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Making from castings or scratch build.

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Former Member24/07/2019 16:34:48

[This posting has been removed]

JasonB24/07/2019 16:42:18
18140 forum posts
1997 photos
1 articles

Scratch for me as the subject is often one that has not been modelled before or is heavily modified from published cast designs. So there is not just the actual making but the design aspect as well which makes it even more satisfying when you end up with a working engine.

The actual making is often a lot more involved where the fabrication or cutting from solid to arrive at a "cast" part needs far more work than say just facing and boring a bought in casting.

Mark P.24/07/2019 16:54:50
612 forum posts
8 photos

I'm currently building the Muncaster slipper head horizontal engine from scratch but with a piston valve instead of the slide valve. All parts have been machined from steel and cast bar rather than aluminium. The flywheel is a 5'' cast iron trolley wheel.

Mark P.

HOWARDT24/07/2019 17:13:53
559 forum posts
15 photos

Currently building 3 1/2” Evening Star from scratch. Retired so time to me is free and if I don’t complete it then perhaps some one else can. Casting prices increased by nearly 60% in less than a year for the main wheels and had already made the cylinders from scratch. But if time is important then castings or just save and buy a finish machined kit. You pays your money and takes you choice.

Brian H24/07/2019 17:54:38
1643 forum posts
108 photos

I'm with Jason on this.

One of my models required a lot of castings so I made my own patterns, mostly out of plywood with fillets from car body paste.


A commercial foundry (Canlin Castings) near to me suggested the use of Meehanite as they were always using it and it made a superior job. Some of the castings, such as the foundation ring and firehole ring were cast in gunmetal. Very satisfying (when it works).


Edited By Brian H on 24/07/2019 17:55:17

Baz24/07/2019 18:00:47
386 forum posts

Over the years I have purchased castings from all the major suppliers, and been dissatisfied with nearly all of them. I now either fabricate or machine from solid

Perko725/07/2019 07:01:07
329 forum posts
24 photos

Only castings used so far on my (one and only to date) build project (not steam) were the wheels. Everything else fabricated from whatever I had lying around. If tackling a steamer I would want to use castings for at least wheels and cylinders for a first attempt, after that who knows.

Paul Lousick25/07/2019 08:45:55
1417 forum posts
542 photos

Building from purchased castings is quicker but making something ftrom scratch is definitely more rewarding. It all depends on what you want to achieve. I am building a 6" scale traction engines and would have prefered to make my own patterns and make my own castings but that would be too much of a task. Its been a 7 year build so far.

Most of the accessories, lubricator, valves etc. have been build from scratch. This allows you to modify existing designs and give it a personal touch. It is also much cheaper than paying someone else for their work and definitely more rewarding.


Mike Poole25/07/2019 09:36:58
2577 forum posts
60 photos

Are you proposing to make your own patterns and castings or machine from solid and fabricate? Some ready made castings can be a bit tight on machining allowances and need a good think before cutting metal.


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