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Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/04/2009 2:08 PM

As a builder of 1/8" scale model railroad locomotives, I have need of cutting wood and metal materials, like the spoked drivers for a steam locomotive. These drivers are made from wood. I have a small machine shop, but most of the parts involve cutting wood. There is some metal work required, but that is easily handled. I know there are machines used for commercial applications, like lasers, ultrasonics and high pressure water devices, but they are way too commercial to be used for a hobby like mine.

Is there any way such items as I require can be made easily and quickly. A typical spoked driver is cut from a hardwood, 6" to 10" diameter x 3/4" thick. I have been cutting them out by hand with a fret saw (creating spokes). This is time consumming and the accuracy (repeatability) is not too good.

These models, though large in size, are made to operate by an electric motor, but not to carry a person as in live steam operations. There is a laser machine called "Eplilog" which I have seen, but it is still too pricey for me and is quite slow. There is also an X-Y-Z cutting table that uses a router or a laser head to cut and is computer driven; still quite pricey.

Live steam locomotives can cost many thousands of dollars and many hours to build. I have been able to keep the cost down to under $200. A typical locomotive is 6' long x 12" wide x 12" high and weighs around 60# less batteries. Total weight on the drivers is under 100#. I present this information just so you will have some perspective as to the extent of the task.

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#1

Re: Cutting methods

12/04/2009 4:09 PM

First thing that comes to mind: have you considered a metal template and a hand router?

Or a table mounted router and metal template?

Maybe you will have to use thinner wood and glue two pieces together?

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Cutting methods

12/04/2009 11:15 PM

Good point---As a boat builder, we often take larger piece problems, break them down into smaller piece problems, and use smaller laminates, over formers, to build curved parts--Bend the first to your specs, then glue laminates over the first, and then again until you get your desired thickness---more time, but often , more accuracy- You can go slowly or quickly, and with less waste --My opinion only

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#2

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/04/2009 11:15 PM

Google for "Micro-Mark". They sell tools and supplies for model making and might have just what you need.

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#4

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/04/2009 11:16 PM

Ronseto -- You're one our good guys and deserve some depth of thought on this problem by the rest of us. To that end is it possible for you discuss or illustrate the shape of your drivers and how closely you attempt to replicate the prototype configuration? Or maybe just show a photo of one you have built?

What is the wheel arrangement (number of drivers and lead truck and trailing truck wheels if any) What is the shape of the spokes? Are they tapered or rounded or are they of constant rectangular crossection? Do your drivers have flanges for use on rails of some sort? Is there a hub and axle at the center thicker than 3/4"? Do you have counterweights? Are they just covers over the spokes? (Which would allow the spokes to be all the same length) Do you have crankpin bosses? Are they centered on a spoke or are they between two spokes?

I know something about this and may be able to contribute some specific ideas with a bit more information.

Ed Weldon

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#27
In reply to #4

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/06/2009 12:11 PM

Thanks Ed for the kind words. I lived in Marin County for 25 years before coming to Mississippi. Lots of things I miss. The photo I posted below, shows a typical driver. Sometimes I have six to make, all identical of one size and ten of another size. Diameters range from 3" to 10". There are other parts I make that are quite small and too numerous to make one by one by hand. Maybe if I was locked up in prison, it wouldn/t be a problem. There are such items to make like window frames, ladders, etc.

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#32
In reply to #27

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/06/2009 2:02 PM

Ronseto -- I'm a little behind you turning 71 this year. Perhaps our perspectives are not all that different.

My resource of energy decreases with each passing year and the accomplishment of big projects that looked so doable in the past becomes more daunting. But the number of projects that keep calling my name continues to grow. In that context the building of new tools to speed the work along becomes an exercise subjective considerations of their paybacks vs. the costs in time and energy.

A venture into CNC is for me such a study. I've only progressed into collecting some hardware. I wonder whether I can muster the focus needed to do any justice to the project. There is much to learn. At our age we wonder if we can learn new software as deftly as we did 20 years ago.

There was a time when the control of Autocad simply spit out of the tips of my fingers as easily as words out of my mouth. Can I make that happen with a CNC software? Can I learn enough of the commands to get anything done when I have to repeat them every 15 seconds for the next 5 minutes to get them into my long term memory?

I've read the writings of a good number of people (mostly young guys) for whom CNC has morphed from a method to support a hobby or necessary set of tasks into a hobby in and of itself that grows at the expense of past interests. There is this factor to consider.

One of the things I've learned about these trick new computer tools is to not expect them to tackle big complex projects in one fell swoop. One needs to progress in small steps especially where the software begins to get involved. Finding a glitch in a long program can be a frustration experience not without a cost in broken tools and ruined workpieces.

Generally the building of spoked wheels is by assembly of composite structures of many parts. Before we got enthusiastic about CNC as a solution I was going to suggest your looking at this the same way. That is by assembling your wheels your drivers as a glue up assembly of wood parts in a precision fixture. With that in mind you could well start with coming up with a way to make the 72 identical long driver spokes (for 6 drivers) and then extend that thinking to making multiple quantities of the other spokes. A simple CNC routine or even a pantagraph router pattern with adjustable spoke lengths and the same fillets and thicknesses on each end could be worked up. If you start with big table router mechanics much of your hardware could be used when you are ready to replace the pantograph with two stepper motor driven positioning axes and a controlled mechanism for the single movement (cut/no cut) Z axis.

In the interim the building of a large drill jigs for drilling precise locating holes in a lathe turned wheel rim could make a self jigging wheel rim a possibility. Here I'm thinking square black Delrin blocks with the jig hole in the center and 4 screw holes for attachment to a jig plate of Baltic birch plywood. If you're using Forstner drills I'd make steel close fitting sleeves to fit over the forstner drill shank up against the back of the cutting head and about 1/8 larger diameter than the hole to be drilled. Make the matching holes in the square delrin blocks to a nice running fit. This setup will keep the little sharp OD cutting edges of the forstner bit from getting into trouble and damaging themselves or the drill bushing hole.

I think your driver hub would be a separate lathe turned piece and slots for the spokes could be cut on a table or radial saw fixture with a dado blade or even a milling machine if you have one and an indexing fixture with degree plates for the various numbers of spokes you will need.

About milling wood -- Way back when my sons were kids one of the local hardware stores was selling $2.00 bags of fireplace kindling wood. Mostly 2x2 maple that were offcuts from a local cabinet shop that was making their own butcher block table tops. I used small 2 flute cutters in a small vertical milling machine running about 2000 rpm to cut a whole set of "castle blocks" to go with their toy soldiers for floor play. Turrets, walls, gates, stairways, bridges, peak roofs came out very nice and were extremely durable. I even made track and accessories for their little Brio train sets. I still have some of the wood blocks around. They make great little tool stands for various drills, countersinks, allen wrenches, lathe bits, end mills, files, scribers etc. and drill very nicely with the forstner bits as long as you "peck" the drill to keep the chips clear from jamming up behind the drill head.

Ed Weldon

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#48
In reply to #32

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/08/2009 2:34 PM

Hi Ed, I just read your reply. What you propose makes good sense. Time is an issue with us, so a means of accomplishing our tasks in an efficient way is very important. To the younger guys still making a living, a hobby building model trains may seem a friviolus waste of time, energy and resources. At this time in life, I am doing what I love to do and I'm sure others think the same also. Keep in touch. I think we have a lot in common, Ron

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#5

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/05/2009 1:03 AM

Perhaps you could consider have them made by a facility that does water jet cutting. It's fast and precise and if you got them made in reasonable quantities it might be economically practical. Too big of an operation to think of setting up on a small scale but I'm sure there are lot's of companies doing this for hire. Water Jet Cutting

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/05/2009 7:44 AM

Sorry, but water jet cutting does not sound like a good way to cut wood. First, your wood will be submerged in water for the entire operation and don't forget that the stream of water increases in diameter as it travels away from the orifice of the cutting head.

No offense, but this is a poor choice.

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#12
In reply to #6

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/05/2009 2:52 PM

No offense taken. You have a history of attacking whatever I say for some reason so I always ignore your comments. Actually water jet cutting is an incredibly excellent way to cut many things. Wood dries, have you noticed? It was wet inside the tree. Not an issue. Why are you so angry?

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#7

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/05/2009 9:04 AM

It depends on your personal experience and skill sets. If you have foundry skills, I would cast the wheels out of aluminum. I don't posess that skill set, so I purchase 14 spoke, rough cast 14" wheels for my scale cannons, and finish them myself with a file. They can be painted or powder coated, and look very authentic when finished. If you really want wood wheels, there are several Quaker shops in Pa and Oh that mass produce them and sell them at reasonable prices.

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#8

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/05/2009 9:16 AM

Hi ronseto,

You are into a lot of interests! This one sound really great. Mention Trains about the size you build, and I am just like a little kid!

I list the search page I used on google, and other pages I think may help. You will have to sieve through them, OK?

Check out these sites:

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=wooden+spoked+wheel+cutting+jigs&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a

Calimers Wheel Shop: Wooden Wheels Made for Antique Autos.Wood wheels for antique automobiles reproduced using the customers metal parts. Wheels are duplicates of the ... All joints are machine cut and hand fitted together. ... If you do not have a spoke to make a pattern, I may have it. ...

www.calimerswheelshop.com/ - Cached - Similar -

OK GUYS Spoke wheel Jig - Woodwork Forums11 posts - 5 authors - Last post: 26 Mar

I am part way through making a jig for wood spoke wheels,from 3"dia to ... or Evergreen plastic sheet ,its easy to work and cut and shape. ...www.woodworkforums.com/f201/ok-guys-spoke-wheel-jig-91515/ - Cached -

I hope these are helpful to you.

Happy Xmas and I also wish you good luck for 2010!

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#9

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/05/2009 11:22 AM

There is only one way to go, build your own CNC machine. There is a blog or two on CR4 and also please look at YouTube (key in CNC) and also here for ideas:-

http://buildyourcnc.com/default.aspx

Look at all the btutorials and if you really are watching the money, you should be able to build such a machine (small) for far less than $500, not including the PC which I guess you already have!!!

At least this will prove to you that you are simply not alone!!!!!

its the ONLY way to go......you can fight it, but you will NEVER win that battle!!!! Go with the flow!!!!

I can help further if need be, just ask....as can several other "Bods" on CR4.......

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/05/2009 2:49 PM

I watched the CNC on You Tube. I was amazed at how easy it was to do. Looks like the way to go on the cheap. Thanks for all your help.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/05/2009 6:14 PM

I wasn't the only one who mentioned this method, but thanks anyway.

Look around on CR4 for some building tips I posted some months ago with diagrams/pix for when building your own machine......

Call if we can help further.

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#15
In reply to #9

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/05/2009 6:46 PM

Hi Andy,

I love you home made CNC machine!

How I wished I had a shed or spare room where I am, you could not keep me down! As it is I haven't so 'make do' by posting and reading on CR4.

GA to you Sir!

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/05/2009 6:58 PM

You are too kind.

I hope you get some space to play around with sometime, its a great hobby.

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#22
In reply to #17

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/06/2009 5:14 AM

Hi Andy,

with reference to the 'space' thing, Yes I guess it is a little large to 'play with' in the lounge?..................... Mind you, depends on the lounge?

I admire ronseto for being able to do that kind of thing. I am interested in that kind of thing but have never practiced those fabrication skills necessary for such a thing.

Good on anyone who can put there mind and all there efforts into something and have a fully working little machine afterwards! Good luck to all of you from me if you are currently 'at it' 'wit saw an ammer', wood an copper, steel and tin!

Take care and good luck, and anyone who is making anything, how about showing us all on CR4?

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/06/2009 7:35 AM

So long as your wife/girlfriend does not worry and you cut stuff outside, I see no real problem with a lounge.

You could even hang a plastic curtain to divide the room up and keep the mess at one end......

The Guy who did this BRILLIANT set of Tutorials here, started in his bathroom. You can see his baby and occasionally his wife in the videos. Thats how he started his company!!!!

Or look here for some good tips:-

http://www.lirtex.com/robotics/diy-cnc-machine

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#25
In reply to #24

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/06/2009 9:02 AM

Hi Andy,

will visit the links soon. Thanks

My friend and his brother started in much the same way. One Gilly in a garage for a year and then they could afford two garages and a printer. Then they rented a 8 metre square room at one end of a row of unused offices behind what was the main factory which they then could not afford so rented the single office. They then knocked through to consecutive offices as they got larger and got more machines. After three years they could hire the main factory and also stay in the same original offices which they used as offices for themselves, 3 of them and one for me. The other 6 were used for storage.

They then had a fire and had to find a new place very sharp. They bought a building that had been a Tesco freezer store and it was 60 foot high. so they put in a mezzanine floor and I had me dept under that floor. I made my stuff and then loaded it for packing on the mezzanine floor area. They now have a fully automated factory with machines they own, or should I say the Bank owns, but it is a super modern printed box factory. Even the waste card disposal is automated.

Take care and good luck, and thank for the links. I am getting dinner at the moment and will view them later.

BTW, I am alone, just me. My lounge, the only room I could work in is big enough to swing a cats tail, but not the whole cat! No cupboard, nothing, it is tiny! Calling it a 'lounge' is a little OTT! It has a two seat sofa and a chair and there is hardly any room for anything else.

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#28
In reply to #22

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/06/2009 12:29 PM

Hi Baby Bear, I have been messing around with tools, mechanicals, electronics as far back as I can remember. I'm from the generation when a lot of what you wanted couldn't be bought off the shelf. It had to be home made. Necessity was the mother of invention in the 40's and 50's. In New York City, where I was born and raised, there were hundreds of small shops that sold every part you could ever use, from electronic parts to gears, pulleys, metals, etc. A lot of surplus left over from WW II found it's way into the hands of experimenters like myself. I was into everything. Now CNC and computers comes along and I'm back trying to keep abreast of new technology; not easy for a 75 year old, but the info that been revealed to me on this thread, particularily by Andy has given me a fresh outlook on what my capabilities are. I have no problem with the mechanics of CNC. The motors, controls and programming is something I'm not so sure about. Cost is another thing I have to keep in mind. I don't want to persue a new project like CNC unless I think I can afford to get the necessary components. Thanks again to all who have given me much food for thought.

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/06/2009 12:46 PM

Hi ronseto,

I appreciate your reply post Ron thanks.

I think with all your machine fabrication you can build a gantry machine. There is some very simple apparently simple machines on lots of sites. All you have to do is search. But I think you know more than enough to build a bench and the gantry bit.

I have just gone to one site from Andy and it showed the structure and build of a bench.

With all your experience you can easily do it. The programming of the CNC would be time consuming but once it is done and you have found the X point to start from and take care to place work like I know you do anyway. All true engineers get around to working in roughly the same method to get the same ends?

I wish you luck my friend, OK?

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#31
In reply to #29

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/06/2009 1:22 PM

I concur with your statements BB....

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#34
In reply to #31

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/06/2009 3:18 PM

Hi Andy,

Cheers my friend! I just think there is nothing more than a fancy moving bench, thats all. He probably has a bench anyway and turning that into the gantry bit is no problem.

Take care to you Andy and good luck to you Ron!

Sorry a bad time for me so can't recall the words I wanted to, hope you understand.

bb

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#30
In reply to #28

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/06/2009 1:21 PM

You sound like someone who can get a PCB made and solder in the components.....

If I am right, then all you need to do is find the deliverer for you, there are many around in the USA who will deliver PCBs, and/or components or finished PCBs for little money...

I need you to tell me exactly what direction you want to take, then I feel that I can help you with the right sources/weblinks etc.....

Just le me/us know what you want!!

Can you let us have some pix of finished or partially finished locos? Pretty please????

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#61
In reply to #30

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/11/2009 3:07 PM

Hi Andy, I'm having trouble posting pictures, but I managed to get two pictures linked. One is a model of a 4-40 camelback. It has an electric motor drive salvaged from a child's sidewalk car. It still needs some finishing touches. A 12V car battery is carried in the tender (partially seen at the left). The other is a model of a Swedish National Railways electric engine, also powered. It needs pantographs and small touches. Presently, I'm trying to start a model of an early diesel electric. It will have 4 motors mounted in 2 trucks.(see post#38 left). I will try to post other pictures. Thanks for your interest and support. Ron

[URL=http://s192.photobucket.com/albums/z256/rfseto/Models/?action=view&current=100_0382.jpg][IMG]http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z256/rfseto/Models/th_100_0382.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[URL=http://s192.photobucket.com/albums/z256/rfseto/Models/?action=view&current=Ronsshop001.jpg][IMG]http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z256/rfseto/Models/th_Ronsshop001.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

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#62
In reply to #61

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/11/2009 3:37 PM

click the camera icon

paste the url in the 1st blank

or browse your computer

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#66
In reply to #61

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/12/2009 2:33 PM

Deleted. As Ronseto had already corrected the links himself....

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#63
In reply to #30

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/11/2009 3:40 PM

Hi Andy, I'm having trouble posting pictures, but I managed to get two pictures posted. One is a model of a 4-40 camelback. It has an electric motor drive salvaged from a child's sidewalk car. It still needs some finishing touches. A 12V car battery is carried in the tender (partially seen at the left). The other is a model of a Swedish National Railways electric engine, also powered. It needs pantographs and small touches. Presently, I'm trying to start a model of an early diesel electric. It will have 4 motors mounted in 2 trucks.(see post#38 left). I will try to post other pictures. Thanks for your interest and support. Ron

http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z256/rfseto/Models/th_100_0382.jpg

http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z256/rfseto/Models/th_Ronsshop001.jpg

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/11/2009 4:35 PM

posting as a link works too

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#65
In reply to #64

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/11/2009 10:11 PM

Hi Garthh,

I know that 'tip' on posting links was not aimed at me, but I and I am sure others will find it a very helpful reminder! Thank you.

Good luck.

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#67
In reply to #63

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/12/2009 2:40 PM

I see you have already corrected the URLs, well done!

They look great and a lot of work as well........

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#68
In reply to #63

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/12/2009 3:07 PM

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#46
In reply to #17

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/07/2009 8:29 PM

Hi Andy,

Cheers and thank you!

Good luck.

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#10

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/05/2009 1:00 PM

Hi Ronseto

Building your own CNC router might be the neatest solution for you.

There are a lot of old pen plotters around that can be adapted and used for XY cutting. the Z can be done manually or with a second plotter. A 2 1/2 axis CNC router running HPGL (or similar) should do nicely for you.

I picked up (for free) a A1 HP drum plotter and a A2 Roland flat bed and some A3 plotters that I was saving for a retirement CNC project. But that may now have to wait for my 3rd retirement.

Try and find a plotter with a big steppers.

Don't worry about a plan - just stare at the plotter and the plan will present itself. The big ones usually work with a cable running around a drum on the stepper.

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#14

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/05/2009 6:31 PM

Hi ronseto,

This site has some jigs which may be useful.

http://www.woodworkersworkshop.com/resources/index.php?cat=727

This is not all about Trains but the same skills are used.

Hope you like them, and you can always get in touch with the serious modelers?

Good luck and happy holidays.

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#16

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/05/2009 6:49 PM

Hi ronseto,

Do you have any completed models you can post please?

BTW, Looks like the CNC thing is the way to go?

Good luck.

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#18

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/05/2009 8:53 PM

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#19

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/05/2009 9:01 PM

Here is a sample driver wheel I'm making. When I have a lot of them to make, it is time consumming to cut them out with a jigsaw. It looks like this would be a good candidate for the CNC router.

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/06/2009 2:27 AM

Hi ronseto

A gantry type CNC would be the best for you.

Also consider a pantograph type. where you can follow a stencil/template for each of the cutouts made one at a time with the wheel pointing in the right direction.

If you can get hold of a scrap engraver (follower in a stencil and router on the pantograph) you may have a cheap winner. Adding a plotter instead of the stencil and follower even makes it better.

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#23
In reply to #20

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/06/2009 5:32 AM

Hi Hendrik,

GA to you Sir for your efforts!

Take care and good luck

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/06/2009 5:12 AM

Exactly correct.

Once you have refined the G-Code on scrap wood/fiber board till its exactly right, you can then store the code on your PC and cut EXACTLY the same shape, time after time after time......

Software for running the router can be free (EMC2 for example) or bought (Mach3 for example).

May I be so bold as to suggest to you get going with free stuff first (there is everything you need out there for free and I can direct you to some web sites if you wish), and that you also join the CNC group(s) on Yahoo:-

http://groups.yahoo.com/search?query=cnc

Also this is a great forum too for exerything including schematics:-

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/index.php?

Join them all and read back all the various posts you will find a lot of help and infos and links to free software.......

I see no point in giving out money for something, when you can obtain almost the same for free, fully supported and works as well as expensive programs.....(Too much Scottish blood may be my problem here!!)

Sourceforge is a good place to start for EMC2 software:-

http://sourceforge.net/projects/emc/files/

The software runs on say an old Pentium, with free Linux (Ubuntu for example) and the EMC2 programs. This is faster than anyone (hobby wise) needs.....also many shops run exactly the same hardware on big expensive CNC machines!!!!

You can use your "good" PC seperately to design stuff, while the older PC does the work!!!

And do please occasionally come back here and post us details and fotos of what you are doing!!!!

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#26
In reply to #19

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/06/2009 11:33 AM

Still looks like a router/template is the way to go.

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#33

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/06/2009 3:14 PM

CNC is a great way to go, but like you say, there's a lot to it to build a diy machine. I would look at the pantograph/trimmer tool idea. I have a trimmer tool which is a small router. With a pantograph, once you have a good pattern, can't you change the ratio to make different size wheels?

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#35

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/07/2009 8:08 AM

There are currently many woodworking shops that are slow, right now and they would have cheap shop time to run them for you on their cnc machines. You'll keep the cost down by providing them with .dxf files of your parts and by expecting to do some hand work after receiving the rough machined parts. This would be much faster and cheaper than building or buying your own CNC machine.

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#36
In reply to #35

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/07/2009 8:53 AM

I think for Ron the the journey is more important than the goal

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/07/2009 9:21 AM

well said......for many of us the journey is the important part!!!

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#38

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/07/2009 11:08 AM

Here are two sample projects I'm working on. Sorry for the format. I'm not good at posting photos from autocad. Still learning.

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/07/2009 11:16 AM

Many thanks.

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#40
In reply to #38

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/07/2009 11:38 AM

ronseto -- An archbar truck out of wood is pretty ambitious especially the top arch with the corner bends. Do you figure on laminated construction over a form for the bars with Kevlar cords or strips under each outer veneer? I thought about this approach for a sailboat spar but have yet to try and build it. ....... Ed Weldon

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#47
In reply to #40

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/08/2009 2:20 PM

Hi Ed, The archbar truck frame is made from 1/8 x 1/2 steel strip, notched and brazed. the rest is made from wood. I'm going to try using aluminum strip for the frame on future trucks. I chose the archbar because of the simplicity of the frame. Modern trucks, like the Bettendorf, use a cast frame, something I don't want to get into.

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#41
In reply to #38

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/07/2009 11:38 AM

Good job on the drawing, it's not easy to post pictures.

Looking at your truck, and keeping in mind you say the finished product is about a foot wide overall, I may have an idea. The wheel and axle assemblies need to be sturdy, you probably have a procedure for that already, the wheels look easy. For the visible outer part, how about plywood with a print glued on to it? It's going to be down under the train somewhat, in the shadows...you could get good realisim quickly.

The tough part is making the print durable. A clear sealer compatable to the ink should do. My wife uses spray adhesive to mount her print stuff. She printed on photo paper, it comes glossy or matte, looks like the real thing.

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#45
In reply to #38

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/07/2009 8:27 PM

Hi ronseto,

you are way ahead of me when it comes to sending stuff in! And you drawing looks pretty flash as well.

Take care and carry on with your really tasty projects, bb

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#42

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/07/2009 1:05 PM

Hi Ronseto,

If you have a milling machine with a rotary table, that will work. That is what I use to make patterns for my 1 1/2sc live steam locos, if I can't buy castings.

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#43
In reply to #42

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/07/2009 1:57 PM

rrnut-2: What kind of wood do you make your patterns out of?

I have a big round piece of 3/4 shop grade plywood and some short 3/8-16 flat head screws to attach to the t-nuts on my 8 inch rotary table. Allows me to mount large flat pieces of any material with short sheet metal or sheet rock screws and washers into the plywood. Good for positioning holes in bolt circles and milling round features where accurate depth of cut over a long distance isn't real important.

Ed Weldon

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#49
In reply to #42

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/09/2009 7:51 PM

What type of cutters do you use? router bits or end mills. I have a vertical mill and a rotary table, but an end mill doesn't give a very smooth cut. My top speed is around 4200rpm; a little slow for a router bit.

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/09/2009 8:12 PM

A new end mill will make a nice smooth cut on wood,

you can direct an air jet to keep the chips from fouling the cutter...

Once the end mills have been used on metal, they don't work as well on wood or plastic.

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#51
In reply to #49

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/10/2009 7:56 AM

I use new carbide end mills for a smooth finish and the speed is usually no more than 2000rpm's. I just don't like to run at a real high speed on the milling machine. Also, on the last pass, I will usually climb mill a couple of thousands to get the smooth finish.

By the way, your drawings look good. I am building a B&M Pacific, 1.6sc, and don't have a lot of drawings, just pictures.

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#53
In reply to #51

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/10/2009 11:57 AM

Hi rrnut-2,

Hope I got your name correct. Am not sure if I was looking at two 'r' or an 'm'!

Nice short post with good info' which could be useful!

Good luck. And a further good luck with your own Scale Model. Any pics?

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#54
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Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/10/2009 11:59 AM

Thank you. No pics yet. I haven't started assembling it yet, just a lot of machined parts at this time.

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#56
In reply to #54

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/10/2009 12:17 PM

Hi rrnut-2,

OK. I like this kind of thing and, the making from scratch, of a scale model is often where true finesse and skill is found?

Good luck with it!

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#44

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/07/2009 2:00 PM

Usually oak. I don't expect to make many parts. Just enough to same me some time in machining.

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#52

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/10/2009 10:41 AM

Thanks Garthh and RRnut-2 re: end mills. I've been making wheels with a jig and a router. The results are good, but a bit dangerous. The router is stationary in a table and the work piece is moved by hand over the cutter. If I don't have a firm grip on the piece, it can grab and go flying. It is the one operation I'm scared of.

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#55
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Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/10/2009 12:05 PM

Hi ronseto,

Does sound a little dodgy my friend? Just give a real loud shout/scream and we will come over and remove that heavy chunk of oak!

Nice to know you are finding ways round the problems you had. But the next step would be to clamp the work and move the router perhaps?

Take care and good luck with that cutting/routing, and hey, be safe out there!. The last bit just a little leg pull repeating something that was said at the start of an old Cop show on the TV!. It is so well known I have forgotten the title now, bum!

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#57
In reply to #52

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/10/2009 12:17 PM

You can make a couple of safety bars that run parrallel to the router table top.

The bars would have maybe 1/4" clearance above the work, enough to keep you safe but not restrict your manipulation of the workpiece...

You live close to Wiggins don't you?

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#58
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Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/10/2009 12:43 PM

Hi Garthh,

GA for this Sir.

Good luck

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#59
In reply to #58

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/10/2009 12:48 PM

Safety is important

I know many times

I think just because I understand the danger

I'm being safe

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#60
In reply to #59

Re: Cutting Methods for Model Railroads

12/10/2009 12:53 PM

Hi Garthh,

Well said!

Good luck

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