The GS-4 has a
large smokebox door. It is complex and a casting was the only way to
go. A friend of mine offered to make an aluminum casting of it. I drew
up the plans and started to make the pattern for the castings out of
wood. Glued a bunch of wood pieces together, let them dry, mounted them
on my metal lathe (low speed), borrowed some wood lathe cutters and away
I was... doing something I never did before.
realizing that I was no Norm Abram of "This Old House" who makes it look
soooo easy using a wood lathe, I decided that I had to make a cutter and
put it in the tool holder of the metal lathe. This let me make very
accurate cuts. I also used the auto feed to speed things along. Had
wood shavings ALL OVER! What a mess... After 12 hours, the final
product came out excellent.
Still need to fill
in the filets and sand it down, then it's off to the foundry.
And here's the
result after it
came back from the foundry and a little bit of machine work.
Thanks Tom! Excellent job! It was cast in 535 Almag. This stuff is
heavy. If I were to make another one, I would hollow out both
pieces to reduce cost and weight. Still need to put the smokebox dogs on, lights etc. Save that
Well, I decided to
file, sand and polish the smokebox door (another 8 hours) and glad I did. I put the smokebox dogs (26) on and drilled/tapped the perimeter for studs/nuts
(64). The only thing left to do was to put the lights and numbers in.
That will come after I
get her running.