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MDC/Roundhouse Shay build

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  • MDC/Roundhouse Shay build

    Now that I've got some working HOn3 track, I figure I should get busy building a practical HOn3 engine.

    A few years ago I found this at a fellow modeller's sale:




    It's been started, and it's in HO standard gauge



    But it came with a can motor and flywheel and judging from the contents of the box almost all the parts are there. The only things that seem to be missing are the brass wiper parts for the trucks. I'll see what I can do to replace them.



    Ever since I bought this kit I have been accumulating the NWSL replacement gears for it and recently I found the HOn3 parts available on Flea-bay. In fact all that is needed to convert on of these are narrow gauge truck gearboxes and shortened axles. I did buy the narrow gauge gearboxes, but I could only get the standard gauge axles. Is it possible to get the measurements (length) of the HOn3 axles from someone who has one of these still in the box? I'm sure there's got to be at least of few of these unbuilt out there.




  • #2
    Glen I picked up the kit a while back with all the NWSL parts including the narrow gauge conversion. It's all still in the box calling me to build it. You've tweeked my interest, so I'll be following along.

    I just measured my axles and they are 0.771" long and 0.363" shoulder to shoulder. The nylon insulated tips may make my measurements off a bit.

    George
    The sky is not my limit, it's my playground.

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    • #3
      Hi Glen, I have this old kit. I don't know how difficult it is to send things to the North Country, but are there parts you could use from this locomotives trucks?




      Louis L&R Western Railroad
      Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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      • #4
        Wiper print. Good luck with the sHAy!


        Philip

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        • #5
          I've built 3 of these in On30 with the V & T castings plus my house castings.

          http://www.railroad-line.com/discuss...TOPIC_ID=33983

          http://www.railroad-line.com/discuss...6&whichpage=49

          the google search of the forum with all topics:

          https://www.google.com/search?q=mdc+..._AUoAHoECAEQAA
          Philip

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          • #6
            Thanks everyone. I have made a bit of progress on the shay but I'll post my progress just a little while later.

            Louis, I wouldn't mind having a 'parts' engine for this project. Shipping things up here isn't that big of an ordeal. I believe that the postal service in both of our countries is considered an essential service.

            George, thanks for the measurements, I'll check my replacement axles to see how much I have to trim off.

            Phillip, Thanks for the wiper dimensions, they'll come in handy.

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            • #7
              After tearing the engine down from where the previous owner had it I started work on the main gearbox.



              The previous builder did a few improvements to the mechanism but didn't clean out the molding pins that are on the inside of the gearbox. I used a miniature chisel and some fine sandpaper to take care of those.



              Then I pulled my NWSL gears out to install. I've had one of these shays a long time ago and could never get it to work right. That was before I read the MDC Shay Handbook. The original large 'bull' gear was all plastic along with the pinion gear. These are both replaced with brass gears with a much more precision fit.



              These are the gears that came out of my gearbox. I think the previous builder used part of the NWSL replacement gears?

              I think it has the pinion gear, truck gears, and the drive shafts from their kits.

              The main bull gear has been modified with a metal center/axle as well. Before I took is apart a checked the gearbox by hand and it spun freely. I might look for another shay to drop these gears in or if another modeller wants them for their project.



              When I assembled the gearbox (with plenty of grease) I bolted it into the frame and coupler the motor to it. I ran it in both directions for 15 minutes to break it in. as it broke in I could hear it running a bit faster as the drive loosened up slightly.

              Either another modeller told me or it was in the handbook that it's advisable to run the mechanism every time you add a new part to the drive.

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              • #8
                Just a quick question. Do the wipers have to be made of Phosphor-Bronze or can brass sheet do? I have lots of sheet brass, and maybe there is Phosphor-bronze mixed into the collection, I can't really tell the difference.

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                • #9
                  I made my wipers from nickle guitar strings and brass. I guess it was .011 or .014 strings. I'll check in the morning. I remember it was trial and error and ended up thin so they were flexible enough to create a bit of tension as they rubbed the wheel.

                  Philip
                  Philip

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                  • #10
                    quote:


                    Originally posted by Glen Haasdyk


                    Just a quick question. Do the wipers have to be made of Phosphor-Bronze or can brass sheet do? I have lots of sheet brass, and maybe there is Phosphor-bronze mixed into the collection, I can't really tell the difference.


                    Glen, here is what I found about the two; Brass and phosphor bronze are both made from copper with the addition of other materials. Brass contains both copper and zinc. A higher percentage of zinc will result in a stronger, more ductile brass. Brass is known for its machinability and its ability to retain strength after forming.

                    Phosphor bronze is a combination of copper, tin, and phosphorus. While brass is valued for its malleability, phosphor bronze lends a greater hardness. As a harder metal, phosphor bronze has a higher melting point than brass. Some of the key properties of phosphor bronze are corrosion resistance, fatigue resistance, and excellent elasticity.

                    Also, what Philip said about using nickel guitar strings, that is top shelf for electrical contact making. A set of strings in the 8-38 range will have the string Gauges .008, .011, .014, .022, .030, .038


                    Louis L&R Western Railroad
                    Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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                    • #11
                      I wonder if those Shays came in slightly different configurations ?? I do have a couple, but they have pittman style motors, and are mostly white metal, very little plastic in there ...

                      I don't know if they are MDC or Roundhouse, or the numbers, the boxes are not handy at present ...

                      I put together another one, and added a DCC decoder to it maybe ten years back, I do remember filing the white metal on the

                      engine crankshafts quite a bit to get the white metal to turn freely ..


                      ....modeling the 1890s in HO...

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                      • #12
                        Hi Warren, The roundhouse and MDC shays are the same. The same company in fact. I've had at least one other MDC/Roundhouse shay kit and the early ones all came with the pittman style motor. The later ones came with a can motor. I think you can tell the difference in the cast metal chassis. Mine has an aftermarket Sagami can motor, which I suspect is part of the previous owner's partial NWSL upgrade.

                        I don't think any MDC shay came with cast metal crankshafts, but the Keystone shay did/does. That was is a all cast metal kit that NWSL made a powering kit for but I understand it is even more of a beast to assemble.

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                        • #13
                          yes, that's it .. they are Keystone models , not MDC or Roundhouse, as they are virtually all white metal, including the crankshaft ..

                          I do have one completed so far [in over ten years], the other ones aren't touched yet ..


                          ....modeling the 1890s in HO...

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                          • #14
                            Yes I have the keystone shay sitting on the shelf, waiting it's turn, but I don't have the NWSL powering kit. I've seen them for sale but the cost is rather prohibitive. It's almost cheaper to get a used brass engine.

                            George, I checked my standard gauge axles and they are 0.789" long, end to end. I have to think that the HOn3 axles have to be shorter than your measurements.

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                            • #15
                              Hi Glen, I hope you don't mind me posting this information here, but thought if you see it, it may be of better help to you.

                              I measured the axle in (mm and inches).

                              If you could use just the axles with gears as shown circled in the red, you are welcome to them. Just let me know.

                              I do have use for the locomotive where I had gotten HO axles and trucks for it. It was just sitting around for a "I'll do it some day".










                              Louis L&R Western Railroad
                              Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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