Friday, November 24, 2017

Kitbashing EBT #6 -- Part 3

In the previous two posts, I described the history of the East Broad Top's third Number 6, a Baldwin  0-6-0 standard gauge switcher built in 1909.  Number 6 was equipped with dual standard gauge and narrow gauge couplers, allowing it to shift EBT and PRR hoppers in the railroad's dual gauge Mount Union Yard.  In Part 2 I detailed how I modified an AHM Roundhouse Southern Pacific switcher to create a convincing model of EBT #6.  In this post, I will go into detail on how I mounted the dual gauge couplers, created a firebox and backhead to disguise the new can motor, and converted the oil burner tender into a coal tender.

The dual couplers were the most challenging problem.  As you can see from the following photo, the 3/4 size narrow gauge coupler was located immediately below and to the side of the standard gauge coupler.

There's not a lot of clearance between the two knuckle couplers, and in the beginning I gave serious thought to using a Rio Grande type flat car with a standard gauge coupler on one end and a narrow gauge one on the other.  The breakthrough came when I realized that I didn't have to use a Kadee #5 coupler for the standard gauge coupler.  I opted to replace the Kadee #5 with a Kadee #714, which will also mate with a #5.  For the narrow gauge coupler, I chose a Kadee N gauge coupler, which will also mate with a #714.  With the 714 centered, I then used an HOn3 coupler gauge to determine the correct height and location for the narrow gauge coupler.

Since the #714 coupler did not fit the cast bushing on the tender frame, I first filed off the bushing, then drilled and tapped for a 1-72 screw and mounted the 714.  Because of the tight clearance, I had to remove one of the supports for the rear steps.  As you can see below, the removal of the support is almost completely hidden by the couplers.  The N gauge coupler was screwed to a small piece of 3/32" styrene strip.  The styrene and the under side of the tender frame were coated with Liquid PSA cement, allowing me to stick the coupler to the frame for a test fit.

Once I determined the exact location for the N gauge coupler, I cemented the styrene base to the tender frame with ACC cement.  Here is a view of the underside of the tender before painting.

And here is the top view with the tender shell removed.

After testing the couplers on a section  of dual gauge track to make sure the couplers would properly mate with both standard and narrow gauge cars, I turned to the front beam of the locomotive.  Here I am using the gauge to adjust the height and location of the narrow gauge coupler.  Again, the inside support for the near side of the front step has been removed.

And here is a view of the dual couplers mounted on the locomotive beam.

Here is the locomotive frame with the couplers mounted.  Note the screw just forward of the draw bar.  Changing from DC to DCC required a firm electrical connection to the engine frame.  I drilled and tapped a 2-56 hole for a screw to attach the red decoder lead. A similar hole was drilled and tapped in the tender floor, for electrical pickup from the fireman's side of the track.

The can motor sits on an angle to the locomotive frame.  The motor is insulated from the frame with Permatex Ultra Black Gasket Maker from my local automotive supply house.  The motor fits snugly inside the locomotive shell, with the back of the motor projecting into the cab.

In order to hide the motor, I decided to build up a dummy firebox and backhead for the locomotive.  I used a razor saw to cut a section from a spare engine shell, that would just fit over the back of the motor.  I cut the forward part of the section to fit squarely against the front of the cah.  The back of the section was cut at a slight angle, and a piece of .020 styrene was cemented to form the backhead.  I used brass parts from PSC to add interest to the backhead, including a D&RGW backhead throttle, part 3009; dual guges, part 3226; a Sargent water glass with valves, part 3019; an early steam/air brake stand, part 3094; a set of 4" valve faucet knobs, part 4884; and a clamshell fire door, part 31160.  Here is what the finished backhead looks like after painting and detailing.

There was one more glaring discrepancy in my kit bashed #6.  As you can see from the above photo, number 6 was, like all the other EBT engines, a coal burner  Problem is, the AHM Roundhouse model was of a Southern Pacific oil burner.  I carefully cut away the oil tank, leaving a rectangular opening on the top of the tender.

 In my scrap box I found a disgarded tender with a coal load.  A little cutting and pasting, and you can see the difference.  The large toolbox on the fireman's side was made from scrap styrene.  The two on the other side were commercial tool boxes.

Once the engine is wired for DCC, the headlight will be a surface mounted LED, or SMD.  Here I am threading the LED wires through the stack.  Using a piece of shrink tubing for a guide, the wires will run back between the boiler shell and the weight.  In this photo, I am testing the LED to make sure it works.

There were one or two remaining details.  In the following photo, notice the large air tank beneath the fireman's side of the cab.  There is no tank on the other side.  I  ordered a 24" tank kit from PSC and cut it to approximately the same size as the prototype.

Also notice the unusual roof vent on the cab.  This was scratch built from styrene angle and sheet.  The decals were purchased from Friends of the East Broad Top.  Since #6 was never turned, this is the view that visitors to my layout will have of this distinctive little switcher.

All that remains is to install the Soundtraxx Econami steam decoder.  I hope you have enjoyed this series about kit bashing EBT yard goal #6.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Kitbashing EBT #6 - Part 2

As I mentioned in my previous post, the AHM Roundhouse 0-6-0 is reasonably close to the EBT's Mount Union yard goat: the drivers are the right size and the length is within a foot of the prototype.  Beyond that, however, there are some significant differences between the two.  Compare the following photo of #6 with the AHM switcher as advertised on eBay.

Note that the model places the bell between the forward sand dome and the steam dome, whereas the prototype has the bell between the forward sand dome and the stack.  A careful examination of the model will also reveal that the domes are quite different from those of the prototype.  In addition, the model has a pair of air pumps about halfway between the cab and the smoke box, passing through the left hand walkway.  EBT #6 had a single pump just forward of the cab.  The kit's cab is steel, while #6 had a wood cab.  And the headlights differ as well.

It was clear that I was faced with two choices.  I could build the kit more or less according to the plans and finesse the differences; or I could "cut and paste" the kit's boiler and cab, add brass parts from Precision Scale Company, and make a reasonably close approximation to the EBT prototype.  Being a glutton for punishment, I opted for the second choice.

The first task was to rearrange and replace the steam domes.  Since the domes are molded on to the kit's boiler, that required removing all three of them.  I considered sawing them off, but I was concerned about damage to the boiler.  Instead, I decided to drill them off.  Using a pin vice with a small bit, I drilled a hole from the underside into the center of each dome.  I enlarged the holes with increasingly large bits, until they would no longer fit in a pin vice.  Then I turned the drill bits manually, gradually scraping away the base of the domes until they were entirely removed.

While I was working on drilling out the molded on domes, I called PSC and ordered a set of two brass sand domes and a brass steam dome for a D&RGW K-37 (parts HO-3014 and HO-3016).  Careful measuring with a micrometer revealed that the 0-6-0 boiler was within a few inches of the K-37, which was, after all, originally a standard gauge engine regauged to 3 foot gauge.   Once the kit domes were removed, I test fit the replacements.  I found that the holes for the rear sand dome and the steam dome were just a tad too big.  Also the hole left from removal of the forward sand dome (where the bell would be positioned) would have to filled in. 

I used Squadron White  Putty to fill in the holes on the boiler.  To keep the filler from extending into the boiler, I wrapped the weight with plastic Cling Wrap and inserted it below the openings.  Then I used a small piece of thin styrene to smooth on a layer of white putty to fill the holes.

After the putty dried, I used fine Emory cloth to smooth off the surface.  While I was at it, I also filled in the opening for the air pumps on the left running board.  In the following photo the domes are just sitting on the boiler and have not yet been glued in place.

Once the putty was thoroughly dry, I sanded it smooth and cemented the domes in place with five minute epoxy.  In the following photo, the cab has been test fit and the visor on the headlight has been removed.

The cab presented its own challenges.  In looking through the PSC steam catalogue, I found only one cab that was a reasonably close approximation to the cab on #6.  It was a Ma & Pa cab in plastic  (part HO31691).  My original intention had been to replace the steel cab in the kit with the wooden version, but the steel cab fit the boiler better  I decided to keep the front and rear portions of the AHM cab, along with the roof for mechanical strength.  I used only the sides of the wood cab from PSC, carefully cutting out the steel cab sides and sliding in the wood sides, glueing them with Plastruct cement.

At this point most of the major alterations to the cab and boiler were done, and it was possible to assemble the engine to see how it all fit together.  Here I have added a "one lung" air pump just forward of the fireman's cab door and a brass steam generator, both parts from my scrap box.  There is still a good deal of detail work to be done, but already my model of #6 is a much more accurate representation of the Mount Union prototype.

This concludes the second installment of how I kit bashed an AHM Roundhouse 0-6-0 into the EBT's #6 standard gauge switcher.  In the next post I will discuss installation of the new can motor and how I constructed a styrene firebox and backhead to disguise it.  Also covered will be the installation of dual couplers on the front engine beam and the rear tender beam.

Kitbashing EBT's Third #6

When the East Broad Top ceased operatons in 1956, its locomotives were put in storage at the Rockhill shops -- all but two, that is. Two standard gauge 0-6-0 Baldwins remained at Mount Union, stored in the two stall engine house.  The standard gauge engines were used in the dual gauge yards to shift both EBT 3 foot gauge hopper cars and PRR standard gauge hoppers.  Coal was transferred from the narrow gauge hoppers to a coal cleaning and sorting facility, then deposited in the Pennsy hoppers for shipment.  Each of the two switchers was the third to carry that number.  Third number 3, purchased from Baldwin in March of 1923, still sits in the engine house, stored inoperable.  Third number 6, built by Baldwin in 1907 (c.n. 30046) was sold in 1975 to the Whitewater Valley Railroad, a museum line in Indiana.  Number 6 served tourist operations for a number of years, and is currently stored inoperable.

In an earlier post I described how I modified a Mantua 0-6-0 to resemble EBT #3.  Number 3 was a thoroughly modern locomotive for the time, with 21x26 cylinders, 175 pounds of boiler pressure, and a tractive effort of 33,500 pounds.  Number 6, on the other hand, was built in 1907 and had a design that was very much pre-1900.  It has been speculated that the engine was built for stock by Baldwin, and the EBT, shopping for a readily available engine, took what was on the lot.  The following is a photo taken soon after #6 was placed in service.  Note that she had a long link indicating that the narrow gauge was still using link and pin couplers.

Number 6 had a long narrow boiler, a single air pump, and a wooden cab.  At 84,200 pounds over the drivers, she was considerably out-weighed by #3, which weighed 137,000 pounds.  Number 6 had 48 inch drivers, 17x24 cylinders, and only 160 pounds of boiler pressure.  It comes as no surprise, therefore, that for most of its life, #6 was stored as a back-up for #3, emerging for a couple of weeks in the summer when #3 was down for repairs and maintenance.  Here is a photo from the 1950's with Number 6 posed at the Mount Union water tank.

Below is a photo from the same era with #6 working the yard one summer while #3 was in the shop.  This is the side that one would see on my layout.  Since there was no dual gauge wye to turn standard gauge locomotives, both #3 and #6 always faced the same way, toward the engine house.

Then several years ago, I ran across an article that first appeared in the December 1990 Railroad Model Craftsman magazine: Modeling EBT N0. 6 by Dean Mellander.  The author started with the MDC Roundhouse 0-6-0 kit, patterned after a Southern Pacific prototype.  The model had the correct size drivers, and the wheelbase was less than a foot too long.  I filed the article away and more or less forgot about the project ... until the 2014 NMRA North East Region Convention in Palmer, Mass.  While shopping for bargains at the dealer tables, I came across the very same MDC kit.  I also picked up an upgrade for the engine that included a new frame and a can motor!  That led to the decision to build and kitbash EBT #6 as part of the requirements for the AP certificate in motive power.

In the next installment of this series, I will explain how I modified the Roundhouse 0-6-0 to create a working model of EBT #6.  The project required extensive modifications of the boiler and cab.  I also had to find a way to mount both standard and narrow gauge couplers on the engine and tender, as found on the prototype.