Thursday, June 12, 2014


I've been working on 3-D component drawings for the K-36 backhead, the latest being the brake valve.

The K-36 brake valve so far. Plumbing problems 
off of every port.

All the K-36 locomotives had essentially the same equipment on the backhead and were probably plumbed the same by Baldwin when the locomotives were manufactured.

However, over the years, as the locos were repaired in various maintenance shops, at different times and by different mechanics, each locomotive took on its own unique arrangement of pipes, tubes and fittings. sometimes keeping closely to the original configurations, other times they pretty much cobbled together anything that would keep the locomotive running, particularity during times of financial stress, something the railroad experienced over and over.

I have photographic records of five of the ten K-36 backheads, and for certain none of the five resemble each other.

What to do? I can't draw up all five versions, too much time would be needed. And those versions probably only existed until the locomotives next visit to the shop. What would be nice would be to depict the backhead as Baldwin originally manufactured them.

I would like to find a photograph or accurate drawing of the "as built" backhead. I've been looking, but so far no luck. I'm sure there are a few photos out there in private collections, but my past experience with owners of these collections indicates that actually being able to borrow and use such a photo is, well... not very likely, and I have neither the time nor resources to go research various State and local libraries and museums for information that may or may not be there.

If I have no luck in finding some reliable information,  I will most likely use - from each backhead - what seems to be the most likely and reasonable path and fittings for the plumbing.

This is not a solution I am very happy with, but one that may be necessary if I ever intend to finish this project.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Drawings are now all 3-D, with measurements taken from the completed 2-D engineering drawings.

Each component, part or gadget is separately drawn and then fitted to the master.

Shown below is the Throttle assembly as a separate 3-D drawing.

Mostly finished, the round device is the boiler pressure gauge with no face as of yet.

Neat thing about these drawings is they can be rotated in any axis to view the part from any direction.

That means no cheating on the backside of any view.

I'm thinking that - when the drawings are all done - I might construct a model K-36, maybe 3/4" to the foot.

Won't need new glasses with that scale.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Things have been hectic to say the least this last year but have settled down to the point I can return to my K-36 drawing effort. (more of a pasttime than an effort)

I purchased a new printer-scanner-plotter, an Epson WF-7520 capable of scanning and printing B size prints. The units were on a closeout sale at one of the office supply outlets for about 20% of the list price. A real bargain, and a great unit.

Below are some "B" sized prints/scans I've been working one lately.

Underview of the K-36

Each component - or sub-assembly - are drawn on separate layers. Most of the layers are turned off in the above print.... brakes, equalizer, etc.

Pilot and snowplow top and bottom views

A bit of the K-36 pictorially

This is all done with  AutoCad 2014, a licensed version which was a gift from my son to keep me occupied. A very expensive gift, but quite appreciated.

The K-36 pictorial version is called "Shades of Gray" by AutoCad . When drawing in 3-D, using the "wire frame", the "shades of gray" is a vital viewport when trying to see where everything is located.

Below is a "wireframe", what I usually see when working a drawing.

Same as the above pictorial, with several more layers turned off.

It's next to impossible to figure out much with a 3-D wireframe.

The top two views are plotted in "hidden" mode, where any lines behind  an object are not drawn.  Also very handy when figuring our where - and what - things are

I'm working on the firebox and cab now.  The backhead is taking a LOT of time and  computer memory.

However, my computer was updated with a 2TB Hard drive, and 4G memory.

No problem.