Summary of the January 20-21, 2007 Work Session
was a long and very productive day, with work being done on
the locomotive main frame, tender frame, square shafts and horns, coal
bunker, and the articulation joint between the main/tender frame. For
the first time in several years, the work session was cut a bit short
Sunday on the account of snow. Flurries started
before 8:00 AM. The snow accumulated quite quickly, and slick
mountain roads are nothing to trifle with. The last person
departed from Cass at 11:20 AM. All participants had snowy
and slick drives home, but everyone did arrive home safely.
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work continued in the reduction of the large shaft purchased for the
manufacturing of the new crankshaft. Several hundred pounds
of blue shavings were produced, and hauled out to the scrap dumpster.
work on the tank frame construction was pretty much
completed. The last four, of approximately twenty-six,
tapered body-fit bolts were lathe-tapered to fit into their respective
taper-reamed holes. These last four bolts fasten the four
diagonal draw head braces to the longitudinal side beams.
the heavy metal work on the tank frame is complete, the entire unit is
far from finished. Painting, installing wooden decking, and
hanging of air and water lines remains to be done, along with lots of
small details, that cannot be added until much later in the assembly
process of the locomotive.
main frame of a Climax 70-ton locomotive was a pair of fabricated
8-inch beams, built by placing two "C" channels back-to-back, and
riveting them together to form an "I" shaped beam, with
stiffeners nested down into the "C's". The flanges of these
beams have, in high-acid areas such as under the coal bunker, rotted
almost to nothingness. New flanges, cut from new
channels, will be welded on to replace these wasted
elements. This weekend some of the rotted flanges
on the top of the frame were removed by using many thin (1/16 inch)
cut-off wheels, one at a time, on a four inch hand held
grinder. The process was fairly simple: scribe a
line where the cut is to be made, then follow it with the grinding
wheel, all the while being sure to keep the "zip" wheel oriented
straight up. Eventually the wheels cut deep enough to sever
the flange from the rest of the beam. Doesn't sound too bad, you
think? Better guess again: this is a filthy, gritty, nasty
job, but the man who did it all day did not complain once. But think,
the top side was the fun side to do. The bottom has yet to be
tackled. Won't working laying down, looking and reaching
up be fun?
As a point of interest, these
thin cut-off wheels do not last very long, probably less than five
minutes of continuous grinding. Our stock of one hundred
wheels will not be enough to come close to finishing the job. Their
cost each? About $1.70.
Square Drive Shafts
locomotive has three square drive shafts that enable the drive line
assembly to automatically adjust for constantly varying length
requirements as the locomotive's trucks swivel to conform to the
irregularities of the track they are riding upon. Two of
these are rather long, about 48 and 67 inches long.
One end of each shaft, is hammered and machined to form a 4.5 inch
square about 14 inches long; the remainder of each shaft is rough
forged to about 4.5 inch round. On the very end of the round
portion on each shaft is fastened a "horn casting," a part of a
"ring-coupling" assembly, known to modern mechanics as a universal
restoration began, the intention was to rebuild these shafts, but
re-examination of the parts and issues involved were cause for a change
in strategy: make them new. Do not waste valuable time on the old ones
that would still be junk, but good looking junk, even after
reworking. What were the issues?
old pieces are worn and corroded way under their original
size. To weld each one up large enough to finish machine at
4.75 inch would take approximately 40-50- hours. Then there is the time
required to machine the welds to size.
need to be removed, rotated 45 degrees to align with the corners of the
square end (explanation to follow) and somehow re-attached.
This process, in one way or another, entails welding upon the round end
of each shaft, which again translates into many hours of welding and
The age and
wear upon these parts
indicate that fatigue may be a factor in their soundness, even before
any welding is done upon them. Welding on these parts will
not improve their soundness one bit.
of this restoration is to out-shop a locomotive that is to be a
reliable unit of motive power, capable of continual use, hopefully
without major break downs (but this can never be 100% guaranteed, of
course) for many years to come.
issues are evaluated, it only makes sense to go with new parts:
forgings can be obtained at reasonable cost, volunteer hours will not
be potentially wasted, and a more assuredly reliable locomotive will be
As we are going to make new square shafts, the
to them needed to be salvaged for rebuilding. The first
operation, after specking out the shafts, was to saw the horns free,
about two inches from the hub of the casting. secondly, the
was chucked in the lathe, and the center of the shaft drilled
out. This small hole was then drilled and bored out until the
boring operation was removing a portion of the drive key. With the
bottom of the key exposed, the key could then be driven out, as it was
no longer held captive on all four sides. The horn was then
to the big Cass shop, and the remaining relaxed portion of the old
shaft was pressed out.
Eventually the horns will be
oversized, and machined to original dimension. With this in
the external rust and corruption in the zone to be welded was removed
by grinding. Not really pretty, but effective. We
on the first horn that we did that bronze from the horn bearings was
embedded into the surface of the metal: the preheating flame burned
with an odd green color, the sure sign of copper contamination, which
makes for a very poor weld.
If one is wondering why
go to the
great lengths rotate the horns 45 degrees to align with the diagonals,
or corners, instead of the flats, here is a simplified explanation: for
universal joints to operate reasonably smoothly, they must be assembled
as TIMED pairs. TIMED in this case reefers to the parallelism of the
horns from one end of the shaft to the other.
a truck or
automobile this translates to the two "+" shaped crosses being parallel
to one another. The modern slip joint in the drive shaft controls the
relative radial positioning of these two components by the means of
closely spaced "splines", that can be pulled apart, rotated slightly,
and reassembled. BUT, there is only one position, out of say
thirteen splines, that provides the exact and proper alignment of the
crosses along the length of the drive shaft. If a drive shaft
an auto is assembled even one spline out of alignment, an observant
driver will know things are not just right: the drive shaft will
vibrate and will not be quiet. The farther the crosses or
are out of sync with each other, the more the vibration and noise
What has this to do with a
horns of a Climax ring coupling are 45 degrees out of sync, the worst
possible condition. As a horn is rotated beyond 45 degrees, the
offending horn begins to approach the next horn at LESS than 45
degrees. For whatever reason, the horns on a Climax drive
align with the FLATS of the male members, and the horns of the female
members align with the diagonals of the squares, and no matter how they
are assembled, they will always be 45 degrees out of TIME.
is possibly the roughest running universal system ever
constructed. The vibrations set up by this system is
of all the components of the entire drive system, from the crankshaft
all the way through to the final drive gears. We can correct
condition by manufacturing new square shafts, and properly position the
horns relative to the
long while we have been working to fabricate a new half of the hinge,
or articulation joint that connects the tender frame to the main
frame. The locomotive operated for many years with hinge
that were not really mates for each other, and resulted in excessive
damage due to misalignment and overriding. This weekend
together of the several parts began. Several more weekends of welding
If you are a proficient welder,
this project needs you.
Work continued on
reducing the diameter of the crankshaft from 8.5" to about 6.5".
This photo shows the depth of a typical cut, about 1/4".
(Photo by Grady Smith).
is what the flanges of the main frame's "C" channels look like.
They are severely deteriorated and must be replaced.
by Grady Smith).
view shows the main frame after the bad flanges were cut away.
Each cut was almost 10 feet long and took about five hours.
There are two more upper flanges to be cut off and four lower
flanges (that will be much harder to cut). (Photo by Grady
horn (or trunnion) mounted in the lathe so the shaft can be partially
A small pilot hole was drilled, then followed by the larger
above. This hole was then bored out until it reached the
and allowed the old shaft to be removed. (Photo by Grady Smith).
view of a horn showing the severe shaft wear. The worn shafts
will be welded up and machined back to the correct round diameter.
(Photo by Grady Smith).
of the partially completed articulation joint. The original
trashed in a smashup that ruined the tank frame. Its
was not a match for the half of the joint that evidently was not
broken. This new fabrication matches the original..
by Grady Smith).