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Stumpy’s Station – “Ten Wheeler Project” Part 3

November 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

I wanted to use the Casey Jones pilot (cow catcher) on the front of the 4-6-0, so after some trimming and filing, I glued it to where the Pacifc pilot was removed. A couple of pieces of plastic strip filled in the ends.
The last thing that we’ll be fitting onto the modified plastic Pacific shell is the cab. Before doing this, cut the fake firebox area off the bottom of the cab since it won’t be used on this project. As we considered in the last part of the project, the top of the cab should not be higher than the stack. With the fake firebox gone from the cab, the bottom of the Pacific shell and the bottom of the cab will line up to put the cab at a nice height.
The opening in the front of the cab and the outside diameter of the boiler shell is close, but not the same. To make this connection point a bit stronger, I used a piece of plastic sheet glued to the front of the cab and cut out the inside of this sheet to closely match the boiler opening.
Test fit the cab to the back of the boiler before gluing them together.

On engines without a trailing truck under the cab, as much space as possible was needed for the firebox. In many of the Ten Wheelers the firebox extended all the way to the back of the cab. This was know as a “deckless” cab because the engineer squeezed in between the side of the firebox and the inside wall of the cab with the fireman doing the same on the other side of the boiler, if he had time to sit down at all.
In our case, the Casey Jones cab has an enclosed rear bulkhead with narrow doors for the engineer and fireman. This was a rare style of “all weather cab” popular on many roads operating in cold climates, so we can use it. If the motor doesn’t clear the back of the cab, you can open the center area between the doors, as most deckless cab arrangements were hand fired from the front deck of the tender.
As an alternative, you could also open up the entire back of the cab to clear the motor and then use cab curtains to disguise the motor. Cab curtains were used in cooler weather to enclose the back of the standard cab type to keep the crew warm. These were made of heavy canvas, one on each side of the cab, and arranged on a slide so that they could be tied back at the sides of the cab while not in use or pulled around to enclose the open rear of the cab. I make these out of used dryer sheets glued together and cut to size, then painted an off white or tan color and use them to hide the back of the exposed motor. Install cab curtains (if used) after attaching the cab to the boiler.

Once you’re satisfied by the fit, glue the cab to the boiler. Be careful to keep
everything in alignment, blocking everything into position while the glue sets. It’s a good idea to allow extra time for the glue to set as this is an important structural connection. Once set, I added extra strength by mixing up a little epoxy and spreading it liberally along the joint, then let that set overnight.
Once the cab is on, test fit the complete chassis and do any minor cuts or filing to adjust the fit. If there are any openings between boiler and cab, use some putty the fill these and then file and sand these areas smooth. As with our previous projects use gray primer to check your “body work,” then sand and repaint as necessary.
As I said before, many of the Ten Wheelers had a deckles cab because the firebox extended to the back of the cab. To help disguise the gap between the back of the drivers and the end of the cab, we’ll add this firebox under the cab. I started by adding a piece of plastic strip ¼” wide by 2 1/4” long to the bottom of the cab on each side, front to back. To this I glued a piece of 1/8” wide plastic channel material along the edge closest to the opening under the cab. Once the glue sets I used a ½” wide by 1 7/8” long plastic strip standing on edge to go below the bottom of the cab to block side view of the motor. This makes a “L” shape under the cab on either side. I left the front and back open for clearance when installing the chassis to the shell and to allow wiring to exit below the cab. It will also not interfere with the drawbar to the tender.

A firebox has hundreds of rivet heads appearing on it, so the represent these, I used card stock with “rivets” rolled on with a Ponce wheel. Ponce wheels are hand held tools used in sewing and other craft work. They consist of a small handle with wheel at the end that looks like a tiny saw blade. You place a piece of 1/2”x 1 7/8” card stock on a soft surface such as sheet balsa, rubber, or soft plastic. Then you roll the Ponce wheel along the card stock lengthwise making about four straight lines 1/8” apart. When done, turn the card stock over and you have lines of “rivet heads” sticking out on the other side!
Make a second such sheet for the other side and glue each to the ½” x1 7/8” plastic firebox structure. This makes for an easy and inexpensive firebox under the Ten Wheeler’s cab. When the glue is dry give this a light coat of gray primer.
With the boiler modifications complete, we’ll move on the adding a tender.

Stumpy Stone

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