Construction Page 1 November 2001 - June
After spending nearly 2 years constructing the B&O
WagonTop Boxcar, I was not intent on utilizing poor quality,
"store bought" trucks made from castings that are readily
available from sources in the Live Steam community. With the incredible
help of Fred Bouffard, I had complete access to a Matsuura 6M
Ram Master 2 CNC Milling Machine and all the equipment needed
to produce a series of Buckeye Trucks for the Boxcar and any other
projects I will undertake. So, we spent the better part of 2 1/2
years perfecting a program to create entirely from bar stock a
100% prototypical model of the Buckeye Trucks. No CAD or CAM programs
were used at all in this venture, everything done the "old
fashion way", pencil and paper. Once completed the hand-written
and calculated G-Code program totaled 3000 lines for the front
and 3000 lines for the rear of the sideframes alone. These trucks
feature prototypical bearing construction as well (no store bought
roller bearings used). The side frames are perfect representations
of the prototype, cored and "3Ded". Furthermore, since
this was created using a CNC machine, at any time in the future
that we may need more trucks all that is needed is to load the
billet, call up the program and hit the start button. The following
are photos detailing the construction of the Buckeye Trucks for
the B&O WagonTop Boxcar...
click on any smaller picture
to view a larger picture
A photo taken of the prototype Buckeye Truck at SteamTown
National Historic Site, in Scranton, PA.
A detailed view of the bearing assembly on the prototype
This long project began with creation of the wheels
and axles. Here are the completed sets, constructed entirely out
of bar, no castings used on the entire project. The wheels and
axles feature prototypical shaping and profiling.
Machining the bronze Journal Boxes on the Bridgeport
A completed Journal Box
Many completed Journal Boxes
A photo of the Matsuura 6M Ram Master 2 CNC Milling
Machine utilized in the project. All programming was done by hand,
no CAD or CAM programs were utilized at all at any time. All in
all, once completed, the program (G-Codes) consisted of about
3000 lines of code.
The control panel of the Matsuura 6M Ram Master 2 CNC
A completed test sample of the sideframe with many
errors in it, a lot of work was still needed at this stage to
perfect the program. These sideframes are resting on one of the
4 billets used in the construction of the sideframes alone.
Cutting the billets into smaller "blanks"
of metal for the CNC machine
Squaring up the smaller billets, or "blanks"
for the sideframes
Prototype "test" sideframes and the "blanks"
they were machined from
The CNC Milling Machine actually roughing out a sideframe
from a solid blank. Aircraft Aluminum was utilized for this project
due to it's light weight and extreme strength. Ease of machining
was a priority as well as many small intricate details were programmed
into the sideframes.
Another view of the milling process. This stage represents
finish cutting a pocket with a 1/8" bottoming end mill. I
was squirting extra coolant on the area to make certain the end
mill wouldn't break in such a deep pocket.