Got the wheels and bearings pressed onto the axles, and took the trucks for a test run through the sharpest curves. They performed perfectly. A great day indeed.
The DFT is an interesting New Zealand Locomotive seldom modeled. I plan on changing that.
Stock channel section works out to perfect scale for the main locomotive frame members. Here is the first cut being made on this project. It feels great to get started after years of dreaming.
Steve gives tips while I machine the end plates. I have no experience in machine tools so this project is a learning one and I am grateful for the patient coaching my friends give me.
Coupler pocket and structural webbing being welded behind the end plates. Need strength - and weight here!
Completing all the hard to reach welds on the end plate - chasis rail junctions. I borrowed Steve's locomotive stand to use as a rotary cradle.
Fabricating the running boards. Ive made these out of 6mm plate to ensure they do not bend if used as a hand-hold, and the additional thickness can be hidden easily.
Fuel tank is small, but ny combining with the battery compartment on each side I get enough length to hold large batteries at a low centre of gravity. The floor of the module is 10mm steel plate both to resist battery corrosion and give addition low down weight.
Shunters platform added at each end. Actual step is 10mm plate welded to frame struts behind the seems. Prototype used 3mm sheetmetal bent in same shape. Mine looks identical, but more likely to survive the enevitable derailments.
Truck frames on the prototype are a casting. I decided to fabricate mine. I did the design in Autocad, then drilled all the small radius curves and holes. Steve 'joined the dots' and cut them out on his bandsaw for me.
Initial machining of key registration surfaces for each truck. Two outside faces and two inside faces shown clamped together - both are different
Truck side frames halfway through the welding process. The sides are 6mm plate and the top and bottom are 3 and 6mm. Axle boxes were fabricated out of 10x25mm bar stock U shaped frames for strength. Brake rigging brackets and stretchers at the back ready to fit.
Completed frames after undercoat have that casting look I wanted. I rounded every 'un-machined' angle and only machined critical surfaces consistent with the machining of a real casting.
One of the completed 'castings' with an interim matt-black coat. The slots are for the brake rigging. small holes above the outer axle horns are for air cylinders.
May 2012: Wheels finally on axles, and motors temporarily positioned
20 May 2012: Bearings and axle boxes complete.
Hopefully they look the part. Brake Cylinders and rigging still to come
From above showing the mounting plates for the 6 axle-hung motors
First test of one truck - sans suspension - just to check proper operation of the axle boxes etc.
These trucks have a long wheelbase, and I have tight curves, so careful checking of lateral movement was important. Pleased to say design passed the practical test!
29 July 2012. First time the Chassis moves on its own wheels.
Bags of cement were used to simulate battery weight for suspension tests
Bogie Bolsters are temporarily assembled and there is a lot more to do, but it feels like it can be achieved!