I forgot to mention. The only unit of measure that the ChiTuBox slicer works with is millimeters. It will produce funny things if the STL units are in inches. That was the cause of my very first "microscopic" lathe print. It may be why you're getting funny dimensions. Checked what came out of the machine this morning and everything printed. Haven't unloaded them yet. And even with enlarging the drill press' lever arms on the down feed 2X, they're still awfully tiny.

EH Lighting Base CoatHappy Tuesday. Had some visitors this weekend an of course the trains decided to derail at two places, the swing door and the outer bridge loop. Swing door I understand, bridge… I have no idea what's going on.

Continue printing all sorts of stuff, some really good, some not-so-good. Still trying to perfect just how big small details have to be to have a chance of surviving my clumsiness. Thought I had a perfect engine back end and then knocked off one of the blower oil lines. I'm going to attempt to drill and replace with metal. I finished up five working lights for the engine house, primed them gloss black and then a darkened aluminum. I also started finish painting some of the other machine tools. I used foil with some PSA to simulate the slides and column. I painted the work table that darkened aluminum (to look like steel).

I wanted to air brush the metallic paint so I had to mask the whole deal.

EH MS Radial Drill Masking

Still some more details to paint and I have to add back a big hand wheel. I used my first separately printed hand wheel today to repair a good print of the surface grinder.

EH MS Radial Drill Aluminum

Here's a bunch of stuff that got primed including a successfully printed work bench with shelves. I thickened all the workbench members.

EH MS Shop Equipment

The lights are going to work okay. I got a big screwed up. Somewhere along the building process I switched from 2 inches to 3 inches on the length of the pole before the bend. I had two at 2 inches, one at one and half inches and two at 3 inches. I didn't think I could stretch one so I took one apart and cut it down to the two inches. I was able to get it apart by soaking it for a bit in acetone which softened the CA. Luckily, the resin is impervious to solvents.

After I got them all working and potted with Bondic I clipped the magnet wire short and spliced on heavier leads that will tie into the building electrics. At first I was using the heavier gauge black/red zip cord, but it was overkill. I wanted to be able to shrink tube all the way into the lamp base and the thick wire prevented it. So some are the heavier and the rest are thinner gauge.

EH Lighting Cabling

Here they all are which the black primer. More masking since I wanted to maintain the shiny aluminum poles.

 EH Lighting Base Coat

I'll take the final shot tomorrow. I'll also attempt to get them up and running. We're heading out for a long weekend to State College to see my youngest granddaughter staring in a professional production of Matilda. She's becoming one heck of a performer.

And I finished up my design for the wheel lathe. Couldn't find any pictures that really showed the entire machine. Furthermore the pictures I did find showed great complexity that would be hard to create. So I did a free lance design that incorporates all the essential things a wheel lathe has, but without the stuff that would be too fine to print anyway. The little gray part over the left is a chuck cleat that I will make at least 8 of to fit into those huge face plates. The cleats grab the inside of the driver's rim to rotate and stabilize them. The centers are into the driver's axle. I went with a solid-center hand wheel in hopes it can stay together. You can't see it, but underneath is a cross-shaft with pinion gears that engage both flywheels and the drive the right one from the left one which is tied to the motor. This is an old design dating back to the early 1900s. This is my SketchUp drawing rendered in Podium plug in.

Wheel Lathe Render

I'm printing it as a series of subassemblies. Two heads, two carriages, the base and the cross shaft. When I first loaded it all up on the slicer that resin use was quite high, then I realized that I didn't hollow out any of the heavier pieces. This wasn't as easy as it sounds since all those chunks on the left head are separate parts pushed together. When I hollowed out an upper part, I had to make and opening in the lower part so the uncured resin has a way out. it did reduce the volume of resin consumed. I'm not anticipating any printing problems since everything's pretty robust. Can't say that for the drill press I printed. First all the levers fell off, then the chuck and spindle fell off and finally the table fell off. There is a reason why really fine details are cast in brass using lost wax. Brass is probably 10X stronger than UV resin. Since part of the machined is below floor level I will have to cut the floor while it's all attached to the engine house. I can used the Dremel with a router head.


Photos (6)

Last day of work this week due to our impending trip to PA. 

Cleaned up a couple of parts grown overnight. I wanted to do another engine block, but I had forgotten how I oriented it on the platen and did it upside down from the most successful ways and it lost connection to the platen near the end so one corner didn't grow properly. But I grew a perfect back end which is really what I was looking for. I also grew the rest of the engine parts. I'm striving to make a perfect one. It's not easy since I then to break stuff during the cleanup process.

I found a color that looks similar to that which EMD used on many of their power plants… kind of a light gray green. Tamiya has a color called "Sky" that could work. This was a reject engine that I glued together. Notice the warped exhaust muffler. I'm going to do a plain block with the access ports open and open cylinder slots. I might be cool to have it in back lot.

567 EMD Color

I finished painting the radial drill and the surface grinder. I added three separately grown hand wheels to the surface grinder and one to the radial drill.

I added a little wash to the drill press base.

EH MS Radial Drill Painted

In this shot I haven't painted the hand wheels yet. I did that tonight while waiting for some other parts to get finished. I printed the first parts of the wheel lathe: the pinion-geared cross-shaft.

EH MS Surface Grinder w Hand Wheels

Here it is sitting in the machine shop. I keep forgetting to paint that reinforcing strip in the corner...

EH MS Radial Drill in Place

And then I started installing all the outdoor lighting. Of course I have one longer than the others for the front three. I set them on the roof so the heads all seem to lie at the same level. I started with the machine shop light. I made a roof prop for  the machine shop roof so I could hold it open while working. I also permanently fastened the gutter to the building. I thought, for the machine power I would just solder the + and - leads to the copper foil after the CL2N3 driver thinking that the entire circuit would be at LED current-limited value.  I drilled a 17/64" hole for the 1/4" base post. I didn't want a press fit letting the urethane glue to hold it in place. I soldered the wires, turned on the track power, the light lit brightly for a moment and then "POOF!", burned out! I'm not sure why that happened. Unless there was something about putting it in parallel with the series LED circuit. I was able to pull the old LED and wiring out of the light assembly, make up a new one and thread it back through. That surprised me!

This time I didn't take any chances and put its own LED driver in series with the LED and then soldered it to the existing foil path, and here's the result.

EH SIde Light

It's plenty light and the three at the front will do just fine.

EH Side Light On

Here are the three in front and you can just see the side light drying with a pair of cutters resting on the base to keep it flat down while the glue dries.

EH Front Lights Top View

Here they are hanging over the front. I didn't want to do any wiring until the glue fully cured. That will be next week. I'm also starting to work on the Sikorsky restoration. I don't want to do that project when the weather turns colder. Did I mention that they're asking me to strip the paint and then leave the model in its native bronze. That makes it easier in one regard; not having to paint it, but makes my work harder since the soldering has to be impeccable. 

EH Front Lighs Installed

I'll be back in the shop on Wednesday.


Photos (8)


The diesel engine is fabulous. especially the detail under the valve covers. Your attention to detail and patience is amazing. The machine shops tools are turning out great also. It's a shame your visitors will not notice your creations unless you make a point to show them.

Thanks fellas! I'm getting pushback from wife and daughter because I end up beating people's ears off telling about all the amazing things I've learned about this technology. It's really hard not to. 

We drove straight from State College, PA to Louisville yesterday so I had some limited work time today. Our trip was to see our youngest granddaughter star in an adult production of Matilda. She is 11 and dynamite. The lead role is complex and she pulled it off perfectly. She was getting a cold and did four shows, Thursday, Friday and two on Saturday. We saw the last show. Her throat was sore Saturday morning and she was a teeny bit raspy when singing, but she was a true "star" and the audience never knew she wasn't 100%. I could have watched the show over and over again.

I got the base of the wheel lathe printed when we were away and it was waiting on the Machine when I got into the shop today. The base printed nicely flat. I had designed in some X bracing to prevent warping and it did work. I had made one of the open spaces too small and the gear wasn't exposed so I did some post-processing and opened it up. I'll go back and fix the drawing. The front edge where I had a full-length locking groove was too fragile and some parts broke away on de-supporting. The left end face plate and tool slide is now on the Machine and I'll get that tomorrow.

Top View:

EH MS WHeel Lathe Base Top

Bottom View: One gear tooth broke on the bottom and I attempted to rebuild it with Bondic and then shaped with a diamond burr. Partially successful and unseen since this part goes face down below the floor. You can see the part of the edge that broke away on the front edge. I have an extension on SketchUp that lets you produce perfect spur gears. You can fake helical gears by twisting the top face of the gear if you need them.

EH MS WHeel Lathe Base bottom

I had to pick grandson up at school and went to Harbor Freight to pick up a Oscillating Multi-tool that was on sale for $20.00. The heads for it were more expensive than the tool. This was another tool that I've had in my sights for years, but the plane restoration was the trigger. I put all the small parts into the paint stripper today and it works.

I continued working on the wiring of the outdoor engine house lighting. I got the light over the side door tied into the the strand of lighting on that side of the building. I removed the roof so I could work on it upside down on the work table. I just stripped the feed wires to expose some conductor and tied the lighting leads to that. I used another CL2N3 driver to power the light so I wouldn't have any weird current problems. 

EH SIde Door Light Power Tap

I got the front lights partially complete. Again, I'm paralleling the lights with the rest of the circuits. I'm going to gang all three +s and -s into one (each) spade seminal which will be tied into a terminal block. This, in turn, will be ganged into the main power feed. The arrows point out the LED drivers. I've used my last ones on this rig and will have to order more. I'm sure there is a more elegant way to power up all these lights, but this wasn't it.

EH Lighting CL2N3 Drives

Tomorrow I again have to pick up a grandson so work will be choppy again. I'm writing the article on this building concurrently with my daily reports. But I really can't finish the article until three things happen: I have to solve the power problems getting trains to run in and out of the engine house, the landscaping and backfilling that will finish off the site and the completion of the machine shop. I'm going to take some liberties on the machine shop since it's so complex that it really won't be finished in a long time if I really want to make it a very detailed diorama. I may write the article with the engine house proper completely finished and the machine shop a work in progress.

To give you an example of Elegoo's customer service I want to share something that happened. I was informed that Elegoo was shipping a new "ABS-like" resin that was more resilient and less brittle. I need that resin. I went on Amazon and found it listed. Someone had noted on the Facebook page that he ordered it and got the same resin as the old. I ordered it and also got the old resin. I was asked to write an Amazon review and I was not complimentary. I said that I was annoyed by the bait and switch. The next day I got an eMail from Elegoo customer service in China, that said how sorry they were that the new product wasn't shipped. They are refunding my money to PayPal and told me that if my product had a date before August 1, it was old product. They said I can keep the resin since they didn't want me to return it fearing that they could send it again in error to another customer. I never had a manufacturer react to an Amazon review so quickly. It was very impressive!



Photos (4)

No pictures today, but plenty of frustration.

I was finishing the wiring of the engine house outside lighting. I got all the wires tied together and onto a junction block which in turn tied into the mains. When I tested the circuit, only one out of three lights lit. Prior to this, I had one failed and individual test and I traced it to a bad driver chip. I am out of them (ordered more from Amazon last night) and installed a single 470 ohm resistor to limit the 12 VDC to 20 ma. When I did the total circuit test, the only one that was lit was the one with the resistor. The other two drivers seemed to have failed also.  I cut their chips out and replaced them with resistors and then the one with the resistor stopped working while these two fixed ones worked. (Are you following any of this?) I bypassed the resistor and used my protected test circuit on the bare light leads coming from the fixture, and it didn't work. I needed to pull the entire fixture since the LED probably needed changing. Of course, I had reinforced the fixture bases with CA since the urethane glue wasn't holding. To get it out I had to destroy the base. So new bases are waiting for me tomorrow since I was able to just grow some more, but it was very annoying. I knew the minute I put the cable ties on everything something would stop working. Why did I lose all these drivers? I'm not sure… I think they're sensitive to heat and I may have overheated them in soldering or when shrinking the insulation on them. Either way, they failed. The side light continues to function well and I was using it as my reference test. I never had so much trouble with the surface mount LEDs. The refinery has over a dozen of them. The distillery has 5, Nighthawks has 4 and Woodbourne Gallery has 6. 

I like to use the drivers because I don't have to worry about whether I have one or two or… in series. With each of those I would need a different resistor value to keep the current managed. With the driver it doesn't matter. But… they appear to be delicate.

While I working on the aircraft restoration I'm also working on the engine house. Today I got the wheel lathe almost completed. The pictures look almost done, but it's not. The right headstock is not glued in yet.

Let's start with this image. I'm using the new ABS-Like photopolymer which is gray and not translucent. It makes it easier to see details without having to prime it. The resin is tougher, more resilient and appears to be a little less crisp in detail generation. You'll notice in the pic that the right side bolt on the base didn't print. I went back to the drawing and found that the counter bore floor was missing. I'm not fixing it on this model. It won't be too noticeable in the engine house. I am correcting the drawings so they'll be good for any others. Notice too the cleats on the face plate. I positioned them to fit my extra Pennsy J3a driver set. Those drivers were 63" in 1:1. While the resin is stronger, it still didn't stop me from knocking of the two levers on the control panel.

EH MS Headstock

There was a tiny center mark on the drivers' axle so I was able to enlarge it with my smallest center drill to make a true tapered center point on the axle that would suspend it from the lathe's centers. Here was the unit with both faceplates with the drivers in between centers. I have made the carriages with a piece that extended all the way across. This did work because the drivers extend below that point. I removed the extension. I also had to remove a cross-member in the frame since it too blocked the driver from seating. I didn't realize all of these barriers since I didn't fit a driver on the SketchUp drawing. BTW: real drivers don't have traction tires.

To fit the driver's width I had to slide both face plate units inwards. They're still in contact with the pinion gears, but not full face. I'm assuming that in 1:1, those gears would slide along with the headstocks.

EH MS Wheel Lathe Fitting

Before painting I made my own operating handles from some 0.014" guitar string and knobs built up from layers of Bondic. Bondic is terrific for making knob handles since it cures so quickly under the UV LED.

EH MS Wheel Lathe Handles

I glued it all together and then realized that I needed to paint it and didn't want to have to mask the driver set. So I broke the CA'd glue joint, removed the drivers and painted it. I used Tamiya Dark Iron as the base color. I then freehand airbrushed the face plates, gears and shafts a dark metallic mix that simulates steel. Lastly, I masked the areas around the drive mechanism and sprayed it a nice light blue that I already mixed up. I dry brushed the gear teeth with some chrome silver. It works, but I'm not 100% satisfied with the look.

EH MS Wheel Lathe Almost Done 1\

I'm going to raise the entire lathe on a simulated concrete base so I don't have to cut into the machine shop floor. Here's a good test of the new resin. The crank handles on the left tool post are still there. The ones on the right all broke off. The new resin is definitely tougher. On Monday I'll put it back together and make a concrete base. I it will be done. I may print some tiny bolts and stick them in those holes.

EH MS Wheel Lathe Almost Done 3

I printed a whole set of new light bases only to find out that I printed the earlier version where the stem was not connected to the body. New ones are being grown as I write this. More on this on Monday.

Happy weekend!


Photos (6)


The S-38 parts have been delivered to Epic Powder Coating here in Louisville to have it glass bead blasted to remove all that crappy paint and prepare it for soldering. I gave up on chemical stripping in the basement due to lots of factors not limited to smell and how aggressive it is. It ate through nitrile gloves!

I was unhappy with the fit of the right faceplate assembly on the lathe. In the process of cleaning off the old CA I dropped it on the concrete. It was the brittle resin and fractured into three pieces: each bearing support and the faceplate. I glued it back together with CA, but it was no longer properly aligned. This bugged me so I grew another. This one is out of the new resin. 

Before growing I fixed the drawing. The floor of one of the bolt counterbores was missing so the bolt didn't print. I also rechecked the support structure and added some to the locking bolt on bearing support front. As a result the print was perfect. Today I will paint and reassemble. I'm also making the concrete sub-base shown below the bed. This will negate the need to cut a hole in the machine shop floor to accommodate the lower gear shaft. Notice too that the carriage has both hand wheels formed which is because I added a support under the front hand wheel.

EH MS WL New End and Foundation

I finished the re-made outdoor light and primed it. Today I'll paint that too and attempt (again) to install all those new lights. I've tested this light three times and know that it's working. Notice the brass sleeve (white arrow). Even my second printing of the bases was the wrong set. It was still the base where the lug wasn't actually part of the base. Instead of printing another set, I simply glued in a piece of 1/4" brass tubing. The dimensions on the grown part are very accurate.

EH Remade Light

Since this building is destined to be another article, I was unhappy about having the wheel lathe with sub-par quality. It just didn't work for me.

I also bought some more materials for the S-38 restoration and found out some not-so-good things. One is that both landing gear are missing. I wondered what those two 1/4" threaded holes were doing on the engine nacelles. The S-38 had retractable landing gear that were a bit weird, like the entire plane. They didn't fold into a well; they just folded flat in front of the wing. The gear had a long, airfoil-faired strut that extended to the nacelles, and a triangular arrangement that tied at the bottom to the fuselage. They sent me a picture taken in the 80s that clearly showed the landing gear being present. I think I will produce these via 3D printing. They won't support any weight. Ideally, they should be printed with wax resin and then investment cast out of brass. I don't believe their budget would support that. There's also a bunch of short struts holding the front of the engine to the wing that are missing. In this picture, it appears that the landing gear are supporting the weight on the front and a lug is holding up the rear. The gear may have disappeared before the great fall since they were supporting the front with two more bolts hastily drilled and tapped with a piece of copper pipe surrounding them. Or they may have been so damaged as to be unworkable necessitating the gerry-rigged suspension. I'm going to keep the solid suspension and use the landing gear as decorative only.

S-38 Missing Parts

This job keeps getting more complicated. I bought some MAP gas to get more heat in my torch. I needed to get more heat and a colleague directed me to AirGas for soldering supplies. They only sell welding materials, but directed me to an HVAC supplier. At this vendor I bought the MAP and then in a discussion with some patrons and a sales person discussed keeping heat off of parts I didn't want to de-solder and was shown (and bought) a heat absorbing paste that protects parts very near hot work. They use it to protect sensitive controls and valves when silver soldering lines right next to them. I didn't know such a thing existed and it will save me lots of angst. I was going to us wet rags and paper towels which are flammable.


Photos (3)

Didn't get the lights done today. There's always tomorrow. I did get the newly grown wheel lathe painted and ready to install. It was the right thing to do; making a new face plate component. Again… I'm a broken record… having a 3D printer means, "Break a part, grow a new one" kind of like a salamander.

You will notice that the anchor bolts are now both there and the locking screw is fully extended. I also added some ridges on the front bottom edge of the bearing supports to positively key into the groove on the lathe bed so it's perfectly parallel to the x axis. I'll glue it together tomorrow. I'm thinking about disassembling my 3rd Rail J1a and switching out the non-traction tire wheel set for this one. It's a very slippery engine and could use the traction tires. Even though it is a 2-10-4 with five coupled axles, on curves most of the middle ones aren't doing anything. This will give me a driver set with real steel tires to decorate the lathe. Notice also that both hand wheels now have handles on the right carriage. But… the front one did break off and I replaced it with a piece of 0.022 phosphor bronze wire. I made the hand wheel robust enough to drill and accept the wire.

The lathe is sitting on the base which I will also finish tomorrow after painting it concrete gray.

EH MS WL New Faceplate Painted

There were two reasons why I didn't get more done today. The first was a call from EPIC Powder Coating today that the air plane was finished being cleaned up. I picked it up and it is exactly as I would have wanted to be. It will be much easier to solder. They charge 130 an hour, but it only took 40 minutes, so it was $80. It would have taken me a week to clean that metal by hand and it would have been AWFUL! Sometimes you have to know when to have a professional do something.

S-38 After Glass Bead 1

Just enough of the solder remains to guide me where the parts must be re-attached. Too bad I can't keep it natural. There's too many non-bronze parts going on that would ruin the effect. The glass beading also exposed one of the two large slotted-head screws that holds the two halves of the fuselage together. I really didn't know how that was done. The other screw appears to be capped. Putting this humpty dumpty back together is actually to going to be fun now that the horrific stripping job is behind me.

S-38 After Glass Bead 2

With the worst part of this job done, I really didn't need the angle grinder that I bought from Harbor Freight so I returned it today for a full credit. I hadn't even opened the box. I'm keeping the portable power band saw and the oscillating multi-tool. The latter was terrific in removing excess solder from the joints I had already made.

I need to get some good reference information about the S-38's landing gear so I can draw up a set and print them. My plans show them, but it's very, very sketchy. I will prevail.


Photos (3)

Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653