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Notes on Detailing a Weaver 2-8-0

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Presentation on theme: "Notes on Detailing a Weaver 2-8-0"— Presentation transcript:

1 Notes on Detailing a Weaver 2-8-0
By Joe Foehrkolb Baldwin Forge & Machine Baldwin, Maryland

2 The Weaver 2-8-0 The Weaver locomotive has filled a long time need for a generic steam locomotive in O scale. The engine is available at a reasonable price in many road names and undecorated. Because it is a “generic” it lends itself to modifications by the modeler. Since there is no prototype to shoot for when detailing, virtually anything within reason can be done to it.

3 Weaver 2-8-0 Modifications
The following slide presentation illustrates some modifications to these models performed in my shop. The photos show work on two different models taken as the jobs progressed. The first modification I considered was replacing the side and main rods with better looking parts. This is not difficult to do, but it does require a drill press and some skill in fitting up the parts.

4 Side & Main Rods In my opinion, the side and main rods which come with the Weaver engine are poorly formed and oversize. There are sections of the side rods between the second and third driver and third and fourth driver that measure over 15” in scale height.

5 Original Rods on the Engine
Here is a photo of the original Weaver rods on the loco. Notice the high section in the side rod behind the 3rd driver and the main rod which is too large and has no taper between the crankpin and the crosshead.


7 Rods Now take a look at the same model with the Sunset side and main rods installed.


9 PRR H-10 Rods Fortunately there is a replacement for these rods. The driver wheel base of the Weaver is exactly the same as the Central Locomotive Works PRR H-10 locomotive. There is also a source for Sunset H-10 rods which are also exactly the right length. I have used both sets of rods in converting these locomotives. The Sunset rods, which are pre-assembled are easier to install.

10 Comparison Photo Here is a photo of the Weaver rods alongside of the Sunset rods prior to modifying the Sunset rods for the diameter of the Weaver crankpins.


12 Drilling the Sunset Rods
I drilled the main crankpin (3rd driver) hole No 11 and the 1st, 2nd and 4th crankpin holes No 27. I also drilled the hole in the main rod No 11. Tap the crosshead attachment hole I used the original crossheads. You may opt to turn a new main driver crankpin to avoid drilling the main pin holes so large but mine came out fine. The next photo shows drilling rods on the drill press .


14 Mounting the Side Rods You have to make a right and left side set of side rods. The front crankpin bosses on the rods must be filed down to the thickness of the original Weaver rods in order to use the original crankpin screws and keep them from hitting the crossheads as they revolve. After the rods are on the model you cannot see the thinned down front crankpin bosses.

15 Mounting the Side Rods I machined bushings for insertion into the rear driver crankpin holes to keep the short crankpin screws from going in too far and binding the thicker rear bosses on the Sunset side rods. You can file your rear side rod bosses down or order longer crankpin screws from Weaver. (NOTE: The 2nd driver crankpin screws are longer.) Here’s a photo of the modified rods.


17 Removing the Old Main Rods
The original main rods are attached to the crossheads with rivets. I simply filed the heads off the rivets and punched them out of the crossheads. The rivets stay attached to the old main rods and have no further use.

18 Mounting the Main Rods I discarded the sleeves and spacers that came with the Weaver engine on the main crankpin and made 1/16” thick spacer washers (drilled No 10) to go between the main and side rods on the main crankpin. You can cut and file the original Weaver spacers and make these up without a lathe.

19 Mounting the Main Rods I attached the main rods to the crossheads with hex head 1-72 machine screws available in most hobby shops. You may have to get 1/4” long screws and file them down to fit so they do not protrude out the back of the main rods and hit the first driver crankpin screws.

20 Side View of Loco with new Rods
The following photo shows a side view of the entire loco with the new rods installed. Note also that the driver tire rims have been painted and the entire mechanism given an overspray of Floquil grimy black to give the loco an in service look.


22 Locomotive Brake Cylinders
Since the previous photo was taken I have added PSC brake shoes (P/N 40135) to the locomotive. The castings come with a separate piston rod and clevis. Drill the brake cylinder out with a No 55 drill and solder the piston rod into the cylinder. The operating lever, rod and supports are made from brass stock. I used small brass pins to attach the rod supports to the loco frame.

23 Locomotive Brake Cylinders
In order to allow the use of the on/off switch for the smoke unit and access to the rear boiler mounting screws, the location of the holes for mounting the brake cylinder castings is important. I used a No 44 drill and located the holes 9/16” in from the back of the frame and 3/16” down from the stepped out section of the frame.

24 Locomotive Brake Cylinders
I filed the mounting pins on the rear of the cylinder castings slightly so that they were a press fit into the No 44 mounting holes, pressed them in with the aid of a pair of needle nose pliers, aligned them and put a drop of super glue around each casting at the joint. Operating levers were pinned to the clevis castings and soldered. Here’s a couple of photos before and after painting.



27 Boiler Details The Weaver boiler casting and details are very nice but I did not like the bug eye classification lamps sitting high on the top of the smokebox nor did I care for the small headlight lens in the headlight casting. Take a look at a photo comparing the original look to a front end modified to my taste.


29 Smokebox Modifications
You may be satisfied with the front end of your model as it comes but if you want to change it like I did there are many sources for locomotive classification lamp castings out there. I use Cal Scale (Bowser) No 3001 for my lamps. I install them on the front of the smokebox and use clear jewels on both the front and side lenses. My lamps do not illuminate but you can make yours light if you want to.

30 Headlight I removed the bulb and lens from the headlight casting, The I removed the headlight casting from the headlight bracket with a little gentle prying. Holding the headlight casting in a drill press vice I drilled the headlight casting out to 9/32” inside diameter and turned an aluminum reflector and lucite lens for the casting.

31 Tender Details The Weaver tender appears to be a very nice copy of a USRA tender used on the and locomotives. In order to accommodate the hi rail couplers on the 3 rail version of these models, Weaver’s builder omitted all of the rear tender detail. Here is a photo of the rear of the tender prior to modifications.


33 Tender Details I opted to install foot boards, coupler lift bar, poling pockets and an air hose casting to the rear of the tender as well as modifying the backup light in the same manner that I did to the loco headlight. Here is a photo of the rear a finished tender prior to painting the details. Although the reflector and lamp are in place, the backup light lens has not been inserted. A Kadee coupler was installed.


35 Tender Details I used stanchions from my stockpile of parts instead of the PSC item mentioned in the next slide. I also made my own poling pole on the lathe but PSC has a nice one with mounting straps. It is their P/N41109. You will need to make a filler for the opening in the rear tender beam also. I used 1/4” wide brass strip from K&S. Length of the opening is 1-1/4”.

36 Tender Details The Precision Scale Company (PSC) parts used to detail the tender are: 4676 Rerail Frogs 4322 Poling Pockets 5134 Tender Steps 4278 Air Hose 4098 Stanchions

37 Tender Details Here is a photo of the rear of the tender after painting and weathering has been completed. I think it is a major improvement to the model. All castings are by Precision Scale. In addition to the rear tender details, I added Precision Scale re-railing frogs to the right side of the tender and a home made poling pole to the left tender side. Take a look!




41 Have Fun! This presentation shows you some of the things that can be done to customize your Weaver with a little modeling skill and effort. Lots of other options are there to consider, like a nice five chime whistle casting installed on the left or right side of the steam dome to replace the very plain rear mounted one. Something to think about! Have fun!

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