I made this

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Look like this

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 Using this

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IMG_4959

 In this

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Like this

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Actually I had removed the boiler before straightening it but forgot to take a pic then, so I just took this one of the assembled engine.  This is a 6-11152 Rio Grande LionMaster Challenger from 2009.

My brother-in-law, who collects and runs postwar Lionel, had done some research into the "cold-flow" properties of postwar boilers and came up with the idea for this straightening "vise."  I wasn't sure that it would work on new "Chinese" castings but decided to take a shot as I figured there wasn't much to loose.  Being cautious I originally cranked the bolts until I was getting a stiff resistance and left it that way for about 5 days while I was away.  When I took it out I was amazed at how much it had improved. 

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So I stuck it back in, crank the bolts down all the way (about 1/2 a turn each every few hours over a couple of days), left it about a week and voila!  Not perfect but incredibly good and hardly noticeable if you don't look close.  I bought this bent cab $900 MSRP engine at auction for $323 delivered, and now it is one of my favorites. 

Attached as a .PDF is a set of directions my brother-in-law provided for making the vise pictured above.  Good luck and don't get stuck on the "bend."  John

 

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Original Post

Yes, nice work.  So you didn't apply any heat at all ?   I wonder if heat and how much would or should be used, if any ?

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Well done presentation. I do it basically the same way but used a vise with the two pieces of wood just duct taped to the jaws so I can drop the shell in one handed. I always use heat either propane torch or 800 degree heat gun both held some distance away. The diecast should be too hot to touch (sizzle spit). The paint is good to over 400F. If it starts to burn its way too hot. Takes a few heat, clamp steps.

Pete

Thanks everyone for the positive comments.  Bobotech, I also am impressed with the improvised tools but, sadly, can't take any credit.  It was all my brother-in-law Spence.  He made and mailed to me, CT to NC postage PREPAID, the one I used in the pics.  Also, I'll post more photos tomorrow as you requested.

GRG, how the vise was made is explained in the PDF attachment.  That with the photo of the vise laying on the table should do it.  Here's a couple more for perspective.

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All, I did NOT use any heat.  It might help but I wouldn't know how to use it or take a chance trying.  This is a "cold flow" process that takes time as explained in the PDF!  From start to finish it probably took a little more than 3 weeks.

John

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I have repaired them in a similar way except I just cut a wood form for the bottom contour of the cab. I applied heat carefully with a small torch then put the form to the bottom of the bent cab and “formed” it to the wood template with a rawhide mallet(or rubber). Heat makes it form much easier without breaking but early on I got one too hot and melted it so be careful. Good job on repair.

Here's a PDF with your text and the pictures embedded, this little tool is worthy of a complete document.

How to Repair a Bent Cab Roof on Lionel Steam Locomotives.pdf

Updated with additional pictures.

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I remember a story about syrup dispensers.  LA Die Casting made the lid and handle flat, and my employer (I was building an airplane part time for them) told me they tried bending slowly over a mandrel, and it cracked every time.  They went to a "whump" procedure - impact bending - and now you see those syrup dispensers with curved handles everywhere.

Nice job!  They usually break when bent back to original shape.  Then it is fiberglas city.

Bobotech, I took these pics today.  This is how it looks close up

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And this is how it looks from a foot away

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As I said yesterday, while it's not perfect unless you look really close it's hardly noticeable.  I could probably tweak it a bit more by putting a shim under the corner of the cab for a little more pressure in the vise but I didn't think it was worth the bother.

 

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I edited the PDF to add your additional pictures.  In case you want to make more editorial additions, here's the Word file and the PDF file.

How to Repair a Bent Cab Roof on Lionel Steam Locomotives.docx

How to Repair a Bent Cab Roof on Lionel Steam Locomotives.pdf

Attachments

When I cut my wood "die" I make the radius slightly larger than the finished radius of the cab roof as it will spring back slightly. That would have gotten rid of the slight droop on the firemans corner. Again, using heat will reduce the time to complete this to about 15-20 minutes vs days.

Pete

Norton posted:

When I cut my wood "die" I make the radius slightly larger than the finished radius of the cab roof as it will spring back slightly. That would have gotten rid of the slight droop on the firemans corner. Again, using heat will reduce the time to complete this to about 15-20 minutes vs days.

Pete

I have a 773 that I purchased recently and it at one point took a dive.  The engineer's side's corner is good, but from about the middle over to that side, it sits a bit lower.  How would I correct this?  Would I use @Norton 's version to make the radius slightly larger?  Dumb question, but how would that work without affecting the good side??

 

Thanks!

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