum Options

« Back to Engines and Rolling Stock Topics

Sign In above to begin adding replies.
 

Small starter loco

nomis

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 2

Replies: 17

Posted: Thu 10th Nov 2011, 4:31pm
Small starter loco

As there are a good many experienced loco builders here, can you recommend a first steam engine project for me?

I am looking for something that requires the minimum of machinery to construct, and would be suitable for a small garden line.

I quite like the idea of a 2x Titch, are castings available for this loco?

What size of lathe would be the minimum I would need?

I have a little experience of lathe work, and can use a bench drill / welder fairly competently. Boilermaking does not appeal to me at all - I would imagine that I would farm this stage out.

If the project is too big for me, I may go with a small geared tram engine instead, using a small commercial stationary / marine engine for power. If anyone has experience of locos of this type I would be very interested to hear your thoughts.

Thanks,

Simon
 

Replies To This Post

ivanhewlett

Joined: 1-01-85

Topics: 8

Replies: 53

Posted: Thu 10th Nov 2011, 6:08pm

Hi Simon

I am sure you will get more detailed replies than mine, but I just wanted to comment that in my experience the 7 1/4" Tich is a wonderful loco. They pull way above their size and are very attractive and easy to drive. Being a Kennions design I am sure that there are castings out there.
Go with the Tich if you can and good luck with it, you won't be dissapointed.

Cheers, Ivan
 

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Thu 10th Nov 2011, 7:58pm

Obviously Simon, it depends on what you like the look of, what you envisage pulling with it and how much space you have on your railway. The Tich is certainly an option and is relatively easily transported if you wish to visit other lines. An alternative could be a Romulus, quite a bit bigger and has been designed to be built using a Myford Super 7, probably the most common lathe in existance. It is very simple in construction and can be easily modified to look like what you will (see the many varations that are around). I should look round well before making a decision, there must be many more designs that are suitable for your needs. Good luck!
 

Chris B

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 2

Replies: 17

Posted: Thu 10th Nov 2011, 10:11pm

Hi Simon

I believe that GLR do drawings and castings for Tich in 7 1/4"

I am doing Reeves' "Dougal" X 1.5 as a simple first build but am fortunate in having a very good local foundry so I have made my own "not particulary detailed but work" patterns.

Cheers

Chris
Hi Simon

I believe that GLR do drawings and castings for Tich in 7 1/4"

I am doing Reeves' "Dougal" X 1.5 as a simple first build but am fortunate in having a very good local foundry so I have made my own "not particulary detailed but work" patterns.

Cheers

Chris
 

Narrowgauge7.25

Joined: 1-01-94

Topics: 16

Replies: 107

Posted: Fri 11th Nov 2011, 8:49am

Personnally I went down the Romulus route, mainly because no one could say it was wrong, there are very few that are built exactly the same.
Personnally I went down the Romulus route, mainly because no one could say it was wrong, there are very few that are built exactly the same.
 

nomis

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 2

Replies: 17

Posted: Fri 11th Nov 2011, 9:15am

Thanks for the replies.

I like the idea of the light weight / short wheelbase of the Tich. My line is very small, with some very tight curves.

I would hope to have an engine that can pull 2 adults. More would be nice, but not essential.

Does anyone know what size lathe I would need for a tich?
Are the wheels the largest diameter item that needs turning?

Also,

Does anyone know aht size the cylinders are on these locos?


I have considered a Romulus, but I really think that the finished loco would be too big for me (if I ever managed to finish it!).

Dougal looks very attractive to me, but I think that the wide knowledge base to draw on for LBSC designs would be useful to a beginner...
 

ivanhewlett

Joined: 1-01-85

Topics: 8

Replies: 53

Posted: Fri 11th Nov 2011, 1:06pm

Hi Again Simon

I can vouch for two Tich's that I know of being able to haul around a dozen people on a ground level track with reasonable gradients - no problem.

Good luck choosing, it's part of the fun.

Cheers, Ivan.
 

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Tue 15th Nov 2011, 9:37am

Simon, I hope you're keeping an eye on our Sales and Wants. There's a nice little saddle tank looking for a good home.
 

nomis

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 2

Replies: 17

Posted: Thu 19th Jan 2012, 1:53pm

I am still thinking this over...

There has been a slight change of situation, in that I am now planning to build myself a dedicated workshop (6' x 12'). This will have a substantial workbench built into it.

What would be the minimum size of lathe required for small loco building? Is it possible to build a 7 1/4" Tich on the sort of small "hobby" lathes commonly sold by the likes of machine mart.

Model engineering is something I have long wanted to become involved in, but at the moment my main focus would be to obtain a locomotive, rather than start a long-term build.

As my line is very small (and 7 1/4" seems to be in a minority locally to me), I am tempted to lay a third rail, and look out for an affordable 5" gauge loco instead. I like the idea of something like a Maxitrak or Polly product, as I would be able to obtain spares if needed.

Would a budget of £1-2k be realistic for building a 7 1/4" Tich, or am I way off?
 

king6024

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 1

Replies: 12

Posted: Thu 19th Jan 2012, 3:24pm

may i sugest a sweet william
it is a decent size easy to build and there are a lot of laser cut and ready machined parts avilable if requierd
hope this help
mark

 

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Thu 19th Jan 2012, 4:14pm

Not too many people realise that Romulus was actually designed to be built using the Myford Super 7, so no need to stint, build something that will do plenty of hard work.

I built my Rom for under £1K, admittedly some years ago, but with a copper boiler. At the time I calculated that it cost me less than a packet of fags a week. Didn't save me anything coz I didn't smoke anyway. Lol.

My point is, don't count the cost too much because it all takes time and that spreads the financial load. You don't need to buy everything at once, only as you become ready for it.
 

nomis

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 2

Replies: 17

Posted: Fri 20th Jan 2012, 7:36am

Thanks again for all of the responses.

I understand how building a larger loco (such as a Romulus) makes sense, but I really don't think that it will suit my small garden line. My curves are down to 7-8' radius, and rail is a mixture of 16/21mm alloy. My battery electric loco's (12" wheelbase) handle this fine, but I would need a very small live steam design.

My current stock is built to a scale of 2.5" : 1', to give a 3' gauge prototype. I was thinking that a suitably simple standard gauge design would be more "in scale" with my railway than a full blown 4" scale machine.

I have some experience with smaller scale live steam, and have built my battery loco myself, so have some mechanical know how (my other project hobby / is a full sized, road legal, beach buggy). I am just trying to avoid starting something that I cant finish.

Perhaps taking on a restoration project would be a good option for me? Even if it means having a new boiler made, all of the large machining jobs would have already been done. I would imagine that making new bearings / bushes etc would be pretty straightforward, even on a very small lathe.

What do you think?
 

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Fri 20th Jan 2012, 8:53am

The descision is of course your own, Romulus will manage curves down to around ten feet radius which does sound a little large for you. Dont forget though, other people are reading this and they may find the extra information of use, and that is what forums are all about.
 

franksidebottom

Joined: 1-01-95

Topics: 4

Replies: 28

Posted: Fri 20th Jan 2012, 10:02am

Hi Simon -
Having seen your line's development pictured elsewhere on the internet - you certainly like to move a project along (DO write it up for our Editor!) - a useful option could well be a small part-built loco, the superstructure of which could be completed to your preferred '3ft gauge' outline. There is a 7 1/4" gauge part-built Tich presently on the View Models website that may interest you. Also look out for 'Elidir' (often referred to as 3" Hunslet), 'Jessie' and 'Bridget' (0-4-2) amongst other compact short-wheelbase designs.
With part-built projects, before any purchase do satisfy yourself as far as possible that your prospective purchase is a relatively error-free base to warrant completion.
Good Luck!
Frank Sidebottom
 

colinedmondson

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 3

Replies: 82

Posted: Fri 20th Jan 2012, 7:10pm

I have not had the pleasure of seeing a 7 1/4" TICH, but a small boilered 3 1/2" one that I had years ago would pull 2 adults on a diet of anthracite beans, it was a lovely little loco. Good luck
 

nomis

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 2

Replies: 17

Posted: Sat 21st Jan 2012, 8:27pm

I've had a look at the view models website -VERY interesting!

Buying a chassis with the wheels, cylinders etc already produced would seem to be ideal for my needs.

I would be planning to buy in a boiler (with fittings), so that would leave me with plumbing & platework.

The only 7 1/4" steam loco that I have any experience of was "Queen of Nebraska" on the forest railway at dobwalls (I was very lucky to have a driver experience session before the line closed). If there is anyone on here in the south west who might be able to show me the ins & outs of a smaller engine I would be very grateful. Seeing things for real would probably help me make my mind up...
 

BobL

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 1

Replies: 7

Posted: Wed 1st Feb 2012, 11:04am

Why not try a Dock Tank.    Very straight forward loco just like the prototype built for shunting at Swansea docks.  Performs very well.    Jim Vass sold drawings and castings - now Horley Miniature Locomotives
Why not try a Dock Tank. Very straight forward loco just like the prototype built for shunting at Swansea docks. Performs very well. Jim Vass sold drawings and castings - now Horley Miniature Locomotives
 

bailerboy

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 0

Replies: 4

Posted: Wed 8th Feb 2012, 11:25am

hi i have been in model engineering since about the age of 13, and i am now 18.
at the present time i am building a gwr 1366 but i look after a gwr 1100
hi i have been in model engineering since about the age of 13, and i am now 18.
at the present time i am building a gwr 1366 but i look after a gwr 1100
 

bailerboy

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 0

Replies: 4

Posted: Wed 8th Feb 2012, 11:26am

a pic of the 1100
a pic of the 1100
 

peter beacham

Joined: 1-01-95

Topics: 0

Replies: 5

Posted: Wed 15th Feb 2012, 11:39pm

Hi I have read with great interest your ideas of building a 7 1/4 Tich, as already indicated GLR distributors do the castings for it. I am finally after about 15 years coming to the end of building my 7 1/4 Tich (many delays and a couple of house moves included). It has an 8 1/2" wheel base and according to its spec will go round an 8' radius curve. Wheels are just over 4" dia with cylinder bore around 1 1/2" x 2 1/4" stroke. Its great for a little railway - I only have a short up and down line in the garden but in future years I hope to have a circuit and know at least i wont be constrained by needing a huge plot. The average suburban garden will be just fine!! I have driven a couple of
7 1/4" versions and they are great fun and suprisingly powerful!!

As regards cost apart from the boiler castings would be less than a £1000 - check GLR for up to date prices. I got my boiler from Swindon Boilers about 12 years ago (I did think it might have been finished sooner) I think I paid £750 for it but I am guessing you will pay £2,500 or so now bearing in mind the price of copper!! I too started Model Engineering early (around 12) been at it for 23 years - great fun!! Incidently my first loco was a battery electric dock shunter based on the 00 gauge Triang model - I am still running that 20 plus years later and that due to its short wheel base will traverse 10 foot curves!!

Have fun and let us know how you get on!!
 

johnnicholson

Joined: 1-01-77

Topics: 12

Replies: 69

Posted: Thu 16th Feb 2012, 12:54pm

I still own the original Dock Authority and apart from a bit of touching up and a new set of batteries it is still a runner. I believe Peter used this one for the inspiration to build his.

We as a family have had tremendous fun from a small loco. It was originally built by Keith Parkinson in 1981 and I purchased it from him i approx 1985. My two year learned to drive on this loco and she is now 27.

Regards

John
 

peter beacham

Joined: 1-01-95

Topics: 0

Replies: 5

Posted: Thu 16th Feb 2012, 9:25pm

Hi John

Yes you are right - I remeber seeing your loco back in 1990 up in the lake district at the AGM!! It has a Parkside controller these
 
 
« Back to Engines and Rolling Stock Topics

Web design by Slingshot