Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tender Progress

RGS #20's tender is on the workbench and has been for quite some time. I decided it was time to get back to work on it.

First, I moved the tank part down under the long workbench with the boiler. I will rivet this together once the frame is completed. (Click any picture to enlarge.)

The end beams and decking is oak. These have to be shaped and drilled to be installed. The front end beam is already mounted with the buffer and spacer blocks in place. Some of the decking is in place and the rear end beam is getting the coupler pocket installed.

The rear coupler pocket being bolted on. All these studs had to be made from a long rod of 5mm threaded rod.

Getting closer to getting it on.

On the back of the beam is a steel plate. This plate needed to be drilled for the threaded rods to go through.

The middle bolts needed the plate to be cut back for clearance.

The holes are drilled and it's ready for the last two long bolts.

All bolted up.

All bolted up. Time to get the beam on the frame.

All the studs which hold the beam in place have been bolted to the frame.

The beam (hammered lightly) into place with the nuts going on.

All bolted up.

The tender frame on it's trucks parked out on track 2 in front of the barn. The front is to the left.

The long 1/4" thick oak strips which the flooring will be both nailed and glued to is in place. The draw bar which connected the tender to the locomotive is obvious. There is still once more piece of oak board which needs to be made to go over the front beam on top of those spacer blocks.

That's sawdust on the trucks. When cutting oak, it creates a lot of fine dust which gets EVERYWHERE.

Front beam, buffer and drawbar all in place. Soon this area will be full of water lines, air lines and power lines. And chains too.

The rear end beam of the tender. It looks odd because it does not have the foot boards and steps for the train men (who could be rather small in this scale) would ride. Also the coupler and air hoses would be in this area.

Next steps on the tender is to complete all 36 deck boards, nail and glue them to the subfloor deck boards and then sand them all smooth. Finally, a light stain and several coats of varnish to protect them. These will need holes drilled through them for all the water lines, air lines and tank hold-down bolts. And one big drain plug.
The front end beam will also require a couple foot rests to be installed. Very likely, they will be small motorcycle foot rests which fold up out of the way.
Once this is completed, the tender frame will be stored under the bench while the tank is riveted and then sealed. Once that's done, it will be painted and then all the other tender parts will be installed.


  1. I am at about the same progress. Finally have had some time to devote to the tenders again. (I ordered two trains from Tom). I would be interested in seeing your plumbing progress. I am also not sure about the sealing method I am going to use. I have decided to powdercoat the whole unit, which is relatively inexpensive.

    Ken K.
    Shirland, IL

    1. I am now beginning to look into this more. I know I will have to get the 159 out of the shop and perhaps the 2 large flats with brakes before I can jump on the 20. I like the idea of powder coating the metal parts. I think I will be sealing the inside of the tank with the bed liner. There is another type of coating which is supposed to be better than the Rhino and that's what I am supposed to get in the new hopper. So I will be able to see how well it works.