Author Topic: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)  (Read 356962 times)

Online Kim

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Re: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)
« Reply #2595 on: March 20, 2023, 04:08:27 AM »
Thanks Dave!
I'm kinda looking forward to having the boiler behind me, you know?  It's been a great project, and I'm learning a lot.  But it's been quite the stressful rollercoaster ride!   :Lol:

Kim

Offline Prowler901

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Re: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)
« Reply #2596 on: March 20, 2023, 04:57:51 PM »
Excellent progress, Kim!

Todd

Online Kim

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Re: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)
« Reply #2597 on: March 20, 2023, 05:23:08 PM »
Thank you, Todd!  :cheers:
Kim

Offline Roger B

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Re: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)
« Reply #2598 on: March 20, 2023, 05:36:50 PM »
Not far to go now  :praise2:  :praise2:  :wine1: I think I can understand why Blondihacks decided to start with the boiler  ::)
Best regards

Roger

Online Kim

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Re: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)
« Reply #2599 on: March 20, 2023, 11:10:59 PM »
I think I can understand why Blondihacks decided to start with the boiler  ::)

No joke!  :Lol:

But I don't think I was ready to do the boiler then.  You actually get some good experience forming copper working on the tender and with sliver soldering other parts of the engine that come earlier in the build if you follow the order in the book.  He really does do a good job of building skills in how he's presented and ordered things.  But yeah, since she already has boiler experience, I can see why she chose to start there.

Kim


Online Kim

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Re: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)
« Reply #2600 on: March 20, 2023, 11:27:15 PM »
This section is called ďSilver Soldering the Foundation RingĒ and today, I actually, officially soldered the foundation ring!  Itís interesting Ė Kozoís book covers this in a short little section saying to cut out and fasten the foundation ring to the firebox, then silver solder it in place.  OK, to be fair, he goes into a little more detail, telling you what order to do things in - which I have carefully followed.  But itís just two short paragraphs.  And itís taken me a week and a half just to do this section!  :embarassed:

Anyway, hereís what I did today.

Since this will be the last time I see this side of the firebox, I decided to file down the heads of the holding screws.  I didnít file them down to nothing, but I made them a lot smaller for sure.


And I did the same to the ones holding the firebox ribs.  I could have waited for these, but I decided to go ahead and get that done now.  I used a little grinding wheel on the end of the Dremel to reach those since they are way down inside the firebox (which is actually the top of the firebox).


Then I spent some quality time with the flux and fluxed up all the joints.  Iím not going to get to the backhead this time around but the areas that have flux on them seem to come out of the pickle cleaner.  So I fluxed up those joints regardless.  But I only put solder on the foundation ring.  I also packed a little copper into some of the bigger holes between the firebox and the foundation ring.


I applied the heat from the top, since that was really the only option.  I started with the front right corner and focused there till everything got up to temp and started melting.  Then I worked my way around the firebox/foundation ring and melted the solder in sections, using the pointy stick to smear things around with.

I did an inspection and applied another round of flux-dipped solder to several areas and heated it up again - took a lot less time to get things to melt the second time.  After several more rounds of adding solder, I decided it looked pretty good, as best I could tell without cleaning, so I stopped.


I let it cool in place for some time, with all bricks still around it.  Waited till it got below 200F.  Then I finally unpacked it, took out the rock wool, and placed it in the citric acid bath.

I used the 32mm burner for this op. I thought about going bigger, but the last time I used a larger burner I felt that I didnít actually get as much heat from it.  I had this feeling that my propane tank wasnít providing enough fuel to let the larger burner really do its thing.  So I went with the 32mm which as I said, felt more effective.  But to make it so I didnít need as MUCH heat, I kept most of the boiler insulated.  There were gaps here and there, but it seemed like, while it would get hotter with the firebrick all around, it wouldnít get hot enough to melt the silver solder if I kept the direct flame off of it. And this seemed to hold true.  This method worked well for me and allowed me to use a slightly smaller burner to do this large part.

Later, as I was turning off the propane, I saw that little red knob on the regulator.  OhÖ Iíll bet I need to give that another turn to allow more fuel for the larger burners, huh? :)   I remember them saying to open the red knob about a turn or turn and a half as a starting position (or something like that) and that should be plenty of fuel for most burners.  Guess what?  I wanna use a bigger burner!  So I probably need to adjust that upward a tad.  :facepalm:

OK, Iíll try that NEXT time.  But this worked.  Though using a larger burner would probably have helped!

After 10-15 min in the pickle (just before I went in), I decided to check on the boiler. So here it is in my mucky pickle bath.  Iím sure it doesnít help that the tub it's in is a dark color, but it is pretty cloudy.  But, the good news is that the foundation ring looks pretty good. And that is cleaning up quite well.  As I said, the areas with the flux seem to clean up fairly quickly in the pickle.  The soot and oxidization seem to take several hours to go away.  Oh, and that white thing floating in the water just to the right of the boiler is just just a reflection of the shop lights.  Also, you can see the wire I put through the firebox and door ring.  This is another suggestion from Kozo to give you something to hold onto to help you NOT drop the boiler.  Seemed like a good idea!


Anyway, I dunked the thing back in the pickle and will leave it there for several more hours.

Kim

Offline Don1966

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Re: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)
« Reply #2601 on: March 21, 2023, 12:17:50 AM »
That looks good Kim and I think you nailed itÖ


 :cheers:
Don

Offline cnr6400

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Re: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)
« Reply #2602 on: March 21, 2023, 12:29:25 AM »
 :ThumbsUp: :ThumbsUp: :ThumbsUp: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

The foundation ring looks great Kim!

Note re pickle baths in general - you probably know this but pickle baths do lose strength over time, as the solution reacts with the flux and oxides during use. Also, as you go forward and assemble the boiler, you are increasing the surface area of copper being exposed to the bath as you progress through the boiler, so logically, along with the strength of the bath being reduced over time, it will likely take longer, due to increased area, to get the boiler assys clean.  :cheers:
"I've cut that stock three times, and it's still too short!"

Offline crueby

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Re: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)
« Reply #2603 on: March 21, 2023, 01:52:29 AM »
Most excellent!   You've  made a lot of progress and learned a lot.  Kozo uses little  text but lots of pictures  worth many more  words.


Almost  ready to go  into business  making boilers full time!  Um, just kidding,  put down the torch!  :Jester:




 :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

Offline Baltic

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Re: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)
« Reply #2604 on: March 21, 2023, 01:57:41 AM »
What a great job Kim, this build log is very good and I bet a lot of people will be using your thread alongside the book :)
Gary

Offline Prowler901

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Re: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)
« Reply #2605 on: March 21, 2023, 03:56:57 AM »
Nice work, Kim!

Todd

Online Kim

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Re: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)
« Reply #2606 on: March 21, 2023, 04:14:45 AM »
Thank you Don, Jeff, Chris, Gary and Todd  :cheers:

Overall, I think it did come out well. But as you'll see, some of those corners with worst fits need a little patching work before I'll be done with this.

------

Out of the pickle vat and here are the results from the judges:

Throat sheet, upper: No holes!  Looks very good!


Throat sheet, lower: Thereís a hole right at the corner at the end of the firebox sheet, and one about a half inch to the left along the firebox.


Backhead, lower: This was the area with the worst fit to start with.  So not surprising that we have a couple of small holes around the firebox sheet that need to be fixed.


Backhead, upper:  Looks good, no holes!



So Iíve got a couple of areas that I need to revisit.  While a little disappointing, Iím actually pretty pleased with how most of it came out.  All the joints look good, except for those few holes that need to be fixed.  And I can do that.

About par for the course for me Ė it takes at least two solder sessions to get a good joint all over on these large, poorly fitting joints.

Thanks for all your help and encouragement.
Kim

Offline Michael S.

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Re: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)
« Reply #2607 on: March 21, 2023, 08:05:55 AM »
Hello Kim, in the end everything went very well. You can still do the rest.
When the boiler is finished, does it also have to go to your boiler inspector? With us, only when the pressure x volume exceeds the factor 50 does it have to be checked by an expert. But I don't know exactly whether this is still practiced according to the very latest EU laws. I don't think anyone knows that........😒
I have no obligation to test my purchased locomotive boiler.

I hope everything goes well for you with the pressure test.

Michael

Online Kim

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Re: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)
« Reply #2608 on: March 21, 2023, 05:00:32 PM »
Interesting topic, Michael... I will do the hydrostatic testing myself to check the boiler.  As far as having the boiler inspected, I don't plan to have that done.  Mainly because I don't plan on running my loco in any public place.  Partly because there are no 3.5" gauge tracks around that I have found.  And partly because my main interest is in building it, not as much in running it (though I'm sure that would be fun too :)).

Also, I've looked around for local boiler codes and the best I could find is that boilers less than 6" in diameter are exempt from inspections.  But that's just the state rules.  If I wanted to run it at some club's track I'd have to follow their rules. I've looked at at least one club around here and they don't do yearly hydrostatic testing anymore. They do yearly inspections and lower-pressure testing under steam.

Anyway, I won't have to deal with any inspectors in my situation  ;D

Kim

Online Kim

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Re: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher (Kozo)
« Reply #2609 on: March 22, 2023, 01:24:59 AM »
Chapter 23.20 Ė Silver Soldering the Throat Sheet Staybolts

I decided Iíd try doing the patching of the foundation ring and the soldering of the throat sheet staybolts in one session. Based on how things had been going, I felt this was not too big of a stretch.

I chose to solder the staybolts first since the setup of the staybolts was a little more challenging than placing a few pieces of patching solder onto the foundation ring.

I first did the copper caulking required around the foundation ring, then fluxed them up, but didnít put any solder on.  Then I fluxed and placed easy-grade solder on the throat sheet staybolts.  It took some fancy brickwork to get the boiler to stand up this way since there are several protrusions sticking out from the backhead, like the door hinge and latch.  I also wrapped the upper part of the boiler shell with some rock wool to help insulate things during heating.  Again, I was careful to fill the firebox with insulation to keep the flame from hitting directly in there.


This worked great.  I flashed that solder but decided to do another round of solder on the staybolts.  Here it is after that second round was flashed.


Then I quickly, but carefully, re-arranged all the firebricks and the boiler to place the foundation ring facing up, and placed some more flux and solder around on the areas to be patched. Remember, Iíd already wedged some copper shavings into the holes, so I was really just adding some solder here.  Then I applied the heat to those spots on the foundation ring and flashed that solder.  I did a second round of solder here too, just to be sure.  Hereís how it looked after all the soldering:


I let the boiler cool for quite a while till it got down in temp, then put it in the citric acid.

Just to follow up on my burner discussion from yesterday, I decided to try the 35mm burner today. I re-read the directions and it said to use ďfive turnsĒ as your starting point (not 1-2 like I said yesterday).  It said that this should provide about 28 lbs of pressure.  I checked the full range on that red knob and it has about 8.5 turns.  So I started with 6 turns today (presumably 1 more turn than I had before, but I canít be sure) which seemed to give a more satisfactory result.  The flame didnít seem to be starving for fuel like it did before.

Anyway, with the boiler in the pickle, I went off and did other things for a while.  A few hours later I came back and took the boiler out and was quite pleased with the results.  Here are the throat sheet staybolts:


And here are the two sections of the foundation ring that needed holes fixed.  They look great to me!




So Iím calling the foundation ring and the throat sheet staybolts a success!

 

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