Keystone Shay NWSL upgrade

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by camelot, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. neilmunck

    neilmunck Member

    Gear honing

    I have just used some Brasso to hone a brass-brass worm-gear set. I worked a treat (and the gears are all shiney!:D )

    I assembled the gears, motor and etched gearbox. There was a bit of a sticky bit on the gear so I put some Brasso on with a piece of tissue. I turned the motor by hand to make sure it rotated without too much resistance. The I hooked it up to my power supply and ran it at the lowest speed that it ran smoothly at (about 2.5volts, it is a Mashima 1020).

    After running it for about an hour (changing direction frequently) I put a rag under it and sloshed 3 in 1 oil over it to wash the brasso off.

    I runs nicely now and hopefully will for a long time as the design of the kit is such that getting it all out when the chassis is finished will be a real pain.
  2. camelot

    camelot Member

    Some updated pictures of my Shay , i have added handrails , injector,exhaust,intake and sand pipes.Bell, roof vent, toolbox and headlights have also been added as well as the rear kadee coupler.

    Handrails have been added to the cab and tender each side of the cab opening.

    I have still to add the air pump on the other side ,steps,front coupler and the wistle on top of the steam dome

    Here are 2 pictures one from the front...


    the other from behind...


    i have also been making up the U joints which involves drilling and glueing 4 pins to hold the U-joint castings to the universal rings , to give an idea of size , from end to end this piece is 5/8 " or 16mm long.

    Four of these will connect the lineshafts from the wheels to the crankshaft in the motor mount...



  3. Jeff Law

    Jeff Law New Member

    Oops, you're best to cut off the square shafts from the u/joints before assembling them, as you need to drill holes in them for the line shafts.

    BTW, I had nearly finished my second Shay, when I knocked it off the bench and broke the frame in half (where it was cut to take the transfer case). Oh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I'll rebuild it with a brass frame.
  4. camelot

    camelot Member

    ahhh , the penny has dropped , now i know how to connect the u-joints to the line and crank shafts !!!!

    It may sound a little simple but i don't remember anything mentioned about it in the instructions.

    Thankfully i only made two of the u-joints pieces so at least 2 of them will be easy , i might make the made-up ones for the lineshafts as those holes would be smaller.

    Sorry to hear about your second shay , lucky you have the ability to remake one , i would be forced to expoxy it togeather, not sure how that would go ...

    Can you solder it togeather ?

  5. Jeff Law

    Jeff Law New Member

    I doubt that soldering would be any better than epoxy, so I'll use the remains of the frame to use as a master for a milled brass frame.

    I have a Clisby Vertical Milling Machine (see so making it shouldn't be too difficult. I've already made a similar one for the Class B Climax I'm building (see and take the Climax B link).

    I will also fit it with captive, sliding drive-shafts like the ones I've put on the Climax as shown in the above link.

  6. camelot

    camelot Member

    Here is a finished picture of the shay with the driveshafts installed , all running well now but it took a lot of trial and error to get it that way...


    heres another picture from the underside , below the model you can see the replacement cardan shafts i made from a bit of brass tube and wire...



  7. neilmunck

    neilmunck Member

    Good stuff :)

    When are you going to paint it? show us pics of it painted? :D
  8. camelot

    camelot Member

    Funny you should say that ...

    I dismantled the shay into its 3 major parts and airbrushed it with Floquil grey primer ready for painting



  9. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    I salute you guys

    As I'm not into conversion kits (without knowing exactly what's in the kit) I have only today read this thread right through.
    My Keystone Shay was bought about 20 yrs ago and I remember at the time what a gem of a loco it is. At that time there were no insulated spoked wheels with gearteeth on the rims available so it was destined to be a static model for use in dioramas.
    Seeing your working conversion and those of you who have taken up the challenge of motorising it has left me in awe! :cool: :cool:
    To drill out and pin universal joints is something I doubt I would be able to do even on a G Scale shay! You deserve the highest admiration for your tenacity, innovativeness and overall skill in acheiving a working model from what was originally inteded to be a "display" model.

    I salute you all.

    The thread reads like a conversation over a cuppa coffee making me feel I was part of the conversation and has been very informative for me. Thanks for sharing :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

  10. camelot

    camelot Member

    Thanks for your kind words Errol , i thank all those who that have given me help and ideas during the construction of the Shay Kit.This would be the most difficult kit i have made but is well worth the time.

    Now my favourite part is here , the painting :D

    here is a picture of the first airbrushing session...



  11. cobrazm

    cobrazm New Member

    What is the size of the built up Keystone Shay? Lenght, width, etc. Thanks.
  12. camelot

    camelot Member

    The Shay is 108mm end to end , not including buffer plates or couplers , mine has Kadee N°5 couplers and is 125mm overall.The Width is 25mm being the deck but the crankshaft universal joints stick out another 4mm on the driver side.

    Hope this helps.

    Update on my Shay progress , while running the shay with another loco the other day i noticed that it was the reverse polarity , so having heated up the soldering iron i swapped the pickup wires , forgot about swapping the globe pickups and blew my last 1.5v microbulb. :cry:

    I have bought another globe and i am in the process on installing it , while i have been waiting i have been making and collecting some junk to go on the running boards , including a grease bucket , oil cans , spanners , wrenches etc and loads of chain.

    Heres a picture of it as it stand with a tape measure for an idea of scale...
    and awaiting decaling.

    The bottom marks on the tape are in mm the top inches.



  13. neilmunck

    neilmunck Member

    What a lovely little engine :)

    keeep us posted with the detailing etc.
  14. Jeff Law

    Jeff Law New Member

    Shay T-Boiler

    Here is a picture of my second, partly-built Keystone/NWSL Shay. This one is being modified into a T-Bolier, to offer a bit of variety on my railroad.
    It's nearly ready to be painted since I photographed it - the shaft drive is installed now.

    Attached Files:

  15. camelot

    camelot Member

    Hey Jeff , that looks great , is this the one that feel off the table and broke in 2 ?
    If so how did you mend it , last time you said you might make a new one from Brass .

    Would love to see some more pictures and how does it run ?


  16. Jeff Law

    Jeff Law New Member

    Yes, this is the 'broken' one, but before it broke! I've made the new frame from brass and re-assembled it to about the same stage as the photo.
    I need to get it run-in before proceeding.
    For your interest, here is a photo of my first Keystone/NWSL Shay (#1).

    Attached Files:

  17. camelot

    camelot Member


    Its been a while but i have finally got some finished Pictures of the Keystone shay for all of you to view....







  18. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I know the amount of work needed to build this kit! Very nicely done!
  19. marc gast

    marc gast Member

    Kee Stoned Shay

    Nice work!!!!

    Now its time to bash the Kee Stoned Shay kit into a Dunkirk!!!! Much easier.

    Marc :cool:
  20. seriph

    seriph New Member

    Hi all - first poster here - dear old Google led me to this forum, for which I will be eternally grateful!


    I was recently introduced to the Climax, Shay etc. by a friend. Having been away from the hobby for 30 years, I have just (a month ago) returned to find things have really progressed! The level of detail is exquisite, as are the range of "add-ons" like DCC and sound. Simply brilliant.

    Anyway to my questions:

    1. for online Shoppers:

    Being an Aussie I see a lot of what's available overseas for what seems like pretty reasonable dollars. If I happen to see the same item here in Oz, it seems to be at least double what I would pay INCLUDING shipping! Who do people generally use in the States (or Oz) for good prices?

    2. Which RTR’s kits are good ones and which should be avoided?

    I would dearly like to buy a couple of these stunning little locos in RTR form and super-detail, and load them with all manner of things like chains, boxes etc.

    Then, I would like to build one similar to the ones explained here, though am pretty sure I will need some serious tool-time before I attempt this. In addition, I will need to know what tools to buy, so I can do-it-right, ONCE!

    There is much to learn (relearn) and that’s great! I just don’t want to fall into the trap of falsely saving money on an item, only to find it will not give me the pleasure I am hoping to get because of manufacturing flaws etc. I don’t mind modifying existing things though – in fact, I really enjoy that.

    My idea is to couple the locos to a run of 10 or 15 small ore carrying carriages (need to find/make these too) that will run on a fully detailed mine. I want a “ramshackle” look to it all where stuff has been cobbled together.

    Anyway, apologies for the sermon – I think you all know where I am trying to go …… any help would be most welcome. BTW Even that Water tower is a killer! I can practically hear the hissing and grunting of steam and linkages.

    Thanks again.


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