Barry Bogs'  1/22.5  scale

Union Pacific  Big Boy  4018

Other Wheels - Oct 1st, 2020

For thirty years, I have used LGB wheels, for both NG and SG projects. Since Marklin bought LGB, parts are so hard to get and my stock is not what it used to be with so many projects rolling out the shop doors. Piko trains are German made and have the same quality as LGB parts. The best part is that you can get them! Roller bearing on wheel sets are now a standard at BLW, and the Piko wheelsets come with them.
I had the boys in the machine shop make axle tubes to SG the wheelsets. These tubes are glued on to the Piko axle studs with the bearings in place and then gauged. Trying to get the correct size wheels and contour is not always easy. The tender wheels I chose were spoked, so I contracted with Laser Dan to cut some covers to put over the wheels. Once behind the side frames, they should not be out of place.
There has to be something to hold the wheelsets and support the tender. Since there are no extended axles on the wheelsets that would go into the side frames, I came up with a simple design that can be adjusted for the wheelbase needed. The boys in the fabrication shop cut the materials to make the axle boxes. A piece of brass channel is placed on the top of the bearing of each wheel. The channel keeps the bearings in the correct location in the box, as well as they pick up the power from the wheels, via a wire that will be soldered to the side of the brass channel. The boys put the screws to close up the boxes and the boys pushed them over to the erection shop.
The pilot wheel assembly was a little different. The brass wheels were received from Cumberland Model Engineering many years ago. I had the wheels nickel plated and the machine shop made the axles and insulation bushings. The pilot wheels will need to swing between the cylinders, so the boys made a different type of axle boxes so that it will clear anything in the way. The centipede tender will be like a 4-4-2-4 engine set up, so that it will take very tight curves.
 - Barry 

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