Monthly Archives: March 2012

23: taking shape

Just for fun, I added the rough boiler to the frame to see how the proportions are turning out. I gotta say, just adding the tube really gives the whole project some life!

Other than the saddles, there’s no “physical” way for the boiler to connect to the frames yet (that’ll be the job of the braces). So right now it’s just “hanging” there.

Notice also that the firebox is inside the boiler now, but it’s not yet connected by rivets and stay bolts.

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22: boiler

With the engine’s frame completed, it’s now ready to support the heart of the engine: the boiler!

The dimensions were taken from original drawing. Although the CK Holliday’s spec calls it a 32″ diameter boiler, its actual diameter varies a little due to sheet metal thickness and section lapping. Anyway, its norminal diameter is still just that–32″.

The cutaway view shows how sections of the boiler are welded together.

The holes at the top will receive the steam dome and smoke stack.

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21: crosshead

The CK Holliday’s crosshead is fairly typical of the period, using a 4-guide rail type. The guide rails are bolted to the rear cylinder cap and the “yoke”, which is the same piece/casting that supports the bottom boiler brace (not the boiler braces on the pilot deck!).

Here are pictures of the crosshead assembly, both real and modeled.

In the above shot, the left crosshead is seen upper left, and the right hand crosshead is lower right.

Here’s the crosshead in its rails with some parts made see-through to better understand how the crosshead is built.

It’s a fairly straightforward part. There’s a center casting with a socket to receive piston rod. The center casting has a cast-in pin that is used to drive the connecting rod. It also has “wings” that are made to ride the guide rails. Fitted between the guide rails and the casting are “gibs” which are thin brass wearing surface.

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20: buttoning up the cylinders

With the steam pistons in place in both cylinders, it’s time to button them up, making the saddle/cylinder assembly complete.

Above: both cylinders are closed off with front and rear caps. Note also the driver springs and equalizer system are now in place.

Below shows the right piston (blue) inside the cylinder. The rear cylinder cap is also shown with gland packing detail. The 2 blocks welded on the cap will be used to attach the crosshead guides.

Extra: this view shows the spring and equalizer assembly. Fairly straightforward.

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19: steam piston

Time to turn attention to a different component: the steam piston, or, the thing that makes the train go choo-choo.

A relatively straightforward part to model. Since there are, I think, literally no material available on the make-up of the DLRR #1 piston, I had to rely on more traditional sources.

I assume that DLRR uses a built-up piston, the most common type for the period.

The steam piston is made with several parts: the main body called “spider”, the cover plate or “follower”, and the packing.

The spider is simply a casting with 5 points to mount the cover plate. DLRR may have simplified the design to 4 points, but not knowing this for sure, I just go with the traditional design.

The packing consists of a “T” ring and 2 packing rings fitted on the spider. They are supposed to be cast slightly larger than the piston itself. This way, the packing will fit tight against the inside bore of the cylinder. The following cross section shows how the pieces fit together.

Note the notches around the circumference of the packing rings. This allow the rings to expand with heat. The gaps between parts serve the same purposed.

And here’s the piston as a whole, with transparent cover plate so that the spider can be seen.

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18: mounting the truck

The truck is mounted into the “groove” molded on the bottom of the half saddles. As far as I know, there’s no “rigid” connection between the truck and the engine. The only thing keeping the engine on the truck is its weight.

This might be clearer. One of the half saddle is hidden, showing how the other saddle “engage” the truck.

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17: pilot truck swing

The swing casting is finished. With it placed in the assembly, one can see just how exactly the swing casting system works:


Here’s a general overview. The swing casting is connect by 4 links, forming something similar to a “swing set” found on kid’s playgrounds. The casting is highlighted in blue.

The cosmetic components (pins, bolts, etc.) have not been added to the model yet, but the mechanical definitions are there, which make the above animation possible.

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something completely different: the Haunted Mansion blueprint set

NEW UPDATE has been posted here.

I’ve had this project sitting on my hard drive for a while, so I guess now is as good a time to throw this out there:

The Disneyland Haunted Mansion architectural set is a result of years of research. I started the first draft of the Haunted Mansion facade back in 2000-2001 as a quick little project. Since then the obsession for details and accuracy grew. This latest edition incorporates all the information I dug up and learned about the Haunted Mansion’s building over the year. (You might have seen one of the iterations which was a 3-elevation “lithograph” released free to public). I used the original blue prints, as-built measurements, manufacturer’s data of architectural components (either original or equivalent), and lots of pictures.

Using the above data, I “reconstructed” the Haunted Mansion from foundation in a Building Information Management system (AutoCAD was simply not up to the task this scale). Every detail of the building was reconstructed per architectural standards.

What’s different above this set is that I am including architectural details as part of the set, such as properly dimensioned cornice profiles and door moldings.

In my previous attempts at recreating the Haunted Mansion, one of the hardest part was getting the famous balcony railing correct. I decided that the only way to get this to work correctly was to buy the actual pattern. This allowed me to get very exacting dimensions and pattern into the drawings.

The end result is a 36-page, 24″x36″ set. It includes floor, roof, and patio plans; exterior, patio, and railing elevations; millwork, cupola, chimmy, pediment, column details. It does not include site and landscapes. That’s a completely different beast!

Now, I’m not an architect, but I’ve worked with one so I understand some amount of detail and standard that architectural plans required. Having said that, I believe this set is accurate enough for any model makers.

Eagle-eyed fans may also noticed that some major components are missing from the previews above. It is still work in progress, but very nearly done.

Stand-by for more as I figure out how to package the set for public consumption.


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