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Member postings for Ron Laden

Here is a list of all the postings Ron Laden has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Electric Traction Engine
15/11/2018 08:54:00

Taken the dimensions of the 1 inch Minnie cylinder block (less the saddle) and increasing it to my scale (1.625 inch to the foot) I should be able to get it out of a 100mm x 80mm dia 6082 off cut I have, so thats a bonus.

Working on finalising the gear train and the best place to introduce the motor drive. The motor will be mounted in the boiler/firebox area, I have considered taking the drive up through the top plate and connecting to the second shaft but its not that simple. So I think I will go with the mounting the motor to the offside side plate driving a 20 tooth which connects with the 50 tooth on the 3rd shaft. This shouldnt look too bad, it is an extra gear and it would have been good to drive the 20 tooth on the 2nd shaft but the motor is 90mm diameter so it has to be mounted quite well down on the side plate and would mean more gears to make the connection.


14/11/2018 11:14:05

Thanks guys,

Paul, of course you are correct I dont need a piston. I was thinking I would need one to keep it all running true but of course with the rod running in a gland and supported from the cross head it will be fine. I think aluminium would be a good choice as it machines well and not too costly.

Jason, I was thinking of having a go at machining the cylinder from solid but I can see the merits of a two piece assembly. I havnt looked for any next size tube but if I cant find any I do know someone who could roll me a piece. I wouldnt need a full tube of course, just a blank to the correct radius which I could cut the part from. Could also cut out a saddle for the chimney base.

Thanks again guys.

A picture below of the horn plates offered up the right way around, I was just testing with the previous photo..wink


13/11/2018 20:57:52

Gradually putting together a material shopping list, I will be machining the cylinder block from solid and was thinking of what would be a good material for this. When using castings I dont know what they are made from, bronze, cast iron..? Of course I dont have to consider the cylinder in quite the same way as it wont be live steam and will be working in reverse... i.e. the piston will be driven by the connecting rod. In operation it will look the same but the drive will be from the drive motor further down the gear train.

I was thinking of using bronze, but any other thoughts would be helpful.


Edited By Ron Laden on 13/11/2018 21:15:30

13/11/2018 19:19:27
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 13/11/2018 18:52:41:

I'm surprised your tube was that far out. When I made my scope I took a tidying up cut on the outer diameter, but it was only a tiny scrape to give a good finish.


Hi Neil, must admit I was surprised it was as far out as it was but 101.3 to 102.8 at one end and 101.4 to 102.9 at the other and that is over 280mm length. I probably got the first or last bit out of the die plus it probably came in from Russia, a lot of aluminium extrusion comes from there.

13/11/2018 09:23:26

Managed to pick up some mild steel blanks yesterday, local and even better "free"..smiley

Machined to size and shape this morning, just a 1/2 inch rad to put on the top front corner but will do that by hand.

I went with 3mm sheet in the end, scale wise that is 7/8 of an inch, although I,m not building a scale model I would like to try and keep things looking realistic. I dont know the side plate thickness on a full size engine (varies I suppose) but I guessed at 1 inch, I could be way off but hopefully not.


12/11/2018 16:17:31

Getting some materials together so I can progress. I have no experience with bronze, would SAE660 Bronze be ok for the axle and shaft bearings, I did see it referred too as "bearing bronze" with one supplier so assumed it would be.

Thread: Brazing Mild Steel
12/11/2018 13:40:56

I have a complete beginners question here as I know nothing about welding, brazing/silver soldering etc. I also know nothing of all the technical terms used.

I had it in my head that when welding say two steel parts together the welding process by whatever method melted the steel and the molten metal from both parts fused together with or without filler rod and once set that was a welded joint.

I am probably missing the obvious but how does brazing/solver soldering work with steel, if the steel doesnt melt but the filler rod does, how do you get a strong joint between the parts..? It obviously does work but I cant get my head around how..?, I am imagining the lower temp filler rod just lying on the surface of the steel with no real connection.

C,mon guys put me right.

Thread: Electric Traction Engine
12/11/2018 10:20:14

Thanks Paul,

I expected the tube not to be round, was hoping for a bit better than 1.5+mm though but then it is 4 inch diameter and I guess the larger the tube the more the run out.

I did think that if the boiler maker charged his time at say £10 per hour he cant be making much, I dont know how long it takes to produce a complete and tested boiler but its obviously not a five minute job.

Going out to pick up some steel blanks for the horn plates, I,ve found some local to me.


12/11/2018 08:26:26

There is a 1 inch Minnie boiler for sale on Ebay, its brand new and the cost is £850. I was quite surprised at the price but it looks to be very well made, said to be very accurate dimension wise, has manufacturers certificate and is pressure tested. When I thought about the work that will have gone into it I guess the price is understandable.

Thread: AF socket sets. Are they extinct
11/11/2018 09:45:05

Couldnt you just buy the sockets you need plus a ratchet, T wrench and a short and long extension and fit them into a small tool roll, it would take up hardly any space at all.

Thread: Electric Traction Engine
11/11/2018 08:35:49

I have managed to get the basics of the chassis put together, I am calling it a chassis as its hardly a boiler as per a conventional build. One problem I had was the 4 inch aluminium tube, on checking it isnt concentric, it has over 1.5mm difference in diameter when measuring around the circumference. It is not noticeable by eye, it looks perfectly round, but it is not true when measured. The ideal would have been to put it up on the lathe and turn it true but I have no means of mounting and supporting it. So I bored the 4 inch hole in the throat plate to the largest diameter, knowing this would give me roughly half circumference as a good fit and half with a gap.

I then set up the tube to the plate on the mill table making sure all was square, then I fixed the good fit with 638 retainer. Once this was dry and fixed I made up some JB weld original and using a small pallet knife pressed in the mix from both sides until I had completely filled the gap. I set it up so the good fit was at the top of the tube and the gap on the underside. There is also 4 screws which connect the tube to the throat plate but even without them the tube and plate wouldnt come apart in a hurry.

I did consider Jasons suggestion of continuing the side plate upwards and rearwards as per full size, but as I had the ali plates I decided to use them. I am going to make up a pair of steel horn plates and they will be fastened to the ali side plates.

So bear with me guys it maybe looks a bit "strange" at the moment but I think once the horn plates are fitted it should start to look a bit more familiar.


Not too good a picture but you can see the JB Weld joint at bottom of the tube.


Edited By Ron Laden on 11/11/2018 08:51:50

Edited By Ron Laden on 11/11/2018 08:52:46

Thread: Model Electric Motors?
10/11/2018 21:35:13

That base looks really good, a pleasing shape, boy you dont hang around do you, only 24 hours ago you were thinking of making it, its now drawn, base made, turned parts done. I would need at least a week to think how I was going to tackle it.


Thread: 5 inch 0-4-0 Shunter
10/11/2018 14:30:59

Thanks Phil, if I had more shop time, the shunter could have been finished by

I am a very early riser, I,m usually in the workshop each morning by 5.30am and normally get 3 hours before breakfast, then the happenings of the day take over but most days I get a couple of hours in the afternoon.

I think going with electric does make them much quicker to build though Phil, they are nothing like as complex as steam locos. Even an electric powered scale diesel is relatively simple in comparison. I am a beginner and I am learning but I cant ever see me having the skills that you guys have in building scale steam loco,s, static engines, clocks etc, I think its just beyond me.

So I guess electric models makes things a lot easier, hence the little shunter and traction engine. I can see an end to them, it would be pointless me trying to build say a scale traction engine, it would never get finished and I would get fed up with it, but thats just me.


Thread: Model Electric Motors?
10/11/2018 13:48:42

Sounds good Jason, out of interest what material did you use for the crankshaft.?

Thread: 5 inch 0-4-0 Shunter
10/11/2018 11:23:07

Just to say that the 0-4-0 is not forgotten, although I have started the electric traction engine I have been doing some small jobs on the shunter. My aim is to complete it over the winter and have it ready for its first outing early spring.


Thread: Model Electric Motors?
10/11/2018 10:59:36

Jason, I dont know if you intend to post progress or not but I for one would like to see the build as it goes along, I think it will be an interesting project and it would be good to see it develop.


Thread: Boiler certification in a launch
09/11/2018 16:52:03

I know very little about steam engines and boilers etc but how anyone can operate one at any scale with an untested boiler is beyond me. I would keep looking at the boiler thinking "is it safe" maybe its just me.

Edited By Ron Laden on 09/11/2018 17:07:15

Thread: Model Electric Motors?
09/11/2018 16:21:10

I would have thought that the bends in the crankshaft would keep it centred, plus the original doesnt appear to have any form of location or retainers but I could be wrong.

09/11/2018 13:18:00

Jason, are you going to improve on the crankshaft or keep all as per the original, it obviously works well enough on the original.

09/11/2018 09:41:46

That does get a move on, I didnt imagine they would run that fast. Fascinating little thing, its easy to forget how well a lot of the old stuff ran and though it seems simple now it would have been quite ingenious in its day.

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