Making lagged pipe...

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by doctorwayne, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    for steam lococmotives. Rather than buying cast brass lagged pipe, you can make you own easily and at low cost, too. I made my pipe to represent a steam supply line for a Barber-Green Snow Loader.
    First, fabricate the pipe from suitably-sized brass wire: use wire about two scale inches or so smaller in diameter than what you require for a finished size. The one shown below is .052", which is about 4 1/2" in HO. Make all of the necessary bends and determine the method that you'll be using to fasten it in place before starting the actual lagging procedure.
    For lagging, stick a length of ordinary masking tape to a sheet of glass, then, using a new blade, trim off the factory edges and discard them. Next, measure and mark for the width of lagging that you want to use: for my large pipe, I made it 1' wide, and for the 4" (actual) length of the pipe, I used about 16" (actual) of tape.
    Start at an end, or, as I did, at one of the mounting fixtures. You can cut 1/4" or so of the end to a taper or start with a square end - it doesn't seem to make much difference in the appearance. Hold the end against the pipe, with tweezers if necessary, until you can get the tape wrapped at least partway around, and keep some tension on the tape as you wind. I overlapped each preceding wrap by about 1/3 or 1/2. When you come to the end, cut it off with your X-Acto blade.

    I ended the first wrap at a point where the pipe goes through a mounting clamp on the smokebox front. The lower end will get lagging after the pipe is installed on the loco.
    All of the other mounting clamps are installed on the pipe, along with stand-offs to keep the pipe in the proper position. The small wires protruding through the stand-offs will be inserted into holes in the boiler, then bent over to hold things in place.

    When all of the lagging is in place, apply ca to all of it - all sides and especially the ends. Soak up any excess with tissue. The glue on the masking tape will eventually fail, but the ca will keep it in place. I have pipe that was lagged this way over 30 years ago that is still solid.

    If you have areas to be lagged after installation, as I did, do so, then apply the ca as before.

    Here's a look at the installed pipe:


    The front end has a simple plug, made from a large nbw casting. I drilled out the end of the wire, then ca'd the casting in place.

    On the prototype, when the snow-loader was to be used, a hose would be attached to the end of this pipe, with the other end connected to the snow loader.
    After you've installed the pipe, paint it using your usual paint and techniques. I brush-painted mine, using Floquil paint, as it was installed on an already painted loco. Here's a couple of views:



    I hope that you'll find this simple technique useful.

  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Excellent tutorial! Too bad I shouldn't be needing lagged pipe again for awhile.

  3. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    That's a beast of a loco...can we see more pics of the finished product please?
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Sorry, those are the only photos that I have of the modified loco. It actually belongs to my good friend cn nutbar, and I'll have to leave it to him to post more photos once he gets the loco back. Or should I say if he gets the loco back? :twisted: Here are a couple of older shots, before the pipe was added.



  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Couple of questions - is "lagging" supposed to represent asbestos insulation? It looks a lot like stuff I saw in the basement of an old house I lived in once...!

    And what's a "snow-loader"?

  6. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    Wayne, excellent job and tutorial :thumb:. A shame that I probably never need a lagged pipe :oops:.
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Yes, lagging is asbestos insulation added to pipes, although the blocks of insulation used on the boiler were also called lagging.. There was formed stuff that came in lengths, sized to fit over specific diameters of pipe, and also asbestos cloth, which was simply wrapped around the pipe. Since the actual pipe here is about the size of a passenger car steam line, I would guess that this is meant to represent formed stuff held in place with a wrapping of asbestos cloth.

    I originally thought that the snow loader was a snow melter, similar to the ones that use surplus jet engines, but when I googled "Barber Greene Snow Loader", I got lots of info on the machine used in many cities to remove snow from city streets. The intake end is sort of like a snow blower, but instead of blowing the snow out a chute, it feeds it through an auger-type conveyor, which dumps the snow into waiting trucks. My guess is that the CNR used them in yards or built-up areas, where a wedge plow or rotary would've create too much havoc. I've never seen a photo of one, in service or otherwise, but I picture the "snow loader" in front, follow by a gondola or side-dump car, with the loco pushing. A temporary steam hose would run along the gondola to the loader, with the steam providing the power to turn the auger and run the conveyor. If anybody knows how these things really worked, please feel free to jump in.

  8. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member


    I'm surprised each time seeing your modified and rebuilt locos. What for ideas and I must say what for courage starting such modifications.

    I think that I should modify one or other engine but I preffer to build a new car or an other model. I have a few small brass models but I delay and dalay again changing of these models.
    In this sense congratulation also for the fine pictures again.

  9. cn nutbar

    cn nutbar Member

    Outstanding work my friend---please post as many shots of your creation as possible---feels like a photo session is in the makings :thumb:
  10. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    Thanks for the tutorial Wayne. I'm sure I can find many uses for it.

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