Shay - Electrical
System III - Headlamp Con't
Nelson Riedel Nelson@NelsonsLocomotive.com
Initial: 05/10/04 Last Revised: 06/06/2004
The headlamp was started in Part II. The numbers
boards appeared to be a chore so the project was set aside for a couple
days. We pick up here with making the number board bases and then
the number board cover and finally the headlamp legs. The last part
is the base that goes between the lamp and the smoke box or
|Number Boards Bases: The number board bases were made from
2" long pieces of 1/2" X 1" brass bar. A
3/8" thickness could also have been used. The first step was to machine a 1.125" radius
on the bottom to match the outside of the case. The photo
shows using a boring head for this operation. A fly cutter
could also have been used. This was the first use of the new boring
head ---- worked great.
|The next step was to mill ~0.15" off the top
surface. A 3/16" wide section on the one end was not
milled. That section will become the
hinges. This huge tool is a milling cutter that came with the
mill/drill. I didn't think I'd use it so set it aside without
cleaning the shipping grease. This is the second time I used
it. The four individual tool bits can be removed for
|Two hinges were formed by milling a 1/2" slot in the
|The outside of the hinges were then milled leaving
1/8" wide hinges.
|The bottom of the hinges were then milled to leave a gap between
the hinges and the case.
|The other end of the number board base was then milled on the
sides leaving a 1/4" wide 1/8" long stub for the cover
|A ~ 0.050" deep recess was milled in the center of the number
board base. A 1/8" lip was left on the top, bottom and
back end. A ~ 3/16" lip was left on the hinge end.
The recess was first rough milled with a 1/2" diameter
|The recess was finished with a 3/16" diameter mill. The
surface of the recess need not be completely smooth. If one is
going to have lighted number boards then the center of the recess
must be drilled or milled all the way through, leaving a shoulder to retain the
number panel. I plan to place the number panel in the recess
and skip the back lighting
|This shows 3 of the finished board bases.
|Covers: The covers fit over the number board panel to
retain the number panels. The cover was made from 0.040"
brass sheet. The first step was to make strips 7/8"
wide. The shop doesn't have a shear so the brass was cut with
the band saw and then the edges squared in the mill as shown on the
|The next step was to silver solder a 3/32" OD-
1/16" ID tube to the end of the strip.
|The next step was to cut the hinge end to mate with the hinges
on the base. A rough cut was made with an abrasive
cutoff disk in the Dremel. The cut was finished with a
|A 1/16" hole was drilled through one side of the hinge as
close as possible to the center of the tube in the cover. The cover was
then bent slightly as necessary to line up the tube with the hinge hole.
A pin was inserted in the hinge hole & tube and the cover then
aligned so it was straight. The cover was clamped to the
base, the pin was then removed and the 1/16" drill run
through the hinge hole & tube to drill the other hinge hole.
|The retaining screw end was then trimmed and the screw hole
drilled and tapped. The center hole was then rough cut
with the Dremel cutoff disk.
|A piece of CFS was aligned and clamped along one of the edges of the opening
and then the steel and brass were clamped in the vise. The edge was then filed until it was even with the
steel. The steel makes it a snap to file a straight
edge in the brass. This process was repeated on the
other three sides
|The base and cover were then bead blasted. The number
panel was made on the computer. Looks like the number
could be a littler larger. The hinge pin is
temporary. The cover will removed for painting.
The photos above show the Cass No 5 lamp beside my model. Close enough!
(The little bumps on the model are water drops --- the shay had just been
given a bath.) The photo below shows the lamp in a better
The lamp was tested in the dark and it seemed to provide plenty of light.
However, a light for the water and
pressure gauge are required to run at night. Then there is the
problem of getting the wire from the headlamp to the cab --- maybe through a
handrail. Then there's wiring for the tender headlamp.
The intention was to make this the last of the electrical pages but have
now decided to put the remaining items in Electrical IV.