Creating A Real Stem Engine Model

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Ho Modeler, May 28, 2004.

  1. Ho Modeler

    Ho Modeler Member

    Creating A Real Steam Engine Model

    I have been in search for plans for an actual steam engine and info on how one works.

    So far i cant find much.
    Now I wanted to try something I didnt think anyone had done before.

    My plan is to make a brass Steam engine that could theoretically run under steam power.
    Anyone got any information on how one works?
    Or any ideas what i could use to safely create a heat source.
    Or ideas on parts to use?

    I could also use actual plans for a steam engine.

  2. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    You might want to checK out Live Steam Magazine for kits and build one before you set out on your own scratch build. Live steam models can be very dangerous and explode. FRED
  3. Freelancer

    Freelancer Member

    When you say that you want to try something that you didnt think anyone had done before, are you meaning to make an HO scale live steam engine? I can't remember exactly, but I thought that I saw an advertisement in a recent issue of "Model Railroader" for a small scale live steam engine. Used the power from the track to heat the water or something like that. I am not sure, maybe someone else remembers seeing that. In the mean time I will thumb through a couple issues to see what I can find.

    I too had the dream of doing live steam, but I am not mechanically inclined enough to manage, and I would most likely kill myself. I never did have any luck on finding free instructions on the Internet, you will most likely have to purchase an instruction book. My former boss has a live steam engine but cannot operate it because he doesn't have the correct licensing for the boiler or something.

    Good Luck!

  4. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Actually guys, live steam model locos pre-date electrics by many decades. They were making "roughly" O scale ones way back in the latter part of the 19th century along with clockwork locos you would wind up. There is a link in my first post to the monthly magazine Live Steam Magazine. FRED
  5. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Eric,
    Hornby is currently making a Mallard Live Steamer in OO (1:76).
    I haven't seen one running but I'm sure someone on the board
    has. The track power is used to create the steam.
    I think someone on this forum was working on a similar project
    some time back, don't remember exactly, they were having some draft
    problems with the smoke flow.
  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    OK Eric, you're gunna need a mini lathe! :D :D :D

    First off, you have to get in line behind me; thay are on back order :D :D :D

    Are you in our yahoo group? Sorry, I can't tell unless your yahoo ID is the same as your gauge name :~o I have some info I can share through the group:

    In fact, why don't you join the pub group if you want, that way I don't have to delete stuff to make it fit:

    Now for the lathe, tells you all you need to know. has even more information. They have a free users guide, directed towards the novice (mini-lathe users guide), umong other reference: and a buyers guide:

    Now, the most important thing, after reading all that :D :D :D join the-gauge of mini-lathe users, the 7 X 10 mini-lathe group, with over 3500 lathe owners: and optionally the mini-lathe projects groups: and You will find steam projects and plans umong these groups (check files sections) (HINT HINT)


    There is also a 7 X 12 group:

    These groups are all newby friendly. Haven't seen one flame. Yup, I've been looking into a lathe :D :D :D
  7. Freelancer

    Freelancer Member

    cidchase you hit it on the head! That was the one I was trying to think of!

  8. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I've posted this photo here before a long time ago. This was built without a lathe.
    I have had it running on 20PSI. of air preasure.
    I was planning on using solid fuel pellets but was having problems with draw through the flues. I am thinking of redesigning the boiler with one large flue and modifying a butane torch head for the burner with a preasure regulated burner control.
    Do a web search on steam locomotive valve gear to find info on timing and valve gear design.

    Attached Files:

  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Your work is increadable, Ray!
  10. chipmonk

    chipmonk Member

    eric, if i were you i would attempt this project in a larger scale first, perhaps O, i seem to remember when i was about 6-7(10 years ago) my father got me a small live steam engine that was supposed to be a model of a stationary steam engine, used say for a saw mill or factory, it was not a "scale" model but the boiler was about the size of a descent sized 0 scale loco. did i mention it actually worked?! i of course being quite young thought it was great, but we only ran it a few times before the fuel ran out, (these little white bricks about 1" by 1/4" that we placed under the boiler and lit. there was some fairly simple tubing and one piston that drove a flywheel. the flywheel could be hooked up to a small stamped tin figure whose hand would move back and forth while holding a saw. it was pretty interesting i wish i still had it. it cam complete with whistle and everything, a fully functional steam engine that could theoretically by put on rails, with some fabrication of course. i would asume that someone still makes these as i think i saw one for sale....somewhere maybe a year or so ago. a search on google could turn up some results.
    Be sure to post some pics when you get this project started!

    Anyway i hope this helps, good luck
    Chris :thumb:
  11. Ho Modeler

    Ho Modeler Member

    Have you ever thought about selling that thing?
    Or do you have plans to make it work?
  12. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

  13. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I really haven't decided if I'm going to finish this one or start over now that I have a lathe and milling machine.
    I am thinking of building a larger boilered 4-8-4.
  14. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Even on air, that has got to be a kick to see in action. :thumb:
  15. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Yea , it is alot of fun to play with.
    Opening the throtle (a small spool valve between the cylinders) and adjusting speed and direction by moving the reverse lever.
    Once it fell off the blocks I had it set up on and it took off across the bench. It was stopped by the 3' aquarium air line that was attached. What a rush, I had visions of it bouncing off the floor.
  16. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    Seems to me that is just the model to put in a model engine shop. all you have to do is paint it.

  17. chipmonk

    chipmonk Member

    i think i found the live steam model i had when i was younger heres a link
    theres a few different ones but the models that look like the first one is the one i had, not sure what accessories i had
    hope this is of some help
  18. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    What did you get, Ray? I'm shopping for both.

    I'll bet! Probably felt like an 8 year old taking his first minibike or go cart ride! or a 13 year old getting behind the wheel of his old mans car, or a 16 year old, well, we can't go there. MMMmmmmm it wasn't that fun anyways, I'm sure :D :D :D
  19. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I found a Sherline model 4400 lathe and a model 5400 milling machine at a pawn shop. Included with the deal was a home made wood base with drawers that had all kinds of accessories, micrometers and a dial indicator.
    These are nice machines. Here's a link to the Sherline site.

    Attached Files:

    • wb2.jpg
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  20. krokodil

    krokodil Member

    Not only that, you need also lot of special materials and the skills to work with them (stainless steel etc.) is not that easy, and finally when your locomotive is ready (we have some in our 1 scale club) it is an absolute challenge to use them, as the reaction of the real steam is completely different from an electromotor driven mechanism - after lot of fingerburning and damages etc. :mad: I prefer the good old electric motors......... :eek:

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