Building a 3/4" scale, 3-1/2" gauge coal-fired locomotive
In 1991 I purchased a set of 3/4" scale 2-4-0 "RARITAN" castings from its designer, Mr. William Morewood in Pennington, New Jersey. I immediately began machining the wheels, and made a start on some of the other components.
Machining and construction was "on again/off again" for almost 20 years, and was so, for various reasons. In fact several years passed during which no work was done on the locomotive whatsoever. In 2010 construction resumed in earnest, with an eye toward completion of the locomotive with no further delay.
Some of the work, in prior years, was photographed as it was undertaken; when these photos are located and scanned I will post them on this page with details and explanations.
Current and future work on the locomotive will be photographed and posted as it progresses.
My suggestions for new builders:
Start with a small, simple locomotive
Do one thing at a time on the locomotive; that is, focus all your effort on the one part you're working on. Don't try to do several portions of the locomotive at once.
Do a little bit of work on your locomotive every day or every week. Budget "X" amount of time per day or per week to work on the locomotive.
If you don't have the time, FIND the time.
Get it right. If a part does not come out the way you'd like it to, or if you make a mistake that cannot be corrected, scrap the part and start over. Mistakes and scrap are a normal part of the learning process. Mistakes made now, will mean you'll know how to "get it right" on future attempts.
Buy the right tools for the job. Having the correct drills, taps, cutters, measuring tools, and workholding devices such as collets and vices, etc. makes all the difference in the world.
ALWAYS wear safety glasses in the shop. If you don't have a pair or can't find them, do something else that day instead of machining parts. You can do any number of things related to your locomotive, such as: order tools, parts, materials, or hardware that you may need. Or draw out a plan for machining the next part you're going to do. These tasks do not involve risk to your eyes. Then, either find your safety glasses, or buy a new pair.
Remember that setting up for a machining operation, laying out in your mind (and on paper) "how you're going to do it", and making jigs and fixtures, often take more time than the actual machining of the part!
Steam dome and throttle, seen on left. Dome cover seen on the right. Click on photo to enlarge.
The cover installed onto the steam dome and throttle. Click on the photo to enlarge.
The Raritan's throttle has progressed some more. Click the photo to enlarge it, and for more information.
The throttle "handle flange" has been soldered onto the throttle tube, and the packing gland threaded into the end. Note the stainless steel throttle rod extending out the packing gland. Click the photo to enlarge.