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Ballaarat construction series

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Luker21/05/2021 15:19:30
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179 forum posts
145 photos

Hi everyone. Here’s a little sneak peak of my next construction series… hopefully not much longer before it gets published.

An exceptional video of the Ballaarat by Anthony Dawson (thanks to him for permission to embed it here)…

Meunier21/05/2021 19:25:12
448 forum posts
8 photos

...and no problems with having to remove the cab roof !
DaveD

SillyOldDuffer21/05/2021 21:15:51
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8903 forum posts
1999 photos

Thanks for posting the video - fascinating connection between Wales and Australia, then and now.

I wonder who the men in the photo are? Judging by how it's staged, with the shed door behind covered by a tarpaulin, I think this is the occasion of the engine being handed over to the customer. My guess is the men are posed in strict social hierarchy:

ballarat.jpg

  • Chap A, far left and as far away as possible from the others is a toff. Smart clothes, top hat and cane. I reckon he's from the company who sold the engine. Positioned there because the engine is no longer his.
  • B and C are also toffs. As they're dominant on the footplate I think they're the owners, possibly partners.
  • D's hat and relatively smart clothes below indicate middle class: he works for the men on the footplate, but although literally and socially underneath them, he's a man of substance. I think he's the manager.
  • E is next most important, but his dirty trousers show he's a working man, probably the driver.
  • F also has grubby trousers and is only just in the picture. His hat is common and he only has a waistcoat. I think he's the fireman.

Dave

clivel21/05/2021 21:55:27
344 forum posts
17 photos

Fascinating video.
Interesting to hear that Ballaarat is based on Dolgoch, especially as Dolgoch was renamed Pretoria from 1900 to 1914 in celebration of the taking of Pretoria by Lord Roberts during the Second Boer war.

I doubt though, that this was a factor in your choice of prototype.

Clive

Luker22/05/2021 07:15:41
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179 forum posts
145 photos

Yep this little loco is loads of fun on the track, and easy to drive (no pesky roof or cut-outs to take skin offcrying). She takes two large adults without slipping or complaining (haven’t connected another drive cart to see how many people she could carry). She has a constant lead valve gear so you just slip the reverser in full forward and you can forget about it until you parked in the station again. I haven’t found the valve gear to be lumpy (suppose that’s the benefits of dynamic simulations) and I can get my fingers between the cylinders for maintenance etc. I actually blew out one of the valve chest gaskets when I was (abusively) testing the loco and it was no issue to take the cover off and replace the gasket (just baking paper, no sealant) on the loco. I had forgotten to tighten two nuts and she still steamed for the rest of the day. Incidentally when I test a loco I do a proper job to make sure the design is sound.

I like the analysis of the gents in the manufacturing yard picture! Seems like, even in those days the person that’ll do most of the work is furthest from the loco.

Na, I just liked the look of that low pitched boiler and the odd valve gear. I actually didn’t know of the connection to Pretoria…

I call this my COVID loco; it was designed and built in the first 9 months of 2020 when we had a very restrictive lockdown.

Luker20/07/2021 13:40:48
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179 forum posts
145 photos

Hi All, the first installment of the little Ballaarat is in the current issue. I'm quite excited about sharing this build! I hope everybody enjoys the series. Here's a small animation of the design. I removed the back panel to make the backhead more visible.

Luker04/08/2021 07:07:31
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179 forum posts
145 photos

Hi everyone, here's a video of the real Ballaarat resting in state...

Thanks to Jacquie for sending it through!

Luker04/08/2021 07:09:24
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179 forum posts
145 photos

And a video of the little one going around our little track...

Phil H104/08/2021 12:39:19
459 forum posts
60 photos

Thanks for posting. I have seen issue 1 of the build in the ME and I will definitely be following this with interest.

Rob McSweeney04/08/2021 14:21:52
73 forum posts

Anyone done a build cost estimate on Ballaarat yet?

Luker04/08/2021 15:59:20
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179 forum posts
145 photos
Posted by Rob McSweeney on 04/08/2021 14:21:52:

Anyone done a build cost estimate on Ballaarat yet?

I can’t help with exact costing because most of the materials came from scrap or left over stock from one of my previous builds. The design uses common bar stock and metric fasteners available from pretty much anywhere. The main items were as follows:

Laser cutting $138 (this includes the frames, linkages and boiler - laser cut and rolled)

Castings from scrap

All boiler fittings machined from risers or non-ferrous hex bar, depending on the position

All copper steam lines from refrigeration tubing

Paint - 2k automotive paint

I used a model engineering trade gauge someone gave me but this will be replaced as soon as I make a batch of gauges for my current loco.

Chris Perkins 304/08/2021 20:10:35
8 forum posts

Watching with interest , love the idea of Metric Fasteners !

Former Member04/08/2021 20:32:32
1085 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Jon Lawes04/08/2021 20:35:10
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995 forum posts

Fantastic to see a new construction series. Once it's in ME, it's a part of history!

Jon Lawes04/08/2021 20:51:49
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995 forum posts

I've started a Wiki page on the SmallLiveSteamEngines site; I'll flesh it out as more information is forthcoming.

 

https://smalllivesteamengines.fandom.com/wiki/Ballaarat_(5_Gauge)

Edited By Jon Lawes on 04/08/2021 20:52:07

JasonB05/08/2021 07:43:03
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23070 forum posts
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Posted by Luker on 04/08/2021 15:59:20:
Posted by Rob McSweeney on 04/08/2021 14:21:52:

Anyone done a build cost estimate on Ballaarat yet?

I can’t help with exact costing because most of the materials came from scrap or left over stock from one of my previous builds. The design uses common bar stock and metric fasteners available from pretty much anywhere. The main items were as follows:

Laser cutting $138 (this includes the frames, linkages and boiler - laser cut and rolled)

Castings from scrap

All boiler fittings machined from risers.....................................

 

The "Castings" are likely to be where the costs and work are for those that do not have the facility to cast their own like you do so will either have to make patterns to have the parts cast or fabricate/cut from solid presumably from bronze which could be costly. They also won't have any risers as a material source.

Will the drawings have sufficient dimensions of the "cast" surfaces so that builders can make patterns, fabricate or cut from solid as it's usual to just dimension the machined features for cast parts?

Though some of this could be offset by getting a hacksaw and file out rather than laser cuttingwink

Edited By JasonB on 05/08/2021 07:45:20

Luker05/08/2021 15:53:40
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179 forum posts
145 photos

Thanks guys; Jon I like the wiki page!

Jason; there should be enough dimensions to make patterns. If any are missing it wasn't intentional. I have no doubt that there is no casting I can come up with that you can't fabricate! But for the average builder or even the beginner I don't think any of the parts will pose much of a problem (to fabricate). The cylinders will require a decent torch, and some of the detail can be left out to simplify.

With the price of hacksaw blades and files I think the laser cutting comes out cheaper, I’ve started cutting up my old band saw blades to make hacksaw blades… laugh

Phil H106/08/2021 20:25:04
459 forum posts
60 photos

I would have thought that the wheels can be taken from another design? Maybe even the cylinders too? There is bound to be an engine out there already with similar sizing?

Luker07/08/2021 07:28:00
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179 forum posts
145 photos
Posted by Phil H1 on 06/08/2021 20:25:04:

I would have thought that the wheels can be taken from another design? Maybe even the cylinders too? There is bound to be an engine out there already with similar sizing?

I think you may find similar castings, any inside frame Stephenson 5g model with similar bore and stroke could probably be modified. The cylinder castings and cylinders are shown below. The fancy cutouts around the steam ports are only to improve the castability, and aren't necessary (besides these are at the bottom and on the large loco this was covered in cladding).

20200509_145615.jpg

20200701_142933.jpg

Luker07/08/2021 07:30:07
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179 forum posts
145 photos

One casting that might be difficult to find is the smokebox door, but this could easily be built up or machined from a disk. The cutout at the bottom is something unique.

20201013_160831.jpg

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