A Brief Progress Report On Building The Half-Size Little Samson Steam Traction Engine In Thailand
The pre-rusted castings have arrived safely at our house in Pakchong. We didn’t have any issues with the Thai customs over importing them.
Photos Of 6″ Scale Model Little Samson Traction Engine Castings
Below are some photos of the castings sitting in the big machine workshop in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.
It appears that the Thai Customs didn’t raise any objections to the import of the castings as far as we know – but we were not present when they did their inspection.
It could be that either,
A) The aging treatment has been successful in it’s purpose of making the castings look old, or,
B) The aging treatment was totally unnecessary in the first case.
We’ll never know but now I have to find a sandblaster to clean the castings up.
Progress On Building The Little Samson Traction Engine
As to progress on building the Little Samson at the rate we are going the boiler will be ready before I have even started!
Finishing Other Models First
You see, tempting though it is to start the Little Samson, I am half way through building a Stuart Turner Victoria steam mill engine model and also want to make the boiler for it before I start the Little Samson.
The reason being that once I start machining those castings I won’t be able to return to the other models if I leave them unfinished. I must finish the other models first.
Getting Some traction Engine Parts Made Outside
The exception to this is that I will get some outside contracted work done, namely rolling the wheel rims which are too big to do on my equipment.
So I need to modify the drawings to show just the extent of the rim-rolling work. Not a difficult job and I hope to start it soon.
A Daunting Task
I have just finished re-reading (in great detail) the book “Little Samson II” by David Kearley.
This is a tremendous help because he goes into so much detail at each step.
Nevertheless the huge scale of the project is daunting!
Take just the connecting rods for example where David reports three weeks of workshop time!
Making Gears For The Little Samson Traction Engine – In 6″ Scale
Then there are the gears where David says that the Bridgeport mill is not up to the job. (My mill -Argo- is a Bridgeport clone)
It’s a long way off yet but I am thinking about a few options:-
- Make the small gears on the Argo and get the big ones cut outside (in Thailand).
There is a company near here that does CNC wire and plasma cutting. Would any of those processes be OK I wonder? I’ll go to ask them – these are the same people I hope to use to get the wheel rims rolled.
- Make the small gears on the Argo and rough out the large ones using drilling and hacksawing between the teeth to ease the load on the gear cutter snd finish on the Argo. (Unless it’s more a question of dimensions than cutting power)
Hacksawing dozens of gear teeth to a rough profile may sound like hard work and normally it would be. But I have the Makita 2107F portable band saw and it’s ideal for this task. I’ll use it hand-held and it will soon carve out those cast iron gear teeth.
Hope you enjoyed my little ‘progress’ report – not much of it really, but I have given the reasons.
Well that’s my update on progress building the 6″ Little Samson Traction Engine in Thailand.