Shay - Boiler Cosmetics - Part I
Nelson Riedel Nelson@NelsonsLocomotive.com
Initial:3/01/04 Last Revised: 06/06/2004
I'd been dreading dealing with the exterior of the boiler because sheet
metal is involved. Also, there is very little in my reference books
as how to do the jacket.
The goal is to finish enough of the boiler cosmetic details so
that it can be painted and installed permanently; I'm getting tired of
tearing the plumbing apart. The required tasks include
- stripping the paint.
- installing the smoke box rivet detail.
- installing the spacers that support the edges of the jacket
- installing the pads that support the domes, bell, generator and handrail stanchions.
- making the boiler jacket.
- making the bands
The first four tasks are described here. The jacket and bands are
described in Part II
|Stripping: The first job was to strip the
paint. The photo shows the boiler after the stripping.
The throttle gland and pivot fixture were not removed.
All other plumbing was removed and the holes plugged.
The cheapest stripper I could get at Wal-Mart was used (~$4/qt and
it took less than a quart.) The boiler will be
blasted after all the spacers are tack welded in place.
|Jacket Spacers: The jacket spacers were next.
I'd installed 1/4" square spacers adjacent to the cab
front and around the rear boiler mounts at the same time the rear boiler
clamps were made. The square bars were tack
welded to the boiler about every two inches using a
small flux-in-wire welder. The procedure that worked
best was to heat the center of the bar with the propane
torch and bend the bar over the boiler. The bare
was positioned and the first weld was made in the center of
the bend. The t 3 or 4 inch section next to the weld was
then heated and, bent to shape and then
welded. The weld was made at least 1" back from the end
of the correct bend because it was difficult to heat the part next
to the weld. Photo shows heating the rod with propane
|The rod being installed here provides the finished edge of the
jacket so care was taken to keep it parallel with the row of
rivets. The white deposits in the photo are flux
residue that will be cleaned off when the boiler is blasted.
|This photo shows the spacers at the joint in front of the steam
chamber and at the front of the firebox transition.
Boiler Top Layout: Before proceeding it was decided to nail down here
to place the sand dome, bell, generator and handrail
stanchions. The next photo shows how things are positioned on
This layout is slightly different than the one Kenneth used. He
has the sand dome about midway between the steam dome and the smokestack
and the bell behind the steam dome. There is no generator
shown on his photos. Ken uses two jacket pieces with the joint
at the transition in front of steam dome. I was beginning to
worry about the rear piece where I'd want good alignment with the front of
the cab and also with the front of the firebox. That looked
like too many constrains and I'd end up making it two or three
times. After due consideration (the coin flipping process) decided on the following:
- Locate the sand dome near the front of the sloped section of the
boiler as on Cass 5. This will require a small bend in the left side
sander pipes so that they can pass behind the air compressor. I think
my compressor is mounted slightly further back than on Cass
- Position the bell midway between the sand dome and steam dome.
- Make a joint in the jacket behind the steam dome such that the steam
dome is midway between the two joints. This is slightly ahead of
the joint on Cass 5 shown above.
- Locate the generator behind the rear joint. This will give a
little more room for the generator.
- Locate four handrail stanchions on each side of the boiler
positioned as on Cass 5 (the rear one will be just behind the rear
|Pads: The pads to support the domes, bell,
generator and handrail stanchions were made from pieces of 6"
pipe like used for the boiler. The inside of the pipe was bored to thin the cross
section to 1/4". An abrasive saw as then used to cut
off the sections for the pads. The piece in the photo is for the
sand dome pad. The biggggggg burner for the
propane torch is being used to heat the piece. (While
waiting for it to heat I started to think that all I needed
was Longfellow's "spreading chestnut tree" ----
wonder if an oak tree would work?)
|After the piece got hot it was flattened slightly so that it
conformed to the OD of the 6" boiler pipe. (I had to go
back and heat it again and while waiting recalled my adult
son noticed the new anvil some time back asked "is it an Acme
anvil?" My thoughts then switched from shoeing horses
|This photo shows positioning the sand dome pad. The jacked
spacers on the front end of the sloped section is beyond the
transition point where the straight section starts so the jacket
will be more than the spacer thickness away from the boiler near
the front part of the sloped section. The pad was shimmed away from the
boiler as shown. The straight rod was used to make sure the the top of the pad
was aligned with the spacers. The masking tape
held everything in position while a couple spots were tack
welded. The tape and shims were then removed and the pad
tacked in a couple more spots.
The next photo show all the pads in position on the freshly blasted
boiler. Note that
another spacer was added behind the steam dome for that second joint in
the jacket. The exact placement of the bell, generator and handrail
stanchions hadn't been decided at this point so the pads are much larger than necessary. A straight rod was used to test
for high spots in the pads and any high spots were ground down to the
point that they were even with the jacket spacers.
The jacket and bands are described in Part II.